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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Classic Tales from Mystic India by Kamla K. Kapur


It has been quite some time since we have received this book for reviewing from Jaico Publishers.

Like all the other books from Jaico Publishers, this also was sent by Marina. Thank you, Marina.

To browse the various other books sent by Jaico Publishers, click here: BR with Jaico

Note: This was originally named 'Ganesha Goes to Lunch', which was later renamed as 'Classic Tales from Mystic India'.

Blurb (from the jacket):
King Kubera was the greediest man in the world. Hated and feared by many, he schemed to win the love of the beautiful goddess Parvati . . . but learned an important lesson when he invited her elephant-headed son Ganesha over for lunch one day . . .

Thus goes one of the many delightful tales in this decidedly grown-up book of traditional Indian stories, retold for the modern reader. Author Kamla Kapur is well known in her native India as a poet and playwright, and her connection to these age-old stories is the reverent yet individualistic one we might expect from someone whose introduction tells of her hometown, where naked, dreadlocked holy men speed about on motorbikes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


I use Grammarly's plagiarism checker because it helps me find glitches in the prose and is way better than many other copy-cat applications.

It is this new-found tang for Graphic Novels that brought this book to me. Also, it is Srinivas - the other author of this blog - that introduced this book to me.

He kept ranting about this book for so long and at the end, I was adamant to read this. What started as a fleeting glance into the book carried to over 75 pages and I took a few more leaps to complete reading the novel.

I am still skeptical about how many stars to give this book. Maybe, I will decide before I reach the end of this review.

Blurb (from the jacket):
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Performance Anomalies by Victor Robert Lee


This is one of those very few books I have received through GoodReads First Reads Program. You know how difficult it is. There are thousands of members participating in each giveaway and there are very few copies to win. Almost all the times, I was one who was most likely to win. Well, I guess it is the same with you, too, if you have participated in any of those GoodReads giveaways.

However, I won this book, which was exclusively for Indians and I remember that there were as many copies as there were participants. Otherwise, how in the name of God did I even win this!

In that, a hard-cover! Big deal!

Blurb (from GoodReads):
Victor Robert Lee’s provocative debut spy thriller PERFORMANCE ANOMALIES introduces a protagonist to rival the most memorable espionage heroes. Cono is a startling young man of mixed and haunting heritage who has been gifted – or cursed – with an accelerated nervous system. An orphan from the streets of Brazil, he acts as a freelance spy, happy to use his strange talents in the service of dubious organizations and governments – until, in Kazakhstan, on a personal mission to rescue a former lover, he is sucked into a deadly maelstrom of betrayal that forces him to question all notions of friendship and allegiance. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Anthem by Ayn Rand


This is one of those books which we haven't received for reviewing. Of course, we are just too small-time, to receive an Ayn Rand's book for reviewing. In fact, I don't see any need why her books would need ratings, reviews or publicity. People who are familiar with Ayn Rand's writing will read them anyway and others will read them, too, for the mere brilliance of her work!

Basically, this is my first exposure to Ayn Rand's work, her philosophy, objectivism, her followership. Never in my wildest dream did I think that Ayn Rand was such massive figure in the field of literature and philosophy. In fact, it was a shocker to know the various organizations named after her and built on the basic foundation of her philosophy - objectivism.

The very basic reason I picked up this book is by its slender thickness. It is seldom 105 pages, which includes 16 pages of 'Introduction'. Perhaps, I believe, this book is the thinnest book written by Ayn Rand. Well, I was being satiric, about her other humongous books - Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

The other reason behind picking up this book is its Dystopian plot. Every since I read, Fahrenheit 451, I developed this strange tang to read more of Dystopian novels. In fact, there were many similarities that are clearly shared between these two novels, apart from their slenderness.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Horseshoe Garage by Hitesha Deshpande


Lately, Leadstart Publishers have been in a full-swing. The market is like flooded with a ton of their books. Especially from their self-publishing imprint, Frog Books.

However, this book is printed under the imprint, Jufic Books, which primarily concentrates on Thrillers and Urban Fictions. To know more about Leadstart Publishers, click here...

The present book in discussion is one of the four book sent by Parag Mayekar. The other three are:
After reading all the four books and weighing them, I think Arjuna is the best, so far.

Blurb (from the jacket):

Though he has gotten used to his salary and his job at Grant Motors, Sarvesh still finds himself waking up in the middle of the night, his heart pounding with the excitement of a Neo-Racing dream. The technologically advanced cars and the smell of the burnt rubber of the tyres haunt him all the time. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Shadow Throne by Aroon Raman


It was well before now, when this book had just got published, when this blog was nonexistent, when I was pretty new to reading and I was roving around asking people for recommendations but only Indian. I had this special tang for Indian authors back then. Even now, for that matter. The stories they narrate could be related to and the feeling own-ness will never leave while reading.

That is when Vinit K. Bansal (author of I'm Heartless) recommended me two books - The Cavansite Conspiracy and The Shadow Throne (this one). Both were thrillers and by Indian authors. I got my hands on the former one and read it. I pretty much liked it. Though, I consider it an average book to the present standard. It was  pretty intriguing for a noob like me back then.

But then, I never got a chance to get this book. Though I have been coming across this book more than once, on various online-selling portals in their page of "Best Sellers", I didn't quite paid much heed. Until the author himself has contacted me recently.

I got a message on GoodReads from the author, Aroon Raman, asking to review his book. As I wanted to read that book for a long time, I immediately accepted to review his book.

Blurb (from the jacket):
India faces nuclear armageddon...

A mysterious murder at the Qutub Minar triggers a call to ace journalist Chandrasekhar from his cop acquaintance, Inspector Syed Ali Hassan. The victim is unlike anyone Chandra has ever seen: a white Caucasian male who has all the looks of a throwback to Greek antiquity. Soon after, Hassan calls in to report the case has been taken away from him – in all likelihood by RAW – the Research & Analysis Wing, the uber-agency of Indian intelligence.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When You Became My Life by Anshul Sharma


Like various other books from Srishti Publishers, I received this book also from Arup Bose (of Srishti Publishers).

The various other books received from Srishti Publishers: BR with Srishti...

Blurb (from the jacket):
Neevs life is marked with castastrophes after losing his parents and almost everything he owned, he finds refuge with his friend Aadi in Agra. Living with an old friend in a new house, busy with a new job in a new environment revives him, somewhat. 

And then, life happens. As he bumps into love and tries to keep running away from it, love follows him as Aashi a small-town girl with larger than life aspirations and a novel dream. Neev sets out to fulfil her dream but he has to pay a coast for it. Either love or life. What will he choose to let go? 

When You Became My Life is a story spun by destiny. It is a story of a young boy who takes it upon himself to defeat all odds and be one with love.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli


This is the first Graphic Novel I have ever read. Yeah, believe me, I never even read comics for that matter.

It is Srinivas, the other author of this blog, who developed a keen interest in graphic novels lately. In fact, it is he who first made me aware that there exists something like Graphic novels. Of course, I knew Batman, Superman, et al, but they are comics.

At first, I had difficulty understanding difference between a Graphic Novel and a Comic. It is Srinivas who made understand and it was simple.

Well now, after reading the book, I must say that it was a very unique experience. The experience was nothing like reading a book. Neither was it like watching a movie. It was more like watching a cartoon-movie on mute, with subtitles. No music, no background score, but the emotions are delivered with equal measure.

The triumphant return of one of comics’ greatest talents, with an engrossing story of one man’s search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. An epic story long awaited, and well worth the wait. 

Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about? 

The Edge Of Desire by Tuhin A. Sinha


I have won this book in one of the author interviews by Subhasis Das. Tuhin Sinha, himself, had sent this to me via a online shopping portal.

I have received this book a long while ago. But due to some misunderstanding, the reviewing of this book was delayed.

However, now, after reading the book, I regret stalling reading this for so long!

To view the other books received through Subhasis Das, click here: BR with Subho...

To the author's interview taken place on Facebook, click here: Tuhin Sinha @Subhounplugged

Blurb (back-cover):
Can a woman's humiliation change the destiny of a nation? It did in the Mahabharata. And it does, once again, in the lawless Bihar of the 1990s...

When journalist Shruti Ranjan, newly-wed wife of the Deputy Commissioner of Kishanganj in the lawless Bihar of the 1990s, is brutally raped by a ‘politically sheltered local goon’ all of her attempts at getting justice are crushed by a corrupt and complicit state government. That’s when the charismatic Sharad Malviya, a leading member of the Opposition party, offers her an unlikely solution: his party’s ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Where The Rainbow Ends by Anurag Anand


Like various books from Srishti Publishers, this book also was sent by Arup Bose.

You can check out the other books from Srishti Publishers here: Books from Srishti...

This is one of the four other books sent by Arup. And this one has the second best cover design from among the four, which is the reason I have read this second, after The Storm in My Mind by Ayaan Basu.

Blurb (from back-cover):

Even the most artistic of imaginings can sometimes seem callow in the face of truth. That which appears may not be and that which lies hidden might just be the stark, naked face of reality.

Rahul had everything going his way – a soaring career, a happy family and all else a man his age could yearn for. And then suddenly his life began to crumble all around him, disintegrating element after precious element, leaving him to watch in helpless horror.

Where had he gone wrong? Was there still hope for redemption, even a solitary ray that he could cling on to?

Avantika, a pretty, vivacious girl who had come into Rahul’s life by pure accident, literally, has suddenly gone missing. Just like that, without as much as a trace.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Baramulla Bomber by Clark Prasad


There are lot of trilogies coming these day, aren't they? It was Shiva Trilogy and now Swastik trilogy. The only trait they share is that while the former has a great tinge of mythology to it, the predecessor is multi-faceted, including 'Mythology'.

Before I got this book for reviewing, there was lot of talk about this book that was going around. I thought it was just not over-rated book. Come on, too much talk gives that impression to me. But then, after reading the book, I take all those words back.

"Science Fiction Espionage Thriller". Well, that is pretty new for me in Indian writing. I had very high hopes when I open the cover and started the book...

Plot (from the jacket):

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri


Like Fahrenheit 451 I have read this book to get a break of the whole lot of books I have been receiving for reviewing. This is a new development in me. I stopped accepting new books for reviewing and started to read a random (non-tbr) book for every 3 tbr books I read. Well, Ray Bradbury's magic did this to me.

Why Lowland?
  • Well, I have heard so many good things about Jhumpa Lahiri from Srinivas, the other author of this blog.
  • Because it was a gift from a friend.
  • Because it was Shortlisted for Man Booker this year.
  • Because I was hoping that this book wins Booker this year, which would make Jhumpa Lahiri the first person to win both Pulitzer Prize and Man Booker Prize.
  • Most importantly, because it was hardbound!!!

Plot( from GoodReads):

Two brothers bound by tragedy; a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past; a country torn by revolution. A powerful new novel-set in both India and America-that explores the price of idealism and a love that can last long past death.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby


Long back, probably about 4 years ago, when I first saw Into The Wild movie, I instantly became its fan. Soon after I read the book. After which my life took an entire 'U-Turn'. It was a new me. Everything, even my perspective had undergone a makeover.

That is when I was searching like movies of Into The Wild. That is when I stumbled upon a French movie, titled 'The Diving Bell And The Butterfly'. The title made little sense. The connection between the two things mentioned in the title made even littler sense. Must have been something poetic, I thought.

Actually I was entirely not aware of the face that the movie was in French. Of course, I know that it is a French movie, but the title of the movie I downloaded was in English, so I thought it to be in English. I carried on watching the movie half-hearted, but at the end, I thanked my stars for not overlooking the movie, for not deleting it when I learnt that it was not in English.

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