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Showing posts from July, 2017

Knitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions by Rubina Ramesh

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Knitted Tales: A Collection of Emotions by Rubina Ramesh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” ― Lorrie Moore


Short stories are very different from novels as they tell about short period and two or three characters. It is a challenge to tell short stories as you have extremely less space to set the context and say the story.


Rubina has done the job extremely well. First let us see in brief what the stories are all about:


1. Betrayal - Story of a sadistic brutal husband with a twist.

2. Chicklet - Story of racial bullying of immigrants, Hypocrisy of Indians and compassion.

3. Forgive me.......- Story of a successful Bollywood director, his lost love and consequences.

4. Lolita- Story of a Bollywood Diva. How she became from a simpleton to a heartthrob of millions?

5. No regrets - Hilarious and original story of a Bengali Tamil couple who moves to USA. Very witty. ;)

6. Suvarna Rekha- A tragic lov…

The Casanova's Wife (Marriages Made in India #4) by Sundari Venkatraman

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The Casanova's Wife by Sundari Venkatraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prince charming meets plain Jane (or she thinks so). They fall in love and afterwards do they live happily ever after? Read this to know the answer.


Bharat is a handsome highly sought after model. He meets Dia in an after event party and they end up in bed. This is a love at first sight. He has no contact information of Dia and desperately misses her. She has his number, but she is too insecure by all his glamour, to contact him. She tells her dilemma to her sister, Pia thus:


“Actually Pia, Bharat has the reputation of being a Casanova. Even he admitted to it when I met him first. Though he insists that he’s changed since he met me and is in love with me, I’m still not sure about him. What if he’s confusing lust for love?”

Sundari’s writing is brisk. The story moves at a fast pace . The story starts and end with hot steamy scenes and there is reference to erotic desires/ acts throughout the book.


The tale is pretty s…

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1) by Zoe Kalo

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Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There is an orphan at an orphanage. Trinity is rebellious, headstrong and different from other girls. She is rescued from there and taken to a mysterious island. Dark forces are at work there and she is the only one who can save the day. I hope you get the drift by now. Sense of Deja-vu.

Trinity is at a catholic orphanage where mother superior is very strict. Her only friend is Brianna. Then one fine day a mysterious Dr Nassri comes to orphanage as a representative of her Grandmother, Margarete. She takes her to an island somewhere in Egypt where cats outnumber people. Unfortunately Trinity granny dies before telling her anything and leaves her with many unanswered questions.

The book is slow, boring and predictable. The surprise twists are no surprise and it takes forever to build the story. It is ok to write a trilogy but that doesn’t mean that first book should be a boring drag. Trinity is no Harry.

One passage from the book:

“W…

ABCs of Horror by Anmol Rawat

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ABCs of Horror by Anmol Rawat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why does horror click? It definitely does not make us feel good. It has a totally opposite effect on us. It makes us feel terrible, depressed and we run for cover. There is a sense of impending doom and feel bad atmosphere. Still horror movies and literature works. Stephen King is a good example in books. Countless horror movies are made. In India Ramsays and Bhatts has made a name for themselves in this and have a niche and loyal audience. Even low budget even C grade horror films become super hit and make good money. I think the reason is as below.

Horror is one of the emotion in humans. As per Natya Shastra of Bharat Muni there are eight RASA. A rasa is a synthetic phenomenon and the goal of any creative performance art, oratory, painting or literature. The King of Rasa is of course ROMANCE. Horror is combination of Disgust (Vibhatsa) and Horrifying (Bhayanka). So through books and movies we can experience these emotions in the s…

The Aravan Head by Arvind Narsima

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The Aravan Head by Arvind Narsima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review. The book deals multiple issues at various levels.

One is of Political system is corrupt in India. There are many attempts to correct it but in vain. Since the days of JP movement to Anna Hazare we have seen efforts to cleanse the system but it comes to a naught.

Second is the question of LGBT acceptance in society. The people who are in minority and different due to their sexual makeup or orientation. They are shunned by society and looked down by all and sundry. They live amongst us but not a part of us.

Third is of systemic rot in police department. Police is meant to upheld law and order but they become tools in the hands of politicians, industrialists and Mafiosi to exploit the masses. There is large scale exploitation in the name of water tax, illegal hooch, hafta wasooli (protection money), rape, murders and the police is a mute participant in all th…

Transitions And Beyond by Inderjit Kaur

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Transitions And Beyond by Inderjit Kaur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Life is not static. It is changing at every step. We are transformed every year, at every turn, at every phase. It can be for good or for bad but it happens. It is the law of nature. Life can’t stop.
“Transitions and Beyond” is book 4 of “A Living Series” written by Inderjit Kaur. The author herself has been a victim of domestic violence and came out stronger and triumphant. The book is divided in 3 modules.
1. The Change: It tells about the process of transformation. How to think positively and using crisis to our advantage.
2. Intervention (understanding the depth): this tells about detecting stressors, coping mechanism and eliminating it.

3. Revive and Renewal: It is about rekindling, reforming, reconstructing, restructuring life. Living for more by making a place for oneself, helping others.
This book tell about that every change is beginning of a transformation. This is the stepping stone for being better. We can use tough …

Just me, the Sink & the Pot by Sudesna Ghosh

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Just me, the Sink & the Pot by Sudesna Ghosh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sudesna Ghosh brings a funny tale of the angst of a plump teenager. Why should thin people especially girls have all the fun and attention? There is always a complex of inferiority in the fat girls. Is it justified or is it because of the false image of the beauty drilled into our minds by popular culture. The beautiful girl has perfect figure of 36-24-36.

Pamela is an 18 year old teenager who is fat. She has a heart of gold and she is grappling with growing up issues of a fatso girl. She has her family, friends (virtual too in teddies and other toys) and her crush. Nor she fit in with the thin girl gang and neither she wants to. She has a fat friend Krish who tries to fit in. she somehow loses weight and then stops hanging out with Pamela. She gets into relations ship with a fat boy but feels that a bad idea. So she dumps him. This is a story how she feels about her weight issues and aftermath.

The tale is sweet, …

Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam

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The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review.
Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Life is real and fantasy is not. But in case of mental illness like depression there is tendency to escape. When the reality becomes too harsh to face person withdraws in a fantastic world. This does not solve the problem but helps to keep the sanity.

Apruva Sharma aka Appu is a shy, timid, introvert and depressed person. He has his own reasons like his wife Jharna. She married him for a brief period under duress and pressure of her parents. She can’t stand him and wants to dissolve the marriage. Appufather Abir and mother Trina raised him with love and care. Abirplays Violin and so does Appu. Vikram is an Army captain and is floored by Abir Violin recital. They become friends and Vikram is posted to their town. Vikramvisits them with his wife Amla and son Rahul. This is the start of a lifelong friendship of Appu and Rahul. Rahul is unlike Appu and …

Ishq Mein Shahar Hona by Ravish Kumar

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इश्क में शहर होना / Ishq Mein Sheher Hona by Ravish Kumar
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am a fan of Ravish Kumar of NDTV prime time fame.

I bought this book from Amazon purely based on his name.

These are called laprek i.e. Laghu prem Katha. One page stories set in Delhi.

I read the stories and didn't like them much. They have no plot except some names of Delhi's localities.

Maybe i am not able to understand the context or the hidden message.

Still didn't work for me.

Blurb:

Laprek (Short Love Story) Is a highly ambitious, experimental Nano format of story writing. Originated at digital platform of Facebook, the famous face of TV news, anchor Ravish Kumar has started writing micro fiction in a limited space of Facebook and twitter. The politics of our times figures as Metaphor in the loving exchange between characters. Laprek is a story of Love in cities. It is a story of Cities in love.

रेम हम सबको बेहतर शहरी बनाता है। हम शहर के हर अनजान कोनों का सम्मान करने लगते हैं। उन कोनों मे…

The Secret of Being Together by Tsafy Zur, Amos Zur

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The Secret of Being Together by Tsafy Zur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marriage is an institution almost as old as the civilization. It is the bedrock of the society and smallest unit of it. The couple take wedding vow before. “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part.” Then why there are cases of divorce and the marital discord? Does people fall out of love, become infidel, become enemies and decide to separate from each other. This has disastrous consequence for them and children. It is also bad for society. So can something be done to reverse this?


Amos and Tsafy Tzur are marriage counseling couple. Their approach is friendly and they learn as the counsel. The book has many new insights as reproduced below:


1. We came across words that appeared over and over: Journey. Consciousness. Unconsciousness. Choice. Past. Present. Future. Dream. Only in the course of time did we realize to what extent th…

2036 the Proof by Zvi Speiser

The nectar is a fantasy or reality? Is there life on other planets separate from earth? Will life be easier after advances in human knowledge in science? Future is unknown but can we make a guess about what will happen 20 years henceforth.

The story starts with a break-in in a lab and murder of guard. Professor Tom is working on a longevity drug in his research. His assistant Lise finds some geometrical patterns in the petri dish which can’t be explained. Similarly in astronomy field there are some surprising finds leasing to assault on a accomplished scientist. The police detective Rick, a journalist Will and his ex-girlfriend find a pattern in the break-ins, murders, assaults on scattered locations. Is there a link in all this?

In the year 2036 the more the things changed the more they remain same. Scientific knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds. The life sciences is finding a drug which can prolong human life and keep it in prime shape. All of the major pharmaceutical manufacturer…

The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

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The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review:
Is India a world power? No. Then can India become world power? This book have some fantastic ideas to make India a world power.

Varun, Salman, Raghav and Aditya are four persons from different walks of life who have the same dream. Varun, an NRI software engineer; Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments; Raghav, a virtuous politician and Aditya, an altruistic businessman. The first part of book gives the background stories of these four persons and second half gives details of their thrilling journey.

The book is very idealistic and fantastic in the theme. Ideas of author are good and can work in an idealistic setting. These is a lot of corruption and resulting frustration with the current condition of India. People are fed up with this and want change. The book shows us a short cut where everything is set right in a short span of time.

Book has some good ideas like having election every two years so that manipulation game ends. Re…