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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

BOOK REVIEW: BELIEF AND BEYOND BY MUKUNDA RAO











TITLE: BELIEF AND BEYOND 
AUTHOR: MUKUNDA RAO
PUBLISHERS: @harpercollinsin
GENRE: PHILOSOPHICAL NON FICTION 

Synopsis: Belief and Beyond delves into the realm of the mystic - Adi Sankara, Allama Prabhu, Kabir, Nagarjuna, Gaudapada, Akka Mahadevi, Lalleshwari, Anandamayi Ma, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Jiddu Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti, and the Buddha - bringing to life their spiritual quests and the philosophical messages they left behind for humanity. The book explores the search for the non-dual state of being - sahaja sthithi or the natural state - which is not in the realm of experience at all, but a state of being where the borders and boundaries of the divided self have been transcended. The author also weaves in narratives from many difficult-to-access texts, including the Upanishads, the Ashtavakra Gita and the Avadhuta Gita. Written with depth and simplicity, this book is for the seeker and the curious alike.


OVERVIEW/ MY OPINION : 



Belief and beyond by Mukunda Rao is a nonfiction book. It fits moreover into the nonfiction- philosophical genre a very small part of this book caters to the field of self help.

This book is divided into various chapters and subcategories to help a reader filter out information based on his liking and curiosity more effectively.

The writing style of the author is pretty impressive, it is simple and yet keeps one engaged with it.

The language is simple and unsophisticated.  It was amazing to learn how such deep topics were presented with such simplicity that it doesn't overburden the reader , yet it covers all the major aspects of the chapter.

The cover and the title are pretty innovative and appropriately chosen.

The book is divided into various parts such as the upanishads, songs in dualism and non dualism ,beyond gender etc, my personal favourites are the word and birth of self and coming of the buddha.

Speaking about the pace, it's a pretty slow paced read.

The only part wherein this book disappointed me was when it became too slow and some chapters seemed over stretched.

Overall, I had a fairly good time reading this book. It was a pretty informative and an insightful read. Definitely recommend if you're looking for a unique non fiction read.


MY RATING : 4/5 

Purchase link : HERE


Special thanks to harpercollins publishers for sending over a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 5 August 2019

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW











AUTHOR: Pooja poodar marwah
TITLE: Pursuit drawn by destiny

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

She is your typical girl next door and yet, she is everything but typical. Born and brought up in Mumbai in a Marwari family, she has grown to realize the importance of pursuing dreams. This is one of the first lessons she recalls, growing up in a home with two other siblings.
She studied at Welham Girls and spent most of her time on the track field; running sprinting, playing basketball etc. She went on to be the Prefect and left soon after as she was selected to go to the US of A on a Rotary Exchange. She served as a cultural ambassador of India for a year and attended Stormlake High School at Iowa. There are very interesting stories she shares on the way India was viewed by the locals, at the time.
She came back and studied at Sydenham College and helped in her family business of creating sterling silver artefacts. In addition, she also did an extensive 3 year course in the manufacture and design of precious and semiprecious jewellery, something that she loves to wear. In indian wear, it’s the 9 yard drape that fascinates her and she knows more than 15 styles to wear the same.
Marriage brought her to Dehradun, where she is currently based. Pooja is a creative and energetic Entertainment & Event Planner with fifteen years’ experience in managing Lifestyle Exhibitions (which is special as it promotes women entrepreneurs from across the Country), Conferences and Offset meetings. Her company has offices in Dehradun and Delhi and it works with corporates Pan India. She works in a fast paced environment where professional organizational expertise is mandatory to handle staff, customers, and contractors and oversees the budgets and financial aspects of special events.
As a person, she is very warm and affectionate. Her two young girls are her biggest strength and are currently at her alma mater too. When she is not writing, she is pursuing golf, travelling and is attempting to learn cooking!
She hasn’t had any formal training in writing and neither does she have a dedicated time or place. She writes with her heart and her words show that. She writes, literally in the parking lots, while waiting for her kids extra curriculars to get over. “Its my way of spending as much time as I can with them as they only come home 4 months of the year so I don’t want to miss a thing about them growing up.”
Incidentally, “Don’t wanna miss a thing” by aerosmith is her favourite song. Her happy colours are purple and blue and her biggest asset is her ability to restart in life.
She has been bogging on relationships for over two years and when asked why relationships, she simply smiled and said, “Everyone needs to love and be loved. To me, this is the eternal truth of life. Nothing drives as love can. In a generation where people are taken for granted and things are loved, this is my way of saying that Hey! Stop a while.. Hold a hand instead!”
She is a die hard mush magnet and yes, movies do make her cry. She has a strong belief in her delectable threesome of faith, trust and love and that is her drive in life.
Pooja is a woman with the class of a lady and a lady with the spontaneity of a girl. To find more on her, please visit her at www.poojapoddarmarwah.com





INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:  
1 ) What inspired you to write?

It was a chance meeting with a stranger at a random party that affected my every sense. It left me with a feeling of déjà vu and we had a one conversation on life. Somewhere inside me, that stayed. I am a hyper possessive and protective mom so while driving my children around to their co curricular’s, Pursuit – Drawn by Destiny got written. The second part, which has all the answers will be out next year.

2) Since when are you writing?

Every day is my Day 1. My journey has only just begun. I found the need to emphasise on the importance of love and relationships after looking around and finding an emptiness. Few had accepted theirs to be a life without love and some had made peace with broken relationships. That really touched me and I began blogging two years ago. I didn’t want it to be a life gyaan of sorts and wanted to convey what I felt on a particular aspect of companionship. Over time, this grew and has readers in tens of thousands.
Titled, Random Conversations – Redefining relationships, the blog is a quirky take on modern day relationships. I take aspects like freedom, conversation, equality etc and write in a conversational way so its easy for everyone to find a connect. This was my first step and with my debut book winning the best debut author award, and now being nominated for the Valley Of Words award, I imagine my journey as an author has only just begun.

3 ) Your favourite writing spot/ nook?

Ok, I really am laughing, like literally on this one. I write in breaks. I write in a car at a parking lot or perhaps at a long traffic signal. I write in between the staff asking for directions to clean the house. I write while I’m working and teaching. So, yes, I don not have a dedicated time or place. I just have a dedicated heart and soul to write.

4) At this stage in your life whom do you admire the most & why?

My Mother. She is my bestest friend, my toughest critique and my greatest source of strength. She has raised my siblings and I to be confident, happy women. I've never missed a girlfriend ever as she has the innate qualities of being our one man army. It is through her that I aspire to be who I want to be.

5 ) what do  you do apart from writing?

Currently I’m on Beer and Branson!!! This refers to my love for reading and I’m on his autobiography which I find very raw and honest. I enjoy books that express reality.

So when I’m not writing, I’m working on my next educational event for schools, or I may be out at the golf course playing golf.
Oh! And I have another story about this as well, which we can delve into at a later point. If you have a chance to see Blake Shelton’s video for his song -  Doing what she likes! That would give you a glimpse into my attempt at cooking. I promise I try but somehow its just not me..

6) would you like to brief about your childhood and teen days?

I've had a completely fulfilling childhood. Right form playing in the mud to getting grounded, I can proudly say that my childhood has been one of the funnest one ever.
Hmmm.. In teenage years, I believe I gave my parents a fair share of heartache.. I was quite the not so civilised variety and this is all you’ll get from me on this for now. ☺

7) you're favourite excerp/poem from this book?
My favourite part of the book is the Spa scene (Pg 82) It is here that Kate goes to unwind and Edward drops in. The scene has them along with other people in the spa room play a word game! What I love is the spontaneity of the characters and how a simple sauna room can turn into such a lively ambience! The underlying message here is that no matter who you are or where you go, keep the child in you alive.

8) Whats your definition of being successful?

Success to me is coming home to a house full of music, laughter and conversation.

9) what were the difficulties you faced while writing ur books?
Actually, nothing. I wrote as and when I could and enjoyed every bit of it.

10) How do u deal with / take criticism or negative reviews?
It is an opinion. Some will love it and some will prefer others. Overall, I believe that this book is a great story and is a racy read. To me, that is the most important.

11) A fictional world/ character you adore? Why ?

I simply love Beauty and the Beast. It is one of my eternal favourite stories. Perhaps the character of Edward has taken shape from there.
The reason I love them is because theirs is a story about real love, totally unadulterated and raw. My favourite line from there is, “Think of the one thing that you’ve always wanted. Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart.”



I'm pretty much impressed by her answers and I'm eagerly excited about reading her book! Keep an eye for it on my blog!


FOLLOW THE AUTHOR:

https://www.instagram.com/poojapoddarmarwah/


Sunday, 4 August 2019

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH RICHA MUKHERJEE











Hey people! Hope you all are doing well.  So here's the interview with Richa Mukherjee the author of the book - I didn't expect to be expecting.  The review of it is up on my blog and my booktube channel so make sure to check that out as well.I had such a wonderful time going through her answers and im sure you too will.





) What inspired you to write?
I can’t isolate one inspiration point. I’ve always expressed myself easily through pen on paper and gravitated towards different formats through life, poetry being the most frequent stop. As for books, the inspiration found me and I just wrote!

2) Since when are you writing?
Since I was a child. I used to write poetry for my dad who was in the government service and travelled a lot. There were a lot of aborted ‘Dear Diary’ attempts along the way, but I always scribbled my thoughts.

3 ) Your favourite writing spot/ nook?
I can find these wherever I go. Being a working mother, my usual spot ends up being the dining table with my daughter hanging off my leg and maid screaming in my ear, but when I need to focus on something specifically, I take a corner at a café and write for a few hours.

4) At this stage in your life whom do you admire the most & why?
I am blessed to have inspirational people all around me, being part of a big loving family. But I would have to say my father. The smile on his face and the firmness in his step remains despite age. Through loss, grief, tragedies, good times or bad. I turn to him very often for advice.

5 ) what do  you do apart from writing?
I’m an advertising professional, so that’s work. Other than that, my husband and I are avid travellers and spend all our time planning multiple trips through the year! Other interests include singing, reading and working out.

6) would you like to brief about your childhood and teen days?
Imagine growing up with 3 elder sisters and changing 7 schools! Too much of moving around but it was certainly entertaining. We travelled a lot because of my father and the kind of perspective and exposure travel breathes into a child trumps all else. During my teenage years, let’s just say I was hardly found at home and was a bit of a stereotype with the hormonal behaviour and always wanting to be out but I reformed myself after a few years! ðŸ˜Š

7) you're favourite excerp/poem from this book?
That’s like asking a mother to pick out a favourite child! ðŸ˜Š There’s blood and sweat in all of it. Grateful and proud that all of the madness is out there on paper.

8) Whats your definition of being successful?
When you know you’ve achieved your purpose, followed your heart and done what you were meant to do. Everything else flows from there.

9) what were the difficulties you faced while writing ur books?
Making time amongst others. Work, home, kids, schedules are a heady masala mix that no writer can escape. You know, I read about these writing retreats and look at posts of people sitting and writing in the hills and I start drooling just thinking what that might feel like! But truth be told, I think I now have trained myself to write wherever I can , whenever I can and that’s the fluidity I need to make my books happen. Ps: I will get to the hills at some point ðŸ˜Š

10) How do u deal with / take criticism or negative reviews?
Its a part of the process. Happiness doesn’t come without brickbats. If every individual is different then how can we expect their opinions to be homogenous.

11) A fictional world/ character you adore? Why ? 
Actually every book transports me to a different world. But oh my gawd I’m such a potter head! I could be lost in that world forever. It’s a world that is complete in the joy, the wonder, the danger and the complexities it holds.

12) Is any character in the book inspired by your life?
I repeatedly deny it but the lead protagonist Tara Roy borrows heavily from my life in sections of the book. Pssst. That’s a secret!

Monday, 15 July 2019

BOOK REVIEW: WHAT MINA DID BY GEETA MENON











TITLE: WHAT MINA DID 
AUTHOR: GEETA MENON 
PUBLISHER: RUPA PUBLICATIONS 

SYNOPSIS: 

A single betrayal can cost you everything... 1998. Twenty-two-year-old Mina is moving to the US from Bangalore to begin a new life with her husband. Then there’s a horrific murder and her life is turned upside down. Mina’s best friend Neelu helps her out of the abyss.
Mina gradually leaves her past behind and settles into a new life in the US. Years later, she is forced to return to India and is confronted by the demons from her past. In her fragile mental state, she is unable to support Neelu in her time of need. Their friendship hits rock bottom. Mina goes back to the US and faces further hurdles, this time on the work front. She tries to make amends with Neelu, but their friendship ends with Neelu accusing Mina of something unimaginable related to the murder.
Something, that deep down, Mina knows is true... Will Mina redeem herself? Will the people she loves forgive her for what she did? Alternating between flashbacks and the present day, What Mina Did explores how one betrayal can have catastrophic consequences, while delving into the complex bonds that link mothers and daughters, and best friends.





OVERVIEW/ MY OPINION 



What mina did by geeta menon is a  thriller novel that revolves around the life of Mina an Indian residing in America  who has a pretty dark and a mysterious past and is also suffering from PTSD. The story claims to dive into meena's life and tie up all the loose ends of suspense in this story. 

This book was a fairly average read for me. 
The concept behind it was really unique and fresh, but it's execution wasn't upto the mark. 

The writing style was good and descriptive. 
The author describes all the scenes/ places in the story pretty intricately. 

The language was easy going and lucid. 

The narration was blunt, this was the major reason why I found it difficult to get through this book. 

The cover and the title are appropriately chosen  keeping in mind the interest and curiosity of a reader. 

The storyline was diverse, but it turned out to be very bland,considering the summary of the book it didn't do complete justice to the content inside. I was intrigued by the blurb but It dint live upto my expectations. 

The plot was strong in the beginning, but it lost its strength in the between. 
The emotions of each character is crafted beautifully and presented perfectly. 

Lastly the characters were very well developed.  I could connect with the protagonist mina very well, I like the way he character developed throughout the story.

Overall, this was an average read for me. 


MY RATING: 3/5🌟


Special thanks to the author for sending across  a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I WAS GIVEN A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.  VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE OF MY OWN.  NO PART OF THIS REVIEW/ PICTURE SHALL BE COPIED/ USED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF IT'S OWNER 

Monday, 8 July 2019

BOOK REVIEW: TO NADDIYAA BY KAVYA








TITLE: TO NADDIYAA 
AUTHOR: KAVYA SHARMA 
PUBLISHERS : STORY MIRROR


SYNOPSIS: 

To naddyaa by kavya sharma is beautiful collection of bittersweet letters written by her husband Durjoy,who is the eyes of the society is an abnormal man. After spending years in a mental asylum Naadiyas son who has lived the life of an orphan has now comes to take her home. But what happened all these years that she was separated from her son? How did she land up into the mental asylum? Pick this book up to find out. 



OVERVIEW/ MY OPINION:

I had a really wonderful experience with this book.  Firstly the concept around which it revolves is that of the unspoken feelings and words that Durjoy wanted to speak to her about but failed to do so because of his own personal reasons. The concept behind it was really nice and its executed well.

The writing style was excellent amazing.  
The narration too was done quite well which played a major role in keeping me glued to this book. 
The language used was easy going and lucid yet her words truly tore my heart apart!

I found it quite unlikely of such a young & a debut author to have such a flow in her writing style and words.
Hence it was quite hard to believe that its her debut novel. 

The cover and the title are appropriately chosen  keeping in mind the interest and curiosity of a reader. 

The storyline was beautiful and captivating.

The plot was fresh but it actually turned weak at some point of time.  The reason being that there are a couple of aspects of the story that aren't explained well, firstly I would have liked it of the reason of Naadiyas arrival in the mental asylum was more elaborate, I wasn't statisfied with the way that part of the story was explained. 
Secondly If the story could have  focused a  more on Imman(naadiyas son's) childhood, it would be a whole new different reading experience for me! I felt this aspect of the story left out.
Lastly, If the actual cause of death of certain characters could be mentioned, it would have truly been a plus point for this book. 

The characters were very well developed. I could connect with the protagonist very well. 
I liked how the author has crafted the emotions of each character. 
I clearly don't know if I should love the characters or hate them because I have a love hate relationship with them, well I can't discuss the reasons because for that you need to read the book in order to avoid spoilers and it of course depends on ones own perception. 

This book touches upon some very important social topics such as the topic of abnormality, sexual abuse, etc.

The theme of this book revolves around Love, trust, betrayal, bondings and so on.

Overall, this was a very interesting and an emotional read. Definitely recommended!


MY RATING: 4/5🌟

Purchase this book HERE


I WAS GIVEN A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.  VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE OF MY OWN. THE CONTENT herein is owned by the blogger. No part / image of this review shall be copied/ used for any other purpose without the permission of it's owner. 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

BOOK REVIEW: I DIN'T EXPECT TO BE EXPECTING BY RICHA MUKHERJEE














Are you looking out for a really fresh and a hilarious read? Well then this post is for you.

Hello everyone, thank you so much for giving this post your time.  I'm back today with another book review Entitled I DIN'T EXPECT TO BE EXPECTING BY RICHA MUKHERJEE

GENRE: CONTEMPORARY
PUBLISHER: BLACK INK BOOKS- HARPERCOLLINS INDIA
LENGTH: 325


SYNOPSIS:

I dint expect to be expecting by richa Mukherjee Is a contemporary novel featuring the life of Tara, a 31 year old successful women married to Abhi the love of her life.
She has the world at her feet,along with her supportive friends a set of wonderful parents and in laws. She's enjoying her life by attending all the possible Saturday night parties, travelling the world ,
spending time with her friends and her husband and a lot more!  But he life takes a turn when something unexpected happens she finds out that she's pregnant! Hence begins her  hilarious and uncomfortable journey with some amazing people around her!



OVERVIEW/ MY OPINION

I had a really wonderful time reading this book.

Firstly the concept around which it revolves is very unique and is executed very well.

The writing style was excellent, the story is written in the form of diary entries right from page 1.
The best part of her writing style was the way he managed to push in the protagonists Humour and sarcasm between some serious conversations as well as serious scenarios.

She narrates the story in from Tara's perspective using a simple and unsophisticated language. The narration played a major role in keeping me glued to this book.

The cover and the title are pretty innovative and hilarious they match with the content inside .

The storyline was beautiful and captivating, the author perfectly portrayed Tara's struggles in various situations.
The plot was fresh and strong enough to keep me gripped to the core .

This book is slow paced read,  it takes about 45-50pages for the actual story to start, but the author’s writing style, narration and imagination make it all worth the wait.

The characters were very well developed.  I could connect with Tara very well. I loved the other supporting characters as well especially her doting husband Abhi, who is definitely someone every girl will fangirl upon after reading this book.   I loved her supportive friends, unique and entertaining family members and in laws and especially Her maid RADHA! This woman was the most savage and sarcastic person I came across in this story!

I liked the way Tara and Abhis character developed in the course of the story from the carefree youngsters I'd say to a  mature couple.

Throughout the entire book I found myself laughing so much again, because of Taras character.

The only part wherein this book disappointed me a bit was when it took a slow pace in the between towards the end I found it to be a bit overstretched.

Lastly, the climax was something that was so heartwarming!  I really want this book to have a sequel to see Tara and abhi then as an amazing set of parents!

Overall, this was a very interesting and a fantastic read. Definitely recommended.

My Rating: 4.5/5🌟


INCASE YOU WISH TO GIVE THIS BOOK A TRY. YOU MAY DO SO  HERE



I WAS GIVEN A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.  VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE OF MY OWN.  THE CONTENT HEREIN IS OWNED BY THE BLOGGER. NO PART/ IMAGE OF THIS REVIEW SHALL BE COPIED/ USED FOR OTHER PURPOSE WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF IT'S OWNER. 

Thursday, 4 July 2019

BOOK REVIEW: YOUR DESTINATION HAS ARRIVED











Book Title : YOUR DESTINATION HAS ARRIVED
PUBLISHER: NOTION PRESS
AUTHOR: BARRY CHEEMA
GENRE: CONTEMPORARY/ FANTASY

SYNOPSIS:


Your destination has arrived is a contemporary novel featuring the life of Bruno a k9 police dog who in his new birth has been awarded a human life due to his act of bravery which saved the life of many people. But this human body of his is actually of the terrorist. How will he be a live with it? Pick this book up to find out.


OVERVIEW/ MY OPINION:

I had a really good time reading this book.
Firstly the concept around which it revolves is very unique and is executed very well.

The cover and the title are appropriately chosen keeping in mind the interest and curiosity of a reader.

The writing style was good.  The language was easy going and lucid.  The narration too was done quite well which played a major role in keeping me glued to this book.

The storyline was beautiful and captivating.
The plot was fresh and strong enough to keep me gripped to the core while reading this book.  I truly appreciate the way the author has crafted the story, right from the beginning till the end, the character of Bruno undergoes several realistic changes and developments.

There are many times when I cried and laughed while reading this book.

The characters were very well developed.  The emotions of each character is crafted beautifully and presented perfectly.

The only part wherein this book disappointed me a bit was when it took a slow pace in the between.

Lastly the climax was something that was so unpredictable, heart-wrenching yet heartwarming!

Overall, this was a very interesting and a fantastic read. Definitely recommended.

My Rating: 4/5🌟






BOOK REVIEW: BELIEF AND BEYOND BY MUKUNDA RAO

TITLE: BELIEF AND BEYOND  AUTHOR: MUKUNDA RAO PUBLISHERS: @harpercollinsin GENRE: PHILOSOPHICAL NON FICTION  Synopsis:  Bel...