#review 1857 Dust of Ages by Vandana Shanker #TheBookClub 

​1857 Dust of Ages is a slim book with a story woven around the events presaging the Mutiny of 1857. It describes the role of British in weakening the Indian royalty and establishing more than a foothold in administration. The book is well researched, the language is simple and the romance which forms the central role in the novella holds attention.

The book is written in a back and forth way switching between past and present. The mystery of the unlikely marriage is maintained and highlighted by the growing dissension between the aristocracy and the British command. The language is passive at times and events jump forward in a ploy to serve the mystery.

Since the book is slim, the story could easily have been written as a novel depicting the whole story. As it is, the ending is abrupt and jarring and leaves the reader wondering why it has been divided into multiple volumes. A clear disclaimer regarding the continuity would also help the readers.

Read it for an imaginative glimpse for colonial India but be prepared to read other volumes to get the whole story.

Find the book details in the book spotlight on this blog:

https://summeritarhayne.com/2017/03/03/spotlight-on-1857-dust-of-ages-by-vandana-shanker-thebookclub/ 

Review and spotlight: Knitted Tales by Rubina Ramesh #TheBookClub

 

 

KNITTED TALES:

A Collection of Emotions

by

 

 

 

Blurb
What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate? 
 
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you? 
 
Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
 
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?
 
Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?
 
In her debut anthology, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet makes the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.
Grab your copy @


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 About the author
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time.  She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona.  Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer. 
Her other published works include:
 
‘Home is where Love is’ a short story in the anthology Writings from the Heart. Ed. by Beth Ann Masarik. 
‘You Stole My Heart’ and ‘Let me Go’. Short stories as a part of the anthology Long and Short of It by Indireads.
‘Wake Me Up’ as a part of the anthology Marijuana Diaries by Fablery Publishers.
You can stalk her @
 
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My Review: 

Rubina Ramesh’s Knitted Tales is a promising collection of stories. They reflect lateral thinking on the author’s part and are woven together to depict the changing face of Indian society, sometimes towards a darker side and at others, leaning towards a lighter, more hopeful angle. But whether it’s paranormal, romantic or horri-fic (pun intended), each story is written from the heart and leave you musing. The language is simple and the focus is on the flow of ideas. I look forward to reading more from the author.

 

#Review No Safe Zone by Adite Banerjie #TheBookClub 

​Blurb:Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan.


My review:

No Safe Zone is Adite Banerjie’s third book and probably her most entertaining. The suspense cum romance story focuses on Qaira and Kabir who have to zip from New Delhi to Jaipur while fleeing from danger and nosing out the goons. A lot of colorful setting, some sizzling love scenes and a fast pace defines this book. The villians could have been more three dimensional, but all in all, it is an engaging and fast read.

Available at: http://www.amazon.in/No-Safe-Zone-Adite-Banerjie/dp/9351777758

#Review Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns is a piece of fiction by John Green. It can be called as a suspense. I would even call it an emotional suspense.

When you read something moving, you can no longer elaborate on it dispassionately. So I’m not really reviewing but actually going into a discussion about the book. As far as the review portion is concerned, my verdict is, it should be read. Though it might make you feel as frustrated as I felt when I finally put it down. But the whole aura of emotional thriller and the underlying quest of finding the physical person and the person will stimulate your mind. The ending was a bit of a letdown.

**Spoilers alert.**

That is why, I say this is not a review. I can’t opine on things without mentioning what those things are. So, go read the book and then come back here and agree/disagree with me.
There are many things to criticize in this book. Some people behave very unnaturally. There’s much of what teens ‘should’ consider cool. For instance, I saw nothing bad in Q’s parents. They were devoted to him. So why should the author applaud him for lying to them? It seems he wasn’t quite sure if teens can be honest to their parents.

The whole vandalism thing in the beginning was also nothing to write home about.

He overdid the infatuation thing. He could ‘smell’ her in spite of algae and all the romanticism…I realize it was put there to look like it, but still!

And the overriding question. Was the end natural? He loved her enough to chase after her and do everything, not feel angry at her when he finds her (his reaction was way too cool, he was an angel about it all!) and then – when it came to it, he didn’t love her enough to go with her? Mighty unbelievable to me.

Why couldn’t he just ask his parents to help him fly out to the place? Again moot question in the story but valid if you think logically about it after shutting the book.

The character of Margo isn’t justified. That’s the only word I can use. It isn’t justified and so that’s why Q isn’t justified in loving her. Even though that is the point. Still, in the end, he does love her. Or they would have parted with not too many regrets. The waters are muddy here.

However, the ideas in the book are like emotional tantalizers. You do get immersed in the story. Into the book. Brilliant, clever writing. Convincing, clearly depicted characters. It leaves you with more questions than answers. Maybe that’s the point. But in the end, just like it is said in the book…the planning is more fun than reaching…so was the reading more fun than the ending. Q becomes somewhat of a paper boy because he did what a real person wouldn’t and in exalting him, the story was defeated.

going back to Margo, I couldn’t forgive her for her behavior. Were her parents so nasty that she had to be like that? What did I miss? I had the idea that the author went too much into child mind…real and imagined hurts. A teen is more capable of reasoning and evaluation or so I think. She was just a girl. That’s the protagonist’s discovery. But doesn’t he live in the real world? Girls are not like that. So, just a girl wasn’t her either.
Well, it’s a mystery isn’t it? However, I have read whodunits tying up plots more tidily than it did. It manages to hold interest for 300 odd pages. It has some very good quotes and observations. I wish there could have been a big revelation at the end tying everything together. Even with the downsized twist and some overdone moments, it makes to the recommended category.
I give it four stars.

Have you read the book? What are your thoughts on it?

#Review A dog eat dog-food world by Suresh Chandrasekaran #TheBookClub

A dog eat dog-food world by Suresh Chandrasekaran is, as claimed by the blurb, a hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management. That’s an apt summing-up of the book. In fact, the tagline could be made better by adding the word ‘satire’. From tearing down self-aggrandizement of the corporate realm to scoring some bull’s eye hits with humor, this book does it all.

The beginning of the book was rather non-traditional, but in time, you learn to appreciate the italicized introduction to the episodic narration. The story follows a build-up and the final curtain is provided by the allusion which leaves things on an accelerated path. Thus, the pace of the tale as well as that of the narrative is well maintained to the end.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The mockery, the home truths interspersed in the between and the uncanny accurate characterization enrolls you into the humor and makes you appreciate the writing acumen of the author. Underlying it all, is the running theme of what money making means and how businesses are made, not by the utility of their product, but by playing on the psyche of the consumers. In today’s world, that is a fact we have to grasp and maybe even to fight in this money dominated society. It answers the uncomfortable questions like why you consume foods you know are harmful to your health. Why you buy clothes you don’t need. Why you push your children so their achievements can become status symbols for you.

The ultimate line for me in the book was, when the lady asks her husband to buy the Persian cat: “We absolutely have to, James! We will manage somehow. Economise on something less important – like our food, maybe.”

Can our sense of importance grow to such an extent that it overcomes the basic needs? I think it’s a very legit question from the author for today’s times. Let’s hope consumerism doesn’t grow to such an extent in reality as it is shown in pseudohistory!

I give this book five stars. In the initial pages you will find some comparisons rather literary but these are not less enjoyable for being that.

Read it for a witty, well grounded look at the reality of marketing management.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

#review Seduced in Spain by Devika Fernando #romance

Seduced in Spain is second book in the Romance round the world series by Devika Fernando, but it’s a standalone read and complete in itself. I must say the cover is fabulous and the author is to be congratulated for it. The story is full of ups and downs for the lead couple. The hallmark of the book is that it is set in exotic locales. The setting rings true and you  get detailed view of the region. The author takes you to Spanish festivals, acquaints you with traditions and whisks you off to vineyards and museums. The food and flavour of the region is beautifully explored. The Alpha hero has his vulnerable moments and the heroine, though shy, is determined and staunch. A series of misconceptions keeps them apart, but everything is finally resolved to provide a lovely happy ever after.

Read it for an exploratory romantic journey to Spain.

#review Dealing Her Final Card by Jennie Lucas

Dealing Her Final Card by Jennie Lucas is a Harlequin Presents/Modern romance. True to the genre, it follows a conflict generating beginning, followed by the hero sweeping the heroine off her feet and finally, him being redeemed by love.

It was an engrossing read. The credit goes to the author who has great writing flair. I found the initial premise quite medieval but once you get over that, and a bewildering middle, it settles back into the brisk pace the beginning promises. Lots of twists and dark shades keep you riveted.
*a bit of a spoiler here*
The end was quite creditable to the hero but didn’t favor the heroine. I found my opinion of her plummeting. The set up for the next book also made the ending a bit weaker than it should be.
I give it four stars because it didn’t take long to finish and provided an entertaining read.