Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Amreekan desi by Atulya Mahajan (Book Review- 3.25)!!!

 Not every book gets completed in the time span of 3 hours or a day. People ask me if I get Writer's Block but I can say that I have been into Reader's Block quite often. Since 11th July, I am trying to complete this book but it took almost more than half of the month to get completed. Now as I am done with it, I won't take time to review it in this month itself otherwise it would be more embarrassing to write about it in August. :-) The name of the book is "Amreekan desi" which also has the tagline "MASTERS OF AMERICA". It is published by Random House India which assures that 90% of the book that you pick are at least worth reading if not an epic material. :-) The 308-pages novel is written by the debutante- Atulya Mahajan. With this book, he has certainly made it sure that he can get much better with his next book and one will surely give a thought in reading him once again. The cover page of the book is exciting as well as rocking- the way two youngsters are shown making weird faces. :-) 

About the Book:

       "Akhil Arora, a young, dorky engineer in Delhi, can’t wait to get away from home and prove to his folks that he can be on his own. Meanwhile in a small town in Punjab, Jaspreet Singh, aka Jassi, is busy dreaming of a life straight out of American Pie. As fate would have it, they end up as roommates in Florida. But the two boys are poles apart in their perspectives and expectations of America. While Akhil is fiercely patriotic and hopes to come back to India in a few years, Jassi finds his Indian identity an uncomfortable burden and looks forward to finding an American girl with whom he can live happily ever after. 

    Laced with funny anecdotes and witty insights, Amreekandesi chronicles the quintessential immigrant experience, highlighting the clash of cultures, the search for identity, and the quest for survival in a foreign land."

  Coming to the author, as I have said above, I would definitely pick up his next book for some strange reasons. The way he has written this book makes you observe that he definitely has potential and skill to write a wonderful story with humor embedded in it every now and then. Secondly, while reading this book you realize that this is not the best by the author as you find some wonderful events partially and hence, you know that if he writes the whole book with best of his potentials, he can certainly surprise the readers with lots of ingredients worth reading and remembering. This book, currently, is only 60% of what author has in him. Writer has command over the language, his narration skills are fine, his story-telling style is simple, he isn't trying to copy anyone in the vicinity and he's not over-exaggerating his story in the back-cover synopsis. For all this reason, Atulya Mahajan stands high in my list of debutante whom I'll definitely pick for the 2nd time even when I didn't find their book an "excellent" read.

          Initially, the book is comic and you get excited to go through this adventure where you'll die laughing. The parallel stories of two boys in India just gotten an opportunity to shift to America for studies is an awesome read. The comments on them by their relatives and familiar people for choosing America over the best institutes in India made me laugh. The reaction of parents is certified properly. The humor content in the first few pages of the book is so cherishing that I started expecting a lot which disappointed me later on. Akhil's story throughout is a wonderful tale. Even his father's 7 days in America is what I'll always remember this book for. His trauma every time he feels that he is doing wrong is nicely expressed. With Jassi's episode, initially its wonderful but later on there's not much character in his story. It is quite focused on his will to sleep with girls. Though writer has already declared in synopsis that he dreams to be a character of "American Pie" so it's my mistake that I tried to look beyond this. But everything gets compensated with Akhil's part.

           In all, the book is written wonderfully. It could have been a perfect read if it would not have exceeded 250 pages. You feel at parts that the book is being dragged even though there's not much in the story to speak about. I would give 3.25 out of 5 to this debut attempt of Mr. Atulya Mahajan. And I am definitely looking forward to his next work. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Story of Nike by Aaron Frisch!!!

            After writing about The Story of facebook and The Story of, I don't have any unique way to write about "The story of Nike", the 3rd book that I have read in Jaico Young Reeders Series. This book is as much good as the first two and give main landmarks in the progress of the NIKE, a company that just got open as an interest and later went on signing Sports Superstar who were made to wear Nike produced Sportswear and shoes. Though the company saw loss for some time, but later on it went to compete with the companies like Adidas and Reebok. I liked reading about how NIKE kept on signing super powerful athletes and the way they created brands on the name of specific Superstars which made them rise higher in market.

          I also liked how they went on uniquely designing their shoes by making it spongy etc and thus giving the players and sportsmen a special feeling. Many athletes went on publicly claiming that they win because of the customized product that Nike provides them. In all, this book is yet another 65 pages of description of how Nike went on becoming the Creative and Successful company it is and why people trust it so much. This book can also be purchased for your school kid. He/she will love to tell his friends about the success story of this adventure. :-)



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Story of by Sara Gilbert (Book Review)!!!

           As promised in the last book review, I am back with another book from "Jaico Young Readers Series". "The Story of" by Sara Gilbert. This is yet another 65 pages book which tells us about the evolution of, one of the first e-commerce websites which started its journey from selling books and it sells almost everything online. It is said to be the Walmart of Internet. Amazon recently got launched in India and the way Indians welcomed it will always remain in my memory. Even I was a part of it and I have ordered some 2-3 books through it. It is currently providing free shipping to all the Indian users for a short period of time. And hence Flipkart, the most trusted e-commerce website has got imbalanced and started "Big Offers Day" to beat somehow. This is the magnificence of in the world. 

           The book is written in the same manner as "The Story of facebook" is written. Sara Gilbert has done a very good job in mentioning only the key factors in the book and that too in a language which is quite easier for a person to understand. If this would have been an adult book, there would have been so many terms that a laymen would not have had an idea of. But this book is created perfectly. Children are difinitely going to like this book. It teaches us how to not lose our patience and belief even in losses and times of difficulty. Book majorly tells about the continuous loss that kept witnessing since it launch but yet got fame because of the awesome service it provided. It tells how Jeff Bezos kept his temper cool and worked on his dream. A great lesson for children who are generators of tomorrow.

           I never knew that was known for falling continuously in the market. The way Harry Potter's 5th book boosted the site and helped it to survive in the market is a surprising fact. And the 6th and 7th book also helped the site to see some profit. The Kindle launch again helped the company to get into the race of being the best e-commerce website in the market. This book is also a wonderful read but not as good as The Story of Facebook. Now, my next read is "The Story of Nike".



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Story of Facebook by Sara Gilbert (Book Review) !!!

          I remember the time when I used to read books of 30-100 pages in childhood which used to give me general knowledge and ideas about current affairs. My parents used to buy it for me so that I would always be the most knowledgeable child in my colony. And it really worked then. And it helped me in the long-term. Even today while writing Blogs/Articles, those knowledge helped me. Hence I always get attracted towards Children's books. I feel that there's nothing more knowledgeable than them. Hence I put my hands on 3 Children's book which I would be reviewing one after another starting from this post. I have just completed reading 65-pages book named "The Story of facebook" by Sara Gilbert. This book comes under "Jaico Young Readers Series". They have released 6 books till now. I would be reading all of them very soon.

          This book tells in short about how Facebook got established after Mark Zuckerberg committed himself to a website which he opened just for the sake of interaction among the mates of his college. And it grew to a level where today, it is having almost every youngster's account. Book is written in a simple language so that children can understand it. It is the best book for children up to 10 years of age. Book has images, quotes, statements by employees and people concerned with facebook etc which makes it interesting. Book is printed in big fonts which makes it interesting for a child to read as he gets to turn the pages within a minute. :-) 
             Book briefly tells how each and every feature in Facebook came time to time. Its almost a Timeline for the people who want to know how Facebook developed. I liked the parts which told how Mark Z accepted criticisms positively and also replied to his users through the medium. It tells how he remained adamant on not selling Facebook to any organization. I liked how Mark Z started inviting investors, advertisers, software developers etc to let his dreams fly even when he saw down many a times in the process of building Facebook. In all I would say that this is a very good book to gift it to your child but make sure that he does not become a Facebook addict after reading this. :-) 


It Started with a Friend Request by Sudeep Nagarkar (Book Review)!!!

    This is the first phenomena on my Blog where I am reviewing a book before its release. :-) I am done reading Bestseller author, Sudeep Nagarkar's 3rd book of 212 pages right now. After "Few Things Left Unsaid" and "That's the way we met", "It Started with a Friend Request" is the 3rd book by Sudeep N. It is set to release on 17th July, 2013. And exclusively, this is the very first public review of this book. I feel honored to be a part of this book right before its release which has already been listed as Bestselling in the Pre-order section on almost all the E-commerce websites. The book is been published by Random Publisher which is Sudeep's publisher since his 2nd book. But now, all the three books of Sudeep Nagarkar is been published by Random House India. He is no more an author by Srishti Publication. And since he has tied up with RH India, we can see his progress. He is in media, television, newspapers, festivals etc. 

About the Author:-
Sudeep Nagarkar is the author of two bestselling novels - Few Things Left Unsaid (2011) and That’s the Way We Met (2012).
Sudeep’s books are inspired from real life incidents. They have been translated into regional languages and continue to top the bestseller charts.
He has a degree in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University and is currently pursuing management studies from Welingkar Institute of Management. He is also a motivational speaker and has given guest lectures in various institutes and organizations. He resides in Mumbai.


Why don’t we feel the moment when we fall in love but always remember when it ends?
Akash is young, single, and conservative with a preference for girls with brains than in miniskirts. One day, he runs into free-spirited Aleesha at a local discotheque. A Mass Media student, Aleesha is a pampered brat, the only child of her parents who dote on her. This brief meeting leads them to exchange their BlackBerry pins and they begin chatting regularly. As BlackBerry plays cupid, they fall in love. When they hit a rough patch in their life, Aditya, Akash’s close pal, guides them through it.
But just when they are about to take their relationship to the next level, a sudden misfortune strikes. Can Aditya bring Akash’s derailed life back on track?
It Started with a Friend Request is a true story which will make you believe in love like you never knew before.

   Coming to the review, Sudeep Nagarkar is one author who has understood what his pet readers expect from him. Hence he is continuing to write love stories which is the bestselling genre among Indian readers. And in this genre, he is one of the authors whom people wait for. If all of you remember, I gave his first book 3 stars while his 2nd book which was a sequel to the first one grabbed only 2.5 stars from me. I was disappointed with the length of the book and the simplicity. Now after reading his latest book, I am happy that he has kept the story short and have done his best to tell lots of aspects in few words. His narration and language has improved a lot since his first attempt. But still, I find that not every sentence is crisp and perfect as it should be. He has great thoughts but as soon as he starts writing them, he writes like a Desi Guy and not like an epic writer. This section is where I would ask Sudeep Nagarkar to improve himself. Rest he is on the right track.
          The story is wonderful. As the title says, I presumed that its the same crap which some debutante write about how Facebook stalking helped them get a girlfriend with whom they went through misunderstandings and patch-ups. But I was wrong. Sudeep has just mentioned in one paragraph that they added each other on BBM and directly met after that. Thank God! I could not have survived any cliche by him at this stage. There's no monosyllabic or mono-sentences chats pages after pages but a sweet romance story which will make you imagine the protagonist after every sentence. Even when there's a mention of the messages that the protagonists send to each other, they are more than half-page long which makes it a mini love-letter than a boring usual conversation that we ourselves do with our partner on daily basis. :-)

            The surprise that Akash gives to Aleesha in theater is something that's very fresh and new. I have never read it before. That's the first thing that I liked in the book. Tamanna's first note for Deep in her Galaxy Tab is wonderful and the notes that are mentioned after that are also fine. The surprise and the twist that the story takes in the last 1/3rd part of the book is what made me feel that the book is above average and can be called a Good Book and an assured recommendation to all the love story lovers. The components such as of friendship, love, companionship, simplicity, love-making sequences, romance, sex, hanging-outs, trips, picnics, outings etc are satisfying in the book. A little corporate insight is also given but I won't say that the total justice is being done to it. Author could have kept it as the base but its just a part.

            I liked Tamanna-Deep's sequence more than Akash-Aleesha's and it seemed to be more matured than the latter's. Coming to the drawbacks, as I said above, the sentence formation can be much better. Author is unable to convey all his feelings exactly in words. The difficulty that he faces in doing this is often visible in the writing. I found 2-3 grammatical mistakes in the book but its fine, it is avoidable. And Mr. Sudeep Nagarkar, you can write "Bastard" if your story demands rather than writing it as "B******". It does not make your book vulgar or abusive. If it's story's requirement, you can definitely write anything that's a taboo in society without caring for anyone. And next time when you write a love-making scene, do take help of a co-author as in all the 3 books, you have described the scene almost in the same manner. Rest, I would say that you have improved with every book that you have written. Cover page by Saurav Das is wonderful and lovely. The lyrics of your book's theme song is touchy but singer isn't satisfying. In all, I would give this book 3.5/5 and strictly recommend it for everyone who love reading Love stories by Indian authors. Go for it.



Legacy by Sudha Menon (Book Review)!!!

  Today, I am going to talk about a book which has given me an immense pleasure during my recent journey to Nashik. For the 5 hours that I was in train, this book was my companion. Rather than wasting time in watching greenery and never ending farms, I spent my time in reading Sudha Menon's 2nd book- "Legacy". My father kept saying that what's the use of traveling if you have to read books during journey too and I kept smiling and doing what I love in life- Reading, reviewing  and writing. The 258 pages book also has a tagline "Letters from eminent parents to their daughters". But let me tell you, it is not only for daughters to read but for everyone of any age group. 

           Sudha Menon is the bestselling author of Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India and a journalist with over twenty years of experience. She has worked with the Independent, the Hindu Business Line, and Mint, writing on politics, women, health, and business. Sudha is the founder of Get Writing!, a workshop for potential writers, and is also passionate about Writing In the Park, an initiative that she has started to get people out of their homes and spend time in the outdoors, writing in public parks and gardens. Sudha has been invited to several educational institutions and corporate campuses as a speaker where she talks to women's networks about leadership and diversity issues. She lives in Pune with her family.

 The synopsis of the book says:-

A compilation of personal letters from Indias most prominent personalities, sharing with us some of their most intimate experiences and profound insights on life 

Narayana Murthy, Chanda Kochhar, Kishore Biyani, Zia Mody, K.V. Kamath, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Ganesh Natrajan, Renuka Ramnath, P.P. Chhabria, Pradeep Bhargava, Deep Anand, Capt. Gopinath, Mallika Sarabhai, Shaheen Mistri, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jatin Das, and Prakash Padukone They say a daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. In Legacy, noted journalist and author Sudha Menon brings forth a rare collection of personal and evocative letters from parents to their daughters. Through their fearless approach to life, love, and overcoming obstacles, these icons from the world of business, arts, films, food, and sports share with us their experience and wisdom as they pass them on to their daughters. 
Deeply moving and thought provoking, Legacy is a remarkable collection of life lessons that will delight and inspire at the same time. 
     Talking about the authoress, I don't know how I didn't know about her first book till date. I saw her session with Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor at India Non Fiction fest 2 weeks ago and she was so charming during the whole 45 minutes that I decided to go through both her books. I started with her latest release and seriously speaking, the book is as awesome as it could have been. The concept that she has decided to go with is so unique that I don't think if she wouldn't have attempted, anyone else could have in next 2-3 years. The personalities that she has selected for writing letters to their respective daughter(s) are so varied, different, heard and unheard of that you like to continue with the book. Everyone's experience is so different from others that every letter is a new road to walk up on. The generosity with which each letter is carved out for the lovely girls/women is commendable. I don't know what's the real role of Sudha Menon in the book but I'm thankful to her for struggling to get time out of these personalities' busy schedule and bringing out something that has taught me so much.

             The cover page of the book is itself like a light monsoon which takes us to a different world altogether. The back cover page also has some beautifully written reviews. Hard cover makes this book more special. Deepika's note to her father, Mr. Prakash Padukone(on the first page) just after I opened the book was a wonderful surprise. I am going to list some of my favorite letters- Ajay Piramal's letter gives inspiration while Amit Chandra's is quite emotional and made me cry initially. Chanda Kochhar letter was another piece that inspired me through her journey of her success in ICICI bank. In Ajnya, K. V. Kamath's daughter, I saw my mother somewhere. Hence that letter is another lovely piece for me. :-) Mr. Narayan Murthy has written as if he is not a Superstar in IT sector but a middle-class man like my mother. I loved his attitude. Mr. Prakash Padukone's letter is quite different and I also love him personally for being enough bold-minded to allow his daughter in a glamorous industry.

            Renuka Ramnath's letter which tells how she kept working after her husband's demise made me want to meet her. I seriously wish that I meet her some day. I will touch her feet and get blessings. She is a superwoman indeed. Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor's letter came after a long time and it was straight from his heart. I loved how he has written everything without getting much details about his success story. I loved a part where he tells how he remained adamant to learn Sanskrit even when his school said that they can't teach him because he was the only one who was opting for it. That was the best part I read in the book with due respect to every one who wrote about their characters. The last letter by Zia Mody is a wonderful end to the book. It is enough heart-warming that you want to call author and ask her to release the second part to this book too. :-) 

          The photographs of some personalities with their daughters in the end is beautiful but I would have loved if it could have come with the respective letters rather than together in the end. The book is more about content and hence you might miss the entertainment that one expects in the book. Rest, I would say that Sudha Menon is an authoress whom everyone would love to read and her books will definitely be in the shelves of the readers who love motivational, biographical and auto-biographical books. I wish to read her first book- Leading Ladies soon. This 258-pages book is a gift to all the Indians who want to do big in life. I rate this book- 4 out of 5. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Yuvi by Makarand Waingankar (Book Review)!!!

   Yuvraj Singh's cancer experience made him write a book "The Test of My Life" which was published by Random House India in the first quarter of this year. The book was loved by everyone. Not only Yuvraj Singh's fans but almost everyone who wanted to know how a beloved Cricketer of the nation recovered from Cancer. The result is that the book ended up being At No. 1 in the Bestseller list for almost 2 weeks. It isn't consistent but the sale are constant. After reading this book, I never thought that I would be needing any other book to know Yuvraj's life that I am unaware of as the book covered almost everything. But recently, reading "Yuvi", a 143-pages biography written by Makarand Waingankar, a man who is mainly known as the person behind bringing Dhoni and Raina in International Cricket, made me realize that only a person who has seen someone can write everything in a real blunt way without caring about what the person and his family would feel. It surprised me more because the way Mr. Makarand has talked about Yograj Singh even after being his friend for decades is something not many would dare.

About the Author

Makarand Waingankar is one of India’s most widely read cricket columnists, best known for blending meticulous research with his own experience of a life lived on the cricket fields of India. Journalist, columnist, researcher, talent-spotter and administrator, he wears a multitude of hats, each of which fits snugly on his head. He launched the Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) on behalf of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in 2002 and the TRDW has since been responsible for taking many small-town players to the national stage, including current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In fact, seven such players were part of the 2011 World Cup winning team. Makarand has also been CEO of Baroda Cricket Association and Consultant to Karnataka State Cricket Association’s academy.

Synopsis of the Book
No Indian player has captured the imagination of cricket- lovers in the way that Yuvraj Singh has over the past decade. Fiery batsman, deceptive bowler, flat-out fielder, Yuvraj has been in the news for his remarkable skills with bat and ball, his glamorous lifestyle off the ground and, more recently, for his courageous battle against a life-threatening illness.

In this first-ever account of its kind, veteran cricket administrator and coach Makarand Waingankar, who has known Yuvraj practically since the day he was born, recalls the rise of the young cricketer, his early years, the tremendous highs and depressing lows in his tumultuous career.

With inputs from Yuvrajs parents, his friends, peers and senior players, and written with a rare insight and affection for his subject, this is an eminently readable account of a young cricketers life, from the earliest days to his triumphant crowning as the World Cup champion in 2011.

         Coming to the review, I met Mr. Makarand Waingankar 2 weeks ago. It was a nice 15 minutes chat with him. I thanked him for giving us Dhoni and Raina while he joked to launch me if I am also an aspiring Cricketer. He was a very generous person. He never made me feel that I was just a commoner who came there to experience him. Until then I didn't know that he is also a writer. Only before meeting him, I came to know that he has written a biography on Yuvraj Singh as he got an offer for doing the same. I kept thinking as to why would he write a biography on Yuvi when he has launched some other Cricketers. But I came to know that he is with his father since he wasn't even a Cricketer. Hence he knows all the details behind Yuvraj's rising as a Cricketer who can never be forgotten easily by his fans and Cricket lovers.
        The author has been very blunt while speaking about Yuvraj's failure in Test Cricket. He said it very clear that Yuvraj has not been very serious about his Cricket as he should have been. I also liked his bluntness when he said that Dhoni always preferred Raina even when he wanted Yuvraj in his team. It is not easy to remark a Captain of the country so gustily. And it's more tough when you have launched the same person in the game. The other part which I loved was when the author tells how Yuvraj used to admire Ganguly as a Captain and how even Ganguly liked him very much. But the situation kept demanding Yuvraj's entry in the squad only when Ganguly used to get eliminate from the team due to injury or other reasons. That's something which seems to be so difficult for the 2 persons who love each other but their survival depends on the elimination of the other. 

             This book is more about the treatment that Yograj's father did with Yuvraj while training him for Cricket and the victim that Yuvraj Singh was. Yograj Singh's chapter is the best part about the book. After reading that, one will think that Yograj Singh wasn't that evil and bad as we know he is. But yes, he was and even after reading The Test Of My Life, I had decided that I would never be a strict father to my son. But what made me feel bad was Yuvraj Singh's behavior with his father. What I also didn't like was Shabnam Singh, Yuvraj's mother's hand in increasing the distance between father-son. Hey, sorry. This " I didn't like" parts is about Yuvraj's life and not about the book. Uff!!! The job of reviewing book isn't easy. :-) Even the climax, the way last 4 paragraphs are written will want you to hug the author immediately. :-)

            What I didn't like is- No discussion about Yuvi's relation with his brother, his friends and other teammates. I am happy that author didn't tell about his matches and performances and mainly discussed his personal life but still, there was lot that could have been covered. All the controversies, his girlfriends, his confessions in press conferences etc. I also didn't like the statistics that are presented in the end of the book. That could have been much much better than the way it has been written- in a quite simplistic manner. In all, I would say that if you are reading this, also read The Test Of My Life written by Yuvraj, and vice-versa. Only then you will enjoy reading Yuvraj Singh's life. I would give this biography- 3.5/5


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