Book review : Thirteen kinds of love

A child cares for a family of pigeons nesting in his balcony; is his parents’ relationship as diseased as the illness ravaging the baby pigeons? A man mulls over desire engendered by love and that which springs from mere lust. A couple confesses to the reader the reasons for the widening chasm between them. An intricate mesh of relationships and lives, Thirteen Kinds of Love follows the fortunes of several families living and working in an apartment block in Mumbai. This is a book about loving and losing, about trying to redeem oneself, about attempts to remake and refashion what has been torn asunder. Soumya Bhattacharya draws the reader into the narrative using his deeply evocative, distinctive prose. This is an astute exploration of how we live and love today.


Publisher : HarperCollins India

Book length : 200


A collection of thirteen short stories that are compiled and held together by a common thread. As the title goes the stories are themed around love. This is not specifically romance but the kind of relationship that sprouts up at different situations in life.

The common thread is that all the characters in the book live in a posh apartment in Mumbai, Imperial heights. A maid who works in these houses what would her thoughts be on, knowing the truth in each family in the midst of her married life which is already in a turmoil.

The narration and the choice of words used by the author make it an interesting read. The story is in the form of emails or text exchanges between the characters which makes it different from other short story collection.

The author glides with the narration and the transition from one story to another with such ease that makes you understand that even though the characters are residing in the same apartment there is a slight difference in the way of intertwining with each other since each of the houses have a different story. If it’s a widower bringing up her son , being an interest for someone else, or a husband trying to get back from his wife’s loss or a son who is to handle the separation from his parents who are divorced from mutual consent it all circles back to love. The magical word that could keep us together or could even take us far from the ones we love.

A special mention to the cover simple, yet captivating and makes you want to pick it up.

Soumya Bhattacharya is the author of five previous books of fiction, non-fiction and memoir. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Sydney Morning Herald and Granta, among others. He is the managing editor at Hindustan Times and lives in New Delhi.

This book review is part of the blogchatter book review program.

Review of The speaking stone


Mumbai, December 2016: A young man found an ancient-looking piece of stone with strange images and Sanskrit inscriptions. A quest to know the origin of the stone brought him to the distant part of the country. Chandannagar, December 2016: A young vivacious historian woman read an old book on a century-old secret story about a little known part of the country. Her curiosity got the better of her as the book disappeared mysteriously before she could complete it. She reached a sleepy quaint state of the country to satiate her curiosity. Eventually they both met and their search began from the city museum to a far-flung rock mountain which revealed a century-old story of a seductive danseuse, her enigmatic lover, a string of her admirers, a painter with a photographic memory, a bird that could speak in many voices, a benevolent king and a gruesome conspiracy. And the most important clue to decode the final secret was with the missing part of The Speaking Stone But in the process of unearthing old secrets their lives were also in danger… To know more read… The Speaking Stone


A historic fiction that keeps you glued till the end. Loved how the author kept varying the narration between two periods.

Saikat, a rich boy who loves to spend comes across a vendor on the roadside selling artifacts. He is taken aback by a half stone that the vendor was selling and decides to buy.
Upon further research comes to know that it has ancient history and wants to find out the remaining part.
The stone traces its origin to Tripura. Shuvasini , a girl who is also researching ancient history is fascinated by Tripura’s ancient discoveries.
She along with Saikat decide to find the mystery behind the stone. The stone belongs to ancient period and involves story with a King , danseuse and many more.
The stone has various scriptures which are to reveal much more information about the ancient period.

The narration was simple and lucid and keeps suspense till the end. A very good plot equally supported by good illustrations and narration makes it a great read.

Ratnadip Acharya is the author of two successful novels, Life is Always Aimless… Unless you love it and Paradise Lost & Regained. He is a columnist for the Speaking Tree in The Times of India. He contributed many write-ups in different collections of Chicken Soup for the Soul. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Sophia and son, Akash. He can be contacted via the following channels Website: Facebook: Facebook:, Instagram: Twitter:

Review of Circus folk and village freaks


Meet the beautiful people of the Circus, and the freaks who live in the Village next to them. Mangled, jangled, misunderstood, all find place in the rich tapestry of this book.

Siamese twins separate to lose half a heart each, and find snake-man and tiger-taming lovers. A man bitten by a crocodile becomes a God, and a Devadasi woos the entire countryside with her culinary artistry.

Fates intertwined lead sometimes to tragedy, sometimes happy summits of fame. A clown finds his place in Hollywood and mute animals break unspeakable chains. A twisted man falls in love with a mirror and a white man is unmade by the Indian sun.

In this book are tales for every season and every reason. Tales of human depravity that take innocent lives, and of a murderers’ insanity that follows, a fitting revenge by nature, red in tooth and claw.

These stories are told in the form of narrative poems in rhyming couplets.

Look inside and you will find, you have been to this Village. Surely, you have been to this Circus too.


A book telling you stories in the form of poetry in the current trend is indeed refreshing. Not many people have a liking for poetry reading, since it is not easy to understand the inner meaning of what is being put out in words. But this book is different with about 18 tales in the form of poetry.

The book is about the inmates of the circus and villagers from around. The villagers at times become the inmates of the circus.

Each one of the tale has a moral to tell you. They leave a mark in you to make you think of it. The stories presented makes you want to do a comparison of the circus we live in and contemplate.

The cover of the book is yet another gem. It looks so colorful and vibrant that makes you want to pick the book up immediately and read.

The narration in poetic form is very good. Some are direct, some have inner meanings. This is my first time one reading a book of this kind and I enjoyed reading it. Kudos to the author for coming up with such a thought.


Published by : Viswakarma publications

Format : hardcover

Length : 156


Plot : 4/5

Title :4/5

Cover : 5/5

Writing and presentation :4/5

Overall :4.5/5

Review of Ganesha

On the trail of Ganesha, the Afro-Asian calf, born by a quirk of fate and in the most improbable of circumstances in the wilds of East Africa in 1943. Then begins his journey to the Southern wilds of India and his fight for survival in those new wilds.
Born on the same day as Ganesha in a rural hamlet of Southern India is Maari, who goes on to become one of the most dreaded poachers India has ever known.
And know how their fates inevitably cross over the decades during which there are profound changes in both the political and ecological landscape of India.


I’d never imagined that the protagonist of my current read would be an elephant. What a great thought and a different one. That really made heads turn when the book came out.

Ganesha is a hybrid ( afro Asian) elephant who loses his mahout in a storm and is stuck in an island. Poacher Maari portrays the way into darkness and shows the wicked world of wildlife mafia. The evil face of poaching is portrayed well when Maari fights off his own battle. Ganesha is friends with one eye who keeps Ganesha company till the end.

The book brings out the depiction of life and death of the elephant Ganesha. The book beautifully brings out the relationship between animals and humans and how far it does affect the former when they lose a close one. The sensitive feeling of the animals has been brought out in a commendable way.

The narration is just perfect setting the stage for the whole plot to unfold. The plot is crisp and does not go to unwanted detailing. The psyche of the animals is well explained and goes to prove that they are more socially behaved than the humans.

It was a varied out of box thought of making the animal a protagonist. I enjoyed reading the book. The cover is simple and does give you an outright picture of what you would be reading about.


  • Publication date: 21 Apr 2019
  • Format : Kindle edition
  • Length: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Half Baked Beans
  • Language: English


Plot : 4/5

Writing and presentation : 4/5

Cover : 3.5/5

Title : 4/5

Overall :4/5

Review of wake up life is calling


What if your mind is your greatest enemy?

What if you were living your worst nightmare?

How would you cope?

Ankita has fought a mental disorder, been through hell, and survived two suicide attempts. Now in Mumbai, surrounded by her loving and supportive parents, everything seems idyllic. She is not on medication. She is in a college she loves, studying her dream subject: Creative Writing. At last leading a ‘normal life’, she immerses herself in every bit of it.

Underneath the surface, however, there is trouble brewing. A book she discovers in her college library draws her in, consumes her and sends her into a terrifying darkness that twists and tears her apart. To make matters worse, a past boyfriend resurfaces, throwing her into further turmoil.

Can she escape her thoughts? Will Ankita survive the ordeal a second time around? What does life have in store for her?

Preeti Shenoy’s compelling sequel to the iconic bestseller Life is What You Make It chronicles the resilience of the human mind and the immense power of positive thinking. The gripping narrative demonstrates with gentle wisdom how by changing our thoughts, we can change our life itself.


Life is what you make it ends with Ankita diagnosed with bipolar disorder and together with the help of her parents and NIMH , she tries to get back.

The book is a serious read and is not for someone who looks forward to get the feeling of joy thinking about the characters. The books provides great morale of self confidence to those who feel dejected and think of ending their life.

She starts a new life in Mumbai as she takes up a creative writing course. Joining her as buddies are Janki and Parul. It all starts when her friend from school comes back and at the same time she borrows a book that gives a clear picture of suicide.

What happens later ? Does she complete the course, what happens to her after her friend comes back, what triggers inside her after reading the book is the rest of the story.

The characters have been portrayed very well. Especially that of Mrs. Hayden, whose flashback and her current life gives you more strength. The visual exercises that she teaches Ankita are more of a learning for us that we can impart into our lives.

The narration is good and simple to understand. I would definitely say this is a comeback for Preeti.

The cover is vibrant and gives you a feeling of freshness or something like a great start.

Ankita, the protagonist is firm and smart though she was being emotional. Her strength of having the thought to come out of her situation without medication is appreciable.

The concept of Ankita making life notes is another positive aspect of the book. The plot being simple has been put forth in such a way that it conveys a powerful message.


Publisher : Srishti publishers and distributors

ISBN 10 :9387022609

ISBN 13: 978-9387022607



Cover :4/5

Writing and presentation:4/5


Overall :4/5

Preeti Shenoy is the bestselling author of Life is What You Make It and eleven other titles. Her books have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages. She is among the highest-selling authors in India. She is also a speaker, columnist, and artist. Preeti has been featured on BBC, Conde Nast, Verve, India Today and all other major media.



In a small kingdom somewhere in the Himalayas, the beautiful young Princess Ramya cannot sleep. It all started soon after her mother, the queen, passed away, when the princess was only twelve. Her father, the king, tries everything to make his little princess sleep, but nothing works. The princess develops such an inability to sleep that she becomes known in her kingdom and far beyond as the Sleepless Beauty.
The king wishes Princess Ramya to marry and take over the reins of government, but the princess is determined not to marry till such time as her sleep is restored. Eventually, the king announces a competition whereby whichever prince succeeds in getting Princess Ramya to sleep will win her hand. Meanwhile deadly foes of the kingdom wait and watch in the wings, planning to launch a surprise attack. This exciting, romantic tale, with comic interludes, will appeal to readers of all ages.


The book is a very short read and I completed it during a cab journey that took an hour. It sure did keep me engaging.

From the cover, it appears like a children’s folktale. But this can definitely give joy to adult readers as well.

The book talks about family, emotion and love.

Situated in the Himalayas, the kingdom of Bhangra is ruled by King Bhoj and queen Mohini. They give birth to a lovely daughter, Ramya. Mohini passes away when Ramya is 12.

Bent in sadness, and lack of concentration Ramya fails to sleep and had become a trait explaining her. The princess who never sleeps. King is very worried about the situation. His daughter has everything except sleep. So he announces a competition wherein he invites Princes to make her sleep.

The ending is definitely not predictable. I was thinking of a situation and it did not end that way.

The cover supports the plot and the true feel of the fairytale genre.

The simple writing style and cute nuances taken care makes you go aww. The importance of love is portrayed very well.

The characterisation is done very well, especially that of Princess Ramya and Prince X ( I am not revealing the name). To know how the princess slept please go purchase yourself a copy of the book.


Format : Kindle edition

Pages : 90



Plot 4/5

Writing and presentation 4/5

Title 4/5

Cover 4/5

Overall 4.5/5

Review of Urban insanity


In this urban life, where each day can drive us insane, we crave sanity, tranquility and yearn to achieve it. You can only attain the code to live your life by keeping your mind, heart and soul as sorted as much possible. Only then your mind and your physical being can feel the essence of living. When you relate to someone like you, you resonate to life and to the craziness that life has brought you to. We have made simplicity extinct and complexities exist with our jumbled minds. So let’s open this jumble with Urban Insanity.

‘A few realities are bitter and the rest are too sweet. To those things that are priceless in life, we shall never take them for granted.


The book contains a collection of short chapters each talking about different aspects of life like karma, culture, relationship, and life goals.

Each story talks about a single aspect and is explained with a story. The quotes by the author are really very good and apt for the current trend of life.

The book speaks about the culture of urban life and what impacts does it impose on us human beings.

Though the book has very few number of pages, I took a lot of time to read and understand the author’s message that was to be conveyed.

Self introspection, gender stereotypes and the discussions surrounding the topics make a book quite an interesting read. The illustrations and quotes are cute. Listing down a favourite below.

I thought I am where I imagined,

But then I dreamt more.

The author’s POV on certain places is genuine and acceptable.

The language is simple and is easy for anyone to read. There are no complexities in understanding what the author is trying to convey.

The comparisons that the author used were seriously out of box marriage with a cocoon and life with Bombay sandwich.

If you are looking for a self- help book touching modern thinkings this should be your go-to book.


Publisher : Notion press, Inc.

Pages : 144



Saheba Atal is a business scholar, spiritual learner, and an innovative thinker. She studied at the University of Delhi and pursued her Masters’ degree at the University of Wollongong, Dubai. She is a promoter of positive, practical thinking and the progression of the mind to higher levels. Being an avid traveller, she has learned and observed many cultures and sub-cultures of the eastern and western world closely.

She is studying Anthropology and Sociology along with her Ph.D. in Consumer Behaviour.
The idea of this book culminated through the emotions that we as social beings go through with the ups and downs in life which surprises our emotional and mental capabilities and capacities many a times.

Review of Divyastra

“Thousands of years ago, Indian Yogis possessed the knowledge to obtain the weapons of the gods. However, this knowledge could only be transferred from a Guru to his disciple by word of mouth. In today’s world, one mystic, who calls himself Guruji, still possesses this knowledge and is using it to empower an innocent person’s life. Only, this empowerment could be a deception and the innocent person is a thirteen year old boy with a stutter… In this intertwining tale, an ambitious yet unsuccessful Shankar, in search of his identity, is manipulated to embark on a never-told-before fantasy tale; only to rediscover the father he never knew and unmask the mystical Guruji. Amidst this confounding concoction of ancient myths, deluding personas and dispersed emotions, will Shankar ever be able to separate fact from fiction and find his true identity?”


The book is a definite must in the list of people who love mythological thriller. With this book going in rounds in social media say promos or reviews ,it sure did create a lot of attention.

The book starts with an eminent physicist, giving a lecture to a mass gathering. During the course of his lecture he is being questioned by a young lad who seems to be intellectual,but does have a lot of questions in mind and those definitely would need to be answered only by Vyas, the scientist.The young lad has a flashback which has a connection with what is happening currently.

The lecture was given with the thought that the modern weapons that are being created or developed were actually in existence as per the ancient scriptures and Vedas.What does the title divyastra mean? What connection does it have in the story between a physicist and the young man.

The author has done a commendable job taking us through the plot. No place in the book gives you a feeling to keep the book down. The book does not bring in complicated terms. There is a glossary behind incase you need it.The parts of lecture explaining the existence of weapons in ancient times does give us a lot of information. This really shows the amount of effort put in by the author.

The narration is simple and lucid. The blurb not revealing any of the mystery in the book is another positive aspect.


Publisher : WorditCDE

Pages : 233


Title 4/5

Plot 4/5

Cover 4/5

Writing and presentation 4/5

Overall 4/5

Review of Sanjana’s seduction

Sanjana is a beautiful Indian woman, in love with and married to Rohit for ten years – a man who has recently cheated on her. As she tries to recover from Rohit’s corrosive impact on her life, Sanjana reaches out to her sister Radhika for solace. With Radhika’s help, Sanjana rediscovers the pleasures of casual sex and in doing so, rediscovers her own sexuality and happiness.


The book is a short fast paced read that can be finished in almost half an hour.

As the title claims you are openly given an idea of what the book is about or what genre the book would be about. It is strictly advised that only mature adults pick this up.

The book is of erotica genre that is evident from the title. The narration was good and done well at places.

The plot is about Sanjana , a lady who experiments casual relationships in the midst of her divorce with Rohit. The plot does not speak about how the marriage happened or why did it fall apart. It starts with Sanjana masturbating. She goes crazy seeing an actor on screen.

I quickly finished the book during lunch break and sat down for a review. This is the first book in the edge of ecstasy series.

Do pick this if you are looking for a quick read in erotica.


  • Publication date: 10 Apr 2019
  • Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07Q7N2R1Z


Title -3.5/5

Writing and presentation -3.5/5

Plot -3.5/5

Cover -3.5/5

Overall -3.5/5

Review of Pyjamas are forgiving #instacuppa #superbloggerchallenge


There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife. In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise, Pyjamas Are Forgiving confirms Twinkle Khanna as one of our great storytellers.


When Twinkle Khanna made announcements for releasing her third book, it piqued quite a lot of eagerness and interests in her fans and minds of other readers. Since the second book did not do seemingly well, the timing that the release came in, it set the minds of the readers who were expecting a comeback.

The plot begins with the protagonist, Anshu ; a 40 year old divorcee who seeks rejuvenation and is a regular at the Shanthamaaya sthalam, Kerala. No it is not a spa when I meant she sought rejuvenation, it is an Ayurveda Ashram by Dr. Menon where people come in seek of freedom from the doshas that plague them.

Anshu seeks peace from her fast paced life in Mumbai and comes to Kerala seeking peace and tranquility. She signs up for the 28-day rejuvenation program, which holds her a lot of surprises. Among those who signed up, Anshu’s ex-husband Jay and his new wife Shalini are also included. Anshu is in for a roller-coaster ride of innumerable emotions at having to come to terms with her ex’s presence in such close vicinity.

Shalini can be described as everything in opposite to what Anshu is. She is young, flexible, beautiful and thin. It no longer is surprising that Jay fell for her when Anshu was still starting to get used to marriage and its many bizarreness. Anshu’s heart still skips a beat seeing Jay; even though they have been separated for over a decade. After all its her first love so she cannot get over so soon.

All the characters we are introduced in the book are realistic and serve a purpose of their presence.

The writing style as always is filled with wit and humor and it cannot go wrong if I say it is generously present throughout the book. But even then it did not make a strong impact.

The book is a short read but loses the engaging or the intriguing factor somewhere in the middle as it becomes monotonous. At some instances Anshu’s encounters with Jay and the instances handled seemed to lack luster and was becoming repetitive.

The cover of the book is designed so well; in fact, it was one of the factors that pushed me to read the book. But we also know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.


  • Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Juggernaut (7 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9386228971
  • ISBN-13:978-9386228970


Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5


Twinkle Khanna is one of India’s top-selling writers and the author of two national bestsellers, Mrs Funnybones (winner of a Crossword Book Award 2016) and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. She is one of Times of India’s most read columnists and has won numerous awards, including India Today Woman Writer of the Year, Outlook Award for Most Inspiring Woman of the Year and Vogue Opinion Maker of the Year. She is the founder of Mrs Funnybones Movies and in 2018 produced the highly acclaimed film Pad Man. Khanna lives in Mumbai with her family.

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