Sunday, April 28, 2019

Book Review - Wild World: The Adventures of Bali and Bhola by Deepak Arora

I saw "Wild World: The Adventures of Bali and Bhola" by Deepak Arora book's praise post by Preeti Shenoy. I was attracted to cover so much that I simple inquired my friend in publishing house about the book availability. That book was provided to Preeti Shenoy as ARC or maybe for her feedback. So I had to wait for the book to get released. Though the book released after two months of my inquiry and It took another month for me to get the book, the wait for the book was justified. 

Book Blurb
Bali, the langur, decides to move back into the Wild World after getting fed up of chasing monkeys in the city. Bhola, the bear, escapes to the jungle from the brutalities of his human owner to lead a happy and satiated life.
On the night of Bali’s welcome party, Bali saves Raja, the tiger, from the bullets of a poacher.
The other animals are impressed and request him to go back to the city and help Rani, the tigress, to escape from the City Zoo. Wild World is a whacky and hilarious tale of a runaway langur and an ever hungry bear who join paws to save the jungle from becoming a human colony.
It is a story of a sanctuary called "Wild World National Park". Though the park was known for its tiger reserve. Only one tiger was left in the jungle. The protagonist of our story was Bali, a langur, who had recently returned from the city. As a child, Bali had a dream of living in a city where he would be working with Men to chase out Monkeys. So he voluntarily got trapped in poacher's plan. He was taken to the city and there he was sold to a drunkard who went to one society to another where Monkey's were harassing people. It was then Bali came to know the reality of his dream. For his owner, he was just a Monkey with a black face who chased out Monkey with red/white faces. He ran from his owner and came back to his actual home Jungle. On return langur clan, started treating him as a star. He was given importance. On top of that, he saved the life of Tiger - King of Jungle. This made him an important figure among other animals as well. Read the book to know more.

Indian literature needs good books for middle graders. When I see books available in USA / UK for kids in the age of 7-12 they have so many options. Where in India kids were given limited options and due to that they move towards other options like gaming, mobile/tablet. If we can provide proper books to kids they can cultivate the habit of reading. A book like "Wild World" can actually make it happen. The book is written with such a wonderful concept and a thought process that I don't mind gifting it to friends' kids on their birthdays. Don't worry Deepak this copy will stay with me, as my kid has asked us to keep all kids books safe till he starts reading. :)

Good points about the book
  • Awesome cover art. I don't think a child or parent can reject such a cute looking cover. 
  • Not just cover, a wonderful artwork given in each chapter about the important scene of that chapter. I think this is necessary for the targeted audience. It will increase kids' interest potion.
  • Nicely merged concepts of nature's reserve, animal care, environmental care.
  • Smooth and easy language usage.
  • The fluid pace of the story. No hurdles for kids to go one page to another.
  • Proper characterization and funny naming which will bring a smile to a kids face
I would advise you to get 2-3 copies of this book for gifting purpose. Nothing could be a better gift than a book to kids especially. :)

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Review - Aahvan - Only A Hidden Truth Can Remain Free by Saurabh Kudesia

I was just going through my Facebook feed when suddenly facebook showed me Aahvan, an interesting Hindi book. The cover and blurb were promising. I contacted the author and got to know more in detail. Later on, I bought the book's kindle copy, which made it our 8-9th Hindi book in our catalog. Unlike the books we have read till now in Hindi literature, this was well thought, at par with English literature / English authors. 

Book Blurb
Mysterious dead bodies, controversial medical reports, some ancient gears, scattered manuscripts, endless murders, and a simple Will that connects them all with the secret that was doomed to always remain away from the history.

विचित्र लाशें, रहस्यमय संकेत, विवादग्रस्त मेडीकल रिपोर्ट्स, कुछ पुराने यंत्र, बिखरी हुई पुरानी पांडुलिपियाँ, दिल दहलाने वाली हत्याओं का अंतहीन सिलसिला, और उन्हें जोड़ने वाली एक साधारण वसीयत जो इतिहास से दूर रहने को शापित एक रहस्यमय पुरातन सत्य की कुंजी थी।
Consider this book as a collection of at least two full-fledged novels (for me it is 3). The books start with the death of Rohan. Jayant, a family friend of the family was called by Rohan's father. They presented Jayant a will which was sent to them by Rohan before his death. Rohan died in an accident and within a few hours of his accident that Will reached to his family. Also, mysterious details found in his will made his family confused. Jayant with help of his forensic department expert tried to solve the case. 

On top of that, they found another mysterious dead body. When they tried to dig deeper they met a deadly opponent and series of events that connects their investigation with. The parallel story started with the Naga clan and its terror/ nuisance on neighboring nations. Krishna had sent a confidant named Shon with his secret message to save these two nations. The story then takes sharp cuts with treachery, political, and military strategies to link Lord Krishna with some of the unknown facts of Mahabharata. Read the book to know more.

Hindi books we have read till now, except Sangram Sindhu Gatha by Vivek, none of them had uniqueness associated. They were just normal Hindi stories. Saurabh has well conceptualized this plot before putting his words. While reading the chapters related to different topics you will be bombarded with proper information. I have read many crime thrillers where the essence of the scientific background was missing. The cases would be solved by a charming officer just by some of his personal deduction. Where in here every information from Mahabharata and contemporary history was provided with references from researchers.  

Talking about Mahabharata times, it was also well portrayed. It started with the situation of Bharatvarsha just before the Kurukshetra War. At that time nations were in dilemma which party to support and whether to take a neutral stance or not. On the other side, there were manipulative parties who wanted a war to happen so that after the war they can conquer Arya's as they would have lost too much in the war to fight another war. 

Good points about the book
  • The amalgamation of multiple genres. Action, thriller, suspense, horror, politics, war, supernatural and what not.
  • When I said multi-genre, it's not just a mere touch of those genres. Each genre got proper importance. As I already told you it is a long read. You may make 3-4 novels out of the book
  • Those who love pure action, the author has taken great care while describing action scenes. 
  • There are places in the book which make you scared, fearful or shocked. Dark patches are actually full with gory descriptions
  • Characters of Mahabharata were given full independence to bloom
  • A medium pace storyline. It will take time to come into proper action.
  • Easy to follow language. If you watch Hindi movies or tv shows regularly and if you can read Hindi, you don't need to fear. The author has used easily to understand words.
  • Good pick for 16+ and above (due to violent scenes)
  • The idea of signs and hidden messages was also interesting
Ignoring one or two minor weak points, overall a wonderful book. I think it should be translated into English and other languages for better reach.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Content - 4.5/5 (Too long)
  4. Characters - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Book Review - Draupadi - The Tale of an Empress by Saiswaroopa Iyer

It was Feb of 2017 when I first connected with Saiswaroopa. We were budding bloggers at that time, and we were organizing author interaction week. We wanted Saiswaroopa to appear in our event. Well, she was not able to join us but since then we are book-friends. We have already reviewed Abhaya & Avishi by Saiswaroopa. Her writing style is pure and simple. She won't flaunt about her literary skills, rather she concentrates more on storytelling. Since Avishi she always updated me about her upcoming books, so was the case with Draupadi. But due to some mismanagement, I didn't get a book on time. I patiently waited for more than 3 months. And after a long period, we got our hands on the book. We could have read and reviewed the book in a week but the financial year ending has delayed our reading/reviewing tasks. Well, it is always better late than never. So here we are discussing Draupadi - The Tale of an Empress by Saiswaroopa.

Book Blurb
Being born a princess, and raised by a loving father and three doting brothers would make life seem like a bed of roses to any woman. Born out of the sacred fire, Draupadi is no ordinary woman, and her destiny cannot be to walk the beaten path. Witnessing estrangement and betrayal within her own family makes her perceptive and intuitive beyond her years. Complicated marital relationships, a meteoric rise and a fateful loss, humiliation unheard of and a pledge of revenge, all culminating in a bloody war—her ordeal seemed never-ending. Yet she stands up to it all—never succumbing, never breaking. One of the most unforgettable characters of the Mahabharata, Draupadi shows what a woman is capable of. Told with great sensitivity and passion, this book brings alive a character of epic proportions that resonates with every reader across space and time.
Saiswaroopa has used a woman narrator for Draupadi's tale. Uttara - Rajmanat & daughter-in-law of Draupadi narrated the Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view to her grandson Janamejaya. We all know the size of Mahabharata, which is considered the longest Epic in human literature. So the story portrayed in this 300 odd pages is strictly related to Draupadi. The story covers the following parts of Draupadi's life
  • Childhood of Draupadi in Panchala her relationship with his father & brothers. 
  • The initial tussle in her married life. Her Relationship with her husbands
  • Her role as emperor. How she managed her independence and her relationship with King Yudhisthira.
  • Her insult in court during - Vastraharan by Kauravas. 
  • Her role as a mother.
  • Finally her relationship with Krishna her friend, who had a special place in Draupadi's life even her husbands cannot take it.
As usual, Sai is good at writing woman-centric stories. You will understand what was the woman's point at that time while going through the pages. The original Mahabharata is either male-centric or neutral, where women were somewhat sidelined. But in this book, Draupadi is the protagonist and no one can outshine here character not even Krishna or Arjun.

Things that I liked
  • Awesome cover art. Just loved it. And Sai has selected or asked the cover designer to portray the image around the event which was the most prominent or most important in the history of Mahabharata
  • Awesome characterization. 
  • Loved the way Sai has shown, women in the story. They were warriors at par with men. Unlike other versions.
  • Easy and fluid language. You may not need to refer the dictionary often. Even beginners can read it easily
  • To the point narration. No nonsense content.
In short, if you would like to know the epic from other POV's, this one is from Draupadi. And it is a damn interesting one.

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

Saturday, April 20, 2019

10 reasons why you should read Productivity Superhero by Dan Luca

I have read very few self-help books. My self-help reads would not be more than 10-12% of overall nonfiction I have read. And not more than 25% of self-help was able to give us satisfaction. The reason being too much theory (which I called fundas) and too little examples. Many authors lack discipline where to start theory and where to give supporting examples. Many such books reached to my did-not-finish-shelf. 

Book blurb
Every single day, people cry out loud that they want to change. However, what they actually want is everything and everyone else to change but themselves. It seems rather obvious that if you change nothing, nothing changes. If that is so, then why not live a remarkable and fulfilled life that is so within your reach? After working with several thousands of clients in the productivity trenches, Dan Luca has been able to clearly identify the patterns that ignite superhero productivity in people, as well as those that block any chance of great results. As a result, productivity superhero is structured to provide you: bite-sized information for daily intake that is not overwhelming but easy to Digest and implement right away. World-class strategies, tools and exercises that are science-based, time-proven and client-tested, so you don’t have to determine what works and what doesn’t. An ideal mix of discipline and motivation. An antidote to an uninspired life, This book is the staircase anyone can climb when they’ve decided they want to escape the prison of mediocrity. It will push you through the Invisible glass ceiling that is keeping you inside your comfort Zone, transforming you into a superhero!.
Dan Luca the author of "Productivity Superhero" has promised to provide benefits of discipline. At that moment I decided to gauge discipline in the author's thought process. And Yes Luca has properly designed material meticulously. Let me give you a brief. The book is divided into 30 days. He has taken the concept of 7 days 5 practices. The first 5 days he would walk you through the topic in a systematic way. He will ask you to check your routing and decide where you stand and where you need to go. The sixth day is a rewind of last 5 days learning in brief.  The best-est part is 7th day, as it shows inspiring stories which can motivate us. Last 3 days/chapters are a bonus. Read the book to know more.

Good points about the book
  1. Nice cover design
  2. Awesome content preparation
  3. Step-by-step no-nonsense approach
  4. Ample insights and example to understand
  5. Probing questions to realize where we stand
  6. Motivational quotations, given at the beginning of each chapter
  7. Easy language usage
  8. Proper use of artwork/illustrations
  9. Not at all boring
  10. Light in content, deep in context
A sure shot recommended book for corporate gifting. A good grab for management gues. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Content - 4.5/5
  3. Concept - 5/5
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review - Think, Eat, Live Smart by Anjali Hooda Sangwan

An attractive cover, catchy title and interesting subtitle - "Secrets to Super Charge Health", these things got my attention when I saw "Think, Eat, Live Smart" by Anjali Hooda Sangwan. In the last one and a half year, since we expanded and started exploring books in other genres, health/diet related books became regular in our schedule. I think in the last 18 months we have read more than 8 books in said genre. These books have directly or indirectly left a healthy impact on my lifestyle. I think every book I have read from this genre at least one thing I started new from each of them. Also, I cannot say no to Anjali's book as it attests years of her experience in the field of obesity and diet.

Book Blurb
Concentrate on your overall well-being and weight loss is sure to follow. Think, Eat, Live Smart is a comprehensive yet concise handbook on holistic healthy lifestyle. In today’s world, where bookstores are filled with health books obsessed with weight loss, Dr Hooda’s stance is clear–she does not want to add another weight loss book to the world. Instead, what she wants to and does beautifully, is help readers choose prevention as a path to healthy living.
This book touches upon subjects ranging from balancing nutrients in food, food myths, challenges posed by the Indian diet, behaviour modification such as stress management and portion control, to the importance of sleep, gut health, hormones and much more. It also provides various case studies to relate to readers across all age groups. 
Unlike other books I have read, Anjali has taken the case study approach. By case study, I mean the author would provide lifestyle & habits of an individual/patient in details including exercise and dietic schedule. These case studies are segregated based on 5-6 topics. Each case study followed by what is wrong or could be still improved. In many cases, the patient thinks he/she is doing or following proper methodology, even you may feel that they are taking the right path. Anjali has properly given plus and minus of those schedule along with improvement/suggestions.

Last 2-3 chapter covers direct advice related to medicine, yoga or exercise, recipes - healthy and equally tasty. The last chapter is about a cheat meal. I liked the concept of a cheat meal. It is leniency in your regime to keep your happiness scale up.

Overall a fantastic read. The language used is simple and easy. Even basic English learner can read it. Easy to follow instructions. No theory or fundas. To the point, example-driven exercise to readers.

A sure shot recommendation to health lovers. I would give 4.5/5 to the book.

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

Monday, April 15, 2019

Book Review - Socha Bhi Na Tha by Sriman Narayanan

They say some things are bound to happen. A few months back Vishnu messaged me with details of books that I can review. As per our standard understanding, I need to tell him books of my liking. "Socha Bhi Na Tha" was the book I selected that time. After a month when I inquired Vishnu about book, he informed me that the courier didn't deliver and returned. So I thought maybe it was not meant for me. Almost after two months of saying yes, Vishnu sent me a message that book arrived finally. Which means I was actually destined to review it. So here I am discussing "Socha Bhi Na Tha".

Book Blurb
It’s heart-breaking, finding the right person at the wrong time. And worse? Meeting the wrong person when the time is right. Aditi Narang is an obvious beauty. With her charming personality and magical aura, she steals hearts without much ado. When she professes her love to Shyam, he says ‘No’. 

Padma Lakshmi is an average girl, who goes about her life like a routine. There is nothing distinctly remarkable about her, which repels Shyam. But when proposed to marry her, he says ‘Yes’.
Shyam appears quite sorted, well-settled and practical in the way he goes about life, and is the eligible bachelor that any girl would be lucky to marry. 
In a fierce battle between his mind and heart, tossing insecurities and juggling fears, Shyam wrongs both the women. But why would he do that? 
Socha Bhi Na Tha is a fast-paced, gripping story of love in various hues, extraordinary circumstances, thrilling emotions, and unheard of drama. It leaves us wondering, was it his sanity that prevailed, or his insanity that triumphed?
"Socha Bhi Na Tha" is the story of Shyam, author's protagonist (not for me). Two parallels of his life are portrayed in the story. The one in 1997 when he was with bold & beautiful girl Aditi. She was in love with Shyam, but Shyam was confused and said no to Aditi. The second parallel was in 2013 when he was married to Padma, an average looking girl. But now Shyam was confused and wanted to divorce Padma. Confused about the story? Yes, so was I. Read the book to know more.

The blurb of Shyam didn't match the actual character. I know it is shown as once he decides something he will do it, but on what bases he is taking those decisions, that part is not clear. This peculiar behavior put him into a dangerous category. I am a girl and thinking about a guy who marries because he is confused and leaves you without reason. How do you feel? What kind of nightmarish situation he may put you into?

Being a girl I felt characters of Aditi and Padma were done great injustice. Still, a light read, one you can take on traveling. Good for beginners.

  1. Cover - 4.5/5 (Loved it. There is no doubt about it)
  2. Characters - 2.5/5 (Lacking conviction)
  3. Concept - 3/5
  4. Overall - 3/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Why She Lied: A Riveting Psychological Thriller Based on A True Story by Julie Coons

My teammate read the first book of Julie Coons, which was a memoir/autobiography and he really liked it. He recommended me to read the same. At that time I was busy so didn't get time to read it. But last month when I saw her upcoming book, and I took time and decided to read the book. It was indeed a correct decision.

Book Blurb
Will she have to lose her child to save her child?
The day she tells her boyfriend she’s pregnant, is the same day he tells her he’s been accused of molestation. His trial is set to begin the following day.
She needs answers…
To get them, she tricks her boyfriend into signing a release form, giving her full access to all of his legal documents. She uncovers the truth, he’s guilty.
To save her unborn child from this monster, she gets an abortion.
FIVE YEARS LATER and still rebuilding her life, Julie finds out her ex-boyfriend has just become the most wanted man in America, involved in human trafficking. When detectives ask for her help locating him, she gets drawn into a baffling mystery. What began as a seemingly simple search soon turns into a much darker reality.
Someone from her past is watching…
Bit by bit, the tapestry of her own secret childhood begins to unravel. What she learns about her past will haunt her forever: family isn’t always what it seems.
Can she help bring this predator to justice, or will she die trying?
WHY SHE LIED is a gripping psychological thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and buried secrets. 
The protagonist of our story is Julie (I am not sure whether she is the author herself or not). Julie, the character, had an abusive past. When the story started, she was living with her daughter. She was working in a hospital's emergency ward. Due to her troubled past, she was more of an introvert and reserved. She worked on her gut feeling most of the times. Recently a guy name James was visiting the hospital frequently due to his mother's health. He liked Julie and wanted to date her. But Julie was ignoring her. James made many people convince Julie to date him. She went against her gut feelings. though she was getting negative vibes from James, she started dating him. Things were going okay (though vibes she was getting never dissipated), one day when James self-invited himself for a night out at Julie's place, things started horribly wrong. Read the book to know more.

My observation about the book. Starting with positive points
  • A pure work of a psychological genius
  • Dark and mysterious till the end
  • Limited characters.
  • Properly focused on the development of Julie's character and her mental state
  • Good suspense building over James' character and surrounded incidents
  • Shocking revelation
  • If it is a true story then I would salute that lady
Now we will start with points of improvement
  • In the first half every alternate page Julie would talk about her gut feeling which became redundant after the first few pages.
  • Though revelation Julie found was at a very big level, people behind the scene didn't hide anything to get away before actions were taken. Seems unrealistic to me
  • Julie's single-handed surveillance. How could she go unnoticed?
  • Frequent narrations of Julie's past, some of them could be avoided.
Overall a nice psychological dark tale. Talking about ratings
  1. Content - 3.5/4
  2. Cover - 4.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.75/5
  4. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon USA & Amazon India
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Book Review - Life in the Sunshine by T Sathish

If you ask any person brought up in India between 1980-2010s, which organized game they played in their childhood, they will say Cricket. Though national level status is never given to the game by authorities, country citizens have given Numero Uno status to Cricket. India is one of the country (or I would say the only country) where the number of people watching cricket match when India playes against Pakistan would be more than the number of people vote in Parliament election. So it was clear that the same craze would be passed on to the younger generation. Same was the craze of cricket in my childhood. We used to dream/act/pretended like a future cricketer.

Book Blurb
Sat, Sam, and Trib (a.k.a Triple Sundae gang) are teenagers and they love the sport of Cricket. They spend most of their time watching and playing the sport they love. They dream of making their living in the sport. When they are not playing the game, they put on their thinking cap and come up with alternate versions of important matches or provide parodic answers to questions that have plagued cricket fans over the years. However, fate intervenes in their idyllic life. On 18th April 1986, Javed Miandad hits Chetan Sharma for a six in Sharjah and leaves their cricket viewing life in tatters. The after-effects of this fateful event, continue to haunt them for many years. Their problems don’t end there. 
"Life in Sunshine" is the story of such 3 friends. One was Sam a good player selected at different levels. Another was okay-okay (out protagonist - author) Sat who was trying his best to become a better player. The last one was Trib who as crazy about the sport but cannot give physical efforts for the same. So he wanted to be a cricket commentator. The story covers their life in different phases in between cricket.

My observations
  1. You will find many relatable incidents while reading the story.
  2. You may get nostalgic feeling due to similarity with your childhood.
  3. Funny incidents, hiding weakness on the ground of excuses and getting the help of friends to prove you correct, does sound familiar? 
  4. Funny narration will make read lighter
  5. Easy language. Light read
  6. Best for traveling
I will give 3.5/5 to the author.

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

We would like to thank WritersMelon for providing us the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Nishith & Tushar Author of Demystifying Digital Transformation : A Practitioners Companion

Today we have Nishith & Tushar to discuss their book "Demystifying Digital Transformation".

Educational Background
Nishith – MBA in International Business
Tushar – MBA, ME,BE
What are some day jobs you have held?
Nishith – Siemens, PeopleSoft, Adani Group, RPG Group
Tushar – Consultant TCS, Associate Partner - Strategy & Transformation IBM, SVP-Adani
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
Nishith – Mainly non-fiction; many authors writing in the realm of management, psychology, fiction,etc.
Tushar – NONFICTION: Books on Behavioral Economics, Macro –Economics, Innovation & Creativity, Technology & it’s impact on society, markets, organizations &individuals.
When did you start writing?
Nishith – This is the first book. I have not written on any topic in the public domain.
Tushar – Started writing blog from 2000 on wards. Also written article in magazines & blogs in linked in
When did you decide to become a writer?
Nishith – When I left my RPG job. Thought I would do blogging but ended up co- authoring a book.
Tushar –Decided to write a book instead of another article, as the topic deserved deeper and comprehensive treatment and needed to be referred to by readers multiple times.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Nishith – Maybe write another book or even a sequel to the first one
Tushar – Write a book every two years- as long as the subject is relevant and I have reasons to believe I can add value to the reader
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
Nishith – It depends on the consulting assignments on hand.
Tushar – I live through the topic throughout the week and write in one sitting, once there is clarity on my PoV. To ensure progress, I do try to get at least few hrs of writing every week.
Is this your debut work? If not so, what have you written?
Tushar – Written Blogs and several Articles – details can be seen from my linked in profile
 What genre are your books?
Tushar – NON FICTION- I prefer to link theory with practice at management / organizations or individuals levels. Idea is for the reader to appreciate reality, get some insights into whats causing it, and finally some options of addressing that reality and make a difference.

Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Digital transformation is inevitable, for organisations who seek to remain relevant in the future. The objective of any digital transformation is to innovatively apply the technology stack to reinvent the organisation and the way in which it will engage with the customer to deliver value to them.

Given that each organisation has a unique DNA with distinctive aspirations, the digital journey need to be individually crafted with clear purpose, technology choices, and implementation specifics. Leaders will be called upon to take well-informed and deliberative decisions that have enormous implications and could very well define the future of the organisation.

This book provides the necessary framework to assist leaders define their transformation agenda and execution specifics. Authors present an integrated approach, covering technological, strategic and organisational perspectives, while pointing out the decisions that need to be considered at various milestones during the digital transformation journey.

This is an essential handbook for the industry leaders and transformation professionals as they embark on the digital transformation journey.
Where did you get idea for this book?
Nishith– From our direct experience, perusing the literature, and realizing there is no concise, comprehensive, and a holistic book on this topic
Tushar : I truly believe that the motivation to write this book is to bring certain rigor and sanity around this topic of digital transformation, so as to avoid lot of wasted efforts, resources and disappointment within organizations.
How much research did you do for this book?
Nishith & Tushar –Substantial.
Material for the book comes from three sources: Published reports from authentic sources, intense discussions with consultants & fellow professionals involved in digital transformation exercises on their experiences and (3) authors own experience in this field.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Nishith & Tushar – Coordinating the content of the book with both of us writing at the same time, with different writing style. Given that the scope of digital transformation is very wide- across sectors and technologies, the key challenge was to describe elements, frameworks, insights and illustrations in a way that it is relevant to all, and at the same-time is not too obvious. Several sections were to be rewritten to make language simple and actionable, keeping the readers’ profile as non-technical manager or leadership community.
Release date.
Nishith & Tushar – December 12,2018
What are you working on at the minute?
Nishith – On-hand consulting assignments and ideating on the next book.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Nishith & Tushar – May be, in any case the book would require updated version every two months
We may consider follow-up book linked to specific sector or technology 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Nishith & Tushar–
  • Know your purpose to write the book- Why book? given other channels of expression available
  • How would reader gain by reading this book – would act, think feel differently post reading it
  • Delete every word/sentence that does not address the above two 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Tushar: I have got a US patent on Virtual Team Effectiveness 
Links for your book readers

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review of a Time Traveling Book - Demons of Time: Race to the 7th Sunset by Varun Sayal

We have read "Time Crawlers" by Varun Sayal. We were really impressed by those short sci-fi stories. We knew by those stories Varun has put a beta product in the market to gauge which egg/idea gather more attraction. We knew that the next book by Varun must be one of the short stories. And we were proven right. Varun has prepared on "Time Crawlers" idea, which was based on time travel. And with the attractive cover "Demons of Time: Race to the 7th Sunset" got my attention very first day.

Book Blurb
The demon who tormented him has escaped to the future. He has only seven days and a single chance to exact his vengeance.

Time Travel meets Demonic Possession in this mythology inspired sci-fi thriller.
3077 BC. Ancient India. As a young child, Tej saw his mother endure brutal torture by Kumbh, a nefarious time-demon, until she was rescued by Rigu, a well-known sage. Twenty years later, Tej's scars have healed, but the fire of revenge burns inside him, unabated.
When Rigu reveals that Kumbh has escaped from his time-prison and plans to decimate human life on a global scale, Tej knows that he needs to act. To stop Kumbh, Tej must travel five thousand years into the future to the year 2024 AD and re-capture the demon. He races against time as he has only seven days, after which Kumbh will become invincible. The clock is ticking.
The story started in 3000 BC where two-time demon, Kumbh and Vetri, were chasing a woman and her son. By time demon, I mean a soul/consciousness which can travel in time (past/future) at will. A time reader called Rigu stopped these demons and freed mother & son. Rigu and his team had checked future in 2070 where Kumbh has done a mass killing of the majority of humans. So Rigu wanted to stop Kumbh. He took help of the boy, Tej, now grown up man. Rigu identified that Tej was also a time traveler/demon. Rigu wanted to send Tej in the 2020s where Kumbh can be captured. Will Tej able to finish the task? Read the book to know more.

I hope I haven't revealed much. Coming to my opinion, Varun has done good homework. The concept that he brought about time traveling seems original. You may take time to understand or may have to read some line twice by that will let you enjoy story better way.

Some general observation
  1. Light in size, less than 200 pages
  2. Easy language usage
  3. Not too much physics. Beginner time traveling terminology is used.
  4. Fewer characters used in the story
  5. Clarity in plot and character creation
  6. To the point narration style
Indian literature needs such good books in the sci-fi fantasy genre. Especially in the time traveling segment, because I haven't read many books. An ideal read for 14+ age.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5 (Really nice cover)
  2. Characters - 3.5/5 (Could have given more depth)
  3. Concept - 4.5/5 (Something new)
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, April 8, 2019

Gujarati Book Review - Paralysis - Chandrakant Bakshi

After a long time we are back with review in two languages. Today we would like to share review of master piece of Chandrakand Bakshi - "Paralysis"

Click here to check review in English
The introduction of the book, Paralysis, "Precious Gem: Chandrakant Bakshi of Gujarati Literature" is absolutely correct. In my opinion, the novel is a match with the self. If the readers see themselves reflected in the novel characters, they can understand the novel with justice. Paralysis is a story of a common man like you and me.

After stirring the soda bottle, it bubbles up and the bubbles sit in a few minutes. If in the next few minutes, if you open the bottle of soda then the foam flowing liquid flows from the bottle. It is the same with human suffering. Often, humans have a godly power to endure the sufferings of the mountain. Leaving some exceptions, there is no shortage of motivation for men who have lost everything. The pain that has come is in some corner of the heart, it is only human beings who want to become normal again. But sometimes it does not remain unaffected without coming out. Such a person who always ran away from the evil of his pain, distress, and disobedience, Aram Shah. The overflow of his sorrows brought him an attack of Paralysis.

After an attack of paralysis, a single-headed professor was brought to a small hospital in Hill station. A hospital where the doctor also did not want to settle down. But there was a matron, Ashika, who wanted to serve in that dull hospital, on her own will. This matron took care of Profession and bring back professor from the lifeless state.

At one stage, the professor could be seen flirting with matron from his dialogue even with her. Forty-five-year-old professor and a decade younger matron, the age where most Indian men and women have stable. But the professor was alone, and especially because of his relationship, the loneliness in his life had dull him. The relationship between loneliness and the relationship between Patient and Matron is tied.

Since the professor's profession, Aram Shah was also a well-thought-out person. So, looking at his methods of questioning, talking and contemplating - Matron said, "Uneducated patients do not ask good questions, they do not ask a lot of questions. Nerves may have little effect and the patient will get better soon." Because of his habit of overthinking, he often went into the past and started thinking about his wife and his daughter 'Marisha'. In the story, when Marisha and Ashika sometimes get together in one another, for a reader it is tough to decide what the professor expected in Metron? Mother, lover or daughter?

As the story progresses, it became clear that the professor wanted a relationship, but he didn't have a fixed name set in the social circle, the relationship where he can talk, where he can get a new acquaintance, where he can take the self.

Paralysis is the story of a person trying to break into his new life. This is a masterpiece written by Chandrakant Bakshi, whose translations are also available in Marathi, Hindi, and English.

ગુજરાતીમાં રીવ્યુ જોવા અહિયાં ક્લિક કરો
પેરેલિસિસ પુસ્તકની પ્રસ્તાવનાઓનાં પાનાં ઉપર જ ‘ગુજરાતી સાહિત્યનું અણમોલ રત્ન : ચંદ્રકાંત બક્ષી’ લખ્યું છે તે એકદમ યથાર્થ છે. મારાં મતે નવલકથા એ સ્વ સાથેનો મેળાપ છે. નવલકથાનાં પાત્રોમાં જો વાંચકો પોતાને જ પ્રતિબિંબિત થતાં જોઈ શકે તો તેઓ નવલકથા ન્યાય સાથે સમજી શકે, આત્મસાત્ કરી શકે... પેરેલિસિસ એક તમારાં, મારાં જેવાં સામાન્ય માણસની કથા છે, જે મારાં- તમારાંથી જરા પણ જુદો નથી.
સોડાની બોટલને ખૂબ હલાવો પછી તેમાં પરપોટા થાય અને એ પરપોટા થોડીવારમાં બેસી જાય છે. પછીની જો થોડીક મિનિટોમાં તો જો તમે એ સોડાની બોટલ ખોલો તો ફીણ-ફીણ કરતું ઉભરાતું પ્રવાહી એ બોટલમાંથી છલકાઇને ઢોળાઈ જાય છે. મનુષ્યનાં દુઃખોનું પણ એવું જ છે . પહાડ જેવું દુઃખ આવી પડે તે સહન કરવાની ઘણીવાર મનુષ્યોમાં ઈશ્વરીય શક્તિ આવી જાય છે. અમુક અપવાદો બાદ કરીને એવાં બધું જ લૂંટાવી ચુકેલા, ગુમાવી ચુકેલા પુરુષોની આંખોમાં ફરી સર્વ પોતાનું કરી લેવાનો જુસ્સો અછતો નથી રહેતો. આવી પડેલું દુઃખ હૃદયનાં કોઈક ખૂણે દાબી દઈ, ફરી નોર્મલ થવાની કોશિષ મનુષ્યો કરે જ છે. પણ ઘણીવાર એ દુઃખનો ઉભરો પણ બહાર આવ્યા વિના રહેતો નથી. આવો જ પોતાની પીડા, તકલીફ અને અસફળતાનાં અપરાધભાવથી દૂર ભાગતો પુરુષ એટલે અરામ શાહ અને એનાં દુઃખનો ઉભરો એટલે એને થયેલો રોગ એટલે પેરેલિસિસ.... પેરેલિસિસનાં અટેક પછી એકલો-અટૂલો પ્રોફેસર કોઈક હિલસ્ટેશનની નાનકડી હોસ્પિટલમાં લાવવામાં આવે છે. એવી હોસ્પિટલ કે જ્યાં ડૉકટર પણ સ્થાયી થઇ રહેવા ઈચ્છતો નથી. પણ ત્યાં એક મેટ્રન છે, આશિકા. જે આ નીરસ હોસ્પિટલમાં પોતાનું આયખું સેવામાં ગુજારવા ઈચ્છે છે. આ મેટ્રન પોતાની કાળજીભરી શુશ્રુષા દ્વારા પ્રોફેસરનાં નિર્જીવ થઈ ગયેલા શરીરમાં ફરી પ્રાણ ફૂંકે છે.
એક તબક્કે પ્રોફેસર એ મેટ્રન સાથે ફલર્ટ કરતાં પણ એમનાં સંવાદમાંથી અનુભવી શકાય છે. ઓગણપચાસ વર્ષનાં પ્રોફેસર અને એમનાથી એક દાયકો નાની મેટ્રન , એવી ઉંમર જ્યાં મોટાભાગનાં ભારતીય સ્ત્રી-પુરુષોનું જીવન સ્થિર થઇ ગયું હોય છે. પણ પ્રોફેસર એકલા છે અને અને ખાસ કરીને એમનાં સંબંધોને કારણે એમનાં જીવનમાં વ્યાપેલી એકલતા એમને અંદરોઅંદર કોરી ખાઈ છે.એ એકલતાનાં પડ વીંધીને એ પેશન્ટ અને મેટ્રન વચ્ચે દોસ્તી જેવો સંબંધ બંધાઈ છે. આમ પણ એકલાં પડી ગયેલા અને પેરેલિસિસનાં કારણે હલન ચલન પણ ન કરી શકતા અરામ શાહ માટે લેખકનાં જ શબ્દોમાં, “બહારી દુનિયા આંખથી ખુલી ન શકે એટલી દૂર જઈને બિડાઈ ગઈ હતી, દીવાલો વચ્ચેનો ચોરસ ટૂકડો નાનું આકાશ માપીને, કાપીને એને જોવા માટે આપ્યો હોય એટલો મર્યાદિત થઇ ગઈ હતી.”
પ્રોફેસરનો વ્યવસાય હોવાથી અરામ શાહ સ્વાભાવિકપણે ચિંતક પણ છે તેથી તેમની પ્રશ્નો કરવાની, વાત કરવાની અને ચિંતન કરવાની તેજાબી રીત જોઈ- સાંભળી મેટ્રન તેમણે કહે છે, “ભણેલાં દર્દી કરતાં અભણ દર્દી સારો, બહુ સવાલો ન પૂછે. જે કહે તે માની લે એટલે નર્વ્સને ઓછી અસર થાય અને દર્દી જલ્દી સારો થાય.” આ જ ચિંતનની ટેવને કારણે વારંવાર પ્રોફેસર પોતાનાં ભૂતકાળમાં ગર્ત થઇ જાય છે. એ ભૂતકાળ મોટેભાગે તેમની પત્ની અને તેમની પુત્રી ‘મારીશા’ની આસપાસ વણાયેલો છે. કથામાં મારીશા અને આશિકા ક્યારેક એકબીજામાં એકરૂપ થઈ જાય છે ત્યારે સમજાતું નથી કે એ મેટ્રનમાં પ્રોફેસર શું ઝંખે છે? માતા, પ્રેમિકા કે પુત્રી?
જેમ કથા આગળ વધતી જાય છે તેમ સ્પષ્ટ થઇ જાય છે, પ્રોફેસર એક સંબંધ તો ઝંખે છે પણ એને સમાજનાં ચોકઠાંમાં ગોઠવાયેલું સુનિશ્ચિત નામ નથી હોતું, એવો સંબંધ જ્યાં એ વાતો કરી શકે, જ્યાં પોતાનો જ નવેસરથી પરિચય મેળવી શકે, જ્યાં એ સ્વને ચાહી શકે.
આશિકા અને અરામ એકમેક પ્રત્યે ખેચાણ અનુભવે છે કારણ કે બનેની એકલતાનો સહારો એકમેકનો સાથ જ છે. એ સહારો છોડી દઈને નવી જિંદગી તરફ ડગ માંડવાની કોશિષની કથા એટલે પેરેલિસિસ...
અદભુત કથાગૂંથણી અને પાત્રોનાં સર્જન દ્વારા ચંદ્રકાંત બક્ષીની કલમે આલેખાયેલો આ એક માસ્ટરપીસ છે, જેનાં મરાઠી, હિન્દી અને અંગ્રેજીમાં પણ અનુવાદો ઉપલબ્ધ છે.

Talking about ratings
  1. Character : 3.5
  2. Plot : 4
  3. Language: 3.5
  4. Overall: 4.5
Book can be found at - Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book Review "The Cloudburst" by Rajesh Naiksatam

A purplish cover highlighted by lightening, floods and stick men like children raising their arms and a colophon describing floods, peril, Mumbai and survival; there was a huge gap between the impact left by the two as the latter clearly overshadowed the former.

Book Blurb
After fifteen-year-old Ganpu Aapla and his parents lose everything they own, including their beautiful ancestral home in Katalveldurwadi Dabhol, India, to a forced takeover by America’s Enrone Corporation, they move to Mumbai in search of justice. Ganpu’s family takes up residence in a temporary shack that doubles as a chai shop near the Bandra Kurla Complex in a Mumbai suburb.
One day during monsoon season, when Ganpu’s parents are out working, a harmless drizzle suddenly turns into a torrential downpour, which quickly floods the streets.
Julie, Rick, James, and Saira, four international students whose parents all live in India, are supposed to be taking a boat trip to the Elephant Caves, but the unexpected cloudburst dampens their plans. After the tour group heads back to land, their guide leaves them with a stranger—a local teacher named Anu—at a bus stop while he looks for help.
Local teens Siva, Javed, and Xinmin, enthralled by the Mumbai rains, decide to venture out into the city instead of going straight home after school and find themselves also stranded at the bus stop.
This ragtag group of mixed classes, races, and genders is forced to seek shelter with one another in Ganpu’s family’s shop. While they wait, the intensity of the rain increases, threatening their survival. With no way of contacting their frantic parents, the group reluctantly waits together to be rescued.
When it appears an outside rescue might be impossible, Ganpu wholly commits to saving the lives of his guests despite their distrust of him, a lowly roadside hawker. In order for his plan to work, though, he must destroy his family’s only home and livelihood, while each one of the stranded must overcome personal demons and prejudices.
Terrified and left with no other way out, Anu must conquer her own fears and motivate the kids to work together, or else the whole crew will face certain death.
“The Cloudburst” revolves around 9 individuals, consisting mostly of teens of various origins and ethnicity, stuck in sudden torrential floods caused by heavy rains in Mumbai. Their initial mutual dislike, past, their mutual differences form the plot of the story as they battle for survival which changes their outlook towards life and each other.

The book is written in third person narrative. The author superbly captures Mumbai floods with his words. The books starts off slow initially, with all characters being introduced, but gradually picks up the pace. There is a lot of switching between the main and the subplots, however still the flow is maintained. The inclusion of illustrative pictures in chapters adds an appeal to the story line as the author successfully works on the readers mind.

Ganpu, the main protagonist of the novel is depicted superbly. His childish innocence, quick thinking, tolerant and patient nature and his moving forward with life forward is captured flawlessly. Anu as the adult among the group plays her role well and leaves a lasting impression. Be it Xinmin’s zen like attitude, Javed’s spoilt brat nature or Siva’s stress eating the author captures them well. Julie, Rick and James could had been explored more. The other characters, especially the parents play their supportive role well and their emotions, helplessness and struggles are captured elaborately.

Personally, I felt the ending to be rushed and a little chaotic. A proper editing towards the start and end would had made it a lot better.

For Rajesh Naiksatam’s maiden initiative, my overall rating would be 3.5/5.

Overall Verdict:- Light, soulful and could be better

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

We would like to thank VInfluencerss for arranging the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Young Adult Book's Review - Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle

Attractive cover and YA genre, these two things caught my attention when "Kingdom Cold" book's reached my mailbox. I checked the blurb of the book, which seems good enough. So I took the chance and said yes for the review copy. Don't worry that doesn't mean our review is biased, we are here to give our honest feedback.

Book Blurb
Attempted murder, that's how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte's engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent.

When her kingdom's attacked, Charlotte's parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom's future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart?
One must fall. 
The protagonist of our story is Princess Charlotte of Besmium and Prince Young of Vires. Charlotte was kind of an immature character (when the story started). Prone to her stature, she was somewhat unkind as well. Her kingdom and family has reached to a line where her parents found only hope to save them would be the marriage of Charlotte to another royal & rich family. So they chose Prince Young of Vires. Charlotte was not sure whether she should marry or not. On the other end, Young was a mature and kind personality, who actually cared. On their marriage day, Besimium was attached and then it was up to Charlotte to decide the destiny of her Kingdom. Read the book to know more.

Good points about the book
  • Fast pace. 
  • To the point narration
  • Easy to follow language usage
  • Good choice for beginners
  • Light read. Just 270 pages.
  • Good plot creation and imagination
  • A standalone book. No prequel, no sequel
Brittni, the author, has used multiple POV concept, which was great as far as Charlotte or Young is concerned. But using it for side characters was kind of over-usage. I got confused at some places due to that. Apart from that, a stand-alone 270 pages were lacking at depth of characterization at certain places.

Overall a nice read. I would give 3.5/5 to the book. 

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



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