Book Review : Shillong times by Nilanjan Choudhary

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The story is about a traditional bengali family in the Beautiful and serene city of meghalaya, shillong. It is set in the 80s, when the conflict between the tribal and non- tribal was at its peak and the story maps the plight and life of the Dutta family amidst conflict and violence.

14 year old Debojit Dutta, a ninth grader and the only child of the Duttas, is at the heart of the story.

Khasis, the tribal population of shillong are enraged over the non- tribals of shillong, who comprises of bengalis and people of other states who are migrating into shillong for better career and job prospects. The tribals having feel cheated by the influx of foreigners or the dkhar as they call them, believing that the outsiders are taking up all their jobs and livelihood including their women turn violent, even killing them not even sparing children and women. The Duttas like other non tribals are also hit badly because of the crisis leading to shutdowns and curfews now and then affecting their livelihood forcing them to live in fear, Their concern as parents is debojit’s studies and career which is on tenterhooks with an uncertain future.

Two teenagers Clint Eastwood and Audrey pariah enter the scene and into debu’s life and his hearts sings as he finds friends more wild and liberal to hangout with, away from his mother’s strict upbringing.

What i didn’t like?

It took me more time to finish the first half, i was not hooked to it so to say, its only when debu’s friends enter the scene that things starts looking up as far as the storyline is concerned. The later part towards the end was the best.

What did i like most?

Everything.

Debu’s father who is kind and honest and who treats women with respect.
Debu’s mother who is like any other mother choking her kid at times with too much rules in order to keep him on the right path, is also an equally bold and brave woman and wife who stands up for whats wrong.

Audrey is an intelligent, bold outgoing girl .
Clint is a nice guy who will do anything to keep his friends and their families safe but loves his own family equally.

I loved all of them.. debu, Audrey, Clint and even debu’s parents.
The characters are crystal clear and wonderfully real.

It has a strong storyline, great story telling combined with real characters.

Final Verdict.

If you are as emotional as I am, you will cry at the end of it.

A friendship tale, that straight touches the chord of your heart.❤️

Love-O-Meter : 4.5🌟

This book review is a part of “The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours, for details log on to” thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in

 

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Book Review : The Circus Thief by Alane Adams

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The Circus Thief

SYNOPSIS

The circus is in town, and Georgie has his heart set on going. When Papa agrees to take him and his friend Harley, the boys marvel at the amazing elephants and clowns. But the best act of all is the amazing Roxie, a trained horse who can do all sorts of tricks. When Georgie is invited to ride on her back, he discovers it’s her last show―Roxie is going to be sent to the work farm! When Roxie bolts with Georgie on her back, Papa must come to his rescue.

The Circus Thief is a heartwarming tale of boyhood set in 1920s Pennsylvania for children ages 4–8.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for THE CIRCUS THIEF

“The circus is bursting with amazing sights and sounds, from clowns and elephants to a lady with a beard, in The Circus Thief, a delightfully nostalgic tale of compassion, kindness, and generosity.” ―Foreword Clarion Reviews

“Bright, brave characters star in this exhilarating tale of magic and mystical creatures.” ―Kirkus Reviews

My Review :

I couldn’t have agreed more with the other reviews the book got!

It was beautifully illustrated book with well defined characters. I loved Georgie’s father character the most. He was the kind of parent every child deserves.

The one thing that stood out was the way Georgie’s father tackled his son calmly and gently when he asked for a dollar for the household chores he had done.

This book is equally good for parents and children both, as it teaches  emphatic, parenting, compassion and generosity.

The story comes alive with the beautiful and intricate illustrations. Its a treat for the eyes. It was a page turner and i was looking for more at the end of the story, it would have been great if it had few more pages, i felt the story was cut short, but i suppose since its for kids the book length will work for them.

I still loved it!

Love – O – Meter : 4.5 🌟

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alane Adams is a children’s author, professor, and literacy advocate. She is the author of the Legends of Orkney fantasy mythology series for tweens; she also writes Early American picture books for young children. Adams lives in Southern California.

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PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALANE ADAMS

WEBSITE: https://alaneadams.com/
TWITTER: @AlaneAdamsBooks
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FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AlaneAdamsBooks/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/alaneadamsbooks/

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Book Reveal – Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit.

 

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: Explorer Academy
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Under the Stars; edition (September 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426331592
ISBN-13: 978-1426331596

Praise for EXPLORER ACADEMY Series“This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters.” ―Kirkus

“This exciting series opener introduces young readers to the joys of science and nature.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

“Sure to appeal to kids who love code cracking and mysteries with cutting-edge technology.” ―Booklist

“A fun, exciting, and action-packed ride that kids will love.” ―J.J. Abrams, director and screenwriter of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lost,” “Alias”

“Inspires the next generation of curious kids to go out into our world and discover something unexpected.” ―James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and acclaimed film-maker

“Explorer Academy is sure to awaken readers’ inner adventurer and curiosity about the world around them. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out Cruz, Emmett, Sailor, and Lani’s adventures for yourself!” ―LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow” and “LeVar Burton Reads”

“Absolutely Brilliant! Explorer Academy is a fabulous feast for the mind and heart — a thrilling, inspiring journey with compelling characters, wonderous places, and the highest possible stakes. Just as there’s only one planet Earth, there’s only one series like this. Don’t wait another instant to enjoy this phenomenal adventure!” ―T.A. Barron, author of the Merlin Saga

“In the midst of fast-paced action, Explorer Academy captures the power of learning through exploration. The excitement of hands-on discovery is modeled in Cruz’s adventures, which encourages kids to take on the mind-set of explorers.” ―Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Explorer and Guerilla Geographer

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.



Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world’s leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there’s more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

Readers can get in on the excitement with puzzles and codes embedded throughout.

You can purchase Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather at the following Retailers:
       

Photo Content from Trudi Trueit

 

Trudi Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences. She has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Trueit lives in Everett, Washington.
 
       
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Seduction by Truth by Mukul Kumar

“I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset

Publisher : Bloomsbury India

Publication Date : 18th Oct 2018

Buy : Amazon

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Blurb :

Shiva is handsome, an irresistible talker, well-off, lives in Delhi’s poshest suburb, is a
dutiful husband to the attractive Akriti and is a perfect father to their little son. So why is he the picture of disenchantment?

Is it that not-so-uncommon human condition-boredom that sometimes accompanies fidelity-that haunts him? In Shiva’s case, the discovery that Akriti has already found distraction with someone else frees him to look for excitement on his own-but with a mind conflicted between dharma and desire. Which is the path that he will choose to walk on?

Shiva embarks on a journey to empirically explore different options-the sexually vibrant Sana and Mary, to name a few-but at the end, winds up with more questions
than he started out with. To confuse things further, Akriti continues to occupy a tender place in his heart-as a woman first and a wife later.

A slice-of-life tale, which is part reality and part legend, Seduction by Truth dares the modern reader to solve civilization’s oldest puzzle-marriage.

A story of the interplay of sex, trust and love in a marriage, and what happens when attraction dies and a man stands at the crossroads of dharma and desire.

Review :

The plot revolves around shiva, a rich businessman living in a posh apartment with his wife akriti and son ankur. Though life has given him everything right from a succesful career, a posh house in delhi, a beautiful wife and a son he is unhappy and discontent.. reason??.. his wife’s infidelity. His own bad temper at the slightest provocation and his being busy always are the reasons behind his wife’s affair but instead of trying to make things right he decides to stray just like her, to take revenge and in order to prove himself his worthiness or his desirability, he takes on his secretary sana first, he seduces her with his intellectual talks since she’s already going through a turbulent marriage herself she decides to play along with him inspite of her having a college going daughter, even with sana he goes for another colleague of his who is again in an unhappy marriage, next women he seduces is a foreigner Mary.

The story is Part real, Part legend as the author puts it.

Maybe this book was not my cup of tea. The book was gripping initially but i started losing interest afterwards.
Though Shiva went through pangs of guilt he still went pursuing other women though he remained a good husband and a great father which was the one thing i liked.

Yes there were many intellectual debates and dialogues in the book, they happen between shiva and the many women when he was trying to shake their beliefs on adultery, which all three thought was a sin. With his immense knowledge on mythology and other topics he breaks the women’s beliefs that they can pursue relationship outside marriage especially when they are unhappy in their marriage. now this ‘the breaking the belief then seduce them’ is something that didn’t go down well with me.

I liked the debate stuff, few like the polygamy part where the author throws light at the time when polygamy actually started and the reason behind it and how people are misusing it now.

Akriti’s character was decent and dignified but her character timeline seemed incomplete, Shiva as a person was beyond my understanding.

I would rate the language and writing style be 3.5/5. This is entirely my opinion maybe others would like it. This is just my perspective of the book and not of the author. My opinion on the story comes from deep rooted beliefs and values in me, Having said that this book is courageous and brave in many ways.

The author’s take and knowledge on varied topics was very enlightening. It is always a privilege to read a fresh perspective.

Love-O-Meter : 3🌟

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review : The Heartfulness Way by Kamlesh Daaji and Joshua Pollock.

I got this book as part of “Writersmelon Book Review Program”.

“To meditate for the sake of receiving anything is against etiquette. The best attitude is one of love and gratitude, which develops over time as a result of our ever deepening contact with the source within.”

Publisher : Westland

Date : 16 Jan 2018

Book Length : 212

Buy : Amazon

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Table of contents

Why Heartfulness.
The seeker’s journey.
Demystifying Meditation.
  • Attitude.
  • Yogic Transmission.
Practising Heartfulness.
Meditation.
  • When and Where to meditate.
  • The meditative posture.
  • Relaxation.
  • How to Meditate.
  • How long to Meditate.
  • The Meditative State.
  • Cleaning.
  • Doing the Cleaning.
  • Prayer.
  • Connecting through Prayer.
  • The Heartfulness Prayer.
The Guru.
The Role of the Guru.

Review :

“Focus on the practice. Focus on the three elements of the Heartfulness practice : Meditation, Cleaning and Prayer. Practice is the most important thing because it is
through practice that everything else comes. Without practice there is no yoga. it is practice that leads to mastery of yoga, and mastery of yoga only means mastery of one’s own self.”

” Focus on the Practice”….

Meditation has been an integral part of my life from past few years, but there had been times when i wasn’t regular with it, its only 2 years back i started doing it seriously….seriously means everyday but still there have been gaps. Regularity and Practice was the thing i was lacking. Infact not doing Practice is the main hurdle for anyone who is trying to make meditation a habit. In that case the author have brilliant convincing skills because i am on it already.

for example, someone courts a romantic interest for years, but, eventually, the other person backs off. or you may expend a lot of time trying to build a business relationship, but it proves fruitless in the end. wouldn’t it have been better to understand the reality of these situations from the very start?. Meditation provides a level of insight that allows us to appreciate situations for what they actually are. This can save us years of time.

Therefore, meditation is an enormous timesaver. I would even say that the less time you have, the more vital meditation becomes. If you can meditate for even five minutes at a fixed time everyday, it will be of great benefit. So do meditate – especially when you don’t have enough time.

Now what is the effect of meditations in daily life..this has been covered extensively too but the one point that can explain it in short is It provides us with a level of insight that may actually help us to avoid many of the grave situations before it can even happen. Now that was a point worth noting down. so whenever i feel lazy and want to skip meditating for a day i just refer this. That is just enough for motivation.

Whoever has been doing meditation on their own will understand how much of doubt lingers in the mind on whether we are doing it correctly or not. Just like yoga, though not that strict, meditation does have a proper defined way of doing.

Being a book addict and an extreme introvert, a book or in that sense any book which would do the job of explaining how to do it was always in the back of my mind and in my Amazon’s wishlist. Fast forward to Writersmelon review program featuring this book and i immediately signed up praying that i would get it and TADAA i got it.

My first tryst with this particular branch of meditation “Heartfulness ” was in my workplace (there are many types of meditations from what i have read like one where we focus on breathing which i had been doing till now….mantra meditation etc etc). My college’s vice principal introduced it to us, she used to call us after work to do group meditation in her cabin, there were seminars, people who have been practicing heartfulness for 30-40 yrs were called for delivering lectures. so though i know the various steps in it, i didn’t knew the essence of it or the meaning of it. This book dissects each and every step bit by bit, part by part.

Its very imperative to know and understand the reason behind what you are doing and why you are doing giving you a confidence and self assurance that you are afterall doing it the right way.

In this book Kamlesh Daaji along with Joshua pollock answers every query you may have in your mind regarding heartfulness and that too with crystal clear clarity that even a novice will understand except for the patanjali sutras that may need more than one reading but make sure you read it thoroughly, as yoga is India’s find and for that matter meditation is part of our rich history.

Now the many things explained are…(I repeat..its brilliantly explained)

What is meditation?

What role does it play in your everyday life?

Is there any particular time or place you should meditate?

What is more important to meditate regularly or to meditate on the same time everyday?

What are sandhyas or conjunctions? What are the effects of meditating on sandhyas or conjunctions?

Why we do relaxation before starting meditation?

How can you create a meditative atmosphere?

Why posture is important?

What are patanjali sutras?

Why you should meditate with your eyes half open for a few more minutes after you are done with your meditation?

Why you shouldn’t drink water immediately after meditating?

How to handle a difficult experience in meditation?

What is cleaning?

What role does a guru play? is it necessary to have a guru?

Especially why do we meditate on “Divine light is in my heart”? … Now….perhaps this even i have been doing wrong..

It’s not a mantra that we repeat : “Divine light is in my heart, divine light is in my heart”. That would only disturb us. It would be artificial and effortful. Rather, the thought of divine light must disappear from our minds in order to give way to the actual experience of light in the heart. The object of meditation is something that we feel, not something to think about. People tend to misunderstand this. if you try to hold it as a conscious thought, you are only concentrating. That is not meditation.

That makes sense!!

The other thing that bothers everyone who ever did meditation is thoughts.. how to control our thoughts?..

The thoughts we have in meditation are like wine flowing out of its bottle. They have been inside us all along, even if we weren’t aware of their presence. we only become aware of them when we’re meditating and they start coming out. Thoughts come only to leave, you see. So let them come.

Sometimes, we experience really intense thoughts and emotions during meditation. They can be unsettling. The reason is that we tend to repress such thoughts and feelings in the normal course of lives. you have thoughts that you think are bad, and you say, “No, no, no!” and push them down into the recesses of your subconscious. That doesn’t get rid of them, though. They remain inside you, shading your experience and shaping your behavior in subtle ways. In meditation, such thoughts resurface. They are like the air bubbles that rush upward in a pot of boiling water. know that they are in the process of leaving you and pay them no mind.

I am always happy when someone complains of a turbulent meditation because it shows that they have released something that they were harbouring inside. So i think that we should refrain from judging our meditative experiences. What is far more significant is the way that you feel after your meditation is complete- not during. It is meditation’s long- term affects that we are really after.

I haven’t came across such an optimistic view on this before…things just got easier from here.

Why i have included paragraphs from the book is because that’s the only way to provide insight on the contents of the book besides i like quoting down paragraphs in my blog that way i will be able to refer it anytime i want, since i can’t carry my books everywhere with me but with my blog i can.

I thought of including more paragraphs but that would mean writing the whole book, which honestly i tried but i got tired and gave up and it is also against review policy😝 . I was lucky to have received a review copy atleast i could share a few insights with you.

Few more…

Meditation does not create anything at all. meditation reveals, that which is real, that which is authentic, that which is true. lies are created. untruth is created. reality can never be created – it is as it is.

Real meditation begins when you are no longer aware that you are meditating. it begins when you go beyond experience.

The truest form of gratitude is to make good use of what you receive.

when we are filled with tension and worries, we tend to deflect the higher help that comes through transmission. By relaxing ourselves, we accrue greater benefit.

Final Verdict :

Highly Recommended to anyone who needs help with meditations because this book has depth and is very convincing.. not just for heartfulness it is worth to read if you want answers on why, what and how of meditation.

Love – O – Meter : 5🌟

That is why we involve the heart in this process. The heart is the organ of feeling, after all. The attempt to think about divine light tends to get in the way of feeling it. It keeps us tied to the mental plane and prevents us from going deeper.