Archive for July, 2011

More Mini Reviews

The Goat, The Sofa And Mr Swami – R Chandrasekhar
If you have not read this book, you have missed a masterpiece. This is one of the best satires that I’ve ever read. The story follows Swami – the secretary of the Indian Prime-Minister (a horny octogenarian) and his efforts to keep his job by keeping the coalition afloat in the face of the impeding visit of the Pakistan’s Premier.
This book is a must read. It has a lot of shades of “Yes Minister” or the Indian version “Ji Mantriji” and is equally hilarious.
Rating: 4.5/5

——

Sh*t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
Now this is one book whose title speaks volumes about the content. It is exactly what the title says – the author moves back with his father and his 74 year old father provides him with life lessons in a unique manner. Sample this: “That woman was sexy… Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.” and there are many more similar gems strewn around the book.
A book which originated from a twitter account @shitmydadsays. A very enjoyable read.
Rating: 3.5/5

——

Turbulence – Samit Basu

I have been a fan of Samit Basu’s writing ever since reading the Gameworld Trilogy and Terror on the Titanic, and hence I had very high expectations of this book. I was hoping for that same combination of dark humour with generous doses of fantasy. While fantasy was present in abundance, I missed the dark humour in the book, but then that is just fan speak. That did not take away anything from this excellent book. This was one such book which I wanted to pick up as soon as I had read the blurb.

This is an excerpt from the review I wrote for India Book Store’s book review site.
Read the complete book review.
Rating: 4/5

And it’s back!

So tomorrow onwards I know how my evenings would be spent – sitting in front of the TV and trying to catch every ball of the India’s tour to England. After the WC, Cricket had taken a backseat with the advertisements taking up the prime time during IPL. I’m hoping (foolishly, I know) that there are less ads for the India-England series.

When I compare the teams, I feel England is a tad better than the Indian team. Without Sehwag, Indian opening combination fades in front of England’s combination. Middle order (# 3, 4, 5) is India’s strong point whereas the # 6 and 7 – it is a tossup. On his day Dhoni is better than anybody else, but he has been performing sporadically in the test matches. And when we compare the bowlers it is absolutely clear which team is superior. Swann, Anderson, and Tremlett – all are very very dangerous. And when you look at India’s bowling lineup it starts and ends with Zaheer. Bhajji is not the same aggressive bowler that he used to be, Sreesanth is plain mad, and the maximum hope I have is from Ishant. He showed signs of regaining the form he showed in Australia. Remember the Ponting-Ishant tussle?

And since England is at home, they had that advantage too. So I predict it to be a drawn series: 1-1 with rain playing spoilsport in the other two matches :)

Whatever be the result, cannot wait to watch high quality test matches once again!

Seven Years

More then seven years ago I was introduced to the concept of blogging by @vidit and I was hooked. Started with some url I do not even remember now, moved to spaceofkunal.blogspot and then I received an invite for WordPress and got the url – kunal.wordpress and have been at the same address for a while. Many times I thought I’ll buy a domain and shift my blog, but two of my constant companions – procrastination and laziness – never allowed me that liberty. Guess I’m stuck here for a while.

When I started blogging, all my initial posts were about my life or the college days. Sports made an appearance some time later (and so did two failed attempts at writing sports-centric blogs), then the topic of Hyderabad. There were months I would blog daily or at least once in two days, and then there were months when my own visits to the blog could be counted on one hand. At times blogging was a stress buster when a pathetic day at work would make me visit this blank canvas and just type away without thinking. After all this was the internet and I was anonymous (not anymore!).

I started writing short stories sometime in 2006, and to my delight people actually enjoyed what I wrote. This boost of confidence allowed me to write more – sometimes pathetic short stories (which even I hate upon re-reading now), and some short stories which I absolutely love even to this day. And then there was a time when I stopped writing about my life, I stopped watching any sports, and I did not have any opinions on anything. At such times bereft on any ideas I turned to posting photographs, and then moved to the most obvious recourse – book reviews. After all I was a voracious reader, and there was no better place to opine my comments! My blog had turned truly eclectic.

And then somehow my book-reviews clicked with the authors, my short-stories got more appreciation. Authors started contacting me for book reviews, my short stories got published in two books – Urban Shots, and Down the Road – and even got interviewed; my blog shifted from being a personal blog to one dedicated to books and book reviews. Well I don’t mind writing book-reviews but I don’t remember the last time I wrote anything which had nothing to do with (a) Books (b) Sports. But then these are the two things in focus right now in my life; since I’ve stopped blogging about my personal life.

This post is quite a change for me, this is a throwback to those years when I blogged without thinking. And true to those days I will not proof-read this post. Seven years of blogging – don’t know when will I, if ever, stop blogging.

Book Review: Fate, Fraud & a Friday Wedding – Bhavna Rai

Recently I finished reading Fate, Fraud & a Friday Wedding by Bhavna Rai. The book follows the protagonists across a decade as they come to terms with their lives while juggling their careers, relationships and friendships. The book follows Tara, Anand, Neel and Jenny and their lives in USA and Delhi. The lives of the protagonists are inter-connected as their work centers around the same product and Tara fits in as the love interest of both Anand and Neel.This book follows the personal and professional lives of all protagonists and has given equal importance to both – the business meetings as well as the personal ones.

The book is fast paced, and the story has no apparent gaps in it. All the main characters have been sketched in detail, and after some time reading the book I could easily second guess their actions. This is powerful writing on the part of Bhavna Rai that the reader could so easily understand her protagonists. Both the male protagonists have shades of grey in their characters which makes them very realistic. Although this is mainly a book concentrating on lives of contemporary urban people, what I enjoyed most was the business writing. The business dealings, the insider trading, the workings of a BPO and an IT company – these made for far more enthralling reading than the chapters dealing with the personal lives of the protagonists.

Although the pace of the book rarely slacked, and the editing is top-notch; even then I felt that it was a long read. Maybe it is because these days I expect such contemporary books to be around 200 pages long; if it is a long book then my expectations change a lot – I feel it should be a thriller, or a fantasy novel, or a Jeffrey Archer book, or some book that promises much more, but then it is a matter of personal choice. And somehow I did not like the title of the book, it was not catchy enough. Guess the author has the same problem as me – I spend more time trying to think up a perfect title for my short-stories than I do writing them and even then I rarely like the titles I can think of :)

On the whole it is a delightful read, a good companion for a lazy weekend when you decide to stay indoors to avoid these stupid rains!

Addendum: This is an author requested review. I was contacted by the author to review her book.


Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

July 2011
S M T W T F S
« Jun   Aug »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

The 140 Chars

I write about …

Blog Stats

  • 354,836 hits

Ancient mumblings

Visitors


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 317 other followers