The 10 books I love and recommend


Books have been my best friends since the time I was 5 or 6 years old.  I love reading all kinds of fiction books.  Over the years, the reading has slowed down a bit,  but I have promised myself never to let go of my favorite hobby.

Listed below are some of my favorite books in no particular order.  They are my favorites because it has that special something in the book which makes me remember the story even now after many years.  Some of them I love so much,  that I have read them multiple times and enjoy it every time I read it.    Continue reading

Private India : Slow thriller #BookReview

Private India

The book is about an Investigating agency called ‘Private India’. The agency is investigating a routine case of murder. What looks like a routine investigation soon becomes a series of murders committed by a serial killer.  There are some common factors between the murders like all of them are women, murdered using a yellow scarf.  Soon there is a murder each day.

The head of Private India, Santosh Wagh and his team consisting of Nisha, Mubeen and Hari are working on this case.  Santosh and his team try to find a common link or a pattern in the murder.  Initially, they are flummoxed with the dead women murdered by a yellow scarf.  Then they also notice there are objects carefully placed on the bodies, more like a setup.   There is also some evidence kept like hair.  However, the team soon realizes that the murderer is looking for some free publicity and with the props, is trying to mislead the investigation.  However, the way Santosh stumbles upon it and finally makes sense of the murderer’s objectives enables him to predict the next few murders.  But, the murderer is a step ahead at almost all the times.

The characters have been well-developed with personal stories.  Santosh has a drinking problem and the author tries to reason out why he is drinking.  Mubeen has a racial discrimination story, Hari has caste discrimination and Nisha has gender discrimination.

There are many twists and turns in the thriller which would be best enjoyed when reading the book and not detailing it here.  Overall, this is a good read.

What worked for me?

  • The story is well-built up and mystery unfolds very well with small details on almost every page.
  • The book starts off slowly and begins to gain momentum in the second half
  • The characters and locations are identifiable
  • Simple English suitable for first time readers

What didn’t work for me? 

  • The language of the book is very much Indian English.  Nothing wrong in that,  but would have been better if only the dialogues had been Indian English.  It distracts a bit.
  • There is also a terror angle in the book which is really unwarranted.  The story should have ended when the mystery was solved.  Instead, it goes on to punish the other support characters in the murder and in the process is saving the country from a bomb blast.  Very filmi I would say.  That chapter can be completely removed.
  • There are a lot of explanations provided for Indian trivia like ‘trains with people packed like sardines’, ‘Dharavi’ descriptions.  ‘Mahim church’, etc.  This slows down the pace a bit.

What could have made the book better? 

  • Better editing would have helped.  The first 150 odd pages are very slow and boring.  The second half of the book is fast paced and interesting.
  • The unnecessary terror angle could have been removed.
  • Adding a map of Mumbai in the book would have helped people who are not from Mumbai to identify the places and distances.

Overall rating – 3/5 

Good book to read for newbies.  There is nothing new or unusual in the book.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program for  Indian Bloggers.  Participate now to get free books!

Book Review : ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer

‘Into the Wild’ is a book which I would normally never pick up after reading the synopsis on the back of the book.  But as part of May @TSBookClub #TSBCChallenge, this book was assigned to me and so I had to read it.

Well, I started off the book with no expectations.  But the initial few pages got me hooked.  It’s basically the true story of a vagabond called Chris McCandless who calls himself ‘Alex the Supertramp’.  During the most difficult of his adventures in the strenuous environs of Alaska, he dies.  The whole book is about the how, what, why he went to Alaska. It’s as plain and simple as that.

But, what makes the book interesting is that, it makes you think, introspect.  Through the travails of Chris or Alex, as he calls himself,  the author tries to find a deeper meaning to life and how we are living it.  It actually, made me think of the pointlessness of an organized existence, the wastefulness of planning one’s life, the way we live our lives ensuring a secure future instead of living in the present.

Chris persuades you to enjoy the journey of life and live life to the fullest instead of trying to reach a destination of getting rich, or getting a house, or having a family.  The message in the book is not really of a preaching nature.  It needs to be discovered, one layer at a time.

On the whole, its a beautiful book.  Something you can read again and again and highly recommendable.