Books, personal, product reviews

The Time I Found The Bookshelf of My DREAMS

Remember all those times salivating over ah-maz-ing bookshelves on Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest? YUP….we all have been there.

So, when we shifted to a new city, in an unfurnished house…one of my major concerns was finding THE RIGHT bookshelf. I did not want to end up with an oh so ordinary one after all.

Yea…turns out dream bookshelves cost a bomb.

So while I was spending some sleepless nights and long hours during the day to find the one..while trying not to completely empty out the bank…I came across this website:

These people had some amazing bookshelves, and the prices were sooo unbelievably cheap!

I immediately got this beauty:

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It was in the “unboxed” condition. The shelves look pretty darn amazing!

I can’t wait till I bring all the books at one place and fill this baby up!

For those of you who are looking for some amazing furniture, and are living in Bangalore or NCR, try this site.

They come and install the furniture within 2 working days!

Watch my bookshelf tour on my Youtube channel. 

 

 

 

Books

When Food makes you nostalgic of Books

Few weeks ago I went to an Italian Restaurant. After our order was placed, we came to know that the restaurant was providing one kind of bruschetta, wherein we had to rub garlic, basil and cherry tomatoes on the bread.

Just one bite and I was instantly transported to the world of “Birds without Wings” by Louis de Bernieres.

I guess the reason for this was the distinct taste of garlic.

I instantly remembered the scenes where two characters are shown enjoying dinner which had garlic in almost every dish…or when the characters were enjoying a lazy afternoon and strong garlic smell was a pleasant reminder of the upcoming dinner time.

It got me thinking, some books have such potent magic, that even though we may have read it years ago, a sudden smell, or taste or even sound instantly takes you back to that world…and THAT is how you know that it truly was an exceptional read.

Author Interviews, Books

Interview with Rakhi Jayashankar, Author of Waves in the Sky

I have been in touch with Rakhi Jayashankar since a few months now, and it has been a pleasure interacting with her. Since her new book “Waves in the Sky” (Book Review) got published last month, we got a great opportunity to interact with her. Thanks for the editing opportunity as well as congratulations in advance for the new addition to your family!

Waves in the Sky (Canaries #1)

So, tell us something about your background

Hey Dhwani, Thanks for the opportunity. This is my first interview as an author. 

If you ask my background now, I would say a mother of 4 (one being my husband), who tries to revive her literary skills. I was also a part of the rat race of science, biology and went for zoology and biotechnology for graduation and post graduation respectively. As I had least interest in the subject, I never bothered to look back after graduation and took up a job in HR recruiting. Thinking that it would be my field, I joined MBA-HR. It took 28 years for me to realize what I actually need to do with my life. Once I got the focus I had my first blog post in rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in . All thanks to my better half.

Sometime later, the blog which was supposed to be a collection of short stories, took focus as a book review blog.

How did the idea of writing waves in the sky come to you?

As I said, I had no intention of writing a full length novel. Waves in the sky started as a blogpost. The epilogue was on one of my initial blogposts. Later I thought of developing a short story from it. But as mentioned in the author’s note, someone held my hands and forced me to to write more and more.

What was the time frame for writing this book?

With two hellion toddlers running around, I could not fix a time frame for writing the book. In fact I used to sit in the middle of the fuss created by them and write the stories. By the time I completed the book, my kids were in a high degree enmity with my laptop. From the experience of many renowned writers, I expected to complete the book in a year or two but surprisingly, I was done with the book in about four months.

What were your biggest learning experiences/surprises in the entire process from writing to publishing the book?

There were a lot of learning experiences/surprises. The first one is the name “CANARY”. When I started writing the book, I coined the term just like that. The names of the girls were different. They were named Aditi, Swathy, Sruthy, Kamya, Neha and Shafna. After I was half way through the book, I noticed that CANARY is a six letter word and the two A’s corresponds to the two twins. I was surprised as to how such a coincidence occurred.

Then I renamed them as Charu, Avantika, Ananya, Yami, Neha and Raihana. The book had nothing to do with a murder initially. Later it transformed into a murder mystery.

While publishing the book, I was surprised by the fact that there are a lot of predators in writing industry. I was so naïve to send my proposal to each and every publisher. Next day on, I started getting calls asking for thousands to lakhs of rupees to get published.

Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?

A major criticism that I faced is that there were too much happening in the book and the vernacular language. I had targeted the common audience who can easily read the book but the writing style didn’t go well with the dark story. If I could do anything differently, I would bring a balance between both.

I started sending proposals, even before completing the book. By the time I was done with the book, the first two chapters in the proposals and the first two chapters in the final manuscript had no connection at all. If given a chance I would have changed that as well.

Many authors come across lot of rejections while finding a publisher for their first book. Was this the case with you too?

Of course. As I mentioned before, I sent my proposal to every publishers even before completing the book. But in retrospect, I realize that the proposals were sent in a format that I myself would not approve. Hence, I started getting rejections, one after the other.

Do you like reading? If yes, do share some books that have truly inspired you.

I am addicted to books. I had always been a fan of thrillers and historical fictions. As a writer, the book that inspired me the most is ‘Gone with the wind’ by Margarette Mitchelle. She has written only one book and that was a tornado in the literary world. Scarlette-O-Hara is the most head strong character I have come across.

What are you reading now?

As a reviewer, I am reading ‘The Claim’ by Sanjay Bordia. For myself I had taken ‘Mightier than the sword’ by Jeffrey Archer long back but could not get to read it due to the pending reviews.

Any advice for the people who are aspiring writers?

Start writing only when you really want to instead of forcing yourself to writing anything. And yes, wait till you complete a satisfactory manuscript before sending the proposal.

What next? Are you working/ thinking to work on the next book?

I am contemplating on the sequel of Waves in the sky. But before that I am expecting the release of my next baby 🙂

So, the book will take time.

Thanks again Dhwani, for this interview, review and above all a wonderful job of editing my book as well.

 

Books

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 17: Favourite Quote From Your Favourite Book

Favourite Book? Geez…I got more than one favourite book that’s for sure…So, the best headline for this would be one of the favourite quotes from one of the favourite book.

The book that I choose is “The Diary of A Young Girl” by Anne Frank.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The reason I choose this book was because this was the first book that I absolutely fell in LOVE with. This was the book that showed me what it means when people say “it is not JUST a book!”. This book made an impact on my life like none other that I had read previously. I guess the best reason why I loved it so much was that I read it around the age of 13, same age as Anne, and it was a rude awakening of how things like war affected people of my age.

The quote that I choose is:

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.jpg

30day

Books

The Science Redemption:Book Review

Author: R Santosh

The Science RedemptionBook Blurb:

The tussle between science and religion: age-old. Religion believes that God created the universe and then humans almost simultaneously. Dipti was about to reveal two stunning truths that would establish, once and for all, the natural origin and evolution of all matter and life in the universe, ultimately proving the nonexistence of any God. The Science Redemption is based on two sets of stories. The first part describes the lives of six individuals, Aditya, Sneha, Pallavi, Siddharth, Priyanka and Vivek, and six different romances involving them, in the setting of urban India in the 1980s to early 2000s. The second part is set over a thrilling 46 hours in 2028 AD. It describes a battle between the scientific revelation team with Dipti on one side versus perhaps the longest-lasting religious cult in the world on the other. As the battle takes place, Dipti stumbles upon astonishing historical facts ranging from 5500 BC to 2010 AD and turns almost all the stories described in part one of the book on their heads.

My Review:

The age old debate of science vs religion gets a new take in R. Santosh’s book “The Science Redemption.”

The book starts on a seemingly completely unrelated story of 6 friends. It kind of gets you wondering why the book was named thus. But, the second part of the story really ties down all those loose ends perfectly. While reading you come to know that each individual story had been connected to the main story line all along. Really commendable job by the author.

While the initial story lines were a bit just-like-your-next book with the couples and the college life drama, the fast paced thrill of the second half more than made up for it.To be honest, I liked how the author brought together these story lines, more than the conclusion of the story.

The way the last part of the book spans out, and how the author manages to draw out parallels between the science part by focusing on the interactions of our protagonist Dipti with her mentor from NASA vis a vis her interaction with the member of a secret religious group.

While the plot is complex, the language is pretty lucid, this can be quite a task but the author manages it beautifully.

Dipti is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting female characters that I have read. She is a scientist with a logical mind. Loved the fact that the author was able to chat out such interesting characteristics to all, male and female characters. Such realistic and individualistic characteristics of all is rarely seen, especially in the Indian publishing industry. Great job there!

On the flipside, the book cover is a major let down. I feel that the main readers who would be interested in this kind of a book, would hardly pick up a book with a cover like this.

But all in all, a really good read, Mr. R. Santosh is an author to look out for.

 

 

Books

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3): Book Review

Author: Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

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Book Blurb:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

My Review:

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Growing up on a steady diet of Secret Sevens then Famous Five then Agatha Christie then Sidney Sheldon…. it comes as no surprise that when J K Rowling decides to write murder mysteries my two loves collided into one!

This by far is the best book of the series. Cormoran Strike and Robin Elacott are at their best. The character development in this series is unlike I have ever read in this genre. So, I would suggest you read these books chronologically i.e. The Cuckoo’s Calling first, then The Silkworm and then this.

There was a strong undercurrent of dark humour that brought the degree of awesomeness of this book upto its peak.

In this book, we have Robin, Strike’s Partner, who is expecting a delivery of her wedding favours, so when a huge parcel arrives, she signs for it without any questions. But when she opens the parcel she finds a severed right leg of a lady, cut exactly where Stirke’s leg is amputated. The leg also came with a note that had lyrics from a popular rock group “The Blue Oyster” on it..coincidently these were the very same lines that were tattooed on Strike’s mother’s body. Which leads strike to believe that the person who sent him this leg was someone from his past..but then why send it to Robin?

The book then traces Strike’s and Robin’s histories as they try to trace who sent the leg and whose leg was it.

Since I want to keep this review spoiler free, I will be posting a detailed book discussion on this later, so if you have already read it…stay tuned for it!

 

Books

63 Rejections: Book Review

Author: Kaushik Mudda

63 Rejections

Book Blurb:

“The book ‘63 Rejections,’ is aimed at a demographic catering to all ages and professions. It describes my journey in setting up a self-sufficient and bootstrapped venture—Ethereal Machines. It speaks of the chucklesome, tense, nervous, and dejected moments in setting up the startup.

Engineering students have been engulfed in the fire of the desire of establishing their own startup. The true entrepreneurial spirit drives a lot of them, but a huge chunk wants to take this route purely for acquiring fame and money. In this rat race, there are, a lot of casualties. The biggest casualty belongs to the category of ideas, which aren’t deep-rooted in the virtual-platform-based service providers’ foundation. Several graduates are reluctant to venture into other fields because of the deficit of the short route to media coverage and a quick buck.

I write this book at a time when the startup culture is abundant and defines a new pop culture. The book paints a picture for engineering graduates, who are looking to venture into fields apart from coding, about the difficulties that they will face. It also speaks about the boundless joys one experiences after breaking even and setting up a sustainable endeavor, and the new challenges that show up at their doorstep. It’s not just for engineering graduates; the book also caters to the mindset one requires to begin any kind of venture.

My Review:

Now a days we are seeing that a lot of people want to start their own businesses instead of going for jobs. This may be due to a shift of focus from groups to individuals. It is great that young people now a days are becoming more innovative and charting out the path for themselves.

63 rejections is a book written by one such individual. It shows how with perseverance and a strong belief in oneself and one’s ideas can lead to success.

The author has done a wonderful job penning down his life story, so that those who are thinking of starting their own businesses can learn from his experiences.

Personally, I felt that the author could have delved deeper into the rejection part. As in how he approached the clients, what conversations he had, what he learnt from these individual conversations etc.. The size of the book is on a smaller side, so I feel that if the author had elaborated on this aspect, it would have been even more helpful for the aspiring entrepreneurs.

For all those who are in college and thinking of stating their own business…this is a good book to read.