OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

13326677Date Published: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 341
Source: Local Library

Goodreads Synopsis: When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic… and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  I had my sights set on this book even before it released last year. Although I got my hands on a review copy, I couldn’t get to it last year. So when I saw it in my library, I enthusiastically grabbed it.

The book began interestingly enough but soon seemed to lack lustre for me. I kept waiting for it to pick up, then waited for it to just get over and finally struggled for a month before being done with it. Phew! So glad it’s over.

I had high hopes set for this book and it dashed it all. A love story along with OCD interests me as a psychologist and a reader on so many levels. But this book dragged on with no obvious end in sight.

The characters didn’t make me feel and at times, seemed too bizarre. I get OCD, I see it all the time in my clinical practice and quite a lot of the information there was accurate and I applaud the author for it. But there had to be some editing in there.

Also, the story could have benefitted from, you know, actually having a story, rather than basing one on OCD symptoms. It isn’t a memoir after all. For a love story, the guy’s perspective was hardly shown and not even dealt with in its entirety, leaving things to the reader’s imagination. I am all for using my brain cells but at least make me want to do so. This book just made me want to fling it at the wall because it dragged on forever and I hate to leave books unfinished so I struggled through with it, wasting so much of my time. This 300+ page book could have easily been summed up in 200 and could have had an actual story, going by me.

The characters apart from Bea (the main one) are a bit unsteady and I found myself reading about them and saying ‘oh, really?’ in my head. They just don’t seem real enough, the situations seem vague and unlikely. Well, I can go on and on but I truly failed to understand the point that the book wanted to carry through.

Other readers have really liked the book so it may be my psychologist’s biased opinion and not just as a reader’s. So give this a chance at your own peril. I take no responsibility.

1.5/5 stars – The author has worked hard but the book really wasn’t for me. download

A Letter to a Hindu by Leo Tolstoy

imagesDate Published: 1908
Pages: 17
Source: Amazon Kindle – Own copy

Goodreads Synopsis: About the subjection of India, its cause and cure, with an introduction by M.K. Gandhi.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  In my search for ‘Eleven stories by Leo Tolstoy’, I stumbled upon this treasure. The title intrigued me. I am a Hindu after all. Seeing a personal letter (well, almost) from no less than Leo Tolstoy will get anyone’s heart beating faster and me being an ardent fan, ‘ahh’ is the word. I might have had too much on my to-do list but then this short little letter somehow made some time for itself to be read and I have no idea how everything else shifted to the back burner. ;)

An introduction by Mahatma Gandhi gives way to the book. On a personal note, I am not a big fan of his actions. His beliefs, possibly, but some of his actions just didn’t go down well with me and few of his words in the letter found their way to despise me. But I carried on.

And then came Krishna and Tolstoy, two of my very favorite people or perhaps a semi-God and an author but well who goes by the decree. I love them both! And I completely agree with their beliefs. The quotes by Krishna reminded me why He was the one who had inspired my pen name while Tolstoy’s writing reminded me why Anna Karenina is my all time favorite book and he my all time favorite author.

His words rang true to me and I found myself nodding  in agreement. His letter written in 1908 still holds true to this day. But it now assimilates the whole world and is not limited to a Hindu or an Indian. It might well include Israel and Russia and Ukraine and the entire world population. ‘Love’ is the word. Violence and war should give way to love because that’s what is natural and pervasive.

This little letter might hurt a few sentiments because at a point, it even questions one’s beliefs in Gods and religion but all for one’s belief in an even higher aim of life – love. I somehow agree with all that Tolstoy has to say because God is a belief but love is natural. God one learns about but love is an instinct, something we are born with.

I wish Tolstoy was alive. He seems like my dream man. ;) On a serious note, I realised why I had fallen in love with him years ago when I read Anna Karenina. And it’s time I pick up more of him. I’m craving now.

5/5 stars – Absolutely fantastic. Loved it!

images (14)

 

Author Bio:

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Balachandran

19324492Published by: Alchemy Publishers
Genre: Chick lit
Date Published: 11/20/2013
Pages: 288
Source: Own

Goodreads Synopsis: Meet Sri Anuprabha, aka Anu, a twenty-nine year-old banker who is terrified of entering her thirties. She dreams of quitting her job at the bank, sporting yoga pants and traipsing around the world. Her world turns upside down when things go awry and she is faced with the prospect of spending her days watching Tamil serials. She comes up with a five-point plan for reclaiming her life back before she hits the big 30. But things are never as simple as drawing up a flowchart in real life, are they? Especially with a ghastly recession rearing its ugly head…. Anu bumbles through the corridors of domesticity and travels on a funfilled roller coaster ride in a bid to discover her passion in life.Along the way, she meets new people, experiences crazy new things and learns some hard lessons in marriage, friendship, parenting and life. The Crossover Year is a funny, yet heartwarming story of a woman in search of her identity, and a chronicle of her hilarious quest for discovering her inner mojo. Bring out a platter of cookies and a steaming mug of chai, and join Anu on the ride of her lifetime.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | Add on Goodreads

My View: I picked up this book for a Goodreads challenge for one of my groups. The challenge was to pick up a book with less than 500 ratings. I have a couple of books lying around which fit the bill but this seemed the most interesting and easy to breeze through, so I ended up picking it up.

I am kind of embarrassed to say this but I have some problems reading an Indian-authored book unless it’s a masterpiece by Rushdie, Lahiri etc. The reason being the English is just different from the ones I am used to reading (non-Indian authors). But every once in a while, I motivate myself and go on. I did struggle a bit initially with the typos, grammatical errors and the different style of writing but later on, I gave in.

As far as the plot is concerned, it isn’t something out of the blue or very novel but it works for a book like this whose genre is chick-lit and is supposed to make you laugh. Well that is actually the plus point of the book. The book is funny at a few places and made me smile, if not laugh. The author has gone to a great extent to up the funny quotient. And I applaud her for that.

As far as reality is concerned, the office politics and some of the instances are spot on but sometimes the book steps way too far from reality to be believable. The main character of Anu is a marvel indeed and you will find yourself laughing at her antics. There are a lot of other characters in the book but I am most impressed by her husband and would have liked if more spotlight had been put on him.

The major weaknesses of the book were a loose plot, too many characters and stories (it is as if the author wanted to put in everything) and some cliches (happy ending et al).

The major plus point, of course, is the funny bit. The book spells good fun and is an easy, quick read lasting a few hours.

2 stars – It was okay.

2stars

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

818109Translated by: Philip Gabriel
Genre: Literature
Date Published: 10/06/2005
Pages: 615
Source: Local Library

Goodreads SynopsisKafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart | The Book Depository | Add on Goodreads

My View:  This is a spoiler free review. My full review is here.

Before I could even dive into the book, I got confused that I had read a book by the author (which I had not. The book I was getting confused with was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and only realised my folly when I was writing this review and looked into it). I didn’t like that book very much so I was skeptical to pick this up even though I had heard many good things about this one.

Nevertheless, I did pick it up… and abandoned it after the first chapter. I just couldn’t get into it. So there it lay on my bedside table wanting my attention while I ignored it completely for two days. And then I kind of felt bad about it (or rather decided to give it a try since my friend had procured it from the library with great difficulty and I wasn’t sure if I could ever lay my hands on it again) and picked it up again.

It was the second chapter that had me captivated and wanting more. And then the pages flew by, well at least till a few more chapters.

A couple of incidents further grabbed my attention.  All the while I had this inkling that the words and incidents had a more deeper meaning attached and I should probably slow down and give my brain some time to think. But I was reading on a schedule here and hence flitted by.

I did have some hypotheses during this time.  I filed them away while I read further and those hypotheses kept changing depending on where the book led me.

It was towards the latter part of the book that things turned almost insane.  And I was almost pulling my hair out in frustration. I read on just be done with the book. Once I was done, I had the feeling of wanting to hunt down Murakami, sit him down and ask him ‘Did you go insane by the time you neared the end of the book?’ because it did seem that way to me. Phew!

I decided not to touch another book immediately after as my head screamed to (because it wanted to let go of all the weirdness this book brought about in me) and let it filter through. There was no way in hell I was going in for another reading as some of my fellow readers have done in order to get things straight. No, thank you. But somehow I kept myself from delving back into the book. It was almost like I was trying hard not to think about it. Wonder what it says about me, psychoanalytically.

There are too many questions left unanswered. Not that I mind them. But I mind the fact that this book had too much going on for its own good. Probably it needs to be read more slowly, writing down notes by the side and then contemplating on it. There are themes to be explored in here. But again, there are too many things there will be no explanation to and one wonders then, why, oh why?  So many questions.. Argggh.

Okay. I am not promising anything. But maybe, just maybe, I might pick up this one again a few years down the line and sit myself down with a notebook, read and make notes and solve the mystery. Or else, I will hunt down Murakami and threaten him until he solves all those mysteries for me. To be frank, I like the second idea much better. What do you think?

2.5/5 stars – Somewhere between ‘it was ok’ and ‘I liked it’.

2.5 stars

 

Author Bio:

Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’.

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse ‘Peter Cat’ which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini’s opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells’ song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boystune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles’ song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

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25 hours, 50 books! Upto 60% off!


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So what is this thing?

The Countdown promotion will run for 25 hours, starting at 9am BST, Tuesday 1 July 2014. There will be a new book available on our homepage for a great price every 30 minutes. The last one will go up Wednesday 2 July at 9:30am BST.

Can I buy all the books?

You can buy as many of the books as you like; we offer free worldwide delivery, so there is no harm in shopping again & again throughout the day. You are however limited to three copies of each book per person — it’s only fair that as many people as possible get to grab a bargain.

What happens if I’m checking out and the books run out?

The book you’re ordering is only definitely yours when you see the confirmation page — up to that point if someone beats you to it, then sorry you’re out of luck. We hope everyone will get at least one of the titles they’re after.

These offers are really good, are they the same books as normal?

Yes — we’ve done some very special deals with some very special publishers to bring you these great bargains.

Oops. In all the excitement I bought a book I don’t want.

That’s fine. Don’t panic — just cancel your order using our online cancellation form.

Is there a way to find out what the next offer is?

No, sorry, the fact it’s a secret is all part of the fun!

I added a book to my basket and it was removed, what happened?

Sorry, the book sold out during the time it took to add it to your basket, better luck next time.

I fell asleep waiting for the next product and missed it — can I still get it at the offer price somehow?

Sorry, no. These offers are known as WIGIGs in the trade (When It’s Gone, It’s Gone); after the offer is over you’ll often be able to buy the book again but at the normal price.

How long are you doing the offer for?

A new title will be added from 9am BST on Tuesday 1 July to 9:30am BST on Wednesday 2 July. Then we’ll all need a bit of a lie down.

Are the products on offer still shipped for free?

Yes, indeed they are. We have free worldwide delivery.

Are there any tricks to get through the checkout quickly?

We recommend that you set up an account (although you don’t need one to shop) and add a credit card ready, save fumbling around when too excited (though you will still need your CVV number).

 

 

Don’t miss out!

A Year in Recap

So I have been gone a really long time. And though life’s been a rollercoaster, it doesn’t mean I gave up on books and reading. I slowed down, yes. But  gave up, never. This is a glimpse into a month-by-month account of my reading since I last reported in July 2013. It also gives a hint of the reviews coming up in the near future. I am back, yes, and I hope to stay this time around. *Fingers crossed*

 

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

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December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

 

Any book reviews you are especially looking forward to? I will speed them up. :) What have you been reading this year?

Gadget Launch: Micromax XL A119

A new phone is being launched in the market. It’s the Micromax XL A119. You can watch the launch on 19th January at 10am and 9pm on Homeshop18 TV channel and on Homeshop website.


canvas XLProduct name: Micromax XL A119
Product code: 31229413
MRP – Rs.14999/- with 1 Harris Smith Watch worth Rs.2499 + TPC Aviator Sunglasses worth Rs.2999 + Rs.1000 GC
HS18 Price – Rs.13990/-


Features-

    6” QHD Display
    1.3 Ghz Quad Core
    3G HSPA+
    8 MP , 5 MP Front
    Android 4.2 Jelly Beans
    4 GB ROM + 1 GB RAM



USP:A119 ID_1

· 1st time in India a 6 inch micromax canvas

· Exclusive launch on homeshop18.

· Price challenge – 6 inch phone with the best features at an unbelievable price point

· Unbelievable price

· QHD screen

· 1 GB RAM

· 6000 worth freebie – includes Rs .1000 GC from homeshop18

· Only 6 inch phone with 1 hand operation.

· Other phones with comparable features in the market at the price range of 40-50 K .


All these features at such a reasonable price and look at those freebies!
I would say that this is an amazing offer by HomeShop18, one which you should take advantage of. So, watch the launch and grab the phone!


25 hours, 50 books! Massive Sale at TBD!

Nov-50bks_header_main25 hours, 50 books! Massive Sale!

So what is this thing?

The Countdown promotion will run for 25 hours, starting at noon GMT, Thursday 28 November 2013. There will be a new book available on the UK homepage for a great price every 30 minutes. The last one will go up Friday 29 November 2013 at 12:30pm GMT.

Can I buy all the books?

You can buy as many of the books as you like; we offer free worldwide delivery, so there is no harm in shopping again & again throughout the day. You are however limited to three copies of each book per person — it’s only fair that as many people as possible get to grab a bargain.

What happens if I’m checking out and the books run out?

The book you’re ordering is only definitely yours when you see the confirmation page — up to that point if someone beats you to it, then sorry you’re out of luck. We hope everyone will get at least one of the titles they’re after.

These offers are really good, are they the same books as normal?

Yes — we’ve done some very special deals with some very special publishers to bring you these great bargains.

Oops. In all the excitement I bought a book I don’t want.

That’s fine. Don’t panic — just let us know via the form on our contact us page and we’ll cancel the order for you, as long as it hasn’t already shipped.

Is there a way to find out what the next offer is?

No, sorry, the fact it’s a secret is all part of the fun!

I added a book to my basket and it was removed, what happened?

Sorry, the book sold out during the time it took to add it to your basket, better luck next time.

I fell asleep waiting for the next product and missed it — can I still get it at the offer price somehow?

Sorry, no. These offers are known as WIGIGs in the trade (When It’s Gone, It’s Gone); after the offer is over you’ll often be able to buy the book again but at the normal price.

How long are you doing the offer for?

A new title will be added from noon GMT on Thursday 28 November to 12:30pm GMT on Friday 29 November. Then we’ll all need a bit of a lie down.

Are the products on offer still shipped for free?

Yes, indeed they are. We have free worldwide delivery.

Are there any tricks to get through the checkout quickly?

We recommend that you set up an account (although you don’t need one to shop) and add a credit card ready, save fumbling around when too excited (though you will still need your CVV number).

Don’t miss it!

Product Review: Ultramintz

Try the sugar-free chill pill

Presenting premium and powerful sugar-free mintz: 60 extra strong pellets packed in a stylish black tin case. Each pellet is made from peppermint oils from France, finest quality menthol and is powered by speciality cooling compounds.Prepare yourself for unimaginable cooling with mint-o Ultramintz. Freeze your senses!

When I saw this amazing opportunity to try and review Ultramintz, I was all for it. But the best part was when it arrived! Look at the packaging!

2013-07-29 14.54.17

And here’s the inside. Look at all that gorgeousness!

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And now take a look at the real thing! It’s so easy to carry and so beautiful to look at.

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Regarding the real deal, I popped up a few (they are so tiny) and…and… the verdict is.. mind-blowingly refreshing! One little pellet packs such a punch! It not just cools, it is literally like a breath of fresh air! Ahh…. Can you feel the freshness on my breath? ;)

And if that isn’t enough to satisfy you, let me tell you that it works wonders if you have a bad throat. It soothes and relieves. So not just a breath freshener but a tasty throat remedy too. What more do you want?

It’s so addictive (in a good way, of course) that it’s hard to just pop one and let go. I finished my little box of coolness and am craving for more!!

Now talking about why it suits my style… why is that even a question? Don’t you know how cool I am?! Like Ultramintz, I have my own style, be it in terms of how I dress up or how I am within. Ultramintz has a lovely outer packaging and it’s little case makes it look so sophisticated and makes it very easy to carry. Also, like Ultramintz, from within, I am refreshingly amazing and addictive. I am like a breath of fresh air in this stale peopled environment! Also, I am irreplaceable when you need me like when Ultramintz is, especially when you are going on a quick, unexpected date and need your breath to be tangy fresh. So there. Isn’t Ultramintz the perfect companion to me and to you?

Now remember whenever someone tells you to take a chill pill, you know what to have… Ultramintz! The pill that will cool you down. I haven’t personally tried yet but am pretty sure it will work wonders for when someone’s angry. A must advised pill for anger management. And the tagline would be… the pill that will chill you. ;)

So with those many advantages of this little pellet, what are you still waiting on? Ladies and gentleman, you may forget to carry your debit card but you’ll be doomed if you forgot this. It has multiple uses – give it to your boss to calm him/her down, pop in before a quick kiss, mend that sore throat, help out a hungry friend (true story, LOL) or just take a freshness break from work and tension. Pop one and everything’s taken care of!

Don’t wait anymore. Go grab it now!

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“I am reviewing mint-o Ultramintz as a part of the Product Reviews Program at BlogAdda”

Month Wrap Up: June & July 2013

Since I hardly read in June, I am combining this post for the last two months.

I finished reading in June

I read in July

17407711

I’m in the middle of

Book(s) of the Month

 &  (Kindle Freebie. 5 stars. Highly recommended.)

 

Total Books read in June: 7

Total Books read in July: 14

Books carried over to August: 7

Total Books read this year: 98

Total pages read this year: 22020

How was July for you reading wise?

 

Book Launch: Happy Birthday & Other Stories

I hardly go to book launch events as they’re too late in the day for me to be there but when this invitation landed in my inbox, I decided to give it a chance. And that is how I came to be at the book launch of Happy Birthday! and other stories by Meghna Pant. The author has previously written and been appreciated for her book, One and a Half Wife.

The surprise of the day was (which I already knew because you know how thoroughly I research authors before going to an event) that it was Meghna Pant’s Birthday and it was so fitting as her book is named Happy Birthday.

The book was unveiled by author, actor, marketing and management guru, Suhel Seth who also went on to read one of the stories from the book, ‘The Gola Master’. His flawless and brilliant voiceover of the story lent itself to a mesmerizing listening experience. The story itself was stark, bare and real in its essence and made one ponder over it.

50% of the proceeds from the book will go to Safar Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO that helps slum children and trafficked girls lead financially stable lives and a video was shown to that effect. It was very touching indeed.

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

Author Meghna Pant who is in the process of writing her third book, ‘Son of Gods’ talked about her writing process IMG_0202and how this short stories’ book almost flowed out of her spontaneously unlike her first one where she edited and re-edited. She said it was almost like asking a mother to choose her favorite child when she was asked about her favorite story from the book. Nevertheless, she said she really liked ‘Clip and Cane’ which is about a blind person. She further added it was difficult for her to write it, to get into the mindframe of a blind person and thus the story stands out for her. She also likes another story ‘Lemon and Chilli’ which got published earlier and spreads over a spectrum of emotions.

When asked about her writing process, she talked about her crazy imagination and how from one line or one character, she ends up building a novel around it.

When asked how much of her work is autobiographical, she answered with, ‘I hate navel gazing. I want to explore dimensions that I have not yet experienced. Most of the stories are from the perspective of old, retired gentlemen’. She went on to elaborate how she never even knew her grandfather but she is still able to anticipate their fears, and needs. She further added that via her stories she experiences something that may happen to her in the future.

Regarding how her stories come together in a single collection, she said that unlike being woven with a central theme, all her stories are disparate and each story is an individual master in that sense.

About her next work, she mentioned working on a sexual and adult theme which of course, gathered a lot of interest from the audience.

A self-proclaimed crazy writer, she talked about being possessed by writing. She talked about how she was a business writer and having a MBA in finance, she wasn’t supposed to be a writer but now writing has taken over her.

When asked the short story writers who influenced her, she mentioned Premchand whose ‘Kafan‘ she adored. She also mentioned liking Alice Munro, O’ Henry‘s story endings, Paul Theroux, Franz Kaffka, Michael Cunningham’s ‘White Angel’ which was beautifully written and Preeta Samarasan.

Praised and grilled for churning out a book a year, we can now expect more books from Meghna Pant as she says she is now unemployed since 2 weeks which means she’ll have more time to write. So buckle up your seat belts and wait for her next book after you’re done reading this one because I’m sure that’s coming right up. ;)

Happy Birthday & Other Stories

Happy Birthday! (Random House, India) is a beautifully written, compelling and emotionally intelligent collection of short stories by award-winning novelist Meghna Pant. These finely nuanced stories provide a rare glimpse into the complex and mysterious inner lives of human beings.

A dedicated friend undertakes one last labour of love for a childless woman. Nadia – married into money – finds herself facing uncomfortable truths about her comfortably numb marriage. A Mumbai slum-girl dreams of speaking words valuable enough to be translated into English. An American tourist seeking nirvana sets off a sudden chain of events when his bag is stolen, and destiny plays her hand. A retired civil servant of modest means struggles to support his snooty foreign-returned daughter.

Meghna Pant’s knife – sharp stories are compelling, emotionally intelligent and provide a rare glimpse into the strange workings of the human heart. They evade neat categorization and
are the perfect read for all curious spirits.

“These are stories with a large heart and a keen eye, deeply aware of the complex, sometimes uncomfortable realities of India, its many layers. Meghna Pant knows how to create characters that will surprise and move you.”
– Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Deft, merciless and expertly-tuned parables for the new Indian century.”
– Jeet Thayil

“Meghna Pant pierces one’s heart with the reality and depth of her stories, wrapping up her tales with unanticipated yet undeniable flourish. Exceptionally thought-provoking narratives that manage to be provocative and inspirational in the very same breath.”
– Ashwin Sanghi

“These intimate stories juxtapose a range and register of aerial and emotional perspectives, with craft, delicacy and an intensely human sensibility.”
– Namita Gokhale

About Meghna Pant

Meghna Pant is an author and financial journalist. One & A Half Wife—Meghna’s debut novel—was published in 2012 to critical and commercial acclaim. It went into multiple reprints, won the Muse India’s Young Writer Award, and was shortlisted for several other awards, including the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Meghna’s short stories have been published in over a dozen global literary magazines, including Avatar Review, Wasafari, Eclectica and QLRS. An economics graduate with an MBA in finance, Meghna has worked as a TV anchor for Times Now, NDTV Profit and Bloomberg-UTV. A nomad at heart, she has lived in Delhi, Singapore, Zurich, Dubai and New York City. She is currently based in Mumbai. Meghna will be donating fifty per cent of the proceeds from Happy Birthday! to Safar Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO that helps slum children and trafficked girls lead financially stable lives. Happy Birthday! is Meghna’s first published collection of short stories.

Find Meghna Pant – Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

The Story Behind My Disappearance

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Hi!

Not sure if you guys missed me  but I have been AWOL since more than a month now, the longest I have ever been away from the blog. I really wanted to drop in and post that I’ll be away but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Let me give you a gist of what really happened. If you have been following my blog and my very once-in-a-while personal posts, you would know I was feeling bit let down due to some issues in my personal life but every time I managed to bounce back. But this time things just got worse and the problems extended to my professional life as well as family. Things were really bad to say the least. I was in a reading/blogging slump not to mention I was almost in the throes of depression. Yes, I will come out vulnerable here and say that. I know as a mental health professional, people have certain expectations of us. But at the end of the day, we are human too. I was really down for a long time. And then I decide to spring back but perhaps the means that I decided to do that wasn’t a long term solution. I busied myself with social networking as a means of escape. And did manage to function for a while but of course that couldn’t have lasted long and I fell deeper this time.

I am trying to pick myself yet again. Not to say I’m really back but I decided enough was enough. I might not have control over other areas of my life but this, blogging, I have full control over. I need that kind of control in my life right now. I need to know I have something I can rely on.

Thanks to a Goodreads Group challenge, I have read 6 books in the last 2 days and now I want to continue with the reading and restart with the blogging.

I know I have disappointed authors, publishers and book tour coordinators by missing a lot of posts. I haven’t replied to emails. I hereby send out a huge apology to everyone including you my dear readers. I am sorry to have pulled a vanishing act on you. I have been meaning to write this post since forever now but just couldn’t make myself get up and do it.

Soon, I will be clearing out my inbox which has more than 2000 unread emails. Slowly I will get through them all and reply back. I will be doing all the reviews I missed out on. I am sorry for having disappointed all of you and sincerely hope that this situation never comes again.

Although my life might not be on track in the very near future, I look forward to being here and basking in your love which will speed up my recovery process. Thank you for being there. :)

On a happy note, I have made a FB account exclusively for Reviewing Shelf. If you would like to add me there, click here.

I also received an email saying I am top 1% reviewer at Goodreads.

Also, I have received my very first book for betareading! I’m so excited.

And I’m ghost writing a self-help/psychology book for a publishing company. Even though my name would be nowhere on the book, I can use the practice for that one day when I might be writing a book of my own.

Yay, I’m so excited to be back. I missed you guys.