Posts from — June 2016
Six Degrees by Various Authors, (Edited by BlogAdda)
Title: Six Degrees
Author: Various Authors
Paperback: 422 pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing and BlogAdda.Com (2015)
Genre: Young Adult/Adult
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US
As part of their #CelebrateBlogging initiative, BlogAdda.com, ran the first edition of Game of Blogs in September 2014. Five characters and their descriptions were provided. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. Bloggers came together as teams and after three rounds filled with its own set of twists and turns, three stories made it to the end.
The three stories in this book are a fascinating example of how one set of characters can have interesting lives with completely different dimensions. Six Degrees is a result of how collaboration can truly breed creativity in the modern day world of connected living.
Note: Thanks to BlogAdda for offering me this book to read and review
Cover: Simple and pleasing.
Paper and font: Easy to read font, thin paper
Readability, language: Easy on the mind.
Why did I choose this book: This is a rather unique book, a collaborative effort of many bloggers, each story written by 10 people together.
Many months ago BlogAdda ran an activity called Game of Blogs. Teams of Bloggers were created and all teams was given the same set of characters and rules to create a story. These are the best three stories selected by a panel of judges.
The title isn’t clear at first glance and after reading my guess is that it relates to Six degrees of separation between the characters, stories and the storytellers. The cover is covered with a crowd of various types of smiley faces. A predominantly black and white cover with the title in blue. The colours make for a cover that is simple and pleasing to the eye. The blurb is to the point and explains the creation and objective behind the book.
All three plots were new to me and, so different from each other, they took me by surprise. One a sci-fi, second a murder mystery and the third a thriller-romance with LGBT characters! ❤️
Set in present day, all three stories have Mumbai and Delhi as the setting with Mumbai being the main stage. The cities are used well to support and push the stories forward.
The character set is mostly the same for all three stories, there’s Shekhar Dutta, Tara Dutta, Roohi Dutta, Jennifer Joseph, Cyrus Daruwalla and Arya Ahuja. Across stories these characters have some things about them that are the same, like Shekhar, Tara and Roohi are a family, Roohi is a little girl, Jennifer is a photographer, Cyrus a Law student,… But in each story the characters are also different and it’s was fascinating to see the same characters being different in each story. There were also supporting characters, but they were not common to all.
When I started out I wondered about the writing and my enjoyment of it but my fears in this case were baseless. Even though the writing style keeps changing through the book, between stories and in each story (expected with a large team of writers), the glue holds and it held my attention through out.
Each of the stories is written well but my favourite was the first because the plot was unexpected, the writing crisp and there were no sappy scenes. The last one was slow and melodramatic but I did like it too. It’s the in-between story that didn’t fit my bill, with lots of psycho poetry. But I did really like the Inspector Java character and the climax. I didn’t see that one coming.
With shortish stories, there aren’t many subplots and none that are unneeded. Each story builds well to the climax but once or twice I felt the drag and caught myself checking how many pages were left. There was also the goof up with Inspector Java, who’s brother-in-law is discussed at the beginning of the story but towards the end he’s declared single and a romance is broached.
All said and done, this book is a keeper for multiple reasons. As a blogger, it’s a matter of pride at the work of other bloggers. Then there’s the collaboration of over 30 people in the writing of this book. And lastly the fact that the stories themselves are a good read.
I recommend Six Degrees if you are looking for a hatke light & easy read, it’s refreshingly different [sorry for the cliché 😀 ]. Suitable for all ages except maybe young kids.
BlogAdda (Editor), Anmol Rawat, Preethi Venugopala, Soumyaa Verma, Tina Basu, Ashutosh Bhandari, Paresh Godhwani, Prerna Maynil , Ramanathan P, Shoumik De, Srilakshmi I, Sneha Bhattacharjee, Hemant, Shamim Rizwana, Nirav Thakker, Tushar Mangl, Ritu Pandey, Sharon D Souza, Oindrila De, Anupriya Mishra, Vaisakhi Mishra, Tinu Menachary, Gauri Kamath, Ritesh Agarwal, Aayan Banerjee, Raghu Chaitanya.
Compulsory Text: 6 Degrees is India’s first book published through collaborative blogging, written completely by bloggers for the Game of Blogs activity at BlogAdda. Know more about Game of Blogs here. You can buy 6 Degrees: Game of Blogs if you liked the review.
June 21, 2016 4 Comments
The other day I had this profound conversation with a friend about guilt and guilt ridden lives. I realised that I’ve spend most of my life feeling guilty – guilty for either having done something or not having done something. And this applies to all the mundane things.
For example if I sit down to read a book for an hour on a busy day (which is almost all days), I’m guilty about not finishing tasks. And if I don’t read, I’m guilty about not reading. Either choice has a layer of guilt, so I’m never fully present and fully enjoying what I’m doing.
But this Sunday wasn’t like that. I lived a guilt free day and it was an amazing experience.
It started in the morning when I woke up early and felt like reading. But when I sat down to read I felt my focus drifting. I noticed my mind was channeling my day’s to-do list and I decided to try my no-guilt mantra.
I had a little chat with myself and we talked about being in the moment, about not worrying about all that had to be done, not letting it overwhelm the now and just enjoying the moment.
It was the most wonderful hour I spent reading, fully present to the words and my dogs who cuddled up. It was beautiful! And then I managed to do it through the day. It was just a wonderful day.
And I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t land up getting this post done. 😀
Last week I also discovered book-photography challenges on Instagram and I’m hooked. They are so much fun to create. Here’s what I post this week. Connect with me and see more on Instagram.
In other news, I’ve just finished 6 Degrees – Game of Blogs published by BlogAdda and written by over 25 authors. Review coming soon.
Last week I’d talked about paper books, so this week it’s the eBooks I received this month. I also tried out a few new things when making the video. Do tell me what you think of it. I need the feedback.
And if you’ve read the books on my list, I want to know what you thought of them. Tell me, tell me in comments.
Books I Discovered This Week:
American Quartet by Warren AdlerThe Fiona FitzGerald Mysteries
(Book Riot #159)
Fiona is a Sergeant in the Homicide Division of the Metropolitan Washington Police Department. But isn’t the reason I picked this series, rather because Jeff O’Neal highly recommended it on his podcast and because it’s set in the city my bestie lives in. It’ll be a good way to get to know her city.
This book has been surfacing on my radar for a while now. Then this week when the whole guilt-ridden-life conversation happened (check above) and the book surfaced again, it was like serendipity. I just have to read the book, no?
I’ve been trying my hand at audio books and I’m listening to Sheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things (narrated by her) and I liked it don’t get me wrong but it’s not got me hooked, I’m not in that place where I can’t stop listening. I’m still undecided if audio books are for me.
So, when Jesse in his favourite audio books video talked about Off The Page having multiple narrators, I thought this my be a good one to try. Plus the story sounds promising.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Series)
Another book that’s been popping up often as a recommendation. Got to give it a spin and the fact that it’s got fairly tale characters is a definitely plus.
That’s about it out here this week. I’m working on having a guilt-free week. What have you been unto this past week? Do you feel guilt ridden too? How do you deal with it?
June 14, 2016 1 Comment
This week I finally got over my reading slump by jumping out of the Review TBR list and reading an all out romance by Loretta Chase. Lord of Scoundrels is just such a fun read. It has a head-strong rebel hero and that quite the usual thing but this one also has a cool-headed I-never-lose-it pistol-shooting heroine which makes for such a refreshing read.
And that momentum carried me though another book too. I’ve just finished ‘The Devil and The Deadly Peace’ by Sindhura Chamala, my detailed review is pending so for now I’ll just say I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it!
I went through my podcast backlog with a vengeance this week and got through a lot of them. If you are wondering which one’s I listen to, The Book Riot Podcast, The Get Booked Podcast and The Readers Podcast are my top 3 to listen to when it comes to books. Between the three I get book world news, so excellent book recommends (the Loretta Chase came out of here) and some bookish banter.
I also experimented with video this week as I’d like to do more videos in future and learned a few things, though it’s a longways to becoming a good editor.
I received a lot of books this week both in paper and ecopies, so I did a video about the paper books on my reading list this month. Check it out, I’d love to hear thoughts, feedback and tips to make it better.
Books Mentioned in Video –
And if you’ve read the books on my list, I want to know what you thought of them. Tel me, tell me in comments.
Books I Discovered This Week:
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
(Get Booked #28)
The tale of a girl travelling from a futuristic Mumbai to Ethiopia across a forbidden bridge. This in itself is enough but there’s more to the story and I’m piqued. Got to read this.
Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
(Get Booked #30)
I’ve loved the Artemis Fowl series and the Percy Jackson series, this one is quite like that I’ve been told and set it India. What more?
Not too many books this week, in spite of a lot of podcasts, but that’s a good thing considering my sagging TBR pile. 😉 What have you been unto this past week? Read anything interesting?
June 5, 2016 No Comments