Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review of Murder In Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav

A cover showing man in shadows and colophon abstracting murder, suspense and a struggling protagonist, I decided to again indulge myself in fiction and take a break from the stream of autobiographies that almost made my last month.

Book Blurb
On a cold December morning, a white woman is found murdered in a cheap hotel in Paharganj, New Delhi. Vicks Menon, an out-of-work journalist, is tipped off by the hotel's receptionist and is the first to arrive at the crime scene, where he discovers a lead. It's the bus ticket used by the dead woman two days earlier. But Vicks is battling personal trouble. He has no money, an alcohol problem, and a nearly broken relationship with Tonya, his estranged live-in partner, a clinical psychologist who specializes in profiling hardened criminals. Moving in and out of the shadows, Vicks pushes his investigation harder as it takes him from Udaipur to Bangkok. On his side, for resources, he has a nameless intelligence operative, and to read minds, a lover who is beginning to trust him again. But above all, his instinct to stay inches ahead of death will be the key to his survival. If Vicks lives, this is one story that will change his life forever.
Overall Verdict:- Lucid, No rush and Easy on the eyes

“Murder in Paharganj” starts with a murder of a white Israeli girl and centres around Vicks Menon who is an axed journalist wanting to redeem himself by pursuing this story and during the process make things right with his former live-in girlfriend Tonya. Things slowly spiral out of control as agencies from both the countries get involved whilst Vicks pursues her fanatic killer Jamie (Jalaludidn) who wants to disappear and doesn’t hesitate to kill, if need be.

The book is written in third person narrative. Its easy on the eyes and doesn’t burden a reader with unnecessary details. Yes, it does lack the element of powerful suspense, but makes up for it by keeping the story well paced and interesting. The chapters are short well placed, and connected. The use of simple language aids the plot as the readers can actually focus on the story and keeps them engaged.

Vicks Menon as a central character gets disconnected every now and then, but mostly sticks to the plot. His alcohol cravings are captured well. The female protagonist Tonya could had been used more (for instance her psychologist abilities). Jamie as an on-the-run criminal is captured well and has his moments whenever a confrontation occurs. Personally, I liked the character of Ariel which I felt was the most perfectly written character in the entire plot.

Overall, the author delivers us a story which is surprisingly light for a criminal fiction genre. Inspite of its not-so-new plot, the book successfully captures the readers interest and delivers the perfectly paced and placed ending which I find missing  now a days.
For Kulpreet Yadav’s simple yet lucid criminal fiction, my overall rating would be 3.5/5.

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart

Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review “Looking Through The Prism Spectrum" by Sujata Chatterjee

Overall Verdict:- Scenic, colorful, soulful and through the heart

As I start to write this review its nearly 1 AM; a time purposely chosen when it’s quiet all around and yet I am contended within, for it’s the third time in two days that I’ve lived Sujata Chatterjee’s lush green wonder “Looking Through The Prism - Spectrum

A colorful robin in its cover and a colophon which abstracts the author’s love for nature, The book grabs your attention and captivates your heart. In times, where every next person is a poet on social media, I was curious as to whether it will deliver a lush quiet evening as promised. The very first poem ensures that it does.

Looking Through The Prism Spectrum” is a collection of 17 beautiful poems by Sujata Chatterjee where each poem is accompanied by a sketch that catches your eye.

Be it the sunset in “Newer Horizons” or be it a students frustration in “Exhaustion”, the author successfully pens out her visual wonders and presents them for your mind’s eyes to feast. The poems are written in a simple language, yet they effortlessly enter your soul. Such is the mesmerizing spell of her work that you are forced to take a second look at the accompanying pictures just for the sheer joy of it.

There are times where the rhythm does indeed break, which I personally felt were due to forced extra details in the stanza. But the mood catches on and you’re able to end each poem with a warm cozy feeling inside leaving you to yearn for more.

My personal favorite of all was the “The Rosebud”. The poem resonated with me and perhaps put into words mostly what it feels to be a newly made father.

Overall, the author successfully paints her lush, rich and vivid imagination in a canvas by the name of “Looking Through..” where each and every color including the dark ones stand out and leave a lasting impression on our minds.

For Sujata Chatterjee’s visual delight my rating would be 4.5/5

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, May 5, 2018

This Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

A 1970’s album like the cover, a colophon describing the author’s journey from torment to recovery. I didn’t know Julie Coons and I was skeptical of what was to come (The title had two “This”’ after all).

Book Blurb
How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience? 

Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. 
Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life. 
This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. 
Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. 
Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom. 
So can you. 
This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement to break the silence of abuse and finally end its vicious cycle. With strength and resiliency, Coons provides a voice for the silent abused, letting them know they’re not alone. Justice and hope can prevail. The abused can become victorious. 
Read the heartbreaking true story of her journey to triumph above overwhelming obstacles. 
This Does Not Leave This House” is the autobiography of Julie Coons where she survives child mistreatment, parental slander, brutal rape, marital exploitation, life-threatening diseases and a lot more; all this time holding herself for her daughter Stephanie until she finally breaks the vicious cycle of abuse with the hope that she inspires others to do the same.

Be it the trauma of rape or be it the happy memories with her Grandma Eva, the author successfully depicts the same in a manner that captures your soul. It wrings your heart and hits you in the right spots as you journey with her through her social injustice, experience her shattered dreams and feel her renewed hope till she pulls through and succeeds.

The book is well written in first person narrative. Be it the lunatic mother, the abusive ex-husband, the almost absentee brother and father, her dearest daughter Stephanie or the divine angel/ savior Grandma Eva, the author is successfully able to channel her emotions through our minds. She successfully narrates her life where she faces the worst and the best of humanity has to offer.

There were times when it became so gut-wrenching that I had to put the book down and stop reading.
There are some portions of the book which I felt were repetitive. Personally, I would have loved some more of her life with her loving husband Jeff. So in the end when she advises us to listen to our hearts and get out of anything abusive, it grills through our heads and we are left to praise her undying and fighting spirit.

Julie Coons really needs to thank her healer Theresa for bringing out the writer in her. Her autobiography can serve as a guideline to people who complain that they have suffered much and a beacon of hope to the ones that actually do. Personally, I am thankful that the book was shared with me and it was my privilege to read her, understand her and admire her through her book.

Overall Verdict:- A silver lining of a dark journey

For Julie Coons’ well inspiring autobiography, my overall rating would be 4/5.

Book can be found at Amazon India and Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book Review - The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

"The Witch of Portobello" is my second book from Paulo Coelho, after reading Alchemist I wanted to read another book by Coelho and so I grabbed this book.

Book Blurb
How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?

That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho's profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all.
This book revolves around Athena and her journey to the spiritual world. I really loved Paulo Coelho's narration style. The way he tells the story is amazing. He can take you from the world that we live in the spiritual world.

This book has made me rethink every decision of my life and made me look at the new meaning of love, joy and teacher and sacrifice.

If you're at the point of life where you can afford to rethink your decision to broaden your perspective and go towards spirituality than this book can do wonders.

Lastly, it's always an exhilarating experience reading Paulo Coelho's books.

  1. Cover : - 4/5
  2. Content : - 4.5/5
  3. Character : - 4/5
  4. Concept : - 5/5
  5. Overall : - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Super Siblings - Inspiring Stories of Enterprising Siblings by Prachi Garg

Last year, I read Super Women by Prachi on Insistence of Vishnu. I liked the book. This year when I saw Super Couple & Super Siblings courier, I told Vishnu to spare them for me. I was busy with some work, so it took me some time to take this book, but it was a worthy read.

Book blurb
In a world where relationships make or break the deal for a lifetime, it is imperative to be able to have equations that are reliable, compatible and accessible. Luckily enough, sometimes it doesn't take too much effort to find the right set of people, perhaps because nature has its own way of providing them. From childhood to adulthood, siblings share their environment, principles and interests and are naturally quite compatible. Gone are the days when siblings only gave the best 'what car to buy' advice or approved the guy you were dating. Today, brothers and sisters are travelling together, taking up hobbies together and to add to the latest trend, building enterprises together. Varying from tech start-ups to trendy fashion wear, from utility applications to artsy expressions, siblings seem to be partnering up with each other to break away from conventional career choices. SuperSiblings encapsulates the journeys of twenty siblings who have broken away from conventions and supported each other to start-up their dream ventures
My husband is a big fan of this kind of successful business stories, we have more than 10 such books by various authors. Rashmi Bansal's 5-6 books are among them. Prachi's books' concept is also in similar line, but the company or founding entities are still in their initial stage (specifically not as big as Stay Hungry Stay Foolish entities). Having said that I don't mean to demean fame and hard work of the people from Prachi's book. I mean that they are just like you and me but struggling or establishing their existence.

Sucess is not about being a big company but a path to reach that milestone. This book covers siblings who have proved their mettle in marked by bringing their brands. Stories are from different domains: artistic domain, clothing, application development, commute management, digital marketing.  

Good points about the book
  • Short stories
  • Language is easy to follow for even 12+ age
  • All stories are inspiring one 
  • It can give a spark to think something for yourself.
Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Content - 3.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads