Sunday, October 15, 2017

BookReview - Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight

"Project Body - Awaken The Power of Insight" - after reading the blurb and checking cover design can give you an impression of the futuristic sci-fi novel. Though it is futuristic fiction, it is more targeted towards learning. I appreciate author Hosein's creativity to write a boring considered (by youth) in such a wonderful strong format. This book reminded me of Goal by Goldratt who has delivered complex concepts of the supply chain in a nice story.

Book Blurb
In 2029, Google is the most dominant company in the world. Dr. Bethany Andrews heads the company’s Artificial Intelligence Department and leads Project Bodi, the world’s most advanced Augmented Reality smartglasses that will one day revolutionize the tech space. Her lead programmer is Austin Sanders, a 26-year-old psychonaut who loves Burning Man and electronic dance music. Together they embark on a life-changing journey to design the product of the decade, and along the way they discover the mind’s inner source of insight and innovation.
The book is written in the year 2029 where AI has taken a considerable role in human life. Google has taken the first position leaving back Apple and other mobile manufacturers. Our story starts on Google campus. Our main protagonist is Austin Sanders. Austin was a young programmer at Google. Austin was lost in his own world of Music, Booz, and Drugs. His life was shaken when he was transferred to probation period due to his negligence and irresponsibilities towards his job. His boss Dr. Beth introduced him a mindfulness - mental peace application for his betterment. Using this app, Austin was introduced to meditation and power of the subconscious mind. He started garnering his new learning. Apart from Austin, CEO of the company Mr. Shiv Patel and Dr. Beth also played a good role in the story. Shiv was worried about the future generation's mental peace, their use of social media and drug abuse. He was preparing a book to guide such people through the power of the mind.

As I mentioned earlier one can easily identify flow in two segments
  1. Pure Self-learning Material - Shiv's Book Progress
  2. Learning Via Story - Austin's Part.
Each part is properly arranged wonderfully to keep user stick to the book. I liked following things about book
  • Mind Peach Exercise
  • Google Vision's Futuristic Features
  • Social Issues Discussed due to technology
A good read for people above 15+ age. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5 (Lot better than previous edition's cover)
  2. Title - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 4/5 (For exercise part)
  4. Characters - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, October 8, 2017

BookReview - Shiva in the City of Nectar by Preetha

I personally requested author Preetha Rajah Kannan for the review copy of the "Shiva in the City of Nectar" and she fulfilled my wish. I would like to thank her for this wonderful gift. I have taken this book after 3 months of arrival and I would like to apologize author for the delay. Green color background with Shiva-Sati-Karthikeya image gives elegant look to this book.

Book Blurb
Throbbing with non-stop excitement, Shiva in the City of Nectar sweeps across Heaven, Earth and the Underworld, narrating the exploits of the mysterious and powerful blue-throated god. One after another, the tales unfold the follies of ancient devas, asuras, sages, men and mythical beasts. And through them all, Shiva blithely takes on the guise of beggar, saint, monarch, merchant, fisherman, hunter, warrior and woodcutter; walking through the three worlds to slay rampaging demons, perform his Dance of Bliss and embrace good and bad alike.
Shiva is portrayed in all his multi-faceted mystique – the tender lover who woos and weds Goddess Meenakshi; the eternal Guru who dispenses wisdom; the fierce avenger whose third eye flashes fire; the generous benefactor who showers blessings on his devotees; and, above all, the gentle prankster who embodies the essence of Vedic faith.
As blurb suggests the book is a collection of 54 short stories on Shiva. One may say that "We have heard thousands of stories of Shiva then how this book is different from other books." Well, the book is themed on stories of Shiva around City of Nector which is better known as Madurai. Initial stories start with how temple and Shivalingam came into existence. Then stories shifted to some mythological stories around Devi Meenakshi and Shundarar. Next round of stories covers avatar of Karthikeya. Remaining stories (30+) were of Pandian era kings. Each story shows devotion of various characters and miracle of Shiva towrads those characters.

The best part of the book would be
  • Short & Sweet Stories
  • Nice Cover Design
  • Good for any age
  • Can be used as bedtime stories for kids
I have next book "Son of Shiva" is series with me, and I have high expectation for  the book

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Title - 4/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Characters - 4.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon - In English & In Tamil
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meet Pankaj Upadhyay Author of Homecoming

Today we would like to welcome Pankaj Upadhyay the author of Homecoming. We will have a quick round of Q&A with Pankaj to know more about his latest book.

Can you tell us about your educational background?
M. A. In English Literature And Pg Diploma In Journalism 
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was always a fun-loving guy. I loved singing, writing poetry and stories, participating in various debates etc. I was heavily into 90s Bollywood music.  
What are some day jobs you have held?
Teaching and Journalism.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I read anything that interests me. Any story which gets me curious or brings a smile on my face becomes a must read. RK Narayan has been the one author who has inspired me for his simplicity in writing.
When did you start writing?
Since I was in the fifth standard. 
When did you decide to become a writer?
After covering Muzaffarnagar Riots.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I will write a few more stories that will have the insider’s view on Journalism and the reporting world followed by a collection of short stories and then I will embark on my most ambitious project which is a mythological drama. 
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
Whenever inspiration strikes
Is this your debut work?
This is my first novel though as a journalist I have been writing all my stories for over the last decade.
What genre are your books?
It is a fiction drama.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
It’s a story about three childhood friends from Nainital who dream of making it big in their lives. As they grow up and enter college they lie to their parents and leave for the city of dreams. In Mumbai there comes a point when they manage to save their lives from the jaws of death and then begins the journey of self-discovery.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
PRASHANT: Principled, committed and a mature guy for whom loyalty is an attitude to live by. 

RAHUL: A fun loving and adventure seeking guy. He’s a ladie’s man
GAURAV: A born leader who breaks the norms and charts his own path.
Where did you get idea for this book?
Drew inspiration from my own life experiences. Only I know what is fact and what is fiction in the book:)
How much research did you do for this book?
The material was close to my heart. I just refreshed my memory. 
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
Ghantiwala – the jalebi maker is my favourite character. He is the one who has the biggest influence in the life of the three friends. Hardened through experience he gives life lessons to the three kids. 
Release date. 
The book was released in July 2017
What are you working on at the minute?
Editing my new fiction.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Never thought of.
How was your experience with Publishing house (Lead Start)?
This is my first association with Leadstart. I hope that we will have a mutually benefiting relationship for the future endeavours.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing.
Links for your book readers
We would like to thank Leadstart Publishers (Frog Books) for providing this opportunity to connect the author. Readers can check their wonderful collection of books by going through this link - Leadstart Books

BookReview - Pushing Limits: From West Point to Berkeley & Beyond by Ted Hill

I have received this book almost 8 months back but I was not able to read it on time. The representative from American Mathematical Society didn't convey at that time what this book was. I was under impression that this must be some maths or stats related book. But it was an autobiography or memoir of Ted Hill.

Book Blurb
Pushing Limits: From West Point to Berkeley and Beyond challenges the myth that mathematicians lead dull and ascetic lives. It recounts the unique odyssey of a noted mathematician who overcame military hurdles at West Point, Army Ranger School and the Vietnam War, and survived many civilian escapades—hitchhiking in third-world hotspots, fending off sharks in Bahamian reefs, and camping deep behind the forbidding Iron Curtain. From ultra-conservative West Point in the ’60s to ultra-radical Berkeley in the ’70s, and ultimately to genteel Georgia Tech in the ’80s, this is the tale of an academic career as noteworthy for its offbeat adventures as for its teaching and research accomplishments. It brings to life the struggles and risks underlying mathematical research, the unparalleled thrill of making scientific breakthroughs, and the joy of sharing those discoveries around the world. Hill's book is packed with energy, humor, and suspense, both physical and intellectual. Anyone who is curious about how one maverick mathematician thinks, who wants to relive the zanier side of the ’60s and ’70s, who wants an armchair journey into the third world, or who seeks an unconventional view of several of society's iconic institutions, will be drawn to this book
The book starts with Mr. Hill or I should say Dr. Hill's childhood in parallel to his earlier days in military training.His struggle during training made his a strong character. Then it covers parts of his early postings, Vietnam war and returns phase. Next part covers his journey of being a notable mathematician. His Ph.D. thesis to first Ph.D. student to early retirement to volunteering professor in other countries. Ted has never compromised his personal front for his professional front. Sports and adventure were never out of his life.

I accept that I skipped many pages as I have recently read Vietnam war memoir and I don't know why but I was not able to read those sections again. Some suggestions for publishers design it like a novel, currently, length and width of the book gives an impression of some technical or educational book.

An okay read for normal readers but memoir readers will like this book. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Title - 2/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Overall - 1/5
Book can be found at - Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, October 2, 2017

BookReview - Avishi - Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined

I am in close contact with Sai Swaroopa ever since I reviewed Abhaya. I liked Abhaya so much, I decided to read Sai's future books. She gave me brief of Avishi almost a year back and I was eagerly waiting for print. I wanted to have printed edition of Avishi because I had very high hopes. Well, I didn't get printed version as the author is planning the same early next year and I cannot wait that long. I got an early review copy. I think I was one of the reviewers who got the copy when the book was just entered into Goodreads. I could have claimed the first review but missed the chance. 

Book blurb
Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita 
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda 
But forgotten to the memory of India 
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala 
Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost. 
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela? 
If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read! 
Talking about the story, our main protagonist is Avishi. A girl whose father was conspired in king's murder. She was attacked by assassins. She was taken to Naimisha, knowledge/power center of Jambudwipa from where any religious or social decision was taken. Avishi became a warrior under able guidance. She was sent to Ashtagani to seek her destiny. A fate was waiting for her in Ashtagani. Things changed drastically since the arrival of Avishi in Ashtagani. For more, I would request you to read the book.

Sai Swaroopa writes a story around strong female characters. Her stories show more female-centered characters than normal stories. Abhaya and Avishi both were different from the era they belong to. Avishi is shown as a woman fighting for a cause. Era was pictured when weddings were still under conceptualization, coins were yet to be introduced, barter was standard protocols between settlements. People had different priorities in that times. Sai has shown it wonderfully in very simple writing style. The best part about her books is to the point story with normal language. A good recommendation for any age group. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 4.5/5
  4. Concept - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at - Amazon 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ten Sheep to Sleep - A Picture Book by Nidhi Kamra

"Ten Sheep To Sleep" is my second full review in Kid's (below 7) category. Nidhi has sent me this book a few weeks back and I read it in 5 minutes. But due to my heavy schedule, I didn't get time to write the review at that time. Book deserves a decent review and though I finished reading in 5 minutes I have invested 60 minutes for writing this review.

Book Blurb
Sammy Jo counts ten sheep to put her to sleep, but tonight, ten more sheep appear. The new sheep are creating a ruckus. Sammy Jo has to find a way to calm the sheep down, count twenty sheep, and ensure everyone is happy so they can get a good night's sleep.
Suggested age range for readers: 5-8
The story of the book is simple and it is given in blurb already. So there is no point of discussing it. I would like to point out following things that I like about book
  • Artwork - Well its children book so it is necessary. Artist has given proper importance to that part very well.
  • Girls Observation Ability - Well as a kid, Sammy observed quite well what her family members' likes and dislikes
  • Creativity in showing how she had solved problem of extra ten sheeps
Learning in kids book is the main concern of parents while choosing the book for their kids. They usually prefer giving a book which helps kids learn good things. Here the author has shown how a small girl was able to tackle her own imagination problem with her decision power.

I would like to get a hardcopy of the book for sure. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Title - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 3.5/5
  4. Characters - 4/5
  5. Overall - 3.75/5
P.S. - Don't judge these ratings with other books. In kids' book, you get very less space to convey multiple aspects.

Book can be found at - Amazon India and Amazon.Com
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review - Equations of a being by Ashutosh Gupta

Before I start I would like to confess that I haven't read any book in this genre. Frankly speaking, I am not sure in which genre should I categorized this book. I would like to thank Ashutosh for bringing "Equations of a Being - A Being Who Gathered Moss" to my attention. As the title suggested, the book is a collection of thoughts about various points/things in and around our life.

Book Blurb
If you have a penchant for both reason and abstractness, this intriguing piece of literature shouldn’t be missed. Equations of a Being beautifully coalesces the author’s thought pieces pertaining to the existential spectrum. Never has there been a book that blended emotions, intellect, and imagination so seamlessly, to celebrate a being in totality. 
The author depicts his artistic persuasion, the enriched and disintegrated fragments of his existence, and the conclusions based on his interactions with the physical and abstract elements of life in a compelling and unbridled manner. 
It’s a book for the ages that will let you trace the complete trajectory of a being and realize that a being has been and will always be a convergence of his tryst with abstractness, his acceptance of vulnerability, and his surge for virtuosity
As rightly suggested in the blurb, the author has provided thoughts on various higher to lower level subjects. Being an artist, he has started his points from art, artist, writing to subjects. Then he shifted his focus towards life, man, woman, and feminism. He then talked about God, faith, and worship. At last, he touched the point of existence. Each line is a wonderful quote that one can use for the various purposes.

Talking about the depth of content, it may look like a line per page, but you can write two to three page for each of those lines. One has to read it with full focus to capture the hidden meaning of those lines. I have told earlier, some books you can devour, while some required proper digestion. This book falls under the later category.

I am new to this genre so cannot comment on the content part. But book can be good read for
  • People like to read thought-provoking content
  • People like to read critically acclaimed work
  • Serious and Abstract content readers
Book would be a wrong pick for
  • People like fiction books
  • People like entertainment filled book
  • Those who have started reading English recently
Talking about rating
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Title - 4/5 (Introducing this category first time)
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 3.75/5
Book can be found at - Amazon and Flipkart 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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