Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Books up for review

Following books are available for review. If you would be interested in reviewing books for the blog do send us an email to bookwelove(at)gmail(dot)com This Book Review Programme is open for Indian Residents only. Here goes:

Mrs Ali’s Road to Happiness- Farahad Zama
The Purple Line- Priyamvada N Purushottam
Wings of Silence- Shriram Iyer
The House I Loved- Tatiana De Rosnay
City of Lies- Lian Tanner
Sachin A Hundred Hundreds Now- V Krishnaswamy
Revolt of the fish eaters- Lopa Ghosh
Chennaivaasi- TS Trimurti
Dream new dreams- Jai Pausch
Black Bread White Beer- Niven Govinden
The Evolution of Gods- Ajay Kansal

Winners of the Brett Lee Contest

Dhantanaa!!!! We have the winners of The Brett Lee book giveaway contest and here they are:
  • Vishal Kale
  • Kshaunish
  • Crystal Clear Thinking
Congratulations winners! Do send us your contact details(postal address and telephone number) to boookwelove(at)gmail(dot)com to send the book across to you.

Thank you all for participating! Every single response to that question was a memorable moment in cricket history but we had only three books to give away...But we have another contest coming up real soon..so keep reading.

Guest Review: She's Never Coming Back

Reviewed by- Shantanu Bhattachraya

Author - Hans Koppel

What's with Scandinavian writers and crime fiction? They seem to have taken over the world lately. It all started with the late Steig Larssen and his Dragon Tattoo trilogy, of course, and ten carried on with writers like Jo Nesbo and the Inspector Harry Hole series, and now Hans Koppel with this book - She's Never Coming Back. Not to generalize, but there seems to be a particularly nasty streak to Scandinavian crime fiction - violent, horrific crimes against women, described in great detail with what can at best be described as realism, and at worst as ghoulish titillation. In The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, this was the graphic description of the rape of Lisbeth Salander, the protagonist, and in this extremely popular book, the incarceration and brutalization of Ylva, a married woman with a past.

But first the good parts. The book is very fast paced, fluidly written, and gripping enough that I actually finished it in one sitting. The characters, even the good ones are all nuanced, with (sometimes fatal) flaws. There is no "hero" as you'd tend to find in a conventional crime book - no Michael Blomqvists here - and even the evil characters have redeeming features. That of course, doesn't stop them from doing the most unspeakable things, and that actually raises the question of how realistic they are. The character of Mike is also delineated well, and his growth as a person from a cuckolded doormat to a more confident, rounded individual who starts guiltily thinking he might actually be better off without his wife is very well etched. Overall Mike's character is the most rounded in the novel.

The basic story is this. A seemingly happily married mother of a 6 year old girl is abducted by an older couple and imprisoned in a soundproof basement apartment with only basic amenities and a TV screen for company. The TV screen has a camera that focuses on her house that is actually just across the road, so that she can see her family - husband and child, but is not able to contact them in any way - while they go through the trauma of facing and living through the sudden disappearance of the woman of the house. Meanwhile she is subject to the most horrific sexual degradations by the husband of the couple that kidnapped her, with active assistance of the wife. They are apparently taking revenge for some horrific act that Ylva has done while at school along with three other classmates. They are getting rid of all four of them one by one. Ylva is the last.

Things are made complicated by the fact that the marriage is not complete a happy one. Ylva has previously cheated on her husband, Mike, and still held the upper hand in the relationship because even as a cuckold, he is too dependent on her to end the marriage. Ylva is a compulsive flirt, while Mike is a wimp. After Ylva disappears, Mike is shell shocked, broken, even though his first assumption is that she had runaway with another man. It's only as time passes that he begins to think his wife may be dead and that he has to man up and be in charge now. But of course he realizes that the police now suspect him of murdering his cheating wife!

As time goes by, Mike reboots his life, gets a new girlfriend, and takes charge. And all this is viewed by an increasingly despondent and dependent Ylva on the TV screen in her basement room. Things come to a head when a journalist Calle Colin, who was also a classmate of Ylva's, starts putting some pieces together and inexorably draws the terrible, unbelievable conclusions that lead to the seemingly harmless old couple in the house opposite Mike's. But that means that it's time for them to end Ylva's existence...

Admittedly the plot makes for a very interesting premise and a cracking read. However it's on deeper thought that one realizes that many things don't add up. Why does the couple dispatch three of the four brutally and quickly but make the woman a sex slave for a year and a half without killing her? Why does the lady assist and condone the husband in repeatedly raping the woman? Why the sadistic brutalization, especially when the husband is shows to be a very effective and compassionate psychiatrist? More importantly, why wait 20 years before taking their revenge? These questions are never really clear in the book. 

At the end what you are left with is a weary sense of horror and disgust, and the fear that this might, just might, happen to you. Which is probably the secret to the success of the book, along with the prurience and salaciousness of the sexual brutality inflicted upon the captive woman. There is no real catharsis for the reader, and while the reader will finish the book fast and perhaps even breathlessly, the payoff is not as satisfying as she would like. 

Guest Review: Inspector Singh investigates: A curious Indian Cadaver

Author: Shamini Flint
Reviewed by : Mahathi Ramya

Reading the title you may think that it might be interesting detective story in India. But, this book is not as curious as title says. For the first few pages, we feel boring and the last half of the book will be fast paced contrary to first half.  If we have already read famous detective stories like Sherlock holme’s or Agatha Christie’s etc., we may not like this plain detective story much. But if we don’t go with any comparison, second half of the book is somewhat gripping and narration is interesting.  

A young scientist ‘Ashu Kaur’ disappears from house suddenly before few days of her marriage. Inspector Singh who is visiting India to attend her marriage agrees to solve the mystery. A dead body is found which is confirmed as Ashu’s by her brother and Mr. Singh investigates the murder case. Mr. Singh finds that the factory that Ashu is working in is responsible for a serious disease in slums and since Ashu knew about the dangerous chemical, she informs her boss on the same day she disappeared. He also finds that Ashu has a lover who is a colleague in her factory ‘Sameer’ who is a muslim, but still Ashu is ready to marry an MBA boy selected by the family as their family cannot accept her to marry a Muslim. Now, what might be the reason for Ashu’s disappearance? Is she run away with Sameer? OR someone murdered her to suppress the truth that she knows about the factory? OR she suicides to avoid marriage with the boy selected by family?

Writing style:
Shamini’s writing style is simple, but sometimes it gets boring. As she was a lawyer by profession, the investigation discussions seem to be very well written with her experience. Pace of the story becomes very fast at the end with story unfolding layer by layer.

My Rating:
A journey pass time read. I can give 2/5.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guest Review - The Wreckage

Reviewed by: Shantanu Bhattacharya

Author:  Michael Robotham

Thrillers are forever. They are the comfort food for many readers like me - the dal chawal or hakka noodles that many of us crave when we are tired of having the rogan joshes and steak tartares of literary writing. We know what to expect, the plot twists, the heroic characters, the devious villains, the urgency of saving the world/person, and successful denoument. We know all this and that makes us happy. Enough to go back to the thrillers repeatedly, whenever we need some respite and comfort in our reading. All we thriller-loving readers ask for is a potentially plausible plot, and in the absence of that, a cracking pace and cathartic conclusion. 

By this yardstick Michael Robotham does a middling job in The Wreckage. Other than the fact that the title has no real relevance to the plot, the story is eminently plausible, dealing with international financial wheeling dealing and chicanery in the backdrop of the Iraq war and subsequent occupation by US and British forces.

Two stories progress in tandem. One set in Iraq, initially stars the Pulitzer winning journalist Luca Terracini who is apparently daring and resourceful enough to be living outside the Green Zone with Iraqi people, being half Iraqi himself. The other story involves a washed out, retired cop (aren't they all?), Vincent Ruiz, who is first mugged, then transfixed by a young girl with some extraordinary resources and powers. 

Luca starts to cover, then investigate, the robbery and disappearance of large amounts of reconstruction money from Iraqi banks. In this he is aided, both in professional and carnal terms by an UN financial auditor, Daniela Garner. Things rapidly escalate, and some bombings and attempts on his life later, Luca has to flee Iraq; but clearly he has stumbled upon something really big. On the other hand, in London, detective Ruiz realizes that his mugger has access some big secret hidden in a notebook she doesn't even remember stealing, that people are willing to kill for, the first victim being her junkie boyfriend.

The rest of the book traces the two storylines and how they merge, exposing multimillion dollar fraudulent banking transactions, helped along with the pregnant wife of a banker who had disappeared with the notebook everyone wants to lay their hands on. Meanwhile MI6 and FBI is also involved somehow - the question being, are the intelligence agencies friends or foes? The story is fairly detailed and the conclusion not completely obvious. 

Micheal Robotham is a competent thriller writer. The language flows smoothly. The characters are well delineated, if a bit one-note. He resists making the protagonists into superheroes - a trap that writers like Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy fall into frequently. Maybe it is the Britishness in him that makes his characters more understated and realistic. However, that also means that personally I felt that the payoff at the conclusion was not as satisfying as I would expect from a thriller that is 500 pages long. I finished the book with a curious feeling of emotional disconnect, not really happy for the characters who survive or sad for those that die. Again, I might have been spoiled by masters of the genre like Ludlum, but the conclusion could definitely have been more forceful.

All in all, a good read, but there definitely are better thrillers out there.

Guest Review: Urban Shots - Bright Lights

Reviewed by- Shantanu Bhattacharya

Book edited by - Paritosh Uttam 

This is a short story collection edited by Paritosh Uttam. Now I am an admitted fan of the short story genre ever since I read the first O. Henry story in school. That was one of the reasons I decided to take up this review in the first place. Also adding to the allure was that this was going to be the first "Indian" collection of short stories I would be reading and reviewing. I also expected to be objective because I had never read any of the authors ever before.

Given the expectations, overall the experience was disappointing. While there were a coup of nice ones, most of the 28 stories in the book left me dissatisfied, and in some cases thinking why the story existed in the first place. A case in point is the first story, 
Amul by Arvind Chandrashekhar. It is supposed to be a bittersweet story of a broken family, told from the perspective of a young girl who loves Math. As the sordid story progresses, you learn that her drunkard dad killed her unfaithful mother, who had been carrying on with the cable techie, her dog had died, she kicked a cat, and finally, in a brutal denoument, she has cancer. Basically sadness all around. Not sure what Math had to do with it though.

Silk by Salil Chaturvedi is a nicer story about crumbling marriages laden with some overwrought imagery of blood which was quite unnecessary because it added nothing to the story. The theme of an affair as self actualization is interesting though. Across the Seas by Ahmed Faiyaz is a  slice of life snapshot of a Muslim family with one son abroad and how the family both misses him and is proud in equal measure. It is probably set in the early '80s when getting a telephone connection involved long waiting periods and bribes. Alabama to Wyoming, written by the editor, Paritosh Uttam mocks Indians' USA obsession, as well as our presumed right to cheat Americans of their money, all in the backdrop of a visit to the Taj.

Double Mixed by Namita V Nair is a contrived schlocky story of cheating spouses who discover they have been cheating with people who are also spouses. Totally filmy stuff. This is followed by another Ahmad Faiyaz story, 
Good Morning Nikhil. Faiyaz seems to be a complete family person because this is another small scene from a family where nothing happens. And ends with a dedication to his son! Fortunately Maami Menace by Pradeep Raj strikes a lighter note, being a funny story about a overly familiar old woman who tends to take advantage of a nice family's politeness. The next one Peacock Cut by R Chandrasekhar is a very mildly amusing froth about an American wrestler/basketball player wanting a weird haircut in India. 

In Father of my Son by Roshan Radhakrishnan, I found the first really interesting story in the collection. It's a delightful little story of a little boy's naughtiness and repercussions told in a funny, matter of fact manner from the father's perspective. The strict mom and the lenient dad might be cliches but still fun to read nonetheless, especially as an example of familial love. The Bengal Tigress by Malathi Jaikumar also deals with family but in a far more trite manner and purports to show a single act of defiance by a submissive wife as some sort of emancipation for her. In true Hindi movie style earns the respect of her husband by that one line of dialogue she utters. It does not help that the author gets the Bengali milieu and name wrong.

Mr. Koshi's Daily Routine by John Mathew is a touching and plaintive portrait of a sad, bitter man forced to conform and compromise all his life because of the demands of family and expectations. The story comes to a head with a final act of symbolic defiance that is his plaintive cry against all that is wrong in his world - his old boss, his dim colleagues and his supercilious but successful neighbor, Waghmare. In contrast, the next story Mr. Perierra by Ahmed Faiyaz strikes a sadder note, with a story of an expat visiting India and getting to meet an old terminally ill teacher who had influenced him a lot as a child.

The Wall by Saurabh Katiyal is an evocatively written description of ennui that strikes a young corporate executive of 31. The same corporate sales environment is covered in the next, mildly diverting story Jo Dikhta Hai Woh Bikta Hai by Sneh Thakur which is a portrait of a sales based FMCG company where rookie salespeople are being inducted.

The Interview by Manisha Lakhe shows two faces of a famous and legendary film star, the accidental knowledge of which shakes the beliefs of an adoring reporter covering him for a profile. Paisley Printed Memories by Sneh Thakur describes a happy wedding in the memories of the bride, ending with a wrench that forces one to question how reliable or transient those memories are. Heaven & Hell by Shachi Mail shows how a short encounter with a mehendiwalla causes a woman to reevaluate her entire existence.

Cats & Sponges by Meena Bhatnagar is an interesting little amorality tale of interpersonal intrigues set in a hotel, while You Eternal Beauty by Naman Saraiya is a story that begins with promise but loses itself in a litany of Calcutta cliches. Wrong Bangla to boot - "Amar ke jete hobe", anyone?

The Window Seat by Salil Chaturvedi is perhaps among the best of the lot. Deals with a chance meeting between a laid off, divorced pilot and a girl who has just broken off a relationship with a married man, and how they help each other. The fourth Ahmed Faiyaz story in the collection, It's All Good does nothing to redeem his impression on me, being a silly little morality tale on spending beyond your limit set in a sales dept in an organization.

The Pig in a Poke by Mydhili Verma is based on the Nigerian scams, and starts off promisingly when a teenager responds to the con email in a funny manner, but disappointingly loses steam when we realize the response was not being sarcastic! Bummer! Ready, Jet, Set, Go - another one by Uttam's favourite writer Ahmed Faiyaz. There seems to be a clear pattern here. Ahmed seems to have a chip in his shoulder about new India. This time he takes on chick lit and Indian bestsellers and the kind of gauche people who publish and read them. Another trite storyis the next one, called Things That Can Happen In A Park by Gagan Narula. A pointless vignette of an interaction between a young research scientist and an old geezer in the park.

Also set in a park, but more interesting is Hot Masala by Jhangir Kerawala, where he describes a set of morning walkers and their encounter with a mugger who might be one of them! The Raincoat by Rashmi Sahi is a nice, touching story of a family bonding together in penury via a hand stitched raincoat. This is followed by The Weeping Girl by Kunal Dhabalia which is the story of a guy being trying to help a girl seemingly in distress. The problem is, you can see the conclusion coming a mile away. The final story in the book is Hot Pants by Arefa Tehsin. It's an
amusing story of a young girl suddenly free of her mother's strict supervision for a night.

In a collection of 28 stories I can hardly count 4-5 that I genuinely liked. Most of them were either boring, pointless, or just plain bad. This is supposed to be the 2nd collection in the Urban Shots "series". The most benefit of doubt I can give the editor is that maybe he has used up all the good ones in the first part. But that being true, I wouldn't hold my breath for Part 3.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Here goes...The Brett Lee Contest!

Many of you have been waiting for this contest. Many still do not know we are planning to give away three copies of Brett Lee's book My Life courtesy Random House India. How? The contest is simple, all you have to do is answer one simple question and leave your answers as a comment to this post. But before we ask you the question here are the rules:

  • This contest is open for Indian Residents only.
  • The contest ends on Friday, 27th July, 2012
  • The Judges decision is final as far as the contest winners go. No queries will be entertained after the winners announced.
Okay now that we have the rules out of our way, here is the question:

What is your favourite moment in Cricketing history? 
Also note:  India winning the World Cup does not count!

Readers, cricket fans let's get going...your time starts now!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Coming soon- A brand new contest!

We At The Book Lovers we try to engage our readers not just with reviews and interviews but also through contests, where we give our readers a chance to win books! This time our contest is for book lovers who also love cricket!

He is recognized as one of the fastest bowlers in the world, this right hand fast bowler's cricketing heroes are Allan Donald and Dennis Lillee. He recently announced his retirement from all forms of International cricket due to a calf injury. Can you guess who we are talking about? Yes it is BRETT LEE!

So if you are a fan and you would want to win a copy of his book keep reading this blog. Contest coming up real soon. Get set and be ready to goooooooooooo...............!! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Review: The Tamarind City

Author: Bishwanath Ghosh
Reviewed by: Pinak Kapadia

We are a country that believes in stereotypes. The India of every Indian is different, and often has no similarity with the India of his neighbour. To make sense of this diversity, we are fond of stereotyping. A south Indian is a madrasi. I am a Gujju. Anyone living in Delhi is a 'Punjabi'. And worst of all, the people of North-east are 'chinkas'. Each of us hates being stereotyped, but we readily bracket the people around us. Our only common mass media, Bollywood re-inforces these images at every possible opportunity. It is refreshing to see Bishwanath Ghosh attempt to break stereotypes, and write across genres to come up with this gem of a book, Tamarind City.

Tamarind City attempts to do for Chennai what Suketu Mehta did for Mumbai with Maximum City. It would be fair to say that he largely succeeds in his aim. Chennai comes alive in every page of Tamarind City. When I picked up this book, there were a few stereotypes about chennai and its people in my mind. One, there are only two seasons there - Hot and Hotter. Two, the Chepauk crowd is the most knowledgeable cricket crowd in the country. And three, when it rains, it pours buckets (having being caught in a particular nasty november downpour myself there). I had some vague notions about Tam-Brahms through a Chetan Bhagat novel and newspapers. Tamarind City made me see the city through the eyes of a tourist, and the eyes of a resident.

The author has a varied perspective about the city, being an outsider who has stayed in Chennai for the last 10 years. He is a history buff, a journalist with a keen eye, and a storyteller. Ultimately, this book is all about the stories. Stories about the colonial history of chennai, its architecture and the people who started it all, from Robert Clive to Lord Hastings and others. Stories about the glorious past of the Fort St. George, the old city, and the white and black town of chennai, largely forgotten. Intriguing tales about the Tamil film industry, its superstars, and their lives (there is a tale about Rekha and her father which is particularly fascinating). Then there is the expected tale about the Tamil Brahmans, their taboos and their ways of life. The author is particularly adept at being non-judgmental l. He would be describing a particularly regressive or harrowing tale about the rituals, but he manages to stay aloof, and leaves the judgement call to the reader. This is a very rare trait, since, in most books, the author takes particular effort in making the reader see his point of view. I found it refreshing.

Then there are a couple of chapters dedicated to the life stories of the Tamil politicians, the Dravidian awakening and change in the political picture. The only complaint someone may find that sometimes the author gets too lost in his story, and gives us too many details. But that is a minor complaint, which does not stay with you after you have finished the book. There is a particularly fascinating chapter about life of the elderly in chennai after their sons have emigrated, with which anyone in India may identify.  A few rags to riches and riches to rags tales are also good to read.

The author has a unique vantage point, since he has lived for more than a decade in the city, but is essentially an outsider. If one really wants to see a city, one needs the eyes of a tourist. We all might live in different cities, but how many of us have taken out the time to know and visit historical places in our own city? This is precisely why books like Maximum city, and Tamarind city make for such good reading. They help us look beyond the traffic woes, and the eternal struggle for day to day amenities like power, public transport, water, slums, and a multitude of such issues omnipresent in all Indian metros. They help us see the colours, the sights, sounds, which attract people from all over the world to India. Tamarind City brings out a vibrant chennai, and makes us long to go visit it. If only we can look beyond the heat.

Go buy the book, and change your stereotype of Madras. While I will try and grab the authors previous work, Chai Chai.

Guest Review: Blue: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories

Reviewed by : Pinak Kapadia

What are your expectations when you pick up a book of erotic stories? And how do you judge whether the book that you are reading is a good book or not? By literary style, Grammar usage, plot, story, etc? Or by the simple criteria whether the book manages to arouse some emotions in you for which it is supposedly written? 

The book's name is a tribute to the days of blue films, which most of us have watched one time or the other in our life. It is a collection of short erotic stories and poems by mostly new, unpublished authors from Sri Lanka, and edited by a famous short story writer Ameena Hussein. It has around 14 stories with a few poems thrown in. I was pretty pumped up when I started reading this book, hoping for some fresh insights on sex, which is the most ignored topic in mainstream literature. I was hoping to be transported to the land of Kama Sutra, and get my hormones flowing like a teenager. After reading a couple of stories, quitting the book, leaving it by my bedside where it kept staring at me annoyingly for a month, and finally finishing it at one go, I can safely say that the book lets down everyone who has ever been associated with its publication. Most of all, it lets down its reader. 

It is not an easy art to get your message across in the 10 pages of a short story. And when it is an erotic story, you have an even tougher task to grab the visualisation and imagination of the reader. You need to set up a situation, make the protaganists attractive enough, get their chemistry going, and finally get them together to, what you can call literally and figuratively a climax. Most of the authors in this anthology skip the situation, character, story part and jump directly to the climax. There are a couple of stories that do manage to string on a plot, and they are better than the others. But they cannot salvage the book on their own.

The editor attempts to assemble different genres together like teens exploring their sexuality, frustrated housewives, two strangers together in a cinema hall, the love of a convent student for her female teacher, the men bored in marriage and finding solace in phone calls, the unwitting involvement of a young girl in molestation etc. While the themes themselves seem appealing at times, the execution of stories is amateurish, if I were to be kind. 
The poems take the cake. It gives the authors the liberty to bring out all irritating sex-related metaphors and get them flowing without rhyme or reason. Not that the stories resist the temptation of using bad metaphors. Metaphors like 'Manicured garden', 'Heat-activated missile', etc. make you either to laugh out loud or tear apart your hair, depending on what is your mood at the moment. And I can promise you that your mood will be anything but erotic.
Avoid this book if you are seeking for some escape from daily humdrum lives. It is more like stumbling onto some B-Grade porn clips instead of watching a passionate scene. You are better off picking up some Nancy Friday, or websites like literotica.

Read it if you really want to for the couple of good stories, or if you want some good laughs by reading it aloud with your partner.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest Review: Karma Sutra - Adventures of a Street Bum

AUTHOR:  Rajendar Menen 
REVIEWED BY : Amit  Gupta

It is a powerful book about the Indian street - a journey into the murky urban underbelly. It tells the varied stories of those who live on - and off - the street, an amazing cast of characters that includes sex workers, bar girls, hijras, Devadasis, drug addicts, runaways, migrants, hustlers, the homeless, the dying and the abandoned.  
The book does not pass any moral judgements. It just tells stories as it is and leave the whole process of draw-your-own-conclusions phase to its readers. The author takes us through various places in Mumbai - starting from the red light area of Kamathipura and Ladies Bar which once upon a time were a major employment avenue for the people coming from outside for work in Mumbai. These chronicles extend to Colaba, Kala Ghoda, Juhu, Saundatti and even touches on the migrants from Goa and young, nubile sex workers from Kathmandu. 
The realistic tone of the narrative allows you to feel for each of the flesh and blood characters and leaves a indelible impression on your psyche. It helps that author has literally got his hands dirty but living in these dingy places, sharing space with these varied crumbling personnel and hence, in turn aware of those small nuggets which are fascinating to know. Fortunately, all of that real-time experience is translated into the book even though non-profanity form and at times, sugar coated humour softens the blow at various plot points.
The author cleverly stays away from his own personal experiences of living with the prostitutes, and i am glad it happened that way which otherwise would have taken out the gritty touch and in turn, infused the narrative with a voyeuristic tone which gets difficult to fathom for best of the readers. The experience with transsexuals - their religious ceremonies and festive enormities is my most favourite section of the book. Underneath the humour on this community, there is a real insight into the new consumerist, yet traditionally acquisitive India and terrible though subtle strains of sadness and loss palpitating across hierarchy of society. 
The book does not offer easy answers, neither put forward questions which you don't know before. But still it makes you think, it makes you introspect your own life and your existence as a human being in a complex city like Mumbai. It is difficult to understand the pains till you have been on street but sometimes it is so easy and deliberate to exploit it to your own advantage. Like the various intermingled worlds the book represents, it is witty, charming and heart breaking tales, all at the same time. I strongly recommend you make time to read it.

Guest Review: Confessions of a serial dieter

Author: Kalli Purie
Reviewed by: Purvi Shah

The title says it’s a weight loss memoir and that’s exactly what it is. I loved this book. Period.

 One- because anyone who knows how difficult it is to lose weight is constantly experimenting with diets, especially lazy ones like me who have trouble exercising.

Two- You see so many people in the gym who have been on the treadmill for eons AND you see them everyday and yet they have not lost a millimeter. I, for one wanted to find out the secret behind the hot bods.

Kalli takes you on her weight loss journey step by step, bit by bit. She has experimented with so many different diets, ( some of which I have tried myself) and she rates each of them. Kudos to her memory. I don’t know if you are a fitness freak, but I have searched the internet only to find out that the closely guarded, 100 percent sure secrets come out of the bag only when you pay 100 dollars. Now all you have to do is to grab this book and the cat is out of the bag.

Apart from the diet tables and grading the diets that she has done, she really gets to the fat person’s psyche. There are instances you can relate to and incidences that seem familiar. She has compiled her diet and exercise diary and given to you on a platter. Its not about do’s and don’ts and its not about what’s right and what’s not and its not written by a dietician, it is about what actually works and what works for you.
You want to get thin and you want it fast, so you want to diet and there’s the dietician telling you to eat moderately and have patience since losing weight is a slow process. Sorry, doesn’t work. You need someone who has been there and done that to tell you what works . Kalli is right, most of our slim friends, just bluff. They tell you anything but the truth.

There are great comparisons between the so called wholesome-never-go-hungry , six-meals-a-day diets and the deadly  I-am-hungry-all the time diets. She takes you through a plethora of diets like the dahi papaya diet, the champagne diet, the idli sambhar diet, the udipi diet and the works.

Kalli’s writing is fresh and filled with funny anecdotes. On a particular diet she says they were given a treat of gajar ka halwa-1teaspoon: a client thought it was pickle and ate it with her roti. And a portion of fruit meant not half a fruit but a slice of apple , three jamuns, one strawberry or ten seeds of pomegranate.

In her words, “ If you are short , you can not get tall, but no matter how fat you are , you can always get thin.”
So for all those out there testing and trying  or yet wondering how to lose weight, I suggest you grab a copy of this amazing book. I loved every minute (or every diet) of reading it. I would give it a 9/10.

And for the author I would like to add a word  “THANKS”.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Contest Winners of Poor Little Rich Slum

Following are the winners of Rashmi Bansal's book Poor Little Rich Slum. Congratulations winners! We received many entries unfortunately we have only 10 copies to giveaway, those who did not win can try their luck in the next giveaway contest which will happen soon. Keep reading!

  1. Priyanka Kantak
  2. Vipul Dassani
  3. Rahul Revne
  4. Chaitali Anand
  5. Shilpa Roy
  6. Gunjan S
  7. Deepika M
  8. Kumar
  9. Giju Mathew
  10. Geetanjali Kaur
Congratulations again! And happy reading!

Thank you Westland for the books for our winners.