Book Review: In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory is in Haimanti Dutta Ray’s own words a memoir where a doting daughter recounts how she had seen her father the late painter Shyamal Dutta Ray, who passed away in 2005, at close quarters as well as her reflections on the art fraternity to which her father had belonged. This book is not in the genre of

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Make Sure Your Child Reads These 10 Wonderful Books

While I got my reading habit from my mother, it was my father who bought me my first sets of books when I was not even two. Yes, they were picture books. Then came the mythological books with pictures, which he who read only technical books, would read out to me. I remember once when I was about 5 or

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How To Handle Negative Reviews: Author-Reviewer Relationship – III

From the time you had dreamt of writing a book, to finally writing it and getting it published, you have treated your book only with love. And of course, you’ve wanted that everyone does so. But, when you are sending your baby out in the world, for readers to devour and enjoy it, be prepared that it will also be

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Book Review: The Ribbon Trap

The cover page of this particular book grabbed my eyeballs. Seeing it and without reading the synopsis (a first for me!) I had decided I want to read this one. It lets out such a strong message. Kudos to Geetali for a splendid job. Smita and Krishnaprem are in love. They are ambitious people. Also dealing with their own complications.

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Book Review: The Siege

The Siege is a book on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, focused almost entirely on the Taj Hotel, by career journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark. The duo happen to be married and are co-authors of an impressive array of investigative journalism style books on terrorism. While reading the book, it is easy to forget that the book is fact

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Book Review: It’s Your Life

‘Reflections on contemporary living and relationships’ – the tagline that accompanied this book of collected essays said more about the content than anything else. Having been a Times of India subscriber since it began publishing a few years ago in my city, I have gone through Ms. Nangia’s columns in the special glossy Sunday Times supplement, Times Life. The short

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Book Review: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

I picked this book up at the Bombay airport a few years ago and read it on my journey to Delhi. At that point, I just remembered Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron as the movie that had that timelessly funny Mahabharat scene, which as college students we would watch on loop sometimes, on Youtube. The rest of the movie was a blurry

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Book Review: The Rise of Hastinapur

The second book of the Hastinapur duology, The Rise of Hastinapur, concentrates on the second and the third generation of the Kuru clan, mainly the Queens. This book revolves around Amba who was wronged by Bhishma’s actions and whose daughter eventually led to Bhishma’s death; Gandhari, the queen of Gandhar, who was later married to Dritarashtra, the grandson of King

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5 Plays That Will Leave You With Yearning For More

Drama has always been a predominant factor in India. This rich, glorious tradition has been preserved in Natyashastra where oral narratives being enacted were more in vogue.  The beginnings of Loknatya or People theatre has been a major part of culture in different states of India from the 17th century onwards. In Bengal Yatrakirtaniya, Paol and Gaan in Madhya Pradesh, Mach in Kashmir, Bhandyathar in Gujarat,

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Book Review: Making a difference

I read this book in tenth standard a few months before the stress of the Board exams began. I am quite surprised that this book isn’t that well known, considering it was quite well written and inspired me (fleetingly) to consider taking up a career in the Civil Services. Ultimately I chose the path of least resistance (with respect to

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Book Review: The Ivory Throne

There has been a dearth of good readable Indian history books and The Ivory Throne helps fill that void. (Other eminently readable and lesser known Indian history books: 1857 by Vishnu Bhatt, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee). Manu S. Pillai’s Ivory Throne is a fantastic book that chronicles the history of the kingdom of Travancore. To be frank, I only picked the book

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Book Review: The Missionary Position

Written by renowned polemicist, Hitchens, The Missionary Position is a sort of sting operation conducted on the life of Mother Teresa. At 99 pages, it is also probably among the thinnest yet incredibly good books that I have read. Hitchens lays bare Teresa’ life like it should have been. After all, what’s wrong with a little bit of devil’s advocacy? And,

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This Holi It’s Time For these Holi-Vali Beautiful Coffee Table Books

We all love our favourite festival of colours – Holi soo much. Isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be fun to see it come alive all through the year, whenever we want. Yes, Yes…we know and we bring you exactly that this Holi. We have complied a list of gorgeous coffee table books that capture the true and beautiful spirit of Holi

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Book Review: Amritsar – Mrs. Gandhi’s Last Battle

I have recently gotten hooked to Indian history again, after a few years. To be honest, except Guha’s “India after Gandhi”, I wasn’t aware of any good book on India’s history post Independence. And I have recently come across around five… I read Amritsar right after Kuldip Nayar’s fantastic ‘Emergency Retold‘ and loved it. Mark Tully and Satish Jacob take

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Book Review: Anamika

Soorina Desai’s debut novel, Anamika, was first published in the year 2005 and republished in 2015. It is the story of Anamika and Rajbir. Written with an eye for detail, the story describes a time when India had newly gained its freedom. Romance in that era was very different from what we understand today. There’s a certain old school charm

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Book Review: Dhanda by Shobha Bondre

I got onto this book after reading the fantastic ‘Rokda‘ from the same publisher. I am in a phase where I am finding contemporary Indian history interesting, which is why I breezed through Shobha Bondre’s ‘Dhanda‘ in two days. Though I liked the book, it had two major flaws. One, except the Gujarati Mayor character, I had heard of none

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5 Amazing Indian Poets You Should Read, like Now

Poetry is an expression of experience, so I noted very recently. When we write, it is borne from that experience, be it emotional or observational, or even inspired by the work of another poet. I love reading. One of the blessings of this life has been that love for reading that has been inculcated in me since childhood. One of

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Book Review: Sholay – The Making of a Classic by Anupama Chopra

This virtually unknown book came to my attention as I was trawling Amazon’s book pages during one of their umpteen ‘Dhamaka’ sales. Filled with anecdotes that went on behind the scenes during the making of ‘Sholay’, I found the book a terrifically fun read. ‘Sholay’ started off as a four sentence story idea that Salim and Javed had about a

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This is amazing. Did you know about this Indo-French Connection?

Did you know India and French have a literary connection? Lets Explore! Many Indian origin writers have written in French and many french writers have written about India. And we being we, the World of Indian Reads, wanted to celebrate this beautiful connection. What better day than today! It’s the International Francophone Day.20th March, observed as the International Francophone Day, is an

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Book Review: Emergency Retold by Kuldip Nayar

I remember asking my mother if she remembered the Emergency in the 70’s and she told me, “Yes, a lot of people went to jail; but corruption went away. Trains, buses used to be on time.” That and the undeniable fact that Indira Gandhi had induced the Emergency to satiate her hunger for power, had been my narrow viewpoint on

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Book Review: The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan

I was somewhat surprised that I liked The Zoya Factor so much. I expected to merely pass the time on a flight with the book; what ended up happening was that I was perhaps the only one not sleeping (or not trying to sleep) on a late night flight, completely hooked to Anuja Chauhan’s first. The story line and plot

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Book Review: My Days In The Underworld

Agni Sreedhar’s bio on wikipedia reads as former gangster, writer, critic and artist. His book Daadagiriya Dinagalu (Kannada), winner of Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Award, has been translated into My Days In The Underworld – Rise of the Bangalore Mafia. The translation, by Sreedhar himself, stays colloquial and the tone of the book is naturally street side. What an exciting

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Book Review: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

This was the first Jhumpa Lahiri book I read and from the get go, I was enchanted by the poetry of Lahiri’s prose. It is a little difficult for people who have grown up reading Jeffrey Archer’s short stories – people like me who expect every story to have a beginning, a premise and an end – to fully appreciate

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Book Review: Breaking Out and Making Big

The first thing that I noticed about the book when I saw it was the cover. In an explosive pink color, the cover is cluttered with a huge hyperlink mouse pointer image with little badges surrounding it. Yes, Start-ups in this technical age revolved around computers. For the sake of argument, which business doesn’t? I could make out the title

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Book Review: Byculla to Bangkok by Hussain Zaidi

Syed Hussain Zaidi’s Byculla to Bangkok is touted as the sequel to Dongri to Dubai but it fails miserably, leaving very few traces of coherence in chronology. It is the first time in my life that I have been disappointed by a Hussain Zaidi book; even Rahul Bhatt’s sob story, Headley & I (co-authored with Zaidi), was far more tolerable.

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Book Review: In the Shadows of Death

‘Being an avid reader of crime fiction myself, I have always harbored an ambition to make my own humble contribution to this genre,’ said writer Sourabh Mukherjee in an interview. ‘The story, of course, had its germs in my own interests in human psychology and in the complexities of human relationships, especially in these times of changing social order.’ ‘Also,

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Book Review: The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga

To me, ‘God of Small Things‘ has always been the gold standard for the kind of book that should win a Booker. Booker winning book after book since has disappointed me sorely. The Booker Prize it seems, is more about the one eyed amongst the blind and not really the best book of the year. That said, ‘The White Tiger‘

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Book Review: 1857 – The Real Story of the Great Uprising

Written by a Brahmin mendicant (Vishnu Bhatt), who somehow fortuitously ended up being in parts of India where (and when) the revolt was breaking out, ‘1857‘ is a fantastic book chronicling the first great uprising of the Indian freedom struggle. Vishnu Bhatt wrote the book as a diary – which was published only after his death in the early 20th

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Book Review: Alchemist of the East

“We dream and we actualize those which are closest to our hearts” Alchemist of The East is a story about a boy who copes up with his life after the untimely death of his parents and tries to follow his dreams only to be informed about a legacy he is a part of. Everything that follows adds to the making

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Book Review: Do and Die

I read this book after I came to know the movie version wasn’t really an accurate adaptation of the actual history of the Chittagong uprising. Being a history buff, I really wanted to know what actually happened in Chittagong. Chatterjee does justice to the subject and keeps you hooked even though you know the fate of the uprising already (from

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Book Review: The Curse of Brahma

As a lover of books based on Indian mythology, I opened Jagmohan Bhanver’s The Curse of Brahma with a bit of apprehension. And, there was a certain reason behind that. Lately, a number of retelling of Indian mythologies had disappointed me. But, to my own surprise, this book captured my attention in the Prologue and then I could not stop

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Book Review: It’s Not Right…But It’s Okay

“It’s not right, but it’s okay. I’m gonna make it anyway… Don’t you dare come running back to me… I’d rather be alone than unhappy.” This number by Whitney Houston has been playing on my music system ever since I accidentally discovered it while looking for Anuj Tiwari’s novel of the same name. The song examines a woman confronting her lover about his infidelity.

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Book Review: Shikhandi and Other Tales They Don’t Tell You

There is perhaps a law of diminishing returns with an author. Look at John Grisham – the same guy who gave the world classics such as The Rainmaker or The Testament – also wrote absolute putrid shit such as The Summons, The King of Torts or his latest Theodore Boone book series. It is perhaps a disservice to Pattanaik that this is the first

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Book Review: My Dream Man

Author as a main protagonist has always caught my attention. Also romance is my favourite genre. This book was a combination of both and thus I did not flinch even once to pick this up. Ajopa Ganguly is a struggling writer. Her script has got rejected many times, thus making her not wanting to write any further. She picks up

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Book Review: Borrowed Plumes

When I went through the book blurb for the first time I knew the story is going to be something that is totally unlike other thrillers. As the cover of the book hints, the sole theme of the story is based on the significance of the emblem printed on the cover of the book. The story, Borrowed Plumes, revolves around

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10 Best Women Writers from India

Have you been reading? Reading women writers? May you read, read more and read more women writers. If you ask why, I believe that women have been adding more sensitivity to writing in India. I have been brought up on a staple of books written by women in Bangla, and they are all amazingly touching and close to reality. Women

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Book Review: Chaddi Buddies

Set in the tiny village of Golvada in Thane, Oswald Pereira’s Chaddi Buddies is a sweet story revolving around the protagonist Robert’s transition from a meek boy to a strong young man. The book is essentially a tale of four friends who grow up together and whose bond undergoes a huge change with coming of age. At the start of the

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Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s Latest Offering ‘You’ve Got the Wrong Girl’ Had a Kicking Kolkata Launch

Love is in the Air!! Astor Hotel in Shakespeare Sarani of Kolkata was all abuzz with excitement. All in anticipation of a book launching event – Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s third novel – You’ve Got the Wrong Girl published by Hachette India. Following closely on the heels of her female erotica, Sita’s Curse, this new book has generated considerable amount of interest

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How to Create a Fantasy World – Tips on Worldbuilding

Fantasy is not a creation of the modern world. In fact the roots of fantasy go back thousands of years to an age of myths and legends, when wandering storytellers sat by a fire and recounted fantastic tales of wondrous worlds, populated by gods, heroes and monsters. Starting from the ancient epic of Gilgamesh and The Tales of King Arthur

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Book Review: Shakti – The Divine Feminine

After last year’s success with Kamadeva – The god of Desire, Anuja Chandramouli returns with this striking work on Shakti – The divine feminine. We all know about Shakti – She is the Mother Goddess, Mahamaya the enchantress, the supreme consciousness, the pure source from which all creation emerges and to whom all must eventually return. As Ushas, the enchanting goddess

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Book Review: eLove – Terms & Conditions Applied

Romantic books, movies have always fascinated me. The feel good factor that they bring to the table is what draws me to the,  always. It makes me want to read more and more. E-Love is a teenage saga. Wanting to reminisce my teenage years, I picked up this book to review. Ankit’s brother is getting married in an arranged marriage setup. He meets

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Book Review: Palm’s Foster Home for Peculiar Stories

I am quite ambivalent about my opinion on this book. It usually does not happen. I know whether I like it or not. It is a different matter that I may not be brutally honest in my review for a bad book, or superfluously glowing for a good book. But I know. Not this time. Because, Palm’s Foster Home For

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Book Review: The Shadow of the Dark Soul

Nirbhaya case had taken the entire nation by shock. It was one of the most talked about and heartfelt case in the history of Delhi Rapes. This particular incident has again come to the limelight, due to the juvenile being released free after committing such an atrocious crime. In the midst of all of this when I got the opportunity

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Book Review: Principally Yours

Principally Yours is a piece of nonfiction narrated by Bubloo Sen about her experience of teaching and moulding many lives to bring about positive changes in the society around her. Revolution can come from any sphere and in any size. What matters is the intention behind it and the result. This book is one such story of a mini revolution brought

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Book Launch: Love Comes Riding On 3 Wheels to Delhi

New Delhi: It is a cold, wintry morning in Delhi but Jain Book Depot, a well-known bookstore in Connaught place, New Delhi is all deck up and business as usual. The chairs are laid out and the stage set for the launching of Anurag Anand’s   latest novel – Love on 3 wheels published by Srishti Publishers & Distributors. Slowly people began to trickle in.

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Book Review: Just Married, Please Excuse

When I was offered this book for review, I almost grabbed it – for two reasons. The first reason obviously was the quirky title and the ‘V versus Y’ on the cover page, which I thought was a really funny way to denote a marriage. The second was the warning sign, Caution: Marriage Ahead in the summary. I had not really

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Book Review: The Winds of Hastinapur

Hindu mythology has always attracted my attention and of them, the retellings of Mahabharata and its characters are my favorite. So when I was given an opportunity to read and review a book based on Bhishma, I knew I couldn’t miss it. The Winds of Hastinapur is a story told by Ganga, the first wife of Shantanu, one of the

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Book Review: The Illicit Happiness of Other People

This book had me at the get go. From the opening scene, I read, in a trance like state – most likely under one of the very neuroses Manu Joseph researched to write the book. An unconventional mystery about a father trying to find out why his cartoonist son committed suicide set in the Madras of the 90’s, the book

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Book Launch: The Day of Coke

Kolkata: BEE Books (a Kolkata based publishing house) and STORY (predominantly a bookstore, previously called CROSSWORDS) organised a reading session on the evening of December 13, 2015 here. The event was of actor-author Barun Chanda who released his thriller, COKE, back in October in conversation with actor-director Churni Ganguly. After going over the basics of the storyline where the young

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Book Review: The Department of Denials

Anurag Mathur is the man who was Chetan Bhagat in the 90’s and early 00’s. After the unprecedented success of his book, The Inscrutable Americans (the book was even made into a movie), Mathur fathered several other books. The Department of Denials is one of them. I found The Department of Denials readable. It’s not massy, it’s not coherent and most importantly,

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Book Review: Of Marriageable Age

A saga of forbidden love and loss, of insurmountable desires and longing, of resistance and change… Of Marriageable Age narrates the story of three characters divided by time and space and yet intertwined together. Spanning across continents and decades, the novel intersperses a coming of age story of Nataraj, Savitri and Sarojini who refuse to bow down by the sheer

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Book Review: Glowing Dark

Glowing Dark by D Siva Rama Krishna is an adventure thriller. The story revolves around a hidden treasure in a palace. The story is about a vicious plan plotted by a dear companion of an imperial family to plunder the concealed fortune of a kingdom. While some members of the royal family were killed in the process of plundering the concealed

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Book Review: Eighteen – The End of Innocence

We are termed as the Y generation. Science and technology has progressed and reached a level where nobody can function without Internet. Like every coin has two sides, this definitely has it’s own share of cons. Teenagers are feeling lonely. Relationships have become futile. Intrigued to know about their day to day issues, I decided to read this one. Raghu, like

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Love, This Time on 3 Wheels…

What does it take for someone to juggle a demanding day – job with writing stories which pan genres, geographies and audiences alike? “Sheer passion,” quips Anurag Anand. “The euphoria of having written yet another book is significantly shorter-lived vis-à-vis the long drawn journey of putting the words together. The trick is to relish the journey itself and not wait

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Book Review: Chief Minister’s Mistress

I devour crime fiction. There are not many Indian authors who attempt this genre. So when I got an the opportunity to read this crime fiction by Joygopal, I immediately took it up. Joygopal had written 5 novels in 9 months in 2012. Also 10 novels in 21 months. Alarmed by his speed, I was pretty excited to read Chief Minister’s

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Book Review: The Last Soul Children

The most of the memories a person makes is during his childhood, especially during his school life. The book I had been reading for a week – The Last Soul Children by Aman Chougle is a perfect picture of childhood memories depicted through various short episodes that are stitched together in order to create a thread of recollections. The book

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Book Review: The Accidental Prime Minister

I finally finished the book that has had tongues wagging from South Block to South India and also, possibly contributed maybe ten odd incremental seats to the NDA. Baru begins the book by justifying his reasons for writing the book (i.e. showing Manmohan in a better light than the internet jokes circulated about him), using the example of foreign civil

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Book Review: There’s Something About You

This is Yashodhara Lal’s third book, after her first two successes Just Married, Please Excuse and Sorting Out Sid. The lady is firmly establishing herself as one to watch out for in the Young Rom-Com space. Her protagonists are career folks sweating out their love stories. Their work, personal and social spaces and the balance (or the lack thereof) in them,

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Book Review: Primal Woman

Sunil Gangopadhyay was one of the most prolific writers in Bangla. His books, over the decades, have enriched the readers and reached new heights of popularity. He is my favourite author, of course, having read almost all his novels since they came in periodical magazines with a lot of suspense between a week’s separation. Not only novels, Sunil Gangopadhyay was

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Book Review: Thousand Unspoken Thoughts

We all think everyday, every hour, every minute about things that this universe has created, about our existence and belifs. The questions never have proper answers. A poet on the other hand has a mind that’s a never ending questionnaire, that gives the million minds the answers they seek. Poetry is really different than prose; it has depth and brevity

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Book Review: Romancing with Life

Brought to you by the same mind that brought you crass such as Mr. Prime Minister, Censor, Love in Times Square, etc. Dev Anand’s autobiography Romancing with Life is a hodgepodge, below par literary effort, mostly overflowing with Mr. Anand’s barely concealed lust for women. When I started reading the book, I expected to come across filmy anecdotes – to be transported

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Book Review: Soul Warrior

In the last one decade, the Indian book market has seen a rapid upsurge of mythological fiction. Writers like Ashok Banker, Devdutt Pattanaik, Amish Tripathi has struck a chord with the young Indian readers who although seem reluctant to read the primary texts like The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, are more than interested in modern re-tellings of these texts which make these

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Book Review: The Middleman

Men, authors, books come and go and yet our country remains filled with angst ridden youth. Sankar’s Middleman is a Bengali novel translated to English and even though it chronicles the life of an unemployed young man in 1970’s Calcutta (as it was called then), it could well have been set in 2014 in any of our country’s cities. Somnath

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Book Review: 1 Friend Request Sent From Hanuman

We are living in the world of digital technology and a number of our interactions happen through social networking sites now days. But, what will happen if you find out that one of your beloved Gods is trying to reach you through one of these social networking sites? Have you ever thought about that? Well! 1 Friend Request Sent From

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Book Review: The Paradox of Vantage Point

“The Paradox of Vantage Point is the journey of Anwesha Nair, Raghubir Kishor and Vikram Madane from being compassion-deficient to acquiring a deeper analysis of life. It is their story of surviving the battle and ultimately painting the canvas of life with positivity and gleefulness.” Couple of corrections, and then I will say – Raghubir Kishor does not come across

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Book Review: Travels in Kashmir

Frederick Drew pointed out emphatically – ‘from Kashmir AND FROM NO OTHER SPOT IN ASIA one may go westward through countries entirely Muhammadan, as far as Constantinople; eastward among none but Buddhists to China; and southward over lands where the Hindu religion prevails, to the extremity of the Indian peninsula.’ What can be more enticing than the above lines about

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Book Review: When The Heavens Smiled

When The Heavens Smiled is a heart-stopping mystical tale of love by Ritesh Arora which talks about love surpassing all odds and winning. As a reader I read novels as they are, sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes confusing. But as a reviewer I can only say to the publishers that the stories being published in recent times are not maintaining the basic requirement of sharp

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Book Review: Edge of Desire

When I discovered The Edge of Desire by Tuhin A. Sinha, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The blurb sounded promising and the reviews gave a positive feedback. But, the thing about Indian writing is that I could never feel connected to it. Some books just work out fine for me, while others lead to utter disappointment. So it is

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Book Review: Never Kiss Your Best Friend

Never Kiss Your Best Friend sounds like a love story that happened when it was not supposed to, like all love stories this one is special too. “Feelings that suddenly come knocking at the door of your heart are feelings that never left the comfort of it in the first place”… A philosophy is born out of love such as a

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Book Review: The Tusk That Did the Damage

How often is it that we meet a protagonist who is recognized as one of the biggest mammals walking on earth? This was certainly a first for me and such was its grandeur that it will forever be etched in my memory. Period. From the critically acclaimed author of Atlas of Unknowns and Aerogrammes, here is Tania James’ latest adventure-cum-tragedy set in

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Book Review: Resonance

Indian publishing is at a very interesting turn now. We currently have a hoard of writers writing in different genres. I don’t claim that all of them are readable but there are definitely some gems that don’t see the limelight much but are gems nevertheless. As a reviewer who gets review copies from most of the known publishing houses in

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Book Review: The Curse of Surya

Indian history. Ancient secrets. Mythological legends. Thriller. Reminds me of Ashwin Sanghi and The Krishna Key. Yes, when I read the blurb of this one it did remind me of The Krishna Key. A book blurb that has ancient Indian history mixed with some treasure hunting always intrigues me and, blurb of The Curse of Surya had these elements in

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Book Review: Brutal

I first heard of the ePublishing venture – Bloody Good Book (BGB) on Twitter (through the tweets of the founder herself – Rashmi Bansal). BGB is a unique eBook publishing venture where the power of crowd sourcing & crowd curating is used to find the book that is considered for publishing by BGB & Westland Books. Brutal by Uday Satpathy

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