Paperback dreams by Rohit Saini

I received Paperback Dreams by Rahul Saini from FLIPKART to review on saturday morning but could only start it on sunday. At the outset, I would like to thank Vivek for the book. This book is about writers- old and new and publishers. It talks about the cut-throat world and how people cheat others for their own selfishness.

The Blurb:

ImageHow low will you stoop to fulfil your dreams?

Jeet Obiroi, a college Casanova, has published a book by unfair means. All he wants is to earn loads of money and have hot girls chase after him!

Rohit Sehdev, a one-book-old popular-fiction writer, is furious when he finds out that his publisher has cheated him out of his royalties.

Karun Mukharjee is a highly ambitious schoolboy who wants to win the heart of his lady love by writing a novel. And he doesn’t mind playing dirty to get to the top!

Ruthlessly exploiting these ambitious young men is their unscrupulous publisher.

Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, Paperback Dreams is the story of a new breed of young writers who will do anything to get famous, fast.

The Characters:

Jeet Obiroi is superstitious and believes in numerology. He knows good looks help and isa fitness freak. His book was shunned by the media as one of the many bad books and only after he spent Rs 6 Lakh on PR and promotions that the started talking about his book in good light. His secret gives him nightmares and he is afraid as to how long will he be able to protect it.

Rohit Sehdev, 27, a national bestselling author, believes in the simple mantra of ‘Work is Worship’ and is not a threatening kind of a person and feels that his publisher is cheating him, so he decides to do a market survey himself to check on the sales figures of his books. His publisher does not reply to his phone calls and emails, making him all the more suspicious. Nisha, his girlfriend is an artist and her life is driven by drama. She is smart and usually gives good, rational and unbiased advice. She believes that creative ideas are like energy waves that keep floating around and at times pass through us and that is the only time we conceive an idea.

Karun Mukharjee is sixteen years old and studies in the tenth standard. He likes Lovanya and wants to impress her by becoming the biggest author India has ever seen. He has started writing his first book and wants to be popular at any cost. He even uploads the first chapter of his first book on his blog and becomes popular.

The Story:

Rohit is currently writing his third book and waiting for some news from his publisher about the release of his second book. He was working as a freelance professional graphic artist for three years which he quit four months ago thinking that that the royalties from his books would be enough to support him. He gets a job as an Assistant Professor and becomes the favourite teacher of all the students. He is surprised to know that his second book is already out in the market and decides to confront his publisher about it and also about the royalties. Rohit suddenly starts receiving negative mails and reviews about his book and is very upset about it.

It has been nineteen months since Jeet’s debut novel was published and he is on a publicity tour all over India. He meets Neeti on this tour and they end up writing a book together.

Meanwhile, Karun sends a fanmail to Rohit and meets Jeet during Jeet’s book event in Delhi. He tells them both that he is an aspiring author and would need their guidance. He goes to the same publisher as Rohit and Jeet and gives him the manuscript. He wants to be highest selling author in the publishing house. He tries to get familiar with both of them and starts calling them bhaiya. He has a devious plan up his sleeve and both Jeet and Rohit fall for the trap.

Would Karun succeed?

Would Rohit get his dues?

Would Jeet’s secret be revelaed?

The review:

The book is a light read mostly written in first person. The characters have been well developed and the plot is fast paced and gripping. The titles of the chapters written as a quote from the character from whose point of view the chapter is written- A novel idea.

My favorite character is Rohit because he is honest and does not stoop low to get his book sold.

Would recommend this book.

Order one from Flipkart today.

Book Source: Review copy provided by Flipkart through Affiliate Blogger program

Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
Pages: 250

Holiday cheer

imageIt is the end of the year and I am on vacation. Christmas is just over and now the New Year is approaching. The kids are on a winter break and I am alternating between reading books, cooking for the kids and sleeping.

Tried my hand at making cheese balls for the kids and also the Christmas cake.Image

The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

abThe Almond Tree is the debut novel Michelle Cohen Corasanti. I received the book as a review copy from the readerscosmos. I would like to thank Nimi Vashi (of http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/) for the book. The book has been divided into four parts from 1955 to 2009.

The Blurb:

Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ahmed Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, the people fear losing each other.

On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future.

The Story:

It is the story of the life of Ahmed Hamid’s life. He lives in a village in Palestine with his family of nine. They have orange groves and are the lucky ones whose land is not taken over by the Israelis when he was born. In 1955, when Ahmed is seven, his life changes. They lose their house and orchards, his siblings are killed and handicapped by the Israelis and his father and then uncle are wrongly imprisoned.

After their house and orchards are taken over by the Jews, they are shifted into a hut which has almond tree behind it. The almond tree becomes the closest companion of Ahmed and his closest sibling, Abbas’s best friend, they name it Shahida. They sit on the tree and watch the Israelis with their homemade binoculars. The almond tree is their savior, their friend and companion throughout the story.

Their father makes the portraits of all the seven of them since their births on every birthday. After their father is wrongly imprisoned and their house and belongings are blown up, they move to a tent. They face hardships and Ahmed and Abbas have to leave school and go to work to help their family. Abbas is injured and handicapped for life. He has respect for his family and does his duty till the very end of the story.

His teacher encourages him to participate in the Maths competition for children in the last year of school and with his father’s encouragement, he wins it. Much to his mother’s disappointment, he goes for his higher studies and gives most of his stipend to his family. In college, he makes friends, who help him and his Jewish Professor, Professor Sharon encourages him when he finally wins the Israel Prize for Physics and moves to MIT in the US for a job. He plans to live frugally and send home every extra penny.

My Review:

It is a highly believable work of fiction. The characters have been developed very well and I could see everything happen inform of me like a movie. The language and the flow are good, I took a lot of time to finish the book. The story being written in first person makes it all the more relatable.

My favourite line from the book, “Good Things make choosing difficult, bad things leave no chance”.

 It is a very touching story of sacrifice, struggle, pain, torture and hardships. A very heavy book, pick it up only if you the time to read it. It is not a book which can be read as a timepass.

This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

Book Source: The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com

Publisher: Prakash Books

Imprint: Fingerprint

The flipkart link, for the south asian edition http://www.flipkart.com/the-almond-tree/p/itmd9z5daznxxmgs?q=The+Almond+Tree&as=on&as-show=on&otracker=start&as-pos=p_1&pid=9788172344870

Endless Time by Sandhya Sridhar

ImageEndless Time by Sandhya Sridhar is her first book for Red Romance. It is the story of Charu who lives with her grandmother in Chennai.

Charulata Subramaniam, the only child of a Tamilian father and a Malayalam mother is orphaned at five and has been living with her maternal grandmother in Chennai. She goes to all woman’s college where she is doing her masters in biology. She is self-contained and rarely goe out, if at all, only to the bookshop, library or to buy grocery. Sitting on the doorstep and sipping her tea is the typical morning she enjoys. Srija is her best friend. They share a common love for books, wildlife and nature.

Life is simple till her grandmother’s sister’s grandson, Sumeet comes. He has made a name for himself in the IT industry. His father is a businessman based in Delhi. He is her co-heir to their grandmothers properties.

Nina comes from Delhi, ruins Charu and Sumeet’s relationship and Charu runs away without leaving a forwarding address.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Pageturn

The Steradian Trial (Book #0 of the Infinity Cycle)

I was surprised when I received The Steradian Trial (Book #0 of the Infinity Cycle) from FLIPKART to review. Thank you, Vivek for the book. This book by M.N.Krish is a thriller, a mystery and a mixture of science and religion, mythology and technology, history and human greed (as the blurb says).

The Blurb:

AN ANCIENT CITYImage

                                   AN AGELESS TRADITION

A MODERN MURDER

They don’t come better than Divya. ‘Uber-smart’ does not even begin to describe it. And even a single-digit All-India rank in everything is nothing more than a left-handed demonstration of the kind of stuff she is made of. But the limits of her prowess are suddenly tested when her professor, Lakshman, springs a bizarre new assignment on her – helping out Joshua Ezekiel.

A world-renowned computer scientist at MIT, Joshua is now in India and in deep, deep trouble. A criminal genius who happens to be his former student is brutally murdered, leaving Joshua trapped in the mess and mayhem that follow.

With Lakshman and Divya firmly on his side, Joshua begins digging up his crooked protégé’s sinister trail of secrets—secrets which spiral out of an ancient Indian city and unleash shockwaves much, much, beyond….

A mind-blowing cocktail of science and religion, mythology and technology, history and human greed, The Steradian Trail fires the starting shot of an explosive new series in style.

 

The characters:

Professor Lakshmana Raman, Head of the Department of Computer Science, at a Central Government Technology Institute in Madras. Urmila, his wife is a religious lady.

 Joshua Ezekiel, born in Cochin, Alfred P Sloan Chair Professor of computer science at MIT is an optimist, knows when to kiss, when to bow and when to shake hands. He also knows what it takes to elevate an academic presentation into a performance in any corner of the world. He went to work for RAND Corporation right after PhD. He is a world renowned authority on algorithm.

Joshua and Lakshman have been friends for over twenty-five years when they were both graduate students at Georgia Tech.

Divya, Lakshman’s most favourite student, has won a gold medal at Math Olympiad, has been asked by Joshua to coauthor a paper. Her mother is a TV Serial addict and wants her to learn cooking which she manages to postpone everytime. She is engaged to Venu Sampath aka Venus, a Civil Engineering student.

The story:

The book starts with Chapter ‘0’. A person, Jeffrey is shot outside the gym early in the morning and the robbers take his wallet and cellphone, however manages to make it to the phone post in the parking lot, slur a few incoherent words into the callbox and utter the magic number to nail his killer, his real killer.

After attending a conference in Madras, Joshua is on the way back to Boston via London and he is stopped by the Indian Police at the airport as he is alighting from the taxi and is then asked by consul general, US to postpone his trip back to the US and return to the hotel. This is for his own safety because, Jeffery Williams has been killed and has mentioned Joshua’s name into the callbox. Joshua sees a misspelt Williams J written on a placard, in the boot of the car he was travelling in and has a hunch about Jeffery being killed in a random incident after his visit to India, to be related to the visit.

Meanwhile, Professor Lakshman is called by his boss, the Director, to organize a ceremony to award an honorary doctorate to an Indian industrialist, Mr Chiman Pomonia. This is followed by a call from Joshua who says that he needs Lakshman’s help and they agree to meet the next day.

Joshua tells Lakshman that Jeffery has been shot at and killed leaving Lakshman dumbstruck. Together, they start to unravel the mystery. They travel around the state and look for leads and all their leads come to a dead end. Joshua’s laptop goes missing as do some documents from Lakshman’s office.

Will they get to Jeffery’s killer? What is the connection of Jeffery’s killer to Joshua? What is the mystery of the magic number? Read on as the mystery unravels…

The review:

The story is very gripping. The mystery unravels in such a way that you just cannot keep the book down. I was even reading it while walking from the metro to the lift. The characters are very lifelike and I could actually picturise them.

In this holiday season, I would sincerely recommend this book to those who love mystery and even to those who don’t like it much, Because, believe me, it is an interesting read and a nice book to curl up with. Given a chance I would visit all the places mentioned in the book.

I am eagerly waiting for Book #1 of Infinity Cycle.

Book Source: Review copy provided by Flipkart through Affiliate Blogger Program

Publisher: Westland

Pages: 353

 Order a copy from Flipkart today using the link:  http://www.flipkart.com/steradian-trail-book-0-infinity-cycle/p/itmdqp5hg6vpf9ue?pid=9789383260737&srno=t_1&query=the+steradian+trail&affid=metroread

Tick Tock We’re 30 by Milan Vohra

tick-tock-we-re-30-400x400-imadgz3azn7vhzavTick Tock we’re 30 is Milan Vohra’s second book. A story of twelve friends, growing up together in Sarva Niketan, a locality of Delhi – they call themselves the S.N.Gang. They   had planned ten years ago to meet at Sarva Niketan on Lara Bagai’s thirtieth birthday. Now, Lara, the youngest in the gang, turns thirty and they are going to do it. The reunion is called OTWT- Oh Teri, We’re Thirty’. The twelve friends are: Lara Bagai, Nishad Nath, Nanhi, Sita (Sitaram), Sai, fat Ria, Thin Ria, Reeti, Maneka, Daniel, Pathak and Pap

Lara Bagai, was everyone’s number one confidante. Now, she is a model coordinator and volunteers to do counselling every other Saturday at an NGO. Nishad Nath, always punctual, chivalrous and non-communicative, is now an artist based in Bangalore. Nanhi Nagpal is a big hearted, 5’11’ tall girl, works with British Airways. Sita (Sitaram) is mad about mushy songs. He is too much of a buddy to be a boyfriend. Stays in Delhi. Sai (Sairam) is someone, you can love, you can hate, but you can’t stay immune to him. He is currently based in New York. Fat Riya lives in Canada. Thin Riya lives in Kullu. Reeti, flits between Hawaii and Kochi, is into feng shui, Kalaripayattu training. Maneka, front bencher, coming first in everything, currently in Mumbai with her daughter after separating from her husband. Daniel Brown, Maneka’s husband, lives in HongKong. Tarang Pathak, wanted to be an IAS and is currently working for an NGO in Uttaranchal.Przbyslaw Pieskowich is Polish and called Pap because his father worked for the Press Agency of Poland, PAP. He is an intrepid film buff and Sita’s friend in all pranks.

They rent out a house in Sarva Niketan for a week and all of them remember, recall and relive their olden days. They eat and drink and eat and drink. They visit all the places they had visited ten years ago, like the Jumbo Point, Chandni Chowk, Pandara Road, Karnataka Bhawan, Kake da Dhaba, Ghungroo and even play holi in the month of December.

To make matters worse, Nishad had made a pact with Lara: to marry, if either of them hadn’t settled with anyone by thirty. So to prevent this from happening, Lara invents an investment banker boyfriend, who lives in Singapore, and has to ask one of her models, Perzaan Sokkolu to play the part.

The review:

The book has been well written, in first person and the language and the flow are good. The book is very funny at times, so funny that I would burst out laughing irrespective of the time and place. The more I read the book, the more fun I had. The author has beautifully ended quite a few sentences with lines of songs; this makes the book all the more interesting. She has referred to movies, characters and songs of the 80s and 90s making it an enjoyable read.

I wrote the names of all the twelve friends on the first page of the book, so that I did not forget the names. Sometimes I felt that I am with the gang and everything is happening right in front of my eyes. I loved Favio’s pronunciation using f’s instead of s.

I remember making such a pact with my friends of meeting ten years after our our class twelfth exams but we could not honour it, but the SV Gang did.

I felt that the book could have been about a hundred pages shorter.

Book Source: Bought

Publisher: Westland

Heartbeats by Sandhya Sridhar

Heartbeats by Sandhya Sridhar

Heartbeats is Sandhya Sridhar’s third book for Pageturn Publishers. It is the story of Suhasini and Rajan. The book is divided into three parts – each part based at a different place- Hyderabad, San Jose and a village near Hyderabad.

Suhasini Reddy, 28, the manager for events and admin solutions for SmartSoft IT, is based at Hyderabad. She is a born organizer, efficient and quick. She had no friends in school and kept to herself and now also she spends her free time with her mother Radhika, school teacher. She gets a promotion and a substantial increase in salary and moves base to Singapore and her mother winds up everything and moves to her native village near Hyderabad to manage an educational trust.

Rajan, 36, is the project lead in the software department. He is tall and bespectacled and has led a flexible life; rigidity and flexibility bores him. Born to Gujarati doctor parents, he is brought up in Mumbai till he is fifteen and then his parents moved to San Jose. After being married to Jaishree for five years, he is now divorced. He wears nondescript stuff and takes a bus to office, has no attachment to what he earns. He loves music, theatre and arts and was a part of a local band that played at pub at weekends. He is serious and self-contained. No one knows his true identity. Who is the real Rajan?

I liked the book, especially, the way the author has divided it into three parts and kept the story connected and moving.

Book Source: Bought
Publisher: Pageturn Publishers

Mishti by Yamini Prashanth

Mishti by Yamini Prashanth

Mishti is the first book written by eleven year old Yamini Prashanth. The book is a breath of fresh air in this stressful life.

Mishti is a little girl who loves being a tomboy and hates it when somebody calls her a dainty, little girl. She loves to play with boys and is better at cricket than them. She talks about her school, her neighbourhood and her friends. Her description of a car coming into their neighbourhood is very nice. My favourite was her description of the cricket match.

The cover is beautiful, happy and I wanted to pick the book up and read it as soon as I saw the cover. I loved the story and could not keep the book down till I finished it. As a rule, I do not read in a moving car, but I did. The illustrations by Yamini herself are so beautiful.

An excellent job done, Yamini.

Book source: Bought
Publisher: Unicorn Books

The edge of power by Tuhin A Sinha

The edge of power by Tuhin A Sinha

The Edge of Power by Tuhin A Sinha was a pleasant surprise that I received from Hachette India. I would like to thank Sohini Bhattacharya of Hachette India who sent me this book for review. It is the sequel to “The Edge of Desire”. The protagonist of both the books is Shruti Ranjan.

The Blurb:
The heinous gang-rape of Nirbhaya has jolted the Indian nation out of its apathy but rape and violence against women are only symptomatic of a deeper malaise that ails the nation – the total collapse of governance under the weak and vacillating prime minister, Devender Singh and his Indian Democratic Party. Ironically, aiding the ruling party to cling to power is a casual and largely indifferent Opposition led by the venal Ravi Nehra. So when activist Daivik Verma and Bollywood’s leading lady Catherine Khan decide to challenge the existing system by floating a new political party, it is seen as a ray of hope. But lack of funds and cadre-support thwarts their efforts; their only recourse now is to approach the enigmatic and reclusive Shruti Ranjan, who had sworn off politics three years earlier.

Will Nirbhaya’s gruesome rape and her subsequent death bring a disillusioned Shruti Ranjan back into the political fray? Will the land of great leaders like Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka and Akbar, finally get a dynamic Prime Minister she so badly needs?

The main characters:
Devender Singh, India’s aging Prime Minister, belongs to Indian Democratic Party (IDP).
Mukta Prajapati is IDP’s Chairperson. She is married to Rajveer Thakur, who is supposedly in real estate development.

Ravi Nehra, leader of the Opposition Jan-Hit party, has unbearable chauvinism, is a typical market driven politician and has as many vices as virtues. He has some noble intentions as well, and the positives in him often manage to camouflage the evil. He started off as a young MP from Rohtak after higher education from London, uses foul language and smokes biris. He is good looking and can go to any extent to impress a woman. He is married to Rhea Malviya and they have a three year old son, Anway, whom he dotes on. OSD Pathak is his most trusted Officer.

Rhea Malviya, Ravi Nehra’s estranged wife and the daughter of Sharad Malviya, a firm, decisive and dynamic national leader, referred to by the media as ‘the best Prime Minister that India never had’. She writes a biography on her father and launches a political party, Nationalist League (Sharad) with Shruti Ranjan. She wants to divorce her husband.

Shruti Ranjan, wife of the Deputy Commissioner of Kishanganj, Bihar, who was brutally gang raped fifteen years ago. She did not get the trust of her husband, met Sharad Malviya and her life took a new turn. She became a politician and quit both politics and public life three years ago after a humiliating incident. She is located at an ashram in Madhya Pradesh by Daivik and Catherine, who want her to come back. She is fond of Rhea and dislikes Ravi Nehra. Everyone wants her to comeback after the Nirbhaya incident.

Daivik Verma, a journalist turned activist, represents the common man with his Azad Bharat Party. He comes from a politically aware family, his grandfather is Gandhaian. He has grown all over the country, finished his schooling in Ranchi and after studying history in St Stephen’s College, Delhi and MA in Political Science from JNU. He wanted to become a documentary film maker but became a freelance journalist with a film magazine and also a political cartoonist.
Catherine Khan, has an Indian father, is a Bollywood actress, lives in Mumbai, is fighting for a divorce following a failed marriage to Armaan Kapoor and a three year old daughter, Nia. She was a British TV and Stage performer before being discovered by an Indian filmmaker. She shares a special bond with Daivik. She is the ABP spokesperson. She feels a strong connection with Subhash Chandra Bose.

The story:
The book starts with a prologue recounting the 16th December 2012 incident at Delhi and a similar incident fifteen years ago in a remote village in the Kishanganj district of Bihar. The story then moves along, keeping in mind the timeline of incidents that rocked India after 16th December 2013, till the next assembly elections.

The review:
The book has been written in a style which is fast paced making it easy to read and the flow is good. He has taken the current issues making it all the more relevant. He has given an insiders view into the world of politics, politicians and the country’s political scenario. A lot many times, while reading the book, I would try to match the book’s characters with real life politicians.

Overall, a very well researched and well written book.

Book source: Review copy from Hachette India
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 9789350097045
Date of publication: December 2013
No of pages: 312