Monday, April 19, 2021

Name Place Animal Thing by Lux Narayan (Book Review)

 









Title – Name Place Animal Thing 

Author – Ux Narayan 

Genre – Self-help 

Publisher – Notionpress

Book Format – Paperback 

No of pages – 206

                                   

This book is available on Amazon 

 

 

Book review 

Name Place Animal Thing? The title itself made me nostalgic about my childhood, and so it was a good start. Name Place Animal Thing (NPAT) can be categorized into a self-help section as it does give an interesting array of theories on how to make one’s life curious and productive. 

 

As a reader, I would say skip the first three chapters and start discovering the life-guiding concept of NCPT. The book is short and easy to read and you are about to make some life-changing discovery especially if you are stuck in a competitive rut of life. Whether you’re in your late 40’s or you are simply confused about what to do with your mundane life, then this book is for you. 

 

Although I have read many self-help books, I was glad to learn some new concepts about bringing hope, positivity, and curiosity in life. This book renews your stale energy and rejuvenates with its guiding concepts. Self-help books usually have a direct approach to guide their readers. However, the author introduces all the concepts with four different characters namely Vin, Mary, Trey, and Cara. I never thought that a game like Name Place Animal Thing had a deep connection to our lives other than just being a game. 

 

Author hands over the responsibilities of explaining the concepts to his four key characters. Vin talks about how having hobbies in life keeps one’s life productive and interesting while Mary emphasizes the importance of slowness in life to balance body, brain, and breath. Trey explains the importance of near and narrow places to learn about surroundings and most importantly how to live in the moment. Cara explains that your name is not just an identity. It also gives away more information about you other than your profession and personal life.  

 

The book teaches you to be curious, passionate and has a mission in life. The best part of this book is I liked the way the concepts are simplified and interestingly told. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for ways to improve the quality of their life. 

 

Writing style 

The author’s writing style is very simple and easy to understand. 

 

The book title and the cover 

The book title completely justifies the theme of this book. The cover is not at all enticing enough but the title does the job. 

 

Is the book price reasonable? 

The book is overpriced as there are many self-help books in the market and they are usually under 200/- Rs. range. 

 

Rating 

3.5/5 

 

 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Forty Nine Shades Confused by Deepak Kaul (Book Review)

 





Title – Forty Nine Shades Confused

Author – Deepak Kaul  

Genre – Fiction 

Publisher – Amazon Kindle 

Book Format – E-book

No of pages – 52


This book is available on Amazon.


Review 

His seductive eyes were enough for me to ignite the desire in me. He slowly came to me and bound my hands with a rope and I lay helpless in the bed looking into his eyes. Then he opened a bottle of honey and started pouring it on my naked body. The whole activity seemed quite exciting to me. He kept the empty bottle aside and he came top on me to lick the dripping honey. His proximity to me just aroused me enough and just then… “Naina, where did you keep the bottle of honey?” Yes, that was Indian mother-in-law yelling from the kitchen and asking me where I kept the bottle of honey. That’s the reality of the BDSM lifestyle in India. 

 

Forty Nine Shades Confused is a tongue-in-cheek narrative that shows the stark reality of the BDSM lifestyle. In India, people live in small houses and there are married couples who don’t even have a separate bedroom to enjoy such intensive sexual activities. And that’s what the book is all about. This short book of 52 pages is inspired by the Hollywood movie – Fifty Shades of Grey. The lifestyle shown in the movie is not exactly a rosy picture for many young Indian men. 

 

The protagonist in this book is no sexy, dapper dude but an accountant by profession and his struggle to find a date is enormous. He fantasizes about BDSM culture and in reality, his experiences with women turn out to be nothing but a nightmare to remember for a lifetime. The author wants to give an idea to people who fantasize about BDSM and its ill effects if one does not understand the concept well. It can be harmful to the submissive especially if that submissive is a woman. 

 

Some scenarios explained in this book are quite hilarious. It’s a simple narrative to make people understand and practical aspects of it. Everybody cannot be Christian Grey to afford a yacht or a separate room to conduct sexual fantasies. The author armed with his witty writing style reveals the true colors of the BDSM lifestyle. That’s why he concludes his plot by saying that dating is not black or whites but rather shady and grey. 

 

Writing Style 

Plain and simple! I do not know why the author has used some Indian words like Dhobi, palak and I did not like it.

 

The title and the book cover. 

The title is apt. The book cover is neither enticing nor suggestive. 


Is the book price reasonable? 

The book comes in an e-book format and has only 52 pages. Again, I find it 150/- Rs. for a small book like this is expensive. 

 

Rating 

3.5/5

 

One time read for sure! 

 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Accidental Accountant by Deepak Kaul (Book Review)

 







Title – The Accidental Accountant 

Author – Deepak Kaul  

Genre – Fiction

Book Format – E-book 

Publisher – Amazon Kindle 

No of pages – 96

This book is available on Amazon 


The Blurb

The Accidental Accountant is a short-fiction by Deepak Kaul. The protagonist in this fiction is Deb who has graduated from the Arts stream. He is very much confused about career options just like other pass-outs and thinking of doing an MBA. He tries his best to clear the MBA entrance exam but fails to do so. Dejected Deb is completely blank about his future but then his uncle advises him to go for CA. He applies at various CA firms and eventually gets selected at one of the CA firms. Little did he know that his decision would change his life forever. Does he become a successful CA or his life gets entangled more? Do give a read to this amazing short fiction. 

 

The Review 

The Accidental Accountant is a must-read fiction as it represents a working-class well. Deb, a recent graduate finds it hard to understand people and politics around him when he starts working in a CA firm. The author has yet again masterfully showcases the inner conflict of a working person who struggles to make his path in dirt which is full of ill-minded people and corrupted with politics. Deb’s experience with leaders like Prajay, Anthony, or Mukul matches with those who are office goers and everyday struggle to please their seniors with sincerity and hard work. Deb’s inner conflict with a lot of ‘What if’ situations let the readers remind their plight when they graduated from college and were beginning their professional lives. 

 

When you’re working with well-experienced people, your opinions are often clouded with self-doubts. And that’s what happens with Deb when he chooses to work in a CA firm despite his different background. The author beautifully showcases how the working class had to manage with people of different temperaments. When a junior like Deb tries to share his reasonable doubts with seniors, he not only gets sidelined but also gets an earful from the bosses. 

Deb’s inner conflict matches to every working professional as we often have self-doubts about ourselves especially working in a politically corrupted environment. Deb find himself surrounded with unfounded fears and sometimes he is caught in sticky situations because of lazy colleagues. Sometimes he doubts over his decision of working in a CA firm and sometimes he has self-doubts about everything. 

Reading this fiction personally gave me immense pleasure as I’ve had such experience in one of the firms in my professional life. I could relate my professional experiences with this fiction and that is what the author’s job is to write relatable experiences. And I must say Deepak Kaul has done a wonderful job with this fiction of 96 pages. 

 

I recommend this e-book to every professional out there. Some may get a different perspective from this and some may learn about different temperaments and people, especially those who are soon going to start their professional life. 

 

Writing style 

I know only a handful of authors who write stuff in real good creative English and one of them is Deepak Kaul. I hate when writers don’t use such rich language generously in their novels. However, Deepak has created his niche in writing English novels. Thankfully, his writing is rich, and does not write in plain English. 

 

The book cover & The Title 

The book cover does not represent the theme of the story. It is a very plain cover with no creative inputs. The title is okay-ish. 

 

Is the book price reasonable? 

The book comes in an e-book format and it has hardly 96 pages. I feel the book is a bit pricey as the publishing company did not have to bear the cost of printing. 

 

Rating 

4/5

 

Working professionals must read this fiction once for sure! 

 

 

 

 

 




 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Jasmine Builds On Shifting Sands (Book Review)

 









Title – Jasmine Builds on Shifting Sands

Author – Sanjay Desai 

Genre – Fiction & self-help book

Publisher – ConsciousLeap Insights 

No of pages – 134



Main characters – Jasmine, Shaheen Jaiswal, Bala 

 

The Blurb 

A captivating narrative that ties two seemingly distinct tales in an intertwined journey on a quest to explore manifestation. At the center of the book is Jasmine’s dream of making it a successful model in the cut-throat world of fashion. This tale of victories and failures is enveloped within the master narrative of Sanjay, an erudite knowledge-seeker meeting his spiritual guru — Ma. Set in the esoteric location of the Himalayas, the master story transports the readers to a higher plane. Together the two parallels create a reality that is all your own.

 

The Review 

Jasmine builds on shifting sands is a self-help fiction by the author Sanjay Desai. Jasmine is the protagonist in this fiction who is a normal college-goer. Her life takes an unexpected yet pleasant turn when she wins a fashion show in college. She is approached by Ms. Shaheen Jaiswal who runs a modeling agency. She prepares her for a Miss Mumbai contest. From then on, Jasmine’s life becomes one roller-coaster ride that she never expected of. She jumbles between her preparation for crown and academics. Life throws a lot of opportunities in the form of small modeling assignments, brand endorsements, etc. She finds it difficult to cope with the mounting pressure of professional modeling life and her personal life. Through this self-help fiction, the author introduces several characters like Shaheen, makeup artist cum friend Prasad, Bala, and other model friends. 


In the first few pages of the book, the author narrate his journey and introduce his spiritual guru Ma Krishnangiri. The spiritual guru explains different lessons and concepts of life and then Jasmine’s narrative takes on. Many people follow spiritual gurus in their life to have a meaningful direction. However, I am not in favor of spiritual gurus as they usually misguide people. To give an example, people used to follow Osho blindly for his spiritual teachings, and in the end; they got cheated as he was involved in various crimes. The author’s introduction to his spiritual guru seems very personal and again this does not add up any value. 


Jasmine’s story is relatable to common folks like us as we everyday struggle to become something in our life. Even if the story of Jasmine is relatable, it does not add up an extra value to a commoner’s life. Struggling to be at the top in a cut-throat competition is not everyone’s ambition. The most common struggles are how to become an efficient worker, become a team-builder, having an effective conversation with others, and many more. The author did focus on some common strategies but it does not give any extra inputs or something that we never heard of. 


There are many self-help books in the market already. The only difference this book makes is a relatable narration. Overall, this book is preferred by those who are looking for some self-help in simple and easy English. 


The writing style 

The author’s writing style is extremely simple. The author has chosen a direct and plain writing style since the book falls into the category of self-help. 


The title & the book cover 

The title justifies the narration as the protagonist does shape herself with the changing times. The book cover does not convey the theme of the story at all. 

 

Rating

2.5/5

 

About the author 

Sanjay is an entrepreneur and an ex-banker, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, and a Chartered Accountant. During his successful career, Sanjay has been integrating the essence of a parallel spiritual journey with his material pursuits. He has now set out to share the ways and means of seamlessly traversing through the material and spiritual world. 

 


Monday, August 10, 2020

The Girl in the Black Framed Spectacles by Nitesh Sinha (Book Review)

 



Title – The Girl in The Black Framed Spectacles 

Author – Nitesh Sinha 

Genre –Fiction 

Publisher – Currently E-book  

No of pages – 181

 

Main Characters: Karan, Kavya, Mohit & Amaya  

Other Characters: Sahil 

 

The Review 

It’s a typical love story where a college-going boy falls in love with a girl who wears black-framed spectacles. Kavya and Mohit are his college mates and these three loves to play pranks. Kavya and Mohit throw a challenge to Karan that he has to cause a rift between a couple for a day but has to reunite the next day. But then prank goes wrong and the couple parts their ways. Karan meets a girl named Amaya at the Metro station. He starts falling in love with her but one day she disappears from his life. 


Later on, he and his friends realize that Amaya has dumped him for money. However, it was a ploy played by Sahil whose girlfriend left him forever because of Karan’s stupid prank. Amaya (Sister of Sahil) and Sahil both decide to teach him a lesson. She becomes a friend of Karan but then falls in love with him. After Amaya’s disappearance, the protagonist becomes Kabir Singh as he starts smoking and drinking. In the end, Amaya and Sahil tell everything to Karan. He takes the responsibility of reuniting Sahil and his girlfriend. Overall, the plot did not interest me at all. It did not have any unexpected events or twists and it did not have any wow moments.  

 

The language is very casual and plain. I guess the protagonist’s heart is quite weak as ‘my heart was pounding; my heart thumped; heart beat so loudly, my heart skipped a beat were used very often. Then the protagonist must be worried about people as many incidents show where nurses are looking at this trio, then people in the train, students in the class, and even CCD manager have his attention especially on them. Like seriously? Why people are so intrigued in Karan’s life? Don’t they have their share of troubles? 

 

Although this college-going boy’s heart is weak, he suddenly becomes gutsy and very filmy as he enters the class and starts kicking Sahil. Again, Mr. Karan (Kabir Singh) aka college-going boy goes to an ice-cream vendor who conveniently stocks Blenders Pride for him. One of the incidents is – “The shopkeeper growled at us for buying that much (Doublemint gums) as if we were buying them for free”. Why the shopkeeper would get irritated if somebody is buying his stuff in a copious amount? In fact, for him the more, the merrier, isn’t it? 

 

Then, the college-going boy and girl can hire a doctor and an actress to set up Mr. Karan. Since when college-going students started hiring people for acting? Where did they get so much money and from whom? Again, when Karan goes to Amaya’s house to confront her, she is alone at home just like movies. She has tricked him with her brother, Sahil but Kavya is more worried about food. The scene is described so casually and there is no seriousness while Karan confronting her. The whole plot is very much inspired by Bollywood movies but unfortunately, there is no Bollywood chataka or spice in the story. 

 

Generally, cancer is treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other similar treatments. The author should have been more specific about it. 


Profanities like asshole, bancho, chu, bastard were not needed. Throughout the novel, the author has used as if’ and ‘just like examples multiple times that don’t add any value to the story at all. Every page and after every second or third paragraph has examples like: (I've not mentioned all sentences as it be a long list)


As if the whole world drifted away

As if crawling on my knees 

As if I couldn’t hear it 

As if there was still hope 

As if he were some strange beast we needed to subdue

As if they were my partners in crime 

As if he didn’t know what Amaya and he had done.  

As though she were a director instructing Mohit to beat Sahil 

As if I had cut his one month’s salary 

As if Kavya had proposed to him. 

As if it wanted to burst out of my body 

As if the driver had thought of himself as an F! Racer. 

As if hadn’t combed it for months 

He started pulling my collar as if he wanted to tear it 

As if they thought that was blabbering in anticipation  

 

Just Like 

Just like how one would pull the soft cheeks of one’s dog. 

I pulled her in, just like mothers drag their kids on their first day at school

Like an Olympic weightlifter 

Just like a nursery kid feels proud when he/she recites the multiplication table 

Just the same way a chubby mam stares with her big eyes when someone passes a witty comment from the last bench

Just like the PT teacher shouts in the school’s ground, Savdhan! 

Just like two minion waving big wooden fans over their king 

Just like a bay showing my atonement 

Like how we feel on results day 

Just like we were a referee


The only thing that I can appreciate about this novel is the author’s attempt to use vocabulary like sauntered, plopped down, gobbled, stumbled, squirted, etc. The author also tried to describe the personality of the characters and gave timelines as the plot progressed. Another thing that the first few chapters made me feel nostalgic about my college days. 


I also appreciate the author's efforts to try his best to bring out the story. However, it did not come out as expected. 


The writing style

Very simple & plain!

 

The Title & the Book Cover

The title doesn’t justify the story. The book cover is just an illustration and not an attractive one but it suggests that it’s a love story. 


Rating

 

2.5/5

 


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Firekeepers of Jwalapuram by Vamsee Juluri (Book Review)



Book details 

 

Title – Firekeepers of Jwalapuram  

Author – Vamsee Juluri 

Genre – Fiction 

Publisher – Westland Publications Private Limited. 

No of pages – 315

 

Prime characters – Hanuman, Vaishnavi, Vishwamitra, Jambavanth, Riksharaja

 

Other characters – Tara, Ruma, Sugreeva, Angada, Buhab 

 

The Review 

In the past, I have reviewed some amazing mythological fictions and so I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately, I am so disappointed with this novel ‘Firekeepers of Jwalapuram’ by author Vamsee Juluri. While others must have had a pleasant experience and a good opinion about this book but I’d like to back my opinion with certain points.

 

When I started reading this novel, the first chapter gave me the impression of an interesting start. But by the time I reached page number 98, I realized that so many words and sentences are repeated innumerable times. I thought I was wrong and so I went back to page number 9 and I counted the number of same sentences and words that are repeated throughout the novel. 

 

The novel has to have well-crafted descriptions of people and places. I found there is no character building or creative descriptions of the places. I had to keep guessing the meaning of balances, matter, and Ganeshas. Words like students and squad could’ve easily been replaced with more appropriate words such as disciple and group. I didn’t get a single wow moment in this novel.

 

The words like boulders nodded, shouted, exclaimed, exhaled, slightly, some of them, the hunger of fire, looked, noticed, and smiled are used so many times that at one point I had to take a break from it. The language is very mediocre. The English language is rich with its descriptive words, idioms, comparatives and phrases but all I could read in this novel so many repetitive words. The approach taken in this novel is so casual like hey Buhu (short form of Buhab), old hag, newcomers, beast, dharma protection squad and creatures that it loses its authenticity. After the end of every sentence, a lot of adverbs have been used such as softly, fiercely, loudly, feebly, quietly, silently, encouragingly, indifferently, etc. 

 

Same words

 

Repeated

 

Smiled / a weak smile/ smiled awkwardly/wry smile/smiling

 

144 times

Nodded

62 times

Slightly

20 times

Laughed

57 times

Looked at each other/looked at /looked up

 

35 times

Shouted

43 times

Intently /stared intently

 

21 times

 

 

To back my opinion, there are some paragraphs and sentences that I’d like to mention here: 

 

PAGE NO 270

“Yet, Vali, from so close, looked very different from the powerful and awe-inspiring figure she had seen that night. He looked at them with a vacant expression and nodded slightly. He became distracted by something, perhaps a fly, and followed it with his eyes.” My question is why a powerful figure like Vali gets easily distracted by a fly? What does exactly the author want to establish here? Does Vali have a powerful or idiotic personality?  

 

PAGE NO 275

“Go on, go on, enjoy the family time,” Buhab said loudly. Jambavanth looked at him suspiciously. Ruma muttered something about Buhab to Vaishnavi and giggled.” – (I have shortened the paragraph)

Again, I don’t find anything funny in this paragraph but just a boring, non-conclusive paragraph for me. 

 

PAGE NO 280

“Jambavanth nodded and made some sounds softly as if trying to understand his different point of view honestly. – Why would he make sounds for what? What is this sentence suggesting? 

 

PAGE NO 82 

I couldn’t understand the objective of stone-pelting by the Kamdhenus incident mentioned in this novel. The description also does not sound authentic. 

 

PAGE NO 102

‘We are in a delicate position, ‘ Tara finally said. 

Sugreeva laughed cynically. ‘That is my mother…. About to be made into raw mango pachadi or a mishmash by these… by these… fools! (I’ve shortened this para) - Again this paragraph doesn’t make me smile. 

 

PAGE NO 222

In the process, he bumped into one of Riksharaja’s palanquin bearers. 

‘Idiot!’ she snapped at Buhab. 

The palanquin bearers chuckled. ‘Master idiot!’ they whispered. – What’s so funny in this incident? 

 

REPETITIVE AND MEANINGLESS SENTENCES AND WORDS 

On the same pages, sometimes it laughed, sometimes it is smiled. These words are sprinkled generously throughout the novel that made me put down this book and then begin reading again. 

 

1.      The fire burned in Vaishnavi’s head 

2.      The fire of anger rose in Vaishnavi once again. 

3.      He felt the fire of anger inside him

4.      Vaishnavi said, a confident smile in her eyes, though her face seemed strained by pain and concern.

5.      Hanuman allowed himself a smile too.

6.      He shook his head and smiled.

7.      Vishwamitra raised his eyebrows but calmed himself. 

8.      Always the children, always the same excuse Riksharaja said. 

9.      He got up and smiling 

10.  Ruma accepted his words with a smile.

11.  They looked at each other sheepishly. They looked at each other again – page no 83

12.  Ruma squeezed his hand and smiled. 

13.  Tara smiled, but said firmly. 

14.  She put it in her mouth, slightly curious, and slightly alert. 

15.  Dragging them here and there

16.  Here and there, they picked up long sticks. 

17.  Who took his instructions and ran here and there. 

18.  Tomorrow and tomorrow Vaishnavi added. 

 

The words like looked up, smiled, laughed, intently, looked at each other, stared, whispered, here and there are generously spread on the side by side pages so many times. AS A READER, I REALLY WANT TO JUSTIFY MY POINT AND I WANT TO BE VERY HONEST IN MY REVIEW AND SO I HAVE GIVEN THIS PAGE NUMBERS TO LOOK INTO. (P.S. I HAVE EXCLUDED SO MANY PAGE NUMBERS) 

116-117, 122-123, 136-137, 167, 174, 204-205, 227, 232-233, 234-235, 238-239, 241, 242-243, 262-263, 270-271, 278-279, 282-283, 286-287, 296-297, 303, 84-85, 102, 116, 122-123

 

WRITING STYLE 

I do not want to be harsh but this novel disappointed me in many ways and I do not like the fact especially when somebody uses extremely simple language. There is no clarity of the plot, places, or people. A lot of repetitive words and sentences make this novel quite dragging. 

 

THE BOOK TITLE & COVER 

The title is okay. The cover is perfect. 

 

Rating

1.5/5 

 


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