Monday, May 31, 2010

Of books,book alleys,bookshops& a bibliophile

Read this very interesting blog post by Soma Ghosh.

Of books,book alleys,bookshops& a bibliophile :

Do read and comment.If you liked what you read please do let Soma know!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Review: Herogiri

Move over Superman,Spiderman and all superheroes from the West we have our very own desi Superhero thanks to Mainak Dhar's new book Herogiri.Like the title? did I!

So whats the story about?Its a story of an ordinary man who possesses extraordinary powers.The story revolves around Arnab Bannerjee; a shy 25 year old assistant librarian. He is the typical shy,geeky extremely self-conscious man living in Delhi.His only companions are books and he is happy to have a job which involves handling them! He leads a very unexciting life until one day he gets thrashed during a bank robbery and suddenly gets superhuman powers. At first he himself does not believe it and treats it as a one off but some incidents make him believe that indeed he possesses superpowers.

Arnab uses his powers for the good of mankind and foils criminal activities by eve teasers, highway robbers, corrupt policemen, and dirty politicians.the biggest challenge turns out to be to stop a deadly terrorist attack on Delhi but for him to achieve that he is forced to join hands with a corrupt politician. The dilemma on the extent to which a person can sacrifice on his ideals is highlighted in Arnab’s plight.What follows is anyone's guess!

What's interesting about the book is the Indian take on the superhero genre which is refreshingly different from the usual stories. The book has lots of action and lots of masala for it to be a good racy read but ...

What obviously doesn't work for the book are too many similarities with the original DC Comic heroes and the typical Good vs Evil tug of war!The book sadly ends up being a poor desi version of the original.

The author Mainak Dhar is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad.He has authored seven books and this is his eighth.Mainak currently works with P&G and lives in Bangkok with his wife &son.

Upcoming Events at Crossword

Introducing on our blog list of interesting book events/book launches/author meet.Here are some upcoming events planned at Crossword.Enjoy!

For all those who love cooking and are passionate about food this event is just for you!

Event: Cookbook Reading

Titles: Unique Book of Vegetarian Cooking.

Author : Saroj Joshi

Guest: Advocate Sudhir Mohanlal Shah will be in conversation with the author

Publisher: N. M Thakkar & Co.

Date & Time: Friday, 28th May 2010 at 7:00 pm

Venue: Crossword Kemps Corner.

Book Synopsis:

Since the invention of hearths & earthen ovens over 250000 years ago, humans have taken an earnest interest in cooking. Cooking has grown from the simple task of heating raw food to a science & an art form. As the world grows smaller thanks to fast transport and improvements in food storage technology, we can now enjoy the freshest produce from the farthest reaches of the planet in the comfort of our own homes.

Inside this book, you will find vegetarian recipes from all over the world. The recipes cover the ancient land of China, the lush green countryside of Tuscany, Italy, the spice of Mexico & the breadth of India’s rich & varied culinary culture. This book covers old classics & new favourites such as Tacos, Eggplant Parmesan, Manchurian, Undhiyu, Goan Curry and Healthy drinks.

The aim is to allow both the seasoned cooks and new students, whether in a fully stocked Indian kitchen or an American kitchen, to enjoy the rich flavours from all over via easy to follow, tried and tested recipes.

About the author:

Saroj Joshi is a multi-talented cookbook author & jeweler. She started experimenting in the kitchen at her home in Bombay in the early seventies. Over the years, her international travels afforded her the opportunity to sample diverse cuisines.

She first ventured into the professional arena by conducting cooking classes at her Warden Road home, which resulted in exceptional success. Stories of her skills & finesse spread, garnering invitations for cooking demonstrations at various clubs & organizations.

She published her first cookbook, ‘Palak Preparations’ in 1999. The book listed nearly 40 recipes made from Palak (Spinach). Her recipes ranged from Italian to Chinese & of course Indian. The summer of 2004 saw the launch of her second book ‘Amar Swad’ (everlasting taste).

In 2004, Saroj Joshi received the ‘Woman of the Year’ award from the Mulund Brahmin Mahila Samaj in Mumbai. She was honoured for setting an inspiring example for women all over by forging a successful career in two fields simultaneously. In the same year she received an ‘Outstanding Career Achievement Award’ from the Brahmin Society of New York, USA.

A Book Launch Event

Event: Book Launch

Titles: A Masterful Spirit :Homi J. Bhabha (1909–1966)

Author : Indira Chowdhury & Ananya Dasgupta

Publisher: Penguin

Date & Time: Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 at 7:00 pm

Venue: Crossword Kemps Corner.

Book Synopsis:

Scientist, citizen, artist—the Renaissance man of India

Homi Jehangir Bhabha, one of India’s outstanding scientists, shouldered the beginnings of India’s nuclear programme. He was the first chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, and the builder of two of India’s

most significant scientific institutions—the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Atomic Energy Establishment, renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1966.

A Masterful Spirit presents the life and achievements of the man through previously unpublished letters, and photographs and paintings, and the recollections of his family, friends, colleagues and students. Designed to convey the flavour of Bhabha’s life and times, this book tells the inspiring story of a man whom Sir C.V. Raman described as ‘the modern equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci’. It acquaints us with the many facets of Bhabha’s personality: physicist, institution-builder, concerned citizen, artist, connoisseur of the arts, designer of gardens and, above all, a charismatic and compassionate human being.

About the authors:

Indira Chowdhury’s book The Frail Hero and Virile History was awarded the Tagore Prize in 2001. She is responsible for setting up the Archives of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Ananya Dasgupta is Consultant Editor to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Archives, and is also responsible for the TIFR Oral History Project

This event is for all our Bangalore readers!

Event: Author Meet & Book Reading

Titles: The Bird With Golden Wings: Stories Of Wit And Magic

Author : Sudha Murty

Publisher: Penguin

Date & Time: Saturday, 29th May 2010 at 6:00 pm

Venue: Crossword Bangalore JP Nagar.

Dramatization by Children on an excerpt from the book.

About the Book:

What would you do if a bird with golden wings alighted on your terrace and offered you fabulous riches?

A poor little girl is rewarded with lovely gifts when she takes pity on a hungry bird and feeds it all the rice she has, but what happens when the girl’s greedy, nosy neighbour hears the story and tries to get bigger and better gifts for herself? Why did the once sweet sea water turn salty? How did it happen that the learned teacher forgot all his lessons and had to be helped out by the school cook? And what did the king do so that the people of his kingdom did not come to know that he has horrible donkey ears hidden under his turban?

Sudha Murty’s new, enchanting collection of stories bubbles over with fun. Delightful colour illustrations bring to life tales of magical creatures, princesses and kings, ordinary witty men and women in a book that will bring hours of joy to readers young and old.

About the Author:

Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

This event is a must for all Dork lovers!!

Event: Book Launch & Reading

Titles: DORK

Author : Sidin Vadukut

Guest: Not confirmed

Publisher: Penguin

Date & Time: Saturday, 5th June 2010 at 7:00 pm

Venue: Crossword Kemps corner.

About the Book:

In April 2006 Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese, a stupendously na├»ve but academically gifted young man (he was ranked 41st in his class), graduates from one of India's best business schools with a Day-Zero job at the Mumbai office of Dufresne Partners, a mediocre mid-market management consulting firm largely run by complete morons.

Varghese finds that he fits into the culture remarkably well.

Or does he?

Through a stunning series of blunders, mishaps and inadvertent errors, Robin begins to make his superiors rue the day they were driven by desperation into hiring him. To make matters worse, Robin realises that his mad, passionate, steamy one-sided relationship with B-school batchmate Gouri Kalbag might be over before it even started. With things going spectacularly wrong, will he manage to achieve his short-term goal of being promoted to Associate in under a year, and beat the record set by Boris Nguyen at Dufresne’s Vietnam office? Will love conquer all? Will Gouri walk with him through Dadar Department Stores with her hand in the rear pocket of his jeans?

Dork: The Incredible Adventures of Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese is the hilarious story of Robin Varghese, super-dork and unlikely corporate hero, for all of those who've ever sat depressed in cubicles…and wanted to kill themselves with office stationery. Especially that letter opener thing.

Join Robin as he navigates his first insane year at Dufresne Partners in this first volume of the Dork trilogy.

About the Author:

Sidin Vadukut is a journalist, columnist and blogger. He has an engineering degree from NIT Trichy and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. In a career spanning around a decade he has made automotive parts, developed online trading platforms, almost set up a retailing company and had a sizeable portion of a tree fall on his head. He is currently an editor with the business newspaper Mint.

Sidin lives in New Delhi with his wife, two PlayStations, four laptops and a desktop computer. He blogs at

Ten Truly Unique Bookstores in America

Anna Miller who is the author of this interesting blog link wanted to share it on our blog too for the readers.

Thanks Anna for sharing the link and dear readers enjoy reading about the unique bookstores in America.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Review:In Other Rooms,Other Wonders

In the last couple of years we have had many Pakistani authors who have made an impressive debut and have been lapped up by Indian readers with gusto!What makes them so interesting?I believe besides good writing its also a curiosity value with the Indians...We want to know the lives people live there,how different is it from ours. So as it comes from a Pakistani writer I had to read it!

A bit about the author :Daniyal Mueenuddin was brought up in Lahore,Pakistan and Elroy,Wisconsin.His stories have appeared in The New Yorker,Granta,Zoetrope, and The Best American Short Stories 2008 selected by Salman Rushdie.He has practiced law in New York for a number of years but now lives on a  farm in Pakistan's southern Punjab.

In Other Rooms,Other Wonders is a collection of eight short stories. These stories are linked to the household of a wealthy landowner named K.K. Harouni. All the stories reveal the complexities of Pakistan's class and culture.The difference between the rich and the poor.A look at the haves and have not.Mueenuddin has managed through these short stories to portray this divide.It almost reminds you of the similarities of the rich thakurs and landowners in India.

The epigraph to In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is a Punjabi proverb: "Three things for which we kill -- Land, women and gold." and every story goes on to prove just that!  Its the survival of the fittest. Everyone in the book is more or less corrupt. It is the huge class difference that leads the servants,drivers and people working for Harouni to cheat on him and thus leading to disastrous and unhappy endings.The unhappy endings are a result of their increasing lust for more power and wealth. Whether it is the slimy accountant who while being efficient is also thieving from his boss or Husna who comes with a purpose and is left with nothing after Harouni's death.Happiness is very short-lived as every story has a desolate and harsh end.

While the book is a very well written debut effort and definitely marks another impressive innings by an author from Pakistan it may fail to click with the readers.What goes against the book is the unhappiness,the bitterness,the selfishness of the characters.The book shows the wretchedness of their existence!While it does hold the mirror to the actual realities that exist, but in life, truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

I enjoyed reading the book and looking forward to more titles in the future from Daniyal Mueenuddin.

Crossword Bestsellers

The Crossword weekly Bestseller list is up !follow the links to see the hits and misses this week!

Penguin Books event

Penguin Books India


World Trade Centre, Mumbai



90 Days to Transform Your Business

by Rekha Shetty

on Thursday 27 May 2010 at 7.00 p.m.

at South Lounge, World Trade Centre, Centre 1 Building, 31st Floor, WTC Complex

Cuffe Parade, Mumbai

Kamal Morarka and Vijay Kalantri will be in conversation with the author and other panelists

‘Innovate! Is the perfect bridge between theory and execution. A must-read for practitioners of change management’—K.V. Kamath

Constant and consistent innovation is the only sure-fire way to profitability, but many organizations are limited by the lack of an innovation culture. Innovate! 90 Days to Transform Your Business is the answer to this problem, allowing you to build a culture of innovation which embraces everyone from the doorman to the chairman.

A daily implementation schedule, Innovate! will give you step-by-step ideas for yourself, your team, your department, and your organization. Start today and see the difference you can make.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Event on The Immortals of Meluha at Landmark, Phoenix Mills, on 13th May @ 6:30 p.m

All you Mumbaikars out there who have read and enjoyed Amish's 'The Immortals of Meluha' this is a must attend event!The event invite is attached!!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crossword Top Ten

This week's bestsellers at Crossword Fiction

Rank Title Author

1 Oh Shit Not Again! Mandar Kokate
2 The Immortals of Meluha Amish Tripathi
3 Empire Of The Moghul: Brothers At War Alex Rutherford
4 Shantaram Gregory David Roberts
5 The Palace Of Illusion Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee
6 Keep The Change Nirupama Subramanian
7 The Japanese Wife Kunal Basu
8 P.S. I Love You Cecilia Ahern
9 Empire Of The Moghul Alex Rutherford
10 2 States : The Story of my Marriage Chetan Bhagat


Rank Title Author

1 The Big Short Michael Lewis
2 Songs Of Blood And Sword Fatima Bhutto
3 Too Big to Fail : Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street Andrew Sorkin
4 The Secret Rhonda Byrne
5 Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight Rutuja Diwekar
6 Connect The Dots Rashmi Bansal
7 The Difficulty of Being Good Gurcharan Das
8 The Complete calvin & hobbes Bill Wattersonl
9 You Can Sell Shiv Khera
10 Ten Much A.G. Krishnamurthy

Children's Bestsellers

1 Breaking dawn Stephenie Meyer
2 You can draw Nil
3 Twilight Stephanie Meyer
4 39 Clues Book 8 : The Emperor’s Code Gordon Korman
5 365 Tales of Indian Mythology Nil
6 Disney My First Easy to Read Stories Nil
7 365 Bedtime Stories Nil
8 New Moon Stephanie Meyer
9 Eclipse Stephanie Meyer
10 Mahabharata ( set of 3 books) Anant Pai

Top Ten Management Books

Rank Title Author

1 The Big Short Michael Lewis
2 Too Big to Fail : Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street Andrew Sorkin
3 Connect The Dots Rashmi Bansal
4 You Can Sell Shiv Khera
5 Ten Much A.G. Krishnamurthy
6 Superfreakonomics Steven Levitt
7 Simply Fly Gopinath
8 The Professional Subroto Bagchi
9 Making Breakthrough Innovation Munshi Porus
10 Fortune At The Bottom C K Prahalad

Book reviews by Monika

We'd invited all the bloggers out there to send us reviews of any interesting books they had read recently, even reviews they had already posted on their blogs.

Monika, who blogs here sent us in her list of reviews she has already done on her blog:

Thank you Monika!