Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A down to earth guide to the cosmos

The below book has already been published.Since i haven't read it yet, it made it directly to my can't wait to read list.

A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos

Publish date :2015
Buy it now :Amazon Infibeam

About the book

To the beginner, the star-filled night sky can seem mysterious and unfathomable. But with this book as a guide the awesome nature of the Cosmos is brought down to Earth.

Over the course of twelve chapters Mark Thompson, one of the presenters on BBC One's Stargazing Live and the resident astronomer on ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, will take you on a journey through space, tackling the key concepts of astronomy and unlocking the secrets of the sky. From the origins of our Universe to the ever evolving techniques used to explore deep space, A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos traces the journey of galactic discovery that has obsessed mankind for thousands of years.

Accompanying the narrative, a series of monthly sky guides focus on the astronomical highlights visible at each given time of year, with handy charts to show you exactly what to look for and how to navigate around the sky at night.

As fascinating as it is accessible, A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos is a must for anyone who gazes up and wishes they knew more about the final frontier...

About the author

Mark Thompson is one of the presenters on the BBC Two award winning show Stargazing Live and the resident astronomer on ITV's This Morning. When not gracing our television screens he is most likely writing about the sky, looking at it or flying through it (as a qualified pilot, not a human cannonball). He writes for a number of websites including Discovery News' Space pages and the Space Exploration Network along with a variety of other publications. He is also a regular on Radio Five Live.

Born in Norfolk, Mark has had a fascination with all things in the sky ever since he was a small boy and is proud to be a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Friday, February 06, 2015

HiFi in Bollywood by Rishi Vohra

No.of pages :264
Published on :January 15th, 2015
Publisher :Jaico Publishing House
Genre :General fiction/drama
Book Links :Goodreads  Amazon Flipkart

HiFi in Bollywood

Book description(via goodreads)

Rayhan Arora’s long cherished dream is to be a filmmaker in the Hindi Film Industry but his formidable father has other plans… a successful financial career in Corporate America, and a marriage of convenience with Vanita, a medical student in the US.

In a final act of desperation, Rayhan abandons his promising life in California and secretly returns to Mumbai to work as an Assistant Director in Bollywood. The characters he encounters along the way become part of his journey of self-discovery - a self-proclaimed local goon with a penchant for acting; a powerful local politician who wants to marry Rayhan's part-time domestic help, who in turn covets stardom; an angst-ridden, homosexual film director; ego-ridden film stars with twisted agendas; and the mysterious Viola who captures his heart.

HiFi in Bollywood takes the reader from the streets of Berkeley to the film studios of Mumbai; from red-light areas to police stations, and from reality to dreams and back to reality again!

My review

HiFi in Bollywood is an enlightening read.It clearly says, people may say whatever they feel is right but one has to make their own decision regarding their future.An eye opening, fun filled novel depicted in a new light.When I first saw the cover image and title, I was very sure that this novel would be a huge hit among the Indian readers.I think all those who had read this novel would nod right for it mingles with the story.

This is author Rishi Vohra's second novel and it revolves around Rayhan Arora, a 23 year old, regardless of how many disagree to his penchant for directing films in bollywood he pursues his dream anyway without telling his stern father that he has returned from Berkeley for Mumbai.What he learns in the course of his journey is the story.In between, the author, Rishi Vohra has inducted humorous situations and comical happenings.By nature, comedy has become the core part of this novel.

Rayhans’s character was believable, understandable and worth sympathising for.Some parents are so pushy like his father.They want the best things for their children and are not able to tolerate it if their children doesn’t live up to their expectations.Their best argument is, so far they have made too many sacrifices for the sake of their children’s future, now it’s their children’s turn.But it makes the protagonist life miserable as he doesn’t want to be his father’s pet toy.He vents his angst to his cousin Jay and his jewish friend, Dave.

His friend Romil’s character was abominable to the fullest.He gets my wrath for being insane, ludicrous, pain in the ass.Mangala’s character was beautifully knitted.So was Lakshmibai and Vanitha's character.Tarini, Jahaan Khan and Rayhan’s love interest, viola, was a total chaos.The rest of the characters didn't stand out in my mind.

Rayhan arora’ s father fits into the story really well.He wants to shape his son’s future according to his plans which is reasonable as any parent would wish that his son should fare well in his chosen path.Being raised his son as a single parent, his anger on one of his drinking buddy was justifiable.First he wants his son to get a decent job in the corporate world of US, then marriage with his friend’s daughter, Vanitha who by the way is a medical intern.A beautiful home and a car bought on loan.He will not give in to his son that easily. 

With an exception of shady,Rayhan’s friends don’t gel into the story .The emotions displayed by the characters at some places sounded artificial and the story was too predictable for me.What was missing in the fast paced novel?The suspense.Even a reader who seldom reads books will be able to guess the whole story.The prologue is unnecessary.Though it doesn't reveal much, for readers like me, it was a spoiler alert.So this is something I hated.The plus points include the very much realism in presenting the story and humor.

To sum up, the only drawback is the predictability of the novel.The reasoning behind the title Hifi was brilliant.A famous actor explained this word on his Twitter account. Read the book to find out who said it.I was totally shocked and largely surprised after knowing the fact two big stars have reviewed this book they are Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham respectively.
If you haven't read the book yet please add it to your to-read list.

Rating 3.5/5

Disclaimer A special thanks to the author for providing me a signed copy of the book. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Panchatantra Retold: Part 1 - Mitra Bheda

No.of pages :124(epub version)
Print length :180 pages
The Panchatantra Retold: Part 1 - Mitra BhedaPublisher :Maysun in C
Published on :December 31st, 2014
Genre :Children's fiction
Book Links :Goodreads Amazon

My review 

The Panchatantra Retold: Part 1 - Mitra Bheda basically contains collection of short stories retold by Sonal Panse.The main theme of the story is how king Amar Shakti’s three sons who are incapable of becoming  kings are educated by Pandit Vishnu Sharma in his Ashram in order to become intelligent and wise like their father.He says within six months, he shall transform them into clever , competent men.So begins the story of King Pingalik, a lion and sanjivak, a bull.They both become best friends by a rare event that occurred after the bull being introduced by Kartak, a jackal who is a former minister’s son.What happens between their true friendship?This is narrated in the 124 pages long book.

The author has depicted Kartak to be the main protagonist.He tells moral stories to those who need it the most at the right time to correct the King and other animals from doing the wrong thing.He is also good at it
 even though he drastically fails in the case of Damnak .My favourite story in the book is where a young, beautiful girl marries a snake due to fate.It was thought provoking.A question arises in all our minds, “how can a snake marry a girl?”.When you read it though you will understand how.

Another story which made it to my favorite list was that of a young merchant.He asks his neighbor to look after his iron balance.But the greedy neighbor keeps it to himself.When the merchant returns from his trip he asks the neighbor to give back the iron balance for which the neighbor replies, it was eaten by a mice.I have read this story somewhere.But i hardly remembered the full story.Once reading the book, I was again able to recollect it.The chapter Suchimukh and the monkey is a great lesson to everyone.It tells, never teach a fool about intelligence otherwise you will have to pay for it.The pictorial representation is a spot on.

In Mitra Bheda, the Pandit stresses the importance of having good friends and the outcome of having association with cunning people.How the life of the king lion is ruined by wrong friendship?To whom Kartak told his stories, why?What did Damnak do?Read the book to find out.This is the first volume in the panchantra series.Actually, there are four more volumes. Pancha means five in Sanskrit. So this book is split into five parts.At the end of the fifth part, the kings will be transformed as promised by the sage , Pandit. The book is an eclectic treat to all the little ones as well as the grownups.

Rating 4/5

Disclaimer I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review