Monday, 12 December 2016

Book Review: Colorful Notions





Do you ever dream of visiting different places? Do you think of not just visiting the places as a tourist but immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions? Do you think of going on a road trip with your friends?  If yes, then this is the right book for you.

Colorful notions by Mohit Goyal is a story of two guys and a girl on a road trip across the length and breadth of India. They visit a myriad of places. This is not a travelogue but a travel fiction. It is not limited to the description of places where  they went  but the plot is spiced up with love, jealousy, and betrayal. They start from Jim Corbett National Park and go through Rajasthan, Punjab, Ladakh to end their roadtrip in Delhi. From convincing parents to getting cold feet just before the trip to proposing to robbing, the story keeps getting more interesting.

The characters in the novel are very relatable. Abhay is your typical 20 something who wants to quit his job and travel. Shashank is trapped in his family business but wants to do something he is passionate about. Unnati is Shashank’s girlfriend and an RJ. The friendship between Abhay and Shashank is real. It warms your heart to see the things they do for each other. I found the relationship between Shashank and Unnati a bit clichéd. My favourite parts to read were their trip to Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan and their conversation with the Lama.

The novel is written in a lucid manner. The story progresses seamlessly and in no time, you find yourself engaged with the characters. However, the description of places leaves the reader wanting for more.

In a nutshell, pick up this book if you want to read something light.

Leaving you with my favourite quote:

That’s what life is all about. You may hate it one moment, but later on, that very moment may become your most cherished memory.

My rating:

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Book Review: Hello Bastar


It's thousands of years old
their anger
thousands of years old
is their bitterness
I am only returning their scattered words
with rhyme and rhythm
and you fear that
I am spreading fire.
- Gorakh Pandey

Hello, Bastar by Rahul Pandita is the story of Maoist movement in India. The book starts with a very gripping story. In fact, throughout the book, the author seamlessly weaves one story into another. The book sheds  light on the origin of the movement. It further explains that how the struggle continued in different parts of the country with special focus on Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. The book is  well researched and backed with chilling statistics.

The book gives us insights into the hardship that people face. It tells us how the simple agitation against landlords in West Bengal turn into a nationwide movement. The author also throws light on how this issue has been politicized and made into what it is not. The role of media in furthering this agenda has also been discussed. 

The party's ideology, structure and funding is explained in a  simple manner. I especially love the part where the author's experience of staying in camp is described. It reminded me of Arundhati Roy's Walking with Comrades. The section on Anuradha Ghandy's life is very informative. The book culminates with the issues faced by slum dwellers and how they can be unionized to further the Maoist agenda.

The book covers the subject adequately. The narrative style makes it an interesting read. The only thing  I don't like is that I feel the narrative is one-dimensional. 

In a nutshell, this book is perfect for a beginner who wants to understand the issue.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Book Review: Courting Injustice

                                         
                                                 


                                                    


Courting Injustice by Rajesh Talwar is a book which entails the horrific gang rape case of Nirbhaya which took place in Delhi on the fateful night of 16 December. The book is divided into 10 chapters with each chapter dealing with a 
certain topic. 

Anger. Shame. Disgust. Helplessness. This is what I was feeling as I was reading the book.

It starts with the description of what happened on that night. The author also delves into the life of the victim and her family. From then on, he talks about the New-Anti Rape Laws which came into force as a result of this unfortunate event. This section of the book is comprehensive as it clearly delineated the difference between the old and the new laws. He not only talks about the crimes against women but also against men, children, and transgender. 

The section on Verma Committee recommendations is  thorough and well-articulated. From highlighting the good points to highlighting where it failed to offer the solutions, the author has done a very good job. He explains the lacunae in the system and how new laws filled those gaps.

The author not only goes rambling about the problem but also provides solutions. He first explains the problems which plague our judicial system backed with shocking statistics. Then he offers the possible solutions. The author also touches some crucial topics like marital rape, capital punishment and the inclusion of stalking and voyeurism as  crimes.

The author has referenced many other cases which show that the book is backed with a good amount of research. The details are not too elaborate, just enough to summarize what happened without leaving any important details.  The analytical approach towards the subject has helped the author to cover all the aspects in a balanced manner. The book has definitely helped me understand the subject a little better.

The only parts I didn't like reading were the description of laws in legal language. Though the explanation was simplified by the author, I found them distracting. Other than that the book has done its job quite well.

My rating: 



Friday, 14 October 2016

Book Review: Ghachar Ghochar



Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag is a story of a middle-class family that goes from living in penury to living an opulent life. The family consists of the protagonist, his father, his mother, his wife, his uncle and a sister who is living separately from her husband. After the father loses his job, the uncle comes up with the idea of starting a business. The business does quite well and that changes everything. The novella manoeuvres through how this sudden influx of money changes everything.

The first thing that attracted me towards this book was the title and the cover. The cover is intriguing and it makes you think what the story could be about. My curiosity was piqued. So, I picked up the book and finished it one sitting.  The narrative style of the book makes it an interesting read. The author has an eye for detail. He presents the mundane events interestingly. The story is fast paced. The writing is crisp.

I found the characters a bit clichéd. An authoritative mother-in-law trying to undermine her son’s wife. The character of the daughter-in-law was the strongest. Unlike the family, she is married into that sweeps everything under the rug, she speaks her mind with no hesitation.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book is its ending. The author leaves the story hanging and I really want to know what happens after.

In a nutshell, pick up this book if you want to read something light and quick.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Book Review: How To Talk To A Widower




                                               

                                                      Image result for image how to talk to a widower


How to Talk to A Widower by Jonathan Trooper is a story of a widower Doug Parker, who wallows in self-pity after he loses his wife, Hailey. He tries to get back to his normal life with the help of his elder sister who is pregnant. The family like all of Trooper’s families is dysfunctional and consists of a demented father, a mother, and a younger sister. They all come together for the younger sister’s wedding.

The narrative style of writing is succinct. It is witty and sarcastic.  All his characters are very interesting and real. The equation among the family members is interesting to note.  The story line is eventful and it won’t let you put the book down. The writing was tight and the pace was just right-neither too slow nor too rushed.  The family dinner scenes were my favorite scenes to read.

The setting of the book felt strikingly similar to his another novel (This is Where I leave you) that I had read before. I was constantly drawing parallels between the characters.

In a nutshell, pick up this book if you want to read something light and funny.


Leaving you with my favorite quote :
It’s life, that’s all. There are no happy endings, just happy days, happy moments.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Book Review: The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur




The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur by Priyonkar Dasgupta is a story of a group of boys embarking on an adventure in a town called Rajpur in suburbs of West Bengal. Shoumo, the protagonist, along with his elder brother, Shomik is visiting his cousin Joy. They are joined by Joy’s friends and together spend their time roaming around, chatting, gaming and exploring the neighbourhood. The story line is peppered with little twists and turns here and there.


I picked up this book while travelling. Little did I know, I would have a little adventure of my own. The first thing that attracted me to the book was the cover. The cover of the book is beautiful (I judge the book by its cover ;)) and so are the illustrations.



The narrative style of writing made this book an interesting read. The author has so vividly described the events, it made me feel like I was the part of the setting. I could feel the excitement building up within me. Soon, I was laughing with them and nervous with them. It took me back to my childhood when I used to read Famous Five Series. Reading the book was a trip down the memory lane. It reminded me of the good old time I spent during my vacations meeting cousins, relaxing, sharing stories of ghosts and seeking adventure.

All the characters are very relatable. Shoumo is the younger brother who wants to feel included in his elder’s brother group. You could feel his struggle. Shomik and Joy are typical elder brothers pulling Shoumo’s leg. The parts where all of them wander into the woods are my favourite to read. Though there seem to be some loose ends while reading, the author has culminated them perfectly at the end.

Though the story was gripping and kept me turning pages, I felt that pace was a little slow. While the details certainly helped in creating imagery in the minds of readers, they were an unnecessary distraction sometimes, adding nothing new to the plot.

In a nutshell, pick up this book if you are looking for something light and adventurous.

Leaving you with my favourite quote from this book:
“It was that same, familiar smell of old books, which never fails to stimulate that strange longing in the heart that pulls one towards them each time.”

P.S: I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.


Bookish Questions Book Tag

Hey! I came across this interesting list of bookish questions on the Internet and I decided to do it. Hope you like it.

1) E-Books or Hard Copies?
    Most definitely hard copies. I love the feeling of holding a book in my hand and turning the pages with occasional sniffing. I love the smell of old books.

2) New books or Used Books?
     New books.

3) Paperbacks or Hardbound?
    Paperbacks. Hardbound for aesthetics, though.

4) Favourite Genre?
     I love reading different genres but if I had to choose I would say YA.

5) Favourite Book?
    Is that even a question? I can't even.


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6) Favourite Author?
    John Green, Dan Brown, Colleen Hoover, Agatha Christie, Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Arundhati Roy.... You get the drift, not an easy question to answer either.

7) Best Movie to Book Adaptation?
     Hunger Games

8) Worst Movie to Book Adaptation?
     Paper Towns. They just ruined an amazing book.

9) Favourite Place to read?
    In bed snuggled up in the blanket with a cup of coffee or lakeside

10) One book at a time or multiple books?
     I am definitely a monogamist. I just can't read multiple books at the same time. Once when I tried, I ended up mixing up the plots and characters.        
     

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Five Things Every Reader Can Relate to

1. Buy 10 new books even if there are 100 unread books on the bookshelf.


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2.Going to a bookstore and spending money like there is no tomorrow.


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3. Constantly living in fear if there's a big sale on books coming up because you already splurged on the last one.And now you have no money even for food, so you end up sounding like Max.


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4. Choosing what to read next because there are literally thousands of books you NEED to read ASAP.


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5. When someone disturbs you while reading and you kill them in your mind.