Tag Archives: life

Book Review of Kiss That Frog by Brian Tracy & Christina Tracy Stein

For a person like me, shaken up by reality of people around, this book came as a much needed burst of positivity at the most crucial stage of my life.

KTF

The book highlights seven truths about us that we probably did not pay attention to. As humans, our conditioning is such that a negative thought, or feeling, pops us more often than not, instead of a positive one.

The books helps us introspect our natural state. And it is not the one that reflects sadness. It the happy state that we are born with.

The authors show us ways to unlock our potential, knowing that we are the best in all that we do, forgiving people and forgiving ourselves to unblock all channels in our mind that have hampered our progress.

Not all frogs are negative. We encounter them or meet them as a part of the bigger plan. We must have the belief and faith that there is a valid reason for them being in our life.

And as for the negative frogs, we have to be aware and alert enough to eliminate them from our life.

A Must Read!

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Maintaining A Reading Log Or A Book Journal

 

A reading log (or a book journal) is a great way of keeping a track of what you have read, or are and will be reading. And truth be told, not many of us make or maintain a reading log.

It is in fact good practice that helps you record your reactions to a book, and its characters. You can note your thoughts and gain further insight about the theme, the plot, the appeal and even its relevance. This will help you expand your overall enjoyment of reading and going back to a book you liked.

You will notice that towards the end of it all, you will turn in to a good reviewer of a book and a keen observer of things around.

 

 

Here are a few ideas/questions to get you started:

 

1.    After reading the first couple of chapters, pen down your thoughts. See if they change as you proceed and reach the mid-way. And how you feel towards the end of the book. Would you go back to the book again or tag it as a one-time read? Also note any emotions that the book managed to invoke in you: smile, laughter, anger, worry, concern, tears?
2.    Did you connect with the story line, or the characters, or the ideation at all? Could you draw a parallel with your life while reading it? Did the book remind you of any aspect of your life or an incident you (or someone you know) have undergone? Or did the book remind you of any other book you’ve read in the past? Was there any unique idea that made you think on different lines?
3.    If you connected with any of the characters, who? Why? How? What did you find most appealing? Or given a chance would you become any of the characters? Who? Why?
4.    If you’d have written the story, what would you do differently? Would you change its title, or any of its characters, or altered any bit of the story or location?
5.    Do you have any apprehensions about any part of the book or any of its characters?

6.    Does the book provoke you to ask questions of any sort? What kind of questions would they be? Are they questions about the author or the characters or the ideation?
7.    If you could ask the author questions based on the book, would you? Or would you be inclined to read about the author itself, to maybe give you an insight to his world (his upbringing, his works, his ideologies)?

8.    Were you confused at any point while reading the book? Was there any situation that you did not understand or comprehend or you felt was out of place? Did that affect your reading or thoughts about the book and the author at any point?
9.    Note down your favorite part of the book, and your favorite quote by a character. What was it about them that appealed to you?
10.    Was reading the book a learning experience? If yes, what did the book teach you?
11.    Would you cheer for the book, and recommend it to others?
12.    Did you like the author’s style of writing? Would you read more from his collection? Why or why not?

 

Recording all the above will in a way help you review the book better. It will broaden your thought process, your evaluation power and of course help you explore different genres of books and authors.

You may follow the same practice while reading poetry and plays and other works of literature.

This will also help you read autobiographies, journals, or diaries of renowned authors, about their reading experience. You may also be able to compare your thoughts with theirs.

To conclude, maintaining a book journal or a reading log is a good practice. If you include a list of books that you wish to read in a particular month or year, the log will help you remember and attain your target too.

Let’s not forget, it will give you a good practice of expressing yourself, which in turn may help hone your writing skills. So, go get started tiger! It’s time to pen your thoughts.

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To Date Or Not To Date

There was a blog by Rosemarie Urquico on “Date a girl who reads” that created ripples. That was a response to Charles Warnke’s “You should date an illiterate girl”.

 

Since I was almost facing a “writer’s block” and couldn’t think of a blog idea, I thought, why not jot points for people who wish to date. So we can take a look at pros and cons of dating people who are well read, vs. others who disregard books.

Let’s begin with the cons. (No, I’m not a pessimist. I just want the negative out of the way.)
•    A person who loves to read and write would know just too well when you are lying.

•    They would be your grammar police when you least expect them to be.

•    They would be more crazier than you –speaking like Shakespeare, imagining likeRowling, reciting like Keats, talking about Gainman and what have you!

•    They will be master storytellers telling you off. They would have their expectations running high –thanks to all romantic/mystery novels they would’ve gulped by now.

•    They would be gaining more limelight, than you, amongst your peers. And sometimes more weight, sitting around with books as their sole companions.

•    They might, sometimes, be too engrossed in a book to pay attention to you. And sometimes they might end up paying more attention to details than expected.

•    They might lose their cool and snap at you, just because the protagonist behaved like an ……..
And now for the pros:

•    Cost

One of the most important of all factors. (Yes, let’s be practical.) Dating a person who reads implies an inexpensive affair. Books nowadays do cost a lot. Unless they are from some of the Indian publishers who save on the paper quality and offer books for like a mere Rs. 100!
Getting him/her a library card would go easy on your mind and pocket. And also relieve you of thinking, “What should I gift him/her now!?”
Dating a person who does not read implies there is greater cost involved. Imagine the kind of shopping some people indulge in – guys and their electronic gadgets; and girls with their (bare) clothing. Oh this is much more expensive!!!

 

•    Conversation abilities

Hands down I think a well read person can engage you in intellectual conversation, over a person who absolutely scorns books and newspapers. A well read person adds value to your knowledge bank. He/she can help you spin fantastic stories, and dwell in a world of goblins and fairies when you need some cheering.

•    Personality
A person who reads would be wise. (Let’s just say so for conversation sake.) He/she would be more composed and mannered than a person who doesn’t. He/she will understand that failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. A sequel can be written and life will move on. Success will follow. After all, you are the lead of your life story.

•    World of fantasy
There can be so much to talk about, so much to imagine, so much to fantasize about, with a person who reads, (and reads good stuff) over a person who can’t even make decent stories to save his/her life.

•    Priorities
Well…at times his/her books would gain priority over you. But it’s better than indulging in mindless banter with a person who knows not much. True you will be given all the attention and pampering by a person who doesn’t care much for books, but is that of any value when there is no growth, individually or together. If you crave for intellectual challenges, be prepared to not indulge in any with the person who cares not for the written word.

•     Simple living. High thinking.
Apart from the fact that this is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, it is quite relevant in life. The person gobbles up words like a hungry reader is sure to find pleasures in simple things in life. A flower, the rainbow, the first drop of rain, a butterfly, a coloring book, colors, stationary, anything that brings in a smile instantly without any effort. He/she would inspire you more than life itself, someday!

 

•    Life

Life will no longer be bland with a person who reads. Imagine adventures, treasure hunts, fantasy world stories. You might end up having weird (in a nice way) kids with weirder tastes and observation powers. Growing old with that person would be so much easier and fun. It’s true when they say, marry a person who you can talk to, because when you are old, it’s only good conversations that keep you going. He/she would recite KeatsWordsworthShakespeare,WhitmanWilde with much ease when you wish to hear a few words of love.

•    Other factors
It’s better to have you partner check out books than check out other people when with you. And who doesn’t make mistakes? We all are human after all. At least you can expect a well-worded apology in case you partner goofs up at some place.

All the places that you cannot afford to visit can be imagined and improvised in the company of a partner who utilizes his/her creative abilities to the hilt. He/she will lend you a listening ear. Always. Because, he/she knows how to give someone their undivided concentration.

He/she would know when to get serious and when not. He/she would appreciate your passion just like their’s.

So you see…there are too many pros of dating a well-read person. So go ahead, find yourself a…

good book and begin reading. NOW!

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Book Review of “Jab Se You Have Loved Me” By S R Saha


The book titled “Jab se You have Loved Me” by S R Saha is quite silly I must say.

The backdrop of IIT Madras will remind you of the umpteen other novels based on college campus love and drama.

Atin, the protagonist is a student of IIT Madras. He is a mediocre student and ends up selling cheap Chinese gadgets (after graduating) for a living, in Kolkatta.

He falls in love with a pretty dame named Ujani, a graduate in Bio-Sciences, who ends up working as an airhostess.

Atin’s gang comprises Luv, Iqbal, Russell Raj, and Rumia. Luv starts off to be a CA but ends up working for a stock broker. Iqbal is a Philosophy graduate but now runs a shop. Russel Raj has a Ph.D from an American University but is unemployed. Rumia is a fine electrical engineer but her sad childhood haunts her.

How their life shapes up is supposed to be one story. But I hardly found it.

There seems no concrete flow. It reads like certain humorous incidents penned together to make the readers laugh at some odd places. That too looks forced and lame at places.

The timeline is a major problem with the author I feel. At one point he mentions that Caller IDs were new gadgets in the Indian market and at another point he reveals that Obama is the US President. Dude! What is going on?!?

There’s major confusion. How does he get the new offer letter? How did the riots suddenly happen? And in the three days of him being unconscious, his aunt has already re-married and Luv kinda goes missing. WOW! That’s fast.

Oh, and this hero manages to convince the Americans to use water instead of toilet paper. Yeah sure! Something that hasn’t happened in like a thousand years, our hero does it in one meeting!

There are quite many popular brands mentioned in the book. And I see no logical point to those. I mean really! It is quite filmy and flimsy.

Overall, the incidents are worth reading only for the bit of laughter they bring in. No real story. No real plot. (And by real I don’t mean- real life- I mean no good stuff happening here.)

Btw- bad quality paper and sad cover design too.

Though I got it for a reasonable price, it hurt to spend money on “this”.

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Book Review of “For One More Day” By Mitch Albom

For One More Day

By Mitch Albom

This one is a short and easy read. The main character (Chick Benetto) is a former baseball player, who tries to commit suicide but ends up waking up in a different world – somewhere between life and death. And he gets to spend one more day with his dead mother (who, btw, died eight years ago).

Good for a one time read, this is a story of redemption and how Chick strives to face the ghosts of his life. I could trace a link to Mitch’s previous book – The Five People You Meet In Heaven. The plot might strike as a bit different, but holds a similar feel as his previous novella. The grudges that he holds, the pain he endures, the guilt that engulfs him…all die out and he comes to peace with himself. A decently inspirational read amalgamating love, family,relationships, mistakes and forgiveness.
Pretty well written for a not so ground breaking plot. It keeps you hooked on till the very end with definite emotional moments.

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