‘Left Overs’-Stella Newman

About the book
Author Stella Newman
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-1847562715
Price [INR] 299/-
Pages 452
Main Plot Chic-lit by every word! A kind of biography of a character called Susie. It is about her life, career, ex and friends.
No. of Characters 1
Tone of writing Humorous and Explanatory.
My take on the book
Review >It is a simple and light read.>A book that talks about Susie’s life and how it progresses. It felt like reading a blog post day by day of a blogger who jots down all her life’s happening on her blog.

>It is interesting although I felt it could have cut a little short at places to make it compact.

>Newman has a great sense of humor and her writing has it all, the wittiness and sharpness of the pun!

>Newman has created characters that are relatable, situations that happen in life and reactions that are genuine and anticipated.

>A good read, a little lengthy but worth reading!

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‘How to be a Woman’-Caitlin Moran

 

About the book
Author Caitlin Moran
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978009194074
Price [INR] 450/-
Pages 309
Main Plot Real life experiences of a woman, her confusions, adventures, crushes, rivalry, feminism and motherhood; everything that a female goes through in life span of teenager to late 30s!!!
No. of Characters 1
Tone of writing Humorous, Pun intended and Pointed.
My take on the book
Review >It is sarcastic, real and is almost about every woman on this earth.>It talks about how woman are constantly judged, rated and are required to look good, know all and be available and how to break this stigma!>No stage in woman’s life is easy, as it sounds or portrayed or expected to be normally!>After reading this book you will know that it is okay to admit that you are fat if you are, you got a zit on your face that you don’t have a boy friend and that you are not sure when would you have kids because you’ve not planned them yet!

>The book takes you through Moran’s life herself. Ranging from 13 years to 34 years. Her family, her siblings, colleagues, fall-outs, boyfriends, marriage and motherhood. It has all and in a very candid manner.

>It is fast, furious and carries the enthusiasm throughout. The books is good if you want to have a good laugh at realities J

>I had heard raving reviews about the book and in that sense I did not love it like crazies, but I liked it! One time read, you can skip a little here and there to move on to next page and phases of her life!

>The best part of Moran’s writing is she is honest, straight and clear about what she has written. Writing about one’s own life in such detail and about everything , is courageous and I bow Moran for that!

‘Intermission’-Nirupama Subramanian

 

 

 About the book
Author Nirupama Subramanian
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-93-5029-323-2
Price [INR] 250/-
Pages 271
Main Plot A story of Sarin family, living an urban life in Gurgaon. The dynamics of a 17 years long nuptial knot, spouses who are independent and detached. In the midst of a steadily-but-not-smooth flowing, relationship, enters the heart and it’s whims and fancies stir up everything. It tells you, what you know for sure, that how difficult it is to deal with the whole situation carrying an upper middle class status.
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Straight and Simple.
My take on the book
Do I recommend the book? Not really. Though I’ll not reject this book by terming it as ‘not worth reading’.
Review >The story is easy, unfolds quickly without much fuss and like I mentioned above, the tone of writing and choice of words is as simple as unfrozen butter!>A corporate couple,Gayatri and Varun Sarin, in their mid 40s, with an almost-achieved-everything-in-life assumption, come at a juncture where their marriage does not have that ‘spark’ left in it.

>The story is about the couple who in spite of having lavish careers and good family are not happy, typically suburban types!

>The story takes the reader through the ups and downs of the puppy love, marital routines, newly found romance, a dash of adultery, family values, sacrifices and the whole sanctity called marriage!

>Subramanian has picked up a very ‘tried and tested’ plot for a story and has weaved in through the real urban life and its technicalities.

>The book loses its grip in the last leg of the storyline. Though the reader’s imagination is kept on hold for sometime as to what does Sweety Singh decide for herself and Varun Sarin, but the curiosity is killed with the pace becoming a little slower, giving away the signals to the secret easily.

>It felt like the author herself lost the track of that little suspense that came into picture and hence concluded the story plainly.

>The story gives you insight of extra marital affair, the confusions faced in the ‘this’ relationship and that one question at which everything comes to an end in the world-‘Marriage or Adultery?

>It has also shown the glimpses of a liberal women and how lot of them still haven’t realized where their happiness lies and they have their own lives to live too apart from being wife, daughter in law and a mother!

>It raises a question in the reader’s mind; do all marriages look same after ample years of time spent? Is a relationship outside marriage only about physical pleasures? Is there anything like an intellectual connect, an affair of minds, and whether that is even considered to be valid and legitimate outside marriage?

>We all are human beings, poor, rich, middle class, these are all tags given by us in the society to the financial statuses. What about the core of the human being, life? Everyone is made up of same red color liquid, pink flesh and white bones inside, aren’t we? Anyone, under this Sun can fall in love and maybe many a times! Then just be being slotted as not ‘poor’ can make so much of difference in our lives to accept our relationships and our desires out in public? Point to ponder!

>So are family ties important and take over us triumphantly or love has more power to rule above all?

>The book made me ask this to myself and to others: In all the suburabanian chaos, I’m not even sure if people still know the meaning of love? Are we sure we know what exactly it feels like and when to call it as ‘love’ love?

>I must say I loved the name of the book, it is aptly chosen and suits the plot totally!

>The book is average, newness is missing in the line but Subramanian has written it well because the very fact that it is a very common plot the write-up still makes you think for a moment and for that she deserves 3 cheers!

 

‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’-Anuja Chauhan

About the book

Author

Anuja Chauhan

Picture of the Author

 

ISBN

978-93-5029-602-8

Price [INR]

350/-

Pages

388

Main Plot

A huge Thakur family with all the ups and downs that a normal family goes through. 5 sisters, which are ‘those pricey girls‘, and each one is a distinct character in itself. The story is about family bonding, disputes, hiccups of being all girls’ parents and all boys’ parents, marriage decisions and dash of love and hatred in between. Interestingly, there is a little political wave (Sikh Killing in 1984) added in the flow of family drama and it makes the novel intriguing, that said it doesn’t make it a politics based novel and does not confuse the reader between drama and politics.

No. of Characters

2 (+5)

Tone of writing

It is hilarious, straight forward, raw and very Indian. 
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes, for those who want to read drama which is less like fiction but more like real life story. A no brainer, light, hilarious and tension free novel!

Review

>First and foremost, I’ve to mention that I bought this book totally based on its cover, it is intriguing and stunning!

>It is a light read, though a fat book, but will keep your mood light throughout.

>It has emotions,drama and portrays ghar-ghar ki kahani with a pinch of salt and dash of honey.

>Unpredictable, gripping and has crests and troughs of family drama.

>Chauhan has written the script in a fashion where in you can relate to so many things that happen in Indian families.

>Things like sprinkling cold water on the mattress before sleeping in summers. Or a group discussion and debate taking place to decide who would be the ‘would-be’ of one of the girls. Or Sister fights and leg pulling over clothes, boys etc.

>There are places where the author is very bold in using some abusive words but they match the flow of the story and don’t stand out to sound odd. Honestly, when I first encountered the words, I thought how odd, but then when I gave a deep thought, I realized that it suits the entire plot and the usage subtly fits in. 

>Chauhan has good writing skills, it is thoroughly researched and laid in a manner where in it will surely strike connect with the Indian reader.

>I liked the way Chauhan has done detailing of each character of the story and that too in a way that doesn’t seem like an introduction but a neatly weaved in the flow.

>On the other hand, the kids in the story are way to mature and nosey than their age permits. But that may be very typical of large families where in kids grow up before their age.

>The story length could have been shortened.

‘Playground’-Premchand

Basics of the book
Author  Original-Premchand-Translated by-Manju Jain [retired as professor from the dept of English , University of Delhi]
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-143-10211-3
Price [INR] 550/-
Pages 631
Main Plot Set against the backdrop of colonial India-a grim account of a poor blind man’s struggle against the forceful acquisition of his ancestral land by feudal landlords, opportunists and ruthless capitalists.
No. of Characters 7 leads
Tone of writing Simple [though it totally give a feel of ‘translated’ stuff]
My take on the book
Do I recommend No.
Reasons being >The plot sure is captivating and one would want to read ahead to know what happens next. However the translation of the original story [in Hindi] doesn’t come out so well or better put doesn’t give the same feel and punch as the original text does.[have checked the original copy too after reading this one]>Manju Jain, I think, has done quite a good job in putting the entire Hindi text into English and have tried her best to retain the original tone and essence of the plot, but, while reading in between pages you get a feel time and again that no matter how good a translator, the original stuff always is best to pick up!>Like for instance the name of the story in Hindi is ‘Rangbhoomi’ which in English has been put as ‘Playground’. Though there is a deeper meaning to the word used but still it doesn’t spell the same importance as the former one in the first place.
On the other hand >As I said above the plot and the backdrop against which it is set is appealing and leaves the reader with lot of information of how the colonial India functioned.>A tint of religion and its beliefs is also spread across people in the story and you also get a glimpse of poetry by some characters and their selfless sacrifices in the service of the nation.>Quiet dramatic and makes you wonder and think.

>You get to peep in the lives of villagers and know about their unity and diversity.How easily they can be fooled and how quickly they are to gather up and even go to the extent of killing to fight for each other.

‘A Matter of Time’-Shashi Deshpande

Buy A Matter Of Time

 

Basics of the book
Author Shashi Deshpande
Picture of the Author
ISBN 0-14-026390-X
Price [INR] 250/-
Pages 246
Story Line/Main Plot Family matters and Relationships
No. of Characters Main leads-A couple and their 3 daughters
Tone of writing Expressive
My take on the book
The books is for >People who love dark stories with complicated twists.
Reasons being >A plot where in there is emphasis on relationships. 

>Fine balance of tone and placement of words-super hold on English, like always.

>An interesting read where in the reader is made to ponder as to why the husband leaves the wife in the middle of their long relationship and another husband hasn’t spoken to his wife in last 35 years.

On the other hand >Honestly I’m a big fan of Shashi’s writing but somehow this book didn’t create the same magic as the other 4 did. 

>May be this kind of complicated stuff is not for me or I didn’t do justice to the reading this time.

‘A Married Woman’-Manju Kapur

 

Basics of the book
Author Manju Kapur
Picture of the Author
ISBN 978-81-86939-12-3
Price [INR] 295/-
Pages 307
Story Line/Main Plot Women ,Arranged Marriage & Relationships
No. of Characters 1 central character
Tone of writing Narrative
My take on the book
Do I recommend It’s for those who like reading stories which are woman centred and based on marriage and relationships.
Reasons being >The story revolves round the middle class girl’s arranged marriage and the tussle between her ambitions, desires and responsibilities.>The plot is based in Delhi and has a tint of ‘Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi’ political backdrop.

>It’s about a woman and her stand for herself and her identity.

>A little bit of male chauvinism is being displayed which is interesting to read [especially when we don’t get to experience it ourselves, thankfully!]

>It has a glimpse of woman’s bisexuality and it is woven into the plot very well.

>It is like peeping in the lives of those women who go through the same grind of arranged marriage, children, duties towards husband and his family and after all this if there is some life left in them-they are allowed to think about themselves, their career and desires.

>A classic case of priorities in relationships.

On the other hand > Towards the end suddenly the story looks like a day to day dairy of central character-Astha Vadera- and again gets back to a novel form.>The hold on language is not so firm but it doesn’t matter much if you get involved in the tale.