About the author:
Manish Gupta is a banking professional. When not crunching numbers, he examines the vagaries and the idiosyncracies of the English language. This is his debut book.
Cover and blurb:
A very humorous cover, one that reminded me of college days when we used to dive into books for last minute notes, books that were otherwise left mostly untouched. English, thankfully, has not been one of my nightmares. But the blurb made me interested in it for sure.
My thoughts on the book:
Let me be frank. I’m actually quite scared to review this book. The author loves to examine the vagaries of the English language. I’m quite worried that he would look at this review and examine it for flaws that have cropped up in it. I’m expecting a long mail from him with points saying my review was missing a colon, or that it had a fragment.
Jokes aside, this book was a fun read. The book is the author’s journey with the language. I took his advice and read the book slowly, and allowed the fun to sink in. It’s hilarious. I can’t quite explain how it feels to read a humor book that is non-fiction and still enjoy it so much.
What I enjoyed most in the book were the mnemonics to remember things. Oh, if only I had this book when I was in school, I’d have been so much better with English than I was. I’d even have aced Geography which had a chapter on planets and I mostly managed to get the order of the planets wrong! (Even in the finals, to my great dismay). There are even some fun acronyms in the book. How many of us know what the acronym DINK stands for? I didn’t, and neither did my sister. Another thing we loved was the part on Amphibology. I won’t reveal what it means, but I can tell you this. We sometimes use it without even realizing that we are doing so. When we chanced upon this one in the book, we burst out laughing! We read a palindrome about a cat and a car that was super funny! Even the illustrations inside were funny, especially the one with the two drunks.
A common mistake most of us make is to use a particular word in a wrong way. A word has multiple meanings. We can’t use them in the same way always. Do you know the word which has the most uses? That particular word has 58 noun uses, 126 uses as a verb and ten as an adjective? No. You’ll find it in the book, and that’s an example of how useful and interactive this book can be.
I find this book a very easy to understand, fun to follow, and an engaging guide to learning the quirks of the English language. I find it so for the fact that this is not a textbook, but a journey through someone’s experiences. Imagining the paths that he has taken, you not only learn but enjoy learning. If I were to meet the author some day, I’ll be sure to get my copy of this book autographed from him. This book, without doubt, goes into my favorites’ shelf.
Title: English Bites
Author: Manish Gupta
Genre: Humor / Non-fiction
Publishers: Penguin Books India
Price: INR. 250
(3rd Nov, 2013)