Rent, Read 'n' Rise!

Book Review: The Green Room by Wendell Rodricks

The Green Room by Wendell Rodricks, who is a designer turned writer, is an initiative with a few friends who decided to write about their lives individually. This is all due to his professional approach in everything he picks up, that he has been able to make sure the book turns out to be worthy enough of your bookshelf.

The main highlight of the book is that going against the stereotype, the writer tried to stay away from the party scene. He talks about Goa, show launches, about his flagship store and the way he ventured out to embark on journeys that also included his research work. This makes his autobiography stand out. He has resisted the temptation to be distracted by self-indulgence.

The thing with biographies is that mostly, the ones who’re not proficient at writing, write them and therefore, at times they’re lost in the self-indulgence. The ego blots, the triumph highlighting and deleting weaknesses are few of the points where the purpose of an autobiography is lost. This mostly happens when someone starts writing autobiography sitting at the heights of success. However, this is not the case with this one.

 He talks about his life in detail, and you’re going to love the way he gives details of his designing work. He has also written a lot about his family members: father, mother, cousin, brother, his aunt. He writes about growing up around them, about his life in the Chawl, about working in the Royal Oman Police Officers’ Club in Muscat and about his home life in Goa. There’re also quite a few shades of humor as well as emotional aspects in this book written with heart. He portrays a life, which doesn’t only revolves around designing, but also the personal growth, the pain, failures and the high points.

Overall, this book from the house of Rain Tree publishers is better than you might have expected, and truly deserves a read.

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Book Review: Just Married, Please Excuse by Yashodhara Lal

“Just Married, Please Excuse” is a light read by Yashodhara Lal, and gives you reasons enough to try it at least once. Picking the book, I felt that it would be just another one of those urban tales, however, to my surprise I was wrong.

The book revolves around the arranged marriage between the typical Delhite girl and an old fashioned guy. It’s a story about a proud Punjabi girl getting married in a non-Punjabi family, and is settled in Bangalore, then in Mumbai. Other than the husband-wife, the other characters that make up the story are Zareena, their maid, Vinod, a driver from the small town but with big dreams and there’s the best friend, Vivi.

The seven years age difference between the couple becomes even more evident with the arrival of their baby, Peanut. They have different views about raising the child, which eventually lands them at a marriage counsellor’s office. However, it wasn’t of much help either, and finally they’ve to take help from Vijay’s parents.

The book talks about the married life of the urban couples, and issues revolving around it. It talks especially about the couple who stay away from their families, and along with the emotional parts, the book also retains the humour quotient. It’s a detailed book that is full of moments to enjoy, and yes, there’re quite a few memorable ones as well. You can finish this good read in one or two sittings.

Therefore, we would recommend you to enjoy this monsoon season with a cup of coffee, and this cute novel from Yashodhara Lal sitting in your balcony, letting the story spice up your monsoon moments. 

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Wondering What to read next?

Well if you are one of those who is getting an urge to read something, but not getting anything appropriate to read as per your interest, then don’t worry, you are not the only one sailing on this boat. There are hundreds and thousands of others as well who are trying hard to pick their next reads and to declare them later as one of the best reads! J

Now think of the other side of the coin where there are writers and authors developing every day. These writers are trying the new genres and the avenues with their books. This gives you a wide scope of books and genres to choose from. These writers know that they’re in for stiff competition and therefore, want to make their books as visible as possible. This is one of the reasons we have seen the emergence of ebooks, and a gradual decline in the bookshop/library culture. However, it works well in the case of readers, as now they’ve more option to get their next book from.

Specially the online tools, writer are using the online ads, blogs and various other options to market their book. Besides, there are many book review websites like Goodreads etc., which you can use to check out the titles creating ripples. Then there are the book blogs, where the blogger generally review or talk about the latest titles. These book blogs are usually genre specific, however, they become a comfortable and a fairly reliable way to find out about the books you might have missed.

Many news dailies do book reviews or talk about book launches in their weekend editions, do look out for these columns as they feature some interesting titles getting rave reviews. Moreover, you can also follow the twitter accounts of these newspapers, to find out what the global audience liking these days. Next in the line is the literary award shows, you can hit their website or Wikipedia to check out the books that have won major prizes in the past few years and see if something interests you there. is one of the well-known online bookstores; it is also one of the most trusted. Lately, when came up with their recommendations, the people across the world have resorted to going by that list. It is a wonderful way to find new authors and genres, as the list features some obscure titles that do turn out to be amazing.

Last but not the least is your literature festival, check out the listings on yours or a nearby city for the upcoming literary festivals. These are the best places to socialize with literature aficionados, meet some of your favorite writers and discover some more interesting writers, which you wouldn’t have otherwise. Literature Festivals also feature a lot of classic literature and the translation works from some of the greatest authors of other languages. Therefore, literature festivals become the best place to find that perfect novel for you.

These suggestions will come in handy once you start exploring the novels that might interest you. Because after all the world of literature is never ending and will always keep you wondering, what to read next?


Book Review: Sarcastically Yours by Sandeep Das


They say a business school is the best place where you can find a cultured, honest, conservative woman, in short a wife. This is how the author introduces the story of 20-something Nikhil, who has joined a B-school in Hyderabad.

Of what we have read in this genre, we have always come across the protagonist who had been just an average student, however, this time it’s not the case. Nikhil has always been the topper amongst his batch mates and is a contender of highly sought after Sword of Honour in his batch. He is the only one in his group who seems to be interested in studying, and fortunately finds Neha, who is equally studious.

This forms the basis of the ‘Sarcastically Yours’, which is also Sandeep Das’ debut novel. The novel is just a continuation of the movement started by Chetan Bhagat, where young working professionals are debuting as authors with stories about B-schools and young, modern India.

The book as expected is set up in one of the premier B-schools of India and is about a fresher who survives two gruelling years in the college while making new friends, bonding with them, falling in love, breaking his heart and then learning to love again. It’s everything usual you’ve read, and some more.

Despite the usualness, the book ranks in the writing department. The book is compelling and the vividness in the details attracts you. You are bound to like this book if you have been a part of engineering and MBA college hostels. You can easily relate to the characters, and the story. The language do breaks at points, and it becomes a bit bland but overall the book won’t bore you to death nor will compel you to leave it in between. The narration does get a bit tawdry at places, but the story compensates for it with its happy and pleasant ending.

It is a 6/10 attempt

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Book Review: I’m Heartless…A Real Confession by Vinit K. Bansal

I’m Heartless…A real confession by Vinit K. Bansal is a story that revolves around a guy who finds the true love and his ignorance makes him lose it.

Viren is a hopeless romantic, who is an egoistic daydreamer and an attention seeker with arrogance capturing him in its arms. The story is about how his life had everything, love, friendship, dedication and how he found a true love, only to lose it later due to his arrogant attitude. Besides, once he lost the love of his life due to his misdoings, he becomes a heartless person losing all the faith in love and develops a wicked character. This eventually leads to him losing his happiness along with his identity.

The book comes from the house of Mahaveer Publications and has the power to keep you glued to it for hours. This is one of the books, which even though revolve around a clichéd notion, treat the subject with a unique approach and in an honest way.

Along with Viren, the characters of Mansi and Rashi have been given their due importance instead of fading them in the background. The novel touches the topic of modern day youth’s aimless and confused life, full of unwanted priorities. It talks about a generation which we never tried understanding. The novel tries to search the souls of this generation, tries to find out how they react to different situations and how the life treats them. The author beautifully portrayed the effects of a heartbreak and resulting guilty on today’s youth. He touches a depth that one might expect from a novel like this.

As the back cover of the book says, yes it’s a true story that touches you, makes you cry and lurks inside you as a painful emotion. The author has tried explaining each emotion in an honest way that works, leaving you shocked as well as shaken.

Overall, the book is an interesting read that will hold your attention until the end. There are a few lose parts in the book here and there, however, the story is touching enough to make you forget about the flaws and keep you glued till the end.

Rating: 7/10

Book Review – An Idiot, Placements And IntervYou by Toffee

With the amount of engineering pass outs writing the books on mostly the same subjects, it was a pleasant surprise to find a book, which wasn’t one of those usual half-hearted attempts. An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU by Toffee puts a smile on your face, it’s one of those books that make you sit down and try finishing the book in one go.

The book talks about an engineering student who had a terrible experience during his placement days. From the word go, the book’s narration captivates you and you won’t experience a dull moment. Story wise, the book isn’t about the emotional drama which you encounter ever now and then, it talks more about the placement process and how to get through it.

One of the interesting things about this book is the story behind it. Apparently, the author Taufeeq aka Toffee was heartbroken when he decided to write this book. However, instead of writing something clichéd, he decided to write a book describing his life as a student. The book is an in-depth analysis of this student’s placement life and it includes an aptitude test as well.

These are few of the reasons, which make this book unique; besides, the book  is written in an unpretentious manner which makes it a must buy for any engineering student who’s sitting for their placement in the near future.

Therefore, before you get a bit skeptical about another book from an engineer, I must tell you that you’re in for a surprise. It is an honest book, which you’ll enjoy reading, especially if you’ve been through the same during your engineering college life.

Rating: 7/10 

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Book Review – You & Me & Our Relationship

You & Me & Our Relationship By Nikhil Mukhija

Love, Romance, Infatuation, relationships, roses etc. as enticing as they all sound, they are just as complicated as they can be. No matter how long a relationship one is in, some advice on making the ride smoother won’t hurt at all.  This book does just that with a seasoning of psychology in it. What makes the opposites attract, what makes our heart pop out and our tongues tied? Just what special zing would make that elusive charming hunk give a look? Yes, it’s all in here.

Theories guarding the age old laws of attraction and their after effects are a plenty, yet this book has a thought of its own. Matters of love and heart are delicate and need to be handled with utmost care. A number of times, it is better to say what your lover wants to hear rather than suggesting what is right. The whole dilemma of falling in and out of relationships or the high and low adrenaline drives could be too much for a human heart to fathom. So the author suggests redemption in his own subtle ways.

He suggests that we give up the age old conventional guidelines and look into the psychological aspect of it. A way of understanding the confusing “mind games” ,who do we get attracted to and why, the societal brainwash, a woman’s mind analogy, Early Bird Terminologies, Proposal etc., are few of the many attractions of the book.

The book talks about simple situations that have a great emotional impact but can also be analyzed in a perfectly sane way.  The examples provided in the book are very easy to relate to and a number of times one can trace him/herself in similar scenarios.

One section in particular talks about the misery of a heartbroken lover and suicidal tendencies that could be overwhelming. The author has given an elucidation that highlights the fact that life is worth living and fighting for what you believe in. A single set back should never take over your entire future.

All in all, this book could be a great referral to keep for bewilderments that may come across later.

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Books Your Way – June 2012

The month of June is going to bring some of the widely anticipated books in the bookstores. These include:

  • The Second World War: It is the story about a Korean soldier named Kyougjong Yandg who surrendered to the American paratroopers during the invasion of Normandy. British military historian, Antony Beevor, has written the book. He has previously written Stalingrad, Crete, and Paris after the Liberation. His books have won many literature prizes including Runciman prize. This novel is published by Little, Brown and Company and is releasing on 5th June 2012.
  • Amped: When few of the humans are implanted with devices which can change them into superhuman, the law restricts the abilities and rights of these people fearing the consequences on the society. It is then Owen Gray, one of the amplified humans, joins the forces to stop the group of amp humans trying to change the world – or destroy it. Daniel Wilson, who took the full advantage of his scientific background, has written this thriller. The Doubleday publishers will release the book on 5th June 2012.
  • Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History: The book talks about one of the most tragic romances of our history i.e. Between Queen Elizabeth I and Earl of Essex, Robert Deveruex. She was 53 and he was 19, when it began in 1587. The book is written by Lytton Strachey and will be released on 19th June by Tauris Parke Paperbacks.
  • Gold: A book will take you on an emotional roller coaster. It will tell you a tale about human endurance. It will make you cry. It will tell you a story about the passion for success and the sacrifice we have to make to achieve that passion. Chris Cleave, who is a columnist for the Guardian newspaper in UK, writes the book. The book is releasing on 7th June by Sceptre.
  • Mission to Paris: In the late summer of 1938, Nazis come to know that Hollywood Star Fredric Stahl is coming to Paris to make a movie. They plan to approach Stahl and make him work as a spy for them against France; however, what they don’t know is that Stahl has already become an informal spy against the Nazis. Written by Alan Furst who is considered as the best spy novelist ever, here is another novel to create a deep impact on you. Random House Publication will release it on 12th June 2012.
  • Bloodline:A Sigma Force Novel: The book will take you on a journey involving medicines, genetics and technology as a story stretched between two millenniums asks a question, “Could you live forever?” The New York Times bestseller author, James Rollins, has written the novel. It will be released by the William Morrow (USA) on 26th June 2012.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your reading schedule accordingly 🙂

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Book Launch in Delhi: “The Legend of Amrapali”


Banker cum author Anurag Anand, whose previous works include books like Reality Bites and The quest for nothing, launched his latest book ‘The Legend of Amrapali’ in Delhi on 17th May. This is the sixth book of Anurag’s writing career, and for the first time he has entered the Historical fiction genre.

When asked about the reason for writing a book in a genre that is slowly becoming a rage amongst the youth these days, he said “Since childhood we have been taught about the mystical stories of old age via story books, fables or bedtime stories. Therefore, it is a welcome trend to see authors of present day trying to explore those stories and present them in their own way. They are making efforts to write those stories with a modern outlook that will interest today’s youth as well as the people who have grown up reading those stories. This will help in understanding our past by making a personal connection to the historical mysticism and heroes.”

Similarly, his new book ‘The Legend of Amrapali’ tells about the life of a courtesan in the olden days of the Kingdom of Vaishali, and traces her earlier life. The book takes us to the days, when everyone considered her as the most beautiful woman to have set foot on earth, and how the sophisticated intrigues in her later life lead her to become the city’s wife, or as explained in the book the Nagarvadhu in the Kingdom of Vaishali. The book beautifully tells the tale about Amrapali’s accumulation of power via a succession of political events, to avenge the torture she has been through during her earlier life. This is the legendary tale of that courtesan named Amrapali.

The author looked delighted during the book launch in the DLF Grand Mall, which was attended by notable guests including writer and Parliamentarian Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the well-known models Sonalika Sahay and Indrani Das Gupta. Previously, Anurag has also launched his new book in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, where Prahlad Kakkar, Mallika Sarabhai and Bhagyashree attended those events.

Since these launches in Mumbai and Ahmedabad took place earlier this year, we asked Anurag the reason why Delhi launch happened this late, he smiled and said, “There’s nothing like that as Delhi has featured a lot of times in my books. In fact, I have stayed in Delhi earlier and you cannot take Delhi out from anyone’s heart who has previously lived in this city. We were just waiting for the right opportunity to come along our way. It has arrived and I thank Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Sonalika Sahay and Indrani Dasgupta for attending the launch.”


Book Review – Demons of Chitrakut by Ashok K Banker

This book is a good amalgamation of fact and fiction. Everybody knows the age old epic melodramatic story of The Ramyana, yet there are a lot of intricacies and facts in there that we either missed or weren’t made aware of about.

Interestingly, the writer has taken the Ramayana story to a whole new dimension. It took us 3 books of this series to actually get a hang of what the writer was trying to convey. It has a Lord of the Rings feel to it. Rama is no lesser than any sword bearing warrior who has his Dharma and vows intact but also moves like Bruce Lee ; a character which the current generation could relate to. Sita, the epitome of a married Indian Woman, has her independent thought; she is a warrior princess and fights alongside Rama in combat; quite unlike a character that we know of. This image instills closeness with the character. Each figure is more realistic and less God likes. They do not shy away from swearing at each other except Rama i.e. and the like.

Our favorite thing about the book is the description about the Rakshakas, the Demon Lord Ravana and Lanka. So far we have seen funny looking Rakshakas with huge mustaches and black clothing, with strange looking weapons and even artificial sadistic laughter, nothing about them was intimidating. But the descriptions here are actually scary. The sections that describe the dark dungeons of Lanka made me feel claustrophobic. This is the best way so far to get a blend this good and also to get in touch with our great scripture, not to miss the positive message that the author leaves and also wants us to figure out some for ourselves.

We recommend this as an interesting read. We loved it and can’t wait to get a hold of the 4th book.

Anupriya Singh,

Book Reviewer, Castle of Books

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