Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Man From Mandu by Manoj V Jain (Book Review- 4.75*/5) !!!

When you pick up a book to read on a weekend, you are serious about it and want it to be good so that this day which is meant for you doesn’t end up getting wasted. With similar hopes, I picked up Manoj V Jain’s 6th book named “A Man From Mandu” published by Notion Press. After completing this book, I can surely not complain as this is one of the best reads of this year for me. Yes, this is the kind of book you wish to read regularly and curse the author that why did you not write something as beautiful as this. The book is not even 170 pages but the amount of beautiful moments and messages it gives you throughout are surely going to stay with you forever.

Starting specifics about the book, first of all, I would say that the blurb of the book is perfect. Also, this is one of the most unique topics that author has picked up and the kind of justice given to it right from the first page is immensely beautiful. The question always stays with you if the guy is a Guru or a fraudster. The protagonist of the book initially seems to be Tarini and the way it moves down to Dhawal and then his projection as Avishkar Baba is so perfectly woven that you don’t feel isolated with the story and narration even once. The characterization of all the characters are done so deeply and perfectly that you can actually imagine each one of them along with their body languages. I liked how author has written all the scenes keeping it precise and up to the point rather than giving useless detailing of natures and surroundings and then coming down to the point. There are very few Indian authors who are sure about their story that they don’t trap readers into these false set-ups.

The way all the chapters are classified and treated gives this book a sense of an anthology too. Every chapter has a quote in the beginning which is said by Avishkar Baba himself and then the whole chapter is based upon the same quote itself. After finishing every chapter, I read the quote once again and it meant deeper after it. After completing the book, I read those quotes again and I must say, some of them really brought changes in me. Then author has also told short stories in between through Avishkar Baba’s character and those stories are gems and USP of this book. All stories are so distinct from each other and none of them are boring, pretentious or half-baked. Those are the stories you would want to re-read to decipher more positives from it.

The way the timeline of the book shifts from the current set-up to the initial days when Dhawal and Tarini got together gives the book a new dimension altogether. It becomes a Surprise for the reader. Also, the climax of the book is so nicely closed that I was just getting emotional yet happy because the reader in me was delighted to have read such a book which leaves you with so many questions and answers that after finishing the book, I kept on talking with my inner self. The way author has embedded philosophy, spirituality, love and struggles- all into this small story of 170 pages is applaudable and I give this book nothing less than 4.75* out of 5. The book also discusses light insight into how someone is marketed and made a hype among people through social media and other strategies. I think I should now go on to read other 5 books written by Manoj V Jain as he doesn’t seem to be an author whose stories can be missed.

Highly recommended!



Thursday, June 27, 2019

How to Finish Everything You Start by Jan Yager (Book Review: 3.25*/5) !!!

Reading non-fiction books are a game that I love playing whenever I get time. Though there is excitement in fiction books but the kind of refreshment a non-fiction book provides is amazing. It is because the way it connects with your own life. You don’t need to relate with any character as while reading a non-fiction, you can relate directly with yourself and your life. The book that I have finished reading just now is “How to Finish Everything You Start” written by the author of 46 other books- Jan Yager and published by my favorite non-fiction books’ publisher- Jaico.

The book comes with a tagline- “Habits to Transform your life”. The title of the book is what made me get in awe with it as it is something that all of us are concerned about with our routine. There are so many things that we start but are unable to finish and complete it due to multiple causes. Author has tried here to define all those prospective causes and provide the solution on how we don’t repeat the same mistakes and follow some basic rules to ensure that when we start something new next time, we don’t end up keeping it unfinished. Author has defined FINISH rule which focuses on prioritizing the tasks one by one, ignoring distractions etc. which is really practical and goal-oriented.

The best part about the book is the exercises and actions defined in the end of each chapter and in some cases, between the chapters. These are really something which makes you think upon yourself and the way you have been managing things until now. It regularly keeps striking you how we have not given importance to our multiple tasks with equal importance till now. Overall, the book is written with a very good intent where author has gone into as specific as possible that a chapter is completely dedicated for authors on how to complete a book.

Now, talking about the drawbacks, I felt author just couldn’t give a straight flowchart on how to provide tips and advises to the reader as several times there are references given of a chapter where the rest of the topic has been explained. This makes the reading experience difficult as reader keeps getting such interruptions though this issue in the book is for initial few chapters only. Secondly, I felt there are many more tips and tricks that author could have discussed as I believe whatever has been mentioned is already known to the readers; it’s just that author balanced it with those exercises at the end of the chapters which are definitely unique. Overall, this book is definitely a fine read if you have not read many self-help books as this shall really help with its easy language and short chapters. I give this 3.25* out of 5.



Wednesday, June 26, 2019

25 Essentials To Happy Living by Preeti Pathak (Book Preview) !!!

These days people have started inclining towards Spirituality which is a very good thing. The best option to get near to Spirituality are books related to them. One needs to get a very powerful book on Spirituality to understand it completely and follow it with purity and cleanliness. I recently picked up a book named “25 Essentials To Happy Living” written by Preeti Pathak and published by Vishwakarma Publications.

The book is of around 125 pages with 25 different chapters: - obviously each one of them discussing about specific essentials which which the authoress suggests are important for living happily. The book is great for beginners as authoress have used simple concepts to explain what is needed for us to understand the essence of life and quest to achieve the same to ensure that we find ourselves in the spot as less as possible. The basic purpose of all the 25 chapters is to ensure that the readers understand that living happy is not as tough as we think it is and it all depends upon our perspective towards things. If we get on following few basics and give considerations to things we think are needed to be taken care by others around us, we can achieve happiness very easily.

The book is written in a very simple language which shall make it easy for anyone to finish it within an hour or two. The book has tips on several concerns like stress management, money, anger, criticism, ego, being judgmental, communication, parenting, love, friendship, devotion, possessive nature, freedom, emotions, karma etc. The best part is that in this short book of introducing people with concept on which there is always negligence and ignorance, author has ensured that people would actually start feeling positivity. After every chapter, a quote or section said/written by Paramhansa Yogananda is mentioned which I found as effective as the complete chapters.

Overall, this book is recommended for beginners and practitioners too who are looking out for options which can ease the stress of their life and they can start living happily but are not interested in going through a 300-400 pages full-fledged book.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Patomskiy Crater by Khemkarann (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

Well, when you chose a 400-pages book to read, you just pray before starting that it turns out to be good. And more so when you understand nothing by its title, it’s scarier. And when you are also reading the author for the first time, it’s all God’s play now how your long reading session shall end like. Thankfully, I can say that I didn’t have bad experience reading the book titled “The Patomskiy Crater” by the author, Khemkarann. The book is published by The Write Place publication house. The book is all and out a complete thriller and makes it clear within the first few pages itself.

The author must be appreciated for the fact that he had enough guts to give a title to his book which is tough even to pronounce the same but the confidence is quite evident which reflects in the way the story is been written. Right from the 1st page, author has come directly on the point where you realize that the story is going to be a tough read due to the kind of suspense it is going to hold and it does that. I liked how author has chosen to keep the narration for specific group of characters in parallel through different chapters that you feel like you are watching a movie which doesn’t have background music where everyone is walking and chasing and running from someone and is yet scary being noiseless. I liked how author didn’t narrate the whole story in a continuous timeline but chose to bring all the characters together by treating everyone as protagonist in their own timeline of events.

The book is divided into 80 different chapters. Yes, you heard it right. 80 DIFFERENT CHAPTERS and each chapter describes a scene about specific group of characters which makes you know more about what happened with them but in the next chapter you have similar excitement for different group of characters which are discussed and at the end of the chapter, now you want to know what happened with this set of people. This is what makes this book amazing and I would call it the USP of the story-telling of the author.

The way each character is introduced in the first half of the book is amazing. It becomes little difficult to remember each of them as names used are not Indian whereas I am used to reading books with Indian characters but post that, there are no unwanted characters inserted in the book which makes it easier to connect with the characters. Author plays with only those characters who are meant to enrich the story. The good thing which helped in the way the background of the story is developed is author’s background- as the Author is a Mumbaikar but has been staying in UK since last 16 years, the book had flavour of both- though the characters were based in foreign but their emotions were very much Indian.

In the pre-climax and climax, the way the story unfolds when all the characters end up meeting and the game of run and chase ends, makes you jump and sit to know who would end up being the criminal of all. I am glad author ended the book with some facts revealed which actually excites you and makes you believe the story rather than shrugging it off the way it generally happens with Indian-based authors. I am also glad that even though the book was initially about friends, author didn’t waste time in the useless friendship tales and flashbacks.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book, I must say that the book could have been edited and shortened very well by almost 100 pages. Yes. The biggest problem is that the synopsis or blurb, whatever you call it, mentions too much which is then elaborated in book for too long which bores you at times. Also, in between, the run-and-chase becomes too monotonous with nothing much getting revealed but only the same cycle getting repeated. Similarly, I felt that Vin’s father’s role could have been used more to twist the story as he was a key character. Similarly, the mask men are hyped too much even having them on the cover page but they are also too under-utilized in the story. The title of the book gets mentioned in the final part of the book but it could have also been made the centre point of the story right from the beginning.

Saying it all, I would say this is one of the genuine thriller I read which is written with heart. I give this book 4* out of 5.



Monday, June 10, 2019

Master Your Money, Master Your Life by Abhishek Kumar (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

As far as my memory goes, I have read around 3-4 books related to how we can manage our money and finances with many tips out there. But the problem with those books was that it explained money and the methods to save it in the way that someone like me who has started earning since last 3-4 years itself shall never be able to comprehend the jargons and what to do exactly to understand whom to believe and whom not to believe. I have finally completed reading a book which has actually satisfied me in terms of suggestions provided. The book is “Master Your Money Master Your Life” by 2nd time author, Abhishek Kumar, and published by Wisdom Tree.

Reading a non-fiction book becomes great when authors try to keep language and narration simple and I must applaud Abhishek for managing to explain such complex terms and topics in as easy language as possible that reading this book has not only been informative but also entertaining and exciting. There are so many advertisements, financial advisors, family agents, family friends who have filled our minds with multiple concepts on how money can be multiplied and saved. Author had a difficult task of going against them and putting up his belief and make sure the reader agrees with it. I must say I agreed on most of things that Author explained in the book though there are few things on which I did disagree too.

Author has divided the book into different segments to take the things ahead gradually so that readers can grasp the same with the pace of the book. Author starts by explaining the concept of Goal-making which we generally find in Management books and with-it author tries to convince us to be serious for mastering our money and monitor it by creating a serious goal for the same. And then the author goes on explaining us how we are made to believe that our life has been simplified with loans that we can take even for our small purchases but derives the conclusion on how we are actually losing money with each loan. Post that, author goes on a long spree to dilute our passion for owning as many credit cards as possible. In fact, author suggests us to not have credit card at all. Well, here I disagreed as author tries giving suggestions that seems to be too over-protective. Anyway, the myths that author busts regularly up till this chapter is really an eye-opener.

The good thing till this chapter in this book is that in the 1st half, author has told us what not to do and what to completely avoid so that we spend less on things which are not necessary. But the problem here is that still, author has not begun speaking on what needs to be done to save and multiply money. Post this, author starts providing us concepts such as Five Funds Funda where he tells us how to distribute our money to assure we are able to secure all kind of requirements in our life which needs money to be fulfilled. Another unique thing that author has described in one of the chapters which is highly important is how you can effectively regulate and build your money if you and your spouse do it together rather than doing it individually. This is what many advisors miss to include while planning our money.

In the last quarter of the book, author concentrates upon the factors such as real estates, mutual funds, ULIP, Insurance etc. and shares his To-Do list and Not-To-Do list. Here also author has tried his best to keep the jargons away and explain as basic terms as possible so that people who know nothing about it can also enjoy the lessons given.

This book is actually a must-read book as the kind of myths that author has dismissed is really commendable and makes us understand a lot of things. I liked the Five Funds Funda concept and I am surely going to follow it as much as possible. The way author has tried explaining the concepts with the help of charts, fictional conversations and examples is effective and impacting. I am glad that author has not thrown much of calculations, percentages and numbers while explaining the same as it becomes highly irritating for the reader to understand the same and get stuck in a concept or on a page.

Now, talking about the drawbacks of the book, as I have already mentioned above, reader will have to wait for the complete 1st half of the book to actually know where the money needs to be kept. Secondly, as I said above for the chapter on Credit-cards, author has completely invalidated it whereas author should have also told us about how it can be used for benefits in control. Similarly, I believe there are many types of Pension Plans and Insurance Plans which author has not detailed the way I was expecting. If we should go towards LIC or other Insurance Companies and their differentiation and comparison isn’t provided. Similarly, author could have suggested some Mobile Apps which could help us in planning our money, buying stocks, investing in mutual funds etc. Similarly, I was expecting strategies from author on how to plan investment which can help us with Income tax. How to manage money even with having children and how to save for their education, marriage and future is not included.

But, overall, considering even these drawbacks, the book is still worthy enough to go through and follow the basic tips that author has suggested. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Recommended for those who have just started earning and doesn’t know where to keep their money so that they can save it better.



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