BOOK REVIEW -BANISHED THREADS BY KAYLIN MCFARREN

IMG_20160220_163040.jpg

ON THE JACKET :

A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members in Kaylin McFarren’s action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves’s paintings are stolen from her uncle’s popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife’s missing granddaughter.

Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty’s name and, in the process, win Paul’s favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel’s uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother’s death and the deaths of Sara’s former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect.

With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle’s freedom not only endangers Rachel’s life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?

IMG_20160220_163438.jpg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Since launching her writing career, Kaylin McFarren has earned more than a dozen Literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable organisation , as well her own foundation benefiting cancer research in the pacific northwest. McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon . They have three daughters and two grandsons and enjoy travelling the globe and making monthly visits to their second home in California.

IMG_20160220_163230.jpg

REVIEW:

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen decide to visit Rachel’s uncle – Paul Lyons in London to take his blessings for their impending marriage. With Rachel’s pregnancy sickness worsening day by day and Chase’s fears growing of losing Rachel, there’s trouble in paradise. Things turn worst when they reach London and find themselves involved into a mystery, mystery of stolen paintings from Paul’s Gallery, which everyone thinks his step grand-daughter Sloan has something to do with. Paul is sure Sloan is innocent but Sloan’s absence makes things dangerous. Chase and Rachel get themselves so involved in this mystery that their lives get in danger. While solving this mystery, chasing culprits and trying to save Lyons from bad guys, Rachel and Chase learn the most important lesson of their lives.

BANISHED THREADS is third installment in the THREADS series by Kaylin McFarren. Though its a series, one can easily read all the three books as stand-alone without getting confused. BANISHED THREADS is not as lengthy as its successors and that makes it a crisp mystery novel. Author McFarren ends each book with a cliffhanger which works in favour of the genre of the series. Banished Threads was supposed to be the last installment of the series, but Author McFarren has announced a fourth book in the series titled as Twisted Threads which will release somewhere in 2016 End. She promises to answer all the questions Banished Threads has generated in the end.

RATING :

****/5

NOTE :

THIS REVIEW IS FOR AUTHOR KAYLIN MCFARREN , THOUGH THE VIEWS STATED ARE COMPLETELY MINE.

Book Review – Wanted Back – Bencher & Last – Ranker Teacher by Kavita Bhupta Ghosh

WANTED BACK-BENCHER AND LAST-RANKER TEACHER

On The Jacket :

When indiscipline at Roderick International School, Mussoorie, becomes an alarming issue for members of the Board, educators and parents alike, CEO Jacob Roderick decided to bring in an experimental teacher, Roma Mathur against the wishes of the Board of Directors to curb the growing aggression, hostility and vandalism.

Will someone like Roma Mathur, written off by her teachers as a ‘Moron’ and ‘Good for nothing’, be able to inspire learning in students who loath studying and sitting in classrooms? Will this maverick academic, who had been extremely mischievous as a student herself, be able to instill values and discipline in her students? Is there any place for someone as unconventional as Roma Mathur among the esteemed and sophisticated faculty at the prestigious International School? Has Jacob Roderick made a grave mistake in recruiting someone who plays drums, watches Tom and Jerry, beat up Goons in the pub, and rides a sports bike, over the gold medalist, experienced teachers who had applied? What was it the school needed at this desperate hour?

It is time for the students of RIS to take a call on what kind of teachers they need in their classrooms.

Review :

If I ask you what is that one thing/phase of your life you would like to re-live? There is 90% probability one will want childhood, no? and when we talk about childhood we somehow end up talking about school,teachers,subjects,competitions,art fairs,etc.. Our school is one place where we have spent a big chunk of our life-our childhood. Maybe, that’s why teachers are called our second parents. Wanted back bencher & last ranker teacher takes you on a nostalgic trip to past,to your school. As and when a new teacher is introduced your mind starts recollecting which teacher from your school is like this character. There always is one teacher we adored, another that keeps terrifying us throughout our school life, then there’s a teacher who never smiles or the one who sleeps through the classes, one who is so strict that we maintain distance. Our teachers are as important as our parents during the early years.

Roma Mathur joins as a temporary substitute for one of the teachers at Roderick International School . She is not a typical teacher material,but that’s not what her problem is. The problem is managing the brats of the classes she is allotted with. Within a week Roma understands she has to treat the tenth graders differently and thus starts her learnings to understand teenage psychology . Every time she has a hard time understanding things, she goes back to her childhood and think from a child’s perspective and yes, there’s always Uttara – counsellor to help her out. The moment she thinks she is doing good with the students,something happens that puts her scratching her head again. Will roma be successful to win over her students completely? Is her approach right? Do we need teachers like Roma?

Wanted back bencher and last ranker teacher teaches us simple ways that we can change to understand children/teenagers in a better way. The book talks about scenarios inspired of real life instances happening in the lives of teenagers. Parents and teachers lose patience easily seeing teenagers behave differently day by day and that’s what this book tells us not to. This book can be a great parenting guide. At times the expert talk bores you and that is the only shortcoming from this book. Just as the cover is cute so are the graphics inside the book. You won’t regret reading this no matter you are a parent or not. It’s a fiction tale we all can learn life lessons from.

Rating :

****/5

NOTE : THIS REVIEW IS FOR LEADSTART PUBLISHING THOUGH THE VIEWS STATED ARE COMPLETELY MINE.

 

 

Book Review – Mother, where’s my country? by Anubha Bhonsle

IMG_20160205_165011_AO_HDR_1454671319634

On The Jacket :

In her powerful, poignant book—one of the best non-fiction works from India in recent years—Anubha Bhonsle examines the tangled and tragic history of Manipur, and of much of India’s North East. Through the story of Irom Sharmila—on a protest fast since 2000—and many others who have fallen victim to violence or despair or stood up to fight for peace and justice, she shows us an entire society ravaged by insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, corruption and ethnic rivalries. Drawing upon extensive interviews with personnel of the Indian army and intelligence agencies, politicians and bureaucrats, leaders of insurgent groups, Irom Sharmila and her family and ordinary people across Manipur, Anubha Bhonsle has produced a compelling and necessary book on the North East, the Indian state, identity politics and the enormous human cost of conflict.

Review :

Quick Review :

Mother, where’s my country? is not just dark but a soul hitting book.

Full Review :

After Independence,things have been anything but peaceful for the North Eastern part of India. So much, that the people of north east feel neglected by their own country. the definition of normal life in Manipur is far different from ours. People in Manipur live under threat of Armed forces special powers act(AFSPA).

Mother, where’s my country? is your guide to know about Manipur, Irom Sharmila, her protest/hunger strike against the AFSPA in detail. Anubha Bhonsle interviewed close to 200 people in last 9 years to understand the scenario prevailing in Manipur . Her repeated meetings with Irom Sharmila and because of which her staying in manipur has a great impact on this book. This book also highlights the unheard stories of brutality forced upon the common people.

Mother, where’s my country? is not for the weak hearted. As the tagline suggest ‘looking for light in the darkness of Manipur’, this book is dark,rough and edgy to the core.

Rating :

****/5

BUY YOUR COPY ON FLIPKART

NOTE : THIS REVIEW IS FOR BLOGGER REVIEW PROGRAMME.

 

 

Book Review – Sattvik Foods of India by Anupama Shukla

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

Sattvik Foods of India

ON THE JACKET

‘You are what you eat’, is a much repeated adage which is less understood and hardly ever embraced. In the pace and stress points of the modern world, the food that we eat only serves to satisfy our hunger, titillate our tastebuds and in some cases, fill a deep-seated psychological need for security or love. Most often, what we eat has very little connection with what each of us really needs to eat.

Hence, Sattvik Foods of India is a cookbook with a deeply significant difference. People are introduced to the fundamentals of wellbeing through the understanding of how each person is different in terms of elemental composition and nutritional requirements. Shattering the myth that healthy food is largely tasteless, this book presents more than 70 easy-to-follow delicious sattvik recipes from various regions of India. Those who are willing to travel down the road to wellness with this book as guide, will not only develop a clearer understanding of the subtle but undeniable connection between right food and wellbeing, but also expand their culinary repertoire. Presented in simple language, this valuable volume is both an engaging read and satisfying to the palate of the serious practitioner and curious reader alike.

REVIEW :

QUICK REVIEW:

Sattvik foods of India consists the day to day recipes that we normally eat at home. Its a perfect gift for someone who knows very little or nothing about cooking.

FULL REVIEW:

Being a Kutchi-Jain I majorly eat Sattvik food in my day to day routine and trust me Sattvik food is as delicious as any other food. Sattvik foods of India can be a good beginners guide to cook great food. The book contains almost eighty recipes starting from snacks/starters,main course, desserts as well as sherbets and chutneys. Recipes are easy to make and the instructions are easy to follow.

In the beginning of the book the author gives us a brief about food, the ayurvedic perspective on food,types of foods etc,. This information gives one a general idea about sattvik,rajasik and tamasic diet and how each diet reacts with our body. I liked the way author has kept this part as compact as possible and not boring with too much theory. also, many recipes have mini notes sharing tidbits about history of the recipe.

Only downside about this book is,(as i mentioned earlier i am a Kutchi Jain) I not just know but have prepared myself 70-80% of the recipes mentioned in the book before. I was expecting to add more recipes from this book to my knowledge, which I couldn’t. While reading I realise this book is for beginners and not people like me who have been cooking for more than 15yrs. If you have no idea about sattvik food then this can be your guide. Also if you happen to be someone who has never made a cup of tea in your entire life-this book is for you. Yes, this book contains a recipe to make tea too.

RATING:

***/5

NOTE : 

THIS REVIEW IS FOR LEADSTART PUBLISHING , THOUGH THE VIEWS STATED ARE COMPLETELY MINE. 

Book Review – River Of Flesh And Other Stories Edited By Ruchira Gupta.

IMG_20160205_165100_AO_HDR_1454671377323

When they said that women prostitute themselves, did they mean that these women have sex with themselves? Why do they negate the role of men? Perhaps the problem is that they do not want to address the issues of male power and privilege. So, as long as men hold on to power and entitlement, my friends are happy to let women settle for ‘Agency’ within deeply exploitative systems.

ON THE JACKET :

River of Flesh and Other Stories brings together twenty-one stories about trafficked and prostituted women by some of India’s most celebrated writers—Amrita Pritam, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Indira Goswami, Ismat Chughtai, J. P. Das, Kamala Das, Kamleshwar, Krishan Chander, Munshi Premchand, Nabendu Ghosh, Qurratulain Hyder, Saadat Hasan Manto and Siddique Alam, among others.

Jugnu, in Kamleshwar’s ‘River of Flesh’ (‘Maas ka Darya’)—stares at a lifetime of servitude as age and disease take hold; Ismat Chughtai creates the unforgettable character of Lajo in ‘The Housewife’, a carefree young woman who must conform to society’s idea of decency, or risk being branded a whore; in ‘Heeng-Kochuri’, by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, a boy growing up near a red-light area discovers the adult world of patrons, connoisseurs and customers—as well as savouries offered to young boys as bribe; and in Manisha Kulshrestha’s ‘Kalindi’, a son looks in through a window and his life falls to pieces around him.

An unprecedented anthology—for its subject, as well as for the range of authors and translators who are part of it—River of Flesh and Other Stories offers a harsh indictment of this practice of human slavery, too often justified—and occasionally glorified—as the ‘world’s oldest profession’.

REVIEW :

QUICK REVIEW :

An interesting collection of 21 short stories revolving around Prostitution as its main plot, fantastically written/translated by eminent writers. It’s definitely a collection copy.

FULL REVIEW:

When I got an opportunity to read this book, I grabbed it with both my hands and legs because

  1. It’s an Anthology and
  2. The Writers list.

Ideally speaking one should be compelled to buy this book after reading names like Saadat Hasan Manto, Premchand, Nabendu Ghosh, Ismat Chughtai (to name a few) attached with it. Book contains 21 stories written in 12 different languages which have been translated to English by yet another panel of distinguished translators.

All the stories revolve around prostitution, the inequalities the prostituted women experience. But not all stories leave you sad, some give you hope while some teach you life lessons. each story depicts sacrifices done by the prostituted and sometimes also by the people who love them, but more than anything else these stories show us how women have been used, not just physically but also emotionally, not just by men, but also by women.  One thing is common among all these shorts, they touch you in a way which is difficult to pen down. I don’t think I would be able choose any one in particular and call it my favourite or most liked one from the lot. Each story plays a perfect part to provide this euphoric experience while reading this book, something one should be thanking to the editor for-for compiling such an impressive Anthology.

RATING :

*****/5

BUY YOUR COPY ON FLIPKART

NOTE : THIS REVIEW IS FOR BLOGGER REVIEW PROGRAMME.

 

 

Book Review- Stolen Hope (Ramayana: The Game of Life #3)

 

IMG_20160118_204453_1453130455431

ON THE JACKET :

In the evil labyrinths of Dandakaranya forest, human values are put to test. Rama’s righteousness, Lakshmana’s loyalty and Sita’s endurance reflect our own sense of values and judgment in difficult times. The story unfolds the facets of human life – the conflict and the trickery, the praise and the slander and, above all, the hope and the despair in the eventful forest life of the Exiled Royals.

Stolen Hope is about extreme deception and extreme love. It is about arrogant power and deep devotion. With every twist and turn, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana find themselves robbed of whatever and whoever they value most.

Exploring the dynamics of human relations – between father and son, husband and wife, teacher and disciple – and the complex game of power and greed, Stolen Hope mirrors our own dilemmas in the modern world and teaches us how we must overcome them.

Seek courage when everything, including hope, is stolen.

Review :

Quick Review :

Stolen Hope by Shubha vilas will mesmerize you with the stories from Ramayana.

Full Review :

I had read shattered Dreams-the second book from the series and had a different experience. when the author approached me for book three I didn’t had much expectations but reading stolen hope has been a good (better) experience altogether. There are tiny tales all over the book which keep you busy throughout.

Book three starts with Rama, Sita and Lakshmana moving to Dandakaranya jungle from Chitrakoot. They meet many sages there and kill many Rakshashas too.

while at the ashrams the trio gain knowledge from sages by listening to great tales of Sage Agastya. Having heard so many fascinating stories about sage Agastya the trio decide to visit the Agastya’s ashram. sage Agastya showers his blessings and gifts three valuable martial presents to Rama. Rama,Lakshmana and Sita meet Jatayu at Panchavati.

one day Surpanakha- sister of Ravana sees Rama and loses her heart that very instance. on knowing about Sita she tries to kill her but is stopped by Lakshmana who in turn chops off surpanakha’s ears and nose. This incident makes uproars in the forest and fourteen thousand rakshasas head to fight a war Rama. on the other side, surpanakha tells Ravana about Sita, and germinates the idea that the most beautiful woman belongs to the most powerful king-Ravana. will Ram succeed to fight fourteen thousand rakshasas? Is sita safe ?

Rating :

****/5

Read my review of SHATTERED DREAMS

NOTE : AUTHOR SUBHA VILAS SENT ME A COPY OF STOLEN HOPE IN EXCHANGE OF A HONEST REVIEW.

 

#BOOKREVIEW KISSING FROGS FOR A WHILE BY PAVAN TARAWADE

IMG_20160121_001938_AO_HDR[1].jpg

On the jacket :

Being an only child to urban Indian parents, Ayesha is being forced into getting married early. In her late twenties and nursing a heartbreak, Ayesha succumbs to the pressures put on her by her folks. 

But will she be able to overcome the bitterness that love has left behind? Will she be able to forgive and forget Piyush and move forward? How many Mr. Wrongs would she have to meet to find Mr. Right, and would she even find him? 

A story that reveals a roller-coaster of emotions and the different men Ayesha meets to find true love! Does she finally settle for marriage without love? 

How many frogs would she have to kiss to find her prince? Did these so-called princes even exist? Part of a generation that’s caught between love and arranged marriages, will Ayesha come out a winner?
About the Author :
A Travel Enthusiast And A Writer, Pavan Tarawade Started To Scribble Down His Thoughts As Early As Back In School. Poetry, Humanitarian Fiction And Technical Writing Are Some Of The Genres He Has Touched Upon, But Short-Story Writing Remains His Favourite. Inspired By The Likes Of Earnest Hemmingway And Ruskin Bond, He Loves Participating In Short Story Competitions On Varied Topics.

Fiction Is The Genre Pavan Has Chosen. Fiction Because He Believes The Very Essence Of An Art Lies In Creation. “What’S The Point Of Being A Writer, If We Do Not Create?” He Says.

He Enjoys Photography As A Pastime And Is A Connoisseur Of Coffee. Coffee And Pavan Go A Long Way Back. He Doesn’T Know Where And When He Fell In Love With Coffee, But Yes, According To Him, There Isn’T A Better Remedy To Writer’S Block Than A Custom Made Mug Of Caffeine.

Pavan Is A Regular Blogger (Pavantarawade.Com) And You Can Browse Through The Menu Of His Work And Pick The Category That Suits Your Thought Buds.

Quick Review :
kissing frogs for a while is short and sweet story to be read while sipping your evening tea/coffee.
Full Review :
Kissing frogs for a while is Ayesha’s story of struggle to find her soulmate. Ayesha is 28 and single. Even though her parents are urban yet they feel, its high time Ayesha settles down. Ayesha who is nursing a broken heart finds it difficult to move on. After a lot of cajoling Ayesha readies to search her soulmate through matrimony websites. She meets few guys through the matrimony sites but things don’t work up. How many frogs does she needs to kiss before finding the one? Does she finally find her soulmate?
kissing frogs for a while is short and sweet but does not create a wow feeling. The story is simple and thus one can predict the mid section and climax of the story while reading the first few chapters.
Rating :
**.5 
BUY YOUR COPY OF KISSING FROGS FOR A WHILE FROM FLIPKART
THIS REVIEW IS FOR FLIPKART BLOGGER REVIEW PROGRAME.

Tales of 2015

Dear 2015,

I’ll always be indebted to you. Thankyou for happening to me. So many things changed in 2015,so many fond memories. I learnt so many things about myself and in general too.

In 2015 I took my first all solo trip to jaipur. A trip truly about Firsts.

image
Hawa mahal jaipur

In 2014 I read only 20 books. In 2015 the number increased to 42.5(though I wanted to read 50).

image

2015 has been good when it comes to Reviews and books discussions.

image

2015 has been good for family trips too. Visited mahabaleshwar with parents and Vishakapatnam with cousins.

image
Vizag beach
image
Mahabaleshwar

2015 has been more about knowing myself a Lil better.

The icing on the cake being the scriptwriting classes. I wanted to take up this course for 2-3yrs now, but things never worked out. But finally in 2015 it happened.

image

I wrote my first script treatment in 2015.

image

I also started as an translator by translating dialogues from English to Hindi for a upcoming short.

All in all one wonderful year.

In 2016 I’ll definitely want to go ahead and finish things I have started. I want to raise the bar and challenge myself to do things I have never expected. I also want to read more books (may be 100) and review all of them.

More than anything else, I want to write in 2016. I want to start writing my next script and a novel (fingers crossed).
I want to work, I want to earn money starting 2016.

Cheers to 2016.

I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with blogadda

Busy Me!

Last few weeks I have been very busy with festivals, my Scriptwriting classes, writing my first script, working on some other stories, and what not.  Phew!!

My blog suffered because of that. May be I knew this, that’s why I stopped taking up book review requests two months back. (once a planner, always a planner). 

Even December seems busy. The holiday season is here and so is wedding season . I am hoping to post a few blog post(if I find time in between my travel) that I have in my mind, also I want make few changes on the blog.

I really really hope I get time to read.

*Fingers crossed *

#IAm16ICanRape by Kirtida Gautam

image

On the jacket :

To destroy great EVIL, GOOD has to shed tears of blood.

Rudransh Kashyap is a self-made billionaire and man of high moral fiber. His life is shattered when he returns home one day to find that his prodigy, his 16-year-old grandson, Aarush, has been arrested and accused of a brutal gang rape. It is easy to say, “Kill the Rapist” but what if the accused is your child?

This case takes an unprecedented turn when Aarush’s identity is made public on social media. Rudransh finds himself living a nightmare as he fights against tremendous odds to get justice for Aarush, to save him and to bring him back home… But what if the unthinkable is true? Can Rudransh save his grandson, or will he end up fighting a different battle altogether?

Review :

Quick Review :

#IAm16ICanRape deals with sensitive at the same time explosive (if I may add so) topic and yet there is not a single point where it backfires. Author Kirtida Gautam has done a commendable job.

Full Review :

Rudransh Kashyap is a self made billionaire who runs RK-JEE an IIT coaching institution. He lives with his wife and grandson Aarush. Aarush is beautiful, yes beautiful 16 years old genius. He is smart, well read, practices Krav Maga and Taekwondo, helps poor and underprivileged, in short a good boy. His parents live in USA. On his 16th birthday his grandfather gifts him a Jaguar, all in all he is living a pretty happy life. Until, the day he is accused of a heinous crime – Gang Rape and thrown into a Rehabilitation centre.

Rudransh kashyap, his grandfather leaves no stone unturned in proving his innocence. But, one day Rudransh learns something about the Rape case that leaves him broken. Thereafter, Rudransh kashyap is a man on a mission. Mission to change the juvenile justice system.

Normally, while reading a book I get a brief idea of how my review will shape up. But this book left me blank and to a extent sad. I had to take couple of days to digest the whole thing and not let my emotions over power this review, but I failed. #IAm16ICanRape stays with you for days. Author Kirtida Gautam has dedicated this book to Nirbhaya. This book left me with same emotions I had during December 2012.

Rating :

****/5

P.S.

At first look you might feel the book is too lengthy, but once you start reading, you will realise the reason behind its length and will appreciate it.

P. S. S

I like the way author has titled the chapters and instead of starting with first chapter, she started with chapter nine.

image

Buy your copy here