Book Review: Roads- A Journey with Verses

Author: Ms. Vandana Bhasin and Ms. Smitha Vishwanath

Language: English

Publisher: Notion Press

” Roads- A Journey with Verses” is a collection of poems written by Ms. Vandana Bhasin and Ms. Smitha Vishwanath. This book takes the readers to a memorable journey of verses where they get a chance to see life and its beautiful emotions through writers’ perspectives. At one point, you will feel to introspect about your own odyssey. That’s the beauty of this book!

Ms. Vandana Bhasin has excelled both in the field of poetry and prose. She has won numerous accolades for her soulful writings. Recently she has been awarded as the winner of the Asian Literary Society’s Wordsmith Award 2019.

Banker turned writer Ms. Smitha Vishwanath is an erudite poetess whose rich imagery and profound knowledge of human emotions are indeed praiseworthy. She has won laurels in the literary field for her exemplary writing skills.

What I liked:

I did not find any deliberate attempt to stretch the poems. The writers successfully presented their thoughts in these poems. The selection of powerful words enhanced their beauty.

Unlike most of the poetry books, Where titles are embellished with ornamental words, I find this book’s title simple but quite appealing.

Most of the poems have been weaved around profound thoughts which compels you to pause and ponder for a minute.

The interesting division of the book in three major sections and further sub-sections. Clubbing poems on courage, wisdom, serenity in the first section; love, compassion, strength in the second section and keeping verses on joy, hope, and gratitude in the last section was an innovative idea and it really impressed me.

Most of the titles of the poems are thought-provoking. They would arouse interest to flip through the pages and read them. And believe me! the verses would not disappoint you.

Most Interesting Part:

Apart from major sections and sub-sections, I find many of these poems, good choices for recitations. They are powerful and have the capability to draw the attention of the audience. You will feel connected until the last line.

I find small captions written by Ms. Vandana Bhasin and Ms. Smitha Vishwanath before each sub-section interesting as well as quite meaningful.

The book is well-edited and the pictures used before each sub-section are cleverly chosen. My personal favorite is the one that is chosen to introduce the courage sub-section.

The impressive writing by  Ms. Vandana Bhasin and Ms. Smitha Vishwanath. The hard work done by them is quite visible when you read it.

Overall Opinion:

I recommend “Roads- A Journey with Verses” to all poetry lovers. It is interesting to read the tapestry of words weaved by these two writers.

Overall Rating: 

I give this book a five-star rating for incorporating so many new ideas in it and the sincere effort put by Ms. Vandana Bhasin and Ms. Smitha Vishwanath to make this book worth reading.

Book Review: Under The Mango Tree

Author: Bina Pillai

Language: English

Publisher: Bigfoot Publications

“Under The Mango Tree ” is the first novel by eminent poet and writer Ms. Bina Pillai. Ms. Bina Pillai is a well-known figure in the literary circle who is quite popular among her readers and friends for her motivational articles and inspirational poems.

I had got the chance and review her maiden book “The Lyrical Rhythm”, an anthology of her soulful poems. It was very much appreciated by the critics as well as readers. When I came to know her new book, “Under The Mango Tree” is about her nostalgic trip where she has included true incidents of her life, I was eager to read the book and after reading it, I must say that it was indeed a good experience. I finished the book in one go. Such was the power of the strong plot of the book and the way she presented the story that kept me hooked to the book until the end! The best part was even after I finished the novel, the characters remained in my thoughts.

What I liked:

1. The character of Diya and the way she handled the ups and downs of her life. Many a time you would feel why she was enduring so much pain. But then it is a real-life where things are interweaved around harsh situations; Her one step taken in haste would have devastated the lives of her kids. 

2. The book is well-edited with negligible mistakes and typos. The language of the book is lucid.

3. “Under The Mango Tree” is a compilation of life’s experiences with a pinch of imagination imbibed in it that was necessary to keep the storyline, interesting. This book gives a ray of hope to all those who are facing similar situations in their lives. After reading this book you would feel that life is magical and miracles do happen in life.

4. I liked the way Diya used to give a befitting reply to her husband and her honesty in expressing the emotions for her loved ones which were beyond definitions of right or wrong. 

Most Interesting Part:

1. The entire journey of Diya from her childhood to her old age is very interesting. Once you finish a chapter, curiosity comes what will happen next. And no wonder I finished the book in one sitting.

2. The end of the novel is quite interesting. I think it could be the best ending of this novel.

3. The author did not try to justify her response or tried to show only bad aspects of the character of Rajagopal. The instances she presented in the novel compels you to think about how difficult it would be to spent entire life with such a person. Aditya’s character was also very good and it brings much needed fresh breeze in the life of Diya already tormented by Rajagopal.

Overall Opinion:

“Under The Mango Tree” is a must-read book that is dabbed with deep emotions, intense pain, and self-belief. The way Bina has chronicled the events neither giving too much stress on the bad phase nor overshadowing the memorable moments is truly commendable. I’m not sure how many portions of the entire story were real but I’m glad to see the Diya ultimately received in her life which she deserved albeit a bit late.

Overall Rating:  I give this book a five-star rating. The impressive writing by Bina and the superb storyline of “Under The Mango Tree” touched the core of my heart.

Book Review: Reminiscences by the girl who lived

Reminiscences by the girl who lived
Author: Samrudhi Dash
Language: English
Publisher: Authorspress

“Reminiscences by the girl who lived” is the second novel of Ms. Samrudhi Dash, an erudite scholar of English Literature who is very popular in the literary circle for her interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking poems, articles and essays. Last year, I had got the chance to read her first novel “Beyond the Horizon” and I was impressed by her powerful writing style.

So expectations were bit high when I started reading “Reminiscences by the girl who lived.” And I was definitely not disappointed by the plot, characters, and the narration. Though sometimes I felt why the girl Tariqah who appeared quite mature was not able to handle the problems of her past with ease. Sometimes her acts were not convincing. But everyone has a different perspective on life and I know that the problems which appear trivial to one, can be a turning point in another’s life. Well, that’s life where nothing can be defined with common rules.

What I liked:

1. The story has been narrated by “Pain.” Doesn’t it sound interesting? It is the first time I have read any book where the story is narrated by an emotion.

2. The language of the novel is very impressive. The flow is praiseworthy. I felt as if the author had a reservoir of thoughts which needed an outlet to flow.

3. I felt that the novel was bit philosophical. There were many interesting quotes in the book. I would like to mention one of them- “Life does not give us all answers and sometimes we are better off without ever knowing the answers.

4. Though the first half of the book was a bit slow, leaving me to wonder why the girl Tariqah had such demeanor, why her acts sounded exaggeration of the trivial issues? However, the second half of the book was beautifully written and it answered all the questions that popped up in my mind initially.

Most Interesting Part:

1. I would say the second half of the book. It was intelligently thought, plotted and written. All the sub-plots had been given adequate coverage and none of them abruptly ended.

2. Author has mastered the art of inking the emotions in form of heart-touching quotes. And you would get its glimpse in this novel.

3. All the major characters of the story were interesting, but I liked the character of Ken a lot. Robin sounded a typical Bollywood hero and the lead character, Tariqah appeared more natural and convincing in the second half of the book.

Overall Opinion:

“Reminiscences of the girl who lived” is a commendable effort by the young author. Even a seasoned reader would love the plot especially the way it progressed and its climax, which was actually stated in the beginning but with some twist. To know about that, you will have to read the book.

Overall Rating: I would rate it five stars for the two reasons, first, the way the story is narrated and secondly, as I mentioned earlier, its interesting second half.

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Book Review: The Ride of My Life

The Ride of My Life
Author: Shivjeet Singh Raghav
Language: English
Publisher: Phoneme books

“The Ride of My Life” is an autobiography of Mr. Shivjeet Singh Raghav, a living legend who has been inspiring thousands of the distressed patients through his motivational speech and voluntary counseling.

Autobiographies are not merely books, but they are the invaluable memorabilia of the timeless journey that inundates the soul and replenishes the mind with the colors of life. Unlike a fiction where every chapter is dotted with the unexpected twists and turns, autobiographies are beyond those compulsions or rules. They are the unrestrained expression of long-suppressed emotions. A silent walk to the memory lane or perhaps, a caravan where rapture and excruciating ordeals are queued up in a series, as multi-hued beads to make a long string, named as life.

“The Ride of My Life” is an inspirational autobiography through which Mr. Shivjeet Singh Raghav has shared the story of his life commendably. He has weaved a tapestry of emotions and words. Like me, every reader would be surprised with his sharp memory. The way he presented his story with a bird’s eye view, deserves applause.

What I liked:

1. The use of Bollywood move songs and Urdu/Hindi couplets. I must admit, while reading, sometimes I thought what song he would choose to end the chapter.
2. Language is lucid and simple.
3. He had not overstressed the tragedy part and focussed on the overall journey.

Most Interesting Part:

1. I admire the way he gave the readers a veiled glimpse of his love-life.
2. The detailed narration of every phase of his life.
3. The beautiful pictures of all those who played a significant role in his journey.

Overall Opinion:

This book will compel you to think about the life beyond a closet in which we cocoon ourselves. Do read this autobiography to know that legends endure intense pain but in a gracious way, paving the path for others to draw inspiration from their life’s journey.

Overall Rating: 5

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Book Review: Dance

Dance: Poems
Author: Aabha Vatsa
Language: English
Publisher: Authorspress

Aabha Vatsa is a prominent face in the English poetry circle, famous for her inspirational compositions. Lately, I got an opportunity to go through one of her book, named “Dance.” It is an anthology of thirty-three beautiful poems having profound meaning. As she mentioned in the blurb, her poetry style is both delicate and bold, I have few more observations after reading this book. I find her writings very decent, mature and quite meaningful.

Most of the poems of this anthology are short with the commendable usage of powerful words that raises the interest to read between the lines. The titles of poems are precise and straightforward that gives the idea about the content underneath.
As the poems are short and their sentences have few words, readers can read this book in one go. The cover of the anthology contains a picture of a lady spreading her arms as if she is relishing her freedom from the shackles of the past. I admire the cover design that fits perfectly with the content of the book.

What I liked:

1. Few of the poems like “Aylan Kurdi,” “The Dance,” and “Three men in a Boat,” are beautifully written.
2. Proper usage of ornamental words makes the poems praiseworthy.
3. The cover of the book arouses an interest to read this collection of poesy.

Most interesting part:

1. The first thing that prompts in my mind is the choice of the words which makes these short poems, indeed, soulful.
2. Secondly, the way the poet conveyed the positivity through her writing.

Suggestions:

It would be interesting to read her poems inked in the conventional stanza format with perfect rhymes.

Overall Opinion:

A worth read for English poetry readers. These lyrical poems are inspirational, insightful and have the fragrance of spirituality.

Overall Rating: 5

 

Dance

Book Review- Blue Butterflies: A Bouquet of Poem

Blue Butterflies: A Bouquet of Poem
Author: Namita Rani Panda
Language: English
Publisher: Aditya Prakashan Latur (2017)

Mrs. Namita Rani Panda is an erudite poet who has mastered the art of expressing her observations in beautiful verses. In this anthology of poems, she has poured out her heart and compels the male-dominated society to ponder about the countless trials a woman has to face as a mother, wife, sister or daughter. It is a cruel reality that women have been persecuted for ages at the same place where civilization sprouted from the womb of the mother earth. Even today, in most of the families, women have to suffer due to this deep-rooted male-chauvinism in this part of the globe.

Blue Butterflies is a collection of poems on various subjects directly related to us; however, while reading these gems of poesy, I could feel the feminine perspective in them. All the seventy poems in this book are well written and spellbind the reader. She has succeeded to convey her view on social issues as well as different colors of life.

What I liked:

1. Few of the poems like “Ahalya the Winner” and “Facebook Love” are my personal favorite.
2. Good choice of words used in these poems. She has chosen powerful words that enhance the beauty of her writing.
3. I’m impressed with the formatting, especially the font size and style used in her book.

Most interesting part:

1. I liked the way she raised the social issues. She has firmly presented her views using fewer words. Her writing style keeps you hooked to the book till the end.
2. As the poems were on diverse topics, I did not feel monotone.
3. The way she explained why did she title it as “Blue Butterflies” in the “From the poet’s desk” segment.

Suggestions:
Grey characters do exist in our society whether man or women. Reading her views on that aspect of womanhood would be interesting.

Overall Opinion:
Blue Butterflies is debut book of Mrs. Panda, and she does not disappoint us. Readers would love reading these poems on feminism, social injustice, and human emotions.

Overall Rating: 5

 

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Book Review: By the Flowing River: A Story of Survival & Self Discovery

Author: Vivek Singh

Published by: Adhyyan Books International Pvt Ltd

Year of Publication: 2017

Vivek Singh’s novel “By the Flowing River: A Story of Survival & Self Discovery” is an inspirational novel which has been written, keeping the journey of a river in mind. He has beautifully weaved a tapestry of inspiration quotes having profound meaning. “By the Flowing River” is a story of a promising young man, Sid, who gets detached with the deceptive world and desperately seeks for solitude and spiritual healing after series of the unexpected events in his life. And in this voyage of self-discovery, he comes across many interesting characters who teach him the invaluable lessons of the life and usher him to the path of enlightenment.

What I liked:

  • The basic plot of this novel is quite simple but keeps you engrossed until the end
  • The inspirational quotes used in the book are praiseworthy. These words of wisdom are the invaluable gift by the author, and they will guide the readers in solving the complicated tangles of the life.
  • The way Sid learns about the essence of the life from the strangers with whom he interacts in this spiritual journey.
  • Author has not deviated from the primary focus of the book, i.e., to spread the aroma of positivity through his inspirational quotes.

Most interesting part:

  • I liked the overall concept.
  • The seven quotes, revolving around the river.

Favourite Character:

Sid and Vishwa. I liked Vishwa more as he was quite balanced personality and there has always been a mystery around him since his entry in the novel.

Connect to Character:

I felt connected to the overall plot of this novel. Pointing to one would be an injustice to the many other characters whose roles were short but well crafted.

Climax:

The story of Varsha was bit unprecedented, but I had anticipated the end after finishing Varsha’s section, and realizing, there are few more pages left to read.

Favourite part of the book:

I will remember this book for the two reasons:

  •  Seven inspirational quotes
  •  Overall nice concept

Scene evaluation:

All scenes have been presented in the lucid language. The story develops convincingly. The conversations draw your attention and counter questions are quite relevant. Most of the answers given are satisfactory.

Overall opinion:

Overall good read. I’ve read an inspirational book after a long time, and this book didn’t disappoint me.

Is it gripping?

I would say “By the Flowing River” is a good book that inspires you through its excellent quotes.

Suggestions:

  •  Expected more coverage to the clashes of thoughts in Sid’s mind.
  •  Usage of Powerful words, enhance the beauty of inspirational writing.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Flow

 

Book Review: In Search Of Happiness

Authors: Sushil Kumar Rana and Shivangi Rawat
Format: Kindle edition
Print Length: 44 Pages
Language: English
Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Blurb:

Today, when social media is full of scandal, heartbreak, revenge and full of unsocial activities. But there is something a beautiful relation is going to spring up in between Arohi and Aakash. Most of all you are thinking it as love or something like that. But it’s not a love tale; their relationship has no name. Their relationship is more than a friend, relatives. Their bonding is pure and perpetual. Did this type of relationships exist in this savage world? If yes then how and when, to know more about it go through the story. Some relation has no names, but that doesn’t mean that relationship didn’t exist.

Love never is wrong its the person who always. Love has its positivity and can alter a person completely. After breaking up with his girlfriend, Sunil completely drowned in sorrow and grabbed by depression. There is no hope of returning to his normal state, at once he is a famous writer with full of positivity and a motivator to all. So what miracle happens in his life that change him a different soul.

Everybody thinks that happiness lies with money, what if it is wrong. We spent thousands of rupees in the pub, bar multiplex and shopping mall but did we ever draw the inner happiness? Inner happiness is long lasting and not like with today’s temporary happiness.
So where it lies, or this is just a myth in the form of a book. Friends it exists, and you can’t buy it with money and power. You gain it by serving some good deeds. What changes a selfish person into a selfless. To know more, we have to go through Madhav life story

About the book:

“In Search Of Happiness” is an anthology of five short stories written by the avid readers and well-known book reviewers Mr Sushil Kumar Rana and Ms Shivangi Rawat. I liked the concept that two people hailing from two regions, separated by hundreds of miles, came up with a noble idea of bringing the collection of these short stories. This concise anthology can be finished in one go.

What I liked:

1. Their honest attempt to showcase sweet and seemingly real stories.
2. Few philosophical quotes.

Most interesting part:

1. I liked the short story “In search of Happiness” very much. Especially the quotes used in it. I felt the goosebump while reading the second half of the story.
2. These are decent stories, written in the simple language.

Overall opinion:

This anthology is a collection of five short stories penned by two young people. “In search of Happiness” is a story that deserves applause.

Suggestion:

1. I hope that in the second edition, writers will rectify all the grammar issues.

Overall Rating: 3

Sushil

 

Book Review: …and the silence whispered (poetic musings)

Author: Wani Nazir
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9383755369
ISBN-13: 978-9383755363
Publisher: Global Fraternity of Poets

Mr Wani Nazir is an eminent poet and erudite scholar of English Literature, hailing from Kashmir. He belongs to that region of our country which often comes in the limelight due to wrong reasons. Mr Wani Nazir is that fresh breeze of knowledge and wisdom from Kashmir which enraptures all of us from the writer’s fraternity with its heavenly aroma.

All the poems in this anthology are very intriguing. I was interested in relishing their essence and read between the lines. And because of that I intentionally took a week’s time to finish this book. As a reader far from the turbulent life of the valley, I could feel the pain, the sadness and encrypted messages behind these poems. While reading them, I felt as if he was ushering me to those narrow lanes of the valley where every flower, tree and ferns had a story to tell.

What I liked:

1. The title of the anthology. It arouses interest.
2. The brilliant choice of words used in all these poems.
3. His writing style is fascinating. You can infer his profound knowledge of literature, history and philosophy while reading these poems.

Most interesting part:

1. I would say, the title of the anthology.
2. His unfathomable treasure of vocabulary. To be honest, I’m very impressed.
3. I felt as if I’m reading a literature book of the university. I think this book deserves to be on the library shelves of educational institutes.

Overall opinion:

It is a philosophical anthology, which compels you to contemplate over the plight of humanity, our insensitivity and lack of compassion. In this world where expressing honest opinions often brings criticism, you have no choice but to listen to the whispering of the silence.

Overall Rating: 5

Wani

Poem: Leave me alone

Leave me alone on this starry night,

Let me relax in the milky moonlight.

Away from the chaos and ambiguity,

I wish to drown in this tranquillity.

Beyond the litany of right and wrong,

Where mind listens to the heart’s song.

In the tiresome life without any dream,

Have you heard musing of the stream?

Resting on the green velvet of nature,

I wish to cherish the moon’s signature.

Soft night breeze whispers in my ears,

Don’t count the days, months and years.

Learn to relish each moment as full life,

Don’t run away from trouble and strife.

The life’s odyssey has everything blurred,

This serenity is one aspect of the world.

 

Copyright @Manoj Krishnan 22-04-2017

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