The Readers Cosmos is in the list of Top Indian Blogs since 2012!

My Book Shelf

Readers's books

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

Readers Cosmos's favorite books »

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book Review: Natasha Mehra Must Die by Anand Sivakumaran

Title: Natasha Mehra Must Die

Author: Anand Sivakumaran

Publisher: Fingerprint! Publishing

Genre: Fiction (Thriller)

Date:  2018

Price: INR 199

Pages: 216

Snapshot: This is a thriller where as the title suggests, every girl named Natasha Mehra is targeted and killed. Why? We only know as the book comes to a conclusion and that too an open ending as this is the first book of the series to follow.

The Review: The book begins with a Natasha Mehra, a girl in a western nation, getting killed, in what looks like a shootout by someone mentally imbalanced. Little does she know that it wasn't a random killing but she was targeted for her name "Natasha Mehra", justifying the title of the book. Sequentially we are introduced to different girls and women all of the same name, varied lives, being murdered. This is spotted by the central character, an outlier "Natasha Mehra", whose worst nightmares come true when her suspicion gets confirmed. She tries to then hatch a plot to combat this and save her life. However the powers are way above her, a clan "Kul" as old as humanity trying to put an end to all the "Natasha Mehra's" of the world. 

Why are "Natasha Mehra's" being targeted? Will our protagonist, one of them, be able to save the rest? Who is the "Kul" and what do they wish to accomplish from these killings? Read the book to know more.

To begin with the positives of the book, it is Anand Sivakumaran's writing style. The accuracy of a teenager's thoughts right at the beginning of the story gets the reader hooked. Further all a thriller needs is very crisp writing and he gives the reader just that. The book is fast paced and impossible to put down once you start.

The only negative I found was that there were spelling errors and one part of the plot I wish were different, however its just my personal choice as a reader. Someone else might enjoy it (not revealing it as that would be a huge spoiler). 

RC Rating: 4/5. Beware if you pick it up at night, you wont be able to sleep. I read it in one sitting. Eagerly waiting for part two. 

     About the Author:

Anand Sivakumaran has been telling stories since he was five. After passing out of IIT Bombay, he did stints in journalism, advertising, event management and youth marketing, before landing up in the entertainment business. His credits include films like Kalyug and Nazar and TV shows like The Buddy Project, Sadda Haq, Miley Jab Hum Tum, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Rishtey, Adhafull, etc. He has directed two films as well—Detour and Money Devo Bhava (awaiting release).

He currently runs CROCTALES, a creative shop that makes and runs web series, films and TV shows.
Anand also does live, interactive storytelling which involves making up stories on the spot in front of a live audience using their words. He also has a storytelling podcast—The Croc’s Tales—again telling stories using listener’s prompts.

Mumbai is his base in between exploring the world.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Invisible Ties by Nadya A.R

Title: Invisible Ties

Author: Nadya A.R.

Publisher: Rupa Publications Limited. 

Genre: Non-Fiction

Date:  2017

Price: INR 173

Pages: 272

This is the story of Noor's journey, a girl who is sensitive, intuitive and loves tales of the bygone era. Someone who craves extraordinary in the ordinary. 

The story begins as she finds herself facing the ghost of the man who took care of her the most, her driver, Uncle Joseph. Unable to reconcile with the events of the past to all this year's she follows him. As she walks down the memory lane, she is forced to relive those moments.

It then immediately shifts taking the reader to her childhood and upbringing. The writer spends time in character building here, detailing the events of her past which helps one paint a picture of her nature, relationships especially with her parents and her circumstances. An extraordinary circumstance shifts her life into taking a decision to marry a man through an arranged alliance. The rest of the story is about her journey in coming to terms with her life, understanding people around her and the relationships that thus form form her nature and understanding, justifying the title "invisible ties". There is one more relationship, with her mirror, the special companion and the only one she speaks through since her childhood, significance of which can be seen as it gains the central element on the cover of the book.

Coming to the positives of the book, the character of Noor is very relatable. A lonely child, a social butterfly mother and her only companion being an inanimate object. Also as she traverses through various events, crests and troughs in her journey of life, her true self evolves and it is this evolution with her changing life that was most intriguing to me as a reader. Giving more details about the story would be a spoiler in this case.

Further the author's choice of exquisite words to describe minute details of the surroundings makes it a delightful read for the seasoned reader, one in love with the written word. Coming to the negatives of the book, I felt the edits were abrupt at some places and the development of the other characters, their behaviour or reaction to the events unfolding seemed bizarre and out of the blue making it difficult for the reader to comprehend the proceedings. 
This should have been a book where the writer was allowed a free flow considering her flair for words, like that of Amitav Ghosh's book. 

Having said that this book is for a seasoned reader, someone who loves to savour not just the story but the words used to describe it, the subtle subtexts, complicated relationships and the descriptive historical stories it contains. If you are a Chetan Bhagat book lover this one isn't for you. 

RC rating: 3.5/5. Pick it up when you really missed reading and would love a story woven in beautiful words and history. Nadya A.R is certainly a brilliant writer in need of a great editor and publisher/ literary agent who would allow her the free flow and channelize it better. Will be waiting for more from her pen.

   About the Author:

Nadya A.R. began writing in her early twenties. She is a psychotherapist and regularly contributes articles related to psychotherapy and conducts workshops, seminars and talks, in Pakistan and Singapore. This is her second novel.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Sameness in a Consistent Change by Sujay Malik

Title: The Sameness in a Consistent Change

Author: Sujay Malik

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Genre: Fiction 

Date:  2018

Price: INR 49 

Pages: 42

This is the story of a very simple man Ramanuj, of humble beginnings, living in a small village. His dreams like all beings from the same background are humble. He is an emotional person who thinks a lot. Then one day circumstances lead him to Mr. Shrirangpure, the wealthiest man in town and his daughter Pallavi. Their kindness makes him indebted to them, while he feels for Pallavi an emotion he hasn't known before. He wants to now go above his humble beginning to be the extra-ordinary. To know what happens next, read the book.

This book is about emotions and perceptions. How some perceptions can decide everything in a persons life and impact him till the end. The story by the writer is a brilliant attempt, especially considering the philosophical aspect of the story. However this is only a short book, which fail to do justice to a lot character development and the voice that Ramanuj's musings needed, before they were concluded. The book should be a full length novel, and if it was so, the writer's philosophical take on "perceptions" would have made it a masterpiece.
I hope he re-writes it like that.

RC Rating: 3/5. A light read that would make you think.