Monday, September 9, 2013

English Bites! by Manish Gupta (Book Review- 3.9*)!!!

          Recently, we celebrated Teacher's Day with full enthusiasm and respect for everyone from whom we got to learn something in life, about life or that helped us improve in life. From last two weeks, I am reading a book "English Bites". I have finally finished it now. You can not say that I was stuck on it knowing my reading speed but this book was certainly not meant for reading in least number of hours but to explore every page of it by taking as much time as possible. On the day of Teachers, I remembered the author of this book- Mr. Manish Gupta because the way his book has been helping me from last two weeks in developing my vocabulary and English is phenomenal. All of my regular readers already know that I learn 2 new words daily and keep on revising the words that are being noted down earlier. Though I have stopped using them on my Blog due to request from some readers who are Freshers in this language and read mine to start with the basics. Hence, you can know how useful and productive this book is to me. :-)

            "English Bites!" also has the tagline of "My Fullproof English Learning Formula" where Fullproof is being rounded off by a red circle. :-) Manish Gupta is a debutant and with this book, I am sure he is going to be followed by many fans who were waiting for an easy book that can improve their English. When someone like me who continuously work upon his English found this book to be a fresh way of teaching the language, you can predict how much useful it would be to someone who has not yet put an effort in learning the language. Picking up a Wren and Martin's grammar or Norman Lewis book may be a boring task for people but picking up a commercial novel with a debutant author being published by India's biggest publisher, Penguin, is the most interesting way of promoting the book in the genre. And the great thing is that the author claims guarantee that it's a useful book for anyone who is preparing for GRE/GMAT/CAT/XAT and similar competitive exams. He also claims that after the book is finished, 1000 words will easily be a part of our vocabulary. Yes, even I have noted down many words in my diary in last two weeks. 

      Author talks about his life in the book. About how he came from a vernacular background, how he changes his city, how he gets a friend, how they together start working in development of their language, how his grades start falling down, how then he faces interviews, gets job etc. With it, he keeps on talking about the only focus of his life- to improve his English. And that's something very unique about thsi book. Then, when you read any literary book, the writer and the publisher knows that a reader will be unable to understand at least 2-3 words every page but still they don't provide with an easy way to look for the meaning of those words. Manish Gupta has given a very good idea to all the future authors and the current ones too. On the page itself, he gives the meaning of all the difficult words which helps you in not picking up a dictionary or keeping it with you while reading this book. You don't even have to go to the last pages of the book to see the meaning in the glossary. It's on the same page itself. What more can you demand from a book?

           Manish Gupta's writing style is quite professional. I just found this as a limitation that might make a reader feel this book as boring. Little humour, sarcasm and satire could have worked in the favour of the book but author has kept it too professional and formal. Another thing, he kept it totally focused on learning the language, he should have included some other facts about his life too and could have talked about it in an interesting manner. With it, he could have continued making us learn new words. Another limitation that I feel is- the length of the book. It could have been short while a sequel could have been planned. But the pages of the book has also increased as the meanings of the words are given on each page so lets minus this drawback. Else, I would say that everyone who feels that he does not have a good vocabulary or even a basic foundation, can surely pick up this book. Author has written with too many examples. He has given too many facts that we don't know about the language that we use daily. He has talked about grammar without letting us know that he's teaching us the same. The trivia that he has mentioned every now and then in the book is the most interesting part of it. I just can't define in my words even after reading this book full of vocabulary that how helpful this book can be. :-) If you miss it, don't ever again complain that Indian authors are ruining the language as this new gentleman is here for us, for our good. :-)


English Bites! My Fullproof English Learning Formula is the story of a man who goes from being tongue-tied in school to becoming a smoothtalking banker. Through a series of hilarious personal adventures and misadventures, Manish Gupta provides easy solutions to problems faced by language learners. So, whether youre 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.



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