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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Aarushi By Avirook Sen: Sneaky Peeky Sunday

image source

After a lot of deliberation and thinking about whether or not I really wanted to read it, I did finally pick up the book Aarushi by Avirook Sen. 

The only reason I was interested in this version of the entire Aarushi event was because Avirook Sen's reporting was the only sensible and real journalistic account that was coming out during the entire episode through the years the particular crime incidence took the Indian media hostage. His was also the one that did not try to present it after sensationalizing it more and shared it as it was.

While it's a sad book nonetheless, it does show how the media and the 'agencies' that were behind the investigation made a mockery of the entire event.

Here is the page I am on now....


13 Oct: CBI sends a formal questionnaire to Dahiya.
26 Oct: Dahiya files his report.


The prosecution relied heavily on Document 79. This could be summed up in four words: father, doctor, golfer, murderer. This was the prosecution's case in the trial court in June 2012.

Dahiya's document is a masterpiece in several ways. It reveals things about Dahiya the man. Two of his traits he shared with Kaul. The first was the belief that before you even start investigations, you must get a story in place, the facts could be made to follow. The second was the ability to be the authority on subjects that were clearly beyond his area of expertise. A third, more complex, facet of Dahiya's personality also came through. His belief systems - rooted in the culture of the North Indian Jats.

Friday, November 20, 2015

What I Have Been Reading Of Late And How My Reading Goals Have Been Through 2015


2015 has been a fun reading year for me. As most of you who have been reading my book blog here are already aware of, I have been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge from the year 2011, and this year too I have been on the same. While I wanted to set a goal of reading a 100 books this year, I set it at 90, as I knew there was going to be a lot of work and home commitments that would need my time and attention.

The year has been great in terms of my choice of reading, but it has been one of my worst years in terms of reading up and getting into a reading slouch. Of course reading is something that I do almost the same way as I breathe. I can’t live without a book with me (or make it a few books actually, as you know that I always carry multiple books with me in case I finish the one and then do not have anything more to read for that time, which is always a scary and crisis situation for me!).

This year I have concentrated on reading a lot of literary work, as well as reading up on a lot of books that featured on various book award lists, whether longlisted, shortlisted or winning the title. It was something I was looking forward to and finally did, and was of course not disappointed.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Spool Of Blue Thread By Anne Tyler: First Page Mondays


image source

As I am known to do many times, I ended up checking out this book for its beautiful cover - have a look, doesn't it immediately transport to another time and place? It does, for me......I had to get it home, especially after I read what the story was about.

So before we get into the details, I haven't started reading it yet, here's what's on the first page..


Late one July evening in 1994, Red and Abby Whitshank had a phone call from their son Denny. They were getting ready for bed at the time. Abby was standing at the bureau in her slip, drawing hairpins one by one from her scattery sand-colored topknot. Red, a dark, gaunt man in striped pajama bottoms and a white T-shirt had just sat down on the edge of the bed to take his socks off; so when the phone rang on the nightstand beside him, he was the one who answered. "Whitshank residence," he said.

And then, "Well, hey there."

Abby turned from the mirror, both arms still raised to her head.

"What's that," he said, without a question mark.

"Huh?" he said. "Oh, what the hell Denny!"

Abby dropped her arms.

"Hello?" he said. "Wait. Hello? Hello?"

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Secret History by Donna Tartt: Sneaky Peeky Sunday


Oh my wow..... I have been a fan of Donna Tart ever since I read The Goldfinch, and the first word that will always come to my mind when I think of her work is haunting...It was a story like I had never read or heard of before, and what a story..

So of course I want to read anything she has created, and the moment I saw The Secret History, I kind of did a jump in joy moment at the book store and picked it up to bring it home.... Of course it's unputdownable !!!!! So here's where I am right now...it's kind of a little before the middle....


my neck prickled. what did he know about this? 'no' i said. 'not that i know of.'

'henry didn't say anything to you about going out of town, did he?'

'no. why?'

bunny was silent. then he said: 'there hasn't been a single light on at his house the last few nights. and his car is gone. and it's not parked anywhere on water street.'

for some strange reason, i laughed. i walked over to the back door, which had a window at the top that faced the parking lot behind the tennis courts. henry's car was there, right where i'd parked it, plain as day. i pointed it out to him. 'there it is, right there,' i said. 'see?'

bunny's jaw slacked at its work, and his face clouded with the effort of thinking. 'well, that's funny.'


a thoughtful pink bubble emerged from his lips, grew slowly, and burst with a pop. 'no reason' he said briskly, resuming his chewing.

'why would they have gone out of town?'

he reached up and flipped the hair out of his eyes. 'you'd be surprised,' he said cheerily. 'what are you up to now, old man?'

we went upstairs to my room. on the way he stopped at the house refrigerator and peered inside, stooping down myopically to inspect the contents. 'any of this yours, old soak?' he said.


he reached in and pulled out a frozen cheesecake. taped to the box was a plaintive note: 'please do not steal this. i am on financial aid. jenny drexler.'

'this'd hit the spot about now,' he said, glancing quickly up and down the hall. 'anybody coming?'


he stuck the box underneath his coat and, whistling, walked ahead to my room. once inside, he spat out his gum and stuck..............

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian: On The Cover


The first reason I was attracted to pick up this book was the very heart-warming cover, and the second reason that I knew I was bringing it back home with me was the fact that the cover jacket told me there was absolutely no other way. I just finished reading it and even shared the story with my eight year old.

And am quite surprised that I didn't hear about it earlier. If you haven't read it yet, you absolutely should....

Here's what's on the cover jacket:

'A brilliant story of how love defeats fear' - Independent


Mum said war was a punishment from god for people's sins, so he'd better watch out. She didn't tell him what to watch out for, though.

When the Second World War breaks out, young Willie Beech is evacuated to the countryside.

A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of kind old Tom Oakley. But then his cruel mother summons him back to war-torn London......

Will he ever see Mister Tom again?

'Everyone's idea of a smash-hit first novel: full-blown characters to love and hate, moments of grief and joy, and a marvellous story that knows just how to grab the emotions.' - Guardian

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My One Wish On World Literacy Day

On the occasion of World Literacy Day, my one true wish is that our children rediscover the joys and the importance of reading, and that grown ups who can help them do so, do share in this magical journey.

Thanks to Grammarly for this wonderful infographic.

Literacy Day

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Recent Book Haul And Review Copies: Just A Bit Overboard, Just A Little, Promise....

Before you judge me (these are not all the books I bought).....these books were bough over the last few months, about the last three to four months to be exact, and most were bought at huge sales and discounts from regular bookstores, used bookstores as well as roadside vendors...so I did get a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge bargain and hence the teeny tiny going overboard..

So here are some beauties I am living with now....enjoy and let me know if you have read any of these or plan to!

The first book in the pile was sent to me by Bloomsbury for review, the second is of course Lee Child that I love and hence picked up, a Nelson Mandela autobiography is something you definitely should be reading, and the last in the pile is a book by a Pakistani author who seems to have written a beautiful book...

The first in the pile is a graphic novel and is absolutely stunning, will share more in the review, the second is a repurchase but by mistake, have already read it! Life of Pi I had read years and years ago so wanted to read again, the fourth one read good on the cover, Emma Donoghue's Room I had loved though I had hated the other one which had 'letter' in its title, Amitav Ghosh's latest book in the Ibis Trilogy is something I am dying to read and have to first re-read the two epic books in the series all over again, and of course the last one is Rushdie...so...

Lee Child of course had to get it, Bronte of course had to get it, hated The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho, I think I am going to stop reading any more of his work, Adultery by Paulo Coelho again a useless book, dont even want to read the next one here, The Girl With All The Gifts I did read but was very unimpressed, and Obama's book I am really looking forward to read.

After reading and absolutely loving Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, I knew I had to read the sequel immediately. And finally I picked it up - The Hollow City. I had been to a lit fest where Katherine Boo had come to promote her book Behind The Beautiful Forevers and even though I wanted to read it, I didn't pick it up then, as I had too many books in my TBR (to be read) list. So here it is, again picked up at a pittance (I am sad people sell off such amazing books!). Shashi Tharoor needs no introduction when it comes to his grey cells (salt and pepper look charming too of course) so I immediately got this one after having loved the only other book of his that I have read - The Great Indian Novel. I have still to start on the Game of Thrones series, so finally picked up the first book too. And as for Asura, I do not like the typical Indian mythological books but love when they are told from different perspectives, so lets see what this one has in store.

Just finished reading this one and while the story was really nice, interesting and very unique, I was very disappointed by the ending...review coming up soon

I picked up this amazing coffee table book for a pittance, and the reason I did actually buy it was that as I picked it up and opened it randomly, it opened to a page that had one of my all-time favorite actor in it. No, not Abhishek Bachchan, the guy on the cover, but a different one (will show you when I do a review)..but if you do love bollywood and are fascinated by the goings-on behind the camera, this is a book you should get....

About to finish reading The Pact and loving it, the next three have no clue about but they read good in the cover jacket,

These are all some lovely books that my elder one picked up :)

The first one on the pile is a sequel to a book called Dork that was sent to me by the book chain Crossword and I had absolutely loved. Looking forward to read this one too. And the rest as you can see are all my daughter's :)

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Giveaway Winners Will Be Announced Next Week

Hello my lovely people, just a small delay in announcing the winners for the giveaway that was supposed to come out today. Don't be mad at me and I am really sorry for the same. I will share the name of the winners of the giveaway some time in the coming week, so do come back.

Thanks a lot for dropping by :)

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Current Book Wishlist: 2015

I have barely any more space left in my house for books now...I always have space for as many books as I can bring back home.

My work desk and my side desk and my wall shelves by the bedside are spilling over with books. I can always make more space.

My birthday went away this year, so if you feel guilty of not getting me a gift, you can more than make up for it and get me as many books as you wish from my book wish list below ;) And the best part is, you don't even have to wait for my birthday to turn up. Coz the day you get me the books and the faster you get them, the better you will feel ;)

If you know me and are my friend, you know I update my book wish list all the time, and I also unabashedly 'offer' my friends the chance to cut out on the stress of wondering what they should give me...See...I make it so easy for you all....no diamonds, no jewelry, perfume, handbags, shoes, clothes, makeup...nothing...just get me good books (please only stick to the list below unless you have some amazing recommendations yourself, in which case, PLEASE leave them in the comments below for me to add!!) and you are sorted :D

I know when it comes to books I can go on and on and on and......(keep repeating as long as you wish to)...so let's cut it out now and get to the book wish list ;)

here goes.....

  1. balzec and the little chinese seamstress
  2. not a drop to drink
  3. world war z
  4. game of throne series (starting from the 2nd book)
  5. twelve years a slave
  6. marcus zusak books
  7. the secret history by donna tart
  8. ask the passengers
  9. everybody sees the ants
  10. the spectacular now
  11. a tale for the time being by ruth ozaki
  12. milkweed
  13. an irish country wedding by patrick
  14. the glass castle by jeanette walls
  15. the white hotel by d m thomas
  16. then we came to the end by joshua ferris
  17. their eyes were watching god by zora neale hurston
  18. fight club by chuck palahnuik
  19. state of fear by michael crighton
  20. go ask alice
  21. looking for alaska by john greene
  22. bridge to tabitha by katherine patterson
  23. paper scissors death by giliana campbell
  24. the girl on the train
  25. lullabies for little criminals by heather o neil
  26. a child called a by david pelzer
  27. the tale of the time being
  28. the knife of never letting go
  29. mr penumbra's 24 hour bookstore by robin sloane
  30. i'll be seeing you
  31. cinder and series
  32. changing the world
  33. some monday for sure by nadine gordimer
  34. fangirl by rainbow rowell
  35. the silver star by jeanette walls
  36. percy jackson series
  37. intensity by dean koontz
  38. the giving tree
  39. the program
  40. the god delusion
  41. under the egg
  42. fire and blood by victoria scott
  43. we were liars
  44. the virgin suicides
  45. silver lining notebook
  46. one ready player
  47. warm bodies
  48. city adrift
  49. one day in the life of ivan denisovich by aleksandr solzhenitsyn
  50. dante and aristotle discover the universe
  51. perks of being a wallflower
  52. golden compass
  53. beautiful creatures
  54. 1984 by george orwell
  55. a streetcar named desire
  56. train man

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, July 20, 2015

Powder Room By Shefalee Vasudev: First Page Mondays

I picked this book up on a lark, because I always love reading about behind-the-scenes events and happening. And come on, being a woman, I absolutely love fashion, style, marketing tactics and also the very interesting mind games that are targeted around launch and promotions...It makes for some great insights into the human mind and how big names know just where to target their strengths...

I have only been able to read a bit of it, but whatever I have seen of it seems quite interesting...for now, here's the #FirstPageMonday look at the book titled Powder Room by Shefalee Vasudev


"I'd wear any of my private attire for the world to see. But I'd rather have an open flesh wound than ever wear a band aid in public." - Lady Gaga

Raakesh Agarvwal walked into the coffee shop at Radisson MBD in Noida, wearing shorts and a worn-out T-shirt and gave me a big hug. Raakesh was freshly shaven, and a strong perfume wafted around him, but he looked gaunt and tired as always. "If you see my call list, you'd think I'm friends with Lara Dutta, Sonakshi Sinha, Anushka Sharma, Jacqueline Fernandes, Genelia D'Souza...." said Raakesh, showing me his Blackberry. "But how can I forget that there are no real friends in fashion," he added, trying to diminish the effect of cheesy name dropping.

Raakesh has not been keeping well for the last couple of years and the word got around in the industry. A few days before we met at Radisson, he had attended a party hosted by a fashion magazine. Some socialites, who are also his clients, had walked up to him, curious to find out what was wrong. "Where's your car, babe? Don't you drive a BMW now?" he drawled, mimicking what a lady had said to him. "No, I don't," Raakesh had snapped back. "I get distracted while driving and can't afford to keep a chauffeur driven car, so I take a Meru cab."

Another walked up to him, curious about his health. "Babes, we heard you were on your deathbed, how nice to see you, are you okay now, sweetheart?" Before Raakesh could reply, the lady turned to air kiss and chat with someone else. "This fake concern makes me sick. She asks me if I am on my deathbed, then doesn't even want to listen to my answer! Can you believe that?" Raakesh looked hurt. .....

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, July 13, 2015

The SuperMom CookBook By Madhuri Iyer: Get Your Free Copy Now! Giveaway

When it comes to books, there is no denying that I love reading books from different genres, and yes, being a mommy, a cookbook also makes it to the list! I know - ask any mom and she will tell you that a cookbook is probably one of the most important books she needs, whether or not she is a reader otherwise ;)

As a mommy, making my little one eat is one of the biggest and I literally mean BIGGEST challenges ever, especially because it is not like those new baby or toddler year challenges that I know shall pass off in a year or two..

Making your child eat healthy, ensuring she will eat healthy and coming up with new, healthy, delicious, interesting, easy, visually appealing, sneaked in un-favoured ingredients and ensuring the ingredients are actually available in your local area can be a daunting experience, one that can go on and on for years!!!

My older one is going to be 8 next month, but ask me about my struggles of making her eat...she DOES NOT !!!! And its something I know that almost all moms face.

So when the PR team of The SuperMom COOKBOOK by Madhuri Iyer approached me to know if I would be interested in checking out the book, the answer was a strong and excited YES! What mom would not want a cookbook that can actually be made use of at home with ingredients you can easily get in an Indian kitchen?

The team was sweet enough to send me FOUR extra copies for giveaway, so that means I will be sharing the yummy goodness with four other lovely mommies out there :)

About The Book

What I loved about the cookbook is that it introduces traditional recipes for kids from all over India. So, it has something from Maharashtra, as well as something from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Bengal, Rajasthan, the Parsi community and more...it is truly a unique mix of cuisines meant for kids that I have not found in other cookbooks for kids yet.

The book is divided into the following categories:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Personal By Lee Child: First Page Mondays

Of course I love Jack Reacher, and Lee Child of course...who doesn't!? So here I am, reading another of my favorite thriller called Personal by Lee Child.

So here goes the first page.....


eight days ago my life was an up and down affair. some of it good. some of it not so good. most of it uneventful. long slow periods of nothing much, with occasional bursts of something. like the army itself. which is how they found me. you can leave the army, but the army doesn't leave you. not always. not completely.

 they started looking two days after some guy took a shot at the president of france. i saw it in the paper. a long-range attempt with a rifle. in paris. nothing to do with me. i was six thousand miles away, in california, with a girl i met on the bus. she wanted to be an actor. i didn't. so after forty-eight hours in LA she went one way and i went the other. back on the bus, first to san fracisco for a couple of days, and then to portland, oregon, for three more, and then onward to seattle. which took me close to fort lewis, where two women in uniform got out of the bus. they left an Army Times behind, one day old, right there on the seat across the aisle.

 the Army Times is a strange old paper. it started up before world war two and is still going strong, .....

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, June 22, 2015

Before We Met By Lucie Whitehouse: First Page Mondays

I am reading a really interesting book right now titled Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse. It's in the thriller genre and right now I'm not going to share any more information, except for the first page....so here you go...


the rain was beating down, and out here, where the carriageway was exposed, the wind buffered hannah's old vw as if it were trying to push it off the road. usually on a heathrow run she watched the planes dip down into the airport one after the other, barely a minute between them, but tonight the rhythm was broken and it was two minutes, now three, before a new set of lights struggled through the roiling cloud. she tightened her grip again, checked the mirror and pulled out into the fast lane.

 the holiday inn loomed up on the left, an ugly concrete tooth in silhouette against the sky, the light from its green neon sign leaching into the wet air. she took the exit for terminal three, the buzz in her stomach intensifying though they were married now, the trip to the airport was still exciting. she didn't need to come and meet him, in fact, it would probably be quicker if mark caught a cab into town, especially on a night like this, but the drive, the arrivals, the crush at the barrier - it all reminded them of the time before they got married, when jfk and heathrow were the two poles round which so many of their weekends revolved.

 as usual, the first two levels of the car park were full. reluctantly, she took the ramp up to level three and found a spot by the lobby with the ticket machines. after a quick look in the mirror, she got out of the car and headed for the lifts................

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Sunlit Night By Rebecca Dinerstein: Review


Look at the cover - I mean look at it...I have something for covers like this, that make you want to look at a book and think of what it could hold within. I am not really a fan of those commercial covers, and when Bloomsbury sent me a copy of  The Sunlit Night By Rebecca Dinerstein, I knew I would automatically fall in love with the cover - there is something that Bloomsbury has come up with in their design section that is going just so right for me.....fantastic.

The first thought that came to my mind even as I was reading the book was that it was like walking inside a painting. Imagine a situation, where you are looking at a beautiful painting, and suddenly, you find yourself pulled towards it, and just like that, you are inside the painting too, and everything has a glow and luminous effect around it.

Cover Jacket

I had read of a man who was painting with only the colour yellow - he lived in the north of Norway. The artist colony where he worked had offered me a room for the summer, as part of a painting apprenticeship programme.

Yasha remembered his father's instructions. On the back of a bakery receipt, he wrote:

This is what he wanted:
Ommot's route
Top of the world
Real peace

A Quick Look At The Goodreads Summary

In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended--Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father's last wish: to be buried “at the top of the world.” They have come to learn how to be alone.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri: First Page Mondays


If you have read my previous posts on the blog, you would know that I am not a fan of short stories and do not enjoy reading them at all, no matter how popular the book. But all that changes with Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. It is not surprising that Jhumpa has been called the 'thinking man's poster woman' and I find nothing offensive in that. In fact, I feel she is one of the most amazing and talented writers I have come across, male or female.

I have only just begun reading this book of hers and am now on the third story....till now the read has been beautiful, and it continues to keep alive my belief in her as a writer who can bring out different stories and human windows each time she comes up with a new book...I am absolutely loving it...

For now, here is the first page from the book....the first story is called Unaccustomed Earth


After her mother's death, Ruma's father retired from the pharmaceutical company where he had worked for many decades and began traveling in Europe, a continent he'd never seen. In the past year he had visited France, Holland and most recently Italy. They were package tours, traveling in the company of strangers, riding by bus through the countryside, each meal and museum and hotel

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Anyone But Ivy Pocket: Meet The Girl Everyone's Trying To Avoid By Caleb Krisp: Review

I've already mentioned on the blog here that I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. So when I got a chance to read the book Anyone But Ivy Pocket: Meet The Girl Everyone's Trying To Avoid By Caleb Krisp, I was immediately reminded of his works, in a very positive way. I have not compared the writing, but if you have enjoyed Neil Gaiman's works, especially something like Fortunately The Milk (which is also a Bloomsbury publication) I can assure you you'll love this.

As always, it's amazing to open a package sent by Bloomsbury...there's always a surprise in there...so when I opened the package that came by mail, here's what was inside...

So as you can see on the cover here, it is not officially the cover that may come out in stores once the book is out - it has released in some places but is yet to release everywhere - and you better get your hands on it when it's out - the cover that I got on the unreleased copy literally blew me away!!! I mean, look at it....it's one of the MOST STUNNING book covers I have ever seen....The gold highlights and detailing on the cover are so stunning, and everything from the designs at the edges of the frame to the detailing of the pocket watch to the way the letters are written is beautifully planned, designed and executed. This is one book that will add that much more charm and beauty to my bookshelf, for its story as much as for its art value.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Painted House By John Grisham: First Page Mondays


I am currently half way through the novel A Painted House By John Grisham and I feel it is quite different from all his other works that I have read. In fact, if I didn't know the book was written by John Grisham, I would never have guessed it. So here's a quick look at the first page from the book, which will give you an idea of what's to come...and there's a lot, believe me.


The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a 'good crop.'

Monday, April 20, 2015

Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp: First Page Mondays


This is undeniably one of the most beautiful book covers I have ever seen, sent by Bloomsbury of course, and they do have some of the most beautiful covers ever......

Coming back to the book, this is an uncorrected proof copy that has been sent to me before release for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation for the same and was sent the book in exchange for an honest review and discussion.

So here is a look at the first page from the book Anyone But Ivy Pocket: Meet The Girl Everyone's Trying To Avoid by Caleb Krisp.

I found the note upon my lady's bed.
 It read as follows:

 Dear Miss Pocket,
 As you can see, I have gone. Do not follow me. I repeat, DO NOT follow me!
 I am sailing for South America for no other reason than it is far enough away from Paris to ensure that I never see you again. The hotel bill has been paid. As for your wages, after taking into account my pain and suffering, I have left you the sum of one pound. Which is generous, given your conduct. You are now on your own.
 Good riddance,
 Countess Carbunkle

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Little House By Philippa Gregory: Sneaky Peeky Sunday


It's been a long time I did one of these, and I'm sorry I have not got the time to share with you all what I am currently reading. I am about to head out on a two month trip with my two little kiddies around the country, so it's going to be even more difficult to manage my office work (yes, I will be working all six days of the week even while we are traveling), the two kiddies alone, the younger one with her stranger anxiety as she is going to meet a lot of family members on the trip who she is not familiar with, and not to mention the massive heat. But we will manage and we will have fun and I will have my reading ready :) 

So before this post becomes a horrible rant, let me get to the point. Philippa Gregory is one of my most favorite authors ever, and I love allllllll her books, absolutely. It's quite difficult to get her books here in India, but we do keep trying and I pick it up wherever I find. Oops, this is turning into another rant. 

So here is the book I am currently reading and the page I am on.....

The Little House by Philippa Gregory

It seemed to take all morning to get Thomas dressed, and then she had to entertain him in one room after another, as she tried to get the household chores done. He had learned now to reach for something and grasp at it, and his favorite game was to be propped by pillows and offered one object after another to hold and then negligently drop. In the bathroom, while she dutifully cleaned the toilet, the skin, and the bath, Ruth passed him toothbrushes, flannels, and a box of

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

She Will Build Him A City by Raj Kamal Jha: Review


One of the most recent books I read by Bloomsbury is She Will Build Him A City by Raj Kamal Jha. I have not read anything by this author prior to this, nor had I heard of him or his book. So it was quite a surprise when I received the book in my mailbox – thanks again to the wonderful team at Bloomsbury for introducing me to new authors and styles and also for giving me authors that I already love – this cheers goes out to you haan!

Coming back to the book, before I tell you what it is about, here’s a quick look at the blurb:

As night falls in Delhi, a mother spins tales from her past for her sleeping daughter. Now grown up, her child is a puzzle with a million pieces, whom she hopes, through her words and her love, to somehow make whole again.
Meanwhile, a young man rides the last train from Rajiv Chowk Station and dreams of murder.

In another corner of the city, a newborn wrapped in a blood-red towel lies on the steps of an orphanage as his mother walks away.

There are twenty million bodies in this city, but the stories of this woman, man, and child--of a secret love that blossoms in the shadows of grief, of a corrosive guilt that taints the soul, and of a boy who maps his own destiny--weave in and out of the lives of those around them to form a dazzling kaleidoscope of a novel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Book Thoughts


I have read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini a few times already, and each time I read it, I look at it with new eyes and feeling.

The book is the second by the author who made his debut with The Kite Runner, of course yet another favorite. I have read all three books by the author, including his latest offering that came out last year, titled And The Mountains Echoed. You may read the review HERE.

With A Thousand Splendid Suns, I will not attempt a review. That's why I never have tried talking about this book in so long, as with The Kite Runner. There is something  so intense and so personal in these books (not to say that I have the same lives as the protagonists who live in these books, but that it touches me so much), I never try to get down to a review.

Once you come out with a book and it turns out to be a hit, releasing that second book with as much or more expectation is always a Herculean task. It's like falling into that so familiar trap that many amazing first time authors have been devoured in. But the beauty of Hosseini's second book is that it surpasses what it set out to do in the first book - it smashes all expectations and raises the bar yet again.

The story is essentially Mariam's story - born a bastard and living with her mother, Nana, in a ramshackle hut at the edge of the city. Her 'father' is a wealthy man, and Mariam's mother was employed in his household, till her belly swelled and he set her up in this forsaken place. Of course each month her guilt-ridden father Jalil sends a wheelbarrow laden with the month's supplies, brought

Monday, April 6, 2015

April And May 2015 Titles From Bloomsbury: Pick Up And Read

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Bloomsbury continues with the tradition of keeping the magic of good books alive, and there's just so much they have in store for book lovers for you and me....!!!

Here's a quick look at some amazing titles that are out now or about to release this April and May 2015. Take your pick(s), I'll tell you which ones I think I really want to read (can I have them all?!!) and let me know which ones you are planning to read too :)


F E A T U R I N G:

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke (I really want to read this one)


Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me ...

So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.

Ring Roads – Patrick Modiano - (I really want to read this one)
(Winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature)

Ring Roads, for which Modiano was awarded the French Academy's Grand Prix du Roman (1972), is the story of a young Jew, Serge, in search of his father, Chalva, who

Monday, March 9, 2015

She Will Build Him A City by Raj Kamal Jha: First Page Mondays


Bloomsbury  sent me this lovely book titled She Will Build Him A City by Raj Kamal Jha. I've just started reading it so can't tell you much about it yet, but yes, it's quite an interesting read so far.....

Here's what the first page says:



THIS, tonight, is a summer night, hot, gathering dark, and that is a winter afternoon, cold, falling light, when you are eight years nine years old, when you come running to me, jumping commas skipping breath, and you say, Ma, may I ask you something may I ask you something and I say, of course, baby, you may ask me anything and you say, Ma, when I am tired, when my legs hurt, when my eyes begin to close, I only need to call you, I only need to say, Ma, and you appear instantly, like magic, from wherever you are you set aside whatever you're doing you come running to me you lift me up you carry me you walk with me you.

 Slow down, slow down, I tell you, but, of course, you don't, you say if it's sleep time, you place

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kaleidoscope City - A Year In Varanasi by Piers Moore Ede: Upcoming Release By Bloomsbury

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I absolutely love reading memoirs, so this snippet of a new release coming up by Bloomsbury has me all looking forward to it. Of course I will share the review as soon as I get my hands on the book and read it :) For now, lets see what the publishers have to share about the book and the author.

Bloomsbury India announces the publication of a captivating memoir  of a year spent in the holy city of Varanasi.

Kaleidoscope City - A Year In Varanasi by Piers Moore Ede is scheduled for release soon in 2015.

About the Book
‘I will never forget my first sight of the river in Varanasi, from the narrowness and constriction of the alleys, thronged with activity, to the sudden release of the waterfront, the labyrinth’s end . . . It seems that all of life has its assigned place on the stone steps leading down to the Ganges. Some are used for bathing, others for laundry, washing buffalo, puja (worship, ceremonial offering), and this one for the business of death. The smells are of wood smoke, buffalo dung, urine and jasmine flowers. The sounds are of rustling kites and lowing cattle, crackling wood and prayer. . .’

Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through it on his way to Nepal in search of wild honey hunters. In the decade that followed it continued to exert

Monday, February 23, 2015

Die Trying by Lee Child: First Page Mondays


NATHAN RUBIN DIED BECAUSE HE GOT BRAVE. Not the sustained kind of thing which wins you a medal in a war, but the split-second kind of blurting outrage which gets you killed on the street. 

 He left home early, as he always did, six days a week, fifty weeks a year. A cautious breakfast, appropriate to a short, round man aiming to stay in shape through his forties. A long walk down the carpeted corridors of a lakeside house, appropriate to a man who earned a thousand dollars on each of those three hundred days he worked. A thumb on the button of the garage door-opener and a twist of the wrist to start the silent engine of his expensive, imported sedan. A CD into the player, a backward sweep into his gravel driveway, a dab on the brake, a snick of the selector, a nudge on the gas, and the last short drive of his life was under way. Six forty-nine in the morning, Monday.

 The only light on his route to work was green......

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: Review


I received my advanced reader copy (ARC) of  The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon from the publishers Bloomsbury in December 2014 (thank you sooooo much guys!!!!). I have developed a really lovely relationship with Bloomsbury, especially the fact that they have been coming up with some really interesting titles and authors. And going by the 'reads' of it, it seems this association of good books will continue for long, especially as I'm sure they'll continue giving us amazing reads.

Though I really wanted to read it and was planning on starting it ASAP, I had to hold on, as I was really caught up in work and some family stuff and knew it wouldn't be good to read this book in a rush. Plus it had been quite some time that I had read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon , the first book in the suggested seven part series (you can read the review here.)

If you haven't read The Bone Season you really need to read it first, as this is not the kind of series that can be read separately as individual books. In fact, I was quite happy that the book carries on the tone it set in the firs book, which is from the point of view of our main protagonist, Paige Mahoney.

The ARC mentioned that this was not the final version that would be released and I am not sure if this is the exact cover that has finally been released. I think it is a similar version but I have seen a lot of variations online. Also, even if there were changes made in the final version, I am sure most of it would still remain the same.

Goodreads Blurb:

Here's a quick at the blurb from Goodreads.

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

From Kippers To Karimeen - A Life by Psyche Abraham: Sneaky Peeky Sunday


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Was going through the books at an old and used book store and came across this beautiful cover. The mother baby bonding and the way the young woman is looking at the camera, add to that the overall soft shades in the image made me pick it up right away....

From Kippers To Karimeen - A Life is an autobiographical book with lots of pictures. And its quite interesting and quick to read....this is the page I am currently on.


As a child, living far away from the bombing, the war did not affect me except, possibly, by the absence of sweets. Food, and especially sugar, was strictly rationed. But, though I didn't connect it then, there was one aspect of the war that did affect me.

 I think there was probably an air force station in Bude, or somewhere nearby, because there were a lot of troops billeted in the town who were naturally looking for a bit of fun during their days off from the war. There were also a lot of lonely women - single women whose husbands or boyfriends had been sent to the front, or like my mother and her friends, women with young children who had fled the bombing in London and other large cities. There was an atmosphere of 'eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.' It led to a certain recklessness.

 My mother was a good-looking woman, even beautiful. She was tall, five foot nine, slim: her most

Monday, February 9, 2015

Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome: First Page Mondays

This is not the regular version of the book Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome but is a special edition copy that has been brought out by the amazing drinks brand called Paper Boat. If you haven't had their refreshing and innovative drinks yet (which I absolutely do not think can be a possibility if you are of a sane mind, or may be you are visiting us from another planet and have not yet encountered it) you definitely, and I mean definitely, need to CHECK THEM OUT HERE!

Also, my association and love for Paper Boat goes back a long time, almost the time they came up to start bombarding us with the flavors of our childhood! You can enjoy that experience HERE

So I was hugely surprised when I received this package in the mail and that too from Paper Boat! I wasn't expecting anything, and this sure did not look like another awesome bag of drinks! So what could it be? I opened the package and inside was something wrapped in newspaper (oh how I love it when people wrap things in a newspaper! Thanks a ton guys!!!!) and a cute little green ribbon :) Wow...I can't remember the last time in years when someone has given or sent me something wrapped up like this....thank youuuuuuuuu :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: First Page Mondays


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Read it. Loved it. Recommend it. If you love huge books and mesmerizing books and author Haruki Murakami in general, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is a book you must read.

Here's what's on the first page:



The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janacek's Sinfonietta - probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn't seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: Sneaky Peeky Sunday


So I did receive an advanced reader copy (ARC) of The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. The book released in the US and some other parts of the world in the last part of 2014 but it has recently released in Indian on the 27th of January 2015.

The Mime Order is the second book in the series whose first book was The Bone Season. According to the author, this will be a seven book series, and honestly, I can't wait to read them all. I had also received an advanced reader copy of The Bone Season and you CAN READ THE REVIEW HERE.

I just finished reading The Bone Season again as I wanted to recap everything before I start on the second book. So here's the page from The Mime Order that I am reading right now.


'Please.' I handed her some money. 'I'm trying to find Agatha's Boutique. I was told it was near here. Any idea?'

 'Right round the corner. There's a hawker selling saloop that way. You'll hear her when you're close.' She filled a paper cone with chestnuts and smothered them with butter and coarse salt. 'Here you are.'

 I picked at my chestnuts as I traversed the market, taking my time. I let myself soak up the atmosphere, the thrum of humans going about their business. There had been none of this vigorous energy in Sheol I, where voices had been whispers and movements had been quiet. Night was the most dangerous time for voyants, when the NVD were on the prowl, but it was also the time when our gifts were at its strongest, when the urge to be active smouldered inside us - and, like the moths we were, we just had to emerge.

 The boutique's windows glistened with a wealth of fake gemstones. Outside was a girl selling a

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Books I Read In January 2015: My Monthly Reading

The Reader "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

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The year 2015 started great for me on the reading note! While I have set myself a goal of reading 90 books this year, I managed to read 13 books in the month of January itself.....quite happy about it, though there were a few short stories that I read this time (I am generally not into short stories and mostly read books that are at least 400+ pages) so this was quite the change.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: On The Cover


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'A tense, moving, and wondrously strange first novel. The photographs and text work together- brilliantly to create an unforgettable story.'- John Green, author of The Fault In Our Stars

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen year old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he

Monday, January 19, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: First Page Mondays


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I've heard just so so much about this book on BookTube that I had to get it. It's hard to get this in India. I've never seen it in any bookstore anywhere and the prices online were too high. Thankfully there is Amazon and I had created an alert to know when the book would be available on a discount. I just got it yesterday and am already in love with it....will read it soon and tell you all about it....

For now, if you have no idea about this book or what it is about, here's a look at the first page from the book Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock, and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather Abraham Portman.

 Growing up, Grandpa Portman was the most fascinating person I knew. He had lived in an orphanage, fought in wars, crossed oceans by steamship and deserts on horseback, performed in circuses, knew everything about guns and self-defense and surviving in the wilderness, and spoke at least three languages that weren't English. It all seemed unfathomably exotic to a kid who'd never left Florida, and I begged him to regale me with stories whenever I saw him. He always obliged, telling

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami: First Page Mondays


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This is the fifth book I am reading by this wonderful author, the previous ones being Dance,Dance,Dance and the 1Q84 trilogy. Here is the first page from Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami.


On 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first man-made satellite, Sputnik I, from the Baikanor Space Centre in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Sputnik was 58 cm in diameter, weighed 83.6 kilograms, and orbited Earth in 96 minutes and 12 seconds.

 On 3 November of the same year, Sputnik II was successfully launched, with the dog Laika on board. Laika became the first living being to leave the Earth's atmosphere, but the satellite was never recovered, and Laika ended up sacrificed for the sake of biological research in space.

 from The Complete Chronicle of World History


In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life. An intense

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Top 10 Books Of 2014

I'm not sure if they mean books are the perfect place to find love (love story, fall in love with the character/place/story) or if bookstores are the perfect place to find a good guy book nerd. Both work for me :)

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I've read so many wonderful ones this year, you can see my entire list of BOOKS I READ IN 2014 here.

Here are the top 10 ones I found this year (it's always a tough choice, but still, here we are!) Also, these are in no particular order.
  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. The Dog Who Healed A Family by Jo Coudert
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (re-read)
  4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Books I Read In 2014

Love this book shop - Lavender & Chamomile Press is open for submissions. Visit our website for more details. http://lavenderandchamomilepress.com

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I wish I could open a bookstore like this..... maybe some day....quaint, musty and filled with amazing books, most of them old...... one of my most longer for dreams ever....

Anyways, 2014 was a year of many wonderful reads, so here's a look at what all I read this year:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
  4. The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes
  5. The Client by John Grisham
  6. A Life in Words by Ismat Chughtai
  7. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  8. Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
  9. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  10. Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
  11. Don't Blink by James Patterson
  12. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  13. Good Enough Is The New Perfect 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: First Page Mondays


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Here's the first page from The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


In which a stranger arrives in Hokitika; a secret council is disturbed; Walter Moody conceals his most recent memory; and Thomas Balfour begins to tell a story.

The twelve men congregated in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met. From the variety of their comportment and dress - frock coats, tailcoats, Norfolk jackets with buttons of horn, yellow moleskin, cambric, and twill - they might have been twelve

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton: Sneaky Peeky Sunday


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I bought this book last year, after the much hyped winning history record by the author. But as I had just had my second baby, I found it difficult to concentrate. So gave it up for later.

Now, finally, have picked it up again, a full year later! So here's what I am reading right now in The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

.......dejected. 'Yes' he said. 'But what could I have done? He had me tied up.'

 Balfour felt a sudden rush of sympathy for the other man, and regretted his previous ill humour. 'Ay' he said, more gently. 'He had you tied.'

 'After that,' Lauderback went on, 'nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. I went back to Canterbury. I waited. I thought about that d-ned twinkle until my heart near gave out. I confess I rather hoped that Carver would be killed - that the thug would catch him, so I would know the fellow's name before he came for me. I read the Otago Witness every day hoping to see the blackguard's name among the dead, may God forgive me. But nothing happened.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Sleepwalker's Guide To Dancing by Mira Jacob: Review


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The first reason why I really wanted to read this book was because of its gorrrrrgeous cover!!! Look at it, isn't it absolutely what the words 'book' 'reading' 'stories' 'words' is all about ..... Love it !!!

Coming back to the book, I was sent The Sleepwalker's Guide To Dancing by Mira Jacob by its publishers Bloomsbury. If you want to peep in a bit more inside the book, you can read the COVER JACKET HERE and a quick peek into ONE OF THE PAGES HERE.

The book is a lengthy one and has about some 500+ pages. The edition I received was paperback.

About The Story:
The main protagonist is Amina Eapen, a young woman of Indian origin who now lives in the US, is in her 30s and is an okayish wedding photographer. She isn't doing great career wise or personal love life wise at this point in life.

Her parents, who are in New Mexico, are barely on cordial terms anymore, though they share the same roof. Her father, Thomas Eapen, is a successful brain surgeon, while his mother, Kamala Eapen, is a homemaker, who believes she can tackle all problems of home and beyond by her cooking. The story starts to roll as Amina receives a call from her mother, asking her to come home as her father has been sitting on the porch and 'speaking to his mother.' Amina's grandmother is long dead, so it is a little concerning to her that her father is speaking to someone who isn't around. When Amina tries to probe if her father is unwell, her mother says that he is fine, but just that he is speaking to a woman who is dead.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gaysia by Benjamin Law: First Page Mondays


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I have of course read books that have characters with alternative sexual preferences. I have read many stories that deal with non-straight sexual preferences, mostly of the gay kind.

This is officially the out and out completely gay book that I am reading right now, and one that also deals about transgenders, transsexuals, bisexuals, ladyboys, lesbians and more. And much as everyone has mostly tried to brush these off under the carpet or the couch, this is a very real read, especially as this is non-fiction and travel-based, where the author actually travels to a lot of gay destinations across Asia...including Bangkok, Mumbai, Thailand and Japan.

I've only just begun reading and am already loving it.....so here's a quick look at the first page...

OF ALL THE CONTINENTS, Asia is the gayest. Deep down, you've probably had your suspicious all along, and I'm here to tell you those suspicions are correct.

Let's do the maths.