Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review #23: Unravelling Anjali


Name: Unravelling Anjali
Author: Nim Gholkar
No. of Pages: 357
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: BecomeShakespeare.com
Price: Rs. 299/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
1998 Australia. Anjali Jathar is looking forward to life as an immigrant bride following her arranged marriage to ambitious divorcee Ravi. Settling in, she explores not just a new culture but also her new found freedom. But life is less than perfect. Ravi’s constant travel and preoccupation with work leave Anjali feeling increasingly unloved and lonely.

Enter Jake Ellis. Charmed by Anjali’s exoticism, he finds himself gradually falling in love with her. And so begins an emotionally intoxicating roller-coaster ride.
‘Unravelling Anjali’ is a cross cultural tale delving into love, lust and relationships. What happens if a woman meets her soul mate after marriage…and it’s not her husband?

A riveting read, ‘Unravelling Anjali’ is a vivid portrayal of commitment, betrayal and the struggle to find one’s identity in a foreign land.


About the author:
Nim Gholkar was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She graduated in English Literature from University of Bombay, Mumbai before moving to Australia in 1996. Her blog Nim s Niche is a kaleidoscope of musings on life and its many reflections. She loves traveling, reading, playing badminton and singing karaoke. Unravelling Anjali is her debut novel. Nim lives in Sydney with her husband, three children and a lovable Rhodesian Ridgeback called Cody.

To know more about Nim, visit: 
Website: www.nimsniche.co.au
Facebook page: Nim Gholkar
Twitter: @NGholkar
Email: nim@nimsniche.co.au

MY THOUGHTS:
Cover: The cover is bright and eye-catching in orange showing the back of a girl. The back is made up of puzzle pieces which are yet to be put in place.

Writing: The narrative is in the form of a diary of the protagonist. Anjali.

Story: The plot is not really complicated but straight and credible. An Indian bride, Anjali, married to a divorced NRI, Ravi arrives in Australia with hopes and dreams of love and excitement. But she finds that her husband is an authoritarian workaholic and spends most of his traveling and working. His Indian friends become Anjali’s friends too. Unexpectedly, Ravi’s ex-Australian wife Anne also becomes good friends with Anjali. The book is about Anjali’s journey of how she sorts herself out in a new land.

The plot is familiar but fresh. The characters pulled out from real life, the story can be true as well. I enjoyed the book and nowhere did I feel any portion had been over or underdone. In short, a good book.

I give "Unravelling Anjali" 4 stars on a scale of 5.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review #22: God Is a Gamer


Name: God Is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
No. of Pages: 310
Genre: Thriller Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
Price: Rs. 299/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CROSS GAMER, BANKER, POLITICIAN AND TERRORIST WITH VIRTUAL MONEY?

From the bestselling author of ‘If God Was a Banker’ comes the first ever bitcon thriller. ‘God Is a Gamer’ is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains. Predators are prey, assassination is taught by ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Moving from Washington’s Congress to Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian’s most gripping novel yet.

‘Banker by day, writer by night’—FORBES

‘Impressive entertainment value’—TIME OUT

About the author:
Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. It is but natural that his stories are set against the backdrop of the financial services industry. In 2008, his debut novel, If God Was a Banker, won the Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award. He won the Economist Crossword Book Award in 2012 for The Incredible Banker and the Crossword Book Award in 2013 for The Bankster. His most recent novel is Bankrupt. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini, and daughter, Anusha.

To know more about Ravi visit www.ravisubramanian.in or email him at info@ravisubramanian.in. To connect with him, log on to Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorravisubramanian or tweet to @subramanianravi.

MY THOUGHTS:
Cover: The cover is quite appealing with the title embossed in bold gold letters. Like his earlier books, the covers shows the silhouette of a man. This time he is standing and looking at the White House.

Writing: The writing is crisp engaging. Chapters are short and ranges from 2 to 4 pages.

Story: The plot is set against the banking industry. A senator, who is a close aide of the President of USA, is assassinated. A planned ATM heist loots millions from NYIB (a MNC bank) by making unauthorized transactions across Washington. Both events send the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai. Aditya and Sundeep run a banking services outsourcing company  and gaming company that is struggling to break even.  Swami, the head of NYIB’s retail business, is upset with the ongoing internal state of affairs; while NYIB’s CEO slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. Enter Varun, part-time drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. The beautiful Tanya falls for Varun. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions.

The author has brought together things from the present world: facebook, online games, virtual money, cyber crime, plastic money and so on. So it was interesting to know how things work in these aspects.

Although I started reading the book in snippets, it was actually a single day I took to complete it. It is an engrossing read and did not lag at any point of time. I felt as if I were reading the work of an international thriller writer. I only wish that the motive of the actions was more solid and credible.

I give "God Is a Gamer" 4 stars on a scale of 5.

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


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review #21: 7 Secrets of The Goddess

Name: 7 Secrets of The Goddess
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
No. of Pages:259
Genre: Mythology
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
Price: Rs. 395/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
As nature, she is mother
As culture, she is daughter
Creator of humanity
She is wealth, power, language
Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati
She is Devi
Answer to that masculine anxiety
Which keeps resisting enquiry

Locked in her stories, symbols and rituals are the secrets of our ancestors. This book attempts to unlock seven.

About the author:
Devdutt Patanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion. He writes and lectures extensively on the relevance of stories, symbols and ritiuls in modern life. He has written over twenty-five books which include 7 Secrets of Hindu Calender Art (Westland), 7 Secrets of Shiva (Westland) and 7 Secrets of Vishnu (Westland).

To know more visit devdutt.com

MY THOUGHTS:
Cover: The cover is an illustration of Balambika, who is said to be the daughter of humanity.

Writing: The writing is crisp and to the point. There is no unnecessary narration. The language is simple and easy to understand.

Story:The author has elaborated and explained the history and symbolic meaning of seven goddesses in mythology.
  1. Gaia -- Male anxiety is outdated
  2. Kali -- Nature is indifferent to human gaze
  3. Gauri -- Culture is dependent on human gaze
  4. Durga -- Everyone lives on the edge of fear
  5. Lakshmi -- Wealth can liberate
  6. Saraswati -- Imagination can expand or contract the mind
  7. Vitthai. -- Affection dissolves boundaries
Every even page contains illustrations and photographs while the odd pages goes on with the written content. Although the author has mainly focused on the hindu goddesses, he has also encompassed the some prominent mythological goddesses from other faiths and other parts of the world.

The book has helped me understand the society as it is today. The various customs, restrictions on women, women code of conduct, societal norms and prejudices. The way women are perceived and treated from time immemorial till today has been a planned and designed concept. Being an advocate of women empowerment and gender equality (sometimes termed as feminist), revelations from the book have added fuel to my thoughts.

I have earlier read Devdutt's Myth=Mithya, which I had immensely enjoyed. Mythology has always attracted my attention and being able to understand the true meaning behind these mythological characters and stories have taken my love for mythology to another level.The author's simple way explaining the hidden meaning and symbolism of mythology is appreciable.

Like the author's earlier works, this book too is engaging and interesting. I have grown up listening to the various hindu mythological gods and goddesses. So getting to know the real significance behind those stories feels liberating.

If you love demystifying symbolism, then this book is another treat for you. This book is the fourth title in the "7 Secrets" series of the author. I am now eager to lay my hands on the others too.

I give "7 Secrets of The Goddess" 5 stars on a scale of 5.

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spotlight: Beyond School by Chitra Anand

Title: Beyond School
Author: Chitra Anand
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Date: 2014
Price: Rs 124
Pages: 201
ISBN -10: 9383562404
ISBN-13: 978-9383562404

About The Book:
Beyond School centres upon the weeks leading up to 17-year-old Shail s final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure-cooker and the weight of preparing for the exams sends him fleeing rebelliously in the other direction. Along with Shail s journey from boyhood to manhood, Beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives of four main characters, seamlessly uniting the past and present of Shail, his parents-Urmila and Sushil and his mentor-Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately, incredibly human.

About the Author:
Chitra Anand was born in Mumbai. She is a postgraduate in Physics and holds an Education degree. Beyond School is her first novel inspired by her journey as an educator.

Copies Available at all online stores:
1. Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/beyond-school/p/itmdtatf8zzznnj6?pid=9789383562404&otracker=from-search&srno=t_2&query=beyond+school&ref=f8d39981-787b-40fd-bff0-79ef448c52d2

2. Amazon: http://www.amazon.in/Beyond-School-Novel-Chitra-Anand/dp/9383562404/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415559658&sr=8-1&keywords=beyond+school+by+chitra+anand

Know More Inside Stories, Connect with The Author:
Twitter: @chtranand

Read the book? Write a review on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22597940-beyond-school

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Read Review: Heaven Is For Real


Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
Paperback, 240 pages
Published in 2014 by Thomas Nelson

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Blurb:


MY THOUGHTS:
Although this book had been published few years back, I got to know about it when I watched the movie adaptation of the book earlier this year. The movie rnewed my interest in NDE (Read my post NDE-a glimpse of afterlife?) and the book found a place in my TBR.

Although the writing style was not appealing to me, the excerpts of the little boy's trip to  heaven were fascinating. I found that some minor details differed between the book and the movie, but that doesn't matter much. However, I felt some narratives of the book were unnecessary and lengthy at  places.

It is a good book on the fascinating topic. But I must confess, I liked the movie better!