Books about dogs ๐Ÿถ

// Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read // ~Groucho Marx
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And what better than a book about dogs, eh? @muffytales came up with a 2020 readathon & I was more than excited to see the January prompt. Finally a chance to flaunt & recommend titles close to my heart! So here’s a spread you might pick something from for Muffytales’ Prompt. Also, why am I sharing it today? It’s dear Muffy’s 2nd birthday. Happy Birthday, you sweet little boy!
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I’ve been wanting desperately, some might even call it begging, for a four legged companion all my life but my mother just won’t, as most of our mothers don’t. The closest I could get to the paw-nimal was reading stories about them. My only hope now is the strays I suffocate with my love.
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Anyhoo, reading update for #readingwithmuffy : I’m reading Timbuktu by Paul Auster right now & I have sooo much to say about it. For my personal leisure, I would also read a few stories from Everyman’s Library collection & City of New York (the pictures are so worth it).
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Some other recommendations include –
. * The Curious Incident of Dog at the Night Time. Read it a few years ago, loved it, even gifted it to @preehouse, hope you’ve read it? ๐Ÿ™ˆ
. * I also have Chicken Soup for Pet Lover’s soul which I forgot to pick out of my shelf while clicking this picture. Typical me.
. * Apart from that, I read & watched Marley & Me years ago but it’s still my favourite dog story. For those of you who’ve just watched the movie & not read the book, the book is quite different. And if you’re a dog parent, it is IT for you! The movie, tho, is great too!
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#QOTD – Do you have any favourite animal story?
#AOTD – I remember growing up reading Tales of Panchatantra & Animal Tales by @ruskinbondofficial . Good times!
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New Year 2020

// For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. //
~ T.S. Eliot
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We scribble down words borrowed from the dead or living, for we find strength in them, an odd belongingness, a motivation like no other. I, for one, live for this familiarity.
So here I am, starting my new year with more words to keep me company and make nothing but one promise – to not wait for tomorrow’s. New beginnings do not come in the morning or on Mondays or on New Year’s. It comes whenever we want it to. Change is a choice we make, I start is what matters and not when I do. For growth begins in a moment and healing follows.
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Anyhoo, here’s to a year more fulfilling, with bigger and powerful dreams. And may we all read as much as we want to! Meanwhile, my mantra for 2020 is ~ เคšเคพเคฏ & เคšเคฟเคฒ. Cheers to a new beginning and a Happy New Year. Now go read โœจ

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#QOTD – What’s your go to mantra this year?
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Ps- to have a look at my reading prompts of #20mustsin2020, go and check the highlight on my story. Visit me on Instagram @read.dream.repeat.

You’re more than welcome to join me for any title that catches your eye!
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Pps- this is also an announcement for me joining @muffytales ‘s #readingwithmuffy. I’m all set with my picks for the January prompt, are you?
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Nam Ankhien by Payal Sawaria

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‘Nam ankhein’ is a story of women, from all phases of life- with strong and powerful will of life, a life based on belief and a an outlook particularly optimistic.

 

One of my first doubts while picking up this book was a fear if I’ll be able to read it fluently in Hindi or not, since it’s been ages since I last did. The very next doubt was if I’ll be able to do justice to it. In this time and age, no matter our lingual lineage, most of us are nothing but a product of mainstream English.

However, surprisingly, reading it wasn’t as tough as I thought it’d be. One thing that I didn’t like was the convenient use of English in the introduction section of the book, where the author apeals to the readers; and in some parts of the stories too. It seemed to disrupt the very essence and consistency the book.

 

Anyhoo, coming back to the book and the content it brings to us. The stories I felt were too pace-y, or rushed through and didn’t give a decent closure. Although quick to read, they felt more like recollections or memories shared rather than a legit story with a legit beginning and a legit sensical end. Just one the stories – Ammu aur Vinni – felt well developed and complete, it came full circle and giving a sense of closure.

 

The stories also did not address the emotions more deeply and felt distant and bland at points and even confusing. The third person, word-to-word narrative didn’t appeal to me as a reader, hence making the story less natural, less convincing or moving or heartwarming. The detailing, character development could have been better and the author could work on engaging its readers. The narrating style overall was okay, just that it felt rushed, as I’ve mentioned before. And the cover was completely out of place, it didn’t fit, didn’t feel relevant.

 

In short, the book promised a lot but didn’t deliver as well as it could have. I had high expectations from the book, hoping to read about strong women, overwhelming narratives and emotional journeys, but I just couldn’t get myself to feel any of those things.

 

One time read and a 2 on 5.

Dalal’s Street by Anurag Tripathi

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Dalal’s Street, Anurag Tripathi, Niyogi Books. 3/5

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It is a story behind the *subject to market risks* display of stock markets, shares and the finance sector. The harsh realities of a world driven by money and nothing else. Living in this world are 4 fresh-out-of-college entries into a trading company, TBB Ltd, setting on a journey that looks fancy on the outside and is as rough on the inside. Running in the backdrop is the story of a Mr Reddy of Reddy Oil and Gas and Salil Bhai, who are soon to indirectly impact the lives of these 4 and many more. The story traces their transition, lessons learnt hard way. And it’s a long way before they realise how far they’ve come from where they started and how ugly things have gotten, where the lines between right and wrong have conveniently blurred. Now the question is, is there a way back?

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Real, raw, even brutal at points, the entire book seems like a cautionary tale you should learn from. An ordinary narration with a not-so-ordinary storyline, a well pacing story, and an easy to form flow.

 

Although fiction, the possibilities that this book extends are absolutely believable. Though a tad bit technical (the glossary at the end sure helped :p), the story is feels so very real. It can happen to anyone and it does happen to an awful lot of people.

 

However, the emotion behind these wrong choices and the struggle of dealing with the consequences and the revenge seeking could have been captured a little better and in detail. The ending, though, is quite skillful!

 

One thing I really liked – how the characters are portrayed – as products of their pasts and victims of their future, symbolising different personalities, bringing in more perspective to the story.

 

 

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Although I fancy stock markets and the in the intelligent, calculated decisions people make, I scared of the downfalls and my own clumsiness and hence stay away from it.

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#QOTD – Is there always a right or wrong or does context stands above all?

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The Combat of Magic and Miracles by Samuel Dharmendar

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In one line – promising story and plot but didn’t deliver upto its potential.

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Combat of Magic is set in a land where miracles and magic exist, of powers, of demons, of creatures and of legends and curses. It is a story of a young girl, Deborah, in her journey to rescue her father taken captive by evil Diana and it is a story of all she encounters.

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* It is an odd mixture of fantasy and faith, which is what made me curious enough to pick it up.

 

* The book begins abruptly and that, I think, is its biggest flaw. The whole ‘character first, context later could also be presented in another way, some other style. The narration was a tie between amateurish and childlike. Long story short, it felt distant and lowered my expectations right in the beginning.

 

* It felt repetitive at points. Although the repetitions are well explained later on, but in that moment, they just felt like repetitions and nothing else. Also, the story paces too quickly and doesn’t let the reader catch up, soak things in and is narrated in an unexplained rush. Even though the plot looked promising, it’s just the rushed narration that failed its deliverance.

 

* Two things I agree I have to give the author credit for are- one, descriptions, thorough descriptions – of characters, places, events. But despite that, he rushes. There’s a fine line between detailing and dragging and the author didn’t cross it, thankfully. And two, the story didn’t end when it reached its desired destination. The author extends to give us a glimpse of what is to be and leaves us at a cliffhanger.

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One time read and a 3 on 5.

Hamari Gyano by Anuj Tikku

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This is more of a rant than a review, much like the book is.

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It’s a story of the author fighting a case against the disloyal, unfaithful, troubling and unfair family of his house servant, specifically his wife, Gyano who refuses to leave and claims unreasonable claims over the house. That’s it, that’s all of it. That’s the entire story. Nothing more to it.

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The book seems to be written in general angst and discontent. Feels like personal frustration just put on paper and wobbled out of the system. And when he’s not ranting about the servant family or showing off his wealth and social stature, he’s ranting about the Indian judicial system and all the loopholes our system has.

 

 

From repetitive and completely unnecessary details to grammatical errors, spellings, typos, errors in basic sentence formation, to an overflow of stereotypical, offensive and even abusive narration – this book is a big, big disappointment. Language, storyline, nothing makes up for it and it’s just not worth reading. Don’t even bother.

 

And I practically hated the images in between. Some of them were not even real pictures but wallpapers from Google, for god’s sake!

 

Calling this book unprofessional would be an understatement. I couldn’t overlook any of this, so it’s a 1 ๐ŸŒŸ for me.

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PS- the title doesn’t even suit the aggression the author shows towards this ‘Gyano’

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#QOTD – is there a book you NEVER want anyone to read?

 

 

 

Small is Big by Rafaa Dalvi

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2019: 83
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Small is Big by Rafaa Dalvi
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// woke up in hospital.
failed again. //
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A collection of short stories revolving around life in general, here’s for you sharp and sometimes witty observations.
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Some of them were chilling, unexpected, some of them full of emotion, some full of life and humour, and some, as is natural, felt unnecessary. The title of the book, though, is quite apt – written in a modern poetic style, using just the right amount words.
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However, my feelings about this one are mixed. While I did wonder in surprise how in two lines, the author has managed to built up suspense and writher in emotion and provide for a closure; it’s uncanny at the same time that they didn’t particularly stand out.

So here’s a brief on why I give it a ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ/5 –

Dipped in a variety of themes, these stories are written mostly from a social angle, addressing real life sociocultural issues with the power of the written word, while others are a glimpse of daily, regular life, written just for fun, to be enjoyed and nothing else. Despite this, I believe that the serious and the fun could be segregated and then brought to us, the mixture didn’t feel right. At one page I’m smiling and at the next page, I’m not supposed to- which was a little confusing for a feeling to stay.ย  All I’m saying is a better, balanced way could have been sought.

Next, although written well and articulated even better, the stories felt like something we all know of. I know when one speaks of social issues, fresh perspective is hard to gather because it’s a collective issue, collective emotion, hence collective thought. However, the stories do not really stand out or make you uncomfortable, or makes you question. I don’t know how to explain it, they just felt ‘common’ and not unique.
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I have some favourites.. Actually more than ‘some’. At the end of the day, all I’ll say is I enjoyed reading them. I loved the word play, loved to see word power as a skill used properly.
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#QOTD – Do you ever enjoy a book but the story still doesn’t stand out?
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