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Book Review: The Sita Chronicles, Red Sapphire by Ashley Mayers

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Sita Chronicles, Red Sapphire by Ashley Mayers

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology Fiction
Book Name: Red Sapphire
The Sita Chronicles, #1
Author: Ashley Mayers
Pages: 434
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Grass Roof Publishing

Ok, so let’s do a book review of the first book of the series The Sita ChroniclesRed Sapphire. But first, let me start with how I got hold of this book in the first place. So, someone in my Facebook reading group shared the link of this series available free of cost at Amazon Kindle version. And since I had just got my new Kindle few days back and was loading whatever book I got, I saved this too. Funny, right?

However, what mainly attracted me to start reading this particular series was that it’s based on Sita from Ramayana. Having previously read The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakarni based on Draupadi’s character, I was ready to explore another story with a mythological female at the cusp. To be duly noted is the fact that Red Sapphire is a fictionalized version set in modern times but interlinked with Ramayana at the core. All main characters that you have heard of, are all present here in one form or another.

Now, to talk about the book. It is brilliantly written if you can simply ignore the excruciatingly slow start and a rushed end. A crisper editing was definitely required to cut a few pages in between. But somehow I liked the book – the characterisation of everyone and the parallels it drew from the characters we had grown up reading, rather watching every Sunday morning on DD1 – Sita, Ram, Hanuman, Ravan, Shurpanakha and the traitor Vibhishana. Hoping that the flaws are mitigated in the next book – Violet Sapphire.

Totally recommended! Keep watching my blog for reviews of other books in this series. Enjoy and happy reading!

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
The young, timid dreamer, Supriya Rutherford Ramachandran, always wondered what happened to her father and her grandmother when they disappeared without a trace just weeks before she was born. But, when she discovers a hidden box of letters in the attic of her family’s San Francisco Victorian, she quickly realizes that perhaps, she rather would not know. As Supriya uncovers a dark family secret, a surprising supernatural identity, and a frightening cache of uncontrollable power destined for her, a diverse otherworldly ensemble must help her overcome incredible odds to master the burden of her new self-awareness while the fate of all humankind rests precariously in her hands.

A captivating saga featuring interwoven stories across generations, cultures and continents, Red Sapphire pays homage to its roots in the beloved Indian epic, The Ramayana, with an enchantingly vivid and unabashedly global tale. As key figures from the ancient Hindu pantheon join modern counterparts in present-day San Francisco and WWII India, Red Sapphire brings together a delightfully complex counterpoint of thrilling arcs into an emotional narrative punctuated by mesmerizing imagery, philosophical dilemmas, and tender human stories.

Red Sapphire is the first book of the seven book series The Sita Chronicles.

About the author:
Ashley Mayers graduated with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University. Since then, she has used every opportunity to travel the world, from working on an archaeology dig in Sicily to working for Google as a regional trainer in Asia, based in India and Singapore. Throughout her travels she was inspired by the beautiful diversity of Southeast Asia, and she is happy to be able to combine many years of vivid cultural experiences with her humanities education and her love of fantasy literature to create The Sita Chronicles. She now lives in San Francisco.

Email: SitaChronicles@grassroofpublishing.com

Rating: 8/10

 

Book Review: Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit
Book Name: Can You Keep a Secret
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Pages: 372
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback

I think I have already got an overdose of Sophie Kinsella’s books after having completed four of them in a month’s time. This is going to be a negative book review in particular since the author has a penchant for writing books under similar genre. I had loved reading Mills and Boons back to back during college days, but oh those were the days. And I am here blabbering and not giving this book it’s due – a book review rather than my life story on this blog post.

Can you keep a Secret is all that I hate in a rom-com where the boss is in love with a reportee who is none too brilliant or exceptional and who is even callous and careless so many times. So what if the female spilled all her secrets to her boss, who is then unknown to her! Although yes, I do agree that one shouldn’t share secrets with everyone around especially when you don’t know what you are getting into, for example the other person can be a real liar, cheater, blackmailer, and what not!

Read the book just for the silly lovey-dovey tidbits, if you think you have not yet grown out of those silly nuances till now.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Nervous flyer Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So, naturally enough, she starts telling the man sitting next to her – quite a dishy American, but she’s too frightened to notice – all her secrets. How she scans the backs of intellectual books and pretends she’s read them. How she’s not sure if she has a G-spot, and whether her boyfriend could find it anyway. How she feels like a fraud at work – everyone uses the word ‘operational’ all the time but she hasn’t a clue what it means. How she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. If ever there was a bare soul, it’s hers.

She survives the flight, of course, and the next morning the famous founding boss of the whole mega corporation she works for is coming for a look at the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma looks up and realises…

It’s the man from the plane.

What will he do with her secrets? He knows them all – but she doesn’t know a single one of his. Or… does she?

About the author:
Madeleine Wickham is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Twitter: @KinsellaSophie
Facebook: @SophieKinsellaOfficial
Website: sophiekinsella.co.uk

Rating: 5/10

Read reviews of Sophie Kinsella’s other books on this blog – My not so Perfect LifeCocktails for Three, Finding Audrey and The Undomestic Goddess.

Book Review: My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit
Book Name: My not so Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Pages: 438
Publication Year: 2017
Publisher: Bantam Press

Bright the sun
Fresh the air
Bright should be the mood
Around the year

Sophie Kinsella’s books have always reminded me of the above poem. When I had first read one of her books a few years back – the first of Shopoholic series, I was totally hooked to such simplistic writing. Especially, when simplistic writing is not so easy and many writers have floundered there.

Another of Sophie Kinsella’s book that I picked up today and I was surprised finding that it is not her typical book. I mean, the main protagonist Katie/Cat does have something substantial to do rather than just romancing around. I will tell you what this book reminded me of – The Devil Wears Prada. However, like Sophie’s books, this too had a happy ending unlike the other book which of course was more realistic.

Not recommended, if you are just looking for a light read. But yes, read it to vent anger thinking about your evil boss or any other person that you hate since the book has a few moments where you can picturize that hated character in real shit. Hope I did not give much of a spoiler away that the book blurb hadn’t already mentioned. Enjoy!

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

About the author:
Madeleine Wickham is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Twitter: @KinsellaSophie
Facebook: @SophieKinsellaOfficial
Website: sophiekinsella.co.uk

Rating: 6/10

Read reviews of Sophie Kinsella’s other books on this blog – Cocktails for Three, Can You Keep a SecretFinding Audrey and The Undomestic Goddess.

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Young Adult
Book Name: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Pages: 286
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Sophie Kinsella’s books have always reminded me of the above poem. When I had first read one of her books a few years back – the first of Shopoholic series, I was totally hooked to such simplistic writing. Especially, when simplistic writing is not so easy and many writers have floundered there. I again picked one of her books today – Finding Audrey and found the first few pages absolutely delightful where the mom is crazy and ready to throw her son’s desktop from the window. Totally laughable! And then enters Audrey, and from there, the story goes downhill.

The book had its cute lovey-dovey moments. But these were dwarfed by typical characterization of a family – workaholic dad who never listens to his wife, anxious mother who has her own notions of career that her kids should have, rebellious teenager son obsessed with gaming, mentally ill daughter and a laughing kiddo. In between, I had a feeling that hey, this is an Indian family being described.

Of course, there are people who have liked this book. In fact, this one was recommended to me by my colleague who shared her book. However, for me, it was a tale very loosely framed where the reason for mental illness (the accident which changed it all) is never stated and the story-line very superficial. The writing in this book, is more like Audrey’s diary entry. It reminded me of my badly worded, self-obsessed diary entries I used to make at one point in time.

Read this just for timepass and nothing more.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

About the author:
Madeleine Wickham is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Twitter: @KinsellaSophie
Facebook: @SophieKinsellaOfficial
Website: sophiekinsella.co.uk

Rating: 6/10

Read reviews of Sophie Kinsella’s other books on this blog – Cocktails for Three and The Undomestic Goddess.

Book Review: A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

Genre: Chick Lit
Book Name: A Place Called Here
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Pages: 485
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Harper Collins

What happens when you have heard praises about a particular book, especially from one of your literary intellectual friends who usually reads non-fiction but still recommends a fiction to a fiction-lover like me? It definitely raises very high expectations. That is what happened with A Place Called Here, where reading the first  few pages, I was irritated with what the protagonist wanted to achieve by searching where all lost things or people for that matter are. Oh, by the way, my friend gifted this book to me along with two surprisingly beautiful bookmarks. Imagine my grin from ear to ear!

The book in itself is good, and the story is of a magical world. It picks up the tempo (yes, you got it right) after first few pages when Sandy Shortt herself gets lost. One quote that I truly loved in the book is the line said by Sandy to Jack during their conversation about a missing person – “I can only assume that there’s only one thing more frustrating than not being able to find someone, and that’s not being found. I would want someone to find me, more than anything.” In our realistic world, this points remarkably to find oneself and at least one person to help one find themselves. And that things will keep on getting lost and people will suddenly vanish from your life, with their memories slowly fading away, but it’s important to keep your sanity together and be with the ones who love you currently.

The book reminded me of a TV series I had watched once “Once upon a time”. However, probably it being a TV series and not confined to a limited number of pages, linked together why a particular town was cut off from rest of the world and how people from outside world knew nothing about that magical place. Here, in the book, the story had too many loose ends. Hoping that there is going to be a sequel to plug in the gaps.

But for the romantic (not only the love kinds, but who wishes magical world to exist), do give this book a try! I liked the book somehow, so I am probably still a romantic, good or bad, let’s leave it for you to decide!

Book blurb:
Ever wondered where lost things go?

Ever since the day her classmate vanished, Sandy Shortt has been haunted by what happens when something – or someone – disappears. Finding has become her goal.

Jack Ruttle is desperate to find his younger brother who vanished into thin air a year ago. He spots an ad for Sandy’s missing persons agency and is certain that she will answer his prayers and find his brother.

But then Sandy disappears too, stumbling upon a place that is a world away from the only one she has ever known. Now all she wants, more than anything, is to find her way home.

About the author:
Before embarking on her writing career, Cecelia Ahern studied Journalism at university. Her first novel, PS, I Love You, became an instant international bestseller and was adapted into a major movie. Her subsequent novels have also all been bestsellers. When she’s not busy writing novels, Cecelia also writes for TV and the stage. Her books are published in 46 countries and have sold over 13 million copies. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Twitter: @Cecelia_Ahern
Website: cecelia-ahern.com

Rating: 7/10

Book Review: Wonder by R.J.Palacio

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Wonder by R.J.Palacio

Genre: Young Adult, Children Book
Book Name: Wonder
Author: R.J.Palacio
Pages: 316
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Knopf

Have you seen a movie trailer and it seemed so promising that even when it was 10pm in the night (oh by the way, I sleep at 10:30pm daily), you got an intense urge to get the book on which the movie is based on? I am referring to the trailer of a yet-to-be-released movie Wonder starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. Do watch it! But even better, read this book. I was so impressed with the storyline and narration that if given a choice, I would have given this book a rating of more than ten on a scale of ten. The book does not have any flowery writing to make reading complicated, the storyline is just perfect and has a simple message to not make others so conscious of anything that they themselves do not have control on. And oh, I am eagerly waiting to see the movie adaptation as well.

The story is of Auggie and the people around him for whom Auggie is the Sun and others are the planets which revolve around him. Still, the book explores each and every character aptly. The best part is that this is not a book of only one person, but of others too who come into contact with him. A rare masterpiece and a debut book at that, which binds the threads and prints of the book so masterfully! It is a book which teaches its readers too a lesson or two in empathy and behavioral aesthetics.

The book is a must read for children and adults like. The quotes mentioned in the book are amazing as well, for example: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind”, “Why blend in when you were born to stand out” or “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

Post completing this book, I am on the lookout of similar books. Have any suggestions? Please share in the comments below.

Book blurb:
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” –indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

#1 New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Time Magazine‘s 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time
New York Times Book Review Notable Book
Washington Post Best Kids’ Book

About the author:
R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. Since then, she has written several books – Auggie & Me (combined The Julian Chapter, Pluto: A Wonder Story, and Shingaling: A Wonder Story), 365 Days of Wonder, and We’re All Wonders.

Raquel J. Palacio / R. J. Palacio is a pseudonym of: Raquel Jaramillo.

Twitter: @rjpalacio
Website: rjpalacio.com
Email: rjpalaciowebmail@gmail.com

Rating: 10/10

Book Review: Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Genre: Chick Lit, Humor
Book Name: Everyone Worth Knowing
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Pages: 370
Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Harper Collins

When you get hold of a book which has two novels combined and enjoy reading the first one, what will you do next? It’s the same author, so of course, one knows what to expect next. So simply, we continue reading the second story too. That’s what happened when I started reading a twin book – The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing.

A chick-lit through and through, the book has plenty of pages just to bury yourself in after a hectic day in office to unwind. The protagonist hates her banking job, resigns at the spur of the moment, takes up another job in a different vertical altogether and does a fabulous job. Oh, how we all aspire to do the same! But mostly, people just do an MBA to switch career line these days.

However, the characters in this book seem more relatable to our world as compared with The Devil Wears Prada – be it the childhood friendship growing apart with focus on their respective lives, career orientation, office politics, difficult relationships, the one-true-love (laughable) and need to be famous (acknowledged). Think of the book as a light read with not too much drama and you may not be disappointed. Haven’t we all indulged in too-much chocolatey flavor once in a while, even though you know it’s not that good for our health? This book is exactly that. Enjoy!

Book blurb:
Bette gets paid to party.

And she can hardly believe her luck. Running with celebs, gaining VIP access to Manhattan’s hottest clubs and meeting ‘everyone worth knowing’ is a million miles away from her old banking job.

When she turns up in the gossip columns with a notorious British playboy, it delights her publicity-mad new boss. But her family and her friends want to know what happened to the girl who loved bad novels, 80’s music and always had time for them.

Can Bette say goodbye to the glamour and the Gucci and step back into the real world? And where will she find her own prince charming?

About the author:
Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. It was announced in 2017 that musician Elton John and Paul Rudnick will adapt The Devil Wears Prada for the stage. Weisberger’s four other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston, Last Night at Chateau MarmontRevenge Wears Prada and The Single’s Game, were all top-ten New York Times bestsellers. Her books have sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @LWeisberger
Website: laurenweisberger.com

Read reviews of other books written by Laura on my blog – The Devil Wears Prada.

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Genre: Chick Lit, Humor
Book Name: The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Pages: 360
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Harper Collins

Once in a while, you can get tired of reading intellectual books. And voila, you find a book in the corner of your book shelf, totally untouched. And noticing the book title, you simply wish to wallow in a chick lit, just for the pleasure of it. And that, my dear reader, is how I started reading The Devil Wears Prada.

Although I have seen the movie adaptation years back, I somehow still remember the oh-so-typical characters Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly and the way Miranda used to call An-dre-aaa. Funny though while reading the book, I could hear the same tone whenever Andrea was called. Yet there were lingering moments where I felt the movie adaptation was better than the book itself.

Let’s come back to the book. It’s a women “fiction” (supposedly) since the author Lauren had worked for the highly esteemed fashion editor Anna Wintour and various articles seem to draw a parallel between both of them and the storyline. The book is like a diary entry set in the fashion world. The same old princess story which we have grown up reading, but now cast in a career world. So, we have a beautiful princess working for Cruella who hates every minute of it. But since she is so career focused, she continues to be in that hated job, since this will fast forward her career by few years. And thus, she does not seem pitiful anymore since it was her choice to focus on her career and never on the family. Also, Andrea seems to be a workaholic but does not forge interest in anything she does.

However, having said that, I really loved reading the book. The book has casual tidbits, easy dialogues, many aspirational fashion pieces one would want to own at whatever cost, and the adrenaline rush when Andrea is scared of the high demands of her boss (which by the way, happens all through the book). Oh, doesn’t this seem a part of our own corporate life! The book made me live the fashion industry vicariously and high demands of so much glitz all the time. Also, the book has a lesson in the end that one always has a choice to change anything in one’s life!

Book blurb:
High fashion, low cunning – and the boss from hell.

When Andrea first sets foot in the plush Manhattan offices of Runway she knows nothing. She’s never heard of the world’s most fashionable magazine, or it’s feared and fawned-over editor, Miranda Priestly.

Soon she knows way too much.

She knows it’s a sacking offense to wear less than a three-inch heel to work – but there’s always a fresh pair of Manolos in the accessories cupboard.

She knows that eight stone is fat. That you can charge anything – cars, manicures, clothese – to the Runway account, but you must never leave your desk, or let Miranda’s coffee get cold. That at 3 am, when your boyfriend’s dumping you because you’re always working and your best friend’s just been arrested, if Miranda phones with her latest unreasonable demand, you jump.

Most of all, Andrea knows that Miranda is a monster boss who makes Cruella de Vil look like a fluffy bunny. But this is her big break, and it’s all going to be worth in the end.

Isn’t it?

About the author:
Lauren Weisberger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada, which was published in forty languages and made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. It was announced in 2017 that musician Elton John and Paul Rudnick will adapt The Devil Wears Prada for the stage. Weisberger’s four other novels, Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston, Last Night at Chateau MarmontRevenge Wears Prada and The Single’s Game, were all top-ten New York Times bestsellers. Her books have sold more than thirteen million copies worldwide. A graduate of Cornell University, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @LWeisberger
Website: laurenweisberger.com

Rating: 8/10

Read reviews of other books by Lauren Weisberger on my blog – Everyone Worth Knowing.

Book Review: The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

Genre: Thriller
Book Name: The Rozabal Line
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi
Pages: 405
Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Westland Ltd

I can’t believe what I just read! I am still trying to make sense of the book even after multiple attempts at reading by cross referencing pages back and then to the current one. In between, there is a plethora of characters with chronology totally being murdered! Not able to understand what I am talking about? Oh probably, then you are one of the prospective readers who just chanced upon this post and wondering whether to go ahead buying or reading. If you have already purchased, be a tsundoku (one who hoards the books but does not read). With each paragraph, the years change and not just by a few years, but long bygone eras – BC and ADs included.

I have read previous books of Ashwin Sanghi and I had liked those (barring Private India which was just an average read). However, with this book which is being popularized as Da Vinci Code of India, I am left to question myself whether when I had read the latter 8 years back, was I really able to understand a single word?

Probably people with more knowledge of religious history or history in general may be better able to relate to since this book was one of the bestsellers. But for me, it was totally a no read. And I am usually not so negative about any book.

Hoping that when I pick up this book after years, I give a positive feedback then. Keep watching my blog for review of another of Ashwin Sanghi’s book – The Sialkot Saga.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A cardboard box is found on a shelf of a London library. When the mystified librarian opens it, she screams before she falls unconscious to the floor.

Within the labyrinthine recesses of the Vatican, a beautiful assassin swears she will eliminate all who do not believe in her twisted credo.

An elite army of thirteen calling itself the Lashkar-a-Talatashar has scattered around the globe. The fate of its members curiously resembles that of Christ and his Apostles. Their agenda is Armageddon.

A Hindu astrologer spots a conjunction of the stars and nods to himself in grim realization of the end of the world. In Tibet, a group of Buddhist monks’ searches for a reincarnation, much in the way their ancestors searched Judea for the Son of God. In strife torn Kashmir, a tomb called Rozabal holds the key to a riddle that arises in Jerusalem and gets answered at Vaishno Devi.

An American priest has disturbing visions of people familiar to him, except that they seem located in other ages. Induced into past-life regression, he goes to India to piece together the violent images. Shadowing his every move is the Crux Decussata Permuta, a clandestine society, which would rather wipe out creation than allow an ancient secret to be disclosed.

In The Rozabal Line, a thriller swirling between continents and centuries, Ashwin Sanghi traces a pattern that curls backward to the violent birth of religion itself.

About the author:
Ashwin Sanghi ranks among India’s highest selling English fiction authors and is writing since 2004. He has written several bestsellers (The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key) and a New York Times bestselling crime thriller with James Patterson. Included by Forbes India in their Celebrity 100 and winner of the Crossword Popular Choice, Ashwin has recently also penned a non-fiction title ’13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck’.
Website: www.ashwinsanghi.com
Twitter: @ashwinsanghi
Email: mail@ashwinsanghi.com

Read on my blog – reviews of other Ashwin Sanghi’s books – Chanakya’s Chant and Private India.

Rating: 2/10

Book Review: The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk by Sudha Murty

Genre: Short Story, Non Fiction
Book Name: The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk
Author: Sudha Murty
Pages: 212
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Penguin

Sudha Murty has a distinct flair of writing, which is not so easy to replicate. I am not going to write something new for another of her book which I have not already mentioned in my previous reviews of her books – Dollar Bahu and Something Happened on the Way to Heaven. Like other books, The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk is relatable to our everyday life but which we fail to notice, which by the way reminds me of that musical piece by Joshua Bell who played incognito on a metro station.

Sudha Murty’s books simply wants to convey to us to be attentive of our surroundings, not come to harsh conclusions till we know the other side of the story and continue learning from our fellow beings. By the way, this book again is a collection of short stories which you can read at your own pace or start from any chapter. Great penmanship and a must read for Sudha Murty’s fans!

Book blurb:
Extraordinary stories about ordinary peoples lives by the inimitable Sudha Murty.

Over the years, Sudha Murty has come across some fascinating people whose lives make for interesting stories and have astonishing lessons to reveal. Take Vishnu, who achieves every material success but never knows happiness; or Venkat, who talks so much that he has no time to listen. In other stories, a young girl goes on a train journey that changes her life forever; an impoverished village woman provides bathing water to hundreds of people in a drought-stricken area; a do-gooder ghost decides to teach a disconsolate young man Sanskrit; and in the title story, a woman in a flooded village in Odisha teaches the author a life lesson she will never forget.

About the author:
Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

Rating: 9/10
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