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The Journal

National Novel Writing Month

In a couple of hours from now, the National Novel Writing Month  or the NaNoWriMo will begin in India. For a whole month, aspiring writers across the globe dedicate their time to writing: some setting targets as high as...
Book Reviews

Before, and Then After by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Pablo Neruda , that famed poet of love, has a lesser known collection titled ‘Ode to Common Things’. Here, he takes commonplace objects like onions or spectacles and elevates them to the proverbial grecian urns of old. Consider this...
Book Reviews

Maps for a Mortal Moon by Adil Jussawalla

Maps for a Mortal Moon is a collection of journalistic writings by Adil Jussawalla on a sprawling range of subjects – from the importance of literary agents and the Salman Rushdie fatwa controversy to the death of Marilyn Monroe...
The Journal

Rishika Aggarwal: on poetry and being a self-published poet

I think we’re beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savannah or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder...
Q & A

Vidya Premkumar: on teaching literature

Literature today presents itself as that elusive, satisfying, cool profession. “You’re an author? That’s cool.” “I want to do something creative, like write,” have become cool catchphrases with a generation saturated with their mundane corporate jobs. But what most...
Book Reviews

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Think of Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House as a travelling theatre and a mobile culture library, situated primarily in the Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District or simply the Gardens, and making interim stops at the rest of New York and...
The Journal

On J.K. Rowling

I was vacationing with two of my brothers last week, corporate bigwigs who sashay down the airports every month, eat meals at the lounge and keep their cars parked at the airport every weekend. During dinner, we got talking...
The Journal

On Harry Potter

Yet another July 31 is here and my social media is filled, cheerfully, in reverence to the boy who lived, to the queen of the magical world; bringing back to a generation of kids who waited for their Hogwarts...
Book Reviews
The Journal

On Reading Austen

A couple of years ago, to take a break from the arduous preparation work of my college festival, my girlfriends and I  watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira  Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Weeks and years...
Book Reviews

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Some books are known more by their quotes, snippets of awesome that become bigger than the author and the source, and find their immortality in facebook posts, whatsapp statuses and wallpapers on the screens of the many digital devices...
Book Reviews

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

There is something, not quite serendipity, about reading a book of contemporary relevance, with jingoistic headlines spamming my background, the noise of hyper news anchors rising above the din of the traffic and the crescendo of the city rains....
Book Reviews

The Royal Game and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig

Sometime last year, I started painting again. Seeing my art teacher in his element, oblivious to all distraction, I wrote a short story about the lengths an artist goes to perfect his craft. This expanded into a chapbook about...
Book Reviews

The Princes by Manohar Malgonkar

Let one thing be known; most contemporary Indian fiction (in English) is a waste of paper. It is written in ‘simple’ English, as if literature is nothing but a textbook that everyone has to understand, that everyone must follow...
Book Reviews

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

If you haven’t read The God of Small Things yet, you may still have heard all about how the novel grabbed the 1997 Booker, while notoriously creating trouble in Kerala thanks to its sexual explicitness. But there is so...
Book Reviews

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Imagine rich, creamy dark chocolate, with bits of walnut and a hint of mint, layered with caramel, whipped till ultra-smooth consistency is achieved and moulded to the quirkiest of shapes. Each piece made to look even more delectable with...
Book Reviews

Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

The life of a full-time romance reader is hardly simple. Once you have read as many novels as I have (or, frankly, even a couple dozen fewer), things seriously start to take a turn for the predictable. Nothing shocks...
Book Reviews

The Guardians of Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath

We received a copy of this book from the author. That does not affect the review below. It is honest and unbiased. Indian fiction often seems to be lacking in two fundamental things for the larger part – scale...
Book Reviews

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

My mind cannot comprehend war. I have of course seen the movies and the documentaries, read the books by all the right authors – yet, fail to comprehend the immensity, brutality & the utter meaninglessness of war. I let...
Book Reviews

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

April 1, 2017 I pick up a book, as part of a reading challenge. As a habit, I don’t read about the book before I’ve read it, as far as I can help it. It lies in my bag...
Book Reviews

Heartless by Merissa Meyer

How I love the fairy tales. And how I adore Marissa Meyer to have retold every single one of them in such a beautiful way. Meyer has completely eliminated the only complaint I have had from the fairy tales—the female...
Book Reviews

The Death Relic by Chris Kuzneski

When the back blurb of a book compares the New World of 1545 to the Yucatan Peninsula today, when there is magic and historical fiction involved, you expect magic. You expect to be taken on a crazy ride across...
Book Reviews

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

When you hear too much about a book, you know when everyone is calling it a classic; you think, “This is a goddamn phony book.” And when I started reading it, I thought to myself that this was just...
Book Reviews
Uncategorized

Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud

This review was first published on June 30, 2016 Rupert Devereaux (let’s think, a Mr. David Cameron) is the Prime Minister of Britain, governing it with mediocre talent, lots of dinner parties and his much-conflicted Council. Britain is fighting...
Book Reviews
Uncategorized

The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Three things I read this book while having a little professional tussle of my own and eerily, at the same time that John Mandrake suffers the professional isolation at his workplace. The third installment of most movies are the...
Book Reviews

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Reading fantasy at 22 while pursuing a Master’s in Art — English Literature, is a test in itself. How you react to a largely ‘childish’ book after hammering for two semesters about literary criticism and theory is the best judge of...
Book Reviews

A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon

Here’s something about me: I love philosophy, and believe firmly that it needs to be made more mainstream. Philosophy helps root your beliefs into a concrete base. Professor Michael Sandel in his Justice series, asked a very interesting question...
Book Reviews

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Are you a fan of The Princess Diaries or The Devil Wears Prada? Have you watched Pretty Woman enough times to know some of Julia Roberts’ lines verbatim? And did you fall in love with Miss Congeniality when she...
Book Reviews

Howling at the Moon by Darshana Suresh

I’ve been following Darshana on Tumblr for a while now, and I’ve been waiting to read Howling at the Moon since it first published, and I have to say it did not disappoint in the least. Darshana Suresh’s poetry...
Book Reviews

Fools and Other Stories by Njabulo S. Ndebele

The Test For a long time, I wanted to right about the streets of my childhood, our games of summer and rains, my poverty and my perception of it. I have still not been able to pen down anything...
Book Reviews

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

I’ll be honest — I am not (yet) a science fiction aficionado. I have a very limited, can-count-on-my-fingers number of the genre, some short stories and currently only two novels I can think of. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is...
Book Reviews

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Writers and authors, storytellers and what Neil Gaiman calls, ‘those trade in fictions’, I believe, have a hidden agenda to glorify, not unjustly, our own kind. We love to write and we love to read but above both, we...
Book Reviews

Tales from the Border by Blackwood

Last month, I acquired a membership to a library in Mumbai; an old, dilapidated building that has volumes and volumes of old books in English, Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati. There were a dozen people sitting there and studying, the...
Book Reviews

Fatal Affair by Marie Force

*claps hands* So, romance novels are a guilty pleasure of mine – they’re the perfect way to cleanse you palate after finishing book(s) that require my complete mental involvement – and Fatal Affair is a fun, quick, and enjoyable...
Book Reviews

The Wedding by Julie Garwood

Romance sections at popular bookstores are smaller than Cinderella’s foot! I found this gem on the dusty shelf of a rent-a-book place after a long day of searching. Let me start off by saying that reading this book was...
Book Reviews

#FDD017 (Golden) by Rishika Aggarwal

Greek mythology seems to rule the world. There are those who like it, and then there is the author of #FDD017, Rishika Aggarwal, who has reached its depths and abyss, and come out with questions to Greek Gods themselves,...
Book Reviews

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I. Night  It’s a short, two page night. In an old court that would once have served for both sports and dances, I think about the times that have been, the time as is now. Our little rebellions of...
Book Reviews

Hell Island by Matthew Reilly

Hell Island is a novella that fits in between Scarecrow and Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves (alternatively title, Scarecrow Returns) in Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow series, filling in the reader on the details of Shane Schofield’s first mission after...
Book Reviews

Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Her name takes up more than half my title. Her stories took up more than half my soul. When my friend and culture guide Nilay lent me the book, I had not heard of her. If you haven’t, please...
Book Reviews

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

It is not a good sign when you pick up a book reluctantly. I had read Haroun and the Sea of Stories and its sequel was lying around. I said, why not? Luka and the Fire of Life was...
Book Reviews

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Literally. The plot of The Great Zoo of China is pretty simple – China has secretly raised 200-odd dragons over the course of 3-4 decades, while also building a zoo to rival all zoos, in which the dragons will...
Book Reviews

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

I first read American Gods in my first year of college . I hadn’t quite read anyone like Gaiman — and I fell in love with him, his words, his imagination and his ability to say exactly what I wanted to,...
Book Reviews

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Welcome to the surrealist’s paradise! Haruki Murakami’s ‘The Strange Library’ is a quick read – clocking in at about 100 pages, half of which are artwork, even the slowest of readers shouldn’t take more than an hour to get...
Book Reviews

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

In the mundane rut that are our professional and domestic routines, the universe finds its way to reassure us that it’s got our backs; a shuffle that plays your favourite songs, the hint that someone you like feels the...
Book Reviews

World War Z by Max Brooks

Around October last year I lay disturbed  — dreaming of wars, death, of a dystopian future and my place in it. Source? The ongoing ‘conflict’ between India and Pakistan, the surgical strikes, the verbal warfare, the imminent threat of war and...
Book Reviews

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I read most of my books in small nooks and corners of the city; the washroom,  public transport, the ledge by the window in my bedroom, in waiting queues. I recently took a two-day vacation to Saguna Baug, a...
Book Reviews

The Martian by Andy Weir

You’ve probably seen the critically acclaimed movie now (if you haven’t, I’d recommend it as much as the book), but even if you have, that’s still no reason for you to miss out on this utter pleasure. The Martian...
Book Reviews

Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov has been on my to-read list since forever. He’s one of those you like before reading, and my limited knowledge of the Foundation Saga weaved a sort of grand aura around him. So, when I picked up...
Book Reviews

Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics

“You are so much stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.” This is how the end of one of the most evocative poems of Clementine von Radics’ poetry collection, ‘Mouthful of Forevers,’ begins. Advice to Teenage...
Book Reviews

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

There’s a few words that will always go together: India, 90’s kids, reading, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Matilda, Harry Potter, Nancy Drew. These were great stories. Even today, I sometimes purchase a copy of a Secret Seven or a...
Book Reviews

After the Crash by Michel Bussi

I just finished reading After the Crash by Michel Bussi. It’s a very simple and yet fascinating story. A place crashes in the mountains. Everyone aboard dies. A three-month old baby is found next to the wreck. Two families,...
Q & A

Shweta Taneja

A new week. And a new author. And a new interview! Say hello to Shweta Taneja. She is an “author with a weakness for the occult, the eccentric and the oral traditions of Indian mythology. Her latest book Cult of Chaos is...
Q & A

Nitin Sawant

This week, we have Nitin Sawant. His book, Lucifer’s Lungi (Goodreads, Buy from Amazon, Buy from Flipkart). Nitin’s book is about this guy who believes in traveling to unknown places, in search of peace and adventure. One such adventure goes horribly...
Q & A

Ankush Saikia

OnWriting in back after yet another break. Of course we added Jaibala to help with book reviews but we haven’t had any interviews per se in all these days. This one by Ankush is totally worth the wait. Especially...
Book Reviews

Private India

I recently read Private India. The latest by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson. Got the book as part of the book review program by Blogadda.com. Private India. James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi. Before I launch in a full-blown review,...
Book Reviews

God is a Gamer

I recently read God is a Gamer. The latest by Ravi Subhramanian. Got the book as part of the book review program by Blogadda.com. Please note that this is NOT a paid a review. I do NOT make any money...
Q & A

Nishant Kaushik

OnWriting in back after a brief hiatus! I got busy with my own book and had no time to seek time for interviews from other authors.  So this week, we have Nishant Kaushik. Nishant has three bestselling books to his...
Book Reviews

The Mahabharata Quest: The Alexander Secret

Christopher C Doyle brings together History, Mythology and Science in a interesting and compelling story, of The Mahabharata Quest: The Alexander Secret. The title peeked my curiosity, “What could Mahabharata, and Alexander ever have in common, Right?” Incidentally this is...
Book Reviews

Slightly Burnt

Slightly Burnt by Payal Dhar is a YA novel about teenagers and their problems. At the same time it is not, just a novel and addresses issues that are important and need to be spoken about.   Paperback, First, 196 pages...
Book Reviews

Back In Time

“Back In Time” is the second book of the Tamanna series, and Andaleeb Wajid has done justice to the story of Tamanna that she started in No Time For Goodbyes.   Paperback, 168 pages Published September 5th 2014 by Bloomsbury...
Book Reviews

Flames of Paradise

When I heard of Flames of Paradise written by Tanjua Shankar Khan, a story with a female protagonist set amidst the terrorism in Kashmir I jumped at the offer to review the book.     Hardcover, First, 128 pages Published July 2014...
Book Reviews

God Is A Gamer

Well Looks like I am on a streak of reading new authors, they dominate my “To Be Read Pile”.  So God Is A Gamer by Ravi Subramanian is again the first book I am reading by the author, which...
Q & A

Anjali Kirpalani

Born in India, Anjali Kirpilani, lived in South Africa for eight years and moved back to India in 2008. After completing her Bachelor in Business Science degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, she was...
Q & A

Apurv Nagpal

Apurv’s Nagpal’s first book, Eighteen Plus (Facebook page, buy from Amazon) is an anthology of erotic short stories, a category that remains unexplored in India. In fact Apurv is one of the handful authors to have published an erotica...
Q & A

Vishwas Mudagal

Vishwas (Goodreads, Facebook, web) is a successful serial entrepreneur and a CEO with a history of building innovative technology brands and companies. He is very passionate about storytelling and he has taken it up as a parallel career. His first...
Book Reviews

Private India

A thriller based in India, a collaboration between two authors with their own individual styles of writing – one Ashwin Sanghi and the other James Patterson, a book that is the next installment of the fairly popular private series....
Q & A

Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral (Goodreads, FB, twitter) a journalist turned writer based out of Mumbai. She is the author of The Reluctant Detective (2012) and Once Upon A Crush (2014). She is also the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims...
Q & A

Shomprakash Sinha Roy

Shomprakash Sinha Roy (Goodreads, FB, website, Wikipedia) a 23-year-old writer based out of Bangalore, India. He already has three books to his credit – The Pink Smoke (2013) , Life Served Hot (2014) & 21 Things About Romance (2014), and is...
Q & A

Aditya Magal aka Jhunjhunwala

Aditya Magal (Goodreads) is 28, lives in Bangalore and is a Business Analyst turned Author. His debut novel, How to Become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing has been published by Random House and is available on Amazon here. Connect with...
Book Reviews

Book Review: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman

Meghna is the third book by author Sundari Venkatraman after Double Jeopardy and The Malhotra Bride. This story comes with a warning “This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn...
Book Reviews

Telling The Untold

When the title of a book says that, it will tell the untold story of a big business conglomerate Like the Shahra India Pariwar, it immediately perks up the readers interest. When the said book starts with a disclaimer...
Book Reviews

Breaking all Moulds

No I haven’t read Fault In Our Stars, and this is the first John Green Book I have ever read. So how do I feel about Paper Towns? Read on to find out.   Paperback, 305 pages Published January 2nd...
Book Reviews

A Breath Of Fresh

How would Harry Potter be if it were set two centuries back, in the 1800’s? It would probably be like A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey.   Paperback, 482 pages Published January 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens ISBN13: 9781408836361...
Q & A

Radhika Meganathan

Radhika Meganathan has published 12 picture books, with 20 more under production. She was the 2004 recipient of Highlights Foundations for Children’s Writers’ fellowship (USA) and one of the judges at Disney’s Pitchkiaow, a national talent search in Mumbai...
Book Reviews

The Assassin’s Life

The Assassin’s Blade is a series of five novellas by Sarah J Maas, in one edition which  acts as a prequel to the Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.   Original Title: The Assassin’s Blade ISBN: 1408852594 (ISBN13: 9781408852590) Edition Language: English PLOT:  Each...
Q & A

Shatrujeet Nath

Shatrujeet (Goodreads, fb) is a writer and a former business journalist based out of Mumbai. He earned critical acclaim with his debut novel, The Karachi Deception. His next, The Guardians of the Halahala, is the first volume in an epic fantasy trilogy based...
Q & A

Rohit Gore

Rohit Gore (website, Goodreads, fb), has published four books including The Guardian Angels, Circle of Three and A Darker Dawn. He is based out of Pune. Apart from writing, Rohit loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it,...
Q & A

Sachin Garg

Sachin Garg (website, Goodreads, fb), known for his bestsellers Never Let Me Go, I am not Twenty Four and recently Come on Inner Peace, is a writer based out of Delhi, India. Apart from writing, Sachin runs Grapevine India, a publishing house...
Book Reviews

Not At all Sorry

Sorry…..Again??? The title, the cover page and the tag line that went “Can he purge his sins” seemed very different, interesting and raised my curiosity to read the book. So now the question is, did Amit Singh’s book live up...
Book Reviews

No Goodbyes For This

“Sassy Sweet and Fast Moving” are the three words on the cover that Anuja Chauhan has used to describe the book. Well I found this book to be all that and more. No Time For Goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid...
Book Reviews

Blown Away To Kingdom Come!!!!!!

Whenever you pick a book to read, you always have this preset notion, as to what the book is going to be. Some book fit just right and are exactly as you imagined them to be, where as some break...
Book Reviews

Hunting Down the Mangler

After reading a fair few not so great books, a good book comes like an oasis in the desert. Madras Mangler by Usha Narayanan was such a book. A out and out fast paced, crime thriller, I finished reading the...
Book Reviews

Fall in Love over Tea

When I start to read a book, and get so engrossed in it, that I forget the sense of time and space, start feeling the emotions of the characters, start identifying with their problems, that is when I know...
Book Reviews

Book Feature : Tea Breaks With The CEO

THE BLURB Enya’s life was like a bull in a China Shop. While she juggles with all the stress with her family and work, there comes cupid’s call and makes her fall in love with who she thinks is...
Book Reviews

A Journey through the pages of history

  Daniel’s Diary by Rajeshwari Chauhan The Blurb When Mrinalini, an art restoration expert, ventures into the ruins of Rang-Mahal and the Palace of Sumangarh, an accidental discovery of a skeleton and a manuscript detailing the exploits of Daniel,...
Book Reviews

About the Don’s Wife

  Don’s Wife by Vinod Pande   The Blurb   Lethality of beauty and inner radiance brutally felled, after several dastardly attempts on her life in different cities of the world, Kamini, the firebrand leader of the emerging new...
Book Reviews

The Road To Being The Malhotra’s Bride

The Malhotra Bride is the second book I have read by the Author Sundari Venkatraman and is her first foray into self publishing. This is again a total Bollywood romance full of a few twists. Well, I did read...
Book Reviews

The Love Stories We Need in our Lives

Beautiful words for a beautiful story
Book Reviews

The Laborious Route to Love

  Love’s Labor by Andy Paula   The Blurb   Piali Roy has run away from home and the two stubborn men who love her. One is her beloved Baba; a rigid traditionalist, he refuses to accept anyone from...
Book Reviews

Dealing with the Tycoon

The Blurb Dancing with the enemy Krish Dev needs to find a bride—and quick! With a marriage arranged by his father looming, Krish finds the key to his freedom in Maya Shome, but is this dazzling beauty really all...
Book Reviews

Chasing With Tuki

  Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma     The Blurb   AFor most hairstylists, the move from the dingy Lovely Beauty Parlour to the upmarket Nancy’s Factory would be reward enough. Gifted, young Tuki though has her...
Book Reviews

The Gentry Love Affair

  Grays Hill By Barbara T. Cerny     The Blurb   After her father committed suicide rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the...
Book Reviews

Dance to the Sirens Tunes

  Sirens Spell Danger  By  C.Suresh, Radha Sawana & Karthik L       The Blurb   There are sirens and, then, there are sirens. Some warn you of danger and some lure you into danger…Lured by a sexy...
Book Reviews

Double Jeopardy by Sundari Venkatraman

The Blurb Sanya doesn’t just have trouble, she has double trouble. Twins Arth and Ansh Sharma, are rich, sexy and sinfully handsome – what’s a girl to do? Sanya last saw the twins when she was ten years old....