Showing posts with label book-reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book-reviews. Show all posts

Friday, 30 September 2016

Book Review: Dare to Be- 14 Fearless Women Who Gave Wings to Their Dreams

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." This is what I concluded from this book. I spotted this book as a recommendation on Amazon. The title of the book was powerful enough to make me read the description. And I pre-ordered a copy, subsequently.

This is a book on success stories of 14 women who decided to embark on the journey of living their passion by calling it quits to their stable corporate career. All this was to live their dreams, irrespective of hurdles and naysayers in their way.

The debut authors Puja Singhal and Rinki Paul have compiled the interviews they conducted of 14 women who quit their high paying corporate jobs to pursue the road seldom taken- standup comedian, authors, models, singers, dancers etc. Undoubtedly, this book is a great source of inspiration for those who want to transform their passion into profession, but are held back by naysayers and by the fear of taking a chance against their stable corporate careers.

Each chapter is an account on the success journey of one of these 14 woman. Diligently penned, women-only stories, this book gives a sense of confidence to aspiring women entrepreneurs. However, it does not focus on empowering womanhood, but on tapping the power of actuating one's dreams, which is applicable to both the genders. This is a plus of the book.

With good vocabulary, brevity of the content and ability to cover the whole in a concise manner, the authors have delivered a book which is one of its kind!
While reading you may find yourself encounter multiple emotions every now and then- smiling, eager, angry, sad, relieved, stunned and lot more!

I have compiled a few of my favorite quotes from the women featured in the chronicle-

1) "It's better to live with 'Oh, Shit!' rather than 'What if?' - Neeti Palta, Standup comedian
2) "Close your eyes and imagine what you would do for the rest of your life if no one paid you to do it. That's what your job should be, and that will get you paid."- Miss Malini, Blogger
3) "Women are no equal to men, they are better. "If you do not feel the pain, you will never know joy."- Sonam Kalra, Singer, Musician, Writer
4) "All you touch and all you see, is all your life ever will be."- Monica Bhide, writer
5) "You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart."- Sucheta Pal, India's first Zumba trainer
6) "...rejection means nothing more than someone being unable to see what you see."- Abha Maryada Banerjee, Motivational speaker, author
7) "Nothing works unless you do." "Add life to moments, instead of moments to life."- Neeru Sharma, Co-founder-
8) "The only naysayer in my life is me."- Dr. Rangana Rupavi Choudhari, International speaker
9) "Money is important to survive, attachment with it is not."- Pooja Warier, Social Entrepreneur
10) "Jump towards the side where the heart lies and rest will be magical!"- Yukti Kapoor Mehandiratta, Entrepreneur, model and anchor
11) "As long as you are sure of a roof on your head and food on your table, you cannot go too wrong."- Anisha Singh, Co-founder & CEO- coupon provider, Mydala

My rating for this book is 4 on 5. Awaiting the next one by the authors, hopefully on a similar theme.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Monday, 25 January 2016

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

I spotted this book on the Goodreads Choice Awards page. It has a whooping 1,814,600 ratings and 129,752 reviews as of date, which compelled me to buy and read it! This book is penned by John Green, who resides at Indianapolis and is one of the bestselling authors.

While reading, one gets totally soaked in to the raw, humorous, simple, medical fiction. This is the story of a 16 year old cancer patient Hazel who happens to meet Augustus Waters at a Cancer Kids Support Group. After this her life turns into a wonderful tale. Augustus is himself a 17 year old cancer survivor. Eventually they become good friends and then lovers. The plot is simple, down to earth and practical.

Hearing first of a cancer patient's story one may feel that it must be either too gloomy or full of doses of motivation of those who combat their terminal illness, trying to change the world, etcetera. But it is far simpler and still interesting. Generally, no one even imagines of a situation unless it occurs to them. For instance, I do not have cancer and no one in my close or distant family does. So, it is obvious that I would never ever think of what a cancer patient and his family go through. After reading this book, I got an insight into what they go through.

This book portrays it in a balanced and realistic manner, nothing filmy. The narration is from a teenager Hazel's perspective. Hence, we get to know her interpretations, at times, humorous. The grief of her unfortunate parents who are about to loose their daughter, and the only child at the hands of cancer is very touching. Hazel, Augustus and his friend Isaac are facing some or the other deformities that cancer has imposed upon them. But they compliment each other very well. Also, if one reads between the lines, they would realize the worth of life and good health, and that despite of any other form of agony, they are still bestowed with a gift to cherish- LIFE.

I have listed out a few of my favorite lines from the book below-

1) "Grief does not change you Hazel. It reveals you." - Peter Van Houten (Page #286)
2) "A desert blessing, an ocean curse." (with reference to water)- Augustus Water's letter to Peter Van Houten  (Page #313) 
3) "There is no try. There is only do."- Hazel (Page #218)
4) "...some infinities are bigger than other infinities."- Cassius' note in Shakespeare's composition (Page #111)
5) "I tried to tell myself that it could be worse, that the world was not a wish-granting factory, that I was living with cancer not dying of it, that I mustn't let it kill me before it kills me..."- Hazel (Page #121)
6) "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have a say in who hurts you."- Augustus Waters' letter to Hazel via Peter Van Houten (Page #313)
7) "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."- Page #111 (Cassius' note in Shakespeare's composition)

I read the second part with slow pace because I didn't want it to end so soon. Moreover, the end seems to be a promising beginning of a sequel. John Green, are you listening to me? You ain't gona behave like Van Houten! Are you?

My rating for this book has to be undoubtedly 4.5 on 5. It is near perfect and a touching tale, a mesmerizing saga of boundless love of two dying teenagers, cushioned by parental affection, laughter, tears, fury, twists, heartache and goosebumps.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Book Review: Love Among The Bookshelves

Ruskin Bond, the 81 year old India born author of British descent. He has spent most of his life in India and still stays in Mussoorie. He is recognized for the growth of Children's literature, and is the recipient of Sahitya Academy and a bunch of other awards.

This introduction of the great writer is highly appealing. Except for whatever of his work I have studied during my school days (which I don't remember much), I have very less knowledge of his books. This was his first book which I read, and which came to me as a December gift (secret Santa, to be precise) :)

I read about this book on goodreads which was embellished with mostly high ratings and good reviews, and had built high expectations from this. I am seriously bewildered after reading the book, and suspect how so many people can call it a good read. I totally understand that he is an eminent writer and a reverable figure but what is so good about reading his "reading adventures"? I mean this book is so shallow. Ruskin Bond has written about how he started reading at a tender age, books he read, how his reading and writing took place in parallel, and how his life went by during all this. On almost every alternate chapter, he has added content extracted from a favorite chapter of any of his favorite book. And many amongst these were penned in archaic English, which is out of my sense of language. The chapters suddenly emerged between Mr. Bond's own life story, and confused me. Strangely, so many pages are left vacant in the middle, and those which are printed, have nearly 25% or more wasted in margins.

 I felt as if Mr. Bond is too old to blog and use internet, and that is why he wrote all of it in a book in a random way, or the publisher just wanted to oblige the renowned author. I am sorry to write all this. May be it was me who couldn't get to the depth he is trying to guide his readers to, generation gap you may say!

Only one good thing about this book is that after knowing his reading adventures, book lovers get inspiration to read and read! He has read close to ten thousand books, a whooping number it is!

I rate it as 2.5 on 5 stars. However, I would love to read some other books of Mr. Bond. He is a real inspiration for readers and writers.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Book Review: Scion Of Ikshvaku

This is a book from author of the Shiva Trilogy- Amish, and is the first in the Ram Chandra series. 

The cover of this book is appealing, and the plot is promising. The author's way of writing is one of its kind. He picks up godlike characters from Indian mythology, and portrays them as humans- the extra ordinary humans, and their society as rational, real and scientific. I have also read Shiva Trilogy by Amish, and it draws analogy to the way of living and philosophies from that series. I am awed at how beautifully he links the two series by giving a hint that Ram Chandra dreams of a civilization like Meluha, and on the other hand, Shiva Trilogy has various mentions of the way of living inspired by Ram Chandra. He has also connected well the Vayupurtas and Nagas here. 

The characterization is flawless, and the plot contemplates a different philosphy. To most of the people including me, Ramayan is not as interesting as Mahabharata. But Amish has imagined it well, and carved his version out of the epic. We live in the era of remixes, this holds true for Amish's books as well!

Special applause for the section on the gangrape case which drew analogy from the Nirbhaya case, and the punishment which was administered to the perpetrators, esp. the justice delivered to the juvenille. A book covering the contemporary world's vices, providing exemplary solutions, driving the readers' empathy perfectly, and wisely including that as a part of the age old epic like this deserves acclaim.

When we are speaking about Ramayan, it is ceremonial to talk about the prime characters- Sita and Ram. Ram's role is perfectly articulated- the legendary man, the law abiding member of the royal clan of Ikshvaku, jeweled with clarity of thoughts and a loyal, loving husband. Complementing him well, unlike other versions of Ramayan which showcase Sita as the abla-naari (the helpless lady), Amish portrays her as a strong, powerful warrior and a witty lady, who is the Prime Minister at her father's kingdom and later a perfect better half to her husband. 

The original legend shows Ram as the descendant of King Raghu (Raghukul), but this book tells us that it was Ikshvaku who founded the dynasty and hence, he's the Scion of Ikshvaku.
Moreover, Ravana the Demon becomes an exploiting business tycoon. Manthra, the poor maid in Ramayan becomes a powerful merchant. Vishwamitra, the sage, becomes a conspiring sarcastic leader of Malayaputra clan. The continued depiction of various demigods with special features as Naga is interesting. Jatayu becomes a Naga and so would anyone with any resemblance to other animals.

The first half of the book could have been shortened. But the second half was speedy, captivating and well articulated. Even after having read, heard, watched as multiple TV serials and movies through years, I could still discover a lot in this book, because it is believable. 

A few not-so-good things-
1) Roshni is an Urdu word. How could Indians name their daughter with an Urdu name dates back when there was no mark of a Muslim in their vicinity? Also, this character must be imaginary since best to my knowledge, Ram had no Rakhi sister.

2) The use of word Dada for elder brother looked quite perky when it comes to picturesque of Sanskrit speaking society. 

3) Although they do not take the name of Krishna but often mention about Dwarka and the Yadav clan having existed decades back, which is confusing, since it is believed that Ram existed prior to Krishna and that Krishna is the last incarnation of Vishnu as yet.

My expectations from the subsequent books in the series would be -
1) How the story unfolds whence Amish's Sita unleashes her power in front of the demon Raavan (and not the abla-naari awaiting and solely relying on her husband to rescue her)

2) How Amish's Ram Chandra shapes the Meluhan way of living for the "Immortals of Meluha", and I believe this will come when Ram rules the throne of Ayodhya, and in turn, the Sapt Sindhu.

My verdict- It's a simple yet refreshing read for the contemporary generation. I rate it 4 on 5.

This book is special for me because it came as a birthday gift and won me a chance to meet Amish via Flipkart editors (which, unfortunately I could not avail).

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote

I received this book as a part of a Book Review Programme by Blogadda.

First things first! Who says that Indian authors don't write well. The standards of this book match to that of foreign authors. Ravi Subramanian- as his bio states on Goodreads, has been a banker and now a best selling author. For that matter, his stories revolve around the lives of bankers, including this one. This enhances my firm belief that a fiction can never be entirely a fiction, and is eventually real life plus some necessary exaggeration. Had the author been staying in a village, his fiction would have been based on poverty, sustenance, child marriage (a wild guess).

The thickness of the ~400 pages' novel initially scared me, but once I took a dive into it, I couldn't resist ecstasy of reading, credits to the wit of the author. This was an UNPUTDOWNABLE book (as in one of the dialogues!)

About the plot- Its a thriller wherein the protagonist Shreya is the apparent antagonist. Aditya Kapoor has authored several bestselling novels and also is a successful banker, an IIM Bengaluru passout. He leads a near perfect professional and personal life at 40 something, with a high rank banking job, a writing career and a loving wife and son. That's when Shreya steps in their lives as a fresh Management trainee from his alma mater. She is recruited by Aditya and his HR friend Sanjay for his bank. She is a psyco, cold blooded, muti-faceted, extremely attractive, obsessive girl, who is a voracious reader and aspires to become a bestselling author like Aditya, whom she uses to get her dream come true (my discreet biasness right from the first few chapters against her ). She goes to the extent of seducing him with her youth and leading him to an extra marital dalliance, showing no signs of guilt. Sanjay has an important role to play in the whole span of the story. Unfortunately, I can't disclose everything here, since that would be unfair. The rest of the story is about the romance, conspiracy, trust mistrust, lie truth, heartbreak, adultery, fame, suffering and the tables turning at the end of it all. All it lacked is background music!

Looking at the cons of the novel- It is very lengthy, with 392 pages from cover to cover. Shreya and Aditya's romance could have been cut short as per me.

Aspiring writers can relate well to the process of book writing, publishing and marketing covered throughout. The crux of the whole plot is skewed in the last 75 pages, every moment of reading which was breathtaking. Aditya's speech at the end stole the show. An alternate title could have been- "Victory of Good Over Evil", based on the obvious and inevitable happy ending.

The author has spun the story very well, accompanied by rich vocabulary. The cover page reads- SOON TO BE A MOTION PICTURE. I must say this book deserves to be a motion picture, however, it requires some more mirch masala (and cutting short the intimate scenes) in order to expand the audience base.

My verdict- Overall, I would rate it as 4 on 5 stars and recommend it for any of those who are interested in thrillers; have the capacity to read a thick book; are aspiring writers; have the wit to relish smart plots; some scenes on adultery don't bother them and who want to learn to understand the sour facet of the human race.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Book Review: 99 Thoughts on GANESHA

Upon reading the title, one may assume initially that it is perhaps a compilation of hymns or folklore on Ganesha. Well, not truly. Its far more than that.

The author- Devdutt Patnaik is a mythologist. He has written several other books on Hindu mythology focusing on the rational part of it, with a consolidation of all the relevant information.

Ganesha is who is one of the most celebrated and beloved gods pan India. About him, not much is known to people, except for stories revolving around how he came into existence, and that he is worshiped before doing anything afresh.

In this book, Devdutt Patnaik has penned down an account comprising Ganesha's creation, the rituals associated with him, the literature, symbols, festivals, history, stories, etc.- most of which was not unveiled in so simple manner yet (best to my knowledge). It contains a brief of each of them, leaving the rest to the reader's zeal of exploration.

Even after including such vast fountain on information, this book is a precise, concise and quick read. In general, the chapters not inter-related, can be read from anywhere. Every chapter has wonderful illustrations to provide a better insight into the respective section. Regarding the text- it contains simple vocabulary, meticulously articulated, suited to the contemporary generation who escape from reading huge epics or upanishads.

The best part is that it doesn't aim at cultivating superstition, but seems to based on the available documentation and author's interpretation.

My only apprehension is that, unlike fiction based novels, the reader might not be able to retain and recall all this by reading only once. I rate it 4 on 5 stars. For those who are looking for enlightenment on mythology and are curious about Ganesha, must read this book.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Book Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

This is one good novel by Robin Sharma- the motivational speaker, first published in 1997. This is his first book, after which he has penned down various others in the same genre. He is also a keynote speaker at various seminars.

They say- "Motivation doesn't last daily. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily." This book is a dosage of motivation to fulfill your dreams and reaching your destiny.

I am sure I am too late in reading this book- one, because this was published when I was a kid; two, because I read other motivational fables prior to this. Owing to both the reasons, much of the wisdom covered here already occurred to me with other texts. Nevertheless, human brain requires frequent revision!

It comes along with preaching, principles and paradigms to be what you are destined to be; to attain your goals; awaken your soul; stay healthy, wealthy and content. I am proud that some of the paradigms are engraved in my mind now. My rating is 3.5!

A few minus points: I believe is that it isn't able to capture consistent attention, especially of a mischievous mind like mine. It doesn't captivate my senses, and I had to compel myself to keep reading. Reasons may be that the story wasn't woven as a definite fiction, but most of it was a conversation. The lessons kept pouring in as answers to Frequently Asked Questions, along with the typically designed terminologies and very little examples. I guess I kept comparing the content with that of others like How to Stop Worrying And Start Living, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, Eat That Frog, The Secret, which are also aimed towards self-improvement.

Nevertheless, the Odyssey is a good read for those who are looking for a life of purpose.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Book Review: The God of Small Things

Puzzled to see another book review so soon!? Well, a book review always doesn't mean that I have FINISHED the book and that too so quickly. It may even mean that I have given up further reading, but as a ritual I am penning down my views.

I found out this Bestseller and  1997's "Booker Prize" winner book at the start of this month on Goodreads here. With a whooping 7343 reviews and 151237 ratings, this occurred to me as something I can invest upon. I ordered it then, and after eagerly waiting for long (including Diwali vacations), I received it a few days back.

I don't know much about the author- Arundhati Roy, but upon reading some of this book I presume she is a great scholar in English literature. If these many people have read and reviewed the book on the planet, there is no second thought for it to be called a masterpiece.

But for me, I could not bear with the flooding number of characters and holding the dictionary in the other hand to decrypt the powerful vocabulary. The South Christian from around 1960s, was what I could not relate to at all. It gave me gloomy feeling. The story hopped from one character's back story to the other. I tried hard to interpret the vocabulary contextually and to understand the characters' perspectives. Amusingly (and to my embarrassment), as soon as I switched to the consecutive paragraph, the previous one was wiped of from my memory. My patience couldn't survive for more than 52 pages, and I gave up. Not only me, I later heard from some other friends that they are also sailing in the same boat as me! May be one day my intellect would grow up and I would again open up this book to finish upto the last page.

Till then, all I can say is, there is a difference between what is the best and what is suited for you.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Book Review: The One You Cannot Have

I had been following the author- Preeti Shenoy for a couple of weeks over twitter, blogger and goodreads. That's where I discovered this book of hers, read the reviews and felt like giving it a try. The header of her blog reads- "The only woman in the highest-selling league." This impressed me and instigated the urge to read a book of hers.

I ordered it last Wednesday, and thanks to Amazon, it was delivered on Friday noon. The fragrance of new pages instigated me to start reading it the same day. Whoaaa! with my all efforts I read it continuously and finished it on Saturday midnight (that includes sleeping, brushing and bathing!) Irrespective of my eyes aching and floating with drowsiness due to the hectic week, I have broken all my records of the pace of reading this 275 page book. One big reason is that the plot kept me hooked up to itself, I couldn't resist my curiosity for the next chapter as soon as current one was finished.


It has four main characters namely- Aman, Shruti, Anjali and Rishabh, backed by a few supporting ones who keep coming and going throughout. 

Every chapter is narrated by one character, in first person (of course). This style of writing is distinct and new to me, and I had never contemplated such wonderful style. All the chapters are articulated well, unlike other fiction based novels, here one gets to understand each character's perspective as the story moves on.  The beautiful writing skill helped me design a portrait of each of the characters in my mind, as if I am in their world.  All four of them perfectly entwined. I am still able to imagine their chemistry.


The story runs flawlessly, nothing exaggerated. I could relate well with their story- one because I am of the same age group as the characters; two, because in today's era such stories are very much likely with or around us. The author doesn't tell anything new, but this is one of the best tell tale of contemporary the world's (to be precise, Indian) love-breakup-family-work-relationship-scenario.

The theme is- there is always this one (or more than one) person in the world who you cannot have in your life whatever may be the intensity of your feelings for them.

To summarize, Shruti and Aman are dead serious about their love and want to take it further (this occurs to the reader as flashback at various points in the story). Due to unavoidable family circumstances, Shruti has to move on and marry Rishabh later. Aman goes to US to recover the heart break plus, for his official work. The strings from their past keep aching their minds and hearts. No matter what, they long for each other, but eventually, for each other they are- "the one you cannot have." Shruti's past haunts her married life when her husband comes to know accidentally about her past. In the meantime, Aman returns to India after two long years where he happens to date an acquaintance Anjali and after a few emotional hiccups, sees a life partner in  her and a way to move on in life. And then...then... don't expect me to uncover the epilogue now!

My Advice: 

If you are a teenager who is supposedly fiddling between frequent crushes, refrain from reading this fiction, since you won't be able to feel the maturity of relationships. If you are aged 24- 34, this book shall hopefully be one of the best things in your hand.

My Verdict:

I rate it 4 on 5 stars. If you have even some emotions, and are/ were/ would to be in a relationship(s), this is a good read! Though this was my first book from the author, but surely not the last one.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Book Review: What Got You Here Wont Get You There

In the row of reading self help books, I just finished this one which I bought 2 years and 8 months back from now, but never had the courage to pick up then.

I rate this book 3.5 on 5.

This book is from Marshall Goldsmith- an executive coach. And as the back cover of his book reads- "...his one-on-one training comes with a six-figure price tag."

The sub-header of the book title reads-"How Successful People Become Even More Successful!"

This guy trains the upper management of various corporates, not technically but to enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills, promoting them as a better individual- both professionally and personally. In all, he helps them cover up the gaps from being a good professional to a better professional. This books contains a gist of his experience as a coach, his advice, dos and don'ts as a leader. 

The best part of this book is "the 20 workplace habits you need to break" (which I would brief below). However, most of the topics and examples covered in the book are worth and help you grow as a professional. Apart from the 20 habits, the parts that I liked most were about enhancing listening skills, apologizing, showing gratitude, feedback and feedforward. He has also covered various traits of our attitude which hinder us to progress to the next level. I've also written another post- A little less ME, which was inspired by one of the chapters from this book itself. 

The author summarizes 20 of the worst interpersonal habits successful employees exhibit in the workplace:

1) Feeling the need to win too much
2) Adding too much value to a conversation
3) Passing judgment
4) Making destructive comments
5) Starting with "No," "But," or "However"
6) Telling people how smart we are
7) Speaking when angry
8) Negativity, "Let me explain why that won't work"
9) Withholding information
10) Failing to give proper recognition
11) Claiming credit that we don't deserve
12) Making excuses
13) Clinging to the past
14) Playing favorites
15) Refusing to express regret
16) Not listening
17) Failing to express gratitude
18) Punishing the messenger
19) Passing the buck

After identifying your worst one or two bad habits, use the following process to improve your effectiveness:

1) apologize
2) advertise your plan to change
3) listen
4) give thanks
5) follow up monthly for 12-18 months
6) practice feedforward, not feedback: ask for two ideas for future improvement, listen, say thank you, and repeat the process with several other people.

To conclude, this book is for you if you have the thirst to grow as a professional and realize that there are certain traits in you which must be improved upon contructively to help you go up the corporate ladder. Otherwise, do not go for this book.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Book Review: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Firstly, you must be wondering how am I able to post another book review one day later since my last review! The reason is, I am accumulating my thoughts on few recent reads from my shelf and posting them consecutively on my blog.

This is one of the best books that I've read so far, and one of those which I would want to read twice.

This is a 378-page long book, which is more than enough for a new reader like me. It is penned by the international bestselling author of How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie. My life wouldn't have been worth if I had missed this wonderful brain washer (in positive way).  I rate it 5 stars (10 stars if I could).

Goodreads yields that this book has 100 editions, 36,716 ratings and 919 reviews as of date, whoa! My copy of book says that it was first published in 1953, quite early though, it is still very much applicable to our lives. The author himself is a self-help coach. He sums up his experiences and experiences from other people to justify the teachings that he gives throughout the book. This book has increased my fascination for self-help genre and has made me believe that a good book can bring positive change to one’s life. I didn't want to finish this book.

Without pouring in my heart anymore, yielding my submission to list down a few quotes / take aways from this book-
1) A magic formula to conquer worry-
  • Ask yourself 'what is the worst that can possibly happen?'
  • Prepare to accept it if you have to.
  • Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.
2) Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

3) Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of health. "Those who do not know how to fight worry die young."

4) When you, or any of your associates, are tempted to worry about a problem, write out and answer the following questions:

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the cause of the problem?
  • What are all possible solutions?
  • What is the best solution?
5) Keep busy. The worried person must lose himself in action, lest he wither in despair.

6) Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember "life is too short to be little."

7) Cooperate with the inevitable.

8) Let the past bury its dead. Don't saw sawdust.

9) Eight words that can determine your destiny: "Our life is what our thoughts make it."

10) Let's never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves more than we hurt them. Let's never waste a minute thinking about people we don't like.

11) It is natural for people to forget to be grateful; so, if we go around expecting gratitude, we are headed straight for a lot of heartaches.

12) "I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet." Count your blessings, not your troubles!

13) Let's not imitate others. Let's find ourselves and be ourselves.

14) "Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw the mud, the other saw the stars."

15) Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Every day do a good deed that will put a smile of joy on someone’s face.

16) Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. Remember that no one ever kicks a dead dog.

17) Rest before you get tired. Learn to relax at your work. Learn to relax at home. If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. Learn to organize, deputize and supervise.

18) Time solves a lot of things.

19) Believe in god. Leave things up to god. It is he who will take care of everything.

20) "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
       The courage to change the things I can,
       And the wisdom to know the difference."

As a formal conclusion, I would recommend this book to all those who are motivated to bring a change in the way they lead their lives. Each line would soak deep into your soul, relishing your thought process and conquering your problems.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Book Review: It Doesn't Hurt to Be Nice


This is a book by Amisha Sethi, published this September. With large fonts and merely 130 pages (of which, some are occupied by quirky illustrations in the form of callouts as preface for the upcoming chapter), its a chick-lit. It is a combination of fiction with self-help. I rate this book with 3 stars, and for a debut author let me make it 3.5.

The author has used a simple language, with mention of chants from upanishads and vedas at various places. The content is shallow, and picturesque of a Delhi girl's life transition from school to college to moving her way up the corporate ladder to love marriage to being a mother and then a mix of all. It sounds very obvious and a li'l filmy at times, covers the events of life that most of us go through at various stages of life. What is good about it is that the author has related these with some philosophy and learning. It's about finding your purpose in life and striving to be better each day than you were yesterday, which basically sums up my own belief as well, so that's a plus point.

Overall, the book was a speedy read for me and had vibes of optimism in it and hence I loved my experience with the book. If you are willing to take a break from reading huge books that take weeks to finish, and feeling overwhelmed with the contents from foreign authors, you can give it a try. Lastly, a learning for debut authors- Never write a book in hurry!

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing the reviews.)
If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


I've recently introduced this section on book reviews. I am not an avid reader, but have started cultivating the habit of reading lately. My book reviews may be naive taking the benefit of doubt that I am at the infant stage of it! I have started reading a little late than I should have done, because till now I could have finished a few dozen more books. Nevertheless, it's better late than never. 

Now that I have read a few books and continuing to read more, new insights for life have emerged in my senses. I feel satisfied to pen down my evolving opinions here.

 I hope you would appraise this new section, and also suggest me some books which I can dive into. After all, books wash away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.

And as they say- 

"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light."

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

(PS: the reviews expressed on my website are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or degrade the sale or the contrary for any book. I am not paid for writing the reviews, unless otherwise stated in the post.)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Book Review: The Palace of Illusions

Finally, I finished reading Palace of Illusions- such a wonderfully narrated piece of work by Chitra Banerjee.

This novel gave a voice to Draupadi, well known as Panchaali- an epitome of womanhood. It talks about her life, her opinions, cravings, longings, grief, agony, sadness, happiness(which haunted seldom), vengeance that she was furious for all along, her immense strength, her secret desires, and above everything, it shows how the great story of its time OCCURED to her and how she came across every aspect of it. This novel traces Panchaali's life from a fiery birth and lonely childhood to a great deal of injustice followed by a dreary revenge . I ain't prophesying womanhood here! But truly stating, she was the only woman who was born to change the history of the mankind. This narrative has compelled me to wander how her life would have been, married to 5 brothers, living in exile for most of her life, and the rest was no less than an exile; my heart speaks out for her.

Mahabharat, an epic that I have read, heard of and watched on TV a dozen of times, but never could look at it from the perspective of any particular character but merely a series of events. The other day, someone told me - Ramayan teaches us how to live and what to do, whereas, Mahabharat teaches us what NOT to do.

The feat of the great war of its time, was it justified? The whole clan gets ruined by the end of it, except for a handful of people who very lucky to survive. While I scan through the list of characters, I ponder one action from which of them could have undone all the possibilities of such great destruction? Who lead to it? Whose fault it was ?


Panchaali- If she was not married to five brothers (Pandavas), if she had not rejected Karna in Swayamvar, if she had not insulted Duryodhan in her palace, if she was not so desperate for her revenge and had, instead, went on quietly with her insult as her ill fate .

But wait, what if Yudhishtir had decided not to play the gamble, rather he could have been partially righteous and not abided all the rules of the game and to stake his brothers and his wife during the game.

Alas! what if Duryodhan, his cousin had not been cruel and unrighteous to this extent, and if he hadn't felt so dejected throughout his life?

Instead, what if his maternal uncle Shakuni had been fair and had not guided his nephews to the unrighteous path since their childhood.

Wait a moment, was only Shakuni at fault? What if his dear sister Gandhari was not forced to marry a blind person Dhritrashtra, he would have not decided to use his wit in the ill manner to end the whole dynasty.

Nevertheless, Shakuni could not have done anything if Karna (the eldest son of Kunti, who was gifted to her from Sun god at a tender age) would have not been abandoned by her, and being the eldest, would have been given recognition and crowned as the next heir.

Or was it because Kunti imposed or ordered all her sons to marry the same woman so as to keep them united, or she hadn't revealed to anyone that Karna was her son?

Was it Kunti's husband, Pandu who went for exile just before his coronation as the King, which later gave rise to the question as to who should succeed Dhritarashtra?

Was it Dhritarashtra, who should have not lured to take place of his brother, or thought as a King rather than a father, and had crowned Pandu's son as his successor?

Was it Gandhari- Dhritarashtra's wife, who had the boon to bear a hundred sons, who could have barred her sons from getting on to the wrong track? She tied the veil on her eyes, not literally, but righteously too!

Or was it all due to events at some distant place; King Drupad who ditched his childhood friend Drona and lighted the fire of vengeance in him that led to the creation of such great warriors. Or was it because Drupad desired to avenge Bheeshma and that he performed prayers to gain two of his children - Dhrishtadhyumna and Draupadi ? What if Draupadi was not born at all?

Was it Dronacharya's desire to get his son to be a King, irrespective of the fact that he was a Brahmin and a great teacher? He intented to achieve what was not at all meant for his creed, and planted the seeds of the same in his son Ashwathama's  mind.

Was it determined long back when Bheeshma made a stiff promise of not getting married ever, and taking unjustified decisions thereafter at every step? If he would have married, and sons were born to him, there would have been no scope for him giving all his life to protect the clan of his younger brother Vichitravirya and being care taker of Hastinapur's throne. Was it because, later he abducted the 3 sisters - Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to marry his brother, and one of them turned furious and reincarnated to avenge him? Was it because he insulted Drupad for the sake of Vichitravirya?

Was it Ganga, Bheeshma's mother who abandoned her seven children for no justification, and disappeared for years, which led King Shantanu to marry Satyavati, who later became ambitious to make her would-be children, the heirs of the kingdom?

Was it Krishna, who supposedly knew everything but puzzled almost every character with his riddles rather than warning them!


Or was it all just because the heaven had designed it long back, and that every character was bound to the other in such manner?

Was it because it had to lead to the advent of TODAY's time - the Kalyug or the fourth age of Man!?

Or may be to set a perfect example for all of us existing right now, to maintain a balance between the righteous and the unrighteous, and be decisive according to the situations by not blindly imbibing age-old ideals.
One more thought that often strikes me upon learning about this epic is, almost each one of us has built a wall of our ideologies, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices and of limited knowledge around us. We see life, every phenomenon and person through our lens.

Shouldn't we try to expand the sphere of our thoughts and come out of those shackles to think beyond the taboos ? This would spare us from the agony and displeasure that we eventuate so often.

Shouldn't we watch our actions taking into consideration all those who shall be affected by them, and not only ourselves?
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