Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life is what you make it

Author: Preeti Shenoy
: Shrishti Publication
: Fiction
My Rating
: 5/5

Well, I am no one to critique and review someone's book which has been written with so much effort and with the heart and soul poured into it. But I was so inspired with this simple yet an amazing novel by Preeti Shenoy that I HAD to post this review on my blog and recommend it to all the readers out there!

Being in a profession that deals with the human mind (well, yes, I changed my profession to being a Hypnotherapist! ) I understand exactly what someone goes through physically, mentally and emotionally when suffering from a mental disorder. Preeti's second novel which is based on a story of a girl named Ankita suffering from "bipolar disorder", caught my attention mainly because it deals with a mental ailment that is very prevelant and yet least understood! I absolutely loved the way Preeti has narrated the story.. it was truly heart warming and touched the chords of emotions so well that I could feel myself going through the pain, pleasure, fears, frustration, happiness,confusion, tension and every other feeling that Ankita (the lead character in the novel) experienced. Now, if this doesn't qualify as a good novel, what else will?! Am sure the best compliment an author can get is that he/she was able to make the characters come alive in the minds of the readers and I must say that Preeti has done this effortlessly! I was just unable to keep the book down till I finished reading the last page. An unusual and a sensitive topic has been written in a very interesting and an inspiring way.

I would surely recommend this book to my clients as a source of inspiration coz Ankita's story tells us that life can change at any moment and life is all about what we make out of it.. we are the masters of our destiny and we are what we think we are!!

It is a very intense book and touches you deeply and inspires you to the core. I highly recommend it!

Last but not the least, I am also proud to say that I know Preeti personally for the past 2 years (I met her at the launch of her first book in Bangalore). She is not only a fine author and a talented artist but an awesome human being! To know more about Preeti visit her blog

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Act like a Lady, Think like a Man

Author: Steve Harvey
Pages: 232
Genre: Non-Fiction
My Rating: 2/5

Steve Harvey is a well known comedian who also is a host of the popular show in the West - 'Steve Harvey Morning Show'. This book authored by him lets women into the mindset of a man and sheds light on various concepts and questions. Well, to cut it short, it is just like another 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' kinda book. The book is completely tailored to the Western culture and I simply couldn't relate to it nor enjoy it. Some segments were quite hilarious, funny and direct but overall the book was a bore and I had to skip a few pages in between to reach the end... I would surely not recommend reading this book!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: Oct 8-11

I came across this weekly event hosted on which is a great way to find new book blogs every week, exchange ideas and make new friends!

Book Blogger Hop

Here's what the event is about -

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

And this week's question -

What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?

My Answer: -- I love sipping green tea with lemon and honey, anytime! Whether I am reading a book or browsing through the blogs, that is always my favorite beverage :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Girls of Riyadh (Banat al-Riyadh)

Author: Rajaa Alsanea
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir/Contemporary/Novel based on a true story
Publisher: Penguin Press
My Rating: 4/5 (Worth a read; gives a good insight into the Saudi culture)

Raaja Alsanea boldy chose to expose the hidden world of Saudi women through her book Banat al Riyadh (in Arabic) which is actually a collection of emails. The book caused a sensation in Saudi Arabia and it was immediately banned there but the English translations of the same book was made available from Jan 2008...

Girls of Riyadh is a story about 4 young women who are the best of friends and are from upper-class Saudi families. They study in universities and medical schools in Riyadh/San Fransisco/Chicago but eventually return back to Riyadh. Even though they are exposed to the modern outlook, they still cannot escape the deep-rooted oppresive traditions of the religiously-dominated-and-conservative Saudi society. Yet they fall in love, have affairs, lost opportunities and broken hearts just like any other girl in other parts of the world..

The book is very fast paced, engaging and quite similar to the 'Sex and the City' type drama, So I won't get into the details of the plot; am sure you already have got an idea of it :) Some of the reviews say that the life of the Saudi girls represented in the book is way too far from the reality. Nevertheless, it does give a big picture of the life out there and it is un-imaginable! Every time I read a book about middle east, I always thank my stars that I was born here in India and I am so glad that I live my life on my own terms and I have my freedom of speech, thought and expression!

Though the novel cannot be regarded as a good literary piece, the small peek into the fascinating culture of the Arab world is definitely worth a read!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Message In a Bottle

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Romance
My Rating: 4.5/5

I am usually very skeptical about trying new authors. I dont pick up a book by a new author without reading a lot of reviews initially. But when I found this book in the library and I ready the summary I immediately grabbed it. There was something that made me feel I would like it and I wasn't wrong.....I absolutely loved it!! Infact it had been ages since a book had got me in tears (I think the last was Kite Runner) and I cried reading this one....

'Message in a Bottle' is a very sweet, sentimental and a heart-wrenching story. It is about Theresa Osborne, a columnist by profession and a divorcee, who accidentally finds a bottle with a letter inside while jogging at the beach. That love letter written by Garret to Catherine touches her so deeply that she gets very keen on finding out who Garret is. A play of destiny and her constant curiosity leads her to Willmington where she finally meets Garret and falls in love with him....

The story climax is quite tragic & unexpected and it leaves you wanting for more. The book keeps your attention all the while and the story sucks you in. I doubt if anyone would finish the book and not cry :) It wont fail to have an impact on you, especially if you enjoy reading romantic fiction! There is also a movie based on this book starring Kevin Costner and I am waiting to get my hands on it...

The book is very well written and the plot is very well built. I would definitely recommend this to everyone who likes romance and especially the fans of Nicholas Sparks!

Have you read this one?? I am curious to know your views!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Devil Wears Prada

I am back after a long hibernation! Tons of things kept me busy with absolutely no time to read. Hope to keep this space updated more often now :)

While I was extremely busy in the last 3 months, I did manage to read this one book. I laid my hands on it by chance while travelling, due to lack of options. It had never been on my TBR list at all. However I did enjoy reading it a lot!

If you have read the book am sure you will agree with me that it is very cliched. It was no different than Bridget Jones' Diary and the like. Yet these chick-lit novels are quite entertaining and light. They are good to read when you don't want to work your brain much and want to have a relaxed time.....

About the book:
Set against the backdrop of the fashion world in New York city, Andrea Sachs a just out of college graduate, lands into a job with Runway magazine, which seems like a dream job to her. However, the editor of the magazine, Miranda Priestly who is also a major fashion icon, is a living hell to work with. As much as she hates Miranda, Andrea still continues to do her job continuing to hope that it will one day land her an entry into The New York Times...

Andrea as a character is quite interesting as you see her struggling to fit into a world which is completely strange to her as well as maintain her sanity while working with a highly demanding and eccentric boss. However, the plot gets very stale early on as you see that there is nothing new happening in every page that you read. Everyday of Andrea is quite the same as her previous one...the only thing that might hold you on is your interest to know what she might do at the end of it all...

One thing which was strikingly annoying in the book was the fact that Miranda Priestly's character was portrayed in a very uni-dimensional way. As an overbearing boss, she was shown to be absurd to the extreme which didn't seem real. And of course, not to forget the gossip part of the fashion world which seems to get a little overboard.

Waiting to watch the movie now!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine on Nine

Author: Nandita C Puri;
Genre: Indian Fiction (Short Stories);
Pages: 212;
My Rating: 4/5;

I wanted to give Indian Fiction a break, but I had to redeem the loyalty points on my Citibank Account and this was the only book I could order! When I read the reviews online it seemed quite ok and also it was a short story collection, so I thought - why not?! The fact that the author is the wife of Om Puri (the famous bollywood actor) and not an established writer, had made me more skeptical....I mean books written by these not so famous spouses of famous actors you know..

It's a small book, a collection of 9 short stories and a fast paced one...something that I finished in just one sitting in a few hours. All stories are women centric and most of them set in the backdrops of Bengal (reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri, I had an overdose of it in her stories!). But thankfully these characters here are not extraordinarily rich & educated women from high society families, like in Lahiri's stories. But I could find a similarity in the writing style of these 2 authors. Puri, like Lahiri, has a style of ending her stories without a definite, happy or a logical climax. That brings the stories few steps closer to reality. Usually all the endings leave you with a lot of thoughts and questions and it is left to the reader's imagination. I love that aspect! Also they all have a dash of suspense in them to deliver the punch of the story, which keeps you engrossed till the end.

The first story "Arranged Marriage", which is set in a Marathi household is the best of the nine. Amazing plot and very well written, with a lot of vernacular lines which bring in realism. I also liked "At Jenny's" and "Flashback" which had very unique & intricately woven plots and a complicated ending... Other stories are enjoyable too, but these 3 stood out for me.

Overall, it's a good read!