The book is a collection of photographs by Debra Schoenberger taken in various places across India in various states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. Most of the photographs are in color while a few of them are in black and white.
The subject includes both humans and things. The introduction to the book is short and crisp, almost poetic in a way, but that's all it is. The photographer has let her pictures do the talking rather than giving an introduction to each picture. The pictures are predominantly candid, while there are some photographs where the subject pose beautifully. The photographer has managed to capture the diverse culture of northern part of India. The color, the vividness and the clarity is remarkable. A picture speaks a thousand words, but there are times when a word amplifies the context. That lack of context made a vast difference with this book. Had there been a couple of lines about the picture in terms of where it was taken etc, it would made a lot of difference.
Commenting on the technical aspect of the photos does not really make sense. All that matters is that if the photos actually bring out the emotion or the reality of the subject in question. There were few photographs which hit home, while some failed to make an impact. For example, the photograph with a man dying colors on a thread hit home in terms of the richness and depth, while there are silhouette pictures which were a tad too dark to be appreciated fully.
India is a land of colours and diversity. The photographer has made a rather conscious attempt to capture the richness of the colors and culture. However, given that she traveled only the northern part of the country, the diversity part of the culture isn't reflected in the photographs. Moreover, to the west, the very word "India" conjures up and abstract image of snake charmers and crowded streets, which also seems to be a theme of sorts of this book. There are places in the country where modernization and "Westernization" has dug its claws into. This book fails to capture that part of the country which has now become an integral part of the country. Not all roads are crowded and dingy. Not all buildings are old and dilapidated!
Rating : 3/5
Note : I thank iReadBook tours for the review copy!
Millionaire scion Aradhaya has just lost his parents and is cheated by the woman he marries. On a rebound he falls for Sambhavi, renowned writer and professor. She lays her terms, driving him to give up too soon. To recoup from dejection, he leaves his house and starts to live in a recluse, working with complete strangers to bring about a positive change in their area. Does Sambhavi accept Aradhaya now?
A simple and neat cover which depicts the protagonists against a simple backdrop. The cover does give subtle hints about the story.
Having read the writer's previous works, I had very high expectations with respect to characterization. His previous work was spot on in this department. However, this book disappointment me a wee bit. Aradhaya's characterization was perfect with enough flaws and strengths exposed, but Sambhavi's character seemed way too superficial. Her core character of being strong lacked that conviction for me. In fact, her character paled out in comparison with Aradhaya's character. I would have preferred a bit more depth for Sambhavi's character
The unusual story, the philosophical conversations and the love triangle. The first half of the story which involved all characters was quite captivating to read. The writer seems to have evolved a lot from his first book. The language and general writing seems to be much better with this book which made it a tolerable read.
What could have been better
The pacing slacked mid way. The initial setting did leave the writer with enough scope to steer the story with a much faster pace and a different direction, but the writer choose not to. Also, the whole love angle between a teacher and a student seemed way too cliche to me. The part where Aradhaya goes into recluse, but ends up building an entertainment park seemed a tad unrealistic and not conforming to the plot setting the writer initially put up. He ends up doing good using his surname and father's money. It's not his own money. Agreed that he had the intention to do good in first place, but the means of doing it does confirm to the ideals the writer set in the first part of the story. The climax seemed a tad too hurried and could have been structured better.
Support the writer, do head over and buy this book @ Amazon.
Bossypants by Tina Fey is my first ever full fledged Audio book. My first experience with an audio-book was a short story narrated by my favorite British Actor - Benedict Cumberbatch. After a large serving of perfect Indian home-cooked traditional meal, it's hard not to doze over post lunch. When your work is mind boggling and requires you to pay rapt attention, one can't help but resort to various means of staying awake - Cups of coffee, metal/rock music blaring or for people like me, sneak reading/audio books. This book was such fun to listen to that I ended up chuckling loudly only to end up earning weird looks from people sitting around me.
The voice, the narration, the pauses, the tone - every single element of the audio book was perfect. Having grown up in another part of the world, this book was an eye opener when it came to the media culture in the America - the country which still remains to be a dream for many people. With self effacing humor and intelligent storytelling, this audio-book is such a pleasure to listen to. The narrator/writer in question is a complete stranger to me. I've not watched her shows and haven't even heard of her until now. I'm not sure if I would have liked this book had I read it in it's original paper format. The narration by the writer herself made this audio book a great read. As a matter of fact, this audio book would be a great place to start for people who aren't familiar with the format. Speaking from personal experience, the voice of the narrator and the narration in itself, most often drives away people from this format owing to monotony. Imagine having to hear an interesting story in your ears being narrated by some person with deadpan narration. Most of the narrator often do a good job, but there are exceptions too. However, this book wasn't a part of that exception category!
She stole his Christmas dinner and left him with a kiss.
Dan Tollinger is having a bad Christmas. His wife lost her battle with cancer and he’s finding it hard to manage his two sons. Busy with his shop he has little time left foe them, so having a woman around to keep an eye on them seems like an ideal solution.
She hopes he won’t recognize her
Tonya needs premises to run her business after her bakery got damaged in a fire. With a son to bring up on her own, the sensible option is to accept Dan’s job offer to housekeep while putting her business back on the track.
Getting drunk together obviously isn’t the answer
Neither counted on the unexpected warmth and awareness that sprang up between them. Would it be wise to let it kindle to desire and then something more?
Especially when his sons are not ready to accept her in his life.
About The Author
SummeritaRhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. She’s a bestselling romance author at Amazon, butloves her teaching job as much as writing. Juggling two careers with home can be difficult but she firmly believes if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters – yes, both the hero and heroine in her stories are strong- minded in their own way - the only way to get peace is write their book!
Book Link & Excerpt!
His Christmas Delight
Excerpt from His Christmas Surprise
She hovered a moment, her eyes going wide in astonishment – the only feature visible in her face which she’d cloaked with a wraparound on the lower and another on the upper part of her face. She sensed his reserve, partly turned away as he was, attempting to give her space. To his surprise, she put the chicken on the counter and then came forward. Towards him. Upto him. Then she reached out slender arms and pulled him down to put her mouth on his.
A shockwave ran through his body. It was a quick kiss, yet not a peck. Her mouth moved as though learning the imprint of his, her body moved a fraction closer. Dan felt her breasts, soft yet firm, press against his chest. His breath caught, blood roared in his veins and he felt the unmistakable distinct flare of desire. Whether it was the forbidden nature of the caress, or the length of time since he’d been this close to a woman, he was caught in the temptation. It shocked him, exhilarated him and suspended him in the moment, as time and space receded. He might have reacted more, he didn’t know. She stepped back and he was left, grappling with the reality.
She picked up the package.
‘Wait!’ He spoke almost too late. She had nearly reached the door. She stopped but didn’t turn back. He could read fear in the tense lines of her body.
Night manager and ordinary islander Marie doesn't need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her misery. Not that she is miserable, just that having a loving companion doesn't hurt. In comes waltzing the handsome and smart Prince Christian of Taragonia. Sparks fly right from the start and she ends up accepting an invite to stay with Prince Christian's sister and her friend, Princess Olivia. Things go from bad to worse, thanks to the media and a fact that Marie is a commoner. Does this fairy tale involving royalty have a happy ending?
Kind of looks a bit too ordinary for this extraordinary and well written tale. I would have preferred something a bit exquisite!
Well-balanced would be the word to describe the characterization. In the initial part of the story, the writer focused on Olivia's character and then gradually progressed to Marie's and Christian's character. She weaved little sub stories to bring in the human side of a character which was touted to be a stoic royal. However, one such sub story (where Christian flies over to Africa with Marie to find her parents but ends up saving people caught in floods) seemed little deliberately written to give depth to the character. Nevertheless, this didn't hamper the plot's flow.
The characterization, the plot line and the writing in general were flawless. The romance between a commoner and a royal was written with a good sense of reality. Immaterial of the times we are in, a relationship between a person from the lower rung of the society in terms of income and stature with that of some one from the upper crust of the society doesn't not sit well. Civilization is yet to progress to a state where two people can love each other without having to think about their stature in the society. It is evident that the writer has researched well to sketch the characters and relationships between modern day royals and commoners.Thankfully she didn't portray the royals as people with way too much money which they flaunted meaninglessly.
What could have been better
The writer chose the traditional method of scaring off a character to abandon the relationship - The case when media wrecks havoc in the relationship of a celebrity. I would have rather preferred an actual fight or argument between the protagonists. Just my perspective!
Recommendation : For romance lovers! Clean, neat and well written book!
Want to know more about the book? Wish to buy it? Head over to Amazon!
Double murder in a remote forest area. One victim shot at close range, other while escaping. The victims are rumored to have been in an affair while one of them was married. Seems like a classic case of revenge murder. Surprisingly, all markers point other wise. Investigative officer Daniele Harper chases all lead patiently only to hit a roadblock in spite of the mammoth amount clue markers. In comes blazing Scott black, the ballistics expert who helps Daniele crack the case. Sparks fly and they end up cracking the case just a tad too wide open!
The cover isn't really visually appealing, but it has been designed very tactfully in order to ensure that the reader doesn't end up judging the book by it's cover. The book back summary however, entices a reader enough to pick up the book!
It is very hard to concentrate on characterisation when the plot line requires action rather than the characterisation. A romantic mystery, however, does provide that little space to manoeuvre and bring out various shades of characters, predominantly of the protagonists. The writer evidently has made maximum use of this gap to show various shade of Dani's and Scott's character. Dani grows up crushing on her brother's friend, Scott and finally when they find each other, the connection is explosive. This connect doesn't occur immediately, but after the typical struggle between being in love and lusting. The writer has perfectly portrayed that period of trying to find each other. It was surprising to notice that other minor characters were also given their appropriate space balanced perfectly.
The suspense element was kick-ass. The final twist was nothing short of being mind blowing. The writer evidently knows her way around crafting a perfect plot with enough markers to maintain that suspense element.The chemistry between Dani and Scott blended perfectly well into the story instead of sticking out. The story line line was well thought of and logically balanced. There weren't any glaring logical errors in the plot. The writing was well balanced. The perfect mix of both worlds - Romance and a good mystery. The writer beautifully slipped between both worlds, doing equal justice to them. That balance is what made this book a perfect romantic thriller.
What could have been better
The story begins with two murders. Both the victims aren't given much characters. They sounded so cold and impersonal in a way. Had this been a wee bit different, the climax could have been better justified and would have also packed an emotional punch. Though the plot line was unpredictable, the motive to kill was justified flimsily. This is also the direct consequence of not elaborating on the victim's personality as such. That's my only qualm with the book!
Recommendation : For mystery and romance lovers. Well balanced and perfect read!
Want to know more about the book? Wish to buy it? Head over to the spotlight post to know more and to buy the book!
Note : I received the book in exchange for an honest review via Tasty tours from the publishers on NetGalley!
Watch out for the review! To be posted shortly!
When her investigation brings them together,
the sparks between them quickly get out of control.
AT CLOSE RANGE
A Tracers Novel
Releasing Jan 31st, 2017
New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin âdelivers the goodsâ (Publishers Weekly) again with the eleventh title in the gritty, heart-pounding Tracers series.
When a lakeside tryst ends in a double murder, police detective Daniele Harper arrives on the scene determined to get answers. Clues are everywhere, but nothing adds up. Dani turns to the Delphi Center crime lab for help, but soon regrets it when her secret attraction to their chief firearms examiner threatens to distract her from the most important case of her career.
As a ballistics expert and former Navy SEAL, Scott Black knows firearms, and he knows he can help Dani unravel her case. Scott has managed to hide his interest in his best friendâs younger sister for years, but when her investigation brings them together, the sparks between them quickly get out of control. Scott resolves to keep his hands off Dani and his eyes on the goalâidentifying a killer. But when that killer zeroes in on Dani, all bets are off. There isnât a line Scott wonât cross to convince Dani to trust him so that he can help her take down a ruthless murderer who has her in his sights.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.
The Plot - Summary
A cold blooded murder is on the loose in the busy streets of Mumbai haunting and preying on young woman. All his victims have one thing in common, they work for Mia Santos, the head strong feminist who is the editor of a successful magazine. Mia has a past, a very gruesome past which returns to haunt her in the form of these murders. But, who is the killer? How does he know her well guarded secret? In comes investigating office Damien. Will he crack the crime and catch the killer?
It's simple and well illustrated, but the choice of color is a bit of cliche given that the protagonist is a feminist.
It is evident that Mia's character has been crafted with utmost care to ensure that she is hardened due to her past yet has a soft humane side. Damien's character however seemed to be a hit hazy and inconsistent. He started out being a proper cop and ended up becoming an almost puppet which didn't help the plot line as such. The killer's character was perfectly justified with proper motives, but all of it felt superficial. The negative character in Mia's past seemed more convincing than that of in the present. Other supporting characters were also crafted with perfection such that they fit into the story in a very ideal manner.
The book started off really well. The writer carried out alternate point of view narration in a perfect manner alternating between that of Mia's and the killers. The suspense element was kept alive till about mid way of the book. There we no logical loopholes or inconsistencies in the plot. The editing was air tight till about three fourth of the book. The story started out to be a thriller lover's delight totally.
What could have been better
The climax could have been twisted a bit. It was way too straightforward and predictable. I felt the editing and plot as such slacked a lot after such a good beginning. May be the first half of the book raised the bar and set my expectations high that the climax paled out in comparison. Damien's relationship with Mia though seemed realistic, it kind of ended up altering Damien's character as such. He didn't seem like a tough cop at all. That part of the story could have done with more tough emotions!
Recommendation - For thriller lovers. Brownie points for originality of plot and clean writing!
To know more about the book and to buy it, visit - Amazon!
Note : I received the book in exchange for an honest review! I thank the writer for the same.
After an extended sabbatical, I'm back with a bang, devouring books like there is no tomorrow. However, it's been ages since I've written a proper review. In fact, it feels like I've long forgotten the art of critiquing a book. I intend to amend that shortly. For the next month I have about half a dozen reviews planned till now. After writing about books for 3 plus years, I've witnessed the struggles a writer endures first hand. I've also experienced happiness when a reader reads my review and discovers their next favourite book. To strike a balance of sorts, I've decided to start a feature which would connect writers with readers and in turn promote the writers books as well. This feature would be live from February 1 positively!
Given that my career is leaving me no time for other activities, I have resolved to make the best of the time I can spare. That's politely telling, you won't witness me devouring books and spinning reviews like mad. Moreover, I've decided to read more of classics and politics this year. I've started reading a brilliant book about the Israeli intelligence - Mossad. Hoping to finish it soon!
I also intend to finish off the book I started writing last year. I attacked NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) with gusto initially. I managed to complete 5K words before life decided to turn crazy. With my impending marriage and hectic work, I couldn't reach the target of 50K words. Now that I'm settled into a routine, I intend to find that rhythm to write.
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About Laura Fabiani:
In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.
Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers--a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books.
Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!
You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours, Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.