Book Review|The Sun Shines Down by Sankha Ghosh

Blurb:

Shreya Basu is a kind of politician India has hardly ever witnessed and that too from a political party which has been suffering from an existential crisis for the last few years. With an impeccable beauty and excellent oratory skill, Shreya Basu’s shot to fame is no less than a fairytale. And in this topsy-turvy ride to power, she comes across the enigmatic Hector who is haunted by his ghosts of the past. And when Shreya’s seamless ambition to acquire power meets Hector’s hate-filled stigma of retribution, it wreaks war.

Review:

This book is a political fiction with a lot of drama added to it which also helps the story to keep up the pace.
Here’s a brief plot of ‘The Sun Shines Down’, Shreya Basu is a politician determined to reveal some gloomy secrets of politics and biased media. This book has all of it which takes to be a good book. It’s length is not frightening as the book is small yet the author has managed to describe each and every instance in vivid detail. I would like to mention another interesting character here, Hector Fernandez. Hector has been through a lot much and his past is whizzing around in his present. All of his motives drove him to an ultimate goal of vengeance.
The amalgamation of Shreya’s ambitions with Hector’s traumatic actions lead to a series of events which combine up as ‘The Sun Shines Down’ by Sankha Ghosh.
I would like to recommend this one to the ones who like to read thriller fiction. The efforts of author are appreciable as the narration and storyline is intact and hooks on the reader to be there!

Ratings:

4/🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Book Review| The Glass House by Chanchal Sanyal

Blurb:

What makes a house a home? College professor M.B. and his designer wife, Roshni, are a yuppie couple living in the ever-expanding, smog-encrusted, roiling city of Delhi. They have finally achieved their dream of buying their own apartment—in an up and coming builder’s complex in Gurgaon. The problem is, it looks like it is going to be up and coming for a while. Along with this woe come tumbling a hundred others. M.B. is sure his wife’s growing distance and disaffection has less to do with the stalling on the house front, and more because she is finding solace in the arms of Rocky, the stud son of their Punjabi landlord. The landlord, on his part, ‘Fat-bum’ Khanna, is greasing his way further into his tenants’ lives, filling their ears with advice on how to navigate the growing mound of bank papers, loan agreements and, of course, construction jargon. What is galling for M.B. to admit is that he may actually need all the help the canny businessman landlord can provide. Further complicating things are his NRI brother, Tubluda, and his familial tiffs with an overstepping tenant, and M.B.’s growing fascination for the ‘resident bitch’ of the college staffroom, the glamorous South Delhi girl, Malati Patel. A darkly comic take on the big, bad city of Delhi, its many moods and characters, The Glass House presents a look into the ideals of urban happiness, and the pitfalls and prices that come along with its pursuit.

Review:

In this ever growing competitive world, it’s very easy to determine the price of the dreams and hence very easy to get them discounted for social conditions.

This story revolves around a bong professor and his wife, who is an interior designer. Set up in Delhi, they struggle to have a house of their own. This simple dream has many interim costs that they are not yet aware of. There’s a funny yet intriguing set of events waiting for the readers as these events unfold in front of them.
Things I liked the most were the characters and narration. From fat-bum Khanna’s ‘desi’ tantrums to Roshni’s sobre comments; everything has a soul of its own.

I will just pause here and appreciate the efforts of chanchal sanyal and rupa publishing to bring out such an extraordinary tale in an appreciable manner. Thank you tavleen for making this book available to me!

Ratings:

🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

The Forest of Enchantments by Divakaruni Chitra Banerjee

Book #1 of 2019

In a glance:

The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love
story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places
Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version. The Forest of
Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in
the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi,
Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal,
infidelity and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain
autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an
ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the
Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever,
in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated
by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When
does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’

‘What occurred when I was alone in the darkness, under the sorrowtree, you don’t know. You don’t know my despair. You don’t even knowmy exhilaration, how it felt – first in the forest and then in Ayodhya– when I was the most beloved woman in creation.

I had already decided to pick women-centric books for this year and
The Forest of Enchantments happened to be my first read of 2019.

How deep impacts this book has left on me I cannot describe. As my name is one of the names by which Sita was dearly addressed, hence I have
always been eager to read more about her.

I have gone through some of
the originals of Ramayana’s translations and of some other retellings but this one remains the best I have come across.
If you want to stand up against wrongdoing, if you want to bring about change, do it in a way that doesn’t bruise a man’s pride. You’ll have a better chance of success.

The book as we all know is a retelling of the great epic by Sita –
Sitayan. It’s been heavily embedded by some powerful quotes and a
narrative so powerful that it can give you shivers as it talks of
heroism and nobilities.

I will conclude it here with one of the quotes from the book which speaks about love and resentment:
The more love we distribute, the more it grows, coming back to us from unexpected sources and it’s corollary: when we demand love, believing it to be our right, it shrivels, leaving only resentment behind.

This is one of the books which will stay with me for a long time!

Book Review| Woman with many faces| Arpan Banerjee

About the author:

Arpan Banerjee was born in the year 1964, in Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Calcutta University, and is presently working in a private manufacturing unit in Jamshedpur. He is an ardent reader and lover of literature and art. A newcomer in this path he tries to evoke the complexity and simplicity in the life of a ‘Woman’, as a mother, wife, secretary, student, friend, and girlfriend. Through the three short stories in this book, he has made an attempt to portray the various faces of a woman. There are sentimental, passionate, tender, un-ethical, and loving moments in every woman’s life which this fiction evolves into. WOMAN with MANY FACES Read, you shall discover!

In a glance:

The book appears to me like a female oriented novel in the first look, but as one flips through the pages- 3 beautiful short stories unfold. The stories picture different shades of women.

My verdict:

Strong firm and fragile- A woman being a melange of all the qualities mentioned above. The author has taken a step to project women in all the scenarios and they turn out best in all of them.

This book being a combination of three stories present different faces of women and hence the title stands apt for the book. The book cover and the narration style of author, pictures a melodious tuning of his thoughts. This being a debut book has a potential to attract readers (specifically females and males who want to understand females better).

I will conclude it on a note that this is a fictional representation of author’s observations which seeps into the reader.

Ratings:

4/5 (Pick it now!)

Book Review | Sick of Being Healthy | Monisha K Gumber

Blurb:

“Tara, a young teenager is blessed with a little bit too much of health for her own good. Desperate to get the guy of her dreams, she ends up playing a very dangerous game- a game that could cost her friendship, her peace of mind and even her life! Actually, that’s an exaggeration but yes, she does make some serious blunders in her quest for a perfect body to impress her one true love. Can she do it an d is it all really worth it?
Welcome to her world and discover her inspiring journey towards real health and happiness, meet her stunning high achiever best friends and her parents who never seem to be satisfied. Let down by her own sister and under constant pressure to do well in studies, she learns how to fight her confidence and self-esteem issues and emerge a winner in the end.”

 

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In A Glance:

In the first look, this book appears like a self-help book which would somehow preach how to lead a healthy lifestyle. But as one flips through the pages the story turns out to be a lot different and intriguing. This book has tossed up a very serious topic — body shaming, like a very hearty banter embedding it with a lot of pictures and caricatures which make the book all the more interesting.

Narration:

As mentioned above the book is well illustrated with a message that is not so common to be written in a country like ours. It can be said that the Authoress has been very brave while choosing this topic to write on as body shaming has already been a hype. Coming back to the story; the story revolves around Tara — a teenager who is a bit more on a healthier side and has a crush on a very good-looking boy but is very possessive about her outer appearance — later she came to know that her best friend is getting comfortable with her crush. Tara found solace in someone whom she got connected with on the internet and a few more things were yet to see the dawn… As the story heads towards the climax, it becomes impossible to put down the book. As a debut work, the efforts are appreciable. The pictures make the story fluid.

Characterization:

Characters come alive as most of the story is in the form of conversations and hence it gives voice to the characters. On the other hand, Tara and her emotions are well painted as they add life to the story.

Book Cover and Title:

The book cover and title are apt and suitable for the story inside and at the same time are attractive enough to catch the attention of the readers.

My Verdict:

The book beautifully portrays the brushed aside topic of body shaming as it throws light on the topic and also helps one to overcome from unfavourable circumstances. This book should be read by all the parents so that they don’t pile up their expectations on their kids and it should also be read by teenagers so that they don’t let themselves down with the heaps of expectations.

Ratings:

4/5.

Book Review- Rafflesia: The banished Princess by Gautam

Paperback: 397 pages

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Private Limited; First edition (20 March 2017)

Language: English

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Blurb:

“Rafflesia: The Banished Princess”
The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours
blaze across as mesmerising music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of
Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!”

In A Glance:

Rafflesia can be said to be a fairy tale which starts dwelling in the real world. A story of Appu (Apurva Sharma) who had received a gift of two books and they had left a great impression on his sprouting thoughts. Appu grows up to a Silent, timid and depressed man. He finds his escape in a world which was not existing anywhere else but in his mind.

Narration:

As a debut author Gautam has done appreciable efforts as the storyline is unique and can keep the reader enraptured with the uniform pace. The way he has managed to switch between the past and present of the scenarios is really rare to be found in young authors. The life journey of Appu is described in a very descriptive manner which made this book a lengthy one.

Characterization:

Appu and Rahul’s friendship and their bond have been so realistic that one could see it all happening in front of them. Besides that, the way of portraying the emotions is very interesting and covers the lengthy paragraphs which actually added to the length of the book.

Book Cover and Title:

The outer appearance of the book can make one think it to be a fantasy fiction which is not exactly what it is. The book cover and title do not go hand in hand with the story and can mislead the reader.

My verdict:

Overall this can be said to be an interesting and out of the box read which can make you think several things at the same time and can leave you dwelling in the space of imagination for a while. At a few places, the book and story become monotonous and boring due to overstretched paragraphs. With a few editing mistakes but comparatively reader friendly language – Rafflesia can be a good one time read.

Ratings:

4/5.

Book Review- The Matsya Curse by Shweta Taneja

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins (22 May 2017)

Language: English

Blurb:

Tantrik detective Anantya Tantrist is back, smart-ass comments, dark mantras and all

In Banaras, Bhairava, a black tantrik, sets out to win control of life through mass murder, aided by an army of pretas. In Delhi, a tribal supernatural melts to death in a five-star hotel on the same night that an ancient demonologist is murdered. All this while, the government and the Central Association of Tantriks choose to look the other way and gods, demi-gods, immortals and rakshasas all join Bhairava’s army.

All that stands between the murdering bosses and the hapless masses is unofficial detective Anantya Tantrist, armed with a boneblade, a tote of mandalas and a cocky attitude. Just as she begins to see a pattern between a goddess who is selling art, a miracle-producing minister, an undead mob attacking a rock concert and her immortal friend throwing a tantrum, Anantya faces her most personal hell: her ex-boyfriend Neel has come back from the dead and is trying to kill her. He’s not the only one, of course. A powerful rakshasi wants her head, a pair of demi-gods wants her blood and the trolls are trying to squash her to pulp.

She cannot even sleep off the exhaustion, because each time she drops off, Bhairava invades her mind, trying to consume it. Join Anantya as she faces her most formidable enemy yet in the ultimate battle for her mind and her city.

matsaya curse

In A Glance:

The Matsya curse being second in the series of Anantaya Tantrist Mysteries — is much-awaited book and Shweta made sure that she doesn’t disappoint her readers who expected more blood shed, spookiness, adding more Pretas and compiling a lot of hullabaloos that keep happening in the life of Anantaya Tantric who is solving the tantric crimes and mysteries. Nishadas, being a new addition by Taneja in this book adds fuel to the already fuming waves of Bhairav and Tantric practices.

Narration and Characterization:

Needless to say, the fantasy fiction writers have the ball in their court as they can make readers dwell and swoon over the characters and can add the twists and turns as they please. Shweta has a godly talent of defining characters and creating them with stunning details which actually adds life to her stories. The narration; I must say is a unique style and demands all your attention from the first page itself. The story proceeds as a technicolor movie and captures your senses. With Anantaya’s swearing on goddesses to her Mobike; from T9 mobile to Shukra’s suggestive hand from Nishadas mystery to the Brain Consuming Pretas; from Bhairav’s chants to Anantaya’s mandalas — this book is a complete blockbuster which robbed off my sleep.

Book Cover and Title:

The book cover carries the soul of the story. It’s exciting and rageful just like Anantaya. The title will be a treat to the ones who have gone through the First part of the series. The appearance of the book is apt and goes well with the theme of the story.

My Verdict:

I want to keep it short and crisp as Anantaya is in a rush to rescue innocents from the tantric crimes and while you are reading this she is hopping on some other adventures. In brief, I can say that if you are looking up for some modernised version of tantric stories and if you want to dwell in the world of rakshasas — pishachs — pretas and some more supernatural creatures from another world then this series can be an end to your search.

Grab it here.

Ratings:

4/5. ( If you’re not reading this then you are either not a dreamer or you don’t know that you can dream while reading books!)

Book Review- The Crossroads by Sudipta Mukherjee

Blurb:

“The Crossroads is a story of Aparajita Basu, a girl from a humble household of Kolkata, who tears away from her family to settle her roots in America, with her childhood friend, Aniruddha. To Aparajita, he is everything she ever wanted. Love dwindles slowly. Fate turns in a blink. Dishearten, she returns, not to her hometown but to a different city, where she finds herself a stranger. Haunted by her disturbed thoughts, obsessed by that one name, she finds no escape… until she discovers herself standing on a new crossroads. An ordinary girl, who loses herself to love. A lover, who turns out to be a betrayer. A friendship born on a stormy night. Wisdom bred out of miseries. A homecoming that completes one full cycle. Three Cities… Two Friends… One Girl… One Story. ”

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In A Glance:

As the blurb specifies, this book is about a girl who flies off to fulfil her dreams and get settled in America. This is a story of being rooted and returning back to the soil in which you grow. A story of its own kind.

Narration:

 The narration and storyline is intact — which goes well with the characters and the book. Falling in love — budding dreams — ambitions — and all of it crashed suddenly with a thud — how life is transformed with the series of such events. This book offers a captivating account of that. 

Characterization:

 The characters go well with the storyline but the story creates a bit boredom in first half but the characters never felt falling apart from the storyline. 

My Verdict:

The genre is unique yet alluring to the readers. I would like to congratulate the author for making a brave choice for her debut book. The book showcases the life transforming journey of Aparajita Basu. The story and narration being appreciable for a debut author and the storyline has been kept intact; which can hook the reader till the end. 

Ratings:

3/5 ( a good read for people who love to travel a lot!) 

Book Review- A Tale of Two Dogs in String of Pearls by Sumathi Kulkarni

Paperback: 112 pages

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing 

Language: English

Blurb:

A retired teacher, Sumathi Kulkarni lives in India and believes that “The unique characteristic of my country is its multiplicity of culture, language, and religion that binds its people to weave into a spiritually beautiful nation. It is rich in its heritage spread throughout the length and breadth of its land. One life is insufficient to understand its beauty of existence.”

 

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A Tale Of Two Dogs in String Of Pearls by Sumathi Kulkarni

 

In a Glance:

This book is a collection of poems which are associated with the day to day life and it’s a small packet of musings that enables one to find happiness in little things around.

Narration:

The poems are crafted in simple yet appealing manner and lingers in mind for a while. The poems being mainly associated with the pets and animals takes the reader very close to nature and allows you to dwell in the serene beauty of nature and innocence of animals.

My Verdict:

This book can be a pure delight to all those who want to be lost in poetic muse and have a soft corner for animals and nature. My favourite poems being Baby Dale, Screaming Lake!!, Blossom of Life, Knots of thoughts, My Freedom, Female is divine and A tale of two dogs…

Ratings:

3/5 (Poetry lovers this one is for you!)

Book Review- Empire of the Gods by Rajendra Kher

Paperback: 168 pages

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Private Limited 

Language: English

Blurb:

Who were the Gods? Were they super-humans who came to Earth from outside our solar system? Were these aliens considered Gods by early Man because they arrived in illuminated spacecraft and possessed advanced knowledge?
Were these ‘Gods’ responsible for establishing religion on Earth?
What do the Inca, Maya, Sumer and Indian civilisations tell us of the existence of Gods?
Are the Seven Worlds (likes), the territory of the Gods? What happened to them? Where did they vanish?
Empire of the Gods delves with defining insight into the proofs that exist in scientific research, the writings of eminent thinkers, as well as India’s ancient scriptures and epics, about the presence, activities and characters of the Gods.
It also looks at how to attain the bliss promised by the Gods, the existence of an afterlife, and ways of meditation free from ritual.
This deeply researched and riveting narrative casts the clear light of logical reason on areas and concepts we have perhaps only imagined or thought of as science fiction.

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In a Glance:

This is a non-fictional read and belongs to a very unusual genre — Our existence. This book throws questions at you and helps you dwell in the answers as well. The story is divided into three parts. In the first part, the author talks about the Devas as the super humans. He tries to link the flying chariots with the outer space objects and presents Devas as the Superhumans. The second part dwells on the formation of the world and the creators. The third and conclusive part preaches about the theories of karma.

Narration:

The narration of this book is very intriguing and enchanting. It can be understood from the fact that I devoured this one in one sitting as it quizzes the reader and keeps dwelling on the answers at the same time. I cannot say that this book is solving the mysteries of human existence but this surely is going to make a few things clear. The theory of karma and the rise of virtuousness being my favourite chapters. We cannot talk about the characters of this book because there aren’t any precise characters to be described.

My Verdict:

This book gives a light to your intellectual sight and clears out the vision which is quite necessary to be done for the youth in the current scenario. I think this book is a must read for everyone as it introduces a very intense topic in a very light and cosy manner. The book doesn’t create boredom and keeps going with the flow that remains uninterrupted with the flowing narration.

Ratings:

4/5 (Pick this one if you like to read spiritual stuff!)