Kindle

This birthday I got myself gifted a Kindle. My reading had considerably gone down in past two years. I somehow lost all interest in reading any books and just like writer’s block, I had reached a reader’s block. This block lasted too long, as I must have hardly read 5-6 books in the last 2 years. I just did not feel like picking up anything. I would open our book shelf and take out some titles, but either would not read them at all, or leave them mid-way. Infact so much was the aversion to books that I did not even feel like browsing internet for new titles. Though husband at home keeps reading books all the time and the fact that he is already a proud owner of a Kindle, also did not help much.

Then few months ago I realized that I need to revive my reading habit. I immediately decided that since I am showing no interest in going near the hard copies of any books, I need to try this beautiful device called Kindle. I had earlier read a couple of books on husband’s Kindle and found the experience quite good. So I decided to gift myself a Kindle this year. It was duly ordered before the birthday and surprisingly arrived well in time, so that I had my new device with a beautiful cover on my birthday.

I have read quite a bit about other people’s experiences of this device and how it fetched vis-s-vis a hard copy books, and people had mixed things to say. Infact before I bought one myself, I use to think that Kindle is just books in soft copy format. However, now that I have had the device for almost a month, I think I am in a position to share my experience of using it.

I am really finding it very -very useful. It is so much more than just soft copies of books. The functionalities that the device offers are so many. To name a few:

  1. I really like the fact that you can order the book online and it is delivered immediately. No need to wait for the hard copy to be delivered, when you actually want to pick up the right away and read. So yes, instant gratification is one major factor why I am already a fan of Kindle.
  2. The fact that I can read sample chapters before ordering a book. Though I could do this in a book store also, but then nothing like the convenience of sitting in your living room and going through as many sample chapters as you want!
  3. Another major factor is that it gives you suggestions based on your choices. I simple love this feature. I am not very good at surfing books. As in when I go to a book store, I generally hover around my favorite section- Indian Fiction, and try picking up the interesting titles. That is one reason I get absolutely confused when I go to reader’s heaven like a book fair. Therefore, when Kindle gives suggestions based on books I have already read, it becomes so easy to surf for relevant titles.
  4. We have a huge house, but absolutely limited storage space. One side of our bed-box is full of books and there is one book rack which houses the remaining books. Other than this there are many books which are shifted from one temporary place to another as per convenience. Having a Kindle has solved this practical problem of finding space for new books. No we can have as many books as we want without having to worry about space.
  5. Price- Yes! A great plus point- most Kindle editions are cheaper as compared to their hard copy versions.
  6. The Kindle Unlimited feature- I have become a paid member- and have actually found quite a few interesting titles under this.
  7. The dictionary feature is also a very useful thing. Not that I am very prompt at looking for meaning of new words while reading a book, I generally try to guess the meaning in the context, but now I actually stop and look for meaning of new words.
  8. Easy to carry, and I can read multiple books at one time. Small features like the book opens at the same page where left- all these make reading so much more pleasure.

I am sure I am yet to discover many things as I use it more, but based on my experience till now, it’s a wonderful device for book lovers. And no, I am not missing reading the hard copy books yet. Husband says that it will happen at some point, but as of now no. I am thoroughly enjoying my new device. The fact that I have already read the following books in the last one month says it all:

  1. The Making of Exile: Sindhi Hindus and the Partition of India
  2. It Happens for a Reason
  3. Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi’s Last Battle
  4. The Girl I Last Loved
  5. Why Men and Women Can’t Be Friends
  6. Why We Love the Way We Do
  7. Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of Childhood in India- Currently Reading

I want to do a book review of the books in bold above.

So far so good. I plan to read at least 50 books by end of this year. Hopefully I will be able to maintain this momentum and finish my target.

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Ghalib Danger- A Book Review

Ghalib Danger

After a long time I laid my hands on this one. Written by Neeraj Pandey- the much appreciated director of A Wednesday and Special 26, Ghalib Danger is a book about an underworld don Kamaran Khan- alias Ghalib Danger. Its a fictitious story, and it seems that soon Neeraj Pandey is going to make a movie on it. He has released the story in advance for his audience.

The story starts from France where the Mumbai Police, Interpol, CBI and few other police departments catch Kamaran Ali Khan in a mall and he is deported to India after serving in French jail for about two years. He spends four more years in an Indian jail and the present day is when he is being taken to the court for his final judgement. Chances are that he will get a bail.

In his journey between jail and court, the author takes us to his past which is nothing short of watching a bollywood movie. A hardworking man from Quasimgarh UP moves to Mumbai in search of work and how fate plays the masterstroke and changes his life for ever when on an important day of his life, he makes a choice as trivial as dropping a fare from Haji Ali to Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai. His story starts from there and is nothing short of a roller coaster ride from the word go.

While there is nothing dramatically new or different in the book, its the way the author has written the story that makes the whole difference. The book in one word is pacey. It has not even a single line which you would want to miss. Its just written very smartly taking care of each and every event to the last most detail. The build up to the climax is so cleverly done, that when you reach the end you just feel total paisa vasool!! Coupled with a taught writing is Ghalib’s poetry which dots the story, as the main characters are shown to be huge believers in Ghalib’s words and his philosophy. I am hoping that when this translates into a movie, the director will take good care of the poetry part.

The characterization of all characters in the book is good, but the way Kamaran’s character unfolds, its difficult not to develop a huge liking for the gangster as the story progresses. I had loved his first movie- A Wednesday and liked Special 26. Needless to say the director has lived upto the expectations in his first book.

As I said earlier, it seems as if Neeraj has just released the story of his next movie. Husband and I are so convinced about the movie part that we even went to the extent of discussing who should play what part..:)

Overall, I loved the book. Highly recommended for those looking for something hooking and fast paced.

Author- Neeraj Pandey

Price- INR 250

Rating- 4/5

At a Book Launch

Ha… so i managed to come up with only three posts since 1st Feb. Now I can understand why they say that its actually very difficult to find time when you have a baby to take care of. K just does not allows me any time for myself. Now that she has learnt to walk, someone has to be there around her ALL the time. And that is what takes up most of my waking hours every day.

Anyway- this is not the subject of this post today. Subject is something else. Today I went to book launch session of- “The One You Cannot Have” which was organized in Gurgaon at Canvas and Quills- at Southpoint Mall. The author of the book Preety Shenoy and Anuja Chauhan (Author of The Zoya Factor, The Battle of Bittora and Those Pricey Thakur Girls) were there and a discussion on – Love in the times of Google- was planned at the event. It was great seeing the authors you have read a lot in person. However, since I had gone their with K, who started making all kind of noises the moment the discussion started, I had to leave without even meeting the two authors. My bad luck! However, the visit today did had a positive affect on me. Just seeing the two females filled me with inspiration to write..write and write more. It was such a fresh and nice feeling to be among people who work hard to produce wonderful books which I love to read. It was a much needed change for me also. Off late I have been so busy with K, that there has been no time to either read any books or post something worthwhile on this blog. I hopped on the blogging marathon to give some oxygen to this space, but as is evident from the few posts in the first week, I have not been able to keep up.

Also, these days I am socializing with people whom I would not have been in touch with otherwise, had it not been for K. Yes, to have play dates for my baby, I hang out with mommies who operate on a totally different wavelength. One such female is husband’s friend’s wife. Her daughter is one month younger to K. the female only talks about maids, cleaning her home, maintaining it, her daughter’s stories, maids, cleanliness….you get the idea. It gets so boring and suffocating after a point in time. Today after visiting the launch, i felt a fresh breeze of air. Its so good to be involved in activities like reading and writing, than being entangled in mundane discussions about maids and the likes.

So this visit to see two people who have produced wonderful books was really welcome. I really want to write more frequently and regularly on this blog. I hope that this year will see increased blogging activity from my end.

By the way- Both Preeti and Anuja are so fit!! They do not look a day older than 30!! and both are mommies to teenagers. About Preeti, i read on her blog about how disciplined and regular she is with her eating and exercise; but I guess, all successful people are disciplined on all fronts of their lives. If they work hard, they also take good care of their health, to enable them to run faster and farther in their lives.

Cheers…

Book Review- Those Pricey Thakur Girls

 Those Pricey Thakur Girls

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A book mainly about Debjyani, fourth of the five daughters of a retired judge, her romance with DD and a half Christian half rajput boy, is third book by Anuja Chauhan. I had found her first book hilarious (The Zoya Factor). Unfortunately i did not like Battle for Bittora, her second book, as i felt that it was almost on the same lines as Zoya Factor with just the background and names of characters changed.  Therefore i was not very sure if Pricey Thakur Girls will be very different. However, once i picked up the book, i found it absolutely read worthy….:)

Set in Delhi in the late eightees, the book revolves around a Thakur family where the five alphabetically named daughters are unique and troublesome in their own ways. Debjyani urf Dabbu gets a job at Desh Darpan aka Doordarshan as a news reader and is struggling in her own ways to adjust to the life as a national face when she meets the TDH Dylan Singh Shekhawat- a family friend and a newspaper investigative journalist who is courageous and bold and determined to unveil the main culprits behind the 84 riots. This is the main plot which just like Anuja’s previous books has all elements of an M&B romance. She has done complete justice to it..:) And in the background, or i should say parallel run the mini plots supporting the story where we have the elder two sisters driving their own agendas and the little one – a Modern School brat- enjoying the roller coaster ride called teenage.

The best part about the book is Anuja’s impeccable story telling style dotted with Delhi vernacular, her depiction of the eighties lifestyle, the mention of Maruti 800s, the DD news channel and other such things. Every character and situation in the book comes across authentic and makes it very easy for the reader to connect. The romantic angle of Dabbu and Dylan is fresh and though the story looks very predictable, it has been weaved around very well with the events and circumstances leading to the end. And among all this the author has ensured that the humor angle is nowhere lost.

After reading Battle for Bittora (which by the way I left halfway), i had a feeling as if the author had just made some changes to the background etc, and kept the crux of the story same…however, while TPTG also has romance at its core, the characterization and  events weaved give it a new flavor altogether.

A good book if you are looking for something light, romantic and humorous.

Rating: 3.25/ 5

Price: INR 350 (Flipkart price- INR 213)