From Shadows to Souls by Sazina Khan

A poem is the best expression for uncomprehended feelings. Unlike fictional tales, poems will find a route to the reader’s heart. They say it is possible to live a hundred lives in a limited time through short poetry. From shadow to souls, the title is a mist of daunting as well as heartfelt emotions. This book is a cluster of poems with 99 beauties of every genre.
Some of the most appreciable poems were, Remains of a desire, I think of you, Free birds, The magnetic void, A tear and another gush, Her love as a phoenix, Seventeen years back, etc. If you go through the list of titles (of poems), you can see through a timeline. A timeline of lost love. This is fervently melancholic too. The cover and the title say a story of its kind. A must-read for every poetry lover.

Tongue-in-Cheek: The Funny Side of Life by Khyrunnsa A.

Tongue-in-Cheek by @akhyrunnisa

(This book is available on Kindle Unlimited and is a must read.)

So relatable and funny – a comfort read.

I had never read a book from this genre. Because – well, you know, I believed humor is for television – movies and shows. There’s the sound, the dialogues and the expressions. So, I never thought I could read a book and laugh, even though I’ve a pretty good imagination.
And then I read Tongue-in-Cheek. Khyrunnisa does magic with the words and the satire in her writing is mind-blowing !
The book is a compilation of anecdotes that almost everyone can connect with.
The little things we laugh about at family dinners or game nights or while just lazing around in this lockdown – makes up for such a delightful read.
I kept giggling all the while I was reading the book. The Author and her husband’s banter was so spot-on witty that my cheeks went literally ticklish.
The stories were short and easy to read. The vocabulary is all age reader friendly. And according to me, the best part is the relatability and familiarity these stories have. I absolutely enjoyed reading the stories – reminiscing in my own memories.

Murder Milestone by Salil Desai

I love murder mysteries, well, basically mysteries. Because it gets my senses piqued, my heart thumping and I’m all jumpy. Sounds too much but it’s so fun.
So I read Salil Desai’s Murder Milestone and wow ! A death row convict Dharmesh Solanki, just before a week from his execution reveals an unbelievable secret to senior police officer Saralkar. And from here begins the quest to verify Solanki’s disturbing claim. That’s not it. Mysterious suicides, another dangerous murderer on loose and Saralkar’s personal life falling apart. With so much on his plate, Saralkar tackling each problem was a treat to read. The serial killer was cold to the core and a psychopath. Sometimes reading stories like this makes me wonder the extent to which we humans are mysterious. Nobody real knows what’s going on in someone’s mind.  Anyways, this book was fast paced, engrossing and satisfying !

Just Missed by Himanshu Bhatia

‘Just Missed’ – a catchy title, isn’t it ? I read the title and didn’t read the blurb because I wanted everything to be a surprise (clever, eh?) !
The storytelling was amazing ! And it’s very important for me to read a book with good narration, proper writing and quality characters. This book had it all !
It was just so sweet and nothing cringy. I don’t want to reveal the ending, but I appreciate the time it took the pair’s relationship to evolve rather than rush it. I couldn’t wait for it, but I cherished everything that happened. All the characters were great, they were so good at doing their parts. Everyone had a role and they aced at it. Nothing was overdone or felt unnecessary. It takes a lot of work to only include the scenes that are important for the story and the Author has done a great work at that.
Few chapters into the book and it was predictable. But I still loved reading it. The way the story unfolded was beautiful and fun to read. I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it.

God is Great.

Absolutely worthwhile and meaningful.
Faith, Spirituality and God – they mean different to everyone (not the definition, of course, but the importance of these words).
For me, my faith has a huge role in whatever I do. It keeps me calm, gives me hope.

This is the story of a scientist, who identifies himself as an atheist when the story begins and later on goes on a journey of spirituality and self realisation. He observes and grasps various happenings from his daily life. This story about the enlightenment of a scientist on God, Faith and Spirituality is an interesting read. The content was especially appealing to me.

It’s a short read of 90 pages but the vast topic of the relationship between Science and Spirituality, an atheist’s spiritual awakening based on practical observation and logical explanation of various sacred rituals and rules, not only made this book a wonderful read but also helped me understand the deeper meaning of these rules and rituals and I got to learn some amusing facts.

Avocado the Turtle.

This book has been written by a 13 year old girl and I’m amazed by the moral it holds. I mean it takes us adults to realize that we are enough by ourselves. People are so harsh on themselves to be seen as perfect, to match up the standard the society has set. They try to get a certain body type, life style, they try to fit in. And it’s not pathetic, it’s just so sad. It honestly takes so much to be brave enough to accept our own flawed-selves. To be ourselves and be confident about it.

Reading about this from a little girl is just so precious.
The illustrations were beautiful. And the story used to convey this important message is just brilliant.

Love Yourself by Rakhi Kapoor.

I guess a lot of us are familiar with the saying that true happiniess lies within us and that we don’t have to search for it in others or the outside world. Although it’s true, it’s not very easy to achieve. There’s a lot to accept and let go before we can even begin to find happiness within us. It’s a journey, a long one at that.
Love Yourself by Rakhi Kapoor is a beautiful book filled with her life stories. Short and moving – the stories are a part of her journey towards healing and self love. Her personal journey of physical and mental health was so deep and shows how much each one of us struggles, even unknown to our closed ones.
Going further into the book, the author has listed out things to do to feel better. The compassion and empathy dripping from the book is something a lot of us need right now.
There’s so much to learn about self-love from this book. Do give it a read.

Picture Credits : Pinterest.

Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 by Sabarna Roy.

The ‘Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020’ is a compilation of various themes – short and easy to read.

I liked Sabarna Roy’s unbiased and unapologetically uncommon views and personal opinions on books, the concepts they presented, various physiological and psychological conditions of humans and many more topics which he has effortlessly talked about. His writing style is definitely noteworthy and has driven me to read Anna Karenina – it’s a classic and I’m not fond of those would be such an understatement – yet, here I am picking up Anna Karenina as my next read. Sabarna Roy has talked about the characters from Lolita and Anna Karenina with so much depth and understanding. His concise way of writing and the ease with which these topics have been briefed reflects the vastness of his knowledge.

I really like how the Author keeps his writing simple, uncomplicated and to the point.

The bits and pieces of conversations, letters and poems, all compiled together as ‘Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020’ gives the reader a lot to think about. Everything seemed so personal and beautiful in this book.

Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez.

Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez.

This was quite a confusing read from the very beginning. It continuously swaps between past and present and it took me few pages to get a grasp over the flow. It definitely requires undivided attention to understand the underlying concept of this heavy plot and the deep rooted trauma in Matty’s character. The plot is as complex as the human mind itself.

The intricate and vivid imagery of each one of Matty’s thought made me very uncomfortable. This sneak peak into a teenager’s private thoughts, stress and anxiety, troubles and fear – thinking about it still makes me shudder. Because the very thought of seeing someone in so much discomfort in his own body, his very private self – is scary. And the saddest part is a lot of people go through this. They face their inner demons every day, every moment. The thought of living with troubled thoughts makes my mind hammer hard. It’s heartbreaking to think what people go through. It’s hidden in the mind, it’s not physical – it’s tricky.

He had the three greatest friends and a grandmother who loved him. And the way everything happening with Matty affected them – it was upsetting. They all loved him and cared for him. I applaud how the Author has given equal importance to each character and presented a very raw picture of each emotion they go through. I loved the little details of Matty and Jamie getting attracted to each other.

Mental health is very important. It’s not a scar that you see on someone’s body and know that they aren’t well. It’s not something onto which you’ll apply an ointment and provide fast aid to make someone feel better. It’s inside of a human mind. You can do nothing except being considerate, kind, empathetic and non-judgmental.

This is a very important book. Even though a bit confusing in the beginning, the writing style is good. The suspense throughout the book will play with your concentration. This won’t teach you lessons. It’ll grab your attention and push you into a little boy’s mind – for you to experience whatever he’s feeling.

#elephant #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #bookreview #booksofinstagram #bookstagramindia

Mandu by Malathi Ramachandran.

#Mandu by Malathi Ramachandran.

“Overwhelmingly painful. Poignant yet beautiful.”

My heart swells with all the love Baz and Roopmati had for each other. As time passes, the realisation – of Baz and Roopmati’s pure love and affection for each other, their innocence, their tragic end, Sadiya and Roopmati’s friendship and mutual devotion, young Hiba’s longing to feel beautiful and desired, Jana Begum’s destructive and cruel actions to apparently save her daughter – dawns upon me, and the intense emotions seeps into my very being making it unbearable to stop the vivid imaginations brought out by the Author’s brilliant writing. So overwhelmingly poignant yet beautiful, Baz and Roopmati’s story holds a special place in my heart.

A being of music and art, Baz inherited the throne of Malwa alongwith his brothers’ resent and envy, and a young wife who barely understood his needs and feelings. Practically no one to call his own, Baz was thirsty for companionship. Stumbling upon Roopmati near the banks of the Narmada was the miracle he had been waiting for since a long, long time.

I applaud how the Author has tried to include everyone’s side of the story. This is when it’s hard to detest the antagonist or completely sympathise with the protagonist. This is also when you learn to understand everyone and their version of the story.

The characters have been intricately developed and each of them mark their firm existence in this story.

While I’m completely swooning over Baz-Roopmati’s love story, Baz’s lack of responsibility towards his Kingdom and subjects, bothered me. Everybody is entitled to fall in love, enjoy their lives, but they also have an obligation towards the title they hold. Easier said than done, huh ?