Category Archives: Indian Authors

Classics Club Reading #3: A Suitable Boy

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

So I have started to read this 1348 pages long book – A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth for the Classics Club Challenge.

A Suitable Boy is set in India during the post-Independence era and revolves around the family of Mrs Rupa Mehra. A suitable groom is required for Lata – the youngest daughter of Mrs Mehra.

I have read 100 pages of this huge book and I am truly delighted. There is something charming about stories from the post-Independence era. Remember Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. (If you have not read it, do read it)

I am not keeping a target date to read this one. I will slowly read it with my morning/evening tea.There is not much option as this is too heavy to carry around. So A Suitable Boy is going to find a temporary place on my dining table, which means I expect a bit of curry stains, food particles, tea stains etc. But what good it will do if it remains on my book shelf in a good condition?

I bought this as a used book. If ever you plan to buy this book, see if you can find a lighter version. I really wish Amazon will publish a Kindle version of this one. I would go ahead and buy it unless it is exorbitantly priced.

So is there anyone who would like to read A Suitable Boy along with me ? If yes, do let me know through comments.

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Mandate: Will of The People by Vir Sanghvi

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

Mandate: Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi

Mandate : Will of the People by Vir Sanghvi is 156 pages long and that is both the best and worst thing about this book.

I may have never agreed to read and review this book if it was a big book, especially considering that most of non-fiction acts like sleeping pills for me. The small size is the USP of this book, that prompts even non-bookish people who wants a concise version of recent Indian political history to pick this one up. But when I started reading this one and wanted to know more about the incidents described in this book, I realized that it is a major drawback too.

Mandate talks about India between 1971 to 2014 and there is no credible explanation why he choose not to tell about Indian politics before 1971. I assume he wanted to stick mostly to the events that happened during his journalistic career. Vir Sanghvi talks about the major turning points or events in the Indian political scenario – the  rise of Indira Gandhi, the Emergency, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the emergence of Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the Babri Masjid demolition, the Godhra riots etc until the ascension of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mandate delivers what it promised. A take on the Indian political scenario in the past 40 years written concisely in 150 pages. I did feel the craving for more information while reading certain sections, but then that is beyond the scope of what Vir Sanghvi intended to do.

This book might be as unbiased as it ever can be, and this is very important in the times when mainstream media houses are accused of being biased to a certain political party. But then you never know. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading every page of this book and the knowledge that I gained about Indian political history is just great.

I recommend this book to all the people who are interested in Indian history and don’t want to read long books.

Rating: 4/5
ISBN: 9789384030391
Release: February 2015
Publisher: Westland Publishers

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through Writers Melon, but the opinions are my own.

Family Life by Akhil Sharma

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Family life by akhil sharmaLiterary Awards

Folio Prize for Fiction (2015)

Family Life found a place in my reading list when I read a few raving reviews about it on few of my favorite book blogs . I was determined to track down a copy and read it when I get a chance. There were innumerable occasions when I almost bought a copy, but then restrained myself from buying it at the last moment.

Family Life reminded me of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake about Indian immigrants in America but the similarity between them ends there. Family Life is about two brothers Birju and Ajay who emigrated to America in their childhood with their Indian parents. I read it assuming it to be a work of fiction, but I learned later that this story is actually inspired by the author’s own life.

3 minutes is a time that passes away so fast that we don’t even bother to keep a check on it in our daily existence, but that time became crucial for the Sharmas. 3 minutes is what it takes to overturn the Sharmas’ happy existence in America to a nightmare, when Birju laid in the bottom of a swimming pool unconscious after he hit his head in a diving accident. That incident left Birju brain damaged leaving his family to deal with the situation along with its financial and emotional repercussions.

Family Life is a tough novel to read and it would have been tougher to write. I am not surprised that it took Akhil almost 12 years to put this in shape considering the depth of the subject. This is a well written novel, but I did have some initial issues with the writing style. I was surprised by this experience because I had read that this book is engrossing from Page 1.

Family life is Ajay’s narration about the life before and after Birju’s accident, the whole book is written from his perspective – his honest thoughts about life before and after Birju’s accident. There are no heavily emotion laden words in this narration, Ajay mostly sticks to plain facts and leaves the rest to the reader.The character feels more realistic because Ajay is far from the innocent brother ignored by parents due to the invalid brother.

I wanted to love this book, but it never happened. But then when you start thinking of the story and the writing, I can clearly understand why this book was such a popular one. The premise of the story is too raw and disturbing and there is a stream of unending sorrows. Akhil Sharma handles all of them beautifully and makes this book a good read.

Family Life is depressing and I will give it 3.75/5,but I highly recommend that you read before you ignore it.

Rating: 3.75/5
First published April 7th 2014

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The House That BJ Built – Cover Selection

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

The next book to create a buzz in the book reading community of India is the much awaited sequel to  Anuja Chauhan’s Those Pricey Thakur Girls, and it definitely deserves all that hype.

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan – Book Review

I just loved ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ (TPTG) and has been waiting for the sequel ever since I finished reading it. Last week I received a mail from Westland Publishers saying that they want us to help them choose the book cover for the sequel titled ‘The House That BJ Built’.

They gave two options to choose and I liked the second cover (B) and so does most of the people who voted. I can see more than 600 likes for the second cover and around 200 likes for the first cover (A) on Facebook. So it is going to be cover B. Yay!

The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan Cover Selection A option The-House-That-BJ-Built-Anuja-Chauhan-Cover-Selection-B

So what do you guys think? Which cover did you like better?

I know this cover choosing is another promotional thing by the Westland Publishers, but I liked this simple promotional method which got everyone involved without much expense.

Gone are the days when publishers used to just send ARCs to book reviewers and wait for them to publish reviews in blogs/newspapers to get some publicity. Now they need to come up with new methods to reach more readers and social media allows them to do so efficiently.