Monday, August 31, 2009

It's Monday.. What are you reading?

Mondays are full of blues...but books always make me smile :) So time for the weekly meme hosted by J.Kaye on her blog

Books read last week:

1. DANCING WITH ANA by Nicole Barker - A very warm Young Adult romance novel which just cannot be put down till you read the last page!

2. 24x7 MARRIAGE by Vijay Nagaswami - A very short and crisp book written by a well known psychotherapist about smart strategies for good beginnings in a marriage, in an Indian context. I picked up this book just to explore new domains and categories in my reading and it was quite good!

3. SYMBOLS OF THE SOUL by Gina Lake - My very first experiment with a book on astro science which is about understanding your life purpose and karma! It was an amazing experience reading this book... god knows how much of it is true, but it was definitely hair raising and scintillating!! I'm definitely going to read more in this genre soon...

Books for next week:

1. KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Haruki Murakami (This reading is getting interrupted since a month!)
2. THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI by Robin Sharma (For the Orbist Terrarum Challenge 2009)

Read any of the books above? What have you thought about them? Share your comments! I would love to hear your views...

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Nicole Barker will be giving away 3 signed copies of her novel "Dancing with Ana" which is a light hearted Young Adult Fiction. I have an extra copy with me, so even if you are not a US/Canada resident, you can still participate in this giveaway and I'll ship the book to the winner.

Synopsis: (from the book cover)

Beth is a lucky girl. She comes from a loving family. She has 3 best friends. She loves to surf and lives 5 minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she has grown up with has the most amazing green eyes.. Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed. Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?

This being my first YA novel, I've given it 4 stars!! It's a very heart warming book, fun and light to read and definitely not to be missed if you are a YA fan! Click here to read my review of the book

1. This giveaway is open till September 10th 2009 and 3 winners will be drawn on 11th September.

2.The winners will be notified by email, so don't forget to leave your email ID in the comment section. I will email the winners to get their postal address.

3. You can enter by leaving a comment in the comment section of this post. Only one comment.

4. US/Canada residents - PO Boxes are accepted. International residents, I'll ship you a copy after getting your postal address through email.

How to get Multiple Entries for this Giveaway

1. If you are a follower of this blog then you get 2 entries (If you are not a follower, you can become a follower by clicking on the "Follow" button in the right panel)

2. If you are a subscriber to this blog through any RSS readers then mention the same for 1 additional entry. (If you are not a subscriber, you can do so by using the Subscribe option in the top right panel)

3. Get an additional 3 entries for posting about this giveaway on your blog.

4. Get 1 entry for posting the link to author's website on Twitter, Facebook or your own website/blog (Make sure to mention the URL where you have posted)

5. Get an additional 2 entries for signing up on the message boards on the author's website

6. Get an additional 1 entry for posting about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Ning (book blog community) or any other community.

You just cannot miss reading this book! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and leave your entries below!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dancing with Ana

Thanks to Nicole Barker for shipping me this free review copy all the way across the world at such a short notice!

Book Info:
Author: Nicole Barker,
Pages: 170,
Genre: Young Adult fiction,
Publisher: The Golden Road Press,
My Rating: 4.0/5

Official Website :

I had never experimented with YA genre so far coz I felt it's just not my type and wouldn't hold my interest for long enough to finish reading the entire book. But when Nicole Barker mailed me asking if I would be interested in reviewing this one, I just jumped at it and agreed! The short synopsis and the cover page were enough to draw my attention to this one and I was surprised that I absolutely loved the book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

The book is about 16 year old Beth, who is a smart girl and lucky enough to have a pretty much 'perfect life'. She has 3 great friends Rachel, Melanie and Jenny and her childhood buddy Jeremy. At the surface it seems like she leads a perfectly normal life with surfing, running, hanging out with friends, partying, school etc. But her inside world is completely in contrast with this about which hardly anyone knows. She is quite unhappy within and is in a constant struggle to come to terms with her parents' divorce which is probably why she is striving to behave different assuming that would help her accept this change and deal with it..

I absolutely loved the way each character is carved so well in the story, especially Beth and Jeremy. The innocent love that develops between Beth and Jeremey was extremely heart warming. It was very well developed and realistic, something each one of us can identify with and wish we could have someone offer such pure, selfless, unconditional love...It really touched me and I loved reading this part. I am way past that age but I could still relate to the strong feelings and emtions which Beth went through..

The book has a very fast pace which worked well for me. I would probably have lost interest if it was too long drawn. Though short, the story was well detailed and does create a depth of emotions in the reader. The short and sweet part of it kept me hooked on and when I finished, it left me craving for a bit more! If you are a regular YA reader, you might not be too happy with the timespan and how fast the things progress.....

I was quite curious to know about the title "Dancing with Ana" becoz Ana was not one of the characters in the book. I did a lot of google search and found in one of the reviews which had an explanation to this and it really intrigued me! "Ana is the short name of Anorexia Nervosa, the very disorder that Beth falls prey to. As of the dancing, there is both a figurative side to it (the way Beth 'toyed' with her unhealthy diet taking 2 steps forward and very rarely, one step back), but there is also a literal dance - in the way she danced her heart out at the end of the book. Dancing away her pain, sadness, anger, frustration and disappointement. The way she released her demons to the sky"

Recommended to teenage girls or people who still want to relive their teen years :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about/ discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS! :)

My Finds this week-

  1. "Dancing with Ana" by Nicole Barker
  2. "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda
  3. "My Friend Sancho" by Amit Verma
  4. "24x7 marriage" by Vijay Nagaswami
  5. "Act like a Lady, Think like a Man" by Steve Harvey

If you want to check out what other bloggers have found this week, head over to Should be Reading by MizB!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Everybody Wins

Author: Gary Chapman
Pages:128 (Hardcover)
Genre: Non-fiction/Self-Help
Rating: 4.5/5

I had read a lot about Gary Chapman off late and his book 'The Five Love Languages' has been on the NewYork Times Bestsellers list for quite a while. Since I like expermenting with different genres in my reading, I was quite keen on picking up one his books and that's how I ended up reading this.

"Conflicts are inevitable. Arguing is a Choice" is the message conveyed by the author in his book 'Everybody Wins'. A simple yet very useful guide to resolving conflicts in relationships. Dr.Chapman (director of Marriage and FamilyLife Consultants) provides a blueprint to help couples to achieve a win-win solution to their everyday conflicts and disagreements. He explains what's so bad about arguing and why it is very essential to resolve conflicts, however small they are, rather than build resentments and end up in a failed marriage/relationship.

Drawing examples from his own personal interactions with various couples as a counsellor, Chapman presents a set of stories which anyone can relate to and incorporate the learnings in their own life, to resolve the issues. Each chapter ends with a set of "Principles to Practice" which you can reflect on. Overall, the book is very simple and brief yet extremely useful and can serve as a quick reference guide.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Aug 3, 2009)

A good way to beat the monday blues is to read a nice book :)'s time for the weekly event hosted by J.Kaye on her blog. Here goes my list -

Books I completed this week are:

1. EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert - One of the best books I've read so far. Downright Amazing!! This is one book I really want to treasure in my library.

2. EVERYBODY WINS by Gary Chapman - A very simple yet extremely useful guide to resolving conflicts in relationships. It has some tips that can really change the dynamics of your relationships, for the better. Try it!

On the shelf for the week:

1. ONLY IN NEW YORK, DARLING! by Virginie Sommet

2. KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Haruki Murakami (For Orbis Terrarum Challenge 2009)

So....... what's on your list?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eat Pray Love

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Pages: 350
Genre: Memoir/Non-fiction
Rating: 5/5 (Highly Recommended!)

Have you ever found your "perfect" book? It's an amazing feeling to read the perfect book at the perfect time in your life! This one was mine :-)

It's been ages since I read a book for which I could easily give a 5 star rating without much contemplation! Undoubtedly, this is one of the best books I have read this year. I had read rave reviews about this on a few blogs and had immediately added it to my wishlist. I bought it a couple of days back and since the time I picked it up, I was just unable to put it down till I finished reading the last page. I am glad I bought it because this is one of those books I would love to treasure in my library and read it over and over again! It's truly an amazing book and I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking out for some inspiration in life!

"Eat Pray Love" - the title sounded so intriguing and different and so did the cover page, the design of which I just adored. When you read the book, you'll know the reason behind the title and realize how apt it is.

The book is a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, which details the author's journey from US (her home country) to Italy, India and Indonesia after she goes through a painful divorce followed by an immediate rebound relationship which also fails. It's definitely not just a travelogue detailing her experiences in various cultures. What makes it different from other travelouges is the intensity with which you get engaged into her life and her emotional journey. The journey is more of her quest to find her true self, a new path to peace and enlightenment leaving her ready to love all over again.

The book is extremely heart warming, captivating, inspiring, heart-breaking and hilarious!! I could feel myself empathize with Elizabeth at many situations and see myself in her shoes at other times. Most of the times I would say - 'Hey! I've been through this, it's happened to me!' and that's what I loved the most in the book. I could relate to it completely!

It's the type of book which contains so many anecdotes that I felt like taking a pencil and underlining those tiny pieces of wisdom so that I would always remember them. Here are some of them. I am sure that just by reading these lines you'll feel like picking up the book right away!


“Some time after I’d left my husband, I was at a party and a guy I barely knew said to me, ‘You know you seem like a completely different person, now that you’re with this new boyfriend. You used to look like your husband, but now you look like David [her new boyfriend]. You even dress like him and talk like him. You know how some people look like their dogs? I think maybe you always look like your men.’”


“[My guru] says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you are fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it…”


“The former Catholic nun who oughtta know about guilt, after all wouldn’t hear of it. ‘Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress.’


"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be."


"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you're gonna wear every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control. Drop everything else but that. Because if you cant learn to master your thinking, you're in deep trouble forever"