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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Book Review – Sniper’s Eye by Mainak Dhar

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Present and future are built on remnants of the past. One may choose to forget the past and lead a life of abandon but the past will always come to haunt when you expect the least. Especially when it holds some nasty secrets. So when Aaditya decides to pretend and live a normal life, he knew that the ghosts from the past will come back for him. What he didn’t know was that it will engulf his present in a dangerous whirlwind and endanger not only his future but of all those around him who he loved and cared for.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Book Review- Chanakya by Ashok K. Banker

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If you have any interest in retelling of Hindu mythology, it is almost impossible that you haven’t heard of Ashok Banker. With over 63 books from various genres like science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, thriller stories, and novels to his credit, he is one of the best known and internationally acclaimed Indian authors. So when he decides to narrate the story of one of the most intriguing characters of Indian history, Chanakya, you know you have to read this one. 



Friday, 6 July 2018

Book Review- Invisible Ties by Nadya A.R.




Our present is shaped by our past and our present lays the foundation of our future. No matter how hard you try and let go of your difficult past, it will continue to occupy some space in your future. That space may shrink and become really small over a period of time but it will remain significant. Unless you find something that is more significant than that dreadful past of yours, you will be stuck in a vortex of memories. Invisible Ties by Nadya A. R. is a beautiful and touching story of a girl who is stuck in the past by the invisible ties of unpleasant memories and struggles to find solace.

Noor, a young girl from Pakistan, is intelligent and sensitive but fails to apply her intelligence to relationships and emotions due to the tumultuous childhood. When she witnesses the death of a loyal driver while trying to save her mother from burglars, she is scarred for life. On her parent's insistence, she agrees to marry an investment banker and move to Singapore to find a better future. But she carries a piece of her past with her in her handbag. Little does she know that her future husband Meekal, like everyone else, is also struggling with unpleasant memories from the past. Unable to find happiness with each other, Meekal and Noor looks for it elsewhere.


 

Noor meets Ella and Jake and realises that everybody has some invisible ties from the past. And though one cannot completely get rid of those ties, one has to try and loosen the grip and move away from them as far as possible. 

The story is beautiful for its simplicity and honesty. The author draws visual imagery with her words and detailed descriptions. The story drags initially and it takes some effort to keep on reading but there seems a promise of something beautiful in the next pages and the promise is kept. The story gradually develops into a beautiful array of emotions. Noor tugs at your heart when she portrays herself as strong on the outside but is breaking within. The story is as beautiful and serene as the cover imagery. 

My Rating:



About the Author: Nadya is an author, a psychotherapist and a motivational speaker. Her latest novel, Invisible Ties, has been published by Rupa Publications in August 2017. Nadya has written articles and submitted papers on different psychological constructs and topics in International conferences and workshops. She is married and has two children. Nadya divides her time between Singapore and Pakistan. She plans to do a doctorate in post-trauma stress disorder and study different theoretical models to understand its impact on people and their environment. Through her writing, she wants to make a positive change in the world. Currently, she is busy researching for, ‘The Sanctuary’, her next novel. (Source: goodreads)


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from kaffeinated Konversations in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


Monday, 2 July 2018

Book Review- License to Live by Priya Kumar



I am not a fan of motivational or self-help genre in books. Although I have read quite a few leading authors from the category, it is not something I pick up instantly. Mostly because of the “preaching” tone that most of these books have. Somehow that puts me off. So when the vendor at railway station vehemently recommended Priya Kumar’s “License to Live”, I sternly refused to even look at it. But then the vendor and I got talking about other books and I was drawn by the passion with which he was talking about them. So I asked him to tell me about this one again. He explained and offered a full refund if I didn’t like the book. He meant business because I am a regular buyer from that vendor and he offered to “paytm” the amount to wherever I was. No questions asked. And so this is how I ended up buying this one. And only 50 pages into the book, I realized that I am not taking any refund on it.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Book Review- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


                                                   "The world was silent when we died”

My Rating: 

During the late 1960s, Nigeria witnessed a gruesome civil war that led to the persecution of Igbo people across the state. The demand for an independent Biafra initiated violent altercations amongst the local tribes which had been living peacefully since ages in the area. Like all other civil wars, the worst hit were the local people, women and children including, caught in the state of affairs in which their mere survival was at risk. A lot has been written about one of the bloodiest civil wars in the world history since then. Adichie’s book, Half of a Yellow Sun, first published in 2006 is considered one of the most lucid fictions based on the past that still haunts the people of Nigeria.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Book Review- A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena



Disobedient. Loose. Unruly. Slut. Labels- As much as you hate them, they stick to you. The more you prove to deny them, the more prominent they become. So, a certain 16 year old girl did not bother to defy them. Instead, one may think she lived to prove them right. Hence, more often than not, parents told their girls and boys to stay away from her stating the dangers of being around a girl like that. Tanaz Bhathena’s debut novel, A Girl Like That is a story of one such Zarin Wadia who lives a life on her own terms and does not shy away from the repercussions.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Book Review- Trust Me Not by Ankita Verma Dutta

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Don’t judge a book by its cover. But I did. And aren’t I glad I did. Trust Me Not by debutant author Ankita Dutta Verma has all the ingredients I like in a thriller -strong impactful characters, intense drama, fast paced plot and unpredictable twists in story. I was particularly drawn by the captivating cover imagery which gives a glimpse of what to expect inside. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Book Review- The Assassinations- A Novel of 1984 by Vikram Kapur


1984 is considered one of the darkest years of India’s post-independence era. The erstwhile Prime Minsiter Mrs Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her security guards who sought revenge for Operation Blue Star. Thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered in the communal riots that erupted as an aftermath in Northern parts of the country. Property was ravaged and people were torturously killed to avenge the death of the PM. Sikhs who were forced to leave their homes still shudder at the memories of the painful past when they had lost everything overnight.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Book Review- Mothering A Muslim by Nazia Erum

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India has always been a land of dissimilarities based on religion, cultures, customs, languages and cuisines. Most of us have grown up celebrating Diwali, Eid, and Christmas with our friends with almost the equal fervor. Our friends weren’t decided on the basis of their religion or eating habits. And our parents did not influence our decision to make friends as long as they were from decent families. But with the turn of the century, something changed.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Book Review- Yakshini by Neil D’Silva


There is a horror category which has evil spirits, haunted houses, gory scenes with green colored blood(?) pouring out of weird places of a body, some form of porn and an over-used story. And there then is a category written by authors like Neil D’Silva who pen horror stories which have none of these ingredients and are still incredible to read. Extra-ordinary storylines, impeccable writing style, a twist in the plot at the right moment and an underlying philosophy are D’Silva’s trademarks. And Yakshini is no different.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Book Review – Secret of the Himalayan Treasure by Divyansh Mundra



Somewhere in the deep valleys of the Himalayas ,devoid of any sunlight and beyond the reach of mankind lies a secret treasure which if discovered can change the present and future of a not an individual but a nation all together. The treasure is guarded by secret society of seven masters, each of who has a book that leads to the next master. The secret had been fiercely guarded and passed on from one generation to the next since the age of Great Emperor Ashoka and was supposed to remain concealed hadn’t the multi-millionaire business tycoon Harish Vashistha shot himself in a press conference. What transpires is a chase that changes many lives, some for good and others for not so good.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Book Review- The Boys Who Fought by Devdutt Pattnaik


Mythology is not the first choice in books for kids. The obvious choice is comic book series or short stories. My 9 yr old is no different. While he does like to listen to stories based on mythology, when it comes to reading he prefers the sci-fi comics or stories. The Boys Who Fought was the first book based on Mahabharatha that he finished reading on his own. He came to me to clarify a few doubts and understand some new words but it was an independent endeavor overall.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Book Review- Murder in Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav



War does not end anything. It just sets the stage for next war.
- Pg 231


Vicks Menon, an investigative reporter seems to have his life falling apart. He has lost his job with a leading newspaper and his relationship with his girlfriend Tonya is on the rocks due to his alcoholism. His friend’s call about a murder of a white woman in a hotel in Paharganj seems like one of the many happening in the capital till Vicks notices important people taking interest in this murder. Vicks quickly realises that this case could get him his job back. What he does not realize is that in the pursuit of a good story he will become the target for both the police and the woman’s killer.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Book Review- Karachi Deception by Shatrujeet Nath




Abhimanyu was the son of the great warrior Arjun who bravely broke and entered the complicated Chakravyuh in the historic battle of Mahabharat. However, he was not able to come out of it and lost his life. When Major Imtiaz Ahmed was called for Project Abhimanyu, he knew he was entering a Chakravyuh. Would he meet the fate of Abhimanyu during the project or would he emerge triumphant remains a mystery throughout the 250 odd pages of Karachi Deception. 

The plot revolves around Unit Kilo, a highly specialized and covert cell of the Indian army which has to eliminate Irshad Dilawar. Dilawar is a name associated with every imaginable illegal activity and gravest of terrorist attacks in the Indian subcontinent. In spite of being in the most wanted list, Dilawar remains on the loose and flourishes under the protection of Pakistani government. While the Indian government works relentlessly to garner support on global platforms to declare Irshad Dilawar a terrorist and pressurize Karachi to surrender him, Dilawar lives comfortably in Pakistan and continues planning further attacks to claim innocent lives.

Major Imtiaz Ahmed is one of the most talented officers of the army who unflinchingly works to accomplish the mission and never backs down even in the most perilous situations. When General Dixit offers him to be a part of Project Abhimanyu, he knows that this might be the most dangerous project he has ever undertaken. With lieutenant Rafiq and captain Shamsheer, Imitiaz has to strike and eliminate Irshad Dilawar in Karachi amidst all the security. Everything goes as planned till Imitiaz finds out that there is a traitor in the team. Imitiaz has been advised to abort the mission sighting obvious dangers. Does he give in to the threat and retreats or does he take the challenge head on and continues to work on the mission? Will this Abhimanyu come back from the chakravyuh to claim victory? Does Dilawar run out of luck this time or is able to get away once again with the backing of his “friends” in Karachi? To find the answers to all these questions, you should read this intriguing book.

The Indo-Pak tussle is not a new subject and many books have already been penned on a similar plot. This book also is not an exception. However, a crisp writing style and a completely unpredictable twist at the end sets this one apart. The characters may have a striking resemblance to some living ones. The story flows smoothly and the description of incidents is vivid. It is interesting enough to finish in a couple of sittings.

My rating: 


About the Author: Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories. (Source: Goodreads)







Friday, 8 September 2017

Book Review- Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin



It’s easy to distinguish a good book from the “not-very-good” ones. The latter is forgotten sooner or later, but a good story written lovingly stays for you for a long time, almost forever. You may forget the names of the characters, the story line may fade after some time but the warmth it created when you read it, always…always stays. Last Train to Istanbul was one of the finest books I have read in a long time. 

Book Review- The Golden House by Salman Rushdie




Illusionary identities, twisted unrealistic personalities living in times that are characterized by political drama and cultural upheaval is how one can describe Rushdie’s characters in The Golden House. The inherent inquisitiveness of human beings can lead to unreal, almost weird imaginations. But haven’t you heard, the reality is stranger than fiction. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie is tale of betrayal, secrets and misplaced trust.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Book Review- Unlawful Justice by Vish Dhamija


Justice is sometimes an illusion. Law sometimes looks like a spoilt pet of those with money and power. Law is supposed to serve justice based on evidence and logical inferences. But then evidence can be created, manipulated, bought or even eliminated. So how does one expect justice from law which solely relies on suchevidences? And even if justice is served, does it remain lawful? Many such questions or doubts will come to your mind while reading Vish Dhamija’s Unlawful Justice. Actually, after finishing the book. Because, while reading this one, you will be completely absorbed as you turn page after page. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Book Review- Jason Cage by aKay Brothers



Jason Cage, the protagonist in this first book by aKay Brothers, is lonely. Mostly, not by choice. He can’t seem to get use to people around him; People who live as if everything was normal. Jason knew nothing was normal around him. Irrespective of where he went, he knew he was surrounded by abnormal things. Things that didn’t let him sleep peacefully at night, things that make him see stuff he might have avoided otherwise. Things that nobody else could see.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Book Review- Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami



It’s quite easy to become Men Without Women. You love a woman deeply, and then she goes off somewhere. That’s all it takes…….And once you have become Men without Women, loneliness seeps deep inside your body, like a red wine stain on a pastel carpet.”

-page 223

What intrigues men about women? Is it their eyes, their curves, their tresses or is it their ability to transport them into trance and make them forget about the worldly sufferings? How does a man feel without a woman? Does it break a man when he loses a woman who was not even “his”?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Book Review- Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD- The Return of Damyanti by Nisha Singh



For somebody who is particularly fond of murder mysteries, detective novels and thrillers and who has grown up on a steady diet of such books would have very high expectations from any new author and his detective character. And it is seldom that a new book from a relatively new author meets many of those expectations. This is one of those rare books.