Book Review #121: 5 Questions of the Inquistive Apes by Subhrashis Adhikari

Author: Subhrashis Adhikari
Genre: Self-help / personal development
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The author through his book attempts to answer those thought-provoking questions which we had always wanted an answer for but never made an effort to find out.

The author chose common yet intriguing questions like

Who are We?
How we came to be?
Is sex bad?
How to make sense of the universe? And
How to be happy?

This book throws light on these questions scientifically rather than a religious or traditional way. The book has tons of information on our origin, our past and our thought process. Taking from the big bang theory to the modern-day chaos everything is explained through scientific proficiency.

The author has done extensive research on the questions and has given comprehensive answers to the same. The language could be quite difficult to grasp for few readers as it contains a lot of scientific terms and explanations.

This book is very helpful for everyone and I loved every bit of it. I recommend this to everyone.

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Book Review #120 : Janaka and Ashtavakra by Ashraf Karayath

Author: Ashraf Karayath
Genre: Mythology
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

We have been reading and listening to various versions of the epic Ramayan that it gives a sense of serenity and contentment whenever you hear the story. Even though we think we have read the complete Ramayan there is however some story within this tale which is unknown to us. And it gives us so much satisfaction when you hear the various interpretations of the epic.

When you think of Ramayan you know you are talking about Shri Ram and Sita. But there is something beyond this story which needs to be understood by everyone. This book gives us one such story of wisdom that comes with a lot of knowledge and motivation.

This book gives us the story of King Janaka and Ashtavakra and how the wisdom of Ashtavakra changed the way of thinking of King Janaka. King Janaka arranged the great swayamvar of Sita and is expecting royalties to be present but at the same time, his dream and intuition are causing him to think twice on his decisions. And to top it there is an impending war against Mithila by few opponent Kingdoms.

Ashtavakra, although crippled by birth attained wisdom and enlightenment at a very young age. He comes to Mithila to Janaka’s palace in search of his father, sage Kahoda and to provide solution to King Janaka’s confusion through his wisdom. Although everyone believes there is an impending catastrophe King Janaka stays in a spiritual path finding liberation.

This story shows that age and physical disabilities don’t decide your wisdom. It depends on your behaviour, intelligence and control over your mind. It not only tells the tale but also gives the readers a lot of wisdom and knowledge. The author has narrated this tale so beautifully that you cannot stop flipping the pages until the end. The language used is lucid and the way of storytelling is just amazing.

I loved reading this book and its a must-read for everyone.

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Book Review #119: The Accursed God – The Lost Epic ( book 1 ) by Vivek Dutta Mishra

Author : Vivek Dutta Mishra
Genre : Mythology
Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Reading Mythological books have always been a pleasure to me. You get to learn a lot of things and gain so much knowledge and peace of mind compared to any other genre. It helps you to reflect on the good and bad deeds of your life. It shows that the seeds of war didn’t emerge between the cousins before the war,  but it was sown way before the birth of Kauravas and Pandavas.

There are so many books I read on the epic Mahabharat, but what makes this book different is the fact that while every other book starts directly with the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas or just a glimpse of their ancestors, this book explicitly focuses on the very birth of the place Kurukshetra and life of Bhishma.

This book gives the details of the birth of Devbrata and how he became the grand Bhishma. Not many people are aware of the Devbrata being the accursed God and his boon of choosing death at his own will.

Devbrata is the son of King Shantanu of Hastinapur and Ganga. This book speaks about Devbrata’s life from even before his birth and the oath which made him the grand Bhisma from a mere prince of Hastinapur. And how he stood tall against anything and everything that came as a harm to Aryavart. Devbrata is the 8th accursed God who was cursed to die right after their birth. But fortunately or unfortunately Devbrata was the only one who survived.

The story starts with Sri Krishna asking Bhishma to unfold his story from his perspective. We see the story from the point of view of Bhishma, where he narrates his journey and the glory and destruction of Aryavart and the reasons and events that led to the great war of Mahabharat.

It was absolutely chilling to read the way Devbrata killed Jantu, the Prince of Panchal and the way he avenged his brother Chitrangad’s death using the mighty Divyastra which only a few have knowledge of. The conversation between Sri Krishna and Bhishma was mesmerizing to read.

It talks about friendship between Devbrata and Ved who are now well known as Bhishma and Maharshi Ved Vyas. It includes tales of Kansa, Jarasandh and their friendship which turned into a relationship, Kansa’s curse of him being killed by the 8th child of his sister Devaki.

Bhisma’s prophecy to Jarasandh“You have unleashed an evil that would outlive you and me and my Divyastra.Very soon, people will forget the difference between Divyastra and Pakshepastra.” sends chill down the spine and let readers think whether he was talking about the modern day weapons.

I liked how the author has included the tale of other regions such as Anga, Yaksha, Gorkha, Magadh, Gandhar, Mathura, Apar Kunti etc. and their respective kings and generations and their internal feuds.

The one thing that made this story stand out is the battle between Bhishma and Bhagwan Parshuram. It feels like it’s happening right in front of you. Also,  I liked the character of Amba who became the reason for this feud.

This book is the first of its series so you won’t be reading about the Mahabharat war in this book.  But it gives us a very clean closure with young Prince Pandu conquering Mathura and freeing Vasudev and Devaki from Kansa’s prison.

The author has done an extensive research for this book and I really applaud him for his effort in writing this book. Not many people these days try to preserve The ancient epics. The narration was very well paced and I couldn’t keep the book aside even for a minute. Even though it’s a lengthy book you can feel the excitement flowing throughout.

Although I expected a little more detail of Devbrata and Ved’s Gurukul experience and Bhishma and Bhagwaan Parshuram’s life as a student and teacher, I loved the way the author has depicted the story and the characters.

But nevertheless this book is very addictive for people like me who love to read our epic tales and can never get enough of it. I totally loved reading this book.

I am eagerly waiting for the second book in this series.

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Book Review #118: Dhi’s Parables of Divine Transformation by Saudamini Mishra

Author: Saudamini Mishra
Genre: Short stories
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

First of all, when I read the title I thought this is a self-help book. If you thought so too then you are wrong. This is not a self-help book but a collection of short stories each with a unique tale, although it gives us a very strong message through each story.

The title kind of intrigued me to pick up this book and I didn’t know what exactly does Dhi mean. So I looked up its meaning and found that Dhi is a Sanskrit word which means understanding, reflection, imagination, intellect or anything related to mind. So that’s exactly what this book focuses on.

The stories in this book range from the pre-independence time to the modern society and through each story it gives us a message that how one’s weaknesses or flaws can be used to transform oneself. It focuses on a wide variety of human reactions like jealousy, ego, anger and how each of the protagonists makes a remarkable transformation to their lives with them.

The author has a knack for storytelling and she narrated the stories beautifully. Starting with Bhagyalakshi, a girl from a pre-independence, Seerat of modern society, Sneh the wise woman all these characters will leave a lasting impression on the reader’s mind.

With each story, the reader is sure to learn some valuable knowledge. The language used is simple and lucid and the characterization is just amazing. I loved this book and I recommend it to everyone.

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Book Review #117: Set Your Mind Free by Charmi Vyas Gupta

Author: Charmi Vyas Gupta
Genre: Nonfiction
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This is a self-help book where the author with help of a story guides us towards living a sublime life.

The story focuses on 4 friends Azaad, Alisha, Nirzara and Havish who are different from each other in every way from their characters, ambitions, lifestyle, choices etc. They all are studying law but their life choices and desires are very different and they are determined to achieve that.

But not everything goes as per their plan. The choices they make, their ego, misunderstandings lead them to face different experiences in their lives. They all plan to go on a vacation to spend time with each other during the last few months left out of college.

There they meet Azaad’s uncle Keshav who is a motivational speaker whose wisdom and motivation guides them into understanding the meaning of living a sublime life. Will his words change their lives? Will they rectify their mistakes and move ahead in their lives?

The author through her story aims to motivate the readers and there are a lot of valuable messages, morals and motivation throughout the book. This book focuses on the dilemmas that we face in our everyday life and some wisdom and ideas as to how to handle those situations. This book will be helpful for everyone.

I liked the book and I recommend it to everyone.

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Book Review #116: The Belvoirbrooke Haunting by Abhirup Dhar

Author: Abhirup Dhar
Genre: Horror
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Nihith and his wife Jemisha move to Belvoirbrooke Tea estate, Darjeeling for his job. He was allotted an infamous bungalow to stay which is assumed to be haunted.

After shifting to the bungalow, Jemisha starts to feel some unusual happenings around her which scare the hell out of her. Frightened with everything that’s happening they decide to call a paranormal investigator, Chitin Burman to understand the actual reality of the bungalow.

Is Chitin helping them or is he here on a purpose?
Is there a ghost in the bungalow or is it just a nightmare?
Will they be able to resolve the mystery?

This story is very spine chilling and an interesting read. The author knows how to keep the suspense alive and make readers wanting for more. He has not left a single chance to unnerve the reader. And the epilogue is something that no one can except. The narration was really good and the language is simple.

I really liked the book and if you like to read horror stories then this book is definitely for you.

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Book Review #115: Heart Revolution by Karen Tobiasen

Author: Karen Tobiasen
Genre: Self-help
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

‘Heart Revolution’ by Karen Tobiasen is a unique self-help book about personal development.

This book shows how we can achieve business transformation while attaining personal transformation. The author gives us 10 steps of Transformation through which she tries to help the readers achieve both personal and business transformation.

Each step of these 10 steps are explained in detail and the author gives us very practical solutions to everything that we face while going through these transformations. I liked how the author has used a story at the end of each step to give us an idea of how it works.

The main concept of this book removes around Fear and Love. The author shows us with real-life examples now overcoming the fear and focusing with love you can achieve the transformation. It shows the reality that how people are afraid of the change happening in their life and how they mismanage everything out of fear.

And if you think just by reading this book you can achieve these transformations then you are wrong. You need to apply all the tips and tricks that are given in this book practically in your life, only then it is possible to change your life. This is a great self-help book which I would recommend to everybody.

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Book Review #114: Yellow – The Versus on hurting & healing by Urja Joshi

Author: Urja Joshi
Genre: Poetry
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This book is a collection of poems divided into two phases, hurting and the healing. The author has defined each phase with unique names. She calls the hurting as Mohi and the healing as Kabir.

The poems in the hurting phase focus on the broken relationship, the anguish that comes with it and in the healing phase it talks about the process of recovery from the heartbreak, the efforts you put in to make a comeback and to become you again, the way you start living your life letting go of all the suffering that the hurting phase gave you.

When you are in the phase of healing you go through a lot of things emotionally and physically. The author tries to motivate those trying to get themselves out of this mess through her poems and in particular with one poem where she tells you it is ok to have these thoughts and feelings.

This book is a roller coaster ride of emotions and the author has very beautifully portrayed them. All poems are heart touching and unique in their own way. And the sketches used with each poem are just amazing. And the letters at the end are very beautiful and interesting to read.

I liked all the poems in this book especially the one I just mentioned above where she tells what things are okay in the process of healing. I liked this book so much and I recommend it to all poetry lovers.

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Book Review #113: Soul Insights by Charlotte Fay

Author: Charlotte Fay
Genre: Poetry
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The author in this book talks about the ups and downs of the relationships, longing for the lost one’s, love, lust, heartbreak, women empowerment etc. The author has captured these emotions so beautifully in her poems. The author tries to motivate the readers through her poems.

The author also talks about writers who go through a lot of troubles, writer’s block, rejections, depression to come up with something beautiful and creative. The poems talk about the darker side of the writer and how people who appreciate your work and success never know or care about your darker side.

This is a very short book which you can complete in one sitting. Most of the poems are short and feels like snippets. The language used is very simple and lucid. The connection of the poems to the nature is very beautiful.

The title is very apt for this book. I liked all the poems in this book that it’s hard to pick a favourite. I recommend this book to every poetry reader.

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Book Review #112: My Precious Dreams by Rajan V Kokkuri

Author: Rajan V Kokkuri
Genre: Short Stories
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐/5

This book is a collection of 5 short stories with different themes.

1. Rare Footsteps
2. By 2 Coffee
3. Love Buds in Bloom
4. Destiny
5. Will I see him again?

I liked the first story RARE FOOTSTEPS which is about a father’s sacrifices for his children and family. It feels like the protagonist is giving tribute to his father who has been his support and motivation throughout his life.

This book is an amalgamation of dreams, memories, friendship, love, family and each story gives us something to learn. The author has beautifully narrated the stories and I like the way he has depicted each character and their point of view.

The Rare footsteps is the longest story and I liked the story destiny which is about the importance of gratitude.The book needs a little more editing work as there is a lot of grammatical errors and repetition of words. Apart from that, it was a pleasant read.

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