Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Bookish Dictionary

Internet is the new abode of the bibliophiles. Social media profiles are brimming with bookish posters, quotes, obsessions, OTPs, Shipping their favourite characters, fangirling, swooning over fictional boys, et al.
Could jargons be far behind?
Here's our favourite of them.
Bibliolestes - a book-thief

Bibliophtbor - a book ravager or destroyer

Bibliopbage - someone who eats books


Librocubicularist - someone who reads in bed

Sesquipedalophobia- Fear of long words

Bibliobibuli - someone who read too much


Bibliomane - an indiscriminate accumulator of books



Abibliophobia - fear of being without books


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

App Review: Askme.com




We all know how ubiquitous apps have become in our lives. Recently, we were told that apps usage accounts for 50% of the time spent on digital media. Come to think of it, and the state of affairs become coherent and lucid: you want to go shopping? Try online. Navigating your way through the snarl of traffic and cannot find the place? Search for the route on your phone. Want to book tickets? “Online”  pat comes the reply. Having a tough time finding a good cafĂ© nearby? Want to hang out at a historical monument nearby? Want to shop at the lowest prices? Want to compare prices for a product? Scouting for coupons and vouchers? Looking for reliable customer/user reviews?


The idea of combining all these things into one app, like an “All in 1” go-to place, a one-stop solution for all your queries, the ultimate app, is something that was the most obvious thing to design to cater to the convenience need of the users. It was an idea whose time has come, an idea that was waiting to be given a form and shape. Lo and behold, we have what is touted is the Bapp of all Apps. This app, which you can easily recognize from the face of the star roped in for its promotion is Askme.com.
Amusingly, or annoyingly, it opens up to the image of Ranbir Kapoor himself, which makes us think if it has gone a little too ahead while banking on the star power.


Well, let’s get to it:

Askme.com enables you to search for classifieds, deals, products, services, information and whatnot right down to the accuracy of your locality.
The home screen has three fields. First one is the field to enter the item you are looking for. Second detail is your locality. And the third field is your city. The application detects your city automatically using your phone’s GPS. If it doesn’t then manually typing your city in the field would do the trick. Under the city field, there is a search button. After searching, you can browse through the reviews of the item. The contact details are also made available to make your reaching out to them easy and blissful. This is a glimpse into the wider reach of the application.

Ups:

1.      The search filter gives details of the various business houses near your location.
2.      It promises best deal at best prices.
3.      Contact details, which are given, like zomato, make it endearing to the user.
4.      Sharing with friends and acquaintances over social media is another giveaway
5.      It occupies a meager space on the phone, much to the relief of the users whose eternal woes include shortage of space.
6.      The reviewing platform, although nothing breakthrough, is a quintessential example of the convenience peculiar to this app.
7.      It is also a buying and selling platform like OLX
8.      Saves substantial surfing time by giving results relatively quickly.

Downs:

1.      The listing window is fickle, and the database is exhaustive, perhaps, a search filter can do wonders.
2.      Future updates are expected to make it flawless, immaculate.
They call themselves the Baap of all apps, they might not be wrong. That it is free is a fact that doesn't suck either. A little finishing on the database, and it will hit it right. For the minuscule MB space occupied, having it on your smartphone is a fair deal.

How to download the app

Android users can download the app for free from Google Play. So make your searches simpler, and fun, and let this app addict you to it. 


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Book review: Bad Romance by Harshita Srivastava



About the book:

Life is a bitch and I’m one of its victims. I had the perfect life. I was blessed with the perfect boyfriend, a perfect best friend, the perfect set of girlfriends and perfect choice of career. There were some loopholes but then they went beyond my perspective. Overall, I had the kind of life people would ideally like to have but happy times aren’t meant to last forever.

Sometimes we feel that we have figured life but that’s something that is never going to happen. You know why? It’s because it has this habit of kicking us right in the middle of ecstasy. No wonder, it did the same with me.

This is my story, my story of that exploration within, my feelings, my emotions, my thought process, my priorities, my conflicts and my journey into the temptation of love, lust, lies and betrayals. This is the story of Kritika and a man who gave her life another dimension, Tanishq. This is a story of the complexities of relationships and the trap that a simple idea of sensuality, pleasure and euphoria can put you into. This is a story for everyone who has loved, lost and fought for survival and love, together.



About the Author:

A full-time writer, Harshita Srivastava is the author of 'One In A Million' that got published by Mahaveer Publishers in April 2013 in her final year of Mechanical Engineering at G.L.Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, Noida. She is an avid reader and a prolific blogger. She loves reading classics and is a diehard Mills and Boons fan. She loves to see happiness around her so she’ll always be found motivating people or making them smile. Apart from writing, she loves travelling, reading, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. She is currently working on her second novel 'Bad Romance'.

My Review:

The tagline "Love, Lies and Betrayal" aptly sums up the themes around which the novel revolves. It is the story of any girl-next-door. Life in a hostel, a string of relationships, et al form the core of the plot.
The best part of the novel is that it comes in layers: First, it manifests itself as a fairy tale romance, then it resurfaces as a story of two people oscillating between infatuation and superficial love (peppered with the inevitable love triangle) and finally takes a plunge when it delves into the darker human emotions, harsh living realities, and gory human frailties. It soon undergoes a metamorphosis into a saga of shattering human fallacies and an encounter with the ugly truth. And the truth is: Stories about real relationships flummox and fluster you beyond measure, that reasoning between the right and wrong becomes almost difficult. The part of novel which has an interplay of these themes is the best part.
I managed to read it and finish in a couple of hours, so it can become a good one-night-read.
The downside is that for one, there has been a lot of scope to do footwork. For instance, the character sketches could have been worked upon, because a book can get under the skin of a reader only through the characters. Also, a reader is interested in knowing the personality of characters: what makes them them. Same goes with the expression and description of critical and crucial incidents. It is for the same reason that we get abrupt beginnings and endings. Also, editing finesse has been conspicuous by its absence.
Overall, it is a kinda 3.5/5. A .5 extra for the potential of the storyline.


Best Lines:

We don't stop loving people. People die but does our love for them depreciate? It's just that we get used to being without them.

My Judgement:

A raw, bare and verbatim depiction of contemporary relationships is how this novel can be best described.

Find the book here: 






Thank you for stopping by, and reading through!




Monday, 14 July 2014

International Authors' Day: My bookish Journey!

Hosted by : Book R3vi3ws

Today, on the splendid occasion of International author's day, I would love to go down the memory lane and trace my metamorphosis into a compulsive bibliophile. I hope I won't bore you. I hope you identify with snippets and parts of it. And I hope you join me in this journey of plunging into the fantasy worlds of the books I read.  Here's my story.
I don't have a family who was too passionate about reading, everyone read newspapers, magazines, and maybe a novel once a year. But none of my family members was zealous about the blissful act of reading. For me, it was purely  the "Fates" that I experienced the heavenly mirth of reading. My earliest memory dates back to when as a 9 year old who had a tough time falling asleep without anyone by her side, I used to read myself to sleep: a short story per night out of my coursebooks. Not a bad beginning, right? And then I won books as prizes in elocution competitions. That is technically, my first tryst with books outside of curriculum. I still read it: The beauty and the beast in Hindi, and it happened that year in English.

And then, I pestered my parents to buy me scooby-doo novels. (Well, kids do that, I was just fulfilling my responsibility). Year after year, I Started getting more books as prizes. Then finally, I could lure my sister into the fantasy worlds of the novels, and we started shopping online for books. Till date, books are the only thing I shop for online. And then, My life REALLY began with my first ever visit to the book fair. There was no looking back. I have visited every book fair, every possible bookshop and my library spans possibly every genre. 

Today, the person who is writing this post has evolved as a bibliophile. I had my Facebook last name as bibliophile for years, my bookish obsession has made me a book-blogger, book-reviewer, book-hoarder, a crazy fangirl.  Which also implies that I love these mobile cases, necklaces, posters, jewelry, mugs, et al which are bookish to their core. 
I am the kind of person who keeps telling her friends to buy her these as gifts. And yes, I have received them very generously from some of my closest buddies. The books they have gifted is a reminder of their love, and it's almost like anyone who hasn't gifted me books isn't really a friend for life.
 (Dear all friends, who are feeling hurt and want to prove their friendship: Next on my please-gift-me-list: any and every book by Dan Brown,  John green, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Mathhew Quick, Ashwin Sanghi )
So, When I started this blog a year ago, I just had an itch to showcase my passion for books. That it would acquire these dimensions was the biggest surprise all year long. At 10,000 pageviews and loads of books coming up for review, I feel blessed to be a part of this book-lovers community.

Do be a part of our facebook flash giveaway here: So Many Books, So little time pinned post

Enter giveaway for Tantra By Adi (Paperback)
(Indian addresses only)
Anu is a vampire Hunter.But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.
a Rafflecopter giveaway








Sunday, 6 July 2014

Book Review: Manhattan Mango By Madhuri Iyer



About the book:

Q. What happens when three ambitious, high-achieving, 20-something Mumbaikars become New Yorkers?

A. Madness.

Zipping through life’s ups and downs like a high-speed elevator during rush hour, buddies Shri, Shanks, and Neel hold on to each other, and their sanity, with a bro-hood bonding that chipkos them together, fevicol se.

Neel’s the driven hedge fund guy, with a weakness for scotch and women. Tam Brahm Shanks, a techie, falls for the "wrong” girl. Good Son Shri, a banker, holds a secret he means to take to his grave. Their intertwined lives buzz with high-voltage drama — explosive secrets, super-charged romances, and a-fuse-a-minute meltdowns.

There’s alcohol-fueled passion, Devdas style. Inter-racial hook-ups. Even a fake affair, because money can’t buy the real thing. When their skyscraper-sized dreams are tested, this “desified” saga of friends in Manhattan is like the city’s rapid transit express subway line. You won’t want any stops in between



About the Author:

Madhuri Iyer has studied O Levels from the London University and graduating in Applied Art from Sophia Polytech, Mumbai. She has worked as an advertising copywriter for agencies in Mumbai, Dubai and Canada, including FCB Ulka, Lintas Lowe, Everest Saatchi, Clarion McCann, and Cossette Canada. Her advertising career had spanned over two decades, culminating in a Creative Director job in Dubai. Presently, she consults for Induseye Inc, as a director.

In India,she has published work in the non-fiction category. She has written/edited the  4-WEEK COUNTDOWN DIET for Penguin India, with her own recipes and case studies, in collaboration with fitness expert Namita Jain. She has also edited fitness books for the Times of India Group, including a children’s fitness book and a home exercise instruction manual.

In the fiction genre she has written a novella, Pink Champagne, for Indireads, an online imprint. Manhattan Mango is her second work of fiction for the Indian and diaspora market

My Review:

Without any circumlocution, I will get straight to the point: Here's the thing about this novel: you will start reading it because you know its going to be chic, you continue it because you want to know what happens next in the lives of each of the characters, yes, every single one of them. And you end up willing to be in the novel as one of the characters and each time you turn the chapter, it is a different character that you want to be.
The whole aura of cosmopolitan, suave youngsters trying to become someone, and figuring out life, is so amusing.
Contrary to the blurb, the book is not just the story of Shri, Shanks and Nell, but equally of all other characters as well.
The best part is the plot: It is so unlike the cliched plots which tend to read like  happily-ever-after fairy tale. Here it is all believable and you don;t feel sad either, because it is happily believable, not the sugar-coated believable which we sometimes get so tired of reading.
So, well, yes, sure there's this "All's well that ends well" tinge to it, but it is so different from any other novel you will read.
Next best part is the energy in the novel. the author has done a commendable job to give life to the characters and scenes and incidents and whatnot.
And the characters are just so near-to-life, they are etched in a way to make the reader fall in love with them : the protagonists, and their spouses (or fake spouses) followed in quick succession by the typical Indian parents, who come with their own baggage of woes and complaints.

And then there is reality sprinkled all over in its bare, unaltered, unalloyed form. Their lives are not ALWAYS happening and fun, it is also interspersed with secrets, societal burdens, and intermittent periods of joblessness, no matter how hard they try to evade them.

They embrace the mess,and then struggle to disentangle from it.
I am gonna stay on the lookout for more from the author and from Fingerprint Publishers, because this novel was amusing throughout.

Best Lines:

Lets give you a dose of this enervating novel. At a point where all characters are battling one problem or another here is how it has been described:
"Battling a booze ban and betrayal, all at once, was enough to test anyone's limits. Observing them, an outsider would have concluded that someone near and dear had recently died."

My Judgement:

Get a slice of this mango: cosmopolitan, energetic, relevant!


Book Launch Video:

Watch these videos for some spicy bites from the book!!!







Find the book here: 








Thank you for stopping by, and reading through!



Saturday, 5 July 2014

Book Review: Anti-social Network by Piyush Jha


About the book:

When college students across Mumbai are murdered one after another in gruesome ways, inspector Virkar from the crime branch is called in. As Virkar investigates, he stumbles upon a ruthless gang of young, tech-savvy miscreants who use social networking sites and the Internet for blackmail and sextortion. But how are the two cases linked? And who is the mastermind behind these killings?
As the case grows murkier, the computer-challenged Virkar finds himself greatly out of his depth, chasing a killer who always seems to be one step ahead and a group that soon trains its sights on him. He must race against time to unmask the gang and to find the murderer before his reputation is ruined forever. Thick with suspense and layered with grit, anti-social network brings to you inspector Virkars toughest case yet.
From the bestselling author of Mumbaistan and compass box killer comes the third riveting instalment in the Mumbaistan crime-thriller series. The story once again features inspector Virkar, who is now a popular protagonist amongst readers of crime-thrillers. Anti-social network will appeal to fans of the authors books as well as find new ones



About the Author:




Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of the bestselling novel, Mumbaistan and Compass Box Killer.
A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make commercials for some of the country’s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films. His films include Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar.
He lives in his beloved Mumbai, where he can often be found walking the streets that inspire his stories.


My Review:

Now, it might seem an exaggeration, but its not: I read the novel, cherished it and really likened it to the mystery thrillers penned by Satyajit Ray. Yes, the details and the plot, and the plot twists are so remarkable that I was compelled to see Feluda aka Felu Babu (the protagonist of Satyajit Ray mystery books) to Inspector Virkar. It is almost as if its Feluda in his contemporary incarnation.

What this novel eventually turned out to be, which is what I really liked about the novel, was the fact that it did not simply follow a trail to unearth or uncover a series of evidence and witnesses in order to reach a conclusion, it also had a very important and different tangent to it: the angle which apprises the reader of how real the threats of privacy and security are, in this age of internet-addiction. It explores the extent of brutality and antipathy that crimes like blackmail, sextortion, and fraudulent impersonation can acquire. This generation, which has often been victimized by crimes perpetrated in/by the virtual world, shall forever be grateful to Jha.












Another part of this riveting novel to look out for are the descriptions of murders and their figurative meanings as are revealed later. I really hope that with this integrity and observation skills, Inspector Virkar becomes an enviable character, and the author, a pioneer of this hitherto unexplored genre of thrillers.

A group of college students gone morally decrepit. A psychologist with an nondetachable place in this equation. A police system of complacency. A hacker, who retains "ethics" in his activities, and deploys his talent to the help of Virkar.

How a seemingly solid, foolproof, in-frangible, expert network evaporates, coagulates and coalesces on the altar of one woman's revenge and another man's incessant pursuit of a way beyond the deadlock, while the threads of evidence refuse to weave into a meaningful something, is at the core of this novel.
With its arcane description of the repugnant crimes, an insight into the threats posed by the virtual world, and an underlying manifestation of a troubled, frail teenage psychology, this book is totally totally worth the time and money spent on it. The crisp, accurate narrative which has, to the delight of the reader, no verbosity, is a major puller. A LOT of use of colloquial phrases might be a slight put-off, and I hope the next edition may carry footnotes explaining the same.


And yes, another character to watch out for, Naina, sarcasm personified!

Best Lines:

Lets give you a dose of the macabre murder mystery:

"The knife was incredibly sharp. She had intended to take only a trial swipe, but the blade sliced through the flesh with surprising ease.
My Judgement:
This thriller is packed with undying suspense, layers of mystery, and an enchanting plot setting, that will not let you put it down."


Book Video:

Watch this video to dig deeper into the secrets of the book!





The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

Find the book here: 








Thank you for stopping by, and reading through!






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