Book Review: Skyfire

The trio of journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence officer Syed Ali Hassan from The Shadow Throne is back in Aroon Raman‘s 3rd novel – Skyfire. After dabbling in historical fiction for his 2nd book – The Treasure of Kafur, Raman is back to writing what he started off with and to a very large extent he doesn’t disappoint.

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Book Review: Citadel of Love

Citadel of Love by Pratibha Ray was first written in Odiya as Silapama and is the winner of Odisha Sahitya Academy Award. Translated into English by Monalisa Jena, if there is one word that can describe the experience of reading this book, it is – brilliant! For one the book doesn’t read like a translation and therein lies the biggest achievement for Jena. As

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Book Review: One Indian Girl

Chetan Bhagat in a recent interview said that many Indian women tell him that he understands them better than most men. If his latest book is anything to go by I think those women are right. I won’t say he understands Indian women completely but whatever he understands, he does understand bang on. So for one, Bhagat has researched really well

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Why Are More Indian Authors Writing Romance Novels?

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There is no denying that romance is the favourite genre amongst Indian authors at present. However, the scenario has started to change, albeit very slowly. While some of the romance novels are runaway success, most fail to make a mark. This is mainly for two reasons. Firstly, the obvious – they are not well-written, well-edited and well-executed stories. Secondly, there

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India’s 10 Favourite Engineer-Turned-Writers

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It is Engineer’s Day today – 15th September – and we asked our buzzing community of book lovers to tell us about their favourite Engineer turn writers. Presenting to you India’s 10 most favourite engineers who found their calling in spinning stories: Durjoy Dutta A mechanical engineer from the Delhi Technological University, he is a novelist, screenwriter and entrepreneur. He has written four shows, Sadda

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10 Indian Books Celebrating Friendship

The most beautiful and purest of relationships that humans indulge in all through their lives is Friendship. The most unconditional one too. While it is extremely beautiful in real, books romanticise it even more. Stories bring out the multiple layers that this heartfelt relationship brings along and allows the reader experience many friendships from the comforts of his couch. On

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Book Review: The Mahabharata Secret

What we know of history is only what the archeologists have so far dug out and a story that historians have written. What is there is a story different from what the historians have written? Because the archeologists haven’t found something so far, does not mean it never existed! This is the thrill of historical fiction. A well researched and

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Book Review: Sutak

An endearing novel of self-discovery, Sutak is a thoughtful look at the way in which flawed human beings are wrong – and right. This story is about two sisters and their ever intertwining lives. Lalitha and Vinodini though appear like two different species at a glance have more in common than they ever cared to acknowledge. They are like two

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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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5 Plays That Will Leave You With Yearning For More

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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5 Amazing Indian Poets You Should Read, like Now

Beautiful Coffee Table Books

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: The Thirteenth Day

The Thirteenth Day is the tale of the Great War between the cousins – Pandavas and Kauravas. The title announces what can be expected out of the book. The blurb is crisp and describes the story, arousing the reader’s interest. The cover page gives a sneak peek into the battle field and how it would have been. Mahabharatha is one

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Book Review: The Bestseller She wrote

From the bestselling author of white collar crimes based thrillers, Ravi Subramanian, comes a story of love, deception and revenge – that the book cover promises to be different from the author’s usual offerings. But when you read it, it turns out to be more or less a thriller of a more domestic nature. Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor’s life is

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Book Review: The Dowry Bride

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal focuses on the life of a wife in an orthodox milieu of Indian society. The story in this book shows that a wife in a traditional Indian society is generally given a secondary place. This results into losing all notions of her independence, her individuality, stature and strength. The story revolves around Megha who gets

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Book Review: Kismetwali and Other Stories

Kismetwali is a collection of short stories, woven around the –walas and –walis that we are so used to in India. Just to set the context right, we are not talking about the Parsis such as Shenaz Treasurywala, or my good friend Perseus Patrawala or his wife Pinaaz Pagdiwaala. We are talking more about the chaiwala, taxiwala, malishwali, kaamwali, phoolwali

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Book Review: The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi

“What has, however, clearly happened in my case is the discovery that in all probability there is a vital defect in my technique of the working of non-violence. There was no real appreciation of non-violence in the thirty years’ struggle against British Raj. Therefore, the peace that masses maintained during that struggle of a generation with exemplary patience, had not

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inKonversation With A (very) Young Love Guru – Anamika Mishra

I have never met Anamika Mishra, so when I got the chance to read her book and interview her, I didn’t have any high expectations. Okay, here is another chick lit. Girl falling in love, heartbreak and all the other ingredients. There wasn’t much to be impresssed about. Right? Wrong! For a young girl Anamika’s insight into relationships and human

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Writing Can Be A Bolt From The Blue, Proves Sundari Venkatraman

inKonversation with Sundari Venkatraman who felt the happiness of being a published author when Indireads decided to publish her short novella Double Jeopardy. When I got this book for review I was ready for a quick read without much expectations. This small package made me sit up, bite my nails and hold my breath and above all the oomph factor was something I would not have guessed in my wildest dream.

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Desi inKonversation from Videsh: A Talk With Ankita Kapoor

Once a desi, always a desi – for the heart knows just one beat! We get inKonversation with the very much desi in videsh – Ankita Kapoor. The debuting author and artist talks about her first book, the trials and time pass that writing has become for her. An author published in the US of A, a story about the

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Meet The Judging Minds: Debut Indian Writers Month 2013

Hello Book Bloggers! We are a week into the Debut Indian Writers Month 2013 and I think it is about time to give way to a mystery that the Best Review Contest (part of  Debut Indian Writers Month 2013) has been shrouded in. Remember what the challenge page says: We have on-board 3 avid book lovers and pro reviewers who constitute our judging panel for the Best Review of this

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Book Review: Roll of Honour

Part of South Asian Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads This review is honoured to be on the author’s website. I had earlier interviewed Amandeep and his answers were the major push behind me wanting to read the book. I was born at the end of 1983 in Bhopal. Two major events happened in Bhopal around my formative, childhood years

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