Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Review by Shwetha H S

Imprint: Penguin India
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism
ISBN: 978067088485

Salman Rushdie is an author more famous for the fatwa issued against him for writing The Satanic Verses than for any of his books. Of course, his writing is good and his books are famous too, but there is always the comparison.

There is a millenia-old face-off between dead philosophers. They just can’t leave the world alone even after their death. Then there is the jinnia princess, Dunia, who gives birth to so many children of one of the philosophers that their offspring almost single-handedly populate the whole world. They are called Duniazat. In the present day scenario, when something eventful happens and all the progeny of Dunia start displaying magical powers that were unknown to them. Ifrits, that were banished from the earth, step into the human world again. It becomes a fight between the Duniazat and the Ifrits. But what is the role of the philosophers and Dunia here? For that, you need to read this book.

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a mesmerizingly beautiful story. It is as mesmerizing as a magical realism story should be. This is the first book of Salman Rushdie I had picked and I was not at all aware of his style of writing. In the beginning, the story bored me. But two chapters into it and it completely engrossed me. I was raving about the book everywhere. I still do. Don’t miss reading this book.

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Review by Shwetha H S

Imprint: Alfred A Knopf, USA
Genre: Non Fiction, Family, Memoir
ISBN: 9781524732721

Dani Shapiro is an author known more for her memoirs than her fiction works. Her other works are Hourglass, Family History and Playing With Fire among others.

I picked Inheritance without knowing what it is about. I don’t have the habit of reading about a book before reading the book itself. I didn’t check the book blurb and I am glad i didn’t. I usually avoid non fiction and I would have definitely dropped this book the moment my eyes glanced the blurb. I would have missed a fantastic life story.

Dani Shapiro, the author, is a Jew, or that is what she was taught until a DNA test reveals that she is not related to her only half sister from father’s side. This DNA test sets a lot in motion for Dani and her husband. They reach out to a lot of people to find answers for the questions that she had never thought she would be faced. She tries to get answers not only from her biological father but also from her dead parents, her social father. She herself is old. How old would be her biological father? Would he accept her? What were her parents thinking? Why did they not tell her about her origins even after she grew up? Is she still her social father’s daughter or now of biological father’s?

Inheritance is no lesser than a thriller. Only difference is it is Dani Shapiro’s real life story. She still continues to write. I looked up Dani Shapiro on Google after reading the book completely. She looks the way I imagined her while reading the book. Every person struggling with identity crisis must read this book. It is a must read for everyone.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Illustrated by Alice Pattullo)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Illustrated by Alice Pattullo)

Review by Shwetha H S

Genre: Classic, Drama, Illustrated version
ISBN: 978163159076
Imprint: Rockport Publishers, USA.

To read about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and its graphic novel version, click here. To get a review of the illustrated version by Alice Pattullo with Rockport Publishers, read on.

To misinterpret a classic is one thing and to ruin the enjoyment of a classic is another. And Rockport Publishers have succeeded in ruining the pleasure of reading this illustrated version of theirs by gaudy illustrations by Alice Pattullo and horrible editing and spelling mistakes. Did the publishers not have an in-house editor or could they not hire one? Here is a list, but non exhaustive, of mistakes that can easily be found in the book:

  • Keep keep instead of keep
  • Me instead of my
  • Combinationa
  • Coining instead of coming
  • Ouly instead of only

Don’t waste your money on this illustrated version of Pride and Prejudice. The illustrations will haunt you. Not worth feeling bad about a classic as great as this work by Jane Austen.

Secrets of Zynpagua - Search of Soulmates by Ilika Ranjan

Secrets of Zynpagua: Search of Soulmates by Ilika Ranjan (Secrets of Zynpagua #2)

Review by Shwetha H S

Genre: Children, Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction.
Imprint: Partridge India
ISBN: 9781482886672

Secrets of Zynpagua: Search of Soulmates is the second book in the Secrets of Zynpagua series by Ilika Ranjan. The first book, Secrets of Zynpagua: Return of the Princess, garnered great reviews and the third book, Secrets of Zynpagua: Birth of Mystery Child, is out now and is up for grabs. Ilika Ranjan is not only a children’s book author. Her first book was a fiction about corporate life called “Puppet on the Fast Track.”

Search of Soulmates starts with Anika, the princess of Zynpagua, getting a premonition that Zynpagua is going to be under a threat again soon. Her premonition turns true when Drudan, the evil scientist, returns with the support of magic of a mermaid to rule of Zynpagua and also rule over the Earth. The demon planets help the evil to reduce the goodness blessed by the good planets and everything falls into place for Drudan and his mermaid. But Anika, with the equipped with the teachings of Venus, fights Drudan, mermaid and their army of evil people and disgusting sea worms, with the support of her mother Sussaina, brother Vivian, Lady Carol – the queen of kingdom of clouds, her grandson Leo, a snake Romeo and a tortoise Mootu along with a flock of magical rainbow birds and peregrine falcons. Femina, who was turned into stone, comes back to life thanks to Anika’s uncle Frederick. To know how an eleven year old princess Anika fights evil, how Femina comes to life and whether they win or lose, read Secrets of Zynpagua: Search of Soulmates.

Secrets of Zynpagua: Search of Soulmates is a good sequel to the first book, but needs heavy editing to be done. Apart from that, the story is good enough to cater to children’s imagination. It is a good progress in the Indian scenario for children’s books. It is also an attempt to have both religion and science in one place. Children will definitely enjoy this second book in the series.

Cape May by Holly Caster

Cape May by Holly Caster

Review by Shwetha H S

When we hear about a love story, we usually think it must be of another romance novel with young beautiful people. We are so used to them that we never think that even older people can have love life. We seldom come across love stories which have senior citizens as protagonists. Luckily we have Cape May by Holly Caster. Absolutely no young or teenage characters in this book. Also this story has very few characters, so that you don’t get confused with one another.

So, what is the story about? It is about an elderly woman, Joanna Matthews, who is about to turn sixty and is not happy with her life. She has a steady job and a loving and supportive husband, Brian, but she feels unaccomplished. She plans on quitting her job to start a bed and breakfast, so she goes to Cape May in search of a good property to go ahead with her plan. Her normal and in-control life turns upside down when she meets Michael. What happens next? I am not telling any more.

Cape May is not your usual love story with raging hormones, raunchy making outs and mindless sex. This shows you what goes on in the lives of older people, the issues they face and their problems. You won’t feel even a little bit uneasy while reading this novel. You will fall in love with one of the characters for sure.

The 3 U-Turns of My Life by Jitendra Gianchandani

Review by Shwetha H S

First of all, the title reminds you of Chetan Bhagat’s 3 Mistakes of My Life. You might put this book down even before picking up, if you don’t turn it around and read its catchy description. With a simple and meaningful design, this book is easy to miss if you go by the cover. As this book says, it is all about Chartered Accountant versus Master of Business Administration.

All the characters in this story are close to real life. The author, Jitendra Gianchandani, shows the struggle of middle class families through the protagonist, Manav Modi. He has a friend, Deepak Mehra, to provoke him enough to reach his goals and the love interest, Urvashi Doshi, to support him all along. This is a typical story of good winning over evil with lots of twists and 3 U-turns.

At the first U-turn, I was getting a feeling that I am watching another version of Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal’s OMG! Oh My God! At the second U-turn, it was obvious that Manav would win. At the third U-turn, heights of cliché. Author could have made the earthquake itself as one of the U-turns just to make the story different from other Bollywood masala flicks. Did I say earthquake? Yes, that is one more thing common with Chetan Bhagat’s 3 Mistakes of My Life.

Narration is humorous and is in first person. It does manage to make the reader laugh and by that I mean not laugh at it. The author knows what he is writing about and there is no confusion in the storyline. This story will not bore you for sure. Now that I have told you that Manav would win, go ahead and read this story to find out whether he is a Chartered Accountant or a Master of Business Administration.