The be-all and end-all

Life's sweet and sour surprises!

Review: Foreign

Foreign Foreign by Sonora Jha
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The start was so good, a real page-turner in the beginning. But the story lost its charm in the mid. I felt the author tried to fit in quite a lot of drama, thereby, making the reader question the genuineness of the story of the protagonists. It didn’t quite seem plausible to me that anything and everything is happening to one family. And the ending also didn’t connect with me- it was as if the author wanted to somehow come to a conclusion, no matter how unreasonable it might come across. Even though the book touched upon a every important issue- the plight of the Indian farmers, yet it was a big disappointment.

However, there were some really nice quotes & shero-shayari in between. A couple of them I have penned down for you:

1. ‘Ghalib would say … her gaze upon me puts a glow on my face … and she assumes that this ailing man is well.’
(Unke dekhe se jo aa jati hai mung par raunak,
woh samajhte hain ki bimaar ka haal acha hai)

2. But she knows better than to fall into the trap of ‘belonging’. Just when you think you do, someone shows you that you don’t, or lets you go, or, worst of all, tells you you are free to leave. If rugs are so easy to pull from under your feet, it’s best not to stand on rugs at all.

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Book Review: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

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I was hooked right from the very first page of the book, like it was some kind of a spell. After such a long time, have I come across a book which soothes your mind and provides you solace, with its sweet love story written beautifully, almost magically by Jan-Philipp Sendker.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is a love story, but not a clichéd love story, I assure you! The author has weaved the story in such an exquisite manner that the reader cannot help but wonder about the intense connection between the two lovers, the passion that they have for each other, the unconditional love that is there in their hearts. This book surely is a 5-star and I would like to classify it as “un-put-downable”.

Below are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

  1. But a confession, a disclosure, is worthless when it comes at the wrong moment. If it’s too early, it overwhelms us. We are not ready for it and can’t yet appreciate it. If it’s too late, the opportunity is lost. The mistrust and the disappointment are already too great; the door is already closed. In either case, the very thing that ought to foster intimacy just creates distance.

  2. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes as uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize.

  3. And so there must be in life something like a catastrophic turning point,when the world as we know cease to exist. A moment that transforms us into a different person from one heartbeat to the next. The moment when a lover confess that there’s someone else and that he’s leaving .or the day we bury a father or mother or best friend . Or the moment when the doctor informs us of a malignant brain tumor.

P.S. I am so glad I picked up this book at the Book Fair last month. Icing on the cake? Got it at a 60% discount. 😉

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Review: The Sialkot Saga

The Sialkot Saga
The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s the first time I am not certain whether I liked any book or not. Usually, it’s either “a hit” or “a flop”, “A great book” or “A poorly written book”. Clear black and white. But with The Sialkot Saga, well, I am utterly inconclusive.

OK, let me try explaining what I thought about this 560 pages long book.

The Sialkot Saga is a story of two protagonists who are born into two different families, and brought up in different cultures as they belong to different religious backgrounds. However, both of them are as intelligent, shrewd, strong, and courageous as one another.

Throughout the story, I was going through only one thought “How can anything and everything happen in the lives of these two people?” From World Trade Center attack, the Taj attack, the Harshad Mehta scam, to murders, deaths, same same lovers, infidelity et cetera et cetera. It seemed like the writer was trying to put each and every major incident in the world of history into the lives of his protagonists, which came across as unrealistic to me.

The parts where they con others, make fool of them are interesting, clever and funny. The BEST PART is the epilogue- superbly written.

Well, I would end the review by saying that the book did not live up to my expectations. I would rate it 3 stars.

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Review: Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Plot
“Before I Go to Sleep” is a thriller novel written by S.J. Watson. The story revolves around a woman who after a car accident becomes amnesiac. She wakes up every day not remembering the last 25 years of her life, which includes her marriage, her son, and her career as a writer. However, with the help of a doctor, she starts keeping a daily journal, which apart from helping her remember things, also makes her question the stories being told to her by her husband and she becomes determined to find out who she really is, what her life really is.

The Review:
I was expecting a lot from this book, basis the reviews I had read on Goodreads as well as on the back cover of the book. But alas, it did not live up to my expectations. I hardly found anything thrilling in the book and it surely was not a page-turner, according to me. I hate to put books down without finishing it, so I soldiered on till the end and the last 30 pages were the only pages which grabbed my attention. I admit the twist in the end was actually “woah” or “I-did-not-see-that-coming”. But overall, it was a book which could have been skipped!

Favorite Quotes:
1. “What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”

2. We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.”
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Review: Man’s Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The autobiography part was heart-wrenching. But the second and third parts of the book were based on pure psychiatry/ psychoanalysis/ logotherapy and most of the terms were difficult to comprehend. All in all, it was an eye-opener in many senses- how people behave when they feel that their suffering is not worthy, how they need a goal/ a meaning to be able to fight for survival, why humans hurt other humans, et al.
I am rating it 3 stars owing to its hard-to-understand psychiatric terms.

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Review: And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a nice quick mystery to read. Very simple to understand. In the initial few pages, I felt like I was reading something similar to the TV show “Lost” as in both the stories, people are stranded on an island with murders taking place around them and these people are curious to resolve the mystery. But when I was halfway through, I realized it was nothing like “Lost”. I really liked the concept of relating a nursery rhyme with all the murders which were happening one by one. Nicely written, not at all complex. It’s a book which you would like to read when you are on a travel maybe, and can finish it in mere two days!

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Kindle For Windows- Free Download!

All the book lovers out there, now you can install the Kindle Reading App in your Windows for free and read all the free e-books available on Amazon on your PC!! Isn’t it amazing?

The prices of the books keep fluctuating, so download the free e-book as soon as you can. On the Amazon website, if any e-book is available for free, it will show as Rupee 0.00 and you can download the e-book straight to your Kindle Reading App. Recently, I downloaded a few bestsellers for free!! A Great Gatsby, A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice were some of the books available for free.

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You can also give it a shot, and do tell me whether you enjoy reading on Kindle or not.

Till then, Happy E-Reading! 😉

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My ‘To-Read’ List for 2015!

Well, I know it is March and I am already three months late in starting my marathon of books this year. Life had been pretty busy lately, hence, the delay. But better late than never!

I Heart Books Center

I resolve to read 14 books this year (approximately 1.75 books every month), a few of them, which I have already zeroed in on, are listed below (the actual count, I hope, turns out to be way more than just 14 by the year end 😛 ):

  1. The Bhagvada Gita: I am halfway through it and I have to have to finish it. It’s a heavy read and requires a lot of concentration, which I have been finding difficult to devote owing to my hectic work life. But it shall be finished and hopefully by May this year.
  2. The Dancing Bees- An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee: It fascinates me how bees or ants live and survive in this world. I wonder how they communicate with each other, do they have any language, do they speak, can they hear and et al. I expect this book will provide me with all the answers and will leave me content!
  3. The Last Mughal: Because it’s been rated 4 out of 5 on Goodreads and because I love history!
  4. The Fountainhead: My bookworm friends had recommended this book to me a hell lot of times and I still never felt inclined to buy it and read it. But this year, I resolve to read it in order to end the mystery of why it is one of the bestsellers.

These are the only ones I have zeroed in on as of yet.

Well, now comes the time to go shopping for these books (got the salary as well today to splurge on the books) :P.

*Contentment*

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Collection Of My Favorite Quotes- Part 2

1. Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.

– Allen Saunders

2. “So, whatever happened to you?’

‘Life. Life happened.”

-David Nicholls, One Day

3. Only the Dead stay seventeen forever.

-Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

4. We are the choices we make.

-Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting go

5. Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.

-Margaret Mitchell

6. “Dexter, I love you so much. So, so much, and I probably always will. I just don’t like you anymore. I am sorry.”

– David Nicholls, One Day

7. If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
– Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

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Isn’t it so true?

Isn't it so true?

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