Feminism, marriage

The person you really need to marry: Tracy McMillan at TEDx Olympic Blvd Women

 

Tracy McMillan is a television writer (Mad Men, United States of Tara) and relationship author who wrote the book Why You’re Not Married…Yet, based on her viral 2011 Huffington Post blog. She also appeared as a dating coach on the NBC reality show Ready For Love. She lives in Los Angeles and is the mother of a 16-year-old guy.

In her TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen talk, McMillan answers the question: “Who is the one person you need to marry in order to have a successful relationship? (Yourself)”

Books

Mockingjay: Book Review

Author: Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games: part 3 (Catching fire (part 2) review Here and Hunger Games review Here)

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Book Blurb:

My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.

 

My Review:

This is the Hunger Games book, without the actual Hunger Games in it.

While I could understand why Ms. Collins could not end the story by putting Katniss in third consecutive Hunger Games, I could not understand the reason for it being three books. I believe that if catching fire and Mockingjay had been combined, it would have been such an amazing fast paced book.

The writing is really good, I could feel Katniss’s desperation and confusion. Also, I liked how various issues came up like the treatments of victor’s after they have won the Hunger Games, the power plays, the fight for survival, etc.

But I have a few issues with this book:

First of all, I would have liked to know what was ACTUALLY happening in the war, what were the strategies, who did what and whyinstead of hearing what people just told to Katniss while she was either in the hospital or pretending to fight in low concern areas.

Secondly, the speech of Finnik should have been more detailed..and also how it exactly impacted snow..

All I am saying that this book could have been a whole lot better if Katniss would have been shown as an actual leader in the actual fight.

But, this series still on the whole was really good!

Also, the trailer is out for the movie, if you have not watched, here it is:

Rating for this book: 3 out of 5

Rating for the entire series: 4 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

TED Talks

Susan Cain: The power of introverts : A Ted Talk

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Being a reader myself, I can so relate to her. The way people assume and do not understand that it is OK to WANT to read in a group. In my family no one sits in front of TV at night, everyone reads, and so reading before sleeping for me, was the most normal thing to do in the world! When I shifted with other people for study and work, I found out that some people found it RUDE that I preferred to read a book before sleeping in their presence. It took me a long to convince them that it is normal and ok to read, and it is not necessary to constantly talk when together. Some understood, some didn’t.  That’s life!

Books

Twice Upon A Time: Book Review

Author: Anjali Bhatia

Image result for twice upon a time  Anjali Bhatia

 

Book Blurb:

Is a man’s past set in stone, or can it be changed? Rewritten and reshaped?
Is time a reality, or a construct of the imagination? Fleeting and fragmented?
One man is about to find out . . . 

Meet Arpit, a bitter young man who embarks upon an incredible and seemingly impossible journey to right the seven wrongs that have shadowed his life, all in a quest to be together with Mannat, the love of his life.

When Arpit meets Nishimaya, a modern-day mystic, little does he know that his life is about to change. In entirety. But change comes with effort. And Arpit has to lose himself in order to resurrect his past and set things right. With every past mistake he corrects, he finds a corresponding change in his present life . . . but not all changes are easy to make. And as Arpit travels further back into his own life, he’s forced to dig into frightening depths and fight against his own self to dredge up the truth from the sediments of folly that litter his world.

Unknown to him, however, Mannat is supporting his struggle from halfway across the world even as she tries to gather her own life together. And Nishimaya, as she takes Arpit through the swirls of time, has to confront ghosts of her own as well.

As their lives get caught in the web of karma, dreams, memories, and destinies, Arpit, Mannat, and Nishi must stumble and fall if they are to reach the end. But Time still holds a revelation none of them had expecte

My Review :

This book’s main premises is what got me interested in reading it…from the book blurb it felt like it would be Time Traveler’s Wife meets Paulo Coelho.

The story tarts with the Protagonist Arpit, who is deeply distressed by his past and is now desperate to look for answers. He meets Nishimaya a modern day mystic who might give him ‘answers’.

I liked that the book talked about how making peace with your past would help law foundation for a peaceful and happy future…After all that is what we need to do in life right? How can a person carrying his past as an albatross around his neck ever be happy? Kudos to the author for such a powerful message.

Coming to characters, to me, they did not feel real. They did not come to life, I could neither connect to them nor visualize them.

Also, I felt the book had a very distinct good and bad, and almost no grey area. As in the characters were either shown in a good light or bad. I know that these characters were from one person’s point of view, but still, one person cannot be all bad or all good.

Also, some very logical decisions taken by Arpit were seen as wrong like taking up higher education in a reputed school in the city.

All in all, a good book, but lacked in some points.

Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

I thank finger print publishers for sending me a copy of the book 🙂

Books, movies

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Web Series Review

Jane Eyre is by far my favorite literary heroine. I just love her spark, her independence and the fact that she is so strong, and so vulnerable..yet, she does not let her vulnerability come in way of her decisions. I reviewed the book here.

After watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube (Review here), I came across this Jane Eyre series. Here is the first episode:

Unlike the Lizzie Bennet one, this took a few episodes to actually connect to. And unlike the book, this series starts off with Jane looking for employment. I guess, it was not possible to start where the book started off, but I would have liked this Jane to speak a tad bit more of her past.

Also, the ending was quite abrupt, and we do not even get to see Mr. Rochester 😦 I understand that the actor playing Mr. Rochester had some issues with the producers and so they had to revolve the story a bit, but still…it’d have been nice to have a better ending.

Unlike the book Jane, this Jane is a bit more open and fun. Which was good, as I think a modern Jane who is so serious, would not have been so interesting.

A good adaptation, I still like the Lizzie Bennet one better though.

Books

Catching Fire: Book Review

Author: Suzanne Collins

Book 2 in the Hunger Games SeriesMy review for book 1: Hunger Games can be found here.

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BOOK Blurb:

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever beforeand surprising readers at every turn.

 

My Review (Minor Spoilers ahead):

IS CINNA ALIVE????????

A lot of people online and offline have told me that Mokingjay  is not up to the mark when compared to its previous two prequelsBUT with THAT cliffhanger and the fact that I am really REALLY worried as to what happened to Cinna and this will make me dive into the third book pronto, bad reviews be damned…

I liked Cinna in the first part, but in this book he really became one of the best characters I have met! As Dumbledore said “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”, And in that sense Cinna is BRAVE..In a way his act of defying Capitol was much more than anybody elseIt was understandable on the part of those living in hunger and oppression to rebel, but for someone who lives in Capitol, who is not directly affected by all this and to take a stand on such a platform, in such a public wayit wasamazing! Hats off!!

I liked the games this year more, as it had more characters, more alliances….This year Katniss was not against kids, but experienced Killers who were friends and knew each other since yearsAnd this put the entire game in a different perspective….I look forward to seeing more of Finnik in Mokingjay…

Also, I loved the way the political unrest was handled…

I just hope it’s not toooo much of a let down!!

Here is a trailer for Catching fire:

 

 

Books, TED Talks

The Terrorist’s Son: A powerful trailer for the new TED Book

A great book to watch out for!

TED Blog

Zak Ebrahim is the son of a terrorist—his father helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In the forthcoming TED Book, The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice, Ebrahim tells the incredible story of how he chose a different direction, toward empathy and tolerance. Preview Zak’s riveting story in the trailer above.

This title will be the first TED Book available in hardcover as well as an ebook version. Look for it in bookstores on September 9. TED fans, however, are invited to pre-order now to make sure you can read this powerful story the day it comes out.

Order through Amazon »

Order through Barnes & Noble  »

Order through GooglePlay Store  »

Order through iTunes  »

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Books

A Cupful of Aha: Book Review

Author: Anandaa

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Book Blurb:
“…Hello,” I said, “Can’t say I’ve seen you around here before.” She smiled again…and my heart melted. “No, you haven’t,” she giggled. “For I have come especially to meet you today. I am Death, and it is time.”What happens when Death comes for you…and you start arguing over coffee ?… a quirky tale that offers a whole new perspective into one of life’s deepest mysteries…

My Review:

This is by far the cutest and shortest book I have! Just a 54 page little book and I totally love the cover.

This book shows that the size of the book in no way related to its content.

In just 54 pages, the strong and powerful message is conveyed. Frankly, I got to thinking and being interested in pure sciences too. Which is saying something as I, as a student chucked sciences the first chance I saw. But this got me thinking as to how it has so many interesting things and how it can relate to more philosophy.

The book is basically a ‘what is the meaning of life, if you do not live’ but the way in is conveyed is quite funny. Describing death as a pretty young girl was quite…..unusual.

Considering that the message is so strong and powerful, it would have been better if the book was a tad bit bigger. Some more details and character sketch of the main character would have been awesome, I would have liked to know more about the kind of person the main protagonist was, what was his past, what he worked as..

All in all, a very fast read…but deserves a multiple read..

Buy this book from:

Flipkart.com

amazon.in

Amazon.com (For International Audience)
(I thank Being Shakespeare for sending me a copy of this book 🙂 )

Books

Paper Towns: Book Review

Author: John Green

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Book Blurb:

The thing about Margo Roth Spiegelman is that really all I could ever do was let her talk, and then when she stopped talking encourage her to go on, due to the facts that 1. I was incontestably in love with her, and 2. she was absolutely unprecedented in every way, and, 3. she never really asked me any questions….

Quentin Jacobson has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up at school and Margo doesn’t. She’s left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow.

And everything leads to one unavoidable question:

Who is the REAL Margo?

My Review:

I started this book with sky high expectations…Mainly because of The Fault in Our Stars. (Read TFIOS review here)

This book was good…but not TFIOS good….I have a feeling that if I had read this before, I might have liked it more….talk about exceeded expectations ruining something…when will I ever learn??

But, on it’s own, this was a very fun book to read. I found the start to be a bit slow, it took a few chapters for the interest to develop. This book starts of slowly and then gradually builds pace, it is the fastest at the end.

I liked the three different meanings of ‘paper towns’…and how each meaning gives a different perspectives to different characters. Very very interesting.

John Green really FORCES you to think if the people who are in your life ARE really as you think they are, or are they just how you perceive or want them to be?

A lot of time we have this weird notions about people. but when we actually interact with them face to face, they are completely different to how we imagined them…and that is SO true…

It’s only when you LIVE with a person, that you know their weird, quirky, human side that makes them…u know…human.

Also, here is an interesting TED talk by John on Paper Towns:

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5