PANORAMA: Book Review

A Collection of Short Stories

Author: Shilpi Chaklanobis

Book Blurb:

A turbulent relationship between a mother and a daughter takes a sudden turn when the daughter stumbles across a past that she never knew…..

The golden period of a professor’s life is tainted by questions about his purpose until one night gives him all the answers he needs……..

Desperate times test us all but when hunger drives a girl to do the unthinkable, her life changes forever……….

Woven around the lives of the people around us – the shy girl on the metro, your domestic help, your neighbors and perhaps even you – this collection of short stories will take you on a bittersweet journey that explores the spectrum that is part of any human relationship and all the complexity and chaos that secretly dwell within the homes and hearts of India.

Often laced with an element of introspection, the stories are sure to change the way you see the world around you…

My Review:

This book was awesome!

It gave me so many feels!!

Usually, when I review anthologies, I usually mention my favourite story and then give my reasons for the same. Unfortunately, I would not be able to do so for this book as each story is so different and unique, it is just not possible to have favorites. Other stories that deal with mother-daughter relationships are the thirst and mirage.

The book consists of fifteen different stories, each dealing with human emotions, many of which dealt with mother-daughter relationship and its various hues.

The first story, Wok, reminded me a bit of O’Henry’s Gift of Magi. It was so intense and the writing was so good, I got choked up reading it. It is a story of a poor single mother who is struggling to give a childhood to her daughter.

Next was “Peanut” and it resonated with me on so many levels. Peanut is aa dog who lives an impact on the lives of his humans. Being a dog person myself, and Scooby being the center of my life, this story touched my heart.

The story of “Selective Secularism” had me clapping my hands, lauding the author as to how beautifully she captivates the selective secularism that many Indians practice. “The Ultimate Death” deals with the assassination of Indira Gandhi and how the resultant aftermath changed the secular nature of the nation and affected individual lives.

While reading the Bribe and the second Tsunami, I was irritated with the protagonist at one or other point of story. I felt like talking some maturity in him. It shows how realistic the author has managed to sketch the characters, that the reader not only feels that the characters are real, but they are so real that the reader gets irritated by them! Kudos to the author!

“Forever” and “The Wait” were two extremely different takes on Love Stories. How love can give you hope is aptly described in these stories. “The Example” and “The Meeting” had the author reminisce about past relationships and how they meet old acquaintances that impact their world view.

“Destiny”as the name suggests deals with how destiny affects the lives of the characters. The last two stories, “Before It’s Too Late” and “The Sealed Wish” deal with how money impacts the decisions of people.

This is by far one of the best books by Indian Authors!

Buy this book today!

 

 

An Interview with Vaidehi Anil Deoskar, author of “7 Decisions, 1 Destination”

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Vaidehi is one of the youngest authors who have been featured on this website. In her book “7 Decisions, 1 Destination”, she highlights the dilemma of the youngsters when they are faced with the decisions that would impact their entire lives. Today, we converse with her about her book, and her journey towards becoming an author.

Can you tell us something about yourself and your book?

My name is Vaidehi Anil Deoskar.

Currently, I am pursuing a four-year engineering degree and am 19 years old.

This book is dedicated to all the youngsters who are striving to achieve something substantial but have got stuck in between.

2. You are quite young, did you find difficulty in getting published at this age?

Yes, definitely I faced difficulty in getting the book published.

3. What was the reason you chose to write this story?

There are 7 days in a week, 7 wonders of the world, 7 colours of a rainbow. Have you ever wondered of why not 7 choices or 7 risks or 7 decisions of lives? In reality, no one has time to think through these petite lines of lives. It is an inevitable part of life. The book also reveals the number of choices one has to make, some being common to all while some being diverse. This book brings all such topics into limelight.

4. The protagonist of your book is a female. What made you write a book on female point of view? How did you decide on her characteristics?

Actually, the protagonist being female was not predecided. It was a mere coincidence. I would have very well chosen the protagonist as a male. Talking about her characteristics one can easily relate her in the real world and find a proper resemblance to her in order to understand her properly.

5. Since your book deals with the decisions that each person has to make, is this book based on your or your friend’s experiences, or is it purely fictional?

No, it is neither totally fictional nor is it based on any of my friend’s experience. It is a mixture of both.

Once a person reads this story he/she can easily understand that it is his/her own story put on paper by me.

6. In the book, your protagonist writes a book, with encouragement from her friends, did something similar happen to you as well?

It was totally my initiative and I received no encouragement from my friends. However, I got a huge support from my sister who was the first person I talked to. Frankly speaking, I never hinted to anyone that I am writing a book.

7. If there was one thing that you could tell your readers in order to motivate them to read your book, what would it be?

Being young, we don’t really understand whether the step we take forward is right or not. This book will not only give you the confidence for your feat, but will also motivate you to take such tribulent decisions with much more certainty and ferret out success from the same.

8. Have you written any other book/story/poem? Do you have a plan to do so in future?

I have not written any other book, however, I have a collection of poems. I also have a plan of writing a book in the future.

9. Do you read books? If so which are your favourite and inspirational reads?

Yes, I like reading books. In specific, I have no favourites.

10. If you had to give advice to new writers who are looking to publish their books, what would it be?

Opportunities are galore,

Keep your faith aboard,

Face your fears,

Don’t let your decision waver.

Buy 7 Decisions, 1 Destination

See the book review here

A Month Love Story: Book Review

Author: Sushmita Srivas

Book Blurb:

Forget about me, erase me, and don’t even think back. Because one day when you let your mind slips, you will remember me and realize that you should have held on. I will wait till the day I can forget you or the day you realize you can’t forget me” ~unknown As earth is round, we leave the person with the thought not to meet them again but as we are in a circle of earth and finally you found that it’s the same starting place where you ended up. She was Pursuing B-Tech from Noida and was enjoying her college life. One day she got a friend request from a guy on FB. Their friendship turns into love. It was the most amazing moments of her life but after a month everything gets changed forever. Sometimes some stories are too short to elaborate A tragedy changed everything. She struggled, cried and did everything she could to bring him back but he was gone by then.. She waited for his return , nothing happened but one day…

My Review:

Since social media is the center of all teenage communications, it is no surprise that there are many who now find their love online.

This is a book that deals with this “Online Love”.

The writing style is quite simple, the pace is quite comfortable and this is a light and breezy read.

The protagonist of this novel is a simple girl who lives with her friends and whose focus is on gaining her education. She then befriends a guy on facebook. The good part here is that the story line is quite believable. They talk online, then on calls, then they meet and gradually fall in love. This gave a very realistic touch to the whole story.

The characters have also been developed really well. Even the side characters, like the protagonist’s friends, were given separate personalities.

What is different about this book is that it is far too realistic and believable. The story is something that many people can relate to their own lives. Even the ending was well thought out.

Overall it would be a good read if you enjoy reading love stories like Durojay Butta or Chetan Bhagat.

So, the overall ratings are as below:

Cover : 4/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 3/5

Creativity in Storyline: 2
Character Complexity: 4
Overall : 3.5/5

Buy this book

Check out the Author Interview

An Interview with Sushmita Srivas, the author of A Month Love Story

 

Sushmita Srivas is an up coming author who has penned a romantic book titled: A Month Love Story, and today she will tell us all about her book, her journey towards becoming a writer and much more!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the book review

 

Can you tell us something about yourself and your book?

I don’t see myself as an Author; I am just trying to become one. It is my first book and I got to know that being an author is not a simple task. If I have to tell you about myself then I will say that I am girl who loves to tell stories and this love for the stories helps me to write one.  I am a manufacturing engineer, graduated from JSS Noida, and after college I worked as a HR Recruiter for 1.5 years.

My book title is “A Month LOVE~STORY”, which I rather say it’s  LOVE and a STORY. The story is about the girl who met a guy on a popular social media website FB, and fell in love with him but a tragedy changed everything. She did everything to make him return and he does but everything was changed by then.

Did you always want to become a Writer? What made you sit down and pen down your own book?

No, not always. I wrote some stories in my collage days and showed to my friends. They enjoyed reading the stories and suggested me to write more, but I didn’t take it seriously. But after couple of years when I was working as a HR in a company, one day I realized that I should go for the writing as I love to write stories and I enjoyed every bit of it. So, I quit my job and started writing.

Can you share your experience of writing the book? Any interesting anecdote that you faced
while writing or did you face the dreaded writers block?

My experience of writing the book was quite exciting, every time it I kept thinking what I should write to make it more interesting, if I were the reader that which type of story I would like to read.

At some moment I faced difficulty in end of the book, I was stuck with the thought; how to make the end of the story the better, inspirational, and twisted one. And I was stuck for a  couple of weeks with it and finally one night in my dreams, I got the thought for the end of the story, so in the middle of the night I started writing and completed my book.

The protagonist of your book is a female. What made you write a book from a female point of view? How did you decide her characteristics?

My book story is not just focused on the female point of view, it’s something which everyone can relate to. I drew a character of a girl and to make it livelier, I imagined the character as myself as I feel the character and being a girl I could easily define the feelings, characteristics, situations that is required to present a character of a girl.

Tell us something about your experience of getting your book published?

When I got a call from my publisher that my book is in press and it will be launched in 5 days. I was so excited to see my book in my hands and those 5 days were the longest days that I was unable to sleep due to so much excitement. Almost every hour I was calling my publisher for checking when it will be on air. As it is my first book so I was excited and nervous both at the same time.

There are many love stories that are being published these days, why did you choose this genre?

I chose this genre because in every genre love story comes is central, and in any side of the story, whether it’s a thriller, autobiography or any genre. So I decided to write a story with LOVE STORY with the combinations of numerous emotions and situations.

How is your story different from others of this genre?

As I mentioned before that my story is not basically a love story. It’s also about the sacrifice, courage, desperation, belief, diligent, and self-esteem. This story is not comes into romantic genre. It has love story but it contains story more than love.

If there was one thing that you could tell your readers in order to motivate them to read, what would it be?

As now a days we all use social media sites and all get the friend request from anyone. So, my story is with the same plot. The story is full of romance, laughter, struggle, love, success and failure. It will motivate readers that life is full of choices and your choices leads your life for the future.

Have you written any other book/story/poem? Do you have a plan to do so in future?

No, this was my first book. I wrote some stories in my past but not they are not meant for printing. I am planning to write more in future with more interesting stories.

Is your story inspired from a real life event or is it purely a work of fiction?

This story is purely work of fiction. As I have defined the character of a girl to get myself into the character’s skin, so I mentioned some of the real incident to make it more interesting.

Do you read books? If so which are your favorite and inspirational reads?

Yes, I read books. And in my collage days I read my first novel. Recently comes to my favorite list is “Shiva Trilogy”, “The girl on the train”, “I too had a love story”.

 If you had to give advice to new writers who are looking to publish their books, what would it be?

My advice will be: Don’t get afraid of losing or fear the future. Try to write for fun not for the business.

Thank you for your time Sushmita!

Buy A Month Love Story Here

10 lb Penalty: Book Review

Author: Dick Francis

10 lb Penalty

Book Blurb:

Benedict Juliard is an aspiring jockey who must bypass his dreams of horse racing to help his father, George, in his quest to enter the world of politics. At 18, the reserved Benedict is asked by his father to enter into a pact: Neither of the two will do anything that could somehow hinder or destroy George’s blossoming political career. Young Benedict, who has no stronger ambition than to ride steeplechase as an amateur jockey, agrees to the pact, without possibly knowing what lies ahead.

Twelve years pass, and Ben has since abandoned his dream of making a career on the racetrack. Like his father, Ben enters the political arena, becoming George Juliard’s closest ally and most trusted confidant as he makes his move to become prime minister. However, Ben suddenly finds himself the target of a fierce attack brought on by his father’s brutally ambitious enemies. Through his son, George Juliard is discredited and destroyed just as he makes his drive for the prime ministership, leading Ben into an existence of treachery and lies.

As these events unfold, Ben quickly realizes that it is his responsibility to protect his father’s career as well as his own, but more important, he must protect their lives. Like past Francis books, 10 LB. Penalty is a masterfully plotted mystery that also examines the power of family and the bond between father and son.

My Review:

The book has a perfect amalgamation of horse racing and politics, although completely different worlds, the author does a wonderful job creating a story set in both.

This is the first Dick Francis novel that I read and found it to be an excellent read. The characters are real, and you find yourself empathizing with the main character, Benedict. All young Benedict wants to do is become a Jockey. But, his father’s political agenda puts an end to his dreams. His father wants him to help him with the campaigns, and he reluctantly starts getting involved, albeit still longing for the life he had always dreamt about.

But then, George, Benedict’s father faces certain incidents that individually could be written off as accidents, but collectively it makes Ben suspicious. Is there anybody who wants his father dead?

While Ben and his father never had a relationship, all these incidents really made Ben nervous and he starts looking for clues.

While I knew nothing about Racing, the way the author explains all the terms and conditions, as well as the “10 lb Penalty” without deviating from the story is quite marvelous.

I am totally going to read more of this author!

Buy this book

 

 

 

30 DAY BOOK CHALLENGE: DAY 18: Book That Disappointed you

The book that disappointed me was “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. I had already seen the movie and had just finished reading Dear John. That I had extremely high expectations from this book is an understatement.

The Notebook

Sadly, the book did not meet my expectations. Unlike other books, you could just skip reading and watch the movie, you won’t be missing anything.

30day

2 Peg Ke Baad: Book Review

Author: Nikita Lalwani

2 Peg ke Baad

Book Blurb:

2 Peg Ke Baad brings together 14 short stories that happened after 2 pegs, in an
inebriated state. World’s greatest stories are created when people are high –
masterpieces are painted, universal truths are realised, models on billboards are
befriended, lovers are united, butts are kicked, confessions are made, and
relationships are sorted.
The book started as a blog with people from across the world sharing their
stories, ideas, confessions and beliefs, and the elixir of the 14 best stories is here
to reveal what lies beyond a conscious mind.
Though the book does not intend to encourage drinking alcohol in any sense,
here’s to celebrate every emotion that kicks after a few pegs. Cheers!!

My Review:

This book is an anthology of short stories, which basically deals with the kind of things one might do “2 peg ke baad”.

The stories range from your regular love stories to those that touch on social issues. My favourite story was “Epilogue” that dealt with the Hijra Community.

Basically, each story starts with the main character giving their view point on the topic and then we, as readers, get to read their story in order to find out why they think such. Which made reading it all the more interesting.

While there were some quotable quotes like the introduction that starts with:

“My mother always said, “After two pegs, nothing can go right.” But I feel the world’s most interesting stories surface only after two pegs.”

Some of the stories were pretty simple and the writing style could have been a bit better. The introduction to each story was bang on, but once the story started, the writing became quite mundane.

Buy this book.

 

 

Authors That Shaped my Life: Celebrating #IntAuthorsDay

IAD 2016 Banner

This post is for the “International Authors Day” event hosted by the wonderful Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay

Books have always been a large part of my life. They have not only provided company when I was lonely, friendship when I was sad, but also helped me gain a quality education.

Growing up an Introvert in a world where extroverted qualities are encouraged is quite hard. Unfortunately, at the time I was growing up, introversion was often confused with “shy” and as the teachers were burdened with more than seventy kids a class, they often dismissed people who would not speak up as much and focus on those who did. So basically all I did in those primary school years was sit, do my work and in free periods take out a book and read. You would never find me without a book Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew filled my days,simply because there was nothing else to do!

It was in higher secondary (that is from eleventh grade), that I started participating in class. This again was due to my class teacher, who was also my English Teacher. The size of the class also decreased, so it was just thirty people per class. My teacher used to love to read, and we started having conversations about books outside the class. She started mentioning our conversations to other students and teachers which gave me the confidence to actually voice out my opinions out in the class.

Next came the choice of college. I wanted to pursue business administration. I had the option to join two colleges. One admitted students with written test, group discussion, and personal interview. My stint in higher secondary had given me the confidence to do all that. The other was out of the city and took admissions via panel presentations. Now for this, I was quite worried. I had made a presentation on the economic changes that happened in India post Liberalization and Privatization. It gave me nightmares. But I REALLY wanted to join this college, I wanted to live outside, just like those Enid Blyton school girls. On the last day, I was like “You know what? They said I could present on ANY topic so I might as well choose something that I am least likely to screw up. So I deleted the presentation, and made a new one…on J. K. Rowling.” The presentation was a breeze, I knew J. K. Rowling’s life details better than my own! I was obsessed with that woman. The interviewer asked questions like “How many books has she written, and how many have you read?”.I could not help but give him the “really?” look! Needless to say…I got in!

That college changed me as a person, gave me the confidence to be myself and helped me find my place in the world.

That day I learned two things:

  • I enjoyed giving presentations, especially to a larger audience.
  • Great authors have the power to shape your life.

To this day, each time I stand up to speak, I remember my first presentation and each time I am thankful for the education that I got, I have one person to thank the most, my favorite author: J. K. Rowling.

So today, on International Authors Day I want to take a moment and thank the authors. Thank you for being there. Thank you for your words that comfort us, make us laugh or sometimes even cry. But most of all, thank you for existing, without you many souls would have been lost.

I am giving away 4 books of  GO CLOWN #Achhedin for Comedy, all you need to do is comment on who is your favorite author and why. Also, leave your email ID. Only for Indian Readers. I will announce the winners on the eighteenth of July 2016.

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Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1): Book Review

Author: Zoe Kalo

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)

Book Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

My Review:

This book is perfect for those who like young adult mythology. For those who like books like the Percy Jackson series, this one would work wonders. The story line is intricately woven with an equal amount of mystery and mythology. As a kid, I used to be fascinated with Egyptian mythology, so this book was quite interesting to me.

The writing style is quite simple, but then if you look at the age of the target audience, it is perfect.

Initially, the story takes a while for the story to hook the reader, but when the main protagonist, Trinity finds the mysterious ring and the torn papyrus, that is when the story starts building up and sort of draws the reader in. You start becoming invested in it and start wondering how and what will happen next.

The characterization and the character development was quite strong so it became fun to read.

Overall, a good book for the new young adults.

Buy the book

This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Book Review: The Notebook (The Notebook #1)

Author: Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook

Book Blurb:

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned form the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

My Review:

I read this book a while ago, almost immediately after I had read “Dear John” by the same author. This experience taught me a very important lesson: never read more than one Nicholas Sparks in a year.

The reason is that while each story is beautiful in itself if read within a short span of time, you start to see similarities and then you just cannot enjoy it as much.

In line with classic sparks story, you see a young couple meeting each other in a beautiful setting, they spend some amazing moments together and then they have to be separated.

The writing style was quite simple, I admit I had expected better.

I don’t know, I guess if I read it again, I might have a different view. But at this moment, I feel the movie is better than the book.