Monthly Archives: January 2013

Week 43: the book this week is: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

They call it the ‘Relationship Bible’ and I have been wondering for many years what the fuss is all about, so lastly today in the morning I started off with the book this week “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray.

Now I am sure whichever part of the world you live in, you must have heard or read about this book or the book itself.

I have mostly heard good things about this book and often have people quoting from this book but I am a bit skeptic about the book.

Will need to see (rather read) how it holds up to the expectations. Also if it is relevant (and how much) even after 20+ years.

My wife has earlier started reading it (she didn’t complete) but I she did like whatever she read. I am truly hoping I do too.

Relationships are always tricky and the books on relationships are more so.

So as I pour into this book in this last week of January 2013. You guys also get something fresh to read and share your experiences.

Till next time Happy Reading!

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Review: How I taught my Grandmother to Read

grandmotherAs mentioned in my last post reading has been bit slow in last couple of weeks, so I sped up a little and was able to finish another book over the weekend.

The book this week was “How I taught my Grandmother to Read and Other Stories” by Sudha Murthy. 

This is my second book by Sudha Murthy, I read and reviewed “wise and otherwise” last year, which was kinda good. And because of that book, I knew what to expect from this book.

This book is also a collection of short stories and is an easy read. The good thing about the author’s book is that they are simple, small, day-to-day stories (sometimes narration of an incidence) which sends a good vibe inside you. Mostly related to Human nature and circumstances we face everyday. You can compare them with (probably) your Grandmother’s stories (which is not a bad thing). But then that is also its major flaw if you are expecting much more from these books.

Take for instance I was more disappointed (or may be it’s too strong a word) with “Wise and Otherwise” but after reading that I knew what to expect from this book and by the time I ended this book I was happy as it met the expectations.

Essentially good stories for children and youngsters, some of the stories might teach you a moral and some are a mere statement of fact(s). But these stories could give you insight into author’s life even though you might not have met her you will feel like you know her from around.

I recommend gifting it to children and youngsters as these are short simple stories and would interest them and who knows they might  get inspired from one of the stories which might change their lives forever (like one of the stories in the book).

PS: This book (and not the review) was sponsored by mysmartprice.com a new price comparison search engine. Thanks Guys!

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Review: Rage of Jarasandha

ImageIt has been sometime since I posted a review. Things have been quite hectic (and chaotic) with several things going at one time. Work, Travel, some other commitments, so the book reading was going slow.

But  this week I have been able to complete the book I started after the Casual Vacancy.

The book this week was “Rage of Jarasandha”, 5th Book of Krishna Coriolis by Ashok Banker.

The book starts from the point where “Lord of Mathura” ends, Kamsa is killed by Krishna and  king Ugrasena is reinstated and there is jubilation all around Mathura and the entire Yadava nation.

However at this point Jarasandha, King of Magadha and Kamsa’s Father-in-law attacks Mathura with the biggest assembled army ever. At this point Krishna and Balrama take it upon themselves to save Mathura and in their real forms (of god) fights and wipes out the entire army of Jarasandha. But Jarasandha has a bigger plan and the plot thickens but essentially ends at that.

Compared to the rest of the volumes of Krishna Coriolis this one seemed a little slow and not much is covered in this book, however the book is good 300 odd pages.

The necessity of breaking the entire Krishna story into volumes sometimes robs the books of the necessary pace and fill it up with unnecessary details (which can be done without in case it was one book). However I understand the author’s dilemma of beginning and finishing every volume so that it can connect to the rest of the series yet is able to stand on it’s own. But that sometimes clutter the regular readers with unnecessary and repeated information.

****SPOILER ALERT****

Last part where Jarasandha comes back with same army again and the Tuesday is relieved again even though Krishna and Balrama wipes out the army every time – that description is just too complicated.

How it is not a time travel but is also a sort of time travel that is not clearly or eloquently described. I find myself scratching the head same as Balrama in the book, it seems the conversation will only be understood by Jarasandha and Krishna and not by the readers. It sometimes translates into sort of science fiction (bad). You just end up reading for completeness sake.

There are several questions that will come to your mind when you read Krishna’s depiction and his acts in Krishna Coriolis (specially as a god) but most of the questions remain unanswered or only partially answered.

In those scenarios you can say for the first time I am less than satisfied by Banker, otherwise it’s a good read. 

Again the book needed to be fast paced and should have covered more material, it’s not necessary to have 10 volumes if it can be covered in 5 or 6.

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Review: The Casual Vacancy

casualIt has been a good last week, I could get a lot of work done on the office front as well as I could complete the book this week. At the onset let me wish you and your family and friends a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2013. May this year rock and you can catch up on your reading (and I can do that too).

This year I am very much looking forward to finish my target (52 weeks 52 books) and start another season. Wish me the best and be with me during this journey.

The book this week was “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling.

When I started the book I saw that this has been awarded the best book (fiction) of 2012 by goodreads and so my expectations increased in addition to my existing admiration of Rowling’s work in HP series.

Whosoever has read Rowling before would agree that she is a great story-teller and the ease with which she creates her characters and embed them with natural skills and fallacies takes a master to do it.

The Casual Vacancy is another such good story by Rowling. It revolves round a small English town named Pagford and its complicated politics and human stories. Barry Fairbrother the Councillor of Pagford dies, the town has a history of fight with its neighbouring town of Yarvill which also has Fields and Fairbrother was a big supporter of the Fields and people living in it. After his death the politics of the council starts which affects the people of Pagford individually as their real issues and secrets keep coming out in the bid to win Fairborther’s seat at the council.

The best thing I liked about the story is that it is pretty ordinary and yet so extraordinarily written. Small English town stories always have a charm of their own nevertheless it highly depends on the author, how well he/she can dish it out to the readers and Rowling does this excellently (if there is such a word) yet again in this first adult novel of hers.

The characters are so nicely portrayed that even though the main character Barry Fairbrother dies in the first few pages only but you can still make out the character, his appearances, his nature, his attitude etc. like any other character.

Then she handles the character from a different background Dr. Parminder Jawanda (an Indian character) and describes every tiny bit of information (even the manner of prayer, how the marriages happen, land issues back home in Punjab, etc) so clearly and detailed manner that you can only understand how well the author has done her homework.

Specially the characters of the teenagers Krystal, Sukhvinder, Andrew, Stuart, Gaia are so well written that unless you knew the author has earlier written the HP series you would marvel how can an author know children/teenagers so well.

As I mentioned earlier it is a pretty uncomplicated  complicate story. It will go on to show human emotions, the every day boring life of married couples, teenagers trying to break the shackles, the frustrations of living in a small town, the charm of a small town, drug abuse, love. A mixed bag of emotions and mix bag of stories.

It’s a good read end to end. If you are looking for any adventure or thrill you will not find it. Though at first it seems like a big book (510 pages) but you kind of forget that thickness once you start moving with the characters. Although big, the book hardly has any dull moments.

Although at the end of the book I was feeling that something is amiss but I couldn’t make out what was it.

******SPOILER ALERT**********

May be it was the death of Krystal Weedon and her brother in the end. May be it was Dr. Jawanda loosing in the council or Kay Bawden getting dumped.

But in a way I was happy that it was not a traditional happy ending because it never ends that way in real life.

You can find a few Barry FairBrother around you and also a few Howard, Miles, Samantha, Shirley, Fats, Arf, etc. The best thing with Rowling is she shows you the world as it is, yet she manages to weave a magical world of her own.

Great book. Must Read!

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