Wednesday, October 31, 2012

India reads - Online Book rental Library

No , this is not about what and how much our country reads :P

This is about the Online bookstore & library : INDIAreads

I joined this library last week for the sole purpose to save money on buying books ( yes, I can file bankruptcy with my dad if I do not stop )

I would really recommend this library to all ( provided they deliver to your city ) but definitely for NCR & metro cities.

The plans are very decently priced.

I have taken a 2 books per month plan for 6 months. so that is 1200 for 12 books in next 6 months and no late fee ( yes , i used a lot of time and brain on this maths before I picked a plan)

Oh, did I tell you , they have at home delivery and pick up of books.

Yes, they do not have ALL recent books but the library still has enough books that will interest and average reader. Also you can ask for a book if it is not in the list.

Moreover the delivery packaging was really good. Not just 2 books handed to you. The books were wrapped well in a paper bag with your name and address mentioned. Also, since you are bound to tear off and throw the paper bag mostly , they also provided a empty paper bag addressed to INDIAreads in which you can keep the books when returning. I so liked it :D

The site is easy to navigate and the customer care is really friendly.

No, I have not been paid for this post. but, WTH ! I am just trying to help :D

Online or not , I have special love for libraries.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bengal, The Cold Weather 1873 - Joe Roberts

Travelogues have their own charm. No matter in which place they are set up, who is travelling and in what era he is travelling, there is something about travelogues which gets on to me and I thoroughly enjoy reading them. What makes a good travelogue is the power of observing things and the way travel stories are narrated. One such travelogue by Joe Roberts dropped in two days back at my place. Bengal, The Cold Weather 1873 by Joe Roberts.

The travelogue is set up in 1873. Edward Lear, a landscape painter and his travel partner cum servant Giorgio who is from Albania and also a nonsense poet, travel from Bengal to Calcutta to honour the invitation sent by Lord Northbrook, the Viceroy. Right from the beginning, Lear meets people who are weird in their own sense and dealing with everyone becomes tough for him on many fronts. Lear is dealing with an epileptic condition as well. He is afraid that the world must not come to know about his condition and he keeps fighting with it all his life. 

The way Joe Roberts has written this book, it shows how intense research he has done to come up with something like this. The characters, the anecdotes and the way he has narrated the whole plot makes it interesting, witty, disturbing at the same time and in equal proportions. Set up in gothic eras, the author has left no stone unturned to showcase the Bengal of those times. He himself has travelled a lot in Bangladesh and West Bengal and is quite fascinated with its beauty and its offerings. His first book "Abdul's Taxi To Kalighat" was also set up in Bengal and was very well received by critics and readers. 

This 130 page book which is divided into 12 chapters containing dialogues, weird poetry, experiences is definitely a light read for someone who enjoys travelogues. I am sure it wont disappoint you.

Book Source : Westland Books/Tranquebar Press
Genre : Travelogue
ISBN : 978-93-81626-89-4 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Green Room - Wendell Rodricks

When I first got to know that Wendell Rodricks', a fashion designer who is a household name (if people of that house read newspapers) is coming up with a book, I made up my mind that I am surely going to read it. I have always followed news related to the fashion world, not to the T, but yes on and off so I knew who Wendell Rodricks' was and what he was famous for. The book named "The Green Room" with Malaika Arora Khan on its jacket landed up at my house on previous friday and thats when I thought that this is going to be my weekend read. 

The book opens up with a prologue in which models are getting ready in the green room, the backstage manager shouting at the models, and the choreographer of the show is all set to fire instructions so that the show can begin as soon as possible. Amidst all the chaos, the backstage manager keeps shouting that if something goes wrong, Wendell is going to throw a fit, so models should make sure nothing goes wrong. The way prologue has been written instantly had me. Wendell came across as a strikingly good story teller. It was one of the youtube videos that I saw about the book in which Wendell shared that it was a challenge among friends that who can write 60,000 words in two months and Wendell took up the challenge quite seriously and actually began writing. He completed the challenge and later realised that he should add some 60,000 words more to bring this book to life. In the book he shares that Lara Dutta once asked him to write a book because she liked the way he told stories. Wendell has politely thanked her in the book! :) 

The book has some 350 odd pages and 21 chapters and covers each and every aspect of Wendell's life. His family, his ancestors, his education, his friends, his collections, his designs, his assorted works, fashion shows he did, his sexuality, the controversies of the fashion industry, his infinite holidays all over the world, his stints in various parts of the world, his love and passion for Goa, his love for food, numerous friends he made in his life, his love for wine, his discoveries including Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma, controversies around him and his relationship with his partner Jerome, a french man he met in Oman, his pets and people who have worked with him over the years. 

The way this book has been written makes it an absolute page turner. If you have the slightest idea about fashion and fashion industry and popular names of the industry, you would sail through the book quite easily. Wendell is witty and blatantly honest with whatever he has shared in the book. His writing has got the WOW factor. The way he has described everything in the book shows how observant he is with things surrounding him. Also, Wendell praises Shefalee Vasudev, who has written a book Powder Room, which I read and reviewed few days back, for her honest reviews about the fashion shows and the fashion world. I absolutely loved Powder Room as well. 
I would definitely suggest you to read this book once. It gives you a wide insight about the fashion world and how to become somebody from nobody. Wendell has poured his heart out in the book and deserves a place in your book shelf if you enjoy reading autobiographies. 

Publisher : Rain Tree Publishers
Genre : Autobiography
ISBN : 978-81-291-2022-9 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Eighty Days Blue - Vina Jackson

Some ten days back, I reviewed Eighty Days Yellow here. It is the first book of the Eighty Days Trilogy by Vina Jackson and Eighty Days Blue is the second book of the trilogy. 

In the previous book, Dominik, for whom Summer has fallen for flies down to New York to meet her. Eighty Days Blue begins from here, Dominik and Summer meet and have a good time in New York. They get to know each other better, visit a strip club and try it all. Dominik also moves to New York in a couple of months so that he can spend more time with Summer and also work on his research. Summer, when Dominik wasn't in New York, falls in a trap, cunningly set up by Victor, who knew Dominik and Summer since the time they both knew each other. Summer, because of her exceptional talent as a violinist grows popular after her few solo concert. With the help of his conductor Simon and an agent Susan, she gets to travel the world and perform everywhere, leaving Dominik behind and a lot more happens in the book.

In my opinion, on the story part, Eighty Days Blue goes strong. Though at times, you would feel why the author is dragging it too much but all the twists and turns keep the fire alive and makes you want to have more and more of Summer and Dominik. As usual, its an Erotica that too focussed on BDSM, there are orgies, threesomes, and a lot of action that happens throughout the book. Vina Jackson, or should I say both the authors have ensured that they give it all what an erotica is all about and have successfully managed to do so. Now I have to see what is there in the third and final instalment of the trilogy which is Eighty Days Red.

Book Source : Hachette India
Genre : Fiction, Erotica
ISBN : 978-1-4091-2776-5 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Frivolous Fridays: The House of Night

The House of Night Novels

By P.C. & Kristen Cast

1st Published: 2007 

How I’ve missed the nerd herd!

You know that moment when one of your favourite movies or books is about to be released or out in stores? It just brings along a sense of excitement that is incomparable and incredible. With the end of the Harry Potter era (although in many ways it is evergreen), The House of Night is one book series that made me profusely thank God that I still have something good to look forward to.

This is just one of those things that I am completely mad about- so obviously, I don’t know where to start, and how to stop. This is one chance for me to say everything I want to, about the HoN books- I could go on and on and on. But keeping in mind the fact that I cannot possibly spoil all the fun for those of you who haven’t read the series yet, I will restrict myself to introducing the important characters and telling you what I love about them, without giving too much away.

[ If by the end of my post, you’re not shaking your head and frowning, you can have a look at the reviews of the books in the series that have been published so far, for further details. All HoN fans from ALOP, and those reading this post, are welcome to add their views here, or in their comments- the people who haven't read the HoN novels are just as welcome. :) ]

The House of Night, the vampire finishing school, is home to Zoey Redbird and her friends, who make up the 'nerd herd'- very cool people who take pride in being called ‘dorks’ (read: fans of Stars Wars, Harry Potter and the like). Zoey's dorm room now feels like my own, and Aphrodite's seems like the kind of room I hope I'll have when I win a million dollars at the lottery.

While I would not say I’d go for just about any book related to vampires, I know I was tempted to read this one because it was a supernatural story. And believe it or not, I was very skeptical about it when I first laid hands on it. But was I surprised! HoN is a fascinating blend of teenage fiction and mythology! It’s very tough to explain just how well PC and Kristen Cast have made use of their knowledge of mythology as well as Cherokee folklore to give this teenage vampire drama a whole new twist. But you'll know exactly how amazing it is, when you read it.

What I expected was to read another Twilight with a lot more slang and swear words. And then people started dying.

The first book in the series, Marked, was a typical Chick Lit about cute guys, prettier and mean rivals, and about finding a place where you can finally belong, with friends who love you just the way you are; all that got me to read the next one was the curiosity that was building up with the suspense in the first book. (If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's an unsolved mystery.) I thought it would be the usual story with a villain who wants power, and your protagonist tries to beat them with her friends by her side. What I never expected was to find one of the most innocent characters dying, in the second book itself, at a point where you could not have even thought something sinister would happen, at a point when you do not even know where the story is heading. And you know what makes you hurt more than anything else when a character you like dies? Realizing that it was the one you could relate to most. It is the freakiest thing ever. 

I could say I relate to all the characters in one way or the other, however. Damien and I share a love for reading and enjoy being the studious kid who tells people to behave; Stevie Rae and I are extremely loyal and yet have a different side to our personalities that most people aren't aware of; just like Erin and Shaunee, I can crack stupid jokes in a serious situation just to make everything seem a little easier to handle (and I also swear at my closest friends, out of 'love'...); Aphrodite (!) and I are alike because we can be very cynical and sarcastic, and we take time to like people but once we do, we love them like no other; and Zoey- well, Zoey and I seem to think it's our job to save the world, we screw things up half the time in trying to do so, and can never stop stressing. Oh yes, there's one more thing- love for the Goddess. 

"...Even in the midst of craziness and exhaustion and life changing chaos, I was filled with peace and the sweet knowledge that I was walking the path my Goddess wanted me on. Not that the path was smooth and pothole free. But still, it was my path, and like me, it was bound to be unique."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Death In Mumbai - Meenal Baghel

This book was recommended to me by a friend. Honestly, I never follow real life murder cases, political news or whatsoever. I dont like to thrive on negative things. I look for positivity and thats why I hardly read newspapers, watch news channels. I am too uninformed about everything going around until unless I wish to know what actually is going around. Death In Mumbai is about the famous murder mystery of Neeraj Grover, a young TV executive, who was brutally killed by Maria Susairaj ( an actor cum dancer ) and his fiancee Emile ( a naval officer ). The case stirred the nation back then as far as I can remember, but I never really followed it. I didn't want to follow it. 

When my friend told me about this book, I decided to pick it up and absolutely loved reading it. The way Meenal Baghel, who is currently working with Mumbai Mirror as editor-in-chief spoke to almost everyone associated with the case. Some known names and some spoke to her only on one condition that their identity should be kept under cover. The book psyches you out completely when you read some things. The insanity of the whole case will actually drive you crazy at points. 

The author spoke to Neeraj's friends, family, people who had worked with him, Ekta Kapoor as Neeraj used to work for Balaji Telefilms, Moon Das, who was approached to play the character of Maria Susairaj and herself was a victim of another insane killing of her mother and uncle by her ex-husband. Ram Gopal Varma, who made a movie adapting the entire case history, Rakesh Maria, top cop of the Mumbai crime branch who resolved the whole case. 

The way this book has been written, it throws light on many things. The way when Maria Susairaj confesses her doing psyches out again completely, it did happen to me. It leaves you aghast, that how can a human be so insane, so brutal to another human being. I highly recommend this book if you wish to know what exactly happened. It is an unputdownable, roller coaster ride. 

Book Source : Random House India
Genre : Non-Fiction 
ISBN : 978-8-184-00065-8

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marley and Me - John Grogan

Author:John Grogan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre:Non Fiction(Autobiographical novel)
ISBN: 0-06-081708-9

Synopsis(As given at the back of the book) :

John and Jenny were deeply in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world.  Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow fur ball of a puppy.
Life would never be the same.

Marley quickly grew into an uncontrollable ninety seven pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever. Expelled from obedience school,even the tranquilizers prescribed by the vet couldn't stop him.

Yet through the chaos and the hilarity he won the hearts and remained a steadfast model of devotion to his family, even when they were at their wits end. Unconditional love they would learn, comes in many forms.


The book starts by introducing the author and his view about dogs. He grew up with a total saint like dog who was an angel in disguise. Never did he cause any trouble. He supported the author through his childhood and each special memory of the author involves his 'Saint Shaun'. This led him to set the standard for all dogs he knew and to come.
 Now here she was, somehow making the cosmic leap of logic from dead flora in a pot to living fauna in the pet classified. Kill a plant, buy a puppy. Well, of course it made perfect sense.

Jenny (the wife) had just managed to kill another plant(she didn't exactly have a green thumb). This was when she launched into total panic mode of if she couldn't even keep a plant alive, how was she ever going to keep a baby alive? That was when the idea of getting a dog sprung up. A dog is kind of a buffer between a plant and child. Although he requires more care than a plant, he isn't as helpless as a baby. That's how they landed up with Marley.

Marley is a wiggly,playful yellow bundle of joy. He filled the gap in their lives and really brought out the mother in Jenny.She went from heartless plant killer to nurturing dog mom.He has a hyper activity disorder and is a big 97 pound ball of licks of joy.

The way Marley has been shown in the book is what touched me the most. His knowledge to the way people felt and his corresponding actions show us how dogs have that beautiful way of comforting us.
Jenny goes through a miscarriage and when she comes home from he hospital, instead of jumping and greeting her and John in his regular way he puts his head down on Jenny's lap and licks her tears away as if tot tell her that everything would soon be alright. When the kids come along, fragile as they are at that stage. Marley literally tip toes around being careful not to hurt them at all.

John frequently says in the book "Dogs are great.  Bad dogs if we can even call them that, are perhaps the greatest of them all." Marley is extremely  naughty and you are sure to be rolling around laughing throughout the book with all his hysterical antics. John Grogan has penned down the thoughts of any dog owner perfectly showing the frustrations as well as joys of the relationship with a dog.

Sadly,dogs do not live as long as humans as much as we would want them to. The book has a pretty sad and heart wrenching end as Marley progresses into old  age, develops diseases and eventually has to be put down by his beloved family.As I closed the covers of this book,a veil of tears blurred the print.

This is one book I just did not want to put down. It took me from giggles to tears in just a matter of seconds.Its a lovely novel that celebrates the little things in life that make the best memories.
It brings out the story of a simple man and the complex relationship of love,hate,joy,frustration and pride that he shares with his dog. Whether you like dogs or not, You will be drawn into the book soon shaking your head at Marley  laughing at his latest indiscretion and worrying when things don't go too well.I would definitely recommend this book.

Favorite Quotes/Excerpts : 

“I had never thought of Marley as any kind of model, but sitting there sipping my beer, I was aware that maybe he held the secret for a good life. Never slow down, never look back, live each day w/ adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness.” 

"A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” 

“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”

It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.

Rating : 4.8/5 (That's how much i love it!)

Price : 791 on

Monday, October 22, 2012

Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

  • Title : 'Confessions Of A Sopaholic'
  • Author : Sophie Kinsella
  • Genre : Chick-lit, Comedy, General Fiction
  • Followed by : Shopaholic Abroad(Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties The Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, Shopaholic and Baby, Mini Shopaholic.
~ Summary ~
Rebecca Bloomwood, or Becky as she likes to be called, is an employee of the finance magazine called 'Successful Saving'.
She's a financial journalist who earns her living by telling others how to sort their finances.
What does she do in her free time? SHOP.

Shopping is her answer to everything. When she's low, she shops. When there's a sale, she shops. When she just sees something pretty, she shops!

One day, she opens her mail only to find her VISA bill a staggering amount of 949 pounds!

She tries earning more, she tries spending less, but she gets caught up in the web of lies she's had to concoct.
Can Becky get herself out of this mess, self respect intact?

~ Excerpt ~

"That moment, that instant when your fingers curl round the handles of a shiny, uncreased bag—and all the gorgeous new things inside it become yours. What’s it like? It’s like going hungry for days, then cramming your mouth full of warm buttered toast. It’s like waking up and realizing it’s the weekend. It’s like the better moments of sex. Everything else is blocked out of your mind. It’s pure, selfish pleasure. I walk slowly out of the shop, still in a haze of delight. I’ve got a Denny and George scarf. I’ve got a Denny and George scarf!"

~ My Review ~

I love chick lits, so this totally was my home ground. I really enjoy reading Sophie Kinsella because she has this very simple, not over the top kind of writing where she doesn't really add unnecessary huge words, but manages to capture the feelings so perfectly!
'Confessions of a Shopaholic' is really an interesting read because once you read the way Becky feels about clothes, and about how buying/wearing them makes her feel, you kind of get why she does what she does.
It is never sermon-y or boring, for even a bit! There's loads of drama, and hilarious encounters because her lies and stories keep blowing up in her face!
The best bit about the book, and the entire series, is the way Becky thinks, honestly. She has this wonderful yet crazy at times, imaginative powers. And that is what just makes this book all that more engaging and exciting!

~ Final Verdict ~

3/5. If you do not like chick lit, then this is probably not the right book for you.
But if you like light, humorous, interesting stuff, then go on and buy it! :D

The paperback version is available on Flipkart for Rs.301 and you can check it out here.
You can also download the pdf ebook here.

['Confessions Of A Shopaholic' is also known as 'The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic']

Bravely Fought The Queen- Mahesh Dattani

And Arpita!


First staged in Mumbai in 1991, Bravely Fought the Queen juggles between two spaces centre stage where an empirical drama removes the mask of hypocrisy from a seemingly normal urban household; and a small, rear backdrop from where emerges the raison d ĂȘtre of each protagonist.

The family in focus is that of two brothers, Jiten and Nitin, who run an advertising agency and are married to sisters: Dolly and Alka. Their mother, Baa, moves between the two households, attached more to her memories of the past than to any present reality. Marital friction, sibling rivalry, the traditional tension between mother-in-law and daughters-in-law, the darker moments of business and personal dealings, the play takes us through the entire gamut of emotional experience as it winds to a climactic finish.

With its relentless pace, crisp idiom and unflinching insight into the urban milieu, this is a play that confirms Mahesh Dattani s reputation as India s most influential playwright.


"Lalitha: You stunt their growth. You keep trimming the roots and bind their've got to make sure,the roots don't have enough space to spread..."


Mahesh Dattani questions and challenges many universal questions regarding traditional and stereotyped gender roles in his plays. Through his plays Dattani explores the multiple facets of human relationships and their validity in today's world. Many of the subjects that he chooses cannot be comfortablyor directly discussed in an orthodox social milieu as in India. 

Issues like incest,lechery,female subjugation amongst others are strongly condemned in India in public and Dattani very tactfully raises his voice on these social taboos in an oblique manner through a plethora of symbols.

In this particular play,Dattani takes the title from the famous lines of a Hindi poem by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, that all Indians are sure to have heard in childhood-

"Khub ladi mardani woh toh Jhansi wali Rani thi" 

(Translation-"Bravely fought the manly queen of Jhansi.")

The very first time I saw the book,it was the title which caught my attention. I couldn't help but be reminded of the same poem. Intrigued how a contemporary playwright could have used the same lines to tell a tale in the modern world,I picked it up and I can happily say I don't regret my decision!! I was so addicted after reading this one that i couldn't help myself from reading all his other plays and they are equally good. 

This book is an amazing read especially if you are an Indian and if you are appalled by the hypocrisy in everyday things in the society. A very fast moving plot makes you feel like you are actually watching the play being performed in front of your eyes and you are yourself a character in it. 

The title or book cover may suggest a feminist idea being propagated but I assure you that is not the only thing or issue being addressed in the book. This is not a light book as it may keep haunting you for several days as it did to me. The light hearted family talks in the first two acts take a sudden turn in the final act and the reader or viewer is left open mouthed as slowly everything is revealed. Dattani does a brilliant job in cleverly hiding the final surprises/shocks. A must read for all.


When you sit and think about what makes you like a book more than the others, one thing that definitely comes to mind is the way it makes you feel like a part of the story. But it's even more interesting when you don't feel like you're one of the characters, but that you are actually witnessing something real. 

In the entire course of reading the play, I somehow felt like I was watching it live, rather than reading it- and it was an inexplicably exciting experience. It was even better than imagining myself as an invisible god who got to watch the proceedings without being involved. I didn't feel like I was a friend, of a character in the play, caught in an awkward situation where one has to witness a family drama. I felt like I was sitting in a dark auditorium and watching this fascinating play with bated breath. 

There are eleven characters in all- two brothers (Jiten and Nitin) who marry two sisters (Dolly and Alka), the boys' mother 'Baa', Sridhar, the guy who works under them in the advertising agency, his wife Lalitha, and four other characters who never actually show up and are only referred to- Daksha, the old woman, and Kanhaiya, who is possibly the most intriguing character, if you ask me, apart from Praful (the girls' brother),who is a surprise package.  

It might come across as a heavy read, when you think about the various angles to the plot. It definitely is a dark concept; it involves the 'dirty' secrets that people have to keep in order to keep up appearances. And it would surely stay on your mind for a long time after you've turned the last page. 

Nevertheless, it's absolutely entertaining- and for those who do not like to get too much into the skin of the character, will find it a 'fun' read if they studiously ignore the ghastly revelations that can be disturbing in several ways, because they actually do reflect society the way it is. I guess it could give you a sadistic pleasure- catharsis, if you like, because you're not going through what the characters are.

There are certain situations where the playwright might or might not have been trying a hand at humor, but I certainly found the incidents amusing, all the more because they were just so true to life.

Dolly is seated on the sofa, wearing a dressing gown....she has a mud mask on....After a while, the doorbell rings. She gets up and opens the door to Lalitha....

Dolly: Well, I'm not going to be home very long....As you can see, I was getting ready. My mask is almost dry.

Lalitha: I lie down under the ceiling fan.

Dolly: Huh?

Lalitha: When I have my mask on. It dries faster.

Dolly: Oh, I see.

Lalitha: Then I can do my afternoon meditation in shavasana at the same time. Once the neighbour's boy peeped in through our window and saw me lying flat on my back in the middle of the room. He thought I was dead or dying or something. He called the watchman. When I opened the door for them, they both thought I was a ghost, what with all the mud on my face and egg on my hair. (Laughs)

No response from Dolly.

Dolly: I'm sorry. I wanted to laugh but I was afraid.

Lalitha: Afraid?

Dolly: Afraid I would crack my mask.

The symbols, imagery and innuendos which foreshadow the consequences of the actions of the protagonists might be very accurate, but the play still has the kind of conclusion that will make your jaw drop. If you don't read this, you'll be missing something truly remarkable- you must go for it.


GENRE: Drama

ISBN: 0143062077

ISBN-13: 9780143062073, 978-0143062073



PRICE: Rs.99/- 

On Flipkart: Rs.84/- (After discount.) 

PS- This book happens to be one of Swarnali's most prized possessions, and she gifted it to me the first time we met. I have to say, it was the perfect present. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Love virtually by Daniel Glattauer, Katharina Bielenberg (Translated By), Jamie Bulloch (Translated By)

A dear friend of mine told me about this book and since then I been trying to get my hands on this one. Luckily , the same friend gifted me this last week. 

To say , I loved this book would be less.
I kind of lived this one.

This is the only book this year that i finished in 2 sittings ( one of 40 pages and other of the rest number of pages )

It begins by chance: Leo receives emails in error from an unknown woman called Emmi. Being polite he replies, and Emmi writes back. A few brief exchanges are all it takes to spark a mutual interest in each other, and soon Emmi and Leo are sharing their innermost secrets and longings. The erotic tension simmers, and it seems only a matter of time before they will meet in person. But they keep putting off the moment – the prospect both unsettles and excites them. And, after all, Emmi is happily married ..

The book has the perfect tagline : "Have you ever just clicked with some one?"

I know a lot of people on blogging and other social media have. in N possible ways. but falling in love with some one's words , via emails / long messages ?

If you are the kind of person, you sure know why I lived the book.
why is it that you can act yourself , act so freely at times with strangers without knowing you are acting different than usual. How does some one whom you have never met or even know might be lying to you become so important that you want to forget that you have a family.

How can mere words take you away from your reality or become your reality. Words that both excite and calm you , words that make you angry and guilty too, words that make you dream , make you change yourself and create a separate world. "an island away from your mainland life" as Emmi puts it.

"Write to me Emmi. Writing is like Kissing, but without lips. Writing is kissing with the mind."

And the spontaneous , bubbly  Emmi loves to write.
She loves writing to Leo as soon as they begin having a conversation.
Leo loves Emmi's emails. He loves the way she thinks and the way her emails are without any filter. Of course Emmi writes this way and talks this way only with Leo.

Love virtually is an Epistolary Novel that is solely written as emails between Emmi and Leo - from the first wrong one to the last long one.

There is fun , love, friendship , jealousy , possession , wit , intelligence and a sweetness to the emails. The language is casual and yet sophisticated. The dialogues are clever , sensitive and appear genuinely personal as you read them.

I’m thinking of you a lot, in the mornings, in the afternoons, in the evenings, at night, in the periods in-between and just before and after – and also during.

5 goodnight emails , midnight wine session emails , Good morning emails, between the break email, desperate emails , possessive emails - oh god !  I miss some emails now :D

and for those , who wonder if such relationships are possible and how long , I say its all where you put your trust and how long.

All you romance lovers , should read this .
Non romance lovers , please read this.
Word lovers , you will adore this.
Friends and lovers from internet , you will smile at the journey.

Leo : It’s sad, Emmi, we’ve got nothing more to say to each other.Emmi : Maybe we never did.Leo : Well, for two people who’ve got nothing to say to each other, we’ve been chatting away one hell of a lot.

The end might shock you a bit. 
As for me , the wait for the sequel has begun !

This is the German book cover. I later found out the book title means "Against the north wind" And you would understand it only after reading the book. North wind has such a sweet episode in the book between Leo and Emmi

Rating : 5/5 :D

Saturday, October 20, 2012

JFK - Jhangir Kerawala

Nimue Says :

Did i tell you I love reading about murders and the story that has to be traced back to “how and where” it all began ? and then comes few books that open with not one , but two murders in a row ! Whoa ! Now we are talking.

JFK opens with two unrelated people dying within the same night – Ram Prasad Yadav – a man set on revenge, Manish Kumar – one of the most decent person you could know.

Only link that is clearly visible – they were killed by same gun.
Only clue that the police has – Manish’s best friend , the “hero” of the story Jatin received a call from Manish who could only say “JFK” before dying.

Soon Jatin and his friend Montu find themselves protecting Manish’s secret and also trying to figure out what led to his murder.

Jatin is your normal guy who has shit loads of his own issues – unemployment , age , a family to provide and safegaurd and now the best friedn’s murder followed by some shocking truths about him and the stranger Ram Prasad Yadav.

The story of Ram Prasad Yadav and his role in the plot is well crafted and narrated. He is one of the character who even outshines Jatin once his story comes out.
One of the best thing about the book is the relatable feel to the book’s events. This is India as we talk about , as we know it. The way we think , the way we assume and react , the way people act in certain situations. Not a thing is out of place. The cover of the book , the scene setting , the characterization , the timeline and the events all appear to be either well researched or seen from close quarters. I always like when the author can bring that touch to his story. This one is absolute page turner. I have not finished any book faster than this one in the last six months. Only complaint I have is from the font of the book. Its a little too small in the sense that my table lamp reading was affected a bit. also one of the lady character I felt was not given a proper pink slip ! I wondered till the end , what she would be upto after all ?

Rating : 4/5

Yatin Says : 

Another thriller that I just finished reading. JFK is the another book that I spotted along with The Edge Of The Machete in the Tranquebar newsletter. JFK, if you hear the name takes you to John F. Kenneday, but trust me he is nowhere related with this book. Just a mere co-incidence this is. JFK is a book that you would definitely want to read once you read its synopsis given on the back cover of the book. It goes like this 

JFK....a dying man's last word....A plea, an accusation or a clue?

That's what the police couldn't figure out. What they did know was that they had serial murders in broad daylight, and just one suspect with little motive....Jatin F Karunamoi, the dead man's best friend. 

There's a lot more written on the back cover, but I would leave it upon you to explore it or better buy the book.

Set up in the city of Joy, Kolkata, the book opens with two murders back to back. One of an old man, named Ram Prasad Sharma and other person is Jatin's best friend Manish. Before Manish dies, he calls up Jatin to tell him these three letters, JFK and thats how the plot unfolds in the book. More characters get involved, Montu, Jatin's and Manish's common friend, Preeti, Inspector Dutt, Raju Singh, Mohan Singh, Tarun Basu and many more. All of them with their clear roles in the plot. Jhangir Kerawala has ensured that the books doesn't confuse the reader at any point and this is what makes this book a fast paced thriller.

Considering, JFK is Jhangir Kerawala's debut book, I must say, he has done a good job. He has successfully managed to pen down an absolute page turner that will keep you hooked till the end. The book is divided into two parts, 31 chapters and has 225 pages. Its a joint imprint of Westland Books and Grey Oak India. If you are looking for a something that keeps you hooked for constant 5-6 hours, then this is the book for you. Pick it up. You'd surely enjoy it.  

Book Source : Westland Books
Review asked by Westland Books
ISBN : 978-93-81626-73-3
Genre : Thriller

Malice - Danielle Steel

Image Source:

MALICE: General Fiction. Contemporary Fiction.

AUTHOR: Danielle Steel is an American novelist, currently the bestselling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold. (From Wikipedia)

Image Source:
BEST - SELLER(S): Over 87 written Fiction works including Wanderlust, Matters of Heart and Southern Lights. She also has non-fiction on her name as well as children and picture books. Movie adaptions of her works have also been made. (Click on the links above to read the reviews on ALOP)

SYNOPSIS (From the Back Cover):

One extraordinary woman's struggle to triumph over malice and betrayal.

On the night of her mother's funeral, Grace Adams is attacked. A young woman with secrets too horrible to tell, Grace will not reveal the truth about what happened. After a life time of being a victim, she must now pay the price for other people's sins.

From a small town in Illinois to the depths of women's prison; from a Chicago modelling agency to a challenging career in New York, Grace carries her past with her wherever she goes. When Grace meets Charles Mackenzie, she finds a man who wants nothing from her  - except to heal her and to give her the family she so desperately wants. But with happiness finally within her grasp, Grace is her most vulnerable - in danger of losing everything to an enemy from her past, an enemy bent on malice...

Don't get smart with me, you little bitch. I can do anything I want with you. And don't you forget it.
But the way he said it made something snap deep inside her, and she took a step closer to him, and put her face close to his  with a look of fury.
I shot the last man who said that to me, and tried to act on it. And don't you forget that, Mr. Marquez. Are we clear now?
MSM Speaks (#Spoiler Alert): Before anyone says anything, let me tell you, this is my first Danielle Steel novel ever. I  have heard that Ms. Steel is known for her romantic, tragic and thrilling tales involving protagonists who have had hard lives and I wasn't sure if I would appreciate the feelings portrayed by them. Therefore, when a lady I admire handed me this as a tester, I couldn't say no. I have to admit, I finished this in almost a day and a half. There was a resistant pull towards the story of Grace Adams, which I could not ignore. I might read other works by Danielle, but I would rather wait, till I get this out of my system.

The story follows the life of a seventeen year old Grace Adams, who loses her mother due to cancer and has a legend of a father, loved by the entire community of Watseka. A renowned lawyer with immense love for the people, he is the epitome of goodness and integrity. On the night of her mother's funeral, Grace is attacked and raped in the most bestial fashion, leading her to commit a murder which was far from intended. However, Grace is blamed for her own plight, with no one standing up for her. She is incarcerated for manslaughter and is given a two-year term in Dwight. Grace learns that no one is her friend or her confidante and she would eventually die if she doesn't learn to fight and survive.

Having gone through a life of unexpected, Grace starts a new life with a modelling agency and sees the ugly truth about the glamour world as well. She is beautiful and wise beyond her years and her demeanor becomes a bane for her existence. Always maintaining a cool distant relationship with everyone, Grace finds herself falling for Marcus, a fashion photographer, but when it comes to intimacy, he betrays Grace magnanimously. Broken and scarred, Grace runs away to New York and starts a new life at a Law Firm. She is 22 now and much to her surprise, enters a life which she wouldn't have even dreamed of. The story takes a dream like quality which I really appreciated since I was tired and depressed of Grace's tragedies. They were heart wrenching and I just wanted them to end. Grace is married to Charles Mackenzie and has three beautiful kids, which makes her wonder whether what happened with her ever happened.

Eventually, Murphy's Law strikes again and she finds herself standing face to face with the demons of her past. But now, she has changed and Grace isn't scared to pay back the malice, with malice.

I am not into sappy romances, and very much to my relief, this wasn't one at all. Malice shows the ugly truth that women in the society have to face, and we'd rather consider ourselves lucky if we haven't been touched by those truths. To find a man that understanding, Grace's Charles was out of a story book - which did seem exaggerated or may be, it was how age affected thoughts. The characters were well developed and the insecurities of a teenager to that of a woman, were portrayed impeccably. MSM Recommends.

My Rating: 4/5

Malice @Corgi Books Transworld Publishers (A Random House Group Company) (c) 1996
ISBN No. 9780552141314

flipkart price: 399/-INR
No. of pages: 448

Friday, October 19, 2012

Frivolous Fridays : The Five Find-Outers and Dog


CREATED BY : Enid Blyton

FIRST SEEN AT : The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage

1. Frederick Algernon Trotteville a.k.a Fatty
2. Philip Hilton a.k.a Pip
3. Elizabeth Hilton a.k.a Bets
4. Laurence Daykin a.k.a Larry
5. Daisy Daykin
and, Buster (the dog)

Remember your childhood?? Before you solved crime with The Hardy Boys or dated Nancy Drew? Remember the time when holidays meant picking up Enid Blyton?

If not for Enid Blyton, I shudder to think of my fate. Enid Blyton gave me joy like no one else when I was growing up. Even the regular dose of Shaktimaan and Power Rangers couldn't satisfy my childhood urge for more and more fun. The Secret Seven were good, The Famous Five were better, but The Five Find-Outers were the creme-de-la-creme.

If you've missed out on this series, I honestly feel sad for you. For those of you, who has spent time with these guys in the village of Peterswood, lets bring back some old wonderful memories.

Frederick, affectionately nicknamed Fatty is the leader of the Five. He's amazing. For a growing up 10 year old me, 15 years ago, he was my hero. Although I resembled the lanky Larry, Fatty was the one I adored. I laughed at his antics, at his ridiculous ventriloquism, at his funny disguises, I always knew that Fatty would save the day.

Don't remember much about Larry and Daisy although I can say that Daisy was the one who came up with the name of the gang. Larry is her elder brother and he was the original leader until Fatty came along. The childlike banter between Larry and Fatty was fun. Poor Larry often ended up being second best.

Philip and Bets are siblings as well. Bets is the youngest of the lot and she simply adores Fatty. And she's always the one who finds the clue when everyone misses out. (although half the time its by accident). Bets is just like my younger sister, although that was more than a few years ago when she was still sweet. My sister I mean. I remember Pip and Elizabeth's parents being very strict. Whereas Fatty's mom was the kindest. 

Now Buster!! Buster has to be the best Scottish Terrier ever! Incredibly smart and loyal, he's the darling of the gang.

Oh how...oh how...could I forget Mr. Goon???? Hahahahaha....the local policeman!!! *laughs for a few more minutes*

Gosh, I can still picture him shouting "CLEAR ORF" .....hahahaha... Fatty and Co. used to make his life a living hell. Poor guy never did get a promotion. How could he, when every single time the Five Find-Outers solved the case before he did. And not to forget Buster attacking his ankles and Mr. Goon's favorite word "GAH". hahahaha. Gosh, I miss these guys.

If you've never read these guys, if you've missed out on them, stop what you're doing right now. Take your mind back to your childhood and read them. You'll want to stay a kid forever.

If your childhood had Harry Potter but not Enid Blyton, you don't know what you missed.

Pradhamadrishtya-Malayalam Crime Thriller: Update

I'm really glad to share the latest update of the upcoming Thriller , 'Pradhamdrishtya' here.The latest teasers of...