“Songs of the Mist” by Shashi

These are trying times wherein everyone is being questioned about roles, designations, rules and ‘conflict of interest’.  I had the chance to beta-read end edit a manuscript by fellow CBC-member and India’s leading spiritual blogger – Shashi – “Songs of the Mist”.

I was captivated by the manuscript. No two thoughts about it – it was good. The challenge was to structure and rephrase words in a way that would appeal to the younger generation for whom the book is primarily written. I am happy to say that to a fair extent amidst various contributors, we have done an extremely good job!

The contributors include Nandhitha Hariharan and Rajesh Venugopalan.

The book is a love story cum spiritual journey. Ashutosh, Ayan, Calliope, Anishka, and the elusive monk are the key characters.The tale goes back and forth and in time and the description of the Himalayas transports you to the snow-capped peaks. I do not wish to reveal a lot about the plot

The book incorporates the essence of the Song Divine – the Bhagvat Gita and is the first in the “Monk Key” series. It is one man’s search for his true identity and his quest to sort out for once and for all the purpose of his creation in the bigger scheme of things! All the people whom he meets in this journey, their conversations and their intertwined lives get featured in the book.

You can buy the book here –

http://www.amazon.in/Songs-Mist-Monk-Key-1/dp/935206562X

I also attended a reading of the book last Friday at the Leela Palace in Chennai it was graced by Timeri Murari renowned novelist and playwright. There was a Carnatic Music performance and display of paintings as well. It was a wonderful event.

Lovely pics from the event can be seen here- shot by the legendary fine arts enthusiast Jothivel Moorthi – http://www.jovemac.in/songs-of-the-mist-book-reading/

 

 

Private India – Blogadda Book Reviews Program

Title: Private India
Author(s): James Patterson, Ashwin Sanghi
Language: English
Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Crime
Publisher: Arrow/Random House India, Year Published: 2014 July
Pages: 480
ISBN-13: 9780099586395 , ISBN-10: 0099586398

I first heard that Ashwin Sanghi was working with James Patterson on a novel set in India, at the beginning of this year, at ‘The Hindu Lit for Life Literature Festival’ in Chennai. The announcement had me excited because JP is a master-writer spinning plot upon plot and is I believe among the rare few people who does not suffer from Writer’s Block. The prolific output of work is testimony to the statement above 🙂

JP surprisingly was a recent entrant in my reading list; read one of his books about three years back and then a friend gave me a full bunch of his ebooks with about 15 or 17 of his works and it was an absolute blast reading his books.

Ashwin Sanghi has won the title of India’s Dan Brown and his books have found success with the steady mix of history, mythology, science and politics. I enjoyed ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ and look forward to reading more of his solo-efforts.

Now let me tell you a bit about my reading tastes – I am a bit crazy about serial killers and murder mysteries. There was a time when I hoped I would go on to do an MPhil and a PhD and my thesis would be ‘Serial Killers in Fiction and Reality’. Well fate had other plans and all I do is read books and write reviews when time permits. Jo Nesbo has been the single biggest novelist who has managed to charm his way into the hearts of readers with his Harry Hole series and his translator deserves equal merit.

Now moving back to ‘Private India’:

In Mumbai, women are being strangled and killed with a yellow scarf. Strange motifs and symbols are being placed next to their corpses. Private India, a team of super exclusive private investigators is brought into action and headed by Santosh Wagh, ex RAW, the team of Nisha Gandhe (ex Mumbai CID), Hari Padhi (tech wizard) and Mubeen (forensic expert) take it upon themselves to try and find the killer before he strikes again.

Step-by-step the case unravels, the book is paced fast and lots of secrets tumble out. I do not want to add too many details as this would make reading the book boring. The book is a great read for those unfamiliar with the works of JP. To seasoned readers of books by JP and other crime-thriller masters; this book is a bit of a letdown.

It is evident that the descriptions of Mumbai references to the various forms of the Goddess and the Navrathri are by Ashwin Sanghi – but somewhere deep down I felt this book was going like a bit of a tour guide for international readers. Somewhere there seems to be a disconnect, I am just not able to put it clearly, perhaps I am wrong and it is my personal viewpoint. May be if I had not read any of JP’s books before I would have waxed eloquent and offered five stars. Read some of JP’s earlier books and you will feel the difference.

Mahesh’s Rating: Three stars out of five for this thriller.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

JUICE by Mohit Jain – Book Review

This is the second book that I have received from ace-teacher, inspirational speaker and author – Mohit Jain. The previous book that I had reviewed was Four Corners of the Circle. You can read the review here.

J.U.I.C.E. stands for – ‘Join us in creating education’

The book has an intriguing cover in blue – with the outline of a cocktail glass designed with various words.

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The book focuses on explaining tough and complicated principles in management and economics through simple tales that can be easily understood and retained in memory.

One of the other aspects that I liked in this book are numerous illustrations and cartoons with some text in them. These ensure that readers are not bored and the interest in the book is maintained throughout.

The writer takes various incidents from his own life – his stint in Direct Marketing, his evolution as a teacher and motivational speaker and uses these incidents to cover a number of topics that are part of the curriculum in all management programmes.

I would love to write more about this book – but then it would rob potential readers the joy of reading the concepts that have been explained in easy to understand ‘no-nonsense’ style.

My only sore-point with the book is some spelling errors that have crept in – then again the message and the value of this book to management and economics students is much higher than the minor irritant of a few spelling mistakes.

I would whole heartedly recommend this book to students; please buy this book. I wish I had read this book, when I was younger 🙂

Buy from Flipkart.

Priced at just Rs 199 – equivalent to a movie-ticket and parking at a multiplex – please invest money in this book – you will not be disappointed.

Fall Like a Rose Petal – Book Review

Title of the Book – Fall Like a Rose Petal : A Father’s Lessons on How to be Happy and Content While Living without Money
Author – AVIS Viswanathan
ISBN – 9789384030445
Genre – Self-Help/Motivation
Publisher – Westland
Pages – 322

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Description on the Amazon India website:<a
In early 2008, the author AVIS Viswanathan and Vaani his soul-mate, friend, wife and business partner were staring at a bankruptcy of their Firm. A series of business decisions had literally brought them to the brink of penury. This book is their story. It captures learnings from this excruciatingly painful, Life-changing, phase that they are still going through. It also explores the nature and continuum of Life. There is no beginning to the story. There is no end either. There are simply experiences. Of hopelessness. Of fear. Of insolvency. Of pennilessness. And also of faith, patience, love, companionship, abundance and soul. Of integrity and of leading a principled Life, despite temptations to take the easy way out of painful or messy situations. This book has been written to share how AVIS and his family have learned to be happy despite their circumstances. You too can benefit from their learning, and experience, and discover the right way of thinking, living, working and winning in Life for yourself!

About Avis:
AVIS Viswanathan (47) is a happiness curator, Life Coach, inspired speaker, author and organizational transformation consultant who leads change management, culture and leadership development mandates in the corporate sector globally.

I had the good fortune of attending the launch of this gem of a book and I finished reading the book the next day. On an average I finish reading at least two or three pieces of fiction (novels) a week. Non-fiction and self-help are genres that I read rarely. Books on spirituality and self-enquiry are a completely different box of chocolates and I do indulge myself in these treats once in a while.

This particular book – ‘Fall Like a Rose Petal’ – chronicles the incredible journey of a family; a husband, wife and their son and daughter. From being one of the top-notch entrepreneurs in a niche business area and finding success in every stream, to staring at abject penury and bankruptcy and being chased by 179 creditors. The book is an incredible true-life tale of survival, courage, faith and self-respect.

All good things come in small packages, the book has a minimalist yet powerful cover image of a single rose petal and the title of the book in black lettering on a white background. The book will definitely stand out in any store.

Sounds interesting right???? I am transferring you to my website now which has the full in-depth review. Do read the full review and please do buy the book!

Four Corners of the Circle – Book Review

It all started one evening when I noticed a post by a blogger friend Aravind Kumar about a book and if people would be interested in reviewing the book. The title of the book was – ‘Four Corners of the Circle’. In a short span of about 30 minutes I was connected with the author Mr. Mohit Jain on Facebook and we were chatting.

The book arrived within a few days and battling busy work-schedules and fatigue, which did not let me read the book on the train; I finally completed the book. Before I go into the review of the book; a short introduction of the author follows:

Mr. Mohit Jain is an eminent personality who has been influencing students at various levels through his teachings, mentoring, training and consultation for more than 16 years. He has a rich experience in the field of Quantitative Aptitude, Economics, Finance and Marketing Research. He is a visiting faculty member of various management institutes in Kolkata, Guwahati, Pune, Nasik, and Bangalore.

Read more about Mohit – http://mohitjainreveals.com/bio.html

From the blurb on the rear-cover of the book:

Ever heard about the four corners of the circle? Since childhood, t has been taught in schools that the circle has no concern. Life is a never ending marathon. It keeps on revolving in circles and everyone is in search of a final destination, a corner that they never reach. This book is a small initiative to throw light on different aspects of the education system and how could we join hands to make it more productive. It guides the aspiring students to follow a right approach, take correct decisions, and overcome distractions in their career. It advocated that the educational institutions should focus on enlightening the lives of the students by providing quality education, quality learning ambiance, practical grounds to implement class room theories, and by helping students convert their black cat into a white one. The book is neither biased toward students nor educational institutes; the sole purpose is to provide their individual perspectives and reach to a common conclusion. The book contains five theories, which Mr. Mohit Jain has discovered in his sixteen years of teaching experience and which would help the youngsters reach closer and closer to their goals.

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Review:
The book is a fascinating piece of writing; coming from a teacher and mentor who has guided a number of students over the years to find their true-calling and achieve their dreams. The book is not a novel, wherein I can provide plot-points and create suspense and force you to pick up the book to help you unravel a mystery.

This book is a small gem that takes incidents from the author’s life and traces his journey as a son, student, friend, teacher and mentor. In today’s result-oriented world; where everyone aspires to become an MBA; the book examines if an MBA is really worth it; does the MBA ensure guaranteed employment and success and other very pertinent questions.

I would recommend every student who plans to write the CAT or similar preparatory test; or aspires to go abroad for higher studies to please buy this book and spend time reading the book. The book is simple, precise, crisp and direct in the presentation of the core-idea. There are interesting diagrams that add value to the book.

The Nine Point Theory put forward and copyrighted by the author distills the essence of learning and the whole purpose of studying and perhaps living in a clear manner. I am sure that many people who read this book will look back in regret and wish that they had heard about this theory earlier.

The author lists out the impact that his father had on him and thanks him for inspiring him to do what he is doing. He also credits his teachers, friends, family and students who have all added value to his life.

I offer 4.5 stars out of 5 for this solid gem of a book and would recommend it to everyone be it student or management professional or IT professional or teacher; do read this book and spread the message that – ‘No dream is impossible.’

Buy the book here:
http://www.flipkart.com/four-corners-circle/p/itmdsbpnberpsrfb

Do read the book it won’t disappoint you!