Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott is one of the most gripping and interesting thriller in recent times. It is a fast paced story; if you are a fan of Robert Ludlum you must definitely read this book. The story reminds one of vintage Ludlum books like The Bourne Identity while reading this. An espionage story well told.
The story is about Sam Capra who is a CIA operative in London. He is living the life of his dreams. He is an American living in London; he has a perfect flat, a perfect job and a perfect wife Lucy who is seven months pregnant with his first child.
But one sunny day, it all comes crashing down. Sam receives a call from his wife, who is also with the CIA, while he is at work. She asks him to leave the building immediately, which he does- just before it explodes, killing all those who were inside. Lucy vanishes after that call and Sam finds himself in a prison cell. Sam is now under suspicion of being a part of the blow up conspiracy and an enemy agent.
It is Sam’s fight to find out the perpetrators of this crime and to prove that he is innocent. It is also a race to find his wife Lucy and his child who he has not seen yet. The book will keep you hooked to the very end. A kind of a book which you have to read from start to finish in one go thanks to all its exciting twists and turns.
Immensely readable book by the bestselling author of Panic.
About the Author:
Jeff Abbott is the internationally bestselling author of eleven novels, which are published in twenty languages. He is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Award. He lives in Austin with his wife.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
“Of all the people we meet in a lifetime, it is strange that so many of us find ourselves in thrall to one particular person.Once that face is seen ,an involuntary heartache sets in for which there is no cure.All the wonder of this world finds shape in that one person and thereafter there is no reprieve ,because this kind of love does not end,or not until death.
For the lucky ones,this love is reciprocated. But for so many others everywhere,anywhere,there follows an unending ache of longing without relief.Incurable love is a great leveler.Yet I believe that this bittersweet love is better by far than the despair which blights those with a dead heart.”
If you loved reading these lines, you’ll love Rosie Alison’s book, The very thought of you. I picked up this book from the library when I spotted a list of accolades and awards the books have been considered for. It’s been shortlisted for Amazon Rising Star award 2009, Long listed for RNA Romantic novel of the year 2010 and Le prince Maurice prize and for Literary short stories 2010.
It is 1939 and the world is at the brink of a war. Thousands of children are being evacuated from London to protect them from the bombings that everyone anticipates,with Hitler gaining momentum.Anna sands is an eight year old girl, who is displaced and is sent off to a school for evacuees along with 80 others to a large Yorkshire estate called Ashton Park.There she meets Mr Ashton, the owner of the estate,a cripple who teaches them Latin ; Elizabeth Ashton, a beautiful ice queen; Ruth Weir ,the plain-Jane teacher who has a lovely way with children among many others. Ashton park,a rambling house with gardens and sculptures and it’s secret nooks act as a brilliant tapestry for the undercurrents that run in the household. Anna is a quiet, introspective child,who prefers keeping her own company rather than playing with the other children.
The Ashtons are a childless couple and both pine for a child of their own. Their marriage is on the rocks with both of them having receded into their private shells. They really need a baby to revive the marriage.Elizabeth gets anxious and lives a bohemian double life which nobody knows about. It is her way of escaping her soul- less, passionless existence. Then there is Roberta, Anna’s mother who lives alone in London .With Anne away at Ashton park and her husband away in Egypt in the army, Roberta feels the need for male company and starts seeing a man. Meanwhile at Ashton park, romance is on the cards for Elizabeth as a new guest enters the household.
Suddenly, Anna becomes a witness to things a girl her age shouldn’t witness and in a strange way gets drawn to Thomas and her teacher, Ruth. Will Elizabeth fall in love again? Will she leave Thomas? Will Anna go back to her mother? Will Thomas find love of his own ? Well, for answers to these questions,you need to read the book.
What could have been a wonderful, flowing narrative from the word go, sags because of a lot of flashbacks The book is an essay in melancholy and flows slowly letting us delve more into every character. The 3rd person POV doesn’t work for this book and after a point gets choppy and repetitive as you have all the main characters talking about their loneliness and inadequacies.
However, the language is beautiful and serenades you, making you fall in love with it. With the war on, the need for comfort in another human being is so heightened that morality and the question of being right or wrong becomes secondary to the guiding emotion itself. The book makes you realize this at every juncture. A wife is not just a wife, but a woman with hot-blooded passions.A cripple is not just a cripple,but a wounded man who is grappling with questions about his self-worth.
Overall, a lilting book that left its haunting mark on me, despite some minor complaints.
3.5/5 for this lovely, brooding tale.
(This book has been reviewed by Bedazzled. She lives in Chennai with her husband,loves to travel and read. After spending many years in cubicles getting cross eyed, she took to writing. She blogs at bedazzledeternally.blogspot.com. )
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Recently got a chance to read an immensely enjoyable book , Parul Sharma's By the Water Cooler. Any management student or corporate types (slave/slave driver/ wannabe/guru/czar or whatever) will identify with the characters and laugh out loud while reading this book. By the Water cooler is a hilarious mix of office tales, management fundamentals, and workplace politics. Mini and her friends will be hard to forget long after the book is over.
The book is the story of Mini and Tanya who are the typical best friends forever who have studied together and are now working together. Both of them are restless and discontent with their jobs in an advertising agency, they soon quit their jobs and join JR Enterprises. They both have stars in their eyes and dreams of making it big in their new corporate career but their dreams are short lived. As soon as they join the company they realize things are not as easy as they looked. Right from the HR Manager who hired them gets fired on the first day of their joining to having a CEO who is a megalomaniac to the madhouse which is also known their office. The book will keep you laughing with Mini and Tanya’s tales.
The book is a crazy, whacky, and full on fun ride complete with office deadlines, dirty office politics and eccentric characters. Some of their types you would have encountered in your work place for sure.
This is Parul Sharma’s second book. Her first book was a hilarious account of a first time mother’s desperate attempt to be a super mum. Many would say her first was the book version of her popular mummy blog but with her second book she has convincingly proved herself to be a fine humour writer.
If you haven’t read the book yet go read it now believe me you won’t regret it!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Date: 19th December
Time: 2.30 pm
Venue: Prithvi Cafe, Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu,Mumbai-49
To attend and to join the group contact us at : bookwelove (at) gmail (dot) com
Book discussion of the month : Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires
Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg an awkward maths prodigy and a painfully shy computer genius were never going to fit in at elite, polished Harvard. Yet that all changed when master-hacker Mark crashed the university s entire computer system by creating a rateable database of female students. Narrowly escaping expulsion, the two misfits refocused the site into something less controversial The Facebook and watched as it spread like a wildfire across campuses around the country, along with their popularity.nnYet amidst the dizzying levels of cash and glamour, as silicon valley, venture capitalists and reams of girls beckoned, the first cracks in their friendship started to appear, and what began as a simple argument spiralled into an out-and-out war. The great irony is that Facebook succeeded by bringing people together but its very success tore two best friends apart.
About the Author
Ben Mezrich, a Harvard graduate, has published ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House. He is a columnist for Boston Common and a contributor to Flush magazine.Ben lives in Boston with his wife, Tonya.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Cyrus Moore’s book ‘The City of Thieves’ shows the murky insider dealings of price fixing and how the big broking houses fix share prices for their own and their clients gain. The lengths that these broking houses can go to, to achieve their goals makes this book worth a read.
The story, set in London, is about Nic Lamparelli a journalist who is hired as a research analyst for a telecom practice. Nic soon becomes a sharp and insightful analyst whose views and analysis of companies can move the share prices of the companies. He rises through the ranks to reach the pinnacle of his profession, and soon he has a high flying career in the city, with a reputation as one of the bank’s star analysts. But things change for him soon enough when Nic is pressurized to raise his call on a particular share which his bosses are fixing with their clients to make a killing on the insider prices. Nic refuses to play along and soon whatever Nic has managed to build starts to crumble right in front of his eyes. But in the face of everything can he hold true to his principles?
A very interesting and novel concept which shows the Armani suited villains of the financial markets in their true light. The villains may not be larger than life like Gordon Gekko but stay true to his mantra of ‘Greed is good’
A controversial page-turning thriller set in the days leading up to the credit crunch, City of Thieves is the novel that lifts the lid on city life.
Good and fast paced read.
About the Author:
Cyrus Moore is the writing name for Cyrus Mewawalla, a leading City analyst. After twenty years’ experience in the City, Cyrus left corporate banking to set up independently. In 2006 Bloomberg ranked him the number one telecom analyst in the UK. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I picked up After Dark after I finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle which was a truly intoxicating read. It took a few days for the after-effects of The Wind-Up Bird to wear off. While Wind-Up Bird came out in the 90s, After Dark is the most recent novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Unlike The Wind-Up Bird which was a thick volume, After Dark is a slim one almost like a novella. The book is an easy and lucid read translated into English form the original Japanese. The language is poetic, the story is told in third person and the events happen in real-time. Each chapter displays the time elapsed since the story began (It reminds one of the popular TV series 24.) The third-person viewpoint might feel detached and indifferent but the characters are not and more than make up for it. As the title suggests, the story begins at night and ends when darkness slowly gives way to the break of the dawn.
Mari Asai is a 20-year-old girl and is sitting in a coffee shop, whiling away her time in downtown Tokyo, all by herself, trying to concentrate on a book. It’s close to midnight and she should be home but she doesn’t feel like going home for no particular reason. A young man named Takahashi comes in after a while and introduces himself to Mari. After little initial hiccups, the two get on talking. Meanwhile, Mari’s sister Eri Asai is lying asleep in a room, the location of the room unknown. Her sleep is abnormally deep and frighteningly perfect. We can’t tell if she’s alive if not for her pulse. We don’t know for how long she’s been sleeping and when she would wake up, if she would at all. As darkness takes the city in its grip, routine normalcy of the day gives way to the eerie and the ominous of the night. After Mari and Takahashi make some talk, Takahashi takes leave and Mari is again all by herself till she is called by a nearby hotel owner – a retired female wrestler – to help her out with a Chinese girl who’s been attacked by a stranger and who doesn’t know Japanese. There’s a third storyline involving seemingly the stranger who attacked the Chinese girl. His world is equally bizarre and he seems to be an embodiment of evil. The three different stories run parallel and converge in the end at the break of the dawn.
It feels strange thinking of the contrast between the night and the day, between the dark and the light; not just the absolute difference but also the foreboding, the ominous, the apprehension, the uncertainties they entail. Outside and inside of our psyche. The story tells of the modern-age decay, the alienation, the melancholy of loss, the evil and the bizarre. The ending is vague and it feels like the story was left in halfway but it’s a Murakami book and he never gives you the conclusion. May be there isn’t one or may be he wants to you to find it out by yourself. If you’ve read Murakami before or if you like the bizarre and the strange and can take in the surrealism, then this is a book for you. Others can read this for the lucidity of the language and some wonderful lines.
About the author:
Haruki Murakami is a popular Japanese writer. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. His most famous works are The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka On the Shore, Norwegian Wood among others. His fascination with surrealism and looking for the ominous and unsettling in the seemingly mundane events is thrilling. His most recent work IQ84 would come out in English in 2011
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Karen Rose’s book I Can See You brings to the reader an intense and different plot. I have read many books in the popular fiction recently but this one is a definite page turner.
Eve Wilson as a young girl was raped and beaten by her friend’s father. Though the man is caught and imprisoned it leaves her badly scarred. To get over her trauma Eve moves to another city and tries to build her life anew. She pursues a course in psychology where she is involved in developing an online game which provides the player a secret identity and can have a social alternate life. Eve who has fully recovered from her past trauma with the help of the virtual world is trying to help others to kick-start their own recovery by using the virtual world.
But soon things start going horribly wrong when women users who have shared their fears, their dreams and vulnerabilities in this virtual world are getting killed one by one by an online predator. With Eve herself now a target it is a race against time to find a killer who can disappear with the strike of a key.
Detective Noah Webster who is investigating these murders along with Eve put in their all and very best to find this new age predator.
The book is a good read and has a nice, intriguing concept. A differently written serial killer story. With various twists and turns in the plot this book will keep the reader hooked till the very end.
About the Author:
Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.
Karen lives in Florida with her husband of twenty years and their children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travelling, karate and, though not a popular Florida pastime, skiing.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Mark Gimenez's book The Common Lawyer is not a typical courtroom drama unlike his other books but nevertheless an interesting read. If you are a fan of John Grisham then you absolutely must add Mark Gimenez’s books to your must read list!
The protagonist of the book, Andy Prescott, is a 29 year old lawyer in the city of Austin, Texas. Andy is not the typical American lawyer living the American dream but is a gofer who makes a living specializing in getting his clients to evade traffic fines in the traffic court. Not particularly ambitious and happy with whatever he is earning he prefers to take it easy.
Andy’s life changes when billionaire Russell Reeves retains him to represent him in the redevelopment of economically backward areas of Austin. Russell pays Andy more money than he has ever earned or ever imagined in his lifetime. This turns out to be the turning point in Andy’s life and from here on the book becomes a roller coaster ride for the reader with its various twists and turns. Andy gets more than what he bargained for when he gets more involved in Russell’s life. Andy realizes nothing comes for free and that Russell is a desperate man whose sole aim is to save the life of his eight year old son, Zach who is suffering from a rare cancer disorder. He believes the cure to his son’s problem lies in his so called relationships from the past and sends Andy on a chase to trace them back.
The book is a good and fast paced read. An interesting book in the popular fiction genre. Makes for a good weekend read or airport read!
About the Author:
Born and educated in Texas, Mark Gimenez attended law school at Notre Dame, Indiana and practiced with a large Dallas law firm. He is married with two sons.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
In her book, The F-Word Mita Kapur takes the reader through an amazing culinary journey, which is a treat for any food lover! The book should be compulsory reading for all foodies worldwide.
This is the story of a woman who loves her food and who also loves to feed! The book is a madcap account of a working woman who spends all day -and sometimes, most of the night juggling family, friends and food. Along the way she introduces the reader to her family and friends and every recipe is preceded by an equally interesting episode. The book takes the reader on an exciting food trip from Lucknow to Thailand, from Rajasthan to Europe. It has an interesting mix of recipes, while some are her experimentations in the kitchen the rest are, from India and around the world. The F-Word is packed with some very interesting recipes to suit every taste, however conservative or weird.
The author’s narrative is so appealing that the reader can almost savour the taste of the food she is cooking up! So whether it is the kebabs & chats to her interesting soup & salad recipes or her awesome desserts they will all leave you hungering for more!
This book for sure comes from the author’s heart no wonder she has managed to do full justice to it! She makes the entire experience of cooking food so effortless and the experience of enjoying food delectable.
The F-word manages to take the reader into a lovely, fun, interesting world of food.
A book for people who live to eat and absolutely not for those who eat to live!
About the Author:
Mita Kapur runs Siyahi, a literary agency based in Jaipur, which also conceptualizes and directs literary events. She writes for various newspapers and magazines on subjects ranging from women’s rights to lifestyle and food.
Inside Central Asia is a political and cultural history of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Iran. Besides maybe Turkey and Iran, the other countries have for years have been clubbed as one single entity in our psyche and not much has been written about them. Dilip Hiro through this book tries to bridge that gap.
These former Soviet republics of Central Asia comprise a sprawling, politically pivotal and richly cultured area. Yet they remain poorly represented in libraries and mainstream media. They have experienced tremendous socio-political change since their inception. But despite the growth of oil wealth, the arrival of western tourists, and the competition for influence by the US, China and Russia, the spirit of Central Asia has remained untouched at its core.
About the Author:
Dilip Hiro is the author of more than thirty books, including Blood of the Earth and War without End. He contributes regularly to the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Observer, and is a commentator for the BBC and CNN.