Book name : Dora’s Storytime Collection
Synopsis (from Goodreads )
So I thought I would regularly blog for the next fifty days , but couldn’t! When school’s out , it is practically impossible to find time to pen thoughts down. So I am going to try to be as regular as possible. We’ve read more than a book a day , but none of them stood out and spoke to us :). Which is why I have decided to only chronicle the books that we enjoyed, and not everything that we picked up.
Today’s pick is a lovely book that is also one of my daughter’s favourite.
Book name : My mother’s Sari
Writer and Illustrator : Sandhya Rao and Nina Sabnani
Appropriate for age : 2+
What the book is about :
What a brilliant bunch of stories! I have become a huge fan of this young author whose writing is just plain unadulterated ‘awesomeness’. Kirthi’s language flows beautifully, serenading us into the exquisitely worlds she paints for us with every single story.I don’t normally read short stories, but I was excited to read this book when Kirthi asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing it. The prose is lush, poignant and breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the range of stories Kirthi has presented in this collection. The stories paint myriad shades of human emotions, often sad and gut-wrenching, yet always compelling.
My favourite was the story Flowers from Andromanque which was spooky and fun at the same time. My second favourite was The Watchmaker , which is a heart-wrenching story of a beautiful relationship between a boy and a watch-maker. Kirthi goes futuristic with her story ‘Remorse’, which was also an interesting premise. Many stories have been narrated in the first person , which makes reading them all the more compelling. But more than the language ,I think what comes across clearly is Kirthi’s understanding of human emotions and her compassion towards people in less-fortunate circumstances. Most stories end with their protagonists finding new ways to tackle their demons. Most accept their predicament , some don’t , but almost all the protagonists move on in one way or the other.
Overall an awesome book that will leave you yearning for more. Full length novel, please:)
Rating : 3.5
This book was a lovely cosy read and had many mini-mysteries strung together. The premise is extremely interesting : that horoscopes and Vedic astrology could be used to solve mysteries. I also liked the execution to a large extent. Manjiri’s language has a quaint ,old-worldly feel to it. It’s been written well , and paints a lovely picture of Pune, the city in which the book is set in. The mysteries themselves were pretty intriguing, and while I could a guess a few of them , most were fresh and clever. I liked the fact that Sonia relied on basic gathering of facts and logic as a primary means of solving the mysteries and only relied on astrology to complement her observations in most cases.
Somehow I found Sonia too uptight and really didn’t connect with her. I just found her characterisation too odd ( like the way she dances to get into the ‘mood’ of investigating a crime). This book would have been a 4 star for me if I had found Sonia slightly more likeable. I liked how the author has woven description of festivals in the narrative. It did seem like the book was being targeted at a Non-Indian reader by the words that have been used and the way some Indian stuff have been described. The mystery about the Owl was totally rushed and made me feel a little cheated. I frankly skipped through the parts where Sonia talks about the placement of planets on the horoscopes when she explains the cases.
But , there are so many things that I liked in the book. The book reminded me a lot of Agatha Christie’s writing. Mma Ramotswe popped into my mind several times while reading the book. Will I pick-up the next book in the series? Definitely! If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, this book isn’t for you.If you are looking for a nice cosy read , look no further!
I enjoyed reading this book which has five pretty girls, all with different problems and hang-ups who study at a college in Chennai. Add a mean serial killer who kills girls and dumps them into the coovum river , a few gundas and college rowdies , a bumbling police officer and a delicious criminologist, and you have the recipe to counter boredom. The Madras Mangler is all the more closer to my heart as it is set in a city has been home to me for so many years. I liked the references to the local places in the book.The best parts of the book, according to me were the parts in which Vir and his hi-fi team tries to make sense of the profile of the killer.The gadgets and the technology mentioned by Vir and team is exhilarating , and one realises that a lot of research has gone into writing the book. I loved how the author has sneaked in references to pop-culture in the narrative.The writing is young: the swear words the girls use, the music they listen to , the books they read – all captured very well.When one reads the book, one cannot guess the fact that the author is not in her early twenties 🙂 All these things that worked for me.
Even though there is enough banter between the girls, I thought a lot of portions where the girls were involved were rushed. Before I could think about one girl’s problem, the next girl hurls herself (and us) into another soup.I would have liked a slightly slower pace that would have made me invest in every girl individually, to care about them later(why? I am not telling you why.. you have to read the book for that!). The five girls blurred into one single entity for me , after a point.I felt that there was too much of tell, than show. But considering the fact that there were so many characters to cover and a word-count to adhere to,I can understand the author’s reasons for rushing through certain parts.
The only reason the book was not a 4, but a 3 for me was because I found the narrative a little choppy . Out of the 3, I’ll give 1 star only for Vir 🙂
Usha mam, sequel please. Vir is too good a hero to be wasted on a single book!
Overall , a nice book to settle in with on a Sunday afternoon. Its got all the elements young people would want in a book.
Stay tuned to the next author post in a few days 🙂
I have always loved epistolary novels, and jumped at the opportunity to review one. The premise was exciting : what happens behind the scenes of a high-profile divorce case. The book told only in the form of memos, letters and emails is an extremely erudite piece of writing with references to literature , movies and the performing arts. I didn’t know that Shakespeare died on his birthday! (23rd April).
Having seen the ugly repercussions of divorces of a few friends , I was curious about the nitty-gritties of negotiation and divorce settlement. The book offers a generous peep into all those areas.It was interesting going through the memos and the paperwork that gets generated during a divorce. However , I just found the book too long (over five hundred pages).Somehow the exchange between Sophie (the divorce lawyer, who also happens to be one of the lead characters)and her friend, Maggie was just too boring.
The book had too many memos and lawyerly papers containing barely understandable legalese, that I found myself skipping a few of them because it was just so tiring wading through all those jargon-filled pages. Thankfully , the most relevant passages were highlighted ,and I found myself skipping the document and reading just those highlighted parts. Maybe the reason I couldn’t connect too much with the characters was that the book was too long. Best character was Mia , whose random acts of meanness towards the husband was quirky and funny.
Overall , a clever decent read , if the size of the book doesn’t deter you.
Its not a classic who-dun-it, but Anita’s words bring alive a side of Bangalore that not many of us would know.The pace is a little slow , but atmospheric, making it an an extremely clever book to spend time with. Though Inspector Gowda is no heart-throb, Anita has chiselled his character well.Lots of research has gone into the making of this book , and it shows. But a word of caution: do not pick this book up because you liked Ladies Coupe and be willing to give a slow police procedural book a chance, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you end up liking the book.
Overall,Literary popular fiction(the book reads like literary fiction in bits , and like popular fiction sometimes) for people who don’t mind slow murder mysteries.
Book name : Pyar Aur poetry
Publisher : Indireads
Copy source : Author
Rating : 3.5 ***
Synopsis from Goodreads
Technically , the first I-didn’t-like-the-book review is up on Goodreads. The barometer was that it would have to be from someone I didn’t know personally and it wouldn’t talk about a single redeeming feature of the book. People who know you are never 100% honest when it comes to such endeavours, and often end up saying luke-warmy-I-loved-it thingees ( which btw are fun to read on a day when you are feeling like the world is out to get you ).
Strangely, I didn’t feel like I was the worst writer on earth when I read the review – just disappointed that someone had been disappointed after parting with hard-earned cash. I just left a message saying I would do better in the next book. Infact , I am motivated to do better in the next book 🙂 I know we can’t please everyone and that reviews are never to be taken too seriously , but I want to take this seriously because I really want to be a better writer- both for my sake as well as my reader’s.
Anyway,here’s the review( and several others that have come in since the last time I posted)..
Posted on : Goodreads
Rating : ****/5
Disclaimer: this isn’t a proper review – it is a presentation of jumbled thoughts that I had about the book in no specific order (though I tried to organize it somewhat). It might resemble a badly organized bullet point presentation.
Overview: I’ve read “The Crossover Year” and enjoyed every bit of it.
The story is about the life of Sri Anu Prabha at that point in time when a girl heading towards discovering her life’s purpose.
The story narrated in first person, describes the events and dilemmas that one comes across in the course of their life.
It is authentic in the situations described, the dilemmas faced and the insights that one has in life, that it is relatable by any reader.
The pace though sedate is gripping enough to keep one absorbed throughout the book.
There are no exhilarating highs nor depressing lows in the book.
It is a humorous and a semi-light read.
It is difficult to assign a specific genre to it; it is much more than “chick-lit” and is not heavy on introspection to be classified as “contemporary literature” and certainly not “Romance”. It can perhaps be classified as a “coming of age” story.
The writing style and the language is, as usual, very good.
This is the 2nd book of Bhargavi’s that I’m reading and I can state authoritatively that it is miles better than the first book – Seven Across.
I’m putting down this book of Bhargavi’s as “Promising” and strongly recommend buying it – you won’t regret it.
Good luck with the launch Bhargavi.