Tag Archives: books read

The Best Seller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian #bookreview

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BOOK DETAILS
Publisher Westland
ISBN-10 9385152386
Imprint Westland
Number of Pages 392 Pages
Publication Year 2015 October
Language English
ISBN-13 9789385152382
Binding Paperback

The best seller she wrote by Ravi Subramanian makes you sit through till you have turned the last pages. Gripping drama spiced with love interest, sex, vaulting professional ambition and betrayal in equal measure.

The settings are simply awesome and the earnestness and ambitiousness of the young generation and how they take the means to the end and sometimes the way they take the road never travelled to make it happen are all highlights of this novel. I did find it a bit philosophical in a way that your family is bound to be the last place you can be yourself and there is nothing like your family to go back to.

Aditya’s character is a wonderfully woven one with a sub text how fame and money can make you lose your composure and how a bit of waywardness is going to cost as much as everything in life, is a character who will remain in your memory long after you have turned the last page.

A friend’s characterisation in Sanjay and the machinations are a revealing aspect of human emotion of jealousy and envy that pervades today under the guise of friendship, and other relationship.

The pace set by the author is brilliant and the way things happen and connecting the dots is something only Ravi Subramanian can pull it off. The techie in him and the Apple cloud is a delight to read. I remember a line where they said things were different when apple and blackberry were real fruits, you know what I mean.

The ‘I want in now’ generation and its remorse less way to famedom and ethereal affinity to money is characterized in an engrossing way.

A fast paced read and will make you realise the futility at times on what we are doing 24/7 in the name of work and everything else we call it work. Knowing it is going to be a Bollywood reproduction its got ample dose of explicit scenes for the reader. It was a little extra if you ask me.

All in all a great read for a novel in this genre, keeps your attention solid till it gets out. Probably doesn’t have those Ravi Subramanian’s signature of the Financial world stuff, nevertheless he holds your attention.

I took 2 sessions to finish this book. I loved the way the author chose to thank Bloggers and some of his little circle of creative people through this novel.

The marketing aspect of a publication is a lesson that every author would need and if you read this book then possible that you would end up with some insights on what goes behind the marketing of the book and definitely you would understand that writing is not the toughest part.

A page turner by any other name will be called the Best Seller She Wrote.

Here’s one trailer of the book 🙂

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wroteby Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Senthilkumar Rajappan

The Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar – a book review

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Publisher Rupa Publications India
ISBN-10 8129134756
Number of Pages 260 Pages
Publication Year 2015 June
Language English
ISBN-13 9788129134752
Binding Paperback

Mahabharatha – the epic unparalled has be retold umpteen number of times and we have this coming up by authors who give it a perspective that’s new and sometimes create a story in a story. Here Aditya in his foreword very clearly says its an attempt to see a modern era description that was set in the Mahabharatha days. May be this war happened and it still is happening in a different way.

The Kurukshetra war was going nowhere, and the reason was both sides were doing well for themselves. The story opens on 10th day when Bhishma is laid to a bed of arrows by his favourite grandson Arjuna with Shikandi propping up as a shield in front.

This narrative is by three characters, Yudhishtra, Radheya – Karna as we know and Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna. Aditya weaves a wonderful narration taking us through the minds of Yudhishtra, Radheya and Abhimanyu. A stark contrast in terms of their mental makeup and how they look at the war from their positions makes for an interesting read.

A fast paced story of the three days at war that actually changes the course of the result makes for a nice gripping read. The authors authority on the subject comes through the descriptions of the war field the people and the special ways they have been celebrated.

The author shows a mirror in terms of the characters trying to assert themselves even in the face of immoral and ambitious search for glory. Sometimes as they say its not the means but the end. Goaded by that there is a lot of unethical war room strategies and execution that are there, like the way Abhimanyu is killed by everyone you can think of on the Kaurava side.

The best is how the mental make up of all the three characters show up in times of crisis and how they react to the same situation and well everyone had an agenda of their own as much as we do it today.

A nice read and well presented with first person account makes it easy to go with the flow. At times you are in the battle field, at the council hall meetings and walking alongside the characters. Loved the simple and effective prose which actually makes you feel like you are being with the characters.

A classic retelling without losing the charm of the characters, riding with their ambitions, anxieties, fear and sometimes with a hope for the war to be over. Things could have gone either way and this 13th day sets the course for the next 5 days when the war is completed. If you are fond of mythology and its retelling, you will need to read this book.

Buy the book here on Flipkart http://www.flipkart.com/thirteenth-day-story-kurukshetra-war-english/p/itme7cenauf5zxg3?pid=9788129134752

Senthil

Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert #bookreview

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Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing (IN)
ISBN-10 9384898996
Imprint Bloomsbury India
Language English
ISBN-13 9789384898991
Binding Hardcover

This is a beautiful book which makes you relevant for what you are. Quite a engrossing read, and contrary to make you feel flamboyant, it makes you confident about who you are and how you can be yourself create a magic in your life and then spread it out.

This book is classical read, making you better at what you are good at. Though the book has been divided into parts, its an easy read from any page and you will have a match of frequency if may call that when you read. You will feel the words for what they are especially because they are true and infact workable things unlike being sold off as aspirational in a way.

The books is divided into parts – Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, Divinity. In each of these parts, the author takes us through personal experiences and stories of the well known and some of those who didn’t want to be well known and gives us a picture of what lie in us, its not that fame or coveted status that the inner urge is looking for. It could be the overcoming of the fear and persist with courage on doing what you want to do without any fear and enjoy doing that.

A very engaging read and you can take time to enjoy the stories and go back to the book at your pace. I think that is an essential trait for a self development or a motivational book. If they can achieve that sense in you that you want to re-read and grasp it for the better the book has achieved its objective. And who doesnt love stories, and for those from the land of story telling, its just a bonus.

Filled with inspirational anecdotes and slice of life incidents it makes you sit up and think afterall it could be possible, well that would be the first step to shedding the fears what ever that could be.

I am sure you will enjoy the read and I must mention that this is the first time I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert and I can see how the other titles must have impacted a lot of people.

I will be failing in my duty if  I dont thank Flipkart for the book and in case you want to check out on a copy for yourself please click here: Big Magic

Senthilkumar

Democrazy by Atulya Mahajan #bookreview

 

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Atulya Mahajan takes you on a roller coaster ride with the politics of the day in a satire that you will enjoy till the last page of the book is turned.

Aptly titled Democrazy, it is the story of how the mighty and the powerful take the voting gullible public at large for a ride and continue to play God.

I think the book is a classic representation of the electoral politics that we call ourselves as democracy. Except its actually the crazy with the ‘z’ which makes it true.

For all its goodness and its superlative ability to uphold the citizens right, democracy can be take to task if you are skillful and more importantly know how to play it right.

The book has an array of characters which I am sure you can easily identify with, make a pardon there is a disclaimer boss that its all the authors imagination.

There is the Badi Sarkar who wants the Chote Sarkar to be the PM, dont guess who it is, bit the fact is Chote Sarkar is interested in eating icecreams of different flavours.

The characters of the book come straight out of entertainment industry if you ask me especially the news with a nation anchor BB who wants to know everything under the sun relegating the Saas bahu serials to the back burner for the active and know all citizens who want to know it all.

There is a social media activist on twitter who helps his mother get out of an incedent, and then there is a big capitalist all get together to get the democracy working like crazy.

All of them have a goal and that is power never mind it corrupts absolutely. The people taken for a ride across is not significant because they are made ready to be taken for a ride!

With elections in the background and the cacophony of speeches barbs and counter barbs and also the trp hungry TV shows its a classic mockery of the democratic traits that we harbour as sacred.

This is very well set in Indian background and for once after a long time that the election is over I am wondering if the book is a true story!

Highly recommended for a dutiful citizen so that he will be convinced to take off on the election day as if his voting mattered!

Senthilkumar

The House That BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan – a book review

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Publisher Westland
ISBN-10 9385152181
Book Type Fiction Book
Imprint Westland
Number of Pages 433 Pages
Publication Year 2015 May
Language English
ISBN-13 9789385152184
Binding Paperback

Let me start with a confession that I am reading Anuja Chauhan for the first time.

This book is a journey of the minds and the machinations of every character unfolding in front of us in a way that you can only imagine. All about the characters that occupy the house that BJ built.  The brashness of the language, adds a certain authenticity to the character’s lives is unforgettable. In case you have lived in New Delhi and you would want to get back there for atleast the way the action happens at No. 16 Hailey’s then this is a trip worth taking.

There is an eclectic mix of the bollywood, the family saga and the sisters in tow and ofcourse the big house in the plot. You would be a witness to many a whims and fancies and start thinking through the minds of the characters.

Probably that’s one of the biggest traits that the author has and makes you go with the flow.

The story of Bonu Singh  and whether she would give away her part of the hissa for the sale is the story, with her past especially her mom’s words ringing in her head.

You will enjoy the Punjabi dialect and the whole some family story of the sisters and the two characters in Bonu and Samar. Pick up this book for its sheers story telling ability and keeping you engrossed with the mind reading ability of the author.

The Delhi girls attitude and the Bollywood’s touch in the making of the characters would make you think if you are watching a bolly wood movie. Quite a possibility that this could even be a film in the making, well there is already a film in the making in the story!

Overall a nice read I would rate 3 stars out of 5 for the style of the author where she does the story telling very effortlessly. I had only this if there were too many characters in the book and may be we had too many stories nevertheless.

The book was sent to the blogger for a review by Flipkart. You can buy the book here: http://www.flipkart.com/house-b-j-built-english/p/itme6ahbmkhezb2k

Senthilkumar Rajappan

Ramayana – The Game of Life : Shattered Dreams – a book review

Ramayana – The Game of Life -Shattered Dreams

I think we are a nation built on mythology going by what you see today on twitter and slang matching happening online. But before these internet rage took centerstage, Doordarshan in early days of 80s had the nation in charms with the two worlds greatest epic on screen, the Ramayana and Mahabharath! Those days it meant Sundays were meant for Ramayana and Mahabharath. The charm wore on with the whole generation so much so, some of the character actors made their presence to the parliament.

As regards retelling of the epics, its been happening for long and this century is not an exception.

The book in review is an excellent series if you ask me and what a debut it was by the author Shubha Vilas. Rooted in the treatment of the epic for what it matters most, the interpretation of the same to add values to the life around us is perhaps the significant take away from this book or series.

Continuing from the last epic of the childhood days of the Rama, this one is the retelling of the Dasaratha’s shattered dreams. You might also take a literal working of getting your boon claimed, unlike the words and gift vouchers which come in with a expiry. The boon that was given by Dasaratha in a war time long long years ago is revived by Kaikeyi, aided by his maid to make Bharatha the King just hours before the coronation of the Prince Rama. Not that Rama is not the apple of all the three mothers, but this is the way it got to be.

If you thought there was any way modern day classic writers could come close to the twist in the tale, well sorry this was greatly done right from the Valmiki days and Shubha Vilas captures the moments especially the way anxious Dasaratha is portrayed is unparalleled. The teaching impact of those moments are a treat to read as always.

So if you love to really watch the Ramayana happen in front of you especially going through the minds of the characters and then stop over to think and digest what those tales and moments in the tales means for you in life, then this is the book you need to read. I was transported to Dasaratha’s kingdom with pomp and the cries of the whole kingdom when King makes an announcement and also walk alongside Rama if you want.

The nuggets of side stories make for an excellent read and keeps you gripped to the happenings and is almost like the  mind reading of the characters that you are reading about.

If you thought that your life’s problems are big, imagine a prince who would be king tomorrow morning and then you see a email saying you are fired and then not just that you got to go into exile. How do you maintain your poise that you are known for. Rama is that character who will tell you how to react or sometimes how not to react.

I am sure you will experience the words crafted beautifully and the retelling has the impact of Valmiki and the rendering of Kambar making it a delight to read.

I am waiting for the next in the series and see how the story unfolds especially with some of the nuggets that we don’t know or not exposed to and ofcourse how we should apply these to our everyday lives.

A word of gratitude to both the author – a revered friend now and folks at blogadda.com for the book.

Senthilkumar

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

When she smiled – by Ritoban Chakrabarti #bookreview

 

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Publisher Notion Press
Publication Year 2015
ISBN-13 9789384878252
ISBN-10 9384878251
Language English
Edition 1
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 225 Pages

I was happy that it was a debut novel, but along the way I missed the speed and pace that could have been better.

It is a story of school crush and how life changes for one Mrutunjoy the hero in his class 11 to be precise and his lady love Akanksha makes an entry into his life. Things are not the same for a guy when a girl enters his life. Or even at least when he thinks it to be. This has to be the best of all the novels that we come up with. Its quite a school boy falling in for a girl and how they go to the next step of their relationship, its like a bit cinematic, may be we are used to more movies showing this relationship in a way that we all seem to approve not knowing how it will end up.

The story could have been fast paced with the characters getting on, but it has too many description that lead us to nowhere. The language could have been polished in the sense there were instances for moderation of the usage.

The days in school is almost common place and there is not the special feeling effect on you and there is this going forth and back that doesn’t gel with the narrative at times. The author has been harsh on himself unnecessary if I have to look at this in a semi autobiographical way.

May be its because of the school boyish stuff that we were reading but I am sure we can expect much more than the cinematic narrative that we were placed with. Some places seems to touch a nerve but the momentum doesn’t last long enough for your to get them on you.

The language could have been a help especially in the days when we are overloaded with so many romantic and first love stories from all over. The vivid background of Shimla would have made for some scenic narratives if you ask me. The author sometimes gets on to be clueless as much as the characters presented are.

I know this being a debut has a bit of Chetan Bhagat effect on the storyline and the way of narration but the thing is it was a different world when Chetan Bhagat started writing and now there are enough and more of authors spinning tale after tale on the same names and you can have a series of social media led love stories. Here’s where I believe the author missed a great chance to live the romance sans these media interruptions and weave a nostalgic story. The story is a easy read but had a lot of potential if you ask me. Simply because you could take them on a memory down lane those times. Will wait and see how the author  takes up the next book.

My rating : 2.5 / 5 stars

Senthilkumar

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

The Mahabharata Quest – the Alexander Secret by Christopher C Doyle #bookreview

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Publisher Westland
ISBN-10 9384030597
Edition 1st Edition
Book Type Fiction Book
Number of Pages 308 Pages
Publication Year 2014
Language English
ISBN-13 9789384030599
Binding Paperback

I have been lucky to be reading the Mahabharata or its connections in a way or other. Looks like I will take to mythology as much as the debut authors in a sense for revieweing books.

This is a great effort from the author Christopher C Doyle connecting the ancient Mahabharata and the Alexander’s search for immortality and the present day Order. I am sure a lot of things go unnoticed when you read between the lines. The never so obvious language and the interpretation of the Sanskrit Shlokas in the Mahabharata and how they have a bearing in the medical science is a intriguing aspect of this story.

The author churns out a nice moving tale across times zones and also has a nice flash back for the Alexanders’ days to keep the rationale intact. A fast paced and has woven on a lot of research and presented in a very lucid style to keep the reader’s interest till the last page.

The characterizations are very well done and has all the ingredients of making of a movie, I believe this could well be a possible script which can be well executed in a way. Why I am saying this is the visual narration of the scenes is absolutely great and that makes it a great read.

The characters, Vijay, Imran, Radha, Alice, Collin and Shukla apart from the Coopers on the other side make for nice well knit team.

The books makes for a nice reading with Mahabharata and Alexander’s quest and modern day Order in a very complex web of secrets dating back to the Mahabharata’s churning of the milky ocean. The link being well the nectar and immortality associated with it. And do you know Alexander wanted to be God. Read this book as it takes you on a trip to his hey days and how he lost the plot.

In the present day scenario, the best part is the way the both sides try to outwit each other. Though we have to wait and see how it ends up. Six months to know and probably the doctor would also know if the trial is working out.

Well the author has handled it pretty fast paced and you know in the end this is a book with sequel.

Now have to wait to know what happened.

As you wait please check out the trailer…

About the author: Christopher C. Doyle is an author who transports the reader into a fascinating world where ancient secrets buried in legends blend with science and history to create a gripping story. Along the way to publishing his debut novel, The Mahabharata Secret, Christopher pursued a career in the corporate world after graduating from St. Stephens College, Delhi with a degree in Economics and studying business management at IIM Calcutta. Over the course of his corporate career, Christopher has written articles on management and business for Indian and international publications and is also a regular invited speaker for international conventions and conferences. He is a certified Executive Coach and now works with senior executives to help them achieve success and better results in their organizations.

PS: Thanks to folks at Clea Public Relations for sending in a e-book to read and review…

Kurukshetra – the Aryavarta Chronicles Book 3 by Krishna Udayasankar #BookReview

Epic Retelling of an Epic!
Epic Retelling of an Epic!
BOOK DETAILS
Publisher Hachette India
ISBN-10 9350097184
Imprint Hachette India
Number of Pages 384 Pages
Publication Year 2014
Language English
ISBN-13 9789350097182
Binding Paperback

Indian Mythologies have this rare distinction that the more you rewrite the more livelier they become and its one of the innate characters that they continue to be retold and perhaps this will continue for the days to come.

Each in its own context and setting and more perhaps suited to the times that the author is in the retelling takes the course with impact of the generation that it touches and communicates. That way this book will be remembered for the retelling of the kind that has never been attempted before.

This is a book to be read – a retelling redefined perhaps. You knew Mahabharatha, now know it from a parts of the forts that you have never been to. The graphic and gory retelling, and sometimes walking and talking through the minds of the characters sends you a chill down your spine, quite often we took them for granted without any investigation.

The scene is set for the war and how the allies on the part of Pandavas and Kauravas get ready to fight it out and the way it ends.

Aptly titled and well written with details, this book is sure to get you riveted to the last page. The way the book takes turns to reach into the mental realms of all the characters as they speak out their mind and sometimes something else being so graphically described takes you so much inside the forts and places that they walk and talk about.

You will feel the eerie sounds when you actually read through the pages and feel those moments along with the characters.

I loved the naming and the family tree part and its time I go back to the first two books to make it complete.

Its not just the war but what goes into the minds of each of the characters that’s the best part. I am sure the author has done a great deal of mind reading the characters and bringing them alive with such precision requires a tactful reading and delving deeper into the psyche and also the setting of the events that take place in the epic of all times.

I must mention that the author Krishna Udayasankar has taken us on a treacherous journey and the machinations of the characters. The portrayal of Govinda is an absolutely unravelling of the mystique behind his political wizardry is just an example.

I am sure this Mahabharata re-imagined and retold in many ways will be a game changer for many people to look at the epic and draw inspiration for retelling.

So if you come across this book take it and you will be happy that you did. You will watch the Mahabharata’s war stream live in front of you word by word.

A fast paced and yet a deep dive in great sense, this will leave you with scenes of the war right infront of your eyes. The narrative and graphic storytelling ability of the author will keep you awake to finish the book.

Personally I feel this riveting and fast paced a story telling of the Mahabharatha probably was destined.

Great writing, narrative, story telling all in a package that you will not skip a beat through the book.

For once apart from the Books Review category this forms a part of Politics in my blog!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Girl from Fatehpur by Sarita Varma #bookreview

Girl from Fatehpur by Sarita Varma

This is a story of Sanjana fondly called as Sana hailing from Fatehpur a town in Uttar Pradesh, and thats where the title comes from. A very simply and well narrated story in the confines of her world, a bit of it from Mumbai and the days to her trip to her hometown Fatehpur for her cousins wedding, there is a lot of travelling with her in real as the author takes you around the Allahabad Maha Kumb and some drives during the big fat Indian Wedding.

This is a story of Sana, her childhood crush Rajan and her office colleague turned admirer Krish. The plot is a simple one in the sense leading to a love triangle, but the way the author has treated it from the perspective of Sanjana is excellent, the character who develops cold feet with her colleague and suddenly finds herself in a bubbly character after she meets her childhood crush and first time turned down love, Rajan.

There is a wedding that happens which only makes her get close to her heart throb, and the unexpected presence of Krish makes it a twist. She has to now be tight rope walk with two men vying for her attention in myriad ways they seem to suggest.

A forgetful incident later and back to Mumbai and her heart still longing to see her crush and her friend Zoya all make this novel a nice crisp one. So does she end up with her childhood crush or will she get on with her office knight in arms! Read it up to know what happens to Sana.

Loved the narrative and there is a rural charm to the characters and its quite easy on you and you could identify them easily around you. Its a fast read and it takes you on a easy ride, along with Sana, her friend Zoya, Krish and Rajan and hold your attention with their strenght and human weaknesses.

I sometimes think it was very short period in all, though we could have had a better glimpse of Rajan / Sana’s  past and ended too soon.

Sarita has a fine narrating style and takes you on a journey across the Maha Kumb and a portrayal of Sana that makes you sit through the pages in one shot. Its an easy read and concise read too.

My rating: 3.5 stars 

Senthilkumar Rajappan