28 December 2016

Review #576: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

----Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jennifer Niven, the New York Times bestselling author, has penned yet another inspiring and strikingly honest YA contemporary fiction called, Holding Up the Universe is an inspiring story about flawed teenager-hood that youngsters constantly try to sugarcoat it with fake story lines. Mostly the story revolves around two flawed teenagers, among whom, one is trying to hide away his flaws from the world and the other is trying hard to make the world accept her in her flawed way. And the teenagers learn a lot to embrace their shortcomings a lot from one another's journey to self-realization.

25 December 2016

How to be Trendy for a Colleague's Wedding Invitation

Hello my dear readers,

“Fashion changes, but style endures.”
                                               ----Coco Chanel

New Year is already knocking on our doors and New Year means new resolutions, anything and everything that begins with new. So on this New Year, I make a resolution to post about not only reviews and author interviews or sometimes about blog tours but to post about non-bookish things like writing about an event, or anything is beyond the world of literature. You name it, I'll write it.

So here's my very first non-bookish post and that which is mostly about fashion.

Top 10 Best Books of 2016

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas to my dear readers.

Hope yáll are having a happy and lovely Christmas day filled with lots of laughter, love and reading. Its the most perfect day followed by perfect weather to celebrate the day of happiness, kindness, gifts sharing and joy among one another, be it among strangers or your loved ones. And mind it, this is the one such festival that is not celebrated by Christians only but is also celebrated among all the religions around the world. So on this auspicious note and on a wasted, long and boring weekend for me, I'm here to share a lot of stories with you all, from recent ones to the ones I loved all through out this year.

22 December 2016

Review #575: Lost in Terror by Nayeema Mahjoor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.”

----Anne Bradstreet

Nayeema Mahjoor, an Indian writer, pens a terrific and gripping tale of one woman and an Indian state fighting against injustice of the government and the so-called society's norms that oppressed the freedom of both, in her new book, Lost in Terror. Here the author weaves a sad and heart breaking story of a daughter of the valley disrupted by war and this woman gets caught up between the crossfires from both ends, one fighting for freedom and the other oppressing the rebellions.

20 December 2016

Author Q&A Session #87: With Sukanya Venkatraghavan along with a Giveaway

Good Morning, Afternoon and Evening to my world wide readers,

Hope y'all are having a fantastic day or just going to start a lovely morning. The holiday season has kicked in and my mind and soul is yearning for merriment, a short escape to someplace sunny and sandy and for lots of love and kindness. Although the winter's bitter chill and severing cold is yet to set into the systems of the folks of my city, Kolkata.

Okay, enough of chit-chat, now it's time for some good news, meaning I'm giving away Christmas gifts, like, books! Yes you're right my dear reader! One lucky reader and follower of this blog can win him/herself a copy of Dark Things by Sukanya Venkatraghavan.

So what are you waiting for? Keep reading and keep scrolling........

And the author herself is present here today to talk about her debut book, about her journey and many more bookish and exclusive stories about her life, so don't go anywhere, stay tuned.

Read the review of Dark Things

Review #574: The Liberation of Sita by Volga

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”

----Roseanne Barr

Popuri Lalita Kumari, who writes award-winning Telugu poems and stories under her pen name Volga, has penned yet another terrific and feminist tale revolving around India's most popular mythological tale Ramayana, called, The Liberation of Sita. In this book, the author meticulously weaves a story about the characters from Ramayana with their struggles, hardships and challenges that they underwent through during their life times and how that made them the way we see them now. Mostly revolving around Sita's life after abandonment with her husband and her ordeal with the test of chastity, among with other notable characters like Surpanakha, Ahalya and many more.

15 December 2016

Review #573: Dark Things by Sukanya Venkatraghavan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“A pure heart faces the worst kind of evil in this world. But as it sleeps it's blessed, and it wakes up cleansed and a little bit stronger.”

----Gregor Collins

Sukanya Venkatraghavan, an Indian author, has penned a delectable fantasy story, Dark Things that revolves around an immortal maiden without a heart and a thrust to seduce and steal the darkest secrets from her chosen men thereby killing them, in order to serve the queen of her realm, but when one of her mortal victims survives her power, the queen venges to kill the maiden and so the mortal, but the maiden must get answers before she give up her life blindly and not to mention, when the monster-slayer in on her trail, she must protect herself at any cost.

12 December 2016

Review #572: All in Pieces by Suzanne Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”

----Albert Camus

Suzanne Young, the New York Times bestselling author, pens a realistic and enticing tale about teenage issues in her new book, All in Pieces that revolves around a young female teenager with anger issues arising from her home front that lands her up in a detention high school, after her violent fight with her ex, and now she holds tightly on to her little mentally challenged brother, even though her aunt is threatening to take him away from her care, therefore she cannot entertain any kind of distraction, even though her heart feels otherwise.

11 December 2016

Review #571: Sirens by Joseph Knox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“After all, it's one thing to run away when someone's chasing you. It's entirely another to be running all alone.”

----Jennifer E. Smith

Joseph Knox, an English author, pens his debut crime fiction, Sirens in which the author weaves a bone-chilling and terribly horrifying yet honest tale set against the ugliest and grimy backdrop of Manchester where a disgraced police detective is blackmailed to bring back a reputed MP's teenage runaway daughter safely and discreetly from the clutches of a notorious drug seller, but within few days of investigation, the detective finds some ugly clues about another missing girl's whereabouts.

8 December 2016

Review #570: Sultan of Delhi: Ascension by Arnab Ray

Welcome my fellow readers,
This is the blog tour for the book, Sultan of Delhi: Ascension, by the popular Indian writer, Arnab Ray. So guys get your seat belts on and enjoy this super-exciting roller coaster ride that awaits you at the next turn!

7 December 2016

Review #569: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you...”

----George R.R. Martin

Stephanie Knipper, an American author, pens her debut contemporary fiction, The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin the revolves around the story of two estranged sisters and the daughter of the elder sister, who is a special child with peculiar powers to heal the diseases and ailments of humans just by touching them, but this girl's mother is dying and if the girl tries to save her mother, she would die too, as every time she uses her power, she dies little from the inside. And now all it requires for the elder sister to reconcile with her little sister but the past is hard to bring back to the present.

6 December 2016

Review #568: Show Me A Mountain by Kerry Young

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.”

----Rick Warren

Kerry Young, a Chinese African author, pens an incredibly heart breaking historical fiction, Show Me A Mountain that is set across the tropical Jamaican backdrop and it revolves around the life story of a half Chinese and half African woman growing up in an affluent household with a loving but non-caring father with ugly businesses and a mother with a terribly impulsive rage and that she deliberately ushered upon her little daughter. A story of losing love and again finding it through an exotic country and learning to forgive the past.

Review #567: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Intuition is like reading a word without having to spell it out. A child can't do that because it has had so little experience. A grown-up person knows the word because they've seen it often before.”

----Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the queen of crime fiction, has penned a tremendously spellbinding and constantly challenging thriller called, And Then There Were None. Originally published with the title Ten Little Niggers in the UK, is a mystery revolving around a group of eight strangers lured to a lavish house for a paid holiday by the owner located on an abandoned island followed by the unpredictable death one after another. This novel is based on a nursery rhyme named Ten Little Soldiers and it sold over 100 million copies world wide and is listed among the world's top-ten bestselling books.

2 December 2016

Review #566: Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I am a fool with a heart but no brains, and you are a fool with brains but no heart; and we’re both unhappy, and we both suffer.”

----Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Harlan Coben, an international bestselling author, has penned yet another engrossing and riveting thriller, Fool Me Once that revolves around a former female Army soldier who sees her dead husband on their two year old daughter's room's nanny cam, two days after the funeral of her husband who has been shot dead by the robbers in front of his wife's eyes. But trust if the big thing that is nagging at the back of the female soldier's mind, unraveling the truth might lead her to a dark, ugly path.

1 December 2016

Review #565: The Front Page Murders by Puja Changoiwala

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Try to touch the past. Try to deal with the past. It's not real. It's just a dream.”

----Ted Bundy

Puja Changoiwala, An Indian senior journalist-turned-crime-writer, pens a true crime story in her new book, The Front Page Murders in which the author weaves a bone-chilling account about one of India's most sophisticated serial killers, Vijay Palande, who preferred a glamorous Bollywood-themed life style and on the other hand, chose his victims with his victims through their bank balance, property, cars and other lavish and worthy material possessions. The account begins from Tikku Murder case until the last hidden pieces of human bone found in the Western Ghats and ends with the confession of the flamboyant serial killer's associates' confessions.

29 November 2016

Author Q&A Session #86: With John Lansing

Hello friends and readers,

We meet after a long while. Hope you all are doing fine and having a great day. And with the holidays just around the corner, I also hope that you all are getting your shopping done to your heart's fullest content. May the never-ending Christmas and Thanksgiving wishlist keeps growing!

Well about me, I'm great, just got back from a short weekend trip from the beachside where I went with my office colleagues and it was fun!

Okay, so let's get back to the literary world now. You know why I'm here! Yes, that's right, it's time for a brand new author interview session and today I present you with a talented and amazing author named, John Lansing whose books are exceelnt and intriguing enough to make make the readers fall for him and his stories.

His latest book, Dead is Dead is widely loved by readers from all over the world. So let's chat with this author to know more abouyt him, about the book and many other things that are both bookish and non-bookish.

So stay glued and don't miss this exclusive content!

Read the review of Dead is Dead

Review #564: A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.”

----Louisa May Alcott

First let's just wish this talented and brilliant author, Louisa May Alcott, a very, very Happy 184th Birthday and we will only hope that her stories be loved, read and adored by all ages of readers from around the world. And on this special occasion, I'd like to pen a review piece about one of her not so popular book, A Long Fatal Love Chase which is targeted for mature audience and was written before her literary success for the books like Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins etc.. Although this particular book has not been widely read or loved by the readers, but I would like to notify such readers to not to judge the book harshly as this when she wrote this book, this young writer was on the road to financially support her family and did not even begin her writing career professionally at that time.

28 November 2016

Review #563: The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

----Robert A. Heinlein

Sharanya Manivannan, an Indian author, pens a heart touching, extremely gratifying and thoroughly thought provoking book of short stories, The High Priestess Never Marries, about love and marriage, Sharanya Manivannan where the author weaves stories, ranging from half a page length to almost 50 pages long, of independent women of today's century and also those who are not fearless to break free from the rules, all the while letting the readers to give wings to their hearts' desires over the values of the society.

Review #562: Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

---- Charlotte Bronte

Cecelia Ahern, the #1 international bestselling author, pens her new contemporary fiction, Lyrebird which reads like a breathy timeless romantic fantasy of music and love and it centers around a young male documentary filmmaker and a lonely exotic and wild girl of the mountains with a rare talent to mimic whatever sound she hears and when these two meet, both of their worlds and lives change for the good. A heart warming tale that is surely going to touch millions of hearts around the world.

Review #561: Mr. Eternity by Aaron Thier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

----Virginia Woolf

Aaron Thier, an American author, has penned a terrific and gripping tale of evolving American history through thousands of ages in his new book, Mr. Eternity centered around an almost thousand years old ancient mariner who has survived through various civilizations in American history and has witnessed the sociological and environmental changes of the planet, who is actually on a quest to search his lady love.

23 November 2016

Review #560: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own”

----Fernando Pessoa

Stacey Lee, a Chinese-American author, pens a charming tale of young love and perfume in her new young adult book, The Secret of a Heart Note that revolves around a teenage perfume maker, who has a nose for each individual's scent and can customize that perfume into love elixir to make people fall in love with one another, but her magic comes with a price of never falling in love with anyone, but the girl desires of a normal life with a high school, boyfriend and social reputation.

22 November 2016

Review #559: The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We think there are limits to the dimensions of fear. Until we encounter the unknown. Then we can all feel boundless amounts of terror.”

----Peter Høeg

Leah Kaminsky, an award winning Australian author, has penned a terrific and extremely soul touching story in her debut book, The Waiting Room that revolves around a Jewish woman who is also a doctor living with her husband and son in Israel whose ordeal through out a single day after the warning about a possible bomb threat is strikingly captured by the author, as the woman whose deceased mother's ghost keeps haunting her about the days that she underwent during the Holocaust, and as her mother's voice runs through her head, her fear grips her completely, making her question her life in such an unsafe place.

Review #558: Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man’s attitude may be, that problem is hers — and before it can be his, it is hers alone. She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it.”

----Margaret Sanger

Mary Volmer, an American author, pens a well crafted as well as an enthralling historical fiction, Reliance, Illinois that centers around the life of a young teenage girl and her young unwed mother, who shifted from Kentucky to Reliance in order to get married to a wealthy bachelor, all the while addressing the little daughter with a birthmark covering half of her face, as the woman's little sister, grief-stricken by her mother's actions and the coldness by her mother's new family, the little girl takes shelter in the mansion of the town founder's daughter, who teach her a great deal about life women's life in the post-Civil war period, but dark secrets threaten to destroy the safe coccoon of happiness that the little girl built around her.

20 November 2016

Review #557: The Spy by Paulo Coelho, Zoë Perry (Translator)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Death is nothing, nor life either, for that matter. To die, to sleep, to pass into nothingness, what does it matter? Everything is an illusion.”

----Mata Hari

Paulo Coelho, the international bestselling author, pens a gripping and part fictional tale on the life of a legendary dancer cum falsely accused as a spy, Mata Hari in his new novel, The Spy that opens with the execution of this exotic and talented dancer by the French, but then the author spins a riveting autobiographical account of the dancer's life through a fictional letter penned by the dancer herself addressing to her lawyer. She is an epitome of grace, individuality, extravagant lifestyle, exquisite and unique fashion style, independence and her erotic dance moves in the early 20th century in Paris.

Review #556: Immortal by Krishna Udayasankar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”

----William H. Gass

Krishna Udayasankar, an Indian bestselling author, pens an enlightening and highly thrilling part fantasy and part mythology book, Immortal that revolves around a cynical history professor, who has been walking on the Earth since the beginning of the time and will be walking till the end of the time, and his quest to find a historical and supposed to be extinct as well as mythical object with the help of his patient assistant and a mysterious young and beautiful woman, traveling across the borders and the seas.

17 November 2016

Review #555: I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.”

----Chuck Palahniuk

Rae Meadows, an award winning author, pens a heart wrenching story about a farm family in her new novel, I Will Send Rain that centers around the Bell family who have migrated to Oklahoma but gradually they get caught up in the fierce dust storms that disrupted their farm harvest, their health, their dreams and also their relationship among one another, but the woman of the family tries to hold her family together even if she needs to sacrifice her own happiness. A story of survival of a family and of the times of Dust Bowl and their struggle to hold up together.

15 November 2016

Review #554: This Was a Man (The Clifton Chronicles, #7) by Jeffrey Archer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“My dear young cousin, if there's one thing I've learned over the eons, it's that you can't give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.”

----Rick Riordan

Jeffrey Archer, the international bestselling author, is back with the final installment in The Clifton Chronicles called, This Was a Man that yet once again brings alive our favorite characters alive with new shocking twists and turns that will overthrow both the powerful families, the Barringtons and the Cliftons along with some supporting cast of characters, thereby giving the readers a closure from this extremely enticing and slightly heart breaking tale.

10 November 2016

Review #553: Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2) by Rae Carson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Gold conjures up a mist about a man, more destructive of all his old senses and lulling to his feelings than the fumes of charcoal.”

----Charles Dickens

Rae Carson, the New York Times best selling author, is back with the most awaited sequel of her young adult fantasy trilogy, The Gold Seer Trilogy called, Like a River Glorious. After the first book's major cliffhanger, the readers were frantically looking forward to this book, to learn about the edgy journey filled with tons of challenges for the young magical teenage girl dressed up as a boy coming to an end and on whether the girl has managed herself to free herself from the clutches of her tyrant uncle once and for all. And this book answers all the questions that the readers were left with in the last book.


After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Leah Westfall has somehow deluded herself from the grips of her materialistic, evil and cruel uncle, Hiram, who also happens to be her only living relative in this world. But that seems to be very wrong, as soon Hiram's men find Leah and her group of friends who are all travelling towards the land of opportunity in California during the era of Gold Rush. Although Leah had to tell about her biggest secret about her ability to sense the presence of gold nearby to her friends, and since her uncle already knows about her esoteric ability, he will do anything to trap that girl's power for his own benefit, even if he needs to kill a few souls on his way. But now that Leah and her friends are here, they are in full form to make money and settle down, also they barely come across any resistance from the Native "Indians" Americans, instead this group of teenagers help those native folks and in respect, they too help Leah to get her the land from her uncle and his cunning men.

Disappointment slowly and silently seeps in to my soul while reading this book! This was not expected from an author who in her previous book made her readers gather that rare sense of feeling like they are actually living and breathing in that historical era which brought so many changes in the face of the world ~ the gold rush era. That time warp feeling got so wrong in this book, even though we are aware what happened in reality, the author tried to project a fantastical image of that time line, which did not make any sense to the story. The whole plot came crashing down just because of this fictional projection of the accurate facts of history, moreover, the protagonist's demeanor too wasn't justifiable with the attitude of then Western settlers.

The author's writing holds the flair of that bygone era of history, also the coherent prose is laced with proper emotional depths to make the readers feel for the story and for the characters as well. The narrative is free flowing, even though somewhere the narrative tends to be too long and boring at times and also there are unnecessary dialogues which make the story too tedious. The pacing is very, very slow, often dragging its readers with its trivial and too thorough descriptions about some scenes or dialogues those are unwanted and makes no sense in the story at all. The previous book was unraveled through many layers and twists, although this book, too, has some surprises in store but those are thoroughly foreseeable.

The characters never cease to disappoint in the midst of such an inaccurate story line, as they are once again strongly developed with their flaws and perfection, layered with emotions to give them a realistic outlook and also they feel like they are pulled out of some history book, since the time and the era syncs well with their demeanor. The main protagonist, Leah, is one of a kind who is brave, determined and a strong-minded girl fighting for the land and for her powers all by herself through danger. And surprisingly most of the characters are bound to leave an imprint on the minds of the readers. There is a bit of cliched love drama that also makes the plot so unreal and dull, especially its hard to digest the fact that white western settlers are falling and scheming together with the Native Americans for the downfall of that cruel man's gold mine and the land where Native Americans are treated as slaves.

In short, this story falls below my expectations, moreover, I do not feel the need to continue reading this trilogy further. So that ends my tryst with The Gold Seer Trilogy .

Verdict: Compelling yet somewhere the book lost its old charm!

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and review a copy of this book.

Read the review Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) by Rae Carson

Author Info:
I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I now live in Arizona with my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.
Visit her here

Book Purchase Links:

Review #552: The Silent Ones by Ali Knight

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.”

----Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Ali Knight, an English author, is back again with yet another enticing psychological thriller, The Silent Ones that revolves around the abduction of five teenage girls by a strange woman who confessed in the kidnappings and murders of those missing girls but never confessed in the whereabouts of their bodies or how she killed them, ten years down the line, the brother of one of the girl's launches his self investigation find out the truth behind her sister's disappearance.

Review #551: The ABC Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13) by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Our weapon is our knowledge. But remember, it may be a knowledge we may not know that we possess.”

----Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery, has spun and extremely intriguing crime fiction and the thirteenth tale from her Hercule Poirot series called, The A.B.C. Murders that revolves around the anonymous letters stating as well as challenging Poirot that a murder will take place in the alphabetical order in a random town, and that intrigues the clever Poirot to come out of his early retirement to catch the mad serial killer striking random people in the alphabetical manner.

8 November 2016

Review #550: Instructions for a Second-hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Sharp are the arrows of a broken heart.”

----Cassandra Clare

Tamsyn Murray, an English author, pens a soul touching and riveting young adult contemporary fiction in her new book, Instructions for a Second-hand Heart that is centered around two young teenagers, one suffers from a fatal and terminal heart condition where his heart is forced to pump throw external machines and is on the never ending waiting list for a heart donor, and the other lives under her perfect brother's shadow but soon tragedy strikes and leaves her broken hearted.

Review #549: The Lost Ones by Ben Cheetham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Fifty percent of something is better than than one hundred percent of nothing.”

----Chuck Barris

Ben Cheetham, an award winning English author, pens a dark and an intriguing family thriller, The Lost Ones which centers around the mystery of a little missing girl right under the nose and eyes of her own mother near the forest which is and was popularly known for the cult who performed their rituals there located in a small town with some ugly secrets behind the unsolved murder case of a married couple, that has a strong similarity with the features of the little girl's disappearance.

3 November 2016

Review #548: Daughters of Jorasanko by Aruna Chakravarti

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come."

----Rabindranath Tagore

Aruna Chakravarti, an award winning Indian writer, pens an enlightening story about the Tagore household's women in her new book, Daughters of Jorasanko which is the sequel to her bestselling novel, Jorasanko. This book, Daughters of Jorasanko is an intimate tale about the Tagore household portraying the women who are all bound together by the threads of marriage at a very tender age, where some are engulfed by the widowhood at a very early age whereas some are simply carrying the seeds from one generation to another and through these women's lives the readers will come to know a different side of our noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

2 November 2016

Review #547: The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I have too many fantasies to be a housewife.... I guess I am a fantasy.”

----Marilyn Monroe

Ratika Kapur, an India writer, pens a heart felt and very intimate tale of a middle aged married woman's life and thoughts in her upcoming book, The Private Life of Mrs Sharma in which the author weaves a compelling story about a mid-aged North Indian married woman with a teenage son and a husband working offshore in Dubai, who when meets a handsome stranger on her way to work, begins a forbidden companionship with him all the while aspiring for a fulfilling life not only for herself but also for her son and for her husband. Her longings and desires make her vulnerable as well as resolute for her husband's homecoming but when tragedy strikes, everything seems to be falling apart.

1 November 2016

Review #546: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.”

----Nathaniel Branden

Bryn Greenwood, an American author, pens a heart wrenching and sad tale about abuse and love in her new book, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things that is centered around a forbidden love story between an adult man and a very young female girl, both being the victims of social, mental, emotional and physical abuse from their own families, so when they meet, there is an instant connection between them that forbids the readers of the book to feel disgusted towards such a unnatural relationship. Although it is so much more than just a love story.

31 October 2016

Review #545: The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”

----James Herriot

Takashi Hiraide, a Japanese writer, has penned a soul touching and thoroughly captivating tale about a cat and a couple's relationship in his book, The Guest Cat that is centered around a mid aged couple who are freelance writers and work from their rented cottage and lead a very quite and uneventful life, but one day their life brings purpose as an uninvited as well as the neighbor's cat lands up to their kitchen and starts visiting their household religiously everyday and gradually brings joy and happiness to their quiet life. Although happiness is long lived in this couple's life, as a tragic event shakes them to their very core.

27 October 2016

Review #544: The English Teacher by Yiftach Reicher Atir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“He was a secret agent, and still alive thanks to his exact attention to the detail of his profession.”

----Ian Fleming

Yiftach Reicher Atir, the former head of the Israel army’s special ops directorate, pens a mind boggling spy thriller, The English Teacher inspired from his own life as a commando handling many operatives serving for their motherland with a new identity in an enemy country. The author was woven a gripping tale about a retired female undercover Mossad agent, who goes missing after her father's death and her experienced male handler is called down to the head quarters to divulge details about her untold past and her assignments so that they can find a clue to where she is heading to. But that requires a lot of hidden emotions and a lot of untold stories to unravel in front of so many others.

26 October 2016

Review #543: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“But if the world measures a refugee according to the worst story, we will always excuse human suffering, saying it is not yet as bad as someone else's.”

----Victoria Armour-Hileman

Zana Fraillon, an Australian author, has penned a heart breaking and thoroughly compelling tale about refugees in her latest book, The Bone Sparrow that is centered around a young refugee boy living his days with his mother and his elder sister in an Australian detention camp where he spends his days helping his orphan friend to smuggle and with an outsider to help her read the stories about her family history, all the while longing to meet his father across the ocean and to save his soul from such a wretched place.

24 October 2016

Review #542: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”

----Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, has penned a cheesy and corny new adult love story, November 9 which has a very similar story line just like David Nicholls' One Day where the two young protagonists are thoroughly fractured from the inside yet are on a way to pursue their dreams, but they meet each other right on the crossroads and decide to keep up their instant attraction for one another alive until the next year on the very same day, although there's more drama to it, that one can ever imagine.

21 October 2016

Review #541: Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don't yearn to reach out, but because they've tried and found no one who cares.”

----Richelle E. Goodrich

A.S. King, an award winning and bestselling American author, pens a heart wrenching tale of abuse, magical realism, teenage existential crisis in her new YA novel, Still Life with Tornado where the central characters of 16 years of age is a victim of existential crisis who has lost the creativity and power to imagination to create new art, all the while internally suffering for the bruises that she got six years ago on a trip to Mexico and also the virulent life that is closing in on her her, thereby choking her to a mental paranoia. Running away seems the only answer, but will all her questions be answered?

Review #540: One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"There is no female without the male, and no male without the female. The world goes on only when they come together."

----Perumal Murugan

One Part Woman, the book which erupted fires of scandal through the right wings forces and other caste groups and that which finally put an end to the career of Perumal Murugan, a popular Indian Tamil writer, is one hell of a striking and extremely poignant book that is a must read and must be worshiped by all literary fans of India, not because of the story but of the finest writing style that is rarely found among the huge crowd of Indian writers.


All of Kali and Ponna’s efforts to conceive a child—from prayers to penance, potions to pilgrimages—have been in vain. Despite being in a loving and sexually satisfying relationship, they are relentlessly hounded by the taunts and insinuations of the people around them. Ultimately, all their hopes and apprehensions come to converge on the chariot festival in the temple of the half-female god Ardhanareeswara and the revelry surrounding it. Everything hinges on the one night when rules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman is sanctioned. This night could end the couple’s suffering and humiliation. But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test. Acutely observed, One Part Woman lays bare with unsparing clarity a relationship caught between the dictates of social convention and the tug of personal anxieties, vividly conjuring an intimate and unsettling portrait of marriage, love and sex.

Kali and Ponna has been married for the past 12 years, although they have strong desire and passion for one another, which they have ushered to one another for so many years, yet they are still not blessed with the seed of their own. Through the years, they have prayed to so many gods and goddesses and sacrificed a lot in the name of a child, yet they remained childless and were subjected to constant humiliation especially for Ponna, it was difficult to go outside without hearing a bad thing about her fate of not being able to give birth to a child. But their despair and grief might finally come to an end on the last night of the chariot festival of the goddess, Ardhanareeswara, the half-female god, when any man and woman in their village can consensually join one another into sexual pleasures. Although that might put a big question mark on the sustenance on their marriage.

The author's work is incredible, as the story highlights the shortcomings of the Indian society's norms and customs, the narrow minded ideals and the vagaries of such a society put a tight grip on the minds and the souls of those who exist in such a place. Similarly, Ponna and Kali are two such humans who are also trapped into a world where there is either black or white and no gray shade, although Ponna depicts that kind of freedom, self-esteem and individuality to fight back through it, yet still their fate could not escape it.

The author, no doubt, draws a bold line while craving this story as the way he has reflected sex in the culture of India where virtue and shamelessness comes dangerously close to one another, but then again, we, readers are used to author's imaginary worlds and stories, but there are some people who fail to grasp the knowledge that there is a stark difference between fiction and non-fiction and have a habit of creating an uproar if they find it too realistic. I respect the author for creating an imaginary story based on a holy festival's customs, but then again, not everyone holds that power to think beyond reality. The town that the author has portrayed in the story is very much real, even the temple of that god too, but the customs surrounding the chariot festival is fictional, and that have left the Indian culture in a bad light by being fictional. So talk about freedom of expression, I think that too is a myth!

The author's writing style is extremely coherent rich with deep emotions and proper layers with depth that will make the readers easily comprehend with the plot as well as with the writing. Now the translated edition of the book has some flaws, especially in the narrative, where the author uses the local dialect along with its translation right beside it and sometimes, the translation is missing all together, so that might be bit tricky for foreign or other regional readers to contemplate with the dialogues. The story is narrated in so many layers and back stories that make it only enriching and thorough that will let the readers visually imagine the scenes right before their eyes.

The characters are crafted really well in this book, complete with their flaws and strong aspects that will only look believable in the eyes of the readers. The main characters, both Ponna and Kali are bold characters reflecting realism in their demeanor that will earn respect from the readers for their brave attitude and confronting the remarks and negative comments about their lives. Ponna is depicted with freedom, sensuality not only in her body, but also in her soul, that gives her a fetching outlook. While Kali is a loyal husband with a funny bone in his system, who will lighten up the gloomy mood of the story almost all the time, yet this man too blindly obeys all the social and religious customs to remove his curses from the gods. Ponna is strong while Kali exists within her shadow. Both are extremely striking characters and are bound to leave a lasting impression in the minds and the hearts of the readers.

In short, this is one of the most captivating and though provoking tales that I have read in recent times, and with a lustrous writing style and exquisite and almost lyrical prose, it makes the story into something evocative and extremely satisfying to read.

Verdict: Fine quality of Indian literature that we rarely come across these days.

Author Info:
Perumal Murugan is a well-known contemporary Tamil writer and poet. He was written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry. Three of his novels have been translated into English to wide acclaim: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Award in 2005, Current Show, and most recently, One Part Woman. He has received awards from the Tamil Nadu government as well as from Katha Books.
Visit him here

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20 October 2016

Review #539: All the Sad Young Men by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back anymore. The gates were closed, the sun was down, and there was no beauty left but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of youth, of illusion, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished.”

----F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, an American writer, published his collection of short stories, All the Sad Young Men after the fame of his most popular novel, The Great Gatsby where the author has used the same themes of flapper and Jazz age, where the rich men and women had the time of their lives without giving a care about other people around them. This collection reflects that era in American when money mixed with sweat looked like glitter and emotions ran wild among the folks.

18 October 2016

Review #538: The Boy Is Back (Boy, #4) by Meg Cabot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

----William Shakespeare

Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author, is back with her popular Boy series and yet once again the author has successfully enlightened the spark between two old flames in Cabot's signature style flair, complete with laughter, humor, a bit of pain and lots of emotions, that only ensure that whoever picks up a copy of her book is sure to have a good time. The Boy is Back is centered around a celebrated golf player who returns back to his hometown following a scandal about his parents and there he once again come face to face with his first love, who he has been avoiding for the past 10 years.

Review #537: Dead is Dead (Jack Bertolino #3) by John Lansing

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

----Anaïs Nin

John Lansing, an American author, pens a gripping and page turning thriller, Dead is Dead which is the third book in the series, Jack Bertolino that is centered around a retired cop and his new job to protect a popular rising star from her cyber stalker, but things get bit out of hand when a little child is left murdered few blocks away from the studio where the actress is shooting for her film.

17 October 2016

Review #536: ...And a Happy New Year? (The Spinster Club, #3.5) by Holly Bourne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

----Elbert Hubbard

Holly Bourne, an English bestselling author, pens yet another exciting, soul-touching and enlightening contemporary tale, ...And a Happy New Year? which is the final book from Bourne's bestselling young adult series, The Spinster Club. Lottie, Evie and Amber is back again after leaving for their respective colleges for Amber's house New Year's Party. This novella is a complete joy ride filled with laughter, good humor, tender love and also with few secrets and heartbreaks. And this book is the best way to say goodbye to our favorite teenage characters who rocked the whole series for the past two years with their journeys and adventures in a grown up world.

14 October 2016

Review #535: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

----Leo Tolstoy

Gillian Flynn, an American bestselling author, has penned a terrific and extremely disturbing psycho debut thriller, Sharp Objects that is centered around a virulent family set in a small Missourian town, where a young journalist returns back home to report about the killings of two little girls, but the ghosts from her past start to knock at her door while on the background her twisted and complex mother and her half sister makes it equally difficult to carry on with her job. And Flynn manages to make this book shine bright through the dullness and cracks of a woman's life and by victimizing women, in general.

13 October 2016

Author Q&A Session #85: With Jane Corry

Welcome my fellow bibliophiles,

It's time for yet another round of author interview and on this session, we have yet another fantastic crime fiction author, Jane Corry, whose new book, My Husband's Wife has created lots of positive noise in the literary world and among the fans of thrillers and mystery.

So without wasting a single second, let's, first, welcome this incredible author, and then chat with her about this bestselling book, the story line, her life as an author and many other things that are beyond books and all.

Keep reading peeps.

Read the review of My Husband's Wife

Author Q&A Session #84: With Renée Carlino

Hola my fellow readers,

Having a charming day I suppose. Well today is the day, when I de-clutter my list of pending author interviews.

Let's welcome yet another wonderful, extremely talented bestselling author of contemporary romance books, Renee Carlino. So ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for **virtually claps** Renee Carlino.

Renee is here to discuss and chat about her latest new adult book, Swear on This life, her other books, her life as an author and other exclusive bookish topics.

So stay glued and keep scrolling.

Read the review of Swear on This Life

Author Q&A Session #83: With Nayanika Mahtani

Good Afternoon my lovely and loyal readers,

I know I've skipped and cheated myself from this space for quite a while now. Well who can blame it on this ongoing festive season?! As I just wrapped up celebrating Durga Puja, the biggest and the most grand festival of Bengali's, I'm prepping myself up to get ready for the upcoming Laxmi Puja, the goddess of god fortune and wealth, then next in line is the festival of light, Diwali.

So with all those festivals running in the back ground of my life, alongside with my full time job, I finally managed to make some time to use this space to host an author interview of a really sweet, charming and talented Indian author, Nayanika Mahtani, who is here to talk about her debut book, Ambushed, which is an incredibly adventurous and thrilling book for children.

So let's greet this amazing author with a warm **virtual** hug to have a cozy yet edgy chat with her about the book she wrote, about her journey and about all those adventures. Hence stay tuned and keep reading my dear folks.

Read the review of Ambushed

Review #534: Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”

----Leo Tolstoy

Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, a.k.a, Kamala Markandaya, the late Indian internationally bestselling author, had penned a terrific yet extremely honest tale of a woman's struggling yet endearing life right after India's independence in her book, Nectar in a Sieve which marks as a pioneering book in Indian literature, that outlines the importance of a woman's simplicity, her sacrifices, her unconditional love for her family, her dying desires, her struggles during the times of poverty and her intelligence in rural India.

6 October 2016

Review #533: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Once you have been in an earthquake you know, even if you survive without a scratch, that like a stroke in the heart, it remains in the earth's breast, horribly potential, always promising to return, to hit you again, with an even more devastating force. ”

----Salman Rushdie

Stacey Lee, a Chinese-American author, has penned an incredibly arresting young adult historical fiction novel, Outrun the Moon where the author weaves a story about a Chinese-American teenage girl who breaks free from her wretched life in Chinatown and earns a shortcut way to one of the prestigious and poshest boarding school in America where she outsmarts the game of pretending on being some heiress but when tragedy strikes, it is her moment to save the school thereby saving the world.

30 September 2016

Review #532: One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

----C.S. Lewis

Nadia Hashimi, an internationally bestselling author, pens a terrific and extremely heart rending yet enlightening tale of love, friendships, child marriage, bacha posh in her new middle grade contemporary fiction book, One Half from the East where the author weaves a tale centered around a ten year old Afghan girl who encounters a bomb blast that claims her father's leg that led that girl and her family to shift to the villages where the little girl is forced to dress as a boy in order to bring good fortune to her falling family.

29 September 2016

Review #531: Love Bi the Way by Bhaavna Arora

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Whether it's men, women—it doesn't really matter. The human race is filled with passion and lust. And to coin terms like heterosexuality, homosexuality or even bisexuality makes no sense to me. You are human. You love who you love. You fuck who you fuck. That should be enough—no labels. No stigmas. Nothing. Just be to be.
But life isn't that kind. People will always find things to hate.”

----Krista Ritchie

Bhaavna Arora, an Indian best selling author, pens an emotional and hilariously sassy contemporary fiction in her new book, Love Bi the Way that narrates the story of two young and successful women, both with broken past that they do not want to share with one another, while one being an introvert and the other an extrovert, lives life freely through men, sex, love, royalty but with one another's support, care, trust and friendship, but is that all?

27 September 2016

Review #530: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.”

----Charles Dickens

Leigh Bardugo, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, is back with the exciting new sequel to her YA fantasy Six of Crows series, called, Crooked Kingdom and this time the group of teenage rebels are up against a politically corrupted city that is constantly scheming with their twisted minds to bring down the leader as well as the whole group of rebels.

26 September 2016

Review #529: Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel by Katherine Harbour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.”

----J.M. Barrie

Katherine Harbour, an American author, has penned a captivating and heart rending young adult fantasy fiction in her novel, Thorn Jack that marks as the first book in the Night and Nothing series and is loosely based or rather say, a modern retelling of an ancient Scottish folklore ballad called, Tam Lin where a young woman tries to free a prince without a heart whom she loved from the dominating and magical powers of a cruel fairy queen, resulting in devastating consequences.