Friday, February 5, 2016

Spotlight: The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oohmerbhoy

★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Avalonia Chronicles Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★
About the Book:
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever. 

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon I Flipkart


World of Avalonia




Read an Excerpt:


Chapter 3
Kidnapped

For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.
Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.
Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?
I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.
A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.
“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.
“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”
I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.
I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.
But then what?
Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.
I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.
“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.
But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.
I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?
“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.
He didn’t bother to answer.
“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.
“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.
Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.
Who the hell was she?
Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.
I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.


About the Author:
 
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.
When she was pregnant with her first child ten years ago, a story popped into her head she could not ignore. “I was at my grandmother’s house, and as I looked at the image of a beautiful forest with a castle in the distance on a tapestry hanging on the wall, I imagined myself being whisked away into another world,” she said. It was at that moment the world of Avalonia, with its powerful mages and fae and the evil Queen Morgana, was born. Farah Oomerbhoy’s debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, was released in the summer of 2015.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.
  
Contact Farah:




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Saturday, January 30, 2016

The New in Publishing in India: Inkhorn

With the increase in the number of people who have stories to tell and books to write, finding a publisher who will not make you empty your bank accounts or make you wait for months, is a daunting task. While looking for suitable options for my clients, I stumbled across what seems like a very interesting and innovative option in the field of publishing. Recently, while speaking to a friend, I heard of Inkhorn Publishing and decided to check out their website and know more about them. It is always good to investigate well and deep, rather than face confusion later. 
First thing I heard about Inkhorn Publishing is that it's free. So? Isn't that what traditional publishing is? Yep. However, the thing is traditional publishers have long queues and accept only the best. Manuscripts which are not the 'best' are not 'bad'. They are just not the best. Or else, one needs to go for literary agents who in turn will try to sell the idea of your book to the publisher. Alternatively, one needs to opt for self (paid) publishing. Inkhorn has done away with both the concepts and this is not a joke!

To explain how Inkhorn works, there are two examples:
- You are an author who knows what they are doing. You've got your book edited, cover designed etc. In short, it just needs to be sold, but you want a global outreach for your book. Inkhorn helps you connect with the global sellers and they take each get a share of the sales as commission leaving you with about 30-50% of the sale value. This is huge because otherwise you'd be getting only 7-10%. So, practically speaking, you didn't incur any cost and you shall earn better than you would from other modes of publishing.
Alternatively, Inkhorn also provides you with editorial assistance and suggestion as well as help to design the cover, of course for a price.
Sounds unbelievable, I know. But I actually sat and did the commercialism, and it is pretty simple. Inkhorn makes money, when you do. Every book that sells, gets them a fixed commission. 
Exciting? I think it is!
Find out more at: www.http://inkhornpublishingindia.com/

Monday, January 4, 2016

#BookReview: Principally Yours by Bubloo Sen

On the jacket:


At thirty-five, she was a good wife and good mother. She had it all - a loving husband and three adorable children. But she wasn’t happy. It took children from an underprivileged background to help her find herself and discover a purpose so deep that it changed not just her life, but that of generations to come.  Principally Yours is the story of how one woman fostered hope in young people. A Hindu principal teaching economically challenged Jewish and Muslim students, enveloping them in love and harmony, instilling in them pride and a belief that commitment is all it takes to make life good. Not an easy task, given the odds, but Bubloo Sen had a steely resolve and a charismatic personality. In her dictionary every ‘No’ was met with a resounding ‘Yes’. 

Review:


Being a teacher's daughter, there was no way I would have not taken this book up for a review. I've always wished my mother would write about her experiences as a teacher but somehow she shys away from it. I've heard some most interesting tales from her and I knew there will be even more interesting tales coming from a Principal, that too from a generation before my mother's. I mean it's so romantic to imagine someone from my grandmother's generation having a career. Not impossible, I know that. But definitely rare. I was sure it wouldn't have been easy for her, and I was not wrong. 
Coming from an orthodox family, Ms Sen had to convince her husband before she could take up teaching and to that too, there were rules which could not be broken. The family couldn't be neglected. Of course. 
It's interesting that for someone who always wanted to have a career but never did, even at 35, the enthusiasm was that of a fresher. I had Principally Yours to be collection of stories recounting tales and incidents from Ms Sen's tenures as a Principal. I was amused to see how it is also semi-biographical (her work life) and includes anecdotes about her life during those stages, otherwise too. Over the course of the book, one also reads about the cities she moves to and the schools she is engaged with. 
Teachers are very good psychologists, and Ms Sen has taught children coming from disturbed lives. The way she dealt with them and changed their approach towards their lives is a treat to read.
Principally Yours is essentially an ex-principal's account of her career days. But in the folds of these stories lie tales of feminism, sympathy, inspiration, psychology and survival. 

Rating: ****.5/5

[This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by Read Out Loud in association with b00k r3vi3w Tours]

Friday, December 18, 2015

#BookReview: What is Your True Zodiac Sign? by Greenstone Lobo

On the jacket:


What if what you thought all your life to be your zodiac sign was Wrong? People who think they are Arians, could actually have their Sun in Pisces. More than three quarters of the world's population have been assuming the wrong zodiac sign. Can 12 types capture the mind-boggling diversity of personalities in the world? Astronality-186 systematically demonstrates that the various permutations and combinations of Sun, Mercury and Moon, correctly placed, create 186 distinct personalitytypes, not just 12. Which of the 186 types are You? Narendra Modi is not just a meticulous and hard-working Virgo, but also a zealous and decisive Scorpio, aka VirScorp. Salman Khan is not a stuffy, politically correct and conservative Capricorn, but an outspoken, passionate and rebellious Scorpio-Sagittarius-Aquarius ie, ScorpSagAqua. Sachin Tendulkar is not a bull-headed Taurean, but a forceful, powerful, playful yet down-to-earth AriSagPisces. Barack Obama is not a flamboyant and arrogant Leo, but a sensitive yet tough TauCan. Etc... Know your true zodiac sign and understand the psyche of the people who matter in your life. 

Review:

I like to read about sun signs. Well, no. I like to read about my own sun sign. I am a Virgo and pretty pleased about it. If you ask me why I am interested in horoscopes, I will tell you that almost all my traits match with what a Virgo is supposed to be. And that makes me feel very special. Also, that when the same traits match with other Virgo friends, there is an unspoken bond that is formed. As if, we belong together.
So, when this book came for review, I obviously jumped to the occasion. I love to read about traits, compatibility, etc.

But when this book came, I was thrown off my chair. As per this book, I am a Leo which didn't please me at all. I was sure there is not a single trait in me which is similar to the Leo. Yet, this book claimed that our horoscopes are different to what we have always believed it to be. So, now what?

Armed with curiosity and determined to find fault with the author's claims, I sat with this thick book. I read the introduction chapters which explained the rest of the content page. You see, according to Lobo, we are all combinations of sings. I am not an out and out Virgo. Or, a Leo. This is what grabbed my attention. When I had picked up the book, I'd decided to read Virgo's section and then skim through the book. But now, I read every word and actually needed to sit back and think. The book has been a great eye opener. My entire outlook towards myself as well as others has changed. 

A must read.


Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Leadstart Publishing. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview: The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian

On the jacket:


He was a bestseller She wanted him to make her one. Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor life is straight out of a modern man's fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained? Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protege. The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

Review:

I have been reading Ravi Subramaniam from the time he wrote his first book and quite like him. He is probably the only Indian author of recent times I have read all the books of. When I heard that he is trying his hand in a new genre of writing, I was highly impressed. It being a romantic thriller, made it more interesting. Moreover, when men write romance, I pay attention. The emotions are different and a totally new approach can be seen from how women approach romance. Well, that is my personal opinion. Nevertheless, when I picked up The Bestseller She Wrote, it was with a lot of expectations.
As the blurb suggests, the novel revolves around Aditya, Shreya and Maya. Aditya is a banker with an MNC, who is also India's most celebrated writer. He attends important boardroom meetings during the day and writes bestsellers at night. When he goes to give a talk at his Alma Matar, one student dares to cut him short and accuse him to making a commodity out of a book which is an insult to the book and the hard work behind it. Egos clash, though not for long. A friendship is formed after Shreya reads Aditya's book and becomes a fan.
As fate would have it (with a little help from Aditya's friend), Shreya joined Aditya's bank as a trainee. What started off as a casual friendship, turned into flirting, and before Aditya knew, he was cheating his family for an illicit affair with someone much younger to him.
Aditya has it all. A succefful banker, a celebrated author, a lovely wife, a great son, a flat stomach despite not working out and being a banker - what else could one want. He was perfect on paper. But he was a cheat. As is the thing with cheating and lying, they start of as harmless but turn into something evil. To cut the story short, Aditya's wife Maya finds out about the affair, throws him out, almost dies, still doesn't forgive him and all this while Shreya had turned into a conniving girlfriend who was blackmailing him. Suspense builds up and what happens next is a question one keeps asking at the turn of every page.
The book that Shreya wrote had gathered my interest. The publisher, at one point, tells Aditya she thinks that the same draft had been sent to her before and she’d read it earlier. One wonders if there is some mystery behind it. The title of the book and Shreya’s behavior around it, piqued my curiosity. But that angle was not dwelt into later.
What I really liked was how much potential the climax had. The book is definitely a page turn. Ravi’s style of writing is flawless and he is no doubt a good story teller. He managed to create an antagonist out of his protagonist and bring him back to being the good guy again.
These very things also didn’t work for me. The story’s climax was gold. It had so much potential. But, in my opinion, it fell flat. The actual antagonist’s character didn’t really have any negative shades. Of course, it is a thriller and the antagonist needs to be revealed only in the end, but even in flashback, not much was shown. I was half expecting that Sanjay and Maya were in it together, but was pretty disappointed to see I was wrong. Ravi is a good writer. And frankly, I expected new characters from him. Not characters who are influenced by real life celebrated authors, or what was even worse in my opinion, real life characters, editors, being a part of the plot. The plot is a work of fiction; it’s nice if the characters are too.
I am a picky reader, the editor in me dissects the content while I read. So what bothered me, might not bother a lot of readers, of course. If you are planning to read a decent thriller, have a few hours to spare and are looking for a light read, you’ll like The Bestseller She Wrote. Because, one needs to know what happens when an author becomes a characters in someone else’s story.

Rating: ***.5/5

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#BookReview: When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma

On the jacket:


Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 

Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up.  She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines.  He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.  They meet each other quite by chance.  And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'.  For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…  When their worlds collide,  It is not what either of them expected it to be.  Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.  What happens when these two become friends?  The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak?  What happens when two completely different people collide?  Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?  'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world.  A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances,  Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!

Review:

Two young people from very different worlds cross path without knowing that they will meet again. And when they do meet again, what happens is beautiful. No, this is not a chic-lit. This is also not a happily ever after story. It is what the title of the story suggests - about worlds of two people colliding. 
I will be very frank, I sat to read this book, ready to find flaws. Why? The cover pic is too pretty for the story to be flawless. I have not read Brahma's previous books so for me, this is her first book. But, going by what I read, this is the writing of a seasoned author. 
Aakriti comes from a broken home and lives with her mother. After her masters, she chooses to run her mother's cafe as it gives her the opportunity to hide from the world. Zayn has lived across multiple cities of the country; they were always on the move. As a result, he had never found his hold and a place to call home. Both came with their own insecurities when one day, they met after years, through a common friend. What conspires is mainly friendship, with a hope of something more. However, life isn't simple for any of us, is it? Neither is it so in a story.
The characters are most interesting. I think Brahma's strongest point is characterization. She's created them and given them life. Be it Aakriti's mother, her estranged father and his new family, her help in the cafe Abdul, his cousin and her friends, Zayn, or Nimmi - in every scene I felt like they are around me and the dialogues are being exchanged right in front of me. 
Brahma's other strong point just might be keeping the plot realistic. I personally keep a watch for places in the plots where my mind goes - whaaaaat? how is that even possible? - and I was ready to do that, but alas! there was not a single scope. While the end disappointed me initially because I was expecting something (our minds have been seasoned to expect only the obvious) but once the end registered in my mind, I actually like it!
I will not delve into the story any more. I plan to read it again soon, and before that, I hope you have read it to!

Rating: ****/5

[A copy of this e-book was provided to me by the author as a part of the blog tour by B00k R3vi3ws Tour. Views expressed in this review are my own nonetheless.]




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About the Book
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. 
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. 
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’. 
They meet each other quite by chance. 
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: 
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. 
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her… 
When their worlds collide, 
It is not what either of them expected it to be. 
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him. 
What happens when these two become friends? 
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? 
What happens when two completely different people collide? 
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start? 
'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty- three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. 
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances, Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after! 


Book Links


Character Interview: Suzanna & Surbhi



Suzanna: Why am I stuck in an interview with Surbhi? She’s a minor character! 
Surbhi: A minor character who is a catalyst! 

Is there anything you do not like about your characters?

Surbhi: Yes. I don’t like how she doesn’t judge people. Isn’t that not human?
Suzanna: No. I loved my character to a T.

Do you have a favorite scene in When Our Worlds Collide?

Surbhi: Sure. I love the fact I slip drinks to people. 
Suzanna: I kind of love the fact I am a one-woman force behind Poetry Slams. 

Do you have a favorite character, besides yourselves, in the book?

Surbhi: Sure. I love Esha. Even though I do not get a scene with her.
Suzanna: I like both Akriti and Zayn. In fact, I really love those two kids. 

Why do you think people should read When Our Worlds Collide?

Surbhi: Because they’re bored out of their minds?
Suzanna: Nice, Surbhi. *rolls eyes* I think they should read it because it is a coming of age story. And because it tells you right from the start that it is not always about the happy ending. Sometimes, it is about the story.

Do you think either of you will feature in subsequent sequels to this novella?

Surbhi: Pfffftttt!!!
Suzanna: It’s really too early to say. 



About the Author

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. The Secret Proposal was her debut novel, followed by The Guitar Girl. She was a contributing author with her story The Difference, in the anthology: Voices, Old & New. When Our Worlds Collide is her third work of fiction, and first novella.




Stalk Links



Giveaway

Prize 1: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a Handmade Book Jacket made by Diptee Raut of DIP & DIY
  

 


As Diptee says, its ideal to ~ "Keep your books cozy and warm and away from prying eyes with this book cover. A classy way to carry your book to your favourite coffee shop/library/park for a quiet read."

Prize 2: One really Lucky Indian Resident can win a  Surprise gift from the Author 

Lets keep you guessing ;) Rest assured, it is going to be something pretty!


Check out the Tour Stops
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Monday, November 9, 2015

When Our Worlds Collide Book Blast


About the Book:
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life. 
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up. 
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines. 
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’. 
They meet each other quite by chance. 
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives: 
For Zayn, it’s a 'Partner-In-Crime'. 
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her… 
When their worlds collide, 
It is not what either of them expected it to be. 
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him. 
What happens when these two become friends? 
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak? 
What happens when two completely different people collide? 
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start? 
'When Our Worlds Collide' is the story of two twenty-three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world. 
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances, Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after! 



Book Links:



Meet (Most of) the Characters of When Our Worlds Collide 

- Akriti – The 23-year-old protagonist who runs her mother’s little café. She lives a lonely existence because she is too afraid of letting people get close to her, for she fears they would leave her and cause unbearable pain.

- Zayn – He is Akriti’s ex-classmate, Nimmi’s boyfriend, who comes into her life pretty much by accident. He forces Akriti to come out of her shell, and is pretty much one of her only friends.

- Ayoub – He is a 21-year-old, who helps Akriti run the café. He likes her but knows that he shouldn’t act on those feelings…yet.

- Akriti’s Mother – In order to save Akriti from a very bitter truth, her mother alienates her from her life.

- Akriti’s Father – He had left his family for another woman when Akriti was 13 years old.

- Gia – Ayoub’s cousin, who happens to come into Akriti’s café a lot.

- Esha – Gia’s best friend. She also harbors a crazy crush on Ayoub.

- Ryan – Gia and Esha’s friend and classmate.

- Nancy – Akriti’s father’s fiancée.



- Riley – Nancy’s son from her previous marriage.


About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. The Secret Proposal was her debut novel, followed by The Guitar Girl. She was a contributing author with her story The Difference, in the anthology: Voices, Old & New. When Our Worlds Collide is her third work of fiction, and first novella.


Stalk Links:




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#BookReview: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

On the jacket:


The instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller  Named a Hot Fall Read by USA Today, Vanity Fair, Newsday, O Magazine, the Seattle Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mashable, Pop Sugar, and the San Antonio Express-News  "A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar  From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.   Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Review:

Always a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert, specially her talks, I find her books inspirational (like millions others do). So reading Big Magic wasn't a chance I'd let go. A beautifully written book, it takes you to the core of creativity and how it is to be a creative partner. All creative people, well most, are known to suffer too much, carry too much pain in the, have self-doubt yet never compromise and have had dysfunctional relationships. Gilbert talks about all these are not always needed and how creativity is too sacred to be influenced by these external factors.
She doesn't preach; instead, she tells. What I loved is how she reconfirmed what I have felt and told people all along, that each and every one of us is creative in some way or other. Our potential needs to be tapped and creativity is an absolutely essential element of life. She has spoken about a lot of incidents and instances from her own life. Being a writer myself, would would someday fancy being an author, this book hits home in every possible way. Usually, when people talk about creativity, it is almost always music or visual arts. That writing is also an art, is often forgotten. It delights me that a writer has written a book about creativity. 

Not a heavy read, and definitely not a book you can sail through, either, the book has a lot of quotes and stories about her books, reviews, successes and failures, which we go through as well but unlike her, we let them take over our lives. the thing about creative people is that they also live in the fear that their work would not be appreciated. It is a common problem and Gilbert, with her own life examples has passed on some strength to bear it.
Coming from someone as successful as Gilbert, the incidences and examples in the book can actually prove to be the guiding force for a lot of people.A must read, for the creatives and the ones who think they are not creative at all.

Rating: *****/5 

Friday, October 23, 2015

What India Reads

Flipkart has come out with a new page on their app called, “What India Reads”

“What India Reads” is all about what you read or would like to read. The app is designed basis genres for now and will soon feature what celebrities and authors read as well. 





















The idea of the app is to make readers aware of what books are right at the top and also to help them discover books they might have not known of earlier.

#BookReview: Pupil's President: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam edited by Satyam Roychowdhury

On the jacket:

The students’ diligent teacher, the nation’s gifted scientist, the humble ‘People’s President’ - an indefinable name he is. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. A man who dedicated his life and work to the betterment of a nation, and his time and energy to the billions of young minds he wished to ignite. 

He has left back dreams in everyone, and the undying inspiration to make those dreams come true. A surfeit of contents has been interwoven to give this book a shape. To read through the pages will mean a journey through his life in entirety. Besides Kalam’s own speeches and quotes, it also contains literary tributes by scientists, academicians and students, the interviews of his family members, and a real-time anecdote of his interment ceremony at Rameswaram. 

This isn’t just a tribute, but a world beyond it to be read, explored and discovered.

Review: 

Not very long ago, we lost Dr Kalam. It hasn't really been long, though to me it does seem so. A scientist, a President, a thinker - he was known to have donned multiple hats. What remains with me and many other Indians is that he was an educator too. Not just to the students whom he personally taught, but for the nation's millions of students, he was an inspiration. With Dr Kalam, there was no generation gap. He identified with the students, and they with him.  Of all the names he is referred to with, fondly, Pupils' President goes the best, in my opinion. 

Which is the reason, why I picked this book. Pupil’s President Kalam is a compilation of the great man's thoughts and speeches, along with quotes by students, scientists, academicians and his family members. His life in itself was no less that a world class inspiration and this book proves to be a bible of inspirations - quotes by him, real life incidents, his poems and his speeches. Every word drips of inspiration to yearn for an achieve the best you can. 
An excellent compilation, put together very well and presented in the form a book. The only thing that didn't work was the binding of the book which gave the book a good second hand book store feel.
On facebook, you can follow the book here.  And you can buy the book from flipkart by clicking here.


Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for B00K R3VI3WS. However, the opinions expressed are my own.]





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