"Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. ~ Novelist Jeanette Winterson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December 2015 - Book Haul

From this month on I plan to post pics of the books I get for each month. Its a small way to show love towards my book blog which I have not been updating regularly.

So here are the books that I purchased this month..

First one is of the books that I purchased online. There was a big discount on books and I didn't want to miss out the deals. So all these books here cost only INR 811/-


The twilight saga was from a used book store and I still have wait for the final volume.These books cost INR 300/-. Considering that these are the imported editions and look good as new, this is surely a good deal..

Kalki - Selected story is the book I picked up from mom's home. I was cleaning out some boxes and found it there.Dad said he got it in some garage sale long back and that it cost almost nothing.So I will count is as a free book :)

The other 2 books were sent in for review..



Stats:

Total Books - 18
Amount spent - INR 1111/-
No. of books read from this months haul - 2  [Those are the ones that came in for review]




The Bestseller She Wrote

A signed copy of a novel is sure to brighten the day of a bibliophile, right!That was exactly what happened when BlogAdda sent me a signed copy of Ravi Subramanian's latest novel -The Best Seller She Wrote.

I have read his earlier books and reviewed The Bankster and God is a Gamer here. I was eager to start right away but with some personal things cropping up I could pick up the book just last night .After tucking the kids into bed I started reading.My original plan was to read for a while and continue reading the next morning.

But guess what! I just could not put down the book and finished it in less than 4 hours flat! Wow!! The book is really unputdownable!![Is there a word like that!!]



Eager to read the plot and my views on this book? Hop over to my review post and as soon as you are done, I am sure you will want to order a copy for yourself :)


Happy Reading...


Friday, December 18, 2015

Reading Challenges for 2016


 I have a room full of books-on the shelves, on the sofa, on the bed and table and a few even on the floor!That's exactly how our guest bed room looks right now, littered with food props and books!


My To Be Read [TBR]list is growing faster than my kids and I thought it is time to read them all.Well, I do keep reading but in 2015, I could not post all the reviews on this blog.

This year, I wanted to do justice to the books that I got as well as this book space of mine and hence decided to join a few challenges that might be easy for me to read and most importantly document my reviews / reads.

I saw this huge list of reading challenges for 2016 and immediately started planning to join a few.

I am taking it easy this time by not setting a major challenges and just as much as I can. If I stress out on reading then there is no fun,right!!

Here is what I will be doing this year ...

1.Color coded challenge @ My Readers Block  where the challenge is to read 9 books in 9 categories with the specified color in the title or book cover. Interesting isn't it!!

 

2.2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge @ Cornerfolds - I found the the theme very interesting and something that I don't read very often. So I am going out of my comfort zone to read this genre. Incidentally, I have 2 books in the genre and the rest I am hoping to find them from this list.


3.2016 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge  @ My Soul Called Life - 6 keywords to choose from each month which should be in the title of the book. I am sure I will have 12 books off my TBR!





4. 2016 Alphabet soup reading challenge @ Escapes with Dollycas Into a Good Book - The name says it all - One book per alphabet.Now, I wonder what I willbe reading for Q,X and Z!!!Let's wait and see...

5.Full House Challenge @ Book Date - All one has to do is complete the categories on the card and get a full house. The categories are simple as well as interesting and right now I am sure I can cross off all but 2 categories in the card!!




Here are the themes to cross out..


6.Literary Loners Challenge @ Whatever I Think Of - Read the books written by loners or those that feature the main character as a loner. I do have some books that fit the bill, so I am joining in this one too!



Last but not the least - 

 7..Foodies Read Challenge @ Based On a True Story - I will post about this one on my food blog in a while.

Grab button for Foodies Read 2016 

Though I have posted all the sign ups in a single page, the reviews will be posted individually for each group and so will be the roundups at the end of the year. 

I am thoroughly excited to be doing these challenges and hopefully I will finish them all as planned. Fingers crossed...



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mirror Image



Yet another lovely story by my Favorite author!  This is a story about identical twins Victoria and Olivia Henderson. These girls are identical mirror images yet their thoughts and actions are quite the opposite.




The story is set in World War 1 period.The book literally took me through that time period and I could see all the images right in front of me!

Olivia is a well mannered and well behaved girl but Victoria is just the opposite! She falls for a guy who is already married and gets pregnant. After a fall from a horse ride session, the baby gets aborted and that is when Olivia comes to know about it.

Since her reputation is gone, her father gets her married off to Charles Dawson.Olivia is saddened as she had a liking fot Charles but says nothing to keep up the family pride.

Charles had lost his wife in the Titanic and has a 10 year old son -Geoffrey.The wedding takes place and Olivia is left to tend her ailing father. She makes up her mind never to marry and be with her father till his end.

Victoria on the other hand neglects the house hold duties and is more interested in attending political meetings.This saddens and affects Charles.

Once when Olivia visits her sister, Victoria convinces Olivia to switch places so that she can go and serve the army in France.Reluctantly Olivia accepts and starts living as Victoria.

Unaware of all this, Charles is gladdened when Olivia [as Victoria] looks after Geoffrey and takes care of the house and is not ill tempered as before.Soon she gives birth to twins and lives happily with Charles.

On the other side, Olivia is helping out in the army and has a son with the army major and both of them are fatally wounded in the war.The Major then dies.

Olivia goes to see a very wounded Victoria and she finds a lot of changes in her. She learns about the Major, her son and when Olivia dies, she plans to bring home her son to live with them.

Between all this, the girls dad passes away and Charles learns the truth about the switched identity.

How he manages the issue and what happens when Olivia decides to bring back her sisters son is the interesting part in this story...


After reading this book , you will feel a lot of emotions as expressed by the characters and for a while you will be living in France, amidst the war, laughing happily with Charles and his family, feeling pity on Mr. Henderson and so on.

A very emotional and toughing read about the two sisters...

Happy browsing...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daddy



Today being ‘Father’s Day’,I thought it will apt to post a novel with fits the theme.Daddy- one of the most touching novels written by Danielle Steel. From what I read so far,most of Danielle Steel’s books are women centric. This one is an exception




Though the story starts with Sarah looking out of the window into the snow and wondering where life had lead her, this is actually the story of the life of her husband –Oliver.

Sarah,who once was the assistant editor with Crimson marries Oliver a graduate from Harvard business school and who works for an ad agency. Life goes on smoothly ,they have 3 kids-Ben,Melissa and Sam, a dog and a lovely housekeeper –Aggie.

Sarah ,after 18 years of marriage to Oliver, suddenly feels life is empty and feels the need to do something worthwhile-like getting back to the profession she once loved. She applies to Harvard and gets accepted.

Sarah is delighted but the news falls hard on the family. They all beg her to stay but she leaves them after Christmas.

This act stirs up a lot of emotions within the family and each member of the family reacts differently to the situation.Oliver is the most shaken and tries to keep the family intact but he too has a bad time.
In between all this Olivers mother falls prey to Alzemiers and he has to take care of his father as well.

Ben gets his girl friend pregnant and takes on Oliver by leaving him and living with the girl Sandra.He quits college and works to jobs to take care of her.Melissa feels that her mom going away had something to do with Oliver and is quite withdrawn.Sam is equally shaken

The kids meet up with their mom and once Sam mentions that Jean Pierre , his moms room mate might have a crush on her but he is far younger than his mom!

Once she takes the kids to France with Jean Pierre and there they meet with an accident and Jean Pierre dies leaving behind a shaken and saddened Sarah!

Oliver moves out of the town and meets a girl and have a whirlwind romance that does not last. 

Then he  meets Charlotte a.k.a Charlie, a TV star and finds her company a solice. Then plan to get married and even the kids are happy with the decision. But just when the plan takes shape Charlie  gets a chance to do a Broadway show.This has been her dream and now Charlie wonders how things will work out and the wedding plans are on the rocks!

How Oliver solves all the problems and moves on is the story!


This is a very touching story of a man who struggles to keep the family intact and finally finds joy...

Happy browsing...





Friday, May 29, 2015

Where to find Free E-books and Deals on Books - Resources

We all love to buy / collect books and read them at any given chances. At times this awesome habit does pinch the purse!!But that does not mean we have to put an end to our favorite hobby,right!

I have been looking up for sites that let's you read / download ebooks for free and I wanted to share them here so that anyone with a habit of buying/ reading books will benefit from it.

Also let me know any other sites with similar offers and I will update this post with the links...

Here are a few sites that let's us download books on various genres and also offers books on deals...

  1. BookBub - All genres
  2. Encore Book Club - Free Cook books
  3. Goodreads - All genres
  4. ..

Happy Reading....




Monday, May 25, 2015

Journey

I am a huge fan of Danielle Steel's Novels. And this year when I drew up a list of books to read for the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, I made sure to include 4 books from my favorite author. Here is the first in the list...


This is yet another women centered book,meaning its about Madeleine Hunter and her journey through her life,the hurdles she faces and how she overcomes it all.

The story goes like this....

Madeleine is rescued from an abusive husband by Jack Hunter and he transforms her into an award winning anchor woman for his his network.Madeleine or Maddy as she is fondly known, marries Jack Hunter and their life becomes an envy for everyone!

Maddy's life revolves around Jack, the network, expensive gifts, elaborate parties, exotic tours etc.But deep within she feel deprived of kids.Jack had expressed his wish to never had kids and Maddy gladly accepted it back then.


Meanwhile,Jack's ego hurts Maddy both mentally and physically.She realizes that when she attends a meet for women who have undergone abuse. She open ups to Bill and he becomes her confidant.

Jack becomes even more abusive and in turn Maddy get's emotional relief by talking about her life to Bill.

Meanwhile, a girl comes looking for her claiming to be her daughter. Maddy finds out that the girl- Elizabeth / Lizze is indeed her daughter whom she gave up for adoption when she was a teenager.

Jack is furious when he learns about Lizze and abuses her even more. But Maddy is determined to make up for the lost years with her daughter.

Finally, Maddy decides to leave Jack but before she can actually face the situation, she is caught in building bombing and is almost buried alive.Bill is very worried but Jack is more worried that she is not around to do a report for the network. Both are not aware of Maddy's condition.

Maddy is rescued and Jack visits her in the hospital and emotionally abuses her. She finally tells him that she is leaving him and Jack vows to destroy her and also her career so that she will realize that Maddy can never live without Jack.

He replaces the locks in their house, disposes off her cloths and everything that belonged to her and also makes a press statement that she had a mental breakdown.The last one was to ensure that she never has a career after that!

But Bill helps her through all these crisis and there is a press release that Jack had falsely accused her since she split from him.Offers come pouring in and life seems to be returning to normal. She and Bill want to get together and they look forward to a peaceful life.

She also adopts a baby that was rescued from the building where she was stuck in the rubble and Lizze joins her mom...

This book has a very touching story. The emotions of Maddy are portrayed in a very realistic manner.Also the ways in which one can recognize and overcome spousal abuse is something worth knowing. If not for self, it can be used to help others...

Until the next post....




Monday, May 4, 2015

From Where I See

I have posted this review on my other blog. Reposting it here for the REading challenge...

From Where I See ,a novel by Ajay Yadav is quite a different one from those that I have been reading these days.


It is basically a murder mystery story which is narrated through the voice of Dr. Ajay, the author's namesake.The book starts with Dr. Ajay being questioned at the police station,in typical police style, with regard to the death of Sruthi a.k.a. Nagma. What follows this and up to almost the end of the book is a sort of flashback! And the last four chapters spell out the climax.

So at the beginning when Dr. Ajay is being interrogated,it looks like he is a suspect in the murder case. Then he is asked to wait in the station till Inspector Om Prakash returns to the station after attending to another case. That is when he recollects his childhood times in the village along with his best buddies - Sruthi and Kaniyah.

Sruthi is a sort of a bold girl who is  happy and rebellious to try out new tricks ,play hockey with the village boys, hit the Village chieftain's son with a stone coz he teased her.And also a very religious one who never fails to pray or visit the temple everyday...Kaniyah is the person who usually get's caught because of Sruthi's antics!

They grow up and go their separate ways due to family situations and lose touch with each other. Then Dr.Ajay meets Sruthi, becomes friends again and also Sruthi meets Kaniyah in a party hosted by Ajay and his wife...A lot of things happen in between and then Sruthi dies.

This is the story... But, it is not as simple as I have spelt it here..

In between ,in the flashback sessions, the author has expressed his ideas and thoughts about everything from religion,corruption and bribery, history of Indian Freedom struggle, world wars,reasons for extra marital affairs, role of man and women through the ages and a lot more!

After discussions of all these subjects is where he brings into light a lot of things that were not known , and then in the end the murder/suicide mystery is solved.

What I liked about the book:

The author has taken a bold move in  discussing some controversial topics and I like the way he has justified his points.In this process he has answered a lot of questions that the people in the society are facing or want to ask but can't find the answer.

There are several lines in the book written in italics that are a sort of message to the community.. Here are a few that impressed me.

'Actually we have failed terribly in utilizing our education to incorporate logical thinking in us;we consider education as only a medium for bread earning'
'There is no doubt that they[social media] have brought the distant ones closer but at the same time they have distanced the closer ones' - How true!!!!
Why we have to bargain with everything in life;why can't we honestly get what we deserve and honestly give others what they deserve.

These are just a few examples of the statements present in the book.

 I liked this book because it is something different and deals with the issues of the society and also argues and explains the cause and action for the dysfunction / disharmony in the society.

The only thing that I can say that I was not so fond of is the long, long narrations on various topics that seem to take place as a  discussion / conversation between friends / in a convention. But looking it from the author's point of view, that is actually the place where is expresses his thoughts that were intended for this book. So I think the long narrations/ discussions is justified.

It is one of the books that we can read over and over again for the many logical explanations and the messages/ statements in italics [which I really liked]

As the book says - It's not only a book;it's the path to a revolution,it's a journey towards a Utopian world. And it does take an open mind to have the courage to accept the truth. And I also agree with the forward written by Prof.Harish Narang- ...a very interesting read with a serious message.

And about the death of Sruthi, it is for you to read the book and find out if it was a suicide or a murder. I am definitely not breaking the suspense here :)

About the author....

Dr. Ajay Yadav is a consultant anesthetist, intensivist and pain specialist. His textbook of anesthesia is the most sold textbook for medical undergraduates in India, Southeast Asia and Africa. He is a rational, logical and analytical thinker and is fond of reading, traveling and long distance running. It had always been his dream to write a book which can unfurl the other side of curtain.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Mug of Melancholy

The Mug of Melancholy is one of the books that was sent across for reviewing. What intrigued me was the mail from the publishers which said that the author has been writing since age 8 and the story line attached with the mail sounded something like Harry Potter novels.


 The story line...

Everything seems fine for Bhuvan until his 15th birthday! He has lost his mother when he was very young and it was his father who has brought him up.


Things change on his 15th birthday when he overhears his dad and his neighbor -Aunt Neera talking about Bhuvan getting a proper training. Further Neera also cautions Anil,Bhuvan's father, that without proper training he is bound to end up killing himself!Bhuvan wants to know about the secret yet does not want to ask his dad about it.

He gets a strange dream that night and wakes up a bit shaken.Things do not go well the next day at the library as well.He is killed yet he wakes up alive!Bhuvan finds it hard to understand if it was a dream or if he really was in that situation!

And to make things worse a vanishing lady hands him a paper and asks him to open it somewhere private without his father knowing it.He opens the paper and reads the contents and unveils a room below his bed which has books on Andrunains,bottles and containers with curiously colored liquids and a small sweaty man bound in ropes! Bhuvan helps the small man escape and the dwarf's parting words are to walk into the cedar tree in the garden and then all his questions will be answered.

The next day he walks into the cedar tree and is transported or treelevated into a whole new world called Andrunain Umpling!There he meets a group of school kids of the Padma Institute of Fine Arts and Sciences taking a tour of the Omenwhisky gardens.

He befriends Orville,Kalki,Jwala and Samudra.He walks with them to the various parts of the gardens and lands in Aunt Neeras house when he realizes that his dad will be returning home any time soon .He finds out that he is an Andrunain just like his mom and Neera and even her daughter Jaldhara and he is astounded! The conversation does not proceed further as his father comes knocking by to see if Bhuvan was around.

Anil in the meantime grows suspicious yet does not ask anything directly to Neera / Bhuvan.After his school final exams, Bhuvan sets off [with his mom's purse] to meet his friends and gets to know more about Andrunains.

And then a lady named Amaterasu offers to tutor Bhuvan with skills that would be necessary to save himself in times of need. This has been arranged by Neera.

Bhuvan also meets Zoya who promises to bring his mother back alive in return of a favor.Bhuvan trusts Zoya and starts following her requests. Zoya also plants ideas that Amaterasu and Neeru are after Bhuvan's life after which he cuts himself from the two women.

Bhuvan learns that he is the ninth malfaisant and also gets his scepter.He also finds out that the incident in the library was not a dream and it was Amaterasu who had saved his life that day.He is now caught between Zoya and Ameterasu , not knowing whom to trust. Yet he keeps Zoya's existence a secret in an expectation to see his mother.

Zoya leads him away from his beliefs of trusting Aunt Neeru and he ends up in the garden of eternal bitter winter along with Jaldhara, Neeru's daughter to fetch the Mug of Melancholy.The kidnapped girl from Andrunain Umpling,Kalki who is a music hypnotist is needed for the completion of the mission.

What happens in the Garden of Eternal Bitter Winter, Who is Zoya and what is her mission, is Zoya her real name, does Bhuvan's mom come back just like Zoya promised, are Neeru and Amaterasu really after Bhuvan's life,does Anil find out about his son's mission, does Bhuvan get the Mug of Melancholy etc is the mystery that will find when you read the book....


Read the full review here...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gulabi - Book Review

Books can be humorous, fictional, romantic,thriller and so on.But the one that I read today is created a different type of emotion in me.It left a thug in my mind. I am still revolving with the characters!

I got this book - Gulabi by Pankaj Suneja for review...



Before going on to the story here is what the author shares...


The book is about experience of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is challenging disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and a significantly altered perception of reality. Its treatment largely depends on medications and psychosocial interventions but no single approach is widely considered effective for all patients. Through this book he offers the readers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of schizophrenia in the form of fictitious storyline revolving around two characters..

So  now you know what the story is all about. Yes, it revolves around two people - Monty and Virginia.And there is also this special character- Gulabi!

This is a simple story of the two characters -Monty who is the psychotic part and Virginia -the non psychotic part.


The books does begin with Death as its first chapter!!
Hop over to my other blog to read the full review....

About Author
Pankaj Suneja has completed his Master of Arts in Psychology (Psychosocial Clinical Studies) from Ambedkar University, Delhi. In 2011- 12, he suffered from a psychotic episode and had to leave his studies.Thanks to medications and the support of  family and teachers, he regained the health and resumed studies. In October 2013, he wanted to do an experiment for his thesis and decided to survive without medications.He wanted to record the episode in an authentic manner.The same year he experienced another breakdown after a painful long term relationship break-off.That was when Gulabi came into being.His thesis work has been about understanding the experience of psychosis or schizophrenia.
 
Happy Browsing...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ramayana- The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams

While I was reading the book - Ramayana - The game of Life - Rise of the sun prince, there was a small sneak peek into the next book -Ramayana- The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams. Just a few pages were enough to kindle my appetite for this book.I was overjoyed when the author sent me this  book for review.


Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the Rise of the Sun Prince in the spiritual and motivational series Ramayana- The Game of Life. This book talks of the happenings after the wedding of Rama and Sita. The story is set after 12 years since the Royal Wedding.



As the title suggests, it portrays the episodes that take place after Dasaratha decides to Crown Rama as the King.What were the circumstances that led Dasaratha to crown Rama in haste, what happens when the decision is made, the reaction it causes in various strata of the society including inside the palace walls, Rama's banishment and how everyone handles this is the gist of this part of the series.

Read the entire review here


Happy Browsing....





Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Aryavarta Chronicles Book 3: KURUKSHETRA

Earlier this month I had signed up for 52 books in 52 weeks reading challenge. In the introductory post, I mentioned that I will be posting reviews categorically.

The category that I have chosen for January is Mythology....

I have a soft spot for Mythology. It is interesting and fascinating at the same time! So when The Aryavarta Chronicles Book 3: Kurukshetra came along for review @ Blogadda, I signed up for it without hesitation.


This book is the third in the series - The Aryavarta Chronicles by author - Krishna Udaysankar.

 

 I must admit that I have not read the previous books in this series but I was sure it wouldn't matter that much.It is the well known story - Mahabaratha and the author did not leave the reader in mid air. The Dynasties of the Aryavarta and the cast of characters is clearly mentioned in first few pages.

The Author's note starts with  a gathering of scholars in circa second millenium BCE where this story / epic was narrated to the gathering by Sanunuka Kulapati as ithihasa / history.It was narrated under the assumption on what would have happened if all the characters walked the earth as we know it today.

And in the same authors note is also a  statement - The Aryavarta Chronicles are neither reinterpretation nor retelling. These stories are a construction of reality based on a completely different set of assumptions.The author has told the story in a contextualized and rationalized manner.


As the title suggests the story is all about the 18 days long epic war. It occupies the center stage obviously.The peace proposal brought forth by Govinda is rejected by Duryodhan who is called Suyoddan in this story.The lengthy war ensues as the peace talks fail and the brothers fight against their own family who are on the opposite side.

Read the rest of the review here...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

52 Books in 52 Weeks- Reading Challenge 2015

The New Year is here and once again I am signing up for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks- Reading Challenge 2015.More details here. This challenge has many mini challenges as well .

Unlike last year, this year I am  diving in with a plan!I seem to be more efficient when there is a clear plan on what I need to do or what has to be done.So I have decided to do a theme a month.[Please note that this is the theme that I intent to follow and not the rule for the reading challenge].

Updated:

I have the names of the books written beside the theme for which the reviews are posted in this blog. To read the reviews click on the genres in the header....
  1. Classics
  2. Indian writers  - The Mug of Melancholy, Gulabi,From Where I See
  3. Collection of short stories
  4. Historical fiction
  5. Foodie read - Books with a culinary touch , not cook books
  6. Books that were turned into a movie
  7. Mega Books[More than 500 pages in length]
  8. Philosophy / Religion / Mythology - Kurukshetra , Ramayana
  9. Humor
  10. Robin Cook's books
  11. Danielle Steele's books- Journey,Daddy
  12. Jeffery Archer's books
So this is the plan.I may or may not follow this order though!

I have even written down the books that I am going to read for each category.But since it would spoil the fun , I am keeping that list to myself. Join me in traveling through the world of books along with all the other book lovers out there....

Happy browsing....