Thursday, March 10, 2016

#BookReview: Ambling Indian by Aina Rao

Book Review:

"This book, a fun trip through India—with all the peculiar experiences of the country, has the ingredients to intrigue, the spice to savour, and the nuggets of reflection to delight! Meet the characters of Chand TV and Changa Times—Madam Chandni, Mr. Chatu, Mr. Raja Chata, voluptuous Ms. Kitry Kat; and the others—the boyfriend Runny Singh, Tinuji, swashbuckling Mr. Anal Manbee, Jamal and the Mangoman. Watch their lives intertwining with the young and lively Ambling Indian’s, as they navigate through the lanes, bylanes, gallis, and mohallas that make up much of India. Coast through Bollywood, the elite Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management—hallowed Oxbridges of the East; weddings, politics, and modern offices. Duck and dive as you avoid the cows, potholes, and street dogs. Celebrate the functions and everything else that is the substance of modern India; chaotic yet captivating. Sit back, brace yourself for a quirky, rollicking auto rickshaw ride, and lose yourself in time as you travel with the aam aadmi (the common man). Discover an India like you have never seen before— through the mirror of the Ambling Indian, Aina; who discovers an unknown side of herself too."


I am not sure exactly how to review this book. A hilarious take on India is a very dicey topic of late, with everyone's sentiments getting hurt about practically everything. Nevertheless, Aina Rao has done a pretty decent job. The over the top characters and their names are funny, though after a time, they start getting on my nerves. 

What Rao has done is taken real life events, and put them together in a hilarious account . Her sense of humour is unique and different. The cover of the book is attractive and definitely a crowd puller. India, Indians and the situations we brave practically every day of our lives has been put together in this book. As you read the book, you will be travelling with the common man of India and seeing a regular person's life. The characters have very over the top names and are particularly interesting, upto a point.

A quick read, ideal if you are in need a mood changer.

Rating: ***/5

#Giveaway: You’ve Got the Wrong Girl by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu


On a sultry night, on a deserted lawn overlooking a moonlit Taj Mahal, two strangers make passionate love and promise never to meet again But promises are meant to be broken, right? This is the story of Dushyant Singh Rathore the 30-something bestselling author of Kinda Cliched, a blockbuster romance novel based on his one night of bliss with a girl whose name he does not know. Under pressure to produce a money-spinning sequel - from his obsessive fans, his hit-seeking publisher, his pushy agent and a sceptical journalist ready to expose the truestory angle as a marketing gimmick - he sets off, three years on, to find the elusive girl whom he had promised never to seek out. When his quest, many twists and turns later, leads him to the unlikeliest of places and the strangest of characters, Dushyant discovers there's a little more to his search than he had anticipated. Will Dushyant discover his mystery woman? What if the wrong girl was really always the right one for him? Will he get a second chance? Delightful, unconventional, heart-warming, You've Got the Wrong Girl is about one man's journey to discover his heart and the supremely unpredictable nature of love.


Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway prizes will be provided by Hachette India, subject to availability.

 Hachette India is not responsible for prizes that are lost in the mail.

 The giveaway will be in India ONLY. 

 Any disputes arising from this contest are subject to jurisdiction in Delhi.

 Winners will be determined by the management of Hachette India. The decision of the 

management will be final and no queries will be entertained in this regard.

 The entries may be screened for defamatory content/language. Hachette India reserves the 

right for last minute cancellation and change in terms and conditions.

 Participants should be Indian residents.

 The contest will start on 10th March 2016 at midnight and end on 30th April, 2016 at 

midnight. No late entries will be accepted.

 Spam entries or entries that are not valid will be immediately disqualified

 There will be five (5) winners. Each winner will win a copy of You’ve Got the Wrong Girl as 

well as one of the titles listed below

  • A Man called Ove by Frederik Backman
  • The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
  • Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy
  • The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
  • The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec
  • The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks 
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
  • Too Good to be True by Sheila O’ Flanagan

Each winner will get a total of two books, subject to availability.

 All entries that are only entered in the Rafflecopter widget will be valid.

 Number of entries for each task has been provided in the Rafflecopter widget. Every person 

who enters the giveaway needs to do at least one task that is listed above for their entry to 

be valid.

 Winner has 48 hrs to respond to intimation by Hachette India before another winner is 


 Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.

 Blog Tour hosts cannot enter the giveaway.

 The same giveaway is being hosted on all blogs. There is no separate giveaway on all blogs.

Please embed the following link to your blog for the rafflecopter giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#BookReview: First Brush on the Canvas by Writersmelon

On the jacket:

14 stellar stories & inspiring quotes on writing. Source of insipration for aspiring writers & for all those who wish to re kindle their love for reading short stoies.   Blurb :  Graham, Daniel, their friendship, life and death. Vampires, guardians' adventures at night. Coffee, love and a new couple. Imli and her mother in a complex web of darkness. A small town girl confused about virginity. Michael Jaikishen and his writing endeavours. Child adoption by a gay couple. Mahabharat - a modern tale in an epic form. The spine-chilling tale of Tina and Uncle Joe. A juicy love story by our guest author Sujata Parashar. These and many other unputdownable stories in this book.  First Brush on the Canvas is an anthology comprising selected stories from Melonade (2014), a nationwide writing marathon organized by Writersmelon dot com.


It took me a while to sit down and write the review for this book, because honestly, I needed time to decide what to write. First Brush of Canvas is an anthology - of mixed genres. The cover is quite interesting and quite gels with the title of the book. The font, however, is too small for my comfort. The anthology is 14 stories, divided into three genres - comedy, romance and thriller. 

The stories are winning entries of a nationwide competition. While the stories under the romance and thriller sections were enjoyable, I didn't quite enjoy the comedy section. Diptee Raut's Tina was my first read of the stories and happens to be my favourite of the lot. Brilliant and spine-chilling, I must say.

The book needs some proof-reading. Banerjee has done a good job with editing the stories. What bothered me a bit was how the stories were divided into genres. A decent read in all.

Rating: ***/5

#BookReview: My Dream Man by Aditi Bose

On the jacket:

"I need to write. I need to sit my ass on that chair and write. I haven't written in ages. Actually I haven't written for the past two years. Rather the past one year, ten months and seventeen days." - from My Dream Man  In her debut novel in the romance genre, Aditi Bose has portrayed romance in an altogether new light. Her prose is realistic, candid, sympathetic and romantic - all at the same time. She doesn't miss out on the humorous bits either. My Dream Man is a novel about the female protagonist's inner desires and the challenges that the reality offers.   Ajopa Ganguly is a girl in her twenties who lives with her parents in Delhi. Her life is fine except for one tiny problem. All publishers have rejected the manuscript that she has very painstakingly written. She believes it's more because she is not a known celebrity rather than because the plot is not appealing enough. She is so disturbed by this that she has been baking cupcakes and embroidering handkerchiefs instead these days. This is when Aniket Verma re-enters her life. He is a professor of economics who is well known in his circle. He's twelve years older to Ajopa. They had been good friends till a misunderstanding happened five years back.   What happens when they meet again is what the story is all about.   An honestly written book, My Dream Man, is insightful as it examines how forces beyond our control help us make personal decisions. As Ajopa says, it is all about "deep choosing".


My dream man is a story about a twenty-something girl, Ajopa, who is trying to make her name as an author. Well, actually, just to get her manuscript published. However, the bad news here is that all she is getting is rejection. Disheartened, she is whiling away time, trying to keep her mind occupied when a man, a professor of Economics, and much elder to her, comes back in her life. The she's had a huge crush on him, is not a very reassuring fact for her.

The cover of the book is a little odd, if you read the blurb. While the blurb suggests romance, the cover gives the hint of erotica. Turns out that the book is neither. In fact, the book reads like a personal account out of someone's personal diary. My dream man is an ideal in-flight or short journey read, something you can finish from cover to cover in a couple of hours. The language is simple and the plot doesn't drag or bore you. 

While a new author writing about an author's struggle in getting published and adding a romantic angle to it is quite a nice idea, a good editor might have helped giving the book the right treatment. An average read, which could have been better with crisp editing. The way the book has been written in the style of a struggling author's diary is innovative. Wonder if there were parts which were autobiographical, however, that is best left as a speculation!

Rating: ***/5

#BookReview : The Shrine of Death by Divya Kumar

On the jacket:  Prabha Sinha, an IT professional in Chennai, is plunged into a murky world of idol theft, murder, and betrayal aft...