Breathing Two Worlds by Ruchira Khanna 

unnamed.jpgI received Breathing Two Worlds by ruchira Khanna as a review copy from BookR3vi3ws and am thankful to them.

The blurb:

Neena Arya, a Delhi-born goes abroad for further studies and decides to settle down there. Determined to be a ‘somebody’ from a ‘nobody’ she blends with the Americans via the accent and their mannerisms while having a live-in relationship with her European boyfriend, Adan Somoza.

When illness hits home, Neena rushes to meet her ailing dad. Tragedy strikes and amidst the mingling with relatives and friends, she finds herself suffocated with the two different cultures that she has been breathing since she moved to the United States. How will she strike a balance between both the cultures as she continues to support her widowed mother? Will she be able to do justice to her personal and professional life after the loss?

Amidst the adjusting she bonds with an ally and learns about ties beyond blood. On what grounds will she be able to form an invisible thread that she has longed for since childhood?
Breathing Two Worlds ventures into cultures and ethnicity allowing Neena to ponder upon her foundation and priorities.

The story:

Neena Arya, the only child of Neal and Nimmi Arya goes to the US for higher studies. There she finishes her studies and starts working as National Account Manager of Foremost Health Inc, a healthcare company in New York. She tries to be as American as the Americans there and blends with them.

She meets Adan Somoza, a person with an IT background, now a floor manager with a bar and is in a live-in relationship with him. She is friendly with his parents and twin sister.

One day, while talking to her parents, she realizes that her father is unwell and flies to India to be with them. Adan accompanies her to India. Once in India, she is caught between Indian customs and traditions and Indian expectations.

My take:

The characters are well developed and realistic and easy to relate to. Their feelings of the authors have been well described.

Through this simple story, the author talks about what we go through when we move between two cultures. First, Neena has to become an American to adjust with the Americans and once she is back in India, she has to adhere to Indian traditions.

The language is simple and the author has used Indian words to give the book an Indian flavor. But I must give her credit for referencing the words at the end as a vocabulary for the non-Indian reader to understand. The flow is good but I felt that the book could have been reduced a bit.

I loved the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from BOOKR3VI3WS in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.


Spotlight: JUST ME, THE SINK & THE POT by Sudesna Ghosh


Sudesna Ghosh
Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who’s looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to – but they aren’t the kind of friends you’d expect. Life sucks when you’re fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?
Read an excerpt of the book here…

One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.
The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!


My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.

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About the author








Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.





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Half pants full pants by Anand Suspi

7fc3d-halfpantsI received Half pants full pants by Anand Suspi from Paperboat with a cute little note which said that they are proud to introduce the ‘celebration as their first ever title in the world of books.

The Blurb:

Half Pants Full Pants is a sort of childhood autobiography set in Shimoga of the 70s and 80s. Given the era and milieu that he grew up in, it carries a flavor similar to that of Malgudi Days. All the characters in the book are real and most of them are still in Shimoga, of course now in their mid-40s. Quite a few are from prominent families and are now active and important members of Shimoga. The book vividly captures the real childhood adventures of this generation of people in Shimoga. It’s a glorious reminiscence as well as a tribute to this wonderful town.

My take:

Half Pants Full Pants is a collection of 38 stories set in the town of Shimoga in Karnataka of childhood by Anand Suspi, written in simple English, which can be easily understood by a child of class five or six. The author has divided the book into three parts: half pant tales from Shimoga (his childhood), full pant tales from Shimoga (his teenage) and Bonus material. The book has a foreword by R.Balki who concluded the same with “for those who have stopped reading books, I just feel sorry. They have just lost the chance to laugh at themselves”.

The book starts with a short introduction of Shimoga and then the stories begin. His story of five paise chapatti brought me back to my childhood when we also thought that putting a coin on the railway track converted it into a magnet. I shall not get into the other stories in the book because they would spoil the suspense of reading the book. All I can say is that the author was naughty, imaginative and had a sense of self respect even as a child.

Written in a simple language, the easy narration gives a good pace to the book. I read the stories one at a time and savoured them all. There were a few incidents that happened with me too and I could relate with most of the stories and even went back to my childhood memories. Everyone who grew up in the seventies and eighties would enjoy the book most. This book is one which I would want my parents, my children and even my husband to read.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.



Changing Places by Anne K Edwards

changing-placesI received Changing Places by Anne K Edwards as a review copy from BookR3vi3ws and am thankful to Debdatta for the book. This book has been illustrated by Dasguptarts. This book is the story of a large black cat, Whiskers, who lives in an old farmhouse.


The story:

Whiskers, a large black cat, lives in an old farmhouse in the country and loves to spend long, lazy summer afternoons lying on a sunny windowsill, looking at the world outside. One day, he sees something round, long, and black with a head with two beady eyes that never blinked lying on the porch. And this spikes his curiosity and he starts observing ‘the new thing’ everyday.

One day, they happen to meet and introduce themselves, and where they stay and what they do. They become friends and Whiskers suggest that they change their places for a while.

My take:

A very cute book for kids, with simple English and beautiful illustrations.

This book made me realize that no matter how simple the story is, it how you narrate it that matters.

Though it is meant for children between 4 and 8, I feel all others would also enjoy the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from BookR3vi3ws in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Dominick & the Dragon by Anne K Edwards

51a5uN9-jjL._SY346_.jpgI received Dominick & the Dragon by Anne K Edwards as a review copy from Book R3vi3w tours and am thankful to them for the book.

The Blurb:

Dominick is a lonely little boy who has an interest in dragons so when his brothers tell him about one living in the “dark forest” behind Dominick’s home, he longs to meet him. Imagine his surprise when he does. Here, he must outsmart the dragon named Elvis who is always hungry.

The story:

Dominick is a little boy who lives with his family near the woods. He has two elder brothers who don’t want to play with him. They tell him that they have lost their spaceship in the forest and are going to search for it. When he tells them to take him along, they tell him that there are dragons in the forest.

So off they go and he goes and sits in the verandah and then he meets one in the backyard.

My take:

A cute book for kids with excellent illustrations, simple and easy to understand language.

Loved the book, looking forward to more from the author.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from BookR3vi3ws in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.


Bengali Cooking by Chitrita Banerji


I received Bengali Cooking by Chitrita Banerji as a review copy from the publisher, Aleph book Company and am thankful to them. this book is not just about cooking, but it is about Bengal, Bengali traditions, Bengali seasons (I know I am being a little specific, but the way it is written, what with the names of the seasons and months in Bengali, that I felt that the seasons had become regional, such is the description).

The Blurb:

Bengal is home to both Hindus and Muslims, and her people farm the fertile Gangetic delta for rice and vegetables as well as fishing the region’s myriad rivers. As recipes for fish in yoghurt sauce, chicken with poppy seeds, aubergine with tamarind, duck with coconut milk and the many other delights in Bengali Cooking testify, Bengal has given the world some of its most delicious dishes.

This highly original book takes the reader into kitchens in both West Bengal and Bangladesh by way of the seasons and religious and other festivals that shape the region’s cooking. Bengali Cooking is much more than a cookbook: it is also a vivid and deeply-felt introduction to Bengal’s diverse cultures and landscapes.

My take:

This is one book which has been written in such a way that anyone who reads it would want to atleast visit a Bengali restaurant to relish the cuisine. The book describes the Bengali cuisine in relation to the six Indian seasons and had been divided into four parts: Spring-summer, monsoon, early and late autumn and winter.

The book also has notes at the end which is followed by common ways of cooking Bengali food, suggested menus and an index. She also mentions that Bengalis are the greatest food lovers in the Indian subcontinent.

The book has a long introduction, it was the longest introduction that I have read for a book, 24 pages long. In this she talks about a wide range of things from the East-West Bengal difference in cooking; culinary difference among Hindus and Muslims.

There is also description of Bengal- the land, the rivers, the alluvial delta, the Bengali calendar year, the rotation of seasons, the abundance of fish, the rice fish entity being the heart of the Bengali cuisine, the use of ghee, Bengali literature.

She also talks about how the cuisine is related to seasons and has written the book in first person from her own point of view talking about her own experiences.

The author has a way of pulling the reader into the book and once you start the book it is unputdownable.

The book is not a recipe book but the recipes have been written in relation to the seasons, festivals and traditions.

Loved the book immensely.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Finding Anya by Sundari Venkatraman

8f561-findinganyaFinding Anya by Sundari Venkatraman is one of the many books by the author, actually I have lost count of the number of books she has written, I just know that the seventeenth book is being released today.

The blurb:

Anya Chhabria wakes up in a hospital room with no recognition of who she is and where she belongs. In her troubled times, Anya finds her anchor in a handsome stranger. But is he really unknown to her?

Dev Wadhwa’s past finds him when he sees Anya lying unconscious in the middle of the road. Not willing to let go of her one more time, Dev takes her to the hospital and later to his farmhouse, where he helps her recuperate.

Sparks fly and Dev and Anya fall for each other! But the feisty Anya refuses to commit herself to marriage as her loss of memory looms larger than life.

Things aren’t easy with an ex-husband, not-so-understanding parents, and a jealous neighbour thrown into the mix. What if Anya’s memory never comes back?

Will Dev and Anya get a second chance?

Or will circumstances force them apart, yet again?

The Story:

Dev Wadhwa, the elder child of Karishma and Durgesh Wadhwa, corporate slaves with a hectic life, returns to India at the age of 25 after completing his MBA from Georgia University. Not wanting to become like them, he starts planning his farm, getting documents and licenses together and fighting a battle with his parents. Having spent most of his time with his grandmother, after the birth of his twin siblings when he was seven, he has her support in his farming venture and has even moved in with him.

Anya, the only child of Gaurav and Amal Chhabria of Chandigarh was only twenty two when her parents wanted her to get married. To get away from a disapproving mother, an indifferent father and nosy relatives, living together in a joint family, she marries Farhan Merchant, her best friend since childhood, and her parents are forced to accept him as their son-in-law. Almost two years later, they get divorced by mutual consent, similar to the way they got married, to help each other. As she is leaving the court to meet her friends, Anya meets with an accident and loses consciousness.

Dev Wadhwa happens to be there and see the accident taking place and calls for an ambulance and informs the police. As he sees the accident victim lying on the road, he realizes that the victim is none other than Anya, someone he had met five years ago, and rides with her to the hospital. When Anya comes out of coma, she has no memory, does not recall anything. She only knows Dev as the person who had saved her. She moves with him to Karjat, to his farmhouse, where he stays with his grandmother, to recoup from his illness.

My take:

Sundari and her books, I really wait for the next after finishing the first.

As usual, her characters are realistic and so is the conversation between them. The language is simple and easy to understand. Dev understands and her ex-husband is the best friend material. A little glimpse of twin torment can also be seen in the book.

The flow is good and the descriptions are such that a lot of the story can be easily visualized.

Loved the book immensely and am waiting for more books from the author.