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Book Review: When Our Worlds Meet Again, by Aniesha Brahma

It’s quite interesting when familiar characters return to a familiar setting but with a new story set to unfold. That’s kind of what happens in this book, though there is, I feel, a familiarity to some parts of this novel in that story too.

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Book Review: Without a Goodbye, by Swati Kumari

Quite a few articles in the newspaper these days focuses on crimes against women, and it has been more in focus since the last few years, I think. Yet, on the other hand, there remains some silence too. I don’t know what it was that prompted me to take this book for reading; maybe it was the blurb that said “A daughter and a mother. This is the story of a life. You choose to live or die.”

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Book Review: Wise Enough To Be Foolish, by Gauri Jayaram

About the author:
Gauri Jayaram is a mother of two girls, amateur athlete and a part-time writer. She is also a management school drop-out, traveller, entrepreneur, and in full time employment with the world’s largest escorted touring company. She is a little bit of many things, and still not satisfied. This book is her debut offering. Continue reading “Book Review: Wise Enough To Be Foolish, by Gauri Jayaram”

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Book Review: A Vision of Angels, by Timothy Jay Smith

About the author:
Timothy Jay Smith is an American author. His ceaseless wanderlust that took him around the world many times brought him unparalleled experiences, which in turn affected the breadth and sensibility of his work. He continues to collect short stories while splitting his time between Paris, Greece and Miami Beach. The same energy that makes him travel, he brings to his writing.

Cover and blurb:
Not sure what attracted me in the cover, which is a simple one, but there is something in it. The description promised a war thriller and lots of interesting, diverse characters. I felt that was a genre I could read on Kindle, given my slow reading speed.

My thoughts:
War books are something I think before I take. A war thriller, and a Kindle copy at that, I did think a moment more before I agreed. In retrospect now, I feel that extra moment was unnecessary. The book was quite a wonderful read, and I take something out of it. I think any book, if it brings you something more than a story, is a good one.

We start in Jerusalem, the people headed for prayers, and the security a little more tight than it usually would be. We are taken through the Old City first through the eyes of David Kessler, a journalist, who is stopped by a soldier, then through Issa, a shopkeeper and his father-in-law Azzedine. We’re taken to the mosque, and we hear the mullah’s speech before soldiers enter and shots are fired. A bomb explodes. We’re back to David’s eyes as he captures the carnage. We can almost walk with him, see what he sees, feel the beats of his heart. It’s quite visual.

We then look at the scene through the eyes of Major Jakob Levy, who closes the border after the bomb. The closing affects Amin Mousa, who learns even his pass, signed by the Major himself has been revoked because of that incident. We are introduced to Katya, David’s neighbor and her son Joshua, Efrahim who is an old painter and storyteller and then the family of the Major, who is reputed in the country and is dubbed the Saint of Sinai.

If you notice, I’m not telling you of the plot or its movements, but some of the various characters that we come across in the book. I’m doing so because I feel, in this instance, the book is more than the plot, it is not only how that moves that makes this a good book, but it is how the characters move you. It’s the energy of David, the journalist, to do what he has to do to get his shot that captured my attention, then his bravery when a young boy falls victim, and of course, his fondness for his neighbour Joshua. It’s the adamancy of the Major that attracts, and the same for his courageous son Mishe who opposes his father’s decisions vehemantly. It’s the dialogues between Issa and David, between Mishe and his father, the interaction between various characters that captures a depth in this novel. It’s a thriller, and I read it like I would any fiction. But it still makes me ponder more about characters, and their actions. I don’t feel it’s easy to write in the given setting either, so that’s another thing I liked.

In this case, the positive also becomes a negative. When we’re taken through the viewpoints of many characters, the narration becomes a tad confusing, a tad slow. It works to the most part, but not completely. It’s a heavy read though it’s a thriller. And that heaviness isn’t changed by the ending, which feels hopeful but doesn’t carry through after the read ends.

Did I love it? Yes. I did. If there was a paperback of the same, it’d be on the bookshelf with some of my favorites.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book Details:
Title: A Vision of Angels
Author: Timothy Jay Smith
Genre: Thriller
Publishers: Owl Canyon Press via Amazon
Price on Amazon: INR 295


This is an author-requested review, given for a review copy of the book, but no other payment.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with First Reads Challenge at b00k r3vi3ws

(Oct 2nd, 2013)

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Book Review: Because I am a Girl – Seven Girls Seven Lives, by Plan India

My thoughts on the book:
Growing up in India, there are quite a few things about the country you hear, and later on, through newspapers and articles, know that it is probably true. It would be saddening, yes, but true. Perhaps the state of the nation isn’t as bad now as it was before, or maybe it is, I do not know. That’s not the point I’m trying to make anyways. One of the more spoken about points in newspapers and forums, or sometimes even between my friends and me, is the life of the girl child in India. There was a time when I heard of female foeticide so much that it made me sick. The preference to a boy to be the next-in-line, or not giving enough attention to the daughter’s needs… that was something that was up for debate each time.

I have been recommended this book by multiple friends. I’m thankful for that, for this is a non-fiction that inspires in a way that others cannot. This are seven life stories, of seven girls in different parts of the country, who have broken these beliefs and survived obstacles life has thrown in front of them. They have chased down dreams, and found happiness when at one time in their lives; those might have been a choice they couldn’t have made. Each story strikes a chord with the reader, and you can’t help but admire their tenacity and will to learn from life, something that cannot be learnt from books.

I have two reasons why I chose this book to read and review, even though non-fiction may not admittedly be my favorite genre to read. One is that the book was about girls in India, and their story narrated by other girls. The more appealing reason, in tandem with the first, was the cover. Innocence and happiness was reflected in the essence of childhood, and the rains make one nostalgic for those days. The book felt right to read, and it was. I think reading reality, if not experiencing it, can make at least some difference to our life. Read this book for stories of hope and strength, dreams and reality, love and life. Read it like life, and not a story. Then you might, just might, feel the effect.

Rated a 9/10
Rated a 9/10

Book Details:
Title: Seven Girls Seven Lives
Author: Multiple Authors
Compiled by: Plan India
ISBN: 978-8-184-00156-3
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publishers: Random House India
Price: INR. 299


This book was given to me for review by Random House India. This is not a paid review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with
1) First Reads Challenge at b00k r3vi3ws
2) Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve.

(Sept 9th, 2013)