The One Invisible Code – Sharat Sharma – Review

Self-help books have been evolving. The genre, as a whole, has also been constantly evolving for many years. Earlier, it used to be the successful author telling the readers why they are mediocre and why one has become successful. In short, harassing the readers because they are reading the book by a successful person. Later, gradually, it changed and anyone began sharing his or her ideas to become successful. Today, here we stand, self-help genre has penetrated not only our professional but also the personal life and we have many authors who tell us what to do, what not to do, how long to sleep and how long to work… it might be very difficult to pick the best book in the self-help or motivational genre for the purposes you want to read. And in this article, I will be reviewing a book by Sharat Sharma, The One Invisible Code, that has really helped me focus on my goals after realising them and also understanding myself – self-awareness.

The author, in this book, surprisingly, has focused more on the realisation of one’s abilities and weaknesses rather than focusing on himself, other successful persons or anything else. In short, at the centre of The One Invisible Code, the readers will find themselves and this is not only unique but also very courageous to do. In turn, for the readers, this becomes very helpful as they can understand the real problems, ideas, vision, goals and action plans that is subjectively theirs…

There are 10 chapters in the book and all of them are related to each other. You read the fist and you are prepared for the second, you read the second and you are pushed to third… so on and so forth. And therefore, I would also advise the readers to go through all these chapters in a consecutive manner. You have to read them all one by one, in the traditional order. The chapters are prepared in a very unique style. There is a code or rather a template that continues throughout the book. The ‘lesson’ breaks with a character Joy who starts discussing various ideas, confusions and issues with his master, a learned person it seems, who has all the answers. Joy, the character, seems to be an embodiment of the readers who are looking for answers to various questions related to their lives. After the story or the discussion, you will see many big-small sections with ideas, propelling thoughts, actions to take, tasks to solve. In short, the author wants you to understand the ideas and take actions.

I would also prefer this book because it is rather practical and viable. Compared to other books that might talk about things which are practically not possible, this one tells you to embrace the reality as it is and take appropriate actions to change things to the order you like. For example, many authors tell the readers simply to ignore negativity around you, ignore your weaknesses and move ahead with positive ideas only. However, it is not possible! On the other hand, Sharat Sharma, a motivational coach himself, tells the readers to embrace the reality, embrace their weaknesses and strengths, realise their actual position and then work hard, according to the plan, to change things around oneself… and this is what practically motivated persons do and suggest others to do.

And finally, The One Invisible Code, the book being discussed, is a book that is almost animated. It engages the readers on all possible fronts and inspires them to act, to think, to plan and to execute. The author is merely a coach that instigates… you will see the same once you begin reading the book yourself. There are images that relate to the topics being discussed, there are pictures that depict plans and vision, there are tables and columns, there are many other things that resemble action and inspire the same. There are also exercises, solutions, practical tasks… you will surely appreciate the author and this book once you read it! And I am not being an overt admirer in adding a 5/5 rating with this book! You will surely like it! Go ahead and get a copy now!

Buy the book – click to get from Amazon India

 

Review by Mugdha for The Book Blog

Retrace Love by Malini Amaladoss – Review

It is very important to note that recent trends in Indian English fiction point in two major directions – mythology and romance. Mythology has become a safe playground for quick-earned success for many novelists and newbies are not afraid to try their hands. At the same time, romance has become a very safe route to easy debuts and quickly widening readership. However, do most of the authors succeed? Does the trick always work? I guess no and you can easily find it out when you recall the names of the famous authors… there are very few. Nevertheless, there are many impressive authors who mark their wonderful presence with emphatic and impressive writing – and such authors, very few in numbers, must be pointed out and appreciated. One such author is Malini Amaladoss and her debut romance novel, Retrace Love, is a book that shows signs of promise and longevity rather than quickly visible threads of short-lasting romance with no permanence in the theme. In this article, I will review Retrace Love for the readers of The Book Blog.

In short, Retrace Love is the story of four major characters, ambitious and animated, very much from the real-life with a few exceptions and all impressive. Tina and Meghna, the two friends, find their passionate and true love in Ray and Neil, respectively. It all goes well until Ray and Tina separate over some issues and Neil’s marriage with Meghna fails because of one’s extreme sexual desires and communication gap between the husband and the wife. Life takes quick turns and they all separate from each other to meet in very different circumstances. Most of the story takes place in the memories of Tina and the readers will be taken to places very quickly as the story moves back and forth, here to there and all happens quickly enough to keep the readers thrilled.

Malini Amaladoss, as an author, has kept her language very simple and communicative. She talks to her audience mostly from Tina’s point of view as this is a novel written in the first-person narrative. Tina and Meghna tell their stories to the readers, and Tina enjoys the larger piece of the cake. Readers will like the way characters grow in life, develop in thoughts and mature in an overall perspective. Unlike most of the romantic writings by Indian authors, Malini hasn’t zoomed on the sexual descriptions in that explicit and perverse manner. Her descriptions of sexual encounters between Ray and Tina, Meghna and Neil are sophisticated and well-placed and the readers will rather enjoy it compared to what they do with the details by Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy…

To cut things short and to give you my final verdict about Retrace Love, the debut novel by Malini Amaladoss, I would say it without any hesitation that it would be a great experience for the readers who want to read something different in the romance genre. Malini Amaladoss has walked those extra miles to bring to you a story that offers you love, romance, regret, repentance and also, to an extent, redemption… Malini has created a full circle in her first romance novel and I am sure it will be worth a read… do get a copy and enjoy your time!

Buy the novel from Amazon India – click here

 

Review by Alka for The Book Blog

 

Mamta Kashyap brings An Unusual Honeymoon for the readers – a recommendation

When we are almost on the verge of seeing a horrible (almost) year off, it’s the time that we recollect some of the best gems that we read in these days of anxiety and offer the same to the readers who might enjoy. And doing so, we begin by offering our casual readers of Indian English fiction a light-humour penned by Mamta Kashyap, An Unusual Honeymoon. The novel has already been praised by the noted literary platforms in India and also by many readers on different book rating websites like Amazon and Goodreads. I also enjoyed reading it and I am sure that it will impress the readers with entertainment quotient, an area in which it can match the colours of typical Bollywood entertainers very easily.

An Unusual Honeymoon is about different helpless situations that life throws at us and we can merely be a mute spectator or take part in the game and become a professional player who can identify where the opportunities are. Mahashweta, the protagonist, as well as the narrator of this novel, is among the latter ones and she enjoys riding her fortune and even adversaries. She falls out of a plain of marriage that she barely boarded and lands into the soup of another that she barely knew anything about. However, she plays situations rather well and keeps encashing her chances. The novel is all about HER… Mahashweta’s ambitions, ideas, plans, vision and fate. A one-woman-show…

The novel might entertain the readers who don’t want to sit longer with the same title. One-evening readers, the bedroom readers or even one-holiday-one-book kind of readers who want something fast to begin, develop and even finish in the same breath. If you are one of those readers, Mamta Kashyap’s work will certainly keep you entertained and indulged for a single day. After that, you might either forget the fun or ask yourself some serious questions that the novel might introduce you to – why is marriage such a big event in the life of women? Why do women mostly have to compromise when it comes to choosing between ambition and their marriage? Why cannot a man (still) choose cooking as a respectable career choice in India? And a few others… in patches.

I have not gone into the technicalities of the fiction writing skills of the author. This recommendation is based on the storyline and the overview of the work. As it has been written in a first-person narrative, you might notice a certain tilt or bias towards the protagonist. Well, that is something which a reader can easily manage… isn’t that? If you match the profile of the fiction, you will certainly enjoy the show… all the best!

 

An opinion/recommendation piece by Madhav for The Book Blog

Sachin Tendulkar on Pages: Playing it My Way – Review

Though Sachin does not need any introduction, his book does need a review. I have been a fan of Sachin Tendulkar all my life and will never be able to accept any other cricketer as my ideal. Sachin was the best batsman in the world and he continues to be so. He stands on a heap of records that will seldom be broken by any player in the near or distant future. His book, partly written by him and partly by Boria Mazumdar, Playing it My Way was published in the year 2014 and the book broke many records just after the publication… and, even before the publication. The craze for Sachin among his fans is unparalleled and we can see it on display on many occasions. His birthday, a day of importance in his career, his debut day or his last day on the cricket pitch.

Playing it My Way, though the fans hoped for more information outside the field, could not offer too much into the life of this master batsman. We only got to know how he first met Anjali, how did he woo her and how they got married. However, the book has plenty to rejoice as the title relives some of the most memorable moments of Tendulkar with a bat in his hand. Yes, one more thing, if you read the book carefully and reach the conclusion, you will find that many pages have been decorated with the records of Tendulkar – which, I think, might be unnecessary altogether as we all know his records, mostly by heart!

The book does justify some of the aspirations that we all had… it will help the readers who could not watch the memorable inning by Sachin. You can feel the events happening in front of your eyes. You can visualise them… However, I will reiterate that this is neither the biography nor the autobiography of this great batsman. More and more I read it, it seemed like a book written in haste to capture the momentum of events. Yes, Sachin later did come up with an autobiography and that might the piece of literature doing justice with the life events of Tendulkar.

Playing it My Way is more like a tribute to the great achievements of Tendulkar. It might be troublesome looking for all in one place on the internet and there the book will come to your rescue. However, if you are looking for the family man Sachin, husband Sachin, father Sachin… you might need to get a copy of the other one – Sachin’s Autobiography. All the best!

 

Review by The Book Blog Contributor

Before you read Franz Kafka – an ideal preparation

Franz Kafka, as most of the readers of his works may know, is an eccentric overlay, a kind of subterfuge, used to convey nice things before you have poison thrust into your mouth… 🙂 Yes, reading Kafka is difficult because he does not make any sense to most of the minds who read him. However, if you are curious and lucky enough to establish your tuning with his works, you will be the luckiest person to revel in the most obscure of the human secrets. Kafka is more than an enigma. Kafka is not great. Kafka is ordinary soaked with glimmers of greatness that is more than enough to outshine the genius like Shakespeare.

So, here are the basic preparations you should ensure before you dive into the world of Kafka:

  1. Be ready for everything that comes your way. Don’t dare to make sense of everything you are shown, forced to read or skip. Just consume every loaf of word-bread thrown to you.
  2. Don’t apply your mind when you think that the overflow of ideas is getting better of you. Let it pass. Duck. Give respect of the bouncers that Kafka throws in his furious overs.
  3. There is no place for emotions. Yes, in the first read or even in the nth-read in some of the cases, you should not be able to find out what emotions are being fed to you or you are supposed to experience. Let it pass!
  4. Expect nonchalant passage of things making no sense at all. This is Kafka – after all! You are only expected to read and forget.
  5. Kafka is an illusion. A water bubble that no one would love to burst. We are all playing with the idea of greatness that we ascribe to Kafka and you will get to it once you read a few of his short stories.

 

All the best, dear readers! You have been prepared to read Kafka. Do enjoy!

By a contributor to The Book Blog

The Portable Book of Birthdays – Review

This is not the first time I am reviewing a title which is more interesting and less literary. All the ways, the book will keep you engaged because you must have friends who birthdays are on any of the 28-31 dates in a month, throughout the year. The book is not precise but very wonderful as you will be able to match minimum 50/100 traits of yourself or your relatives or your friends – just on the basis of their birthdays.

The Portable Book of Birthdays has been written by two authors, Dennis Fairchild and Peter Weber. This book contains a brief summary of personality traits, qualities, money-matters and love interests of persons born on any of the 366 days of a year (including the 29th Feb or a leap year). And how does the prediction or assumptions hold? As I told, somewhere around 50-100 with 50 being the minimum resemblance and 100 being the best score. You can begin by seeing your personality type by jumping to the page of your birthday.

I did check my birthday first of all and I was certainly impressed with the precise details that resemble almost 80% of my personality. It begins with a brief summary of your personality, qualities and everything about you. The second thing in the line is your love interest. The third offering is you and your relation or distance with money. And it concludes with famous people who share your birthday. All that makes you happy… at times. 🙂

This is not a must-read book. This is not an essential read. This is, to be frank, just a funny book that will help you spend your nights when you are alone or help you spend your time on a boring trip wonderfully. In another scenario, suppose you are spending a night on a journey or a picnic and you are sitting with your friends around a bonfire, what would be better than checking out what the life offers to you and your friends? All you need is a birthday and voila!

So, dear readers, if you want to spend some time knowing about yourself and your friends, you can get a copy of this birthday book from Amazon India. The Portable Book of Birthdays is available on Amazon India. You can get a copy by clicking the link below:

Buy the book now – click here to buy from Amazon

 

Note: Don’t rely too much on the assumptions made by this book. This gives you a glimpse of an idea. You need to write on your fate. You need to WORK HARD! All the best! 🙂

Review by Pooja for The Book Blog