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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph

Blurb (from the jacket):

Seventeen-year-old Unni Chacko has done something terrible. The only clue to his action lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen into the hands of his father Ousep, an anarchist. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, blissfully unaware that his long-suffering wife is plotting to kill him.

Set in Madras in 1990, this is a darkly comic story involving the relentless pursuit of a failed writer who has found purpose, an adolescent cartoonists dangerous interpretation of truth, the plots of a brilliant housewife, and the pure love of a twelve-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Silicon Mind by Manikarnika Lagu

Blurb (from the jacket):

The Silicon Mind is a racy sci-fi thriller involving a very sophisticated neural chip implant by a robot on a human brain. It revolves around the intertwined lives of Ray, a leading neurosurgeon, sharp and flamboyant proprietor and driving force of Chetna, India's foremost coma clinic and Dr Aman Kapoor, reputed physician and accident victim who falls into a coma. 

Aman becomes Ray's unsuspecting guinea pig- Ray and his American collaborators successfully implant a silicon chip inside Aman's brain-  true to the book's sci-fi genre, a robot does does the operation!
Aman wakes up- rejuvenated and changed forever. As Ray and his team expected, his brain has been enhanced to superlative degrees but his body suffers strange illnesses, a result of conflict between the material chip and corporeal brain.

The story is about how Aman manages to trace his bizarre bodily symptoms and sudden miraculous healing powers to his brain operation at Chetna with help from Manasi, his psychiatrist, and her journalist friend, Ishan. Ray finally buckles to emotional pressure from Manasi and his own daughter, the irrepressible Sakhi and has to undo the wrong he had done by trying to play God.

The author knows her subject well through extensive research and has written with lucidity and candour. The machinations that happen within the medical profession at various levels, the business of scientific research and discovery, Aman's highly individualistic personality, his queer experiences with patients after the implant, the growing relationship between him and Manasi- all make reading interesting.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sherlock Holmes A Death in Venice and other cases by Ted Riccardi (Jaico Sherlock Holmes Series)

Blurb (from the jacket):

After a thrilling jaunt in the Far East, Holmes and Watson return to England to address an inheritance left by one of Watson’s relatives in Cornwall, half of which is entrusted to Sherlock Holmes. 

Financially secure, the two are now free to spend as much time on Baker Street and the Continent as they please, and the duo find themselves as comfortable in Rome on the banks of the Tiber as they do on the Thames. As Holmes rationalizes and ratiocinates his way through adventure after adventure, from The Case of Two Bohemes to A Singular Event in Tranquebar, it is all in a day’s work, until clues surface that his great nemesis, Professor James Moriarty, might still be alive...

“There’s no way to dance around it: Ted Riccardi’s work is absolutely brilliant. It is as if he is channeling Conan Doyle. Once you’re a few pages into these stories, you would swear that these were newly discovered manuscripts, unearthed by Conan Doyle’s estate. I had the feeling that I had stumbled upon some pulp magazines in an alternate universe where Conan Doyle was still writing. Riccardi has it all down—the cadence, the language, everything. He doesn't try to subtly update Holmes for the modern audience, either. It is as if each and every tale was written at the turn of the century, and not the twenty-first."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bucket List of a Traveloholic by Sarika Pandit

Blurb (from the jacket):

While her B-School batch mates are busy scrambling for top jobs and grades, a restless Sarika dreams of putting on her running shoes and having all the pages of her passport stamped by the age of thirty.

What follows is a frenzied quest of not just collecting stamps but ticking off items off her ever-expanding bucket list: From learning the local language in Spain to an alcohol trail through Greece; from a tryst with Shakespeare and Jane Austen in the United Kingdom to an encounter with the Vampire in Romania; from straddling the border between two countries in the Middle East to a road trip through Morocco to the Sahara; each experience bringing her just a little closer to reaching that final destination on her passport.

A journey of falling in love with globetrotting--this one promises to be one of the best roller-coaster reading experiences you will have this year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Humanshastrra by Jatin Bharmani

Blurb (from the GoodReads):

This pocket book is an attempt to explain Nature and its creations – human beings and their actions in particular. It highlights and creates awareness among the human race to act in accordance with Nature. What kind of behavior or actions each one of us is required to follow to add meaning and success to our lives. One who reads and follows what is mentioned in this book is bound to become a good and disciplined human being.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Living to be a Hundred by Meera Shashidhara

Blurb  (from the jacket):


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 Gandhiji s non-violent movement against the British. They have had personal experiences of the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Japanese invasion of China, India s 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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

With a Pinch of Salt... by Jas Anand

Blurb (from the jacket):

There are some people who can never come straight to a point. If you ask them a simple question like what is the time? They would probably reply, Time! This is the most horrible time of my life. My father is not sending me more money, I cant understand any damn thing in the lectures, no girl ever seems to be interested in me and the hostel food is pathetic. It is the worst time of my life.

In short, this book is like a handbook of everyday humor. It is based on observation of funny tendencies in people and then creating fictional caricatures and anecdotes around them.

The tendency of beating around the mulberry bush has been converted into a fictional character called Simon Satellite. And yes, there are many more such characters and anecdotes, served With a Pinch of Salt.

Che Guevara by Richard L. Harris

Introduction: Those were the days of my youth, of higher grade, when the uniform wasn't required to attend the higher grade.And then did the image of this revolutionary filled the ambiance, randomly one out of five pals of mine wore a T-shirt depicting the colorful,bold,rebellious image of Che Guevara.
My conjecture about him was little cheesy as every random person who depicted his image on their T-shirts,bikes ,cars etc were snobbish.
         But later one of my friends told me about his adventurous trip throughout Latin America (motorcycle diaries) , I bought that  book and literally rode together with CHE,his narration was captivating and couldn't resist myself from reading his whole life story.

About the author: Richard l.Harris  professor of global studies at California State University–Monterey Bay, has closely studied the life of 'Ernesto' Guevara(CHE) . He was present in Bolivia ,after Ernesto's death and personally taken care to document the true facts about his death( which he mentioned in the book).The author has given an unbiased presentation of all the happenings immediately and after the death of  'Che' which were not known to many( which was also mentioned by the author).
                  Richard L.Harris , Has very well incorporated  the important parts of Ernesto's life ,refurbished  with a mild touch of literature which has  added grandeur to his narrative .the author has precisely imbued the essence of Ernesto's revolutionary moments which  are actually inspiring and throbbing to all those young ones of the world.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Anti-Social Network (Inspector Virkar #2) by Piyush Jha

Blurb (from the jacket):

When college students across Mumbai are murdered one after another in gruesome ways, inspector Virkar from the crime branch is called in. As Virkar investigates, he stumbles upon a ruthless gang of young, tech-savvy miscreants who use social networking sites and the Internet for blackmail and sextortion. But how are the two cases linked? And who is the mastermind behind these killings?

As the case grows murkier, the computer-challenged Virkar finds himself greatly out of his depth, chasing a killer who always seems to be one step ahead and a group that soon trains its sights on him. He must race against time to unmask the gang and to find the murderer before his reputation is ruined forever. Thick with suspense and layered with grit, anti-social network brings to you inspector Virkars toughest case yet.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Donald Thomas

Blurb (from the jacket):

Holmes returns! In five ingenious new novella length tales featuring the Great Detective. 

Once again the game is afoot, in these highly original stories featuring Sherlock Holmes at the height of his powers. Crossing historical fact with inventive fiction, the master of pastiche Donald Thomas plunges Holmes into London's Siege of Sidney Street, where he ratiocinates alongside Winston Churchill in obstructing an anarchists assassination plot led by Peter the Painter. In the next adventure, Holmes and Watson are confounded by the Riddle of the Zimmerman Telegram during World War I, as Holmes must employ all his wits to defeat a plan for a German led invasion of the United States. In other mystifying tales of detection, Sherlock Holmes searches for the treasures of King John, lost in 1216. Foiling a foul extortion attempt, Holmes and Watson aid in discovering Lord Byron's epic poem evoking his secret journey to Virginia. Finally the great detective, in a bravura performance, confronts a supernatural curse in Lord Arthur Savile's Crime.

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