Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: Book Review

This would be the last book in Nandhini's Book Review Blog for 2014. Quite an inspirational book to end the year with a positive note!

I am talking to you about a book that was first published in 1970, around 45 years ago. There is a stunning significance for mentioning about this old book on this blog, at the close of this year. 

Initially, the author had written four parts within the story. However, at the time of sending the manuscript to the publisher, he withheld the last part considering it unimportant for that time. In 2014, having re-discovered the fourth part from an old box of manuscripts (also a consequence of a nearly fatal plane crash in 2012), author Bach sent to the publishers the 45-year old treasure and thus 2014 found the age old book reissued as Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition that includes a 17-page part four of the story.

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Archers Revenge by Destination Infinity: Book Review

Vibrant Story Line

The Archers Revenge is a a dramatic story line which is quite close to that of a few inspirational Indian films. The protagonist, Aryan, has a strong motive to take revenge on one of the leading political leaders of the country. As he prepares ardently for the D-day, he is taken aback to discover a new ally, Divya, who has been training for the same mission as his. The rest of the plot is their inter-mutual efforts to charge their common target at every possible event. The end of the story, however, unlike Indian films, has taken an interesting twist that would leave the readers light and easy. 


The narration is kept precise which is rather unusual, especially for this genre of a crime fiction that usually involves vivid descriptions. It seemed like the nutshell scenes from the lengthy version of the story were extracted to frame this book.

Friday, 26 December 2014

The Carbon Conundrum by Adit Ambani: Book Review

The Plot in Short

Alvin, the twenty-one year old director of the British Museum is worried as the security of the Royal Incan Diamond is at stake after the recent robbery attempt at the museum. The museum was built by his ancestor over two hundred years ago and after his father's death, he inherited the Incan Diamond.

The  plot begins with Alvin's uncle trying to protect the Diamond from the thieves. He hides the Diamond at a safe spot and sends a conundrum to Alvin, decoding which would unveil the Diamond's place. He gets killed soon after. The rest of the book is about Alvin's thrilling experiences while solving his uncle's puzzle during which he also discovers important ancestral secrets connected with the Diamond. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Mistress of the Throne by Ruchir Gupta: Book Review

The Mughal Empire comes alive again!

I am astonished why throughout my school history texts, the name Jahanara didn’t get a mention at all. Unless you are too good at Indian history, you wouldn’t have heard this name either. The daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal and the elder sister of Aurangazeb – Jahanara – had played a significant role both within her family and in the country matters. Ironically, her name had remained silent for the most part. Author Ruchir Gupta has rightly brought her out of her veil through his debut book.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Yen Uruvaagirathu Putrunoi? (Tamil Book on Cancer) by Padmahari: Book Review

None in my family had cancer before. So I am safe.

I am too young to even know about cancer. Cancer usually affects people of ages above 50.

I don’t smoke or drink. I live in a hygienic environment. I don’t see any reason to develop cancer.

Beware! Several people who lived with such hopes have succumbed their lives to this deadly disease sooner or later.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in … Peru by Carole P. Roman: Book Review

If You Were Me and Lived in … Peru  is one among the children's book series by author Carole.  This series intends to educate children about cultures of several countries. The collection is ideal for children of ages four to eight.

At least in the part of the world I live in, very little is known about this South American country Peru (Say Pir-roo). Not sure if my general knowledge was so bad all these years, but I have not heard the name of this city Lima (Say Lee-ma) before. However, the generation of my children would learn early about several countries and cultures around the world. Thanks to author Carole's children's book series! 

Friday, 28 November 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in … Greece by Carole P. Roman: Book Review

If You Were Me and Lived in … Greece  is one among the children's book series by author Carole.  This series intends to educate children about cultures of several countries. The collection is ideal for children of ages four to eight.

Fairy tales, bedtime stories, moral stories - well, your children must have heard enough of all these tales year after year. Why not introduce your little champs to something different and something interesting?! How about telling them how people in the other part of the globe live? Imagine how exciting it would be!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Weaver's Web by Chris Pearce: Book Promo

About the Book

Handloom weaver Henry Wakefield, his wife Sarah and their five children live in abject poverty in the Manchester area of the UK in the early 19th century at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Henry hates the new factories and won’t let his family work in them. He clashes with Sarah, a factory agent, a local priest and reformers, and son Albert runs away. The family are evicted and move to Manchester but are even worse off, living in a cellar in a terrace and have another little mouth to feed.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Death & Disappearances by Richard Smiraldi: Book Promo

About the Book

Death and Disappearances is a psychological thriller. Young, rich and promising novelist, Manhattanite, Montgomery Clark, “Mont.” has had one un-successful book, and an interesting marriage to Petula Beaujolais, a Parisian artist he met while attending Columbia University. They’d been married about two years when life as they know it began to unravel. Petula was unhappy because Mont didn’t take her career as an artist seriously. To make matters worse, Mont belongs to that elite class of first American families –to which Petula could not find acceptance. After a heated argument at a club function on Gramercy Park, Petula leaves their apartment at 2am in nothing but her sable coat and a pair of fuzzy pink slippers –never to be seen or heard from again. Did she go back to Paris to visit her twin sister at the asylum (Clarenton)? Where is she? Mont elicits the help of his friends Bea, and Peter. Bea discovers a cancerous lump on her throat and is advised by her psychic root worker to leave the country.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Bluest Marble by Vipin Kumar: Book Review

Yet another energetic write-up of man’s search for meaning!

The Plot

Aditya Saxena lives a quite decent life as an investment banker with a loving girlfriend and nice friends in the most happening city of Mumbai until one day:

when he finds himself thrown out of the company because of his boss' clever politics
when he finds his girl friend's secret relationship with another man
when he realizes that friends are helpful but not to the extent he had expected them to
when Mumbai can no longer accommodate him jobless
when he realizes his parents don't trust him now after all of the above

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fury From Hell by Rochelle Campbell: Book Promo

About the Book

Fury From Hell is a paranormal thriller about good vs. evil. Here, the good is in the form of Detective Jennifer Holden, a homocide cop that is haunted by her own personal demons of a murder she committed when she was just a teenager. The trauma she suffered at the hands of social agency after agency hardened Jennifer into a staunch atheist making her gun and her bank account the only things she truly believes in.

We meet Detective Holden, shortly before she begins working on her first solo murder case. The victim is Kyma Barnes who was brutally raped and killed. As Kyma’s soul leaves her body, a demon being called by a coven of dark witches at nearby Prospect Park, is drawn to the dying woman by her death throes.
Fury Abatu offers to avenge Kyma’s death. The price? The dying woman’s soul. Kyma gives it gladly to ensure the man who killed her pays dearly.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mind Vault by Eric Gichira: Book Promo

About the Book 

Prosperity and financial freedom rarely happens by luck. It takes a process which involves lots of preparation. Of course, luck too plays a part, but the truth is, you can’t live all your life waiting on luck to knock at your door!

There are things you have to do, and lessons you’ve got to learn. The purpose of this book is to get you prepared for your success. Principles laid out in this book will work for you irrespective of where you are in life. Of course not every advice in this book will work for you. So, take what makes sense to you and run with it.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

To Forgive Is Divine by Eric Gichira: Book Promo

  About the Book 
Everything’s fine at The Staples’ family until Tanya, their 19 year old daughter, shows up home from college. But there’s a problem. She’s pregnant and somewhat confused. The family’s thrown into disarray as it seeks answers from Tanya, and solutions to the new situation. 

Tanya’s dad is a God fearing man, a great dad and a man called to be a Sheriff. However, he finds himself facing the demons of anger and revenge and struggling with a murderous appetite from a dark world.With the ever present forces of destruction haunting him, he painfully tries hard not to kill Bishop Tucker – the man responsible for his daughter’s pregnancy.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Releasing Soon: For a Brighter Bipolar Life by Guinnevere Clarke

About the Book

I wrote this book ´For a Brighter Bipolar Life´ for what I wished I knew from the very beginning of being diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder. When I first found out that I had bipolar, I tried to find out as much as I could about this type of mental illness since I knew nothing at all about it.

I wrote this book in the in the way I wanted to know in the beginning of this type journey. A lot of things that I wanted to know, I couldn’t find out anywhere. I just couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for. This book is what I was looking for before. This book is everything that I wanted to know. This is my blueprint now that I didn’t have before. I learned everything I know now from lessons learned along my way with this mental illness.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in … Portugal by Carole P. Roman: Book Review

If You Were Me and Lived in … Portugal  is among the children's book series by author Carole.  This series intends to educate children about cultures of several countries. The collection is ideal for children from pre-K to age eight. 

The book takes children for a quick tour to Portugal. As you can see, the book cover shows where exactly Portugal is in the world map. Another map on the first page gives a geographic outline of the country with its capital city, just for kids to identify; not a detailed one. And then a little about the country’s history; a little about the origin – all just a little for little children!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Seller of Beliefs by Trishala D Shah: Book Review

The Seller of Beliefs is a narration of a young, dynamic girl about her visit to an unusual fair. The story begins with her reluctance to attend a two-day course, though she finally succumbs to her parents’ persuasion. As a part of her course, her teacher instructs to find, what she calls as, ‘essential ingredients’ and a ‘secret element’ from the fair. A guide is assigned to her who would take her around at the fair.

Now what’s so unusual about the fair? One enters it with no pennies and returns with nothing either. Instead a jar of Punyas is allotted to each. And for every joy ride or a game, an amount of the Punyas gets depleted. In other words, the fair is metaphorically depicted as the life of an individual which one enters with the punyas he carries at birth. The fair events are set as life-learning lessons which the girl is supposed to grasp with the help of the guide, whose character is subtly woven as a spiritual being.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Seedlings: Fables from the Forest by C D Baker: Book Review

Seedlings is the story of the trees! If we were one among the trees, how would our lives been? Seedlings will take your children to an imaginative life of the trees. Trees eat, drink, sleep and share as much as we do. They interact and make friendship with their fellow trees as well. They age and learn values just like we do.

Author Baker has brought out the essence of life’s greatest virtues in the form of five beautifully written fables from the forest. Each story emphasizes one of these:
Thankfulness Forgiveness Humility Helpfulness Kindness

And each story highlights a Biblical verse!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Your Love was all I had! by Kaushal Kumar Jha: Book Review

Yet another Indian Love Story!

Your Love was all I had! is a beautiful love story that happens in the busy city of Mumbai. Rahul lands on the city for his medical course. He meets Riya, chases her and they become friends. At one point when he knows he should propose his love to her, he does it and their romantic relationship begins. All goes well until oppositions shoot up from both families and may what happens at the end be a secret to the readers.

Sounds like the usual Indian movies? It is exactly! But not all movies leave the same impact, right? That’s where this book makes a difference. It brings out romance where it should, it brings out lust where it should and it brings out life where it should – all well-balanced! There’s a little tinge of just everything that revolves around young lads of this decade. They know quite well what is to be done with family, love and ambition. And our hero is one of that kinds!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Humanshastrra by Jatin Bharmani: Book Review

A good quick-read!
Humanshastrra is a kind-hearted book to re-kindle life’s forgotten good ways. The back cover was simple without a detailed text; significant topics addressed in the book were impressively highlighted, instead.

The book reminds us to watch our everyday thoughts and behaviours. Here’s a simple question the author keeps in front of the readers: 

When was the last time that you went out of your way, sacrificed your basic need and parted with it, for someone else, which may be greater than yours? (Page 17)

Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski: Book Review

Order of the Dimensions is a Science fiction plot happening at several cities in the Unites States. The main character, Jane Kremowski, is a research student at the Physics laboratory of Madison State University in Wisconsin. One of their new inventions, the black box, has the ability to transport people to other parallel lives – what the author refers to as Dimensions. The villain character misuses the ability of the black box to attain the highest power in the world. And the plot continues with constant trap – escape struggles with the villian, leading to the expected end.

The concept of time travel was too impressive. Especially, it’s not a kind of travel to another one time. The characters travel to several dimensions every now and then. And in each dimension, their lives are almost similar with a few differences in the life events.

Me “N” Her – A Strange Feeling by Rikky Bhartia: Book Review

 The kind of love story that happens here and there, everywhere!

The story is of Harsh and Janvi. They meet as new joiners at office. Almost half the book is about how their association finds gradual changes as years pass by – from colleagues to friends to lovers to wedding talks to engagement. Sounds like the usual love story? Perhaps not! The plot maintains constant twists and turns throughout the book. And one would want to know ‘what next’ at every stage. The last few pages, especially, contain the most unexpected twist like the O’Henry short stories. Well, was wedding bells finally in their air? I am afraid, I cannot reveal the rest part of the book.

Absolutely, the present-day reality!

The book depicts 100% of the society that most young Indians have been living in, at least for the last five to ten years.

Reflections by Mukesh Mehta: Book Review

Reflections is a simple expression of the author’s thought process on day-to-day life experiences.

You sit on a rocking chair. Your mind could pick up the insights of this experience to introspect now or later. Wonder what experience can arise from sitting in a chair? Say, you might feel a sense of relaxation with the rocking movement. You might feel discomfort in getting up from the chair. An inquisitive mind could possibly create allegories of such experiences to real life situations. One of such minds is the author’s! 

Reflections is a small, quick-to-read book that can be a good travel companion. It could take from a few minutes to a couple of hours to complete the book, depending upon the readers’ speed of assimilation. The language is simple. The subject is simple. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Marvels and Mysteries of the Mahabharata by Abhijit Basu: Book Review

A passion from the depth of one’s soul supported by years’ of study can only bring up such literary works. If Mahabharata is your all-time intriguing tale, this book is sure to add glory to your bookshelf!
Marvels and Mysteries of the Mahabharata (will refer to as MMM henceforth) is a genuine attempt to critically analyze a few of the prominent characters of the great epic – Vyasa, Krishna, Yudhishthira, Arjuna and Draupadi. It also sheds light on several enigmatic  episodes within the plot. The author, along with providing insights, engages his readers with his exemplary correlations of characters and incidents with Greek, Biblical, Islamic, Semitic and other ancient tales.
While there are 100s of books on Mahabharata, what’s so unique about MMM?

MMM gives us interesting revelations about the personalities of the main characters.We know Vyasa appears now and then throughout the epic.

Monday, 15 September 2014

AJAYA – Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan: Book Review

I congratulate the author for his brave endeavor. What he has envisaged beyond the story of Mahabharata through the same story deserves this country’s applause!

The first part of AJAYA – Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan is a must-read for all epic lovers. If you are a Mahabharata genius, you are sure to enjoy the familiar plot in a different perspective. It is as if the same story is directed with different screenplays by different directors. On the contrary, if you are a Mahabharata illiterate, as I was before touching the book, you are sure to get enlightened on the country’s greatest tale. It might not be the best pick to learn the truth of history, but for sure a great choice to take a walk through the myriads of characters and their most significant sagas that every Indian should know.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi: Book Review

Read book review of Immortals of Meluha here.

If you haven’t read 'The Immortals of Meluha' yet, then you are too early for this page. Immortals of Meluha was more than a fiction, more than a mythology and definitely more than a time-pass read. It’s last page left us all eager to know the consequences of Naga’s attempt to kidnap Sati.

Though there was a few months’ lapse in my starting with the second book, I had no memory problem in remembering the roles of the characters, what a vikarma meant and where exactly were the main characters on the then map of India. I didn’t have to search the pages of the first one even once. No, not because of my memory! If you’ve been affected by the thrill of the first book, you’ll know because of what.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho: Book Review

Actually I wasn’t planning to buy another book within a short span but the 15% New year offer in Odyssey was irresistable. Probably a part of destiny’s tricks and magics? You see my third book of Mr.Coelho’s I can’t help writing this way ;) Am already a die-hard fan of his by now.

When two young lovers are reunited, they discover anew the truth of what lies in their hearts.  

This was the description I had read about this book before I had bought it. Well if you are not married yet and in particular still single, no wonder this subject shall allure you. And trust me this is a beautiful love story I’ve ever read!

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield: Book Review

If you are in a search towards your personal growth, your own evolution, but not sure of where to start from, I suggest you start from a book shop – and get hold of The Celestine Prophecy. It is a fiction about a manuscript which has 9 ancient insights and hidden from public reading due to political reasons. The main character takes on a journey to investigate the manuscript whereabouts in order to prevent it from being destroyed by the bad men. And on his way, he comes across the 9 insights and their detailed understanding by several people at several places. No doubt, along with the hero, the readers too get involved in the insights. And to know exactly what we mean by the insights, one has to read the book.
To give a glimpse of the insights, I mention here 2 of my favourite points from the book.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho: Book Review

In a book discussion forum, I had seen strong recommendations to get a hold of this book. I did not look into the book reviews, just to keep the beans safe before spilling out. And now I’ve already turned the last page of the book and could not but write on the writing of this great writer!!!

I feel Paulo Coelho shouldn’t be included among the other commercial writers of fiction, self-help, psychology and the like. If you’ve read at least one book of his, you would agree with me that not everyone can perceive his messages exactly as how he has projected them. That’s why I guess I hear mixed comments on his books – boring to some, interesting to some, confusing to some, inspiring to some. It actually demands an understanding level in the reader too to see what Mr.Coelho has seen.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon: Book Review

I’ve just put  this book down after turning over its last page. This is the first time  I’ve ever read a Sidney Sheldon and now I partly understand how some people become book-addicts!

Not exaggerating, it feels I’ve just come out of a strange fantasy world of manipulations to reality. Jamie, Margaret, Banda, Kate, David, Tony, Eve, Alexandra, George, John, Peter…….these characters are like known people in my real world now. I marvel  at what a book can do to its readers. And lo, what an author does to his readers!
Jamie - His vigour and sense of righteousnes! Except of what he did to Margaret. His character is all about how a man struggles to lift himself up in the ladder of success after being deceived so badly. I was too sad to have my dinner the day when I went through the pages of his premature death :( May be he should have learnt little of forgiveness.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi: Book Review

It was my childhood myth that Lord Shiva is a very busy and powerful God that He will not have time to heed to my prayers. So I refrained from having a connection with Him as a God. Not to exaggerate, this book has changed that stupidity of my bygone days. Now I feel He is as gentle and heeding as any of my other favourites.

Written by Amish Tripathi, this book is about Lord Shiva’s life as a human on Earth. Most of the characters are already familiar to us as they form our ancient mythology. Having mentioned Lord Shiva and mythology, it might give an impression of an old historical, religious and boring book. But that’s not the truth.
The immortals of Meluha  is unbelievably written to the interest of the present day readers. Lord Shiva often utters “Shit” and “Damn it” and Rishi Brahaspati conducts scientific experiments. So you can imagine the fun-filled mythology that is presented in this book.