Tuesday, 17 September 2019

#BookReview : Blood Island by Deep Halder




Blood Island is a non-fiction written by Deep Halder & published by Harper Collins India. The author has been a journalist for seventeen years, writing on issues of development at the intersection of religion, caste and politics. Currently, he is the executive editor at India Today Group Digital.

The book revolves around the lesser known event of the Marichjhapi Massacre and how it affected as well as changed the lives of so many people. In the present day when we hear about the Rohingya refugees & the NRC being done in Assam to keep out “illegal immigrants”, Marichjhapi remains a bloody spot on the history of India. The partition of Bengal has been complex & so has been the creation of Bangladesh, while upper caste Bengali Hindus had already migrated to India the Namasudra Bengalis migrated after things got violent for them in Bangladesh. This collection of oral history takes us to their journey on how they were treated by different parties & governments and poses a pertinent question to us. When will we start treating human beings as they should be? Get this book here to know more,
History is a weird thing because in most cases how you perceive history depends upon the narrative you’ve come across hence it is possible to not know many aspects of it. This book gives us a collection of oral histories of one such event which is comparatively lesser known & discussed. The Marichjhapi Massacre is a perfect example of how political parties when in power speak a different language than when in power. The author has successfully captured the very essence of this event & portrayed it as it is. Each chapter makes you revisit the horror people went through & understand the sense of betrayal they must’ve felt. Surely a must read.


#Spotlight ; More Unfairy Tales by T. F Carthick



MORE UNFAIRY TALES
(Carthick's Unfairy Tales Book 2)
by
T.F. Carthick



Blurb


A knight rescues a damsel in distress. They marry, the whole kingdom rejoices, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Or at least that's what Official sources say. But what tales do insiders tell? What secrets lie buried deep inside Davey Jones' Locker?

What, dear reader, about The Unfairy tales?

The stories the Knight-in-Shining-Armour and the Damsel-in-Distress have never wanted you to know. Tales which Fairyland had kept locked up in secret and thrown away the key. Until our rogue bard went back in time and ferreted out skeletons hidden within secret cupboards of desolate mansions.

Our fearless crusader of truth and justice brings to you the second volume of revelations from fairyland.

You will find five more unfairy tales hidden within the pages of this tiny tome, the sequel to Carthick's Unfairy Tales. Stories of elves out to decipher the ways of men and dwarves seeking to reclaim their own histories. Of spurned witches and lost wolves. These stories are going to change everything you have ever believed about fairyland and give you a peek underneath the gossamer threads of glamour and magic peddled by the Fae.
     
Read an excerpt


Grab your copy @

Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk 


About the author




T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.



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Thursday, 22 August 2019

#BookReview : The Legacy of Nothing by Manoj Pandey



The Legacy of Nothing is a collection of stories culled from the ennui of modern living. These disjointed tales of dark, disparate, desperate lives entertain, provoke and challenge our empathy. Manoj Pandey’s poetic prose is an insider’s job — a unique exploration of the emptiness inside the eggshell of contemporary existence.

The Legacy of Nothing  is a collection of contemporary short stories written by Manoj Pandey & illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, published by Pan Macmillan India. The author is also an illustrator & is from New Delhi. His work has appeared in Huffington Post, Indian Express, etc. He has also edited a book of short fiction Tales on Tweet which was published in 2016. Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York & instructor at the School of Visual Arts.

The book is a collection of 10 short stories written in a poetry format. The stories cover a wide array of topics like that of the spirit of migrants trying to make a living in foreign soil away from their homeland or a struggling musician who is ready to do anything to be famous even if he has to use a rape incident to do so. Other stories indulge in stories like the journey of a man who changes his sex & what led to his decision, or of people who become friends via Facebook & what happens when they meet. Apart from these, there are six more stories all exploring different ideas. Get this book here,
At first look no one can guess that this book is a collection of short stories as it is extremely small & many of its pages have beautiful illustrations. This book has all the ingredients to be a super hit but unfortunately it didn’t worked for me. I understand that the stories being super short is it’s unique selling point but I believe at the same time the stories should engulf the readers into it’s world which didn’t happened for me. The stories lacked depth & sensitivity. The illustrations are to die for. A unique experiment which could’ve been executed a little better.   


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

#BookReview : But You Don't Look Like A Muslim by Rakhshanda Jalil



What does it mean to be Muslim in India? What does it mean to look like one's religion? Does one's faith determine how one is perceived? Is there a secular ideal one is supposed to live up to? Can people of different faiths have a shared culture, a shared identity? India has, since time immemorial, been plural, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual, where various streams have fed into and strengthened each other, and where dissimilarities have always been a cause for rejoicing rather than strife. These writings, on and about being Muslim in India, by Rakhshanda Jalil one of the country s foremost literary historians and cultural commentators excavate memories, interrogate dilemmas, and rediscover and celebrate a nation and its syncretic culture.

But You Don’t Look Like A Muslim is a non-fiction written by Rakhshanda Jalil & published by Harper Collins India. Apart from being a writer she is also a critic & a literary historian. She is also a well-known translator, with eight published translations of Premchand, Asghar Wajahat, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shahryar, Intezar Hussain and Phanishwarnath Renu.

The book is a collection of 40 essays divided into 4 groups of 10 essays each. Each group has been titled as per the four pillars which affect any community; politics, culture, literature & religion itself. The first essay’s title My Father Did Not Take the Train to Pakistan in itself is a punch to one’s throat, while one can interpret it in many ways but it was enough for me to make sure this book is going to be a hell of a emotional roller coaster. Each essay while includes personal stories of not just the author but of other people, it also contains some detailed historical facts which gives depth to the essays. Get this book here,
I would surely start from the title itself, something which we heard quite a lot more than the number of times we should come across it. How not being recognized as a Muslim from one’s appearance normalizes their existence in the society but definite question that arises is that what happens if one DOES look like a Muslim? The author tries to wrestle with several such topics regarding the identity of a Muslim and gives several relevant references to describe it. The chapters have been interwoven with beautiful poems to sum up the essays and each group gives you a wholesome idea about each of the subject matter. In the current scenario of our country, I believe books with such personal stories need to be told widely because these can prove to be a tool to break the divide between us vs them. A must read. 


Monday, 12 August 2019

#Spotlight : The Missing Fairy Princess by Walter Salvadore Pereira

The Missing Fairy Princess by Walter Salvadore Pereira

~ Book Tour~
11th to 17th August

About the Book:
“The Missing Fairy Princess” is the story of a 16-year-old fairy princess pitted against a powerful witch. The witch has stolen a potent new mantra developed by a colleague, ruthlessly snuffing out a brilliantly innovative mind.  She then hatches an elaborate plot to frame an adversary for her misdeed.  Her intention is to exact sweet revenge from her foe and at the same time, get away with the theft.  The victim, caught in her vicious web, is doomed to disgrace and a life sentence on a harsh penal colony. Meanwhile, the witch learns from her crystal ball, about an imminent threat from a fairy princess wearing a pink tiara.  To ward off that threat she kidnaps the fairy princess, wipes her memory clean and then turns her into a two-year-old girl.  

Unfortunately for the culprit, she has goofed up by kidnapping the wrong fairy princess, Merlyn, instead of Ashlyn, her twin.  The mistake turns out to be the undoing of the witch because Ashlyn proves to be her nemesis.  The brilliant fairy princess exposes the cobweb of misleading evidence fabricated by the witch, ultimately unmasking her.

If you love mystery, whodunit, with a dash of magical realism and sci-fi, this book is for you.

Book Links:
Hi, I am Walter Salvadore Pereira.

I read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe in early teens and discovered for the first time that the written words stirred up emotions within you as much as the actual events one witnessed occurring around.  That book was followed by “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.  Those two books of entirely different genres had a profound impact on me and set on my journey as an avid book lover.  At the same time, they did ignite an urge within me to emulate their authors.  But then family responsibilities were thrust upon me and the author faded into the background.

More than six decades later, leading a quiet retired life, the passion for writing came to the fore.  My first attempt at writing was a historical fiction, inspired by the Indian classics Ramayan and Mahabharat.  It was an epic comprising of over 100,000 words.  During the writing process, I went through every conceivable phase the author undergoes; writer’s block, frustration, despair, uncertainty.  I even reached the stage where I thought about abandoning the project altogether.  But the thought of the slog over those countless hours wouldn’t let me accept defeat and I persisted through tenacity and sheer will power.  I read it over and over, and again; chopped out entire sections and re-wrote until the outcome was to my satisfaction.  It took me over six years to complete that book, titled “Bheem – The Saga of Madhavpur” and finally, it was published during February this year on KDP Select.

In between, I published a fast-paced adventure sci-fi story titled “This Nightmare is for Real”.

I had been toying with the idea of a fairy tale for the last few years on account of it being the favourite topic of my granddaughter during her younger days.  The result is the current book, “The Missing Fairy Princess”.

I have made a foray in a totally different genre altogether for my next one – the cross-border terrorism faced by India – titled “The Carnivore has a Heart”.  It will be published through KDP Select within the next few days. 


About the Author:
After spending over 25 years in the Middle East, the author, aged 75, now leads a retired life.  He lives with his wife and son in Thane, near Mumbai. He has been passionate about writing from his early days.  His first book was a fast-paced sci-fi novel titled “This Nightmare is for Real”, was self-published. That was followed by a historical fiction titled “Bheem – The Sage of Madhavpur”, again a self-publication.  A third book, a fairy tale titled “The Missing Fairy Princess” which was published on Kindle Select during the first week of June 2019, while a fourth on the oft-discussed topic of cross-border terrorism titled “The Carnivore has a Heart” is slated for publication shortly thereafter again on Kindle Select.

Contact the Author:




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Friday, 5 July 2019

#BookReview ; The Scent of God by Saikat Majumdar



In an elite all-boys’ boarding school run by a Hindu monastic order in late-twentieth century India, things aren’t what they look like on the surface…
Anirvan, a young student, is fascinated by the music and silence of spiritual life. He dreams of becoming a monk. But as he seeks his dream, he finds himself drawn to a fellow student, and they come together to form an intimate and unspeakable relationship.
The boys sweat at cricket and football, crack science and mathematics in pursuit of golden careers, and meditate to the aroma of incense and flowers. It’s a world of ruthless discipline shaped by monks in flowing saffron. A sceptical teacher mentors Anirvan and reveals his suspicion of this vigilant atmosphere. Does the beating of the boys reveal urges that cannot be named? What is the meaning of monastic celibacy? What, indeed, holds the brotherhood together?
Against himself, Anirvan gets sucked into a whirl of events outside the walls of the monastery, in the midst of prostitutes, scheming politicians and the impoverished Muslims of the villages surrounding the school. When the love of his life returns to him, the boys’ desire for each other push them towards a wild course of action. But will that give them a life together in a world that does not recognize their kind of love?

The Scent of God is a gay Fiction written by Saikat Majumdar & published by Simon & Schuster India. The author has also written two more novels, The Firebird & a non-fiction, College: Pathways of Possibility & a book of literary criticism, Prose of the World. He lives in Delhi & teaches literature and creative writing at Ashoka University.

The story is set in an all-boys’ boarding school which is run by Hindu monastic order, where the children don’t just study & play but also meditate & pray. Anirvan, a young boy with innumerous troubles at home but wants to be a saffron clad monk like his teachers. While he is seeking peace within himself & is on his journey to do so he is also attracted towards his friend Kajol. But things change as he gets involved in a wild range of things as he starts to give speeches for The Party. Does that mean that its the end of his quest for peace & his love for Kajol, get the book here to know,
June is known as the Pride Month & I wanted to read something which is based upon LGBTQ+ story & that’s how I came across this book. There’s already a dearth of Indian LGBTQ+ literature hence I was quite elated to know that after all this time some authors are finally writing in this genre too. The story introduces us to a beautiful scenario of an ashram filled with incense & greenery, the author set the story so well that one can just feel that they are already there. The author in a slow pace introduces us to the different angles of the story so that it kind of pulls you into it. The language used is extremely simple, the cover is gorgeous & so is the title. This surely is a one of a kind read which you shouldn’t miss.


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

#Spotlight ; Shiva Stone: Hampi's Hidden Treasure by Ajinkya Bhoite


check out the schedule here

Shiva Stone: Hampi's Hidden Treasure
by 
AJINKYA BHOITE



BLURB

Mithila is a senior archeologist on the Hampi site along with two other UNESCO scientists. They decide to open some secret vaults in the underground Shiva temple. Treasures and artifacts from the 18th century make the headlines but the Shiva Stone was kept a closely guarded secret. 

When a RAW officer hires Mithila on a secret mission to safely transport an ISRO professor and the Shiva Stone to Bangalore, she knows something is up.

Why is the stone called the Shiva Stone? Why are archeologists, UNESCO, ISRO, and RAW interested in a discovery at Hampi? Why is Mithila working for RAW? Is she the only agent on the mission? 

Shiva Stone will take you on a thrilling adventure through the historical site of Hampi. Buy it now!

Grab your copy @


About the author


I am an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer with an inclination towards reading and writing. Besides, being Engineer, I enjoy running. 

My first novel is Shiva Stone which is self-published on Kindle.

I was born in a small town called Wai, near Panchgani, Maharashtra. Moved to Satara for High School. 

Under-graduation from Pune University and Masters from California State University, Long Beach.

Currently, working as a Cloud Support Engineer for Amazon Web Services.




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