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Saturday 21 June 2014

Book Review: The Devil's Gate by Deepak Kripal

About the book:

SIDELINED BY MAN, ANIMALS TURNED TO DEMONS. Plundered by humans of their habitats, animals take a drastic step when they decide to send a team of a cat named as Katy and a dog named as Dug, to an invisible island known, as the Island of 'Five Hundred Graves'. The island becomes visible only for a short time on the night of the full moon. Legend has it that the island is inhabited by the demons. Katy and Dug are supposed to negotiate a deal with the demons, convincing them to allow the animals inhabit the island. Majority of the animal community believe that tinkering with the other world could bring their wrath to the animals. The team is sent to the island nevertheless. But can a deal with the dead be materialized? Are there really demons on the island? Is there any conspiracy involved? Will Katy and Dug be able to negotiate, or will survival remain their only question in the deadly island?

About the Author:

Deepak Kripal, 29 years, was born in the God country, Uttarakhand. He is a doctor by profession and a writer by passion. He completed his MBBS and internship from Kanpur in 2009 and currently lives in New Delhi. He believes in dreams and tries to live one day at a time. A known name in the blogosphere, he loves to blog, and to interact with people with varied interests

Book Trailer:

My Review:

Supreme imagination just transcended all limits. The whole idea of fiction just acquired a whole new dimension. This is helluva unique piece of fiction, and considering the story and plot, it is so refreshingly different from most of the contemporary novels. 
The unraveling mystery, the tricky plot, the unpredictable story line, these are just a part of the treat that the novel is. Faintly reminiscent of Orwell's Animal Farm, this story is sure to exceed your expectations and beyond. 
One, it keeps you hooked till the end, and even in the end it keeps you on tenterhooks. 
the story traces the journey of a cat and a dog, who overcome their initial hostility towards each other, and are later joined by an owl, and then a couple other creatures. The theme has an eerie feel to it, and the descriptions have the precision of classics. The book is not just peppered with witty dialogues and monologues but rather these are the stuff the novel is made of. Katy's initial hostility is so real and well-crafted and manifests in her interactions, that is something that makes you begin the novel, its continued presence in the plot makes it interesting and then it keeps you engrossed.
This is perhaps the best way to give the message, and the author has done a commendable job of bringing some insightful discussions to the table, in a way that is simultaneously thought-provoking and humorous.
Depending upon how long you savour each detail, it finishes in reasonable time, all the more reason to read it by seizing a few moments from your busy day. 
The book is replete with instances of brave exhibition of leadership qualities, or team work for the larger cause. 
Then, if you are a fiction lover, it has everything you might crave for. If you are a fan of reality, it shows reality too, in a way that it gets imprinted in your mind as you read, in the most satirical way possible.
I believe that the expressions used, and the meticulous descriptions made, add to the beauty of it all, and it is so balanced that the author carefully keeps a hold on both the story as well as the expression, never once going overboard with either. Although the climax seems a bit forced, it manages to convince you somehow.

Overall, it reeks of intelligent and clear plot, and emanates humour in the most hilarious and endearing manner. 

Best Lines: 

Death isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. It is hopelessness

Dying for the world is better than dying with the world.

You have to lose an emotion to gain a perspective.

My Judgement:

If you get skeptical about the theme of the book, or are suspicious of the writing because of the debut or for that matter, the calm dull cover, or maybe the seemingly kiddish perspective, please don't : mark my words, go ahead and buy it, there's no way you are gonna regret this! This is much more sensible a novel than many of those we have out there.

Find the book here:

Friday 20 June 2014

Book Review: Singlehood by Wilson Awasu

About the book:

Being Single Can Feel Frustrating... Try a Change of Perspective! There can be many complex emotions tied up in the idea of being single. Societal pressures, self-esteem, loneliness, a sense of where you fit in the can seem overwhelming or even depressing. Singlehood is a refreshing look at what it means to be single. Follow Lisa as she learns valuable lessons about herself, and challenges long-held misconceptions that hold many people back. Do you look for a potential partner with a laundry list of must-haves, ignoring your own dysfunctions? Are you more focused on what someone can give to you, rather than on what you will bring to a partnership? Are you locked into the idea that people who don't have children aren't fulfilling their calling in life? And do you believe that as a single person, you aren't who you are supposed to be. Properly benefiting from singlehood can be the most powerful tool in transitioning to a successful marriage. Let Singlehood open your eyes to a new way of thinking, and learn along with Lisa how to enjoy being single, and how to learn the skills that will let you take charge of the experience of singlehood, turning it into a time for growth and blossoming, rather than bitterness and frustration.

About the Author:

Wilson Awasu (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) has been given the opportunity to observe people’s relational patterns during decades of teaching and interacting with college students, missionaries, and hundreds of people both within and outside the church. This book shares his tremendous insights, taken from experience with eligible singles, never-married singles, married couples both with and without children, widows, widowers, and divorcĂ©es. Dr. Awasu is the author of Kim’s Confessions, Kathy’s Good News, and Family Likeness. He and his wife Anna live in Lakeville, Minnesota.

My Review:

The theme of the book is naturally intriguing in a society which views the matters of marriage and single-hood very seriously and where marital status is both a measure of happiness and sorrow. Well, to begin with, the book does touch up on subjects of everyone's concerns: simple things like how we have an irrational tendency to grow our self-esteem based upon how we perform at relationships, or how we tend to overrate the act of being in a relationship. everything leads to one fact: the frustration that we feel on being single is unnatural, it is something the societal constructs force us to feel.

So, we first need to fall in love with ourselves, before being able to commit the time and energy that any relationship requires.
The book reads in the form of a workshop and seeks to address all queries.
Now, although the theme is universal, the approach is not. It is a christian book, which means that the way it chooses might not appeal to everyone. But then, the universality of the theme makes it possible for any reader to relate to it. It even talks about forgiveness and healing, things which play a major role in determining relationship success, but many people know not of.

 My Judgement:

 If you are game for a Christian self-help, get reading!

Find the book:


Wednesday 18 June 2014

Book Review: Love, that shit! by Chandru Bhojwani

About the book:

Like a rollercoaster, relationships have their nauseating ups, downs, twists and turns... Sure, like a rollercoaster, relationships are also fun and exciting but what happens when the ride isn’t as smooth as you thought it would be? What do you do when you want to get off the ride but disengaging the safety harness is a lot harder than you thought? Or simply, what if you’re finding it difficult to get on a ride in the first place, especially when there isn’t a height restriction? 

...Unfortunately, relationships don’t come with perforated edges and Love, That Shit! (LTS) hopes to help you through the process of getting into, dealing with and even the aftermath of relationships. What sets LTS apart is its contemporary approach, aimed at enlightening while simultaneously, entertaining. 

Challenging norms and common thinking at times, LTS hopes to keep you chuckling, or at least smiling, as you embark on the journey and absorb its message.

Book Cover:

About the Author:

Born in Africa, Chandru was raised between Nigeria, India and England where he obtained a MA in International Business and Management. After working in New York for three years, Chandru moved back to Nigeria in 2002 and joined the family business. During that time he was offered a full-time columnist position at the South Asian publication, Beyond Sindh. He went on to publish his first book, The Journey of Om in 2010 and is set to release a new book in 2013/14.

In 2013, Chandru played Dr. Vikram Randhawa in the Brit-Asian feature film, Born to be King and a sinister boss in the short, Inescapable. An avid fan of movies, cricket and basketball, Chandru now resides in London, UK with his wife and son.

My Review:

The first thing that deserves a thumbs-up is the quirky and zany title of the book. It lends it a sense of humor, wisdom and an offbeat characteristic which is ominous of the book to follow.
It gives you a delightful treat of teachings like,  'One must kiss many frogs before finding the prince/princess.' and to see that it justifies all the things said and discussed. The book, as you may have surmised, talks at length about relationships and love and soulmates and partners and families and marriage and kinds of marriages and mother-in-laws and father-in-laws and all such stuff that our lives are made of. Those who are married can seek solace in the fact that they are not alone, and those who are yet to initiate the escapade shall find some really precious pearls of wisdom.
The language is also easy to understand, embellished by the beads of sarcasm and hilarity every once in a while.
The book also kept me on toes with the smell of misogynist-ism in one chapter followed by sheer feminism in another. This means balance, and that is another trademark of the book.
Plus it also has witty humor, which applies universally, consider this: "Who is this 'they' we constantly refer to in everyday life? "They say its the thought that counts" .... Is it an individual or a collective? How did he/she/they come by such knowledge, wisdom and insight? Do they have qualifications or do they just jabber on while high on ganja and we, like sheep, follow their every word as gospel?"

At times, the book has a serious overtone, when explaining the perils of love and arranged marriages respectively. It brings to the fore the apprehensions people, as a part of the society face.
On the whole, the book is a light read and treats you well as a travel companion.
Also, look out for the various varieties of in-laws, its the cherry on the cake.

Best Lines: 

Bottom line, when shit happens.....flush it.

My Judgement:

The best way to read this book is one chapter a day, so as to keep yourself entertained for 23 days as well as for the better reason of not making it sound like another of those marriage guides, love tips or plain self-help.

Buy Here:


Monday 16 June 2014

Bookish Apps

Well, none of us is untouched by technology. And we, as bibliophiles, read voraciously, e-books abound, we read through reviews online on blogs and websites. So, there is no gainsaying that we have become dependent on it too.
If websites start dominating our bookish lives, app developers couldn't be far behind. Who wouldn't want to have access to a repository of books, reviews, barter and other such bookish services.
Here is a list of apps we recommend:

1. The Must-Have App :: Goodreads : Well, goes without saying, a bibliophile is incomplete without updating her reading statuses on goodreads, then writing a review and rating when we are done, and then browsing through other people's reviews to find consolation that we are not alone, and seeing it through other people's perspectives.

2. For the audio-book Junkie :: Smart AudioBook Player: If you don't mind shelving out a few bucks for complete pleasure, it is heaven on earth. designed specially for playing audio books, this app is the best audio book app we have out there.

3. Lending was never this easy :: : This app helps you to connect with books, the ones you need, and their owners, and then it lets you chat with them to exchange the books at preferably a coffee shop. Now that revives the romantic idea of reading and coffee!
More about it here

What are you waiting for? Get these apps NOW! connecting books with their readers

So, you are broke, but you cannot resist buying the bestseller everyone is talking about?
That famous book is being adapted into a movie, and online stores are running out of copies?
You need that book for a project or assignment and in a bad turn of events, it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere?
Or do you have a rusty bookshelf, with tons of books you read a long time back? Why not share them with others? is the place to be.

A small tribute to Aaron Swartz and a step towards continuing his legacy!

Yes, that is the philosophy behind
Aaron Swartz was a computer programming prodigy and activist who played an instrumental role in the campaign for a free and open Internet and used technology to fight social, corporate and political injustices.
Aaron Swartz stood for what he believed was fair and just. In his fight against SOPA he helped preserve our freedom to connect and with his several other contributions he preserved our freedom to collaborate. His life and work were testimony to his love for solving society’s problems with technology. His life inspires us to have curiosity and stand by our sense of righteousness. A year back he left us all and the world was a lesser place. Especially moved by his efforts to free knowledge and would like to carry forward his legacy, the founders at kickstarted an open source and community led project to enable and encourage free exchange of knowledge.

Wanna know how it works:

How is it different?

So, well, you may ask this app has been made for booklovers, so what?
This app is literally a trailblazer. The idea is simple – to create a virtual community of book lovers who can buy/sell/barter books with other like-minded people; but the scale is large – we want a global audience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the app is just unbelievable, the dream of every bibliophile.
Remember those cartons full of books you have lying in the garage and cupboards? Imagine if you could trade every book you own for books that you’ve always wanted to read.
This app precisely lets you do that- on a global scale!

Our review

We give this app Thumbs up for its intention, simplicity and for the gap that it seeks to fill up.

Download it here:

Snapshot of the app:

Our Verdict: 

This app, just like the love for reading that it promotes, is sui generis.

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Wednesday 11 June 2014

Book Review: About Matters of the hurt By Sourabh Mukherjee

About the book:

Genre: Romance
About Matters of the Hurt: Love Stories - Round the Clock is a brisk read with lasting impact - a collection of four contemporary romantic short stories, aligned in settings and mood with the four parts of the day. The collection paints love in its various hues that make it the only emotion worth dying for. A slice of life in true sense, the book takes us on a soulful journey as we relive loves lost or found or nurtured unprofessed in the deepest recesses of our hearts.

About the Author:

Sourabh Mukherjee works in a Senior Management position in one of the world’s leading management consulting and technology services firms. Born and brought up in Kolkata, India, Mukherjee has several fictional and non-fictional publications in magazines, journals and websites –some of them date back to his early childhood. 

Mukherjee loves traveling, and is a keen observer of human behaviour and cultural diversities. He is an avid reader of fiction, and is passionate about photography, movies and music. For more information about him and his book, visit

My Review:

A collection of 4 stories, this book seems almost customized for today's reader. Do you get those times when you have an irresistible itch to read, yet you are short of time. This is the perfect book for that occasion. the first story has a poignant angle to it, and you should wait till the end to get the satisfaction of having read through it all. The author almost surprises us with the ingenious twist in the end. Another story plays with the themes of intoxication, hidden pain, and loss of a loved one. And the last one, Love Came Calling Again, is my favourite. It has a tincture of both hopelessness and hopefulness, simultaneously. And a subtle ending is a cherry on top. The first story, poignant and heart-rendering as it is, is sure to make you pause and digest what has happened. More so because it is a short story and is supposed to end abruptly, leaving you at it. The good thing is, none of the story leaves you in a cliffhanger.
But the end certainly does leave you moved and dumbstruck for a few seconds.
And when the book proclaims that these are stories round the clock, it means it, like quite literally. 
Nothing too intense, nothing too light, the balanced approach of the book gets another thumbs up fro m us. 
We look forward to more writing from the author, now that the spark has been ignited. :)

My Judgement:

 Wanna keep up with your reading, but this is just one of those days where you cannot commit to novels, yet yearn for contemporary romance? Grab a copy!

Find the book: 

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Book Review: The Secret Letters By Robin Sharma

About the book:

Genre: Self-Help
From one of the most widely read authors in the world comes a story of breathtaking power and dazzling suspense about what it means to be fully alive.

Jonathan Landry is a man in trouble. After a bizarre encounter with his lost cousin Julian Mantle—a former high-powered courtroom lawyer who suddenly vanished into the Himalayas—Jonathan is compelled to travel across the planet to collect the life-saving letters that carry the extraordinary secrets that Julian discovered.

On a remarkable journey that includes visits to the sensual tango halls of Buenos Aires, the haunting catacombs of Paris, the gleaming towers of Shanghai and the breathtakingly beautiful Taj Mahal in India, The Secret Letters of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari reveals astounding insights on reclaiming your personal power, being true to yourself and fearlessly living your dreams

About the author:

Robin Sharma is the globally celebrated author of 15 international bestselling books on leadership including The Leader Who Had No Title, the phenomenal #1 blockbuster that is inspiring a movement around the idea that “Now, anyone - in any organization - can show Leadership”. His work has been published in over 62 countries and in nearly 75 languages, making him one of the most widely read authors in the world. He shot to fame with The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which has topped international bestseller lists and sold over 4,000,000 copies. Robin is the founder of Sharma Leadership International Inc., a training firm with only one focus: helping people in organizations Lead Without a Title. Clients comprise of many of the FORTUNE 500 including Microsoft, GE, NIKE, FedEx and IBM. Organizations such as NASA, IMD Business School, Yale University and The Young President's Organization are also SLI clients. Robin is a former litigation lawyer who holds two law degrees including a Masters of Law (Dalhousie Law School).

Book Trailer:

You might also like to see the author talk about this sequel to The Monk Who Sold His ferrari

My Review:

For someone who is already a Robin Sharma follower, it is a refreshingly different story narrative that the author presents. For those of us who have read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and other sequels and prequels to his chef d oeuvre, we certainly expected to have something different if we are to read more of him, and to our exultation, the author treats us to the most creative, fresh and stimulating read. Right from the beginning, it has a rebellious tangent to it which was never seen before in his books.Here the protagonist is resistant to undertake the journey of self-exploration, unlike his other protagonists who were rather keen, and till the end he doesn't realize that he is on a life-altering journey.
I personally read the book at a time when I was dealing with multiple sources of stress and disappointments. So, I would say this was precisely what I had needed. The book emphasizes more on the journey rather than the sermon. As you may have surmised already, the secret letters are pearls of wisdom, and that is all I can say without giving away too much.
For the uninitiated, this is what I have to say: While reading The Monk who sold his Ferrari is a fierce recommendation from yours truly, you SHOULD read this one, because it is a rare book that teaches you pearls of wisdom and life lessons, and an even rarer fable that can do this without sounding didactic.
And a common message to all: there comes a time when discovering your self worth takes precedence over building your net worth, this book is precisely for those moments, to guide you through that period of revelation and challenging discoveries.
The protagonists character sketch is such that at times you will feel like you completely relate to him, and then it will be a pleasant transformation that you will undergo along with him, by the time you reach the end of the book.
If you don't believe me, consider this:
"I didn't know what was worse- taking weeks out of my life to travel around the world collecting someone elses stuff, or having to write about it. Self-reflection has never been my forte."
The book has beautifully interwoven the threads of travel and self-reflection and discovery, and the result is awe-inspiring. 

My Judgement: 

Even if you are not a big self-help fan, this one is customized to cater to your whims. If you liked Eat, Pray, Love By Elizabeth Gilbert, go grab (or download) a copy now, 

Best lines:

And it seemed to me that all the excuses I used to make were nothing more than lies that my fears had been trying to sell me.

Find the book here:

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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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