Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Book Review: English Bites by Manish Gupta

About the book:


English Bites! My Fullproof English Learning Formula is the story of a man who goes from being tongue-tied in school to becoming a smooth talking banker. Through a series of hilarious personal adventures and misadventures, Manish Gupta provides easy solutions to problems faced by language learners. So, whether you're a vernacular speaker, a GRE/ GMAT/CAT/XAT aspirant or just a language nut, English Bites! will expand your vocabulary and improve your verbal ability. It may even help you love the English language a little more!

• Add over 1000 new words to your vocabulary and figure out easy and effective ways to expand your word bank.
• Combine etymology, mnemonics, jokes and anecdotes to better your understanding of the English language.
• Differentiate between similar sounding words and learn to use them right.
• Improve your general knowledge with trivia that spans brand names, automobiles, fine dining, love, money, banks, science and B-school jargon.



About the author:

Manish Gupta is a banking professional. When not crunching numbers he is busy engaging with and examining the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of the English language. He also likes trivia, travelling, adventure sports, delving into human psychology, and giving professorial discourses to colleagues, family and friends, and practically anyone who can give him a patient hearing. An engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, he lives in Mumbai with his wife Deepali, a medical professional, and daughters Tamanna and Prakriti.

 My Review:


When the book claims to make the reader love the English language a little more, it is certainly proclaiming an incontrovertible truth.
The book is just as interesting as it's title suggests. It is profusely brimming with trivia, vocabulary words, mnemonics, anecdotes, all of which are designed to make the reader fall in love with English.

The authors brings all the nuances, idiosyncrasies and vagaries of the English language to the fore. And he brings them to such a vantage that commands an impeccable view of the struggle one might have in his attempt to get a command over this highly coveted language.


So, this is basically what the book is about: the author's journey from a time when he used to envy convent educated boys for their fluency, to a time when he himself is a proficient orator of the English language. Tracing his journey from a time when he felt handicapped while conversing in English, he narrates his thrills and travails with so much vigor.
what is even more mesmerizing is that the book also throws light on the other aspects of a student's life, for instance, the escapades called interviews. This is what makes it an ideal companion for every student!
The best part has to be the etymology of words: learning about the derivation and hoistory of words has never been more fun, followed by mnemonics which are devised by the narrator as a part of his english-learning strategy!

The icing on the already delicious cake is the revelations to the confounding secrets and idiosyncrasies of the language. As if that could not satiate our appetite enough, the book treats us with a smorgasbord of phrases and witty remarks that come in handy in various social gatherings and other such life-and-death situations. And in an interestingly amusing way, not just listing them out but embellishing them with bone-tickling anecdotes.
The author certainly has read the minds of the reader, by virtue of having been at this position once himself and he enumerates words which leave us nonplussed in conversations, and explains trivia which usually may leave us flummoxed.
No exaggeration intended, he has crafted a masterpiece, a gem for all students of English language out there.
The detriment, if any suffered by the book, is that it might get exhausting to go through exhaustive trivia all at once, especially for someone who is not a very avid reader or voracious language nut. Also, it can become a challenging task for one to read through extensive factual information about other disciplines than her, but then the narrator has something for everyone!
No doubt, this is indeed, a chef d'oeuvre in the language world which surprisingly comes from an Indian author.
Having read the book thoroughly once, the reader is apprised of the treasure and life-savior that it is. In a market monopolized by Wren and Martin Workbooks which make it look even more academic and uninteresting to learn English, This book is surely to make a mark, following in the steps of the success of Word Power made easy. What concocts to make this book extremely readable and a must-have for anyone who is even an iota bit concerned with good communication skills, is the general knowledge and vocabulary that it contains, and the effortlessness with which these have been included.

Judgement:

The book not only furnishes vocabulary or communication skills or verbal ability or command over the language, it also helps hone one's personality, sometimes by the depiction of a real incident and at others, through hilarious anecdotes.

Best lines:

The carefree abandon of youth, dreams of numerous romantic conquests, and brilliant ideas to become millionaires overnight did not, sadly, leave any time to pursue knowledge enhancement, especially if it meant expansion beyond the boundaries of curriculum and job description.
  
I thank the author for providing me with a copy for review! 

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