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Sunday 16 March 2014

Book Review: Stuck in the Yuck of depression, anxiety...

About the book:
Trauma can happen to anyone. Do any of the following sound true about you? You find yourself feeling depressed. You feel hopeless, helpless and despairing. Your dreams and goals are unfulfilled. You are stuck in chaotic patterns leading you nowhere. Your life seems meaningless. If any or all of these statements apply to you, then a culprit could be unresolved trauma. Stuck in the Yuck helps you to identify your trauma. Then you can properly heal it and move forward into a happy life which you so richly deserve. Imagine a life filled with joy, laughter, fun and excitement. It could be yours if you merely heal your trauma.

SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / General
Aug 22, 2013
                         Price: $14.95 (paperback)
                                    $8.00 (e-book)
About the authors:
Barbara Swicegood and Janice Turber are specially trained psychotherapists who work with traumatized individuals and families. They utilize their specialized techniques found in their book to assist people all over the world. Barbara and Janice are internationally known speakers, working in the Atlanta area, who have trained other professionals.

Book Trailer:

My review:

Traumatic experiences set into motion a wide spectrum of reactions, ranging from escapism, to substance abuse to concocted fallacious beliefs.
The book throws light on all aspects of trauma, depression and hopelessness and seeks to renew the vigor of life and hope for a better life.
The contents of the book are well-researched, the sole credit goes to the writers who are experts in the field.
The book states the facts in a lucid manner.
It is not something that will have universal appeal, for it deals with the different human emotions interspersed with examples or cases.
It delves deeper into the causes and the physiognomy of trauma, and helps people in depression or anxiety know that they are not alone, and that they can combat these crippling emotions.

It really, really is a book of hope.

Getting to the specifics, it begins with an exercise to define trauma, next it advances towards the cause and consequences of childhood trauma, the perturbation of being stuck, getting prejudiced by judgement, it explores the reasons behind this dormancy, and goes on with a comprehensive exhaustive chapter on
"Resources and information which assist in self-awareness".
This, I would say is the best part.

Also, it is not a preachy or eloquent amalgamation of words.
Rather it is complete in that it states also the techniques to help you heal, the aftermath etc.

My Judgement:
If you or your lived one is going through a difficult experience, give it a read.

Friday 14 March 2014

Book Review: The Student Manual By Nicholas Goodall

About the book:

In the words of the author (as stated on the author website)
This is a collection of the principles and ideas I wish were taught in education, from personal philosophy and responsibility to goal setting and building rapport – all encased in four diverse topics of health, relationships, wealth and skills.Yes – it’s a book, but not one of those massive textbooks with dreaded, endless walls of text. The content is broken up and easy to read with section summaries if you like to skim or want a quick reminder.
It also contains over 25 sections in a mere 80 pages – short so it won’t steal your time. However, I wanted to get as much across as possible with no fluff, so it’s quite dense.
Like you, I’m a student, so there are absolutely no adults or teachers (promise).
Exams and tests come and go, but the things which really matter – your dreams, your ambitions, your life – are with you forever. It sounds daunting, but you’ll regret it if you ignore them.
About the author:
Nick Goodall – a Student of Life, self-development addict and fortunate enough to have the opportunity to share with you some findings, insights and principles from his journey of success (so far).
He’s ignorant in thinking that anything is possible (according to the laws of nature), but always keeps an empty glass.
Among the things he enjoys are writing, reading and walking, as well as the general process of ‘creating’ things (entrepreneur style). The Student Manual is one of those creations, and it’s only the beginning.
My Review:
The student manual: a guide to success, by its very name, appears to be some resource book. The surprising part is that despite its simple language, arrangement of themes under heads and sub-heads, it does not seem textbookish at all. It is like being told the same things has a different impact when heard from the author. Having cleanly arranged the issues in the broad categories of Health, Relationships, Wealth and Skills, the author makes it very interesting and readable for the reader. How a healthy diet can help address the core of the problem of concentration(or the lack of it), lethargy and tardiness, is just one example of the wisdom contained in 80 pages.
It ends on an optimistic note that success is possible. But we need to own it.

The best part is that it is written in a lucid language which makes it an easy read, without sounding like preaching. Instead, Goodall presents simple facts in such a manner that it becomes impossible to resist
reading through each of the 80 pages. And 80 pages is not that big a deal, so it is very easy to shelve a few hours from your busy student life and contemplate upon making it more productive than before.

My Judgement:

If you are a student, and you think you are too busy to read books other than those recommended in your texts, go read this one NOW.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Book review: Supertraits of Superstars

About the book:

Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Karan Johar. Each of these celebrities are adored and looked up to by millions who aspire to emulate their success stories. But what is it that separates them, and other Bollywood stars, from the rest? Which is that one defining trait that makes them stand out, and how can you benefit from knowing it? 
In this one-of-a-kind book, Priyanka Sinha Jha looks at eleven luminaries from Bollywood, and the attribute that is perhaps most responsible for their success. She details their stories, their struggles, their efforts to overcome setbacks, and what it is about them that made them not just reach the top of their game, but stay there. Be it Amitabh Bachchan’s discipline, Aamir Khan’s perfectionist nature, Salman Khan’s generosity, John Abraham’s enterprise Supertraits of Superstars will show you how to live life star-size.
or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s grace—each star has one unique quality that others can imbibe to reach greater heights in their own lives. With pithy observations and inspirational conversations,

 About the Author:
Priyanka Sinha Jha is a journalist who in her eighteen-year-long career, has written on celebrities, films, lifestyle, business and more. She has been a correspondent for publications as varied as Citadel, The Asian Age and Intelligent Investor. At the age of twenty-six, she became the editor of Society, India's first celebrity magazine, followed by a stint as editor of HT Style and HT Saturday. Currently, she is the editor of Screen, India's foremost film and entertainment weekly. She has also contributed toOutlook, The Week and Tehelka, and has a regular column in The Indian Express: Play. Between analysing celebrities and earning her daily bread, she likes to travel to unknown destinations, watch films and argue endlessly on egalitarian issues with friends and family.

My Review:
For the majority of prospective readers who would not risk buying this book because of its unconventional theme, Here's what I have to say: who knew self-help could get this interesting?
For those who always view bollywood stars with skepticism and antagonism, this is what the book says: check your facts, these stars are people who carved a niche for themselves and worked hard to reach the zenith of success, overcoming their Achilles heels, or reinventing themselves.
And to the generic category of bibliophiles out there: this is what the book has in store for you. Stories of 11 film stars who fought the odds, and turned the tide in their favour with detemination and grit.
The idea of the author is very novel. The extent to which the author has been successful in delivering what she intended to is worthy of appreciation.
Now the writer is leaving you with moral stuff about your favourite stars, but without being didactic, the singular quality which is found lacking when it comes to  writing inspirational boks. So tis book teaches you just one important lesson: If they can, so can you!
The book is also replete with a plethora of inspiring quotes which makes for an interesting read.
As for the comprehensiveness, there is something still amiss. While the book does not leave a reader unsatisfied, but at the same time, the reader is left yearning for more.
Looking forward to sequels to this book, which might include other stars who missed a mention in this one.

Best Line: 
The person who speaks words that bear no malice will always be liked, but the person who is discerning with truth is revered.

My judgement:

When they say, it is a one-of-its-kind book, they are being honest, so go grab your copy NOW!

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Where do I get free ebooks???

As a regular book blogger, and a bibliophile, I have often been asked by people: Where can I find ebooks for free?
Not everyone can spend a fortune on buying every other books, and students can even legally download the .pdf versions of certain books in their curriculum.
Here's a list of websites where you can get books for free!

1) Project Gutenberg
If you are looking for classics to read, then this is the place to go. Project Gutenberg offers over 42,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.
They are also diversifying into audio books.

If you can manage the hassles of downloading across extensions that dont work immediately but require further treatment, go ahead for this one.

With genres ranging from non-fiction to programming to management to fantasy novels, it has a database of a huge variety.


 Browse through the most popular titles, recommendations, or recent reviews from our visitors. Perhaps you'll find something interesting in the special collections. There are more than 29,000 eBooks available for Kindle, Nook, iPad and most other eReaders, and they're all free! If you still can't decide what to read you might want to browse through some covers to see what strikes your fancy

 With the tagline 'All the ebooks you need', do check out their list '183 ebooks you must read before you die'.

6) You can also search for books at or

Not every book is available, but some lesser known books, which you not find anywhere else on the internet might be buried here. Across numerous genres, we have free e-books and for an upgraded account you can also access audiobooks.


Tuesday 4 March 2014

Author Interview and spotlight: Harsh Agarwal

He is one of those rare multi-faceted personalities you get to know in a lifetime.
Harsh Agarwal, who has just embarked his twenties, believes that life is all about experimenting and exploring. An artist by soul, an entrepreneur by profession and an engineer by education, Harsh has played a diverse range of roles in a very short span of time. A true foodie and a huge travel enthusiast, Harsh loves to meet new people and try new things. At present, he is residing in the beautiful state of Assam to complete his graduation in National Institute of Technology, Silchar
Harsh Aggarwal is the author of three books. His latest, Nazaqat was reviewed by us here.

1)     How do you feel on getting published?
Well it’s my third time but trust me, it feels equally good! I was equally ecstatic when I held the book in my hands for the first time. As clich├ęd as it maybe, but there is no better way to put it – that is it felt like you are holding your baby for the first time.
2)     What was writing like? Lonely? What was it like to get under the skin of the characters, especially since you have etched certain intricate characters?
Writing the book is definitely lonely. Especially when you are writing a full length book, you need to avoid all sorts of temptations and keep on writing it. Usually authors take break of months and write it in a very intermittent manner. I personally don’t believe in taking such long breaks while writing which makes the entire procedure tedious and of course, lonely. Getting into the skin of characters – it can give you Goosebumps at times. While you are diving into the depths of character, knowing their darkest secrets, knowing them better than themselves…you get a point where you can feel them alive. And that is the point from where they go with their own flow. You no more direct them. Rather, you become one with them. It’s just amazing…beyond description perhaps.
3)     Why did you choose to write the story of a prostitute, some calculated risk?
I never chose the concept. It chose me. That’s what I believe when it comes to concepts and ideas. We don’t control them. They just happen at random times at random places and this is indeed the sheer beauty of ideas.
Didn’t really think about risk. I just thought it was a brilliant idea and I won’t die in peace if I had abandon it!
4)     What is your life like, apart from writing? Who/what inspires you to write.
Apart from writing, I have this small firm of mine named The Asylum which consumes most of my time. And I am still completing my graduation in NIT Silchar, Assam. In my leisurely hours, I like to travel, interact, socialize, read, observe and think. You can visit my website to know more about me.
I get inspired by small little things in life. A moment of happiness or gloom, a little playing kid on the street or maybe an old woman sitting on a desolated bench in the park. Just anything!

5)     So, who is the writer, Sasha, Mathews, or Harsh?
All of them actually. Mathews wrote it initially. I guess Harsh found it somewhere and then maybe, Sasha stole it!

6)     Any message to your readers?
Just keep reading! It definitely rinses your soul. Be open-minded and keep on trying new things. Life is all about experimenting and exploring!
Information source: personal author interview and author website

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

Kritika Narula's favorite books »


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