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A Love Life so Painful
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Those enchanted four and half years
One and a Half Wife
The Bankster
Love You Forever : Only In That Way
Nine Lives
The Mistress of Spices
The Fortune Hunters
I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
The Krishna Key
Mumbaistan: 3 Explosive Crime Thrillers
Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
Dreams in Prussian Blue

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

5 Ancient Principles of Leadership by Jack Myrick

Title: 5 Ancient Principles of Leadership
Author: Jack Myrick
Category:Self Help
Publisher:Jaico Publishing House
Date:  2006
Price: Rs.199
Source of the Copy: Publisher
Snapshot: This a small, 96 pages book that teaches one the principles of leadership through a beautiful story. Unlike many books in this category this one is so far the best and the coolest way to imbibe these principles into daily life.

The Story: Jack Myrick clearly lays out 5 principles of leadership in the form of a story. There is a young man Marcus who is trying to build a ship. His project has a great scope as the shipping business is taking up but he has problems which most start ups have, hiring young talent and retaining them. He gets men who work lazily and few in number. The rate at which he works, though hard he cannot achieve his goal on time. This worries him every minute. Sensing his troubles his wife suggests the best solution, fellow the success mantra. Go to the person who has been there and done that. So he goes with a little hesitation and great need to the wealthiest ship maker in town Barnabas. He is a wise old man, who teaches him one principle a week. The agreement his the young man has to practice that principle for an entire week and once he is successful in imbibing it , he shall be taught the next one. Also at the end of the lesson Barnabas may ask anything from Marcus and that has to be given to him. Marcus agrees for he has a little choice given his condition. So they begin and Barnabas's lessons really work. They transform everything around Marcus, his staff is more motivated, hence works better, more men want to work with him, this makes Marcus more happy, etc. For what these lessons are and how they can change your life do read the book.

Positives: The best book on Leadership ever. I myself have been a leader to many teams for B-plan competitions, cultural events and face the same issues, especially people management. This story is what I think of everyday I wake up. As the book says practice one principle each week and then start all over again from the first one and do it all your life.

Negatives: None

The Verdict: Best book on leadership ever!!! Jack Myrick is not just a great teacher but an amazing story teller. Also an advise to the reader who is just going to go and grab a copy, when you do do, gift one to your best friend who might make good use of it, I just did the same after reading it; as the book says these principles are to be taught to the next best man you find. 5 stars on 5!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Age of Hiblisk by Sumukh Naik

Title: Age of Hiblisk
Author: Sumukh Naik
Category: Fantasy Fiction
Publisher: APK Publishers
Date:  2012
Price: Rs.295
Source of the Copy: Author

 Snapshot: This is one of those fantasy fiction stories you always heard about as a child, kingdoms, dark forces, good versus bad, etc.

The Review In Detail:  The story begins with the sudden turning of trees of the Himra forest into black. The citizens of Zyren worry and send 4 volunteers to search for the cause. Three of them die mysterious deaths while one gets insane and is found by a certain search party. He speaks an undecipherable language that even the Shaman of the village cannot decipher. This world has 11 masters, the protectors of goodness. The Shaman gets in touch with his master (one of the 11) and shows him the script that appeared as warning on the prayer chamber walls., which worries the master who calls for a meet with the other masters.

On the other hand the evil that lurks the Himra forest spreads to the villages attached to it. One of them is the village of Jaguar, a messenger Oragon travels to the Kings palace to inform him. He however finds only the prince, William who decides to help the man and the people. He therefore marches with soldiers to Jaguar but is attacked by the army of neighboring kingdom of Ivory. Meanwhile the masters meet and the supreme most eleventh master decides to take these serious matters into his own hands. He believes the evil lies in the Ivory lands and he is right. Its Dushtt the Kings minister, who truly is the son of Ratraa - the lord of darkness. He helps prince William escape and along with Sara the kind hearted daughter of Kingdom of Ivory, sets forth to the underworld to meet Ratraa. The story that unfolds hereafter- well read the book for that.

The author has written the first part of the story relatively well. So I was immediately hooked to it the day I received it.  Ofcourse I am judging this by writing standards of young authors published by new publishers. However, as I went a few chapters into the story there were some great editing flaws apart from the general spelling and grammatical errors that it felt like a huge task completing the story. I did it only because the author has requested a genuine review personally. A few of them are:

1. Repetition of words in consecutive lines.

2. Description of nature is repetitive and un-interesting (reading Kiran Desai's books can help here).

3. The names of character and places  - some of them are in Hindi some in English (though essentially it doesnt matter but the deviation towards one side is a better idea).

4.The place where the author describes the alien language he could have been more innovative and invented one like J.K. Rowling or could have got some ideas from ancient languages and used them. It really engages the reader when ones brain gets these challenges. A very important tactic used by Dan Brown and Ashwin Sanghi. This would have raised the level of the book, immensely.

The story is good however as I said before the author should have got professional editing done and this manuscript would have turned out very well.

The Verdict:
 Positives:  A good story from a debuetant. However the author does need polishing of his writing skills to aid his good story telling ability and professional editing certainly.

Negatives: Edit edit edit.  A debut novel should be crisp and this could have comfortably been a crisp 250 page novel rather than 400 pages.

Overall: 2 stars on 5.

About the Author
Sumukh Naik
is a Hotel Management graduate(BSc. Hospitality and hotel Administration) from IHM-Goa. He also holds Diploma in IATAand PGDBA. He is Human Resources Professional and stays in Mumbai.