Monday, March 25, 2013

The Almond tree by Michelle Cohen Corosanti

Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Garnet Publishing (August 13, 2012)
  • Release Date:Sepember 1st, 2012
  • Genre:Historical Fiction, Politics, War, Family
  • Language: English

My Review

Almond Tree is such a wonderful novel but when I first started reading some 40 pages of the novel, I really got bored  because there was this too many confusing characters in the book.I wasn't  sure where the story plot was moving.But after reading more and more pages I liked the book so much that I hardly could put it down.I was able to connect totally with the book.

Almond Tree is  a very sensational novel, rarely a novel would make you cry and realize the sufferings of other people in different parts of the world whose sufferings cannot really be compared to our own.Here in this particular story the sufferings endured by the Arabs because of the Jews are more than unimaginable and abominable.

The main character in the book is Ichmad and other notable supporting characters  in the book are Baba, teacher Mohammad and Professor Sharon.If it is not for Teacher Mohammad's intervention, Ichmad never would've thought about college.He would've become like his brothers struggling with his life.

Then there is professor Sharon who hated him at first but later he became Ichmad's best friend.My favorite lines in the book are when Abu Ichmad loses control over prof sharon's false accusation."Did Hitler and the Nazis like the Jews?who liked the Jews?No one liked the Jews, but you fought back, even when everyone around you was trying to exterminate you.we Palestinians are like Jews" .There are many such thought provoking quotes in the book which I adore.

This beautiful novel also has a cute love story that doesn't last any longer as Ichmad's wife and his only true love Nora dies in an accident.He then marries a girl who is much younger than him only because of his parents pressure .Overall, I love the way the book ends.The friendship between Nora and Ichmad is so touching even when he has Yasmin ,his second wife  around him.It depicts how much he cares and loves his first love both in his heart and in his mind. This book is  like an autobiography of a great person who raises in life after many hardships.

My Thoughts I didn't like the way how he treated his second wife but it was absolutely uncalled for.He could have treated her much better.If first few pages were good, this book would have definitely become a wonderful creation with no flaws.Overall, I would say the author has brilliantly written this book.

Favorite quotes from Almond Tree

"Good things make choosing difficult.Bad things leave no choice".
"You cannot go back and make a new start but you can start now and make a new ending"
"Hatred is a self-punishment.Do you think they're feeling bad because you hate them?"

My Rating 4/5

Recommendation If you have read and liked autobiographies or have read war related books then this is the kind of book that you should definitely read next.

 or from Amazon The Almond Tree

The Crazy Algorithm of Love by Rajrupa Gupta

The Crazy Algorithm of Love

Book published on:January 2nd 2013
Genre : Romance
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads Website

My Review

This is a very different novel, I can say because the story plot is very new and different from other novels. The main character in the book is Mouni and Sam. Mouni is a 25 year old software engineer by profession .She is a native Gujarati but she works in chennai, Tamil Nadu. 

Her best firend Ritu is a great friend to have for a lifetime. She is supportive, often comes to Mouni’s aid and she is also her only roommate. She shares everything with her. This is because she has a good experience with life.Ritu had previous breakups with her boyfriends. Samrat alias Sam is Mouni's client who works for a well reputed company abroad. Her boss is Rajesh who often behaves roughly with her for unknown reasons. The first half revolves mostly around Mouni’s issues with her boss Rajesh and her family trying to get her a groom.

After reading the second half, I felt like Mouni is not the best match for Sam. She doubts him very often. Sam does give up and surrender to her. She is also a bit egoistic, jealous when Sam is around Sarah and before, knowing Rebecca. But I also liked the fact whenever Mouni needs him he is always there for her no matter what. When Sam tells her not to accept Patrick's offer, she doesn't agree and breaks up with Sam.

But after that she learns Patrick is a fraudulent who stole Sam's company project without his acknowledgement, she realizes what she has done. This is a good turning point because Mouni's understanding with Sam is never stable before. Along with Tarun and Binny she makes a plan to bring Patrick's true identity into limelight which ends up in his suicide. Of course, She is also sued by the company for hacking into his company account. Once again she runs for help but this time to Sam's father. But finally she says she is sorry. Sam forgives her, proposed to her two things-to be his partner in his own company and also in his life for which she agrees happily.

Finally the epilogue -after five years she becomes a more self-confident and responsible person. Over all, the story feels very fresh and real. I enjoyed very much reading this novel.

This is a nice read.

My rating

 If you have liked Chetan Bhagat's Two states, you will like this book too.Otherwise this is not a book for you.

Buy it from Flipkart or Amazon

Sunday, March 17, 2013

About"Turning Hurts into Halos"

Turning Hurts Into Halos
No. of pages : 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published on : May 7, 2000
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author link : Goodreads

My review

Unlike other books I've read (both fiction and and non-fiction)this book looks like a treasure that I have been seeking. As the title suggests, it discusses about a  very sensitive topic "Hurt".

How could anyone turn their hurts into halos?It's never possible I thought. But it is of course possible.

Nobody is  young to talk about this book,we all know hurt.We have endured it many a times in our life.Like pastor Dr.Schuller says,"All humans feel hurt".This book helps to turn our hurts into our best friend.

I just want to share a few things that impressed me the most in this book.

Inside the book:

The book is a real eye opener, I will gladly tell.

Life is a mystery.It is a  gift of a grace.We can learn answers to many of our toughest questions all in this one book.Sometimes we feel like it shouldn't have happened but life is not all about Luck and Happiness .We blame others for our hurts.We have allowed ourselves to become a victim rather than creating a crown out of our cross. All the time we let that cross over our shoulders and make it farther worse.So answers for many sensible questions such as to take ur hurt off its life support system, to keep ur hurt from becoming a black hole, to know if you are making it hard for people to help you, strength can come out of weakness if you follow four principles to turn your scars into stars 

can be found in this amazing book.

"God is alive, alert, to among the streets and alleys of the world.He is living in human beings of all colors, culture, creed, and credentials and its reaching out to adopt the spiritual orphans into his family of faith".

When  we find our way to overcome our hurt, 

Opportunities will rise out of our adversities.

Strangers will enter our life to become new and best friends.

A new faith will stir and grow within us

Miracles will be conceived and born out of grueling mysteries.

Turning hurts into halos really makes us say I don't understand, but I believe in God anyway."Life is not fair, but God is good."

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

What Mother Teresa Taught me?

What Mother Teresa Taught Me
Recently, I read a book by Maryanne Raphael,"What Mother Teresa Taught me"?.It was a meticulously well written biography.Nothing was over stated nor were exaggerated. I've heard - read many articles about Mother Teresa.But this particular book was unique and very intriguing.It was hard to put down .And I would like to share here everything about  Mother Teresa that impressed me the most .
A Mother of difference:

Mother Teresa was 8 years old when her father died.The whole family was crushed as her father was the only working men in the family.Her father's  partner cheated her family and also looted their properties.Her mother lived like a nun after her husband died.It was her mother who raised all her three children,Agi, Agnes and Lazar. She told them not to cry after their father died.

She told them,"It is hard to lose the people we love.But feeling sorry they died is selfish.Dying is going home to god.We know your papa is in heaven with Our lady and Jesus.So let us try to be happy for him".

Her Mother sew and sold clothes for their living .Once an old woman who was deserted by her own family was left to die on the streets.Her mother brought her home , gave her the children's room and cared for her very dearly.Mother Teresa inherited all her good qualities form her mother.Mother Teresa once told, her mother was her role model.

A conversation between her elder sister

Agi asked her ,

"How can people live their whole lives on the street, always hungry, and hot or cold, thirst and sick?"

Mother Teresa answered her Saying,"It is like asking why Jesus Christ had to suffer and die on the cross"
This showed her intelligence and devotion towards her religion.

Her friend Lorenz

In her childhood days, Mother Teresa shared all her secrets with her second cousin Lorenz.Usually, She doesn't share her diary with anyone but She read and shared her diary with him.He was very special to her.They laughed and played together.If she hadn't become a nun she would have married Lorenz.
When Mother Teresa told him she was going to join the sisters of Lorreto to service as a nun in India, he was so devastated.But he didn't show his disappointment on his face.This was the last moment she saw Lorenz.

A Real Kali

Mother Teresa first started her service just like any ordinary nun in India.As days passed she was very appalled and hurt by the poor sick people who were  living and dying on the roads of Kolkata .She then took courage and relieved herself from the sisters of Loretto after getting  prior permission from the Vatican.From then onwards she wore a simple sari and a slipper like the poor Indian women in kolkata. In those days women were considered very low.But She was so valiant she didn't worry about the rough path she was leading to.

Mother Teresa was a selfless woman who cared for the sick, poor and the needy. One day aggravated Indian youths who mistook her as they thought she was converting the non-Christians to Christianity.They called the commissioner of police asking him to warn her and tell her to leave the place.The commissioner who was an intelligent man just told them that he himself go see her in person and decide what to do.

When he saw Mother Teresa and the other sisters wiping the wounds of the sick people and wearing ointments he was so touched by their kindness .He came back and told the youths "If you call your mothers and sisters to do the work she was doing, I will gladly ask her to leave the place."Then he continued pointing the statue of a Kali and saying it was just a stone and  referred to Mother Teresa as the living Kali.

What made her different:

Mother Teresa told her fellow nuns to live by principles in such a way that doesn't affect other religions in any form.Mother Teresa told them,

"To see every human beings as Christ and to help Hindus to be better Hindus, Muslims to be better Muslims, and Christians to be better Christians".

Strong beliefs

Until you know how Jesus thirsts for you,you can't know who he wants to be for you and who he wants you to be.This is so true.Mother Teresa had a vision.That vision was to save the people who can't help themselves.Just think about this.If she hadn't had any strong beliefs in her religion she wouldn't have got all the fame and name that she has now.It is her strong faith in Jesus Christ that saved many lives in Kolkata and other regions.

Benefited people

The wounded people, sick people affected by leprosy ,AIDS,Tuberculosis,and many others benefited from her service.She also opened a home  for children who were thrown and left on the streets unwanted after the horror incident that affected her so badly.The incident that shook her hard was a newly born baby in Kolkata  bitten by a dog continuously & was left to die there.Shocked by this she brought the baby to home and nursed.But the baby had died apparently.She started Missionaries of charity , Shishu Bhavan, Nirmal Hriday, Shanthi Nagar for the well being of these people. 


Malcolm Muggeridge who had no faith in religion accepted Jesus Christ through Mother Teresa.When he interviewed her for a program he wasn't impressed by her simplicity or her institutional religion.Later when the program became a huge success he wrote a book about her called "Something beautiful for God".

When he wrote this book he was an atheist.But after many years had passed he was touched by Christ through her.

“Prayer in action is Love,
   Love in action is Service”.

What Mother Teresa did was both Love and Service.