Monday, June 30, 2014

New Releases #2: The Harbinger: Patchwork Launch

On 29th June 2014, Neerja Gaurie’s "The Harbinger: Patchwork" published by Leadstart Publishing was launched. Here is the post release and photographs of the of the event.


 The Harbinger: Patchwork Launch
~ A grand evening with Rochelle Maria Rao at Oxford Bookstore ~

Mumbai, 29th June, 2014: Leadstart Publishing and Oxford Bookstore hosted the book launch of Author, Neerja Gaurie’s The Harbinger: Patchwork on 29th June, 2014 at 6.30 pm. It was an enthralling evening at the Churchgate Oxford Bookstore where the book was released by 2012’s Miss Femina Miss India International, Rochelle Maria Rao.

 

It was a great evening as Neerja Gaurie, Author of The Harbinger: Patchwork and Rochelle Maria Rao unveiled the book and read excerpts from it. Rochelle, being an avid reader, spoke about how gripping the book was that keeping it down was out of the question. Neerja spoke about how the book is for all women going through turbulent times and finding themselves is the key to having that balance.

The event ended with a vote of thanks to all those that graced themselves for the event. An entree of food and beverages were served to everyone at the bookstore.

Mr. Swarup Nanda, CEO of Leadstart Publishing said “Neerja Gaurie is an outstanding author who brings out passion and emotion in her writing. We at Leadstart Publishing are humbled to have such talents in our midst. We sincerely thank Rochelle Maria Rao for willing to take out time to be with us for The Harbinger: Patchwork Book Launch”.

 
About the Neerja Gaurie:
The author was educated at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, in the discipline of Foreign Languages and later qualified with masters in History. She has been an educator for over 33 years with a stint as Principal of an Institution in the South. Apart from academics she has dabbled some on stage and is a voracious reader and movie buff. She lives in a little village of Dehradun, India, and leaves it sometimes to be with her two grown up sons and daughter-in-law. Writing is a passion she hopes will remain kindled. She is currently visiting faculty for French and History.

About The Harbinger: Patchwork
A solitary woman (milieu 21st century India … an educated, trendy, modern and apparently free spirited one at that) describes her passage through life by jottings that reflect her moods … travails and happy moments, intricately woven that emerge as 'patchwork'. A story unravels with a day to day account of life managed and lived while she goes through a tumultuous divorce proceeding. The setting is in sylvan and pristine, forested and mountainous surroundings, a solitary figure leading a soulful solitary life. This could be the story of any woman anywhere.


About Leadstart Publishing
Leadstart Publishing is a leading publishing house from India. It is both creative and progressive in its vision and publishing focii. The Leadstart Lists feature distinguished authors and writing from across the globe. Today, Leadstart Publishing has 10 brands and publishes over 200 titles a year, with imprints and products in all major book categories. Leadstart is also India’s largest book distribution network, with a retail distribution spread of over 100 cities, almost four times the size of its closest competitor. Leadstart Publishing has been termed ‘the fastest-growing book publishing company in India today,’ by The Week magazine. Leadstart has offices in India and the US and operates around the world in association with global partners.


About Oxford Bookstores
Established in 1919 Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped 'base-camp' for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century. Today, with more than 30 stores in India, India’s first dedicated Children’s bookstore, Oxford Junior, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word. 
 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review #10: The Unwanted Shadow

Name: The Unwanted Shadow
Author: Bhaskaryya Deka
No. of Pages: 166
Genre: Thriller/Fiction
Publisher: Half Baked Beans Publishing
Price: Rs. 175/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
​Mohan, a small town boy, is nothing but hopeful when he moves to Delhi to complete his education. After all, this is what he had always planned to do, to take a leap towards his big dreams. And for once he finds his new life to be absolutely lovely, like he has often pictured it would be.

But this good phase doesn't last long. His life is soon shattered to pieces when his first relationship meets a tragic end. A sadness like he had never known before overwhelms him, keeping him wide awake at nights. But it is just the beginning, beginning to a terrible chain of events that would lead him to a deadly confrontation with his own dark past.

Will Mohan be able to overcome this darkness? Will he ever get solace? Or will his innocence be lost in the intense color of blood?

About the author:
Bhaskaryya grew up in Mangaldai, Assam, and then moved briefly to Visakhapatnam to complete his schooling. Now, he lives in Dhanbad, pursuing B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering at Indian School of Mines. He is an avid reader, with particular interest in Literary Fiction. He also maintains two blogs where he posts book reviews, poems, humorous articles and random thoughts that cross his mind. When he is not writing, he likes to spend his time listening to music, hanging out with friends, and travelling.

Personalized copy of the book :)
WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cover: The cover of the book shows the back of a man whose reflection is a hooded man. It is a clean cover.

Writing: The author writes in a simple language and the story runs fast.

Story:
The protagonist leaves his native place in Assam after he passes his XIIth boards and arrives in Delhi with dreams in his eyes. He achieves whatever he dreamed of. But his life changes course drastically when his newly wedded wife is found murdered brutally and he could not remember anything about it.

The book was a quick read. I read a hundred pages straight when I started to read. If I didn't have other tasks at hand, I could have finished it in one go. Nowhere in the book I felt bored. The story did not drag anywhere. The author had the storyline clear in his head and he kept it straight and crisp. The story has drama, crime, romance and thrill in the right quantities. In short, the book is a good and enjoyable read. You can surely give it a try.

I give the "The Unwanted Shadow" 4 stars on a scale of 5.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WWW Wednesday #13 (25th June 2014)

Hello folks! It is WWW Wednesday time once more. Hope you had a good reading week.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly reading event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, you just have to answer the following three (3) questions…
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?
My answers to the above questions are:

What are you currently reading? I am reading "The Unwanted Shadow" by Bhaskaryya Deka. It is sent by the author himself for a review. I am enjoying the book and I am likely t finish it today.

What did you recently finish reading? I last finished reading is "Slow" by Digonto Bordoloi. This book was sent by the publisher BecomeShakespeare.com. You can read my review at Book Review #9: Slow.

What do you think you'll read next? A couple of days back I received two new titles from Leadstart Publishing, "Unsung Songs" by Khushi Jivan and "Metamorphing" by Kunal Pancholi. So I shall be taking them up next.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

See you again on a Wednesday. Till then Happy Reading!

I would appreciate if you would spare a moment to rate my blog by clicking on the tab on the top of the sidebar. Thanks!
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review #9: Slow

Name: Slow
Author: Digonto Bordoloi
No. of Pages: 302
Genre: Fiction
Price: Rs. 250/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says: 
Baba is born in a remote corner of India, sheltered from modern development. His father's job takes the family from town to town, and with each move, Baba comes to terms with his new life.He spends an idyllic childhood doing things at his own pace, bending the rules whenever he can.... And then the unthinkable happens. Slow is the story of a boy who preferred to walk, when the world around him was gearing up to run.

FourWord Clarion Reviews (USA) "Slow is a luxuriously sensual and provocative journey through life and death that examines the beauty and irony in the world around us."

Kirkus Review (USA) "Bordoloi's debut novel offers a picturesque journey through contemporary India with a splash of Mad Men style."

About the author:
Digonta Bordoloi was born and raised in the North East of India. In his early twenties, career dreams took him first to Delhi, then to Mumbai where he spent over a decade in high-level advertising. Escaping the corporate world, he landed up in Africa. After a year in Uganda, Digonta spent some time in Swaziland and Zanzibar, Tanzania, where he started writing this, his first novel. Digonta lives with his wife Susie. They call Australia and India home.

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
 
Cover: The cover of the book shows the back of a young boy looking towards two destinations, a fast-paced city and the slow-paced hills. 

Writing: The author writes in a lucid manner yet entertaining manner. I wished the author gave the english translation of all the Assamese words he used. Then I found a slight inconsistency as to how Probin mama (maternal uncle) in page 96 became Probin khura (paternal uncle) in page 102.

Story:
The story starts in northeast India. So I could totally relate to the locations and characters. The story starts with the birth of the protagonist Baba. From the time of his birth Baba is a slow child. He takes his own sweet time eat, in learning to walk, speak and gain pace with the world. The author writes about Baba's life as a young child growing into a gawky teenager as he moves from town to town as his father gets transferred. The book is a delight till exactly the midway. Then author goes haywire with the story. 

At precisely halfway of the book, the author kills Baba at the young age of fifteen. Sorry for revealing this but it is kind of important. And then takes his soul nineteen years fast forward, where Baba (in soul form)  travels from place to place to see what's going on in his family's lives and his childhood friend's life. I did not understand at all where the author wanted to take the story. 

The cover made me think that the protagonist grows up slow-pacedly and would get thrown into a fast life. And how he deals with it. And the story did go in that direction till Baba's death. So now it seems the cover is portraying the traveling of Baba's soul to and fro between his family's residence in Assam and his friend's place in Mumbai. From being slow in life, his soul can travel fast from place to place.

As much as I enjoyed the first half of the book, the second half was a torture. It is a downhill after Baba's death.  Towards the end, I skipped several pages to get to the end. 

I give the "Slow" 2.5 stars on a scale of 5.  

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WWW Wednesday #12 (18th June 2014)

Hello bibliophiles! It is WWW Wednesday time once more. Hope you had a good reading week.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly reading event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, you just have to answer the following three (3) questions…

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
 My answers to the above questions are:
What are you currently reading? I am reading "Slow" by Digonto Bordoloi. Slow is the story of a boy who preferred to walk, when the world around him was gearing up to run. The publisher BecomeShakespeare.com sent me this book for review.

What did you recently finish reading? I last finished reading is "Living To Be A Hundred" by Meera Shashidhara. This book was sent by the publisher Leadstart Publishing. You can read my review at
Book Review #8: Living To Be A Hundred.

What do you think you'll read next? Next I am going to read "The Unwanted Shadow" by Bhaskaryya Deka. It is sent by the author himself for a review.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

See you again on a Wednesday. Till then Happy Reading!


I would appreciate if you would spare a moment to rate my blog by clicking on the tab on the top of the sidebar. Thanks!
 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review #8: Living To Be A Hundred

Name: Living To Be A Hundred
Author: Meera Shashidhara
No. of Pages: 230
Genre: Non-Fiction/Social Biography
Publisher: Platinum Press (An imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
Price: Rs. 195/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says: 
IF THERE IS ONE BOOK WHICH SPANS GENERATIONS WITH THE COMMON THREAD OF COLLECTIVE WISDOM, IT IS THIS ONE. Nineteen centenarians from different countries and a cross-section of society, share their memoirs, intertwined with the history of their century, as they experienced it. They were ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives. In these pages, they share their values, beliefs, habits, attitudes and lessons learnt from living to be a hundred. Most important of all, they tell us how to harmonise science and soul. They were around from the rustic horse and buggy age to the sequencing of the human genome. They witnessed the Big Bands performing, the railroads being constructed, and Gandhijis non-violent movement against the British. They have had personal experiences of the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Japanese invasion of China, Indias freedom struggle, and apartheid. They have lost children to war and poverty. So what inspired them and kept them Spirited? What did they learn from history? How did they find the strength and the will to keep going in times of despair? Is there hope in the 21st century for all of us to achieve more fulfilling lives? In their diverse narratives, they offer us a common and real hope for health, longevity and a saner world-based on our own humanity.

About the author:
Meera Shashidhara was born and raised in Bangalore, India. In 1991, she immigrated to the US, where she did an MBA and worked in California, for over six years. She took a break from work when her second child was born. Though her career has been in Finance, Meera has always had a keen interest in human behavior. She is also deeply interested in nature and conservation, and is a qualified Naturalist. Meera lives in Bangalore with her family. She can be reached at: meera_shashidhara@yahoo.com.

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE BOOK:
I liked the book's cover, simple and sober. Reflecting the book's theme and title, the cover depicts a full-grown tree.

The book has been divided into two parts. Part I narrates the stories of the nineteen people who have crossed their 100th year. Nineteen chapters covers nineteen stories in this part and the narration is kept primarily in the first person. Each chapter follows a standard format of the person's story of life, followed by answers to questions about his/her diet, routine, food habits, hobbies and so on. Part II summarises their opinions on various topics like home, love, death, environment, internet, God and religion. Each of the topic forms a chapter.

It was really nice and interesting to know about nineteen lives who have watched, witnesses and lived a whole century. It was inspiring to learn how they never lost their zeal for life and are so zestful even after their 100th birthdays. Each of their life is a unique story.

The book is the fruit of hard work of the author, no doubt. It is not a easy job to locate, meet and interview centenarians from different parts of the world. But somehow I felt the book lacked the zing, at least for me. I am not able to put my finger on the exact thing but I felt the book could have come out in a better form. May be in the way the interviews have been summarized or may be the author could have put down the stories in the third person.

Further the book was supposed to be published in 2004, that is a decade back. But it did not work out somehow. As a reader, I am left wondering what happened to those nineteen centenarians! I think something more about them after the interview and during the last decade could have been really great. Nonetheless, it is a great effort and a laudable piece of work.

I give the "Living To Be A Hundred" 3.5 stars on a scale of 5.

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