Saturday, April 30, 2022

The MAGIC MINDSET - How To Find Your Happy Place By Preeti Shenoy - Book Review



Name of the bookThe MAGIC MINDSET - HOW TO FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Author of the book: Preeti Shenoy

Genre: Self Help / Non-Fiction

BLURB

While positivity is about looking at the bright side of things, the magic mindset embraces and accept that it is not always possible to do so. Sometimes things get so bleak that our mind refuses to accept that there can be a silver lining. In this book, Preeti Shenoy gives you a set of principles for every area of life, designed to help us shift our perspective from hopelessness to hope, from despondency to joy, from cynicism to belief- a belief that change is coming and things are not as bad as it seem. Perfect reading for the difficult times that we are living in. The Magic mindset is full of tips, suggestions, fun exercises and practical advice on career, family, health, relationships, finances, social media, and more. It also includes inspiring stories and anecdotes from Preeti's own life. A cornerstone for all those who want to change their outlook. The Magic Mindset helps us build a purposeful and joyful life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Preeti Shenoy, among the highest selling authors in India, is on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India. Her books include When Love Came Calling, Wake Up Life is Calling,  Life Is What You Make it, The Rule Breaker, A Hundred Little Flames, It's All in the Planets, Why We Love The Way We Do, The Secret Wish List, The One You Cannot Have and many others. Her work has been translated into many Indian languages. Preeti is also a motivational speaker, and has given talks at many premier educational institutions and corporate organizations like KPMG, ISRO, Infosys and Accenture, among others. An avid fitness enthusiast, she is also an artist specializing in portraiture and illustrated journaling.

ABOUT THE BOOK

As the name suggest "The Magic Mindset" is all about believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. The book " The Magic Mindset" is about practical examples, tips, suggestions, beautiful quotes and inspirational stories. Like Graham Miles's story inspires and reinforces how the magic mindset can overcome what appear to be insurmountable obstacles. Billionaire business tycoon John Paul Dejoria's advice to everyone is that, it is possible to get through the most difficult of times as long as we are willing to work hard and put in the effort. Don't sit back, doing nothing, look for opportunities and grab them.

My favorite part in the book is "The Magic Mindset for Situation Beyond Our Control". I am sure most of us have gone through situations where we felt completely helpless as we simply have no control over. Author has introduced something which toughed my heart, it is called as a practice of ACDC: Acknowledge, Change, Detach and Create. It is not necessary to go through all the four steps, it depends on person's level of sadness and their state of mind. So adapt the practice to suit your needs.

The book is divided into four parts, Understanding the Magic Mindset, Practicing the Magic Mindset and Sustaining the Magic Mindset and the last part is about 14-Day activity Magic Mindset challenge for the readers who wants to inculcate all the learnings from the book in their life and nudge them towards the magic mindset journey. Author has shared each day activity in detail which is like a step-by-step guide leads to discovery of magic within you. Remember the true magic happens when we learn to let go of the things we cannot control and be deeply grateful for the things we have already been blessed with. We all can lead more fulfilling, happier and peaceful lives when we accept this magic, focusing on the abundance and joy we have and creating happy memories with the people we value.

When we talk about mindset the first thing that comes to our mind is having positive mindset. This book gives a different perspective and express the real meaning of positive mindset. It means viewing things in a way that is most advantageous to us at the current stage of our life.

Author has shared her own experiences and learning which makes this book even more authentic and credible. She has used anecdotes which is very inspiring. 

Every chapter ends with an exercise, if done by the reader, gives a better clarity and reader knows where he or she stands in that area of their life. The book does not have to be read in any particular order which makes the reading more convenient and easier.

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK

All the suggestions and exercises mentioned by the author are very practical and doable. But remember do not read this book as a novel and do not rush through. It requires utmost concentration and participations from the readers to make the best of it. An author has mentioned it very categorically that one can keep returning to the exercises whenever readers feel like as your answers might be different based on their changing circumstances and mindset at that point of time. 

The best quote from the book which helped me to understand myself better

"When something bad happens, you have three choices - let it define you, destroy you or strengthen you".

BOOK DETAILS

Format: Paperback / Kindle edition

Price: 140 INR / 133 INR

Pages: 252

Availability: Amazon


This Review is part of the Blogchatter's  #TBRChallenge #BookChatter


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Zero Day by S. Hussain Zaidi (India's No.1 Crime Writer) - Book Review


Cybercrime is a relatively new concern for law enforcement officials and for us as a layman. As the number of computer owners connected to the internet increases, so too does the opportunity for cyber crime. This book has fast moving narrative that reveals how being interconnected we all are through the internet can be a boon and a bane at the same time. 

Name of the book: Zero Day

Author of the book: S. Hussain Zaidi

Genre: Crime Thriller Fiction

BLURB

Mumbai is in a state of chaos, and all traffic signals across the entire city have stopped working.

Shahnaz Ali Mirza, head of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, receives an anonymous email claiming it to be a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. He quickly puts together a crack team that includes his protege, IG Cybercrime Vikrant Singh, and gets to work trawling the dark web for more information on this mystery attack. However, a move to bring forward the hacker backfires, leading to a second, deadlier attack on Mumbai’s lifeline, the railway system.

It is their first brush with cyberterrorism: a zero-day vulnerability in the Indian government’s system that could bring the country to its knees. Racing against time and investigating a case unlike any other, Mirza and Vikrant face the most dangerous mission of their lives in Zero Day.

ABOUT THE BOOK

S. Hussain Zaidi allows his book "Zero Day" to unfold naturally, with his strong writing, rich characters, vivid detail and excellent pacing all leading to a powerful conclusion that will make you think twice before opening your computer or surfing the Internet. It is certainly is a treat to a read  a good powerful suspense novel, and a very impressive story line. All the characters are strong, stubborn and concerned at the same time. The book talks about politics, corruption and rivalry which is part of every system and how the evil forces are not isolated but are born from the system itself . You will keep turning pages to see just how story unfolds. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader's interest piqued right up to the last page. This book is intelligently written with a realistic theme.

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK

Zero day is an addictive read that will stay with you for the long time to come. If you are not a computer geek some of the lingo and explanations are going to pass by you but their is enough information and ever developing and terrifying plot developments to keep you riveted to every page. The entertaining story line is linear yet exhilarating and frightening especially since author S. Hussain Zaidi's mastery over terrorism related research is reflected in Black Friday, Mumbai Avengers and other books written on terrorism by him. I think if you are a fan of espionage style books, you will like this one and I have no problem recommending it to people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A journalist for over 20 years, S. Hussain Zaidi is a writer, publisher, producer, scriptwriter and mentor to new talents. His first book Black Friday, was made into critically acclaimed film by director Arurag Kashyap.  His documentation of the Mumbai mafia in books such as Dongri to Dubai, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, My Name Is Abu Salem are considered some of the finest pieces of investigative journalism. Two of his books has been made into web series, one of which is streaming on Netflix (Class of' 83) and other one is soon to be released on Amazon Prime Video.

BOOK DETAILS

Pages: 224

Format: Paperback / Kindle Edition

Price: 268.75 INR / 167.30 INR

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Availability: Amazon 

This Review is part of Blogchatter's Book Review Program #BookChatter



Tuesday, April 5, 2022

5 Non-Fiction Books That You Should Not Miss In 2022 - Book Review



 " A non-fiction writer is a story teller who has taken an oath to tell the truth" - Russel Freedman

There was a time when I used to read only fiction as it used to take me to the imaginative world where I could just get lost and forget about all the stress I have in my real life. But after becoming a trainer and a coach I feel reading non- fiction books enlightens me with the specific idea of subjectivity. It also provides me with the knowledge in specific subjects which are my niche and helps me in learning new things with the supported facts. 

Today I am sharing five Non-Fiction books that have inspired me and helped me to be a better person but most importantly a better trainer.

Spy Stories : Inside the Secret World of the R.A.W and the I.S.I. by Cathy Scott-Clark Adrain Levy


Indo-Pak relationship is well known to all of us. Despite sharing linguistic, cultural, geographic and economic link we have a complex relationships due to number of historical and political events. But how many of us know the role of RAW and ISI. Spy stories has brought the focus back on the horrifying espionage between India and Pakistan. After reading this book you will know the working of bitter rivals Raw and ISI and the history behind them since 1960 to the present day.

Unfinished: A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Time and again Priyanka Chopra has proved to be a global icon. Unfinished is memoir by actress Priyanaka Chopra. If you are curious to know about her life and consider her as your role model then this book is for you. She has shared everything from her childhood in India, her formative teenage years in United States, her journey of becoming Miss India and then Miss World and how after winning so many national and international beauty competitions she has launched herself as a global star. She has shared some intimate stories of her personal life which gives a personal touch to the book. Basically this is a story about her journey from a bold silly town to becoming this diva that she is now.

Think Again: The power of knowing What You Don't Know" by Adam Grant

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Adam grant is a organizational psychologist. He has seen how people lack motivation and meaning in their lives. He has studied human mind very closely and encouraged people to "think again". People after experiencing failures, do loose hope and don't want to travel that path again. Grant motivated people through his book. According to him people should not just learn from their mistakes but explore how it makes them feel. He examines why people feel uncomfortable thinking again. What stops them to introspect and how can we encourage people to think again in a way that is often more productive than getting everything right at the first time. I have personally applied this learning in my training and coaching and seen positive results.

Rememberings by Sinead O'Connor

This is one book which is very close to my heart. People complain about so many things in life, but I can assure you that after reading this book you will find your misery as tiny as a dot. At least I felt it. Do I need to tell you who Sinead O'Connor is? Well Sinéad O'Connor's voice and trademark shaved head made her famous by the age of twenty-one. Her recording of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U made her a global icon. She outraged millions when she tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on American television. In this book Sinead recounts her brutal childhood, rise to fame and her experience of motherhood and mental health struggles. Highly recommended.

The Art Of Creative Thinking by Jhon Adair

How to think out of the box? How can one be innovative and develop great ideas? This book talks about all of these. In order to get competitive advantage over your competitors one needs to come up with new ideas. Therefore importance of creative thinking needs no emphasis. The Art of Creative Thinking provides clear, practical guidelines for developing your power as a creative thinker. Jhon Adair has illustrated examples of entrepreneurs, authors, scientists and artistes to explain the key aspect of creativity.

I hope you will like my recommendations. Please do share one of your favorite non-fiction book. 

If you all are looking for 5 top fiction books in the year 2022 you can checkout here

I'm participating in Blogchatter's #TBRChallenge  




Tuesday, March 22, 2022

HARSHA: The fearless warrior of Thanesar by Rajat Pillai - Book Review


NAME OF THE BOOK: HARSHA: The fearless warrior of Thanesar

NAME OF THE AUTHOR: Rajat Pillai

GENRE: Historical period fiction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rajat Pillai is a Mumbai based software technology architect whose first book Chandragupta was a national bestseller. It was translated into regional languages and the movie rights were acquired by a global production house. He has ventured into different genres with novels like Dead Woman Writing and Yoddha, which have garnered critical acclaims from national media.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The book "Harsha " is about the ruler who was benevolent, energetic, just and active in the administration and prosperity of his empire. After the death of King Prabhakarvardhan and Queen Yasomati of Thanesar, Harsha and his brother had to face unpredictable challenges and animosity. There were series of tragic incidents happened after the death of their parents that had shaped Harsha's personality forever. And the most tragic was Rajvashri, his sister's abduction. At a tender age of 17, Harshvardhan was crowned as the king, who went on to become one of the greatest kings of India with an empire covering most of north India. The biggest challenge faced by him was, to rescue his sister from unfriendly lands and found himself stranded amidst political turmoil, unknown enemies, uncharted regions and altering ego. But despite less experience, his intelligence and self motivation made him the most popular King, whose reign was called as the golden period in Indian history. Harsha's reign was a period of prosperity, benevolence to all the regions, promotion of arts and welfare for the common man. 

This book talks about his popularity not just within India but also around the world, especially among chinese travelers who were in awe of the prosperity and welfare enjoyed by the common man during his reign. Amidst of all these turmoil, Harsha was broken from within. But his mission to make Bharatvarsh a welfare state distracted him from the excruciating memories. 

He chose to live the kind of life that his brother Rajyavardhan believed in, a life defined not by what one received from the world but by what one gave to the world. Somewhere towards the middle of his reign, Harsha took up Buddhism. 

As someone rightly said Fiction is just a fiction for all those readers who cannot relate the story to their reality. The book Harsha is not just a story about the biggest King in Indian history but his story teaches us to survive in today's world. In this elusive world, where things are so erratic with full of drama, suspense and unclear intentions, Harsha shows us the path of how one needs to be focused with an end goal in mind. Only then one can achieve his mission.

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK

Historical fiction connects past and present with extraordinary imagination. I personally feel every book should have some take away which can add value in our present life. And this book has done this effortlessly with praiseworthy imagination by author. The narration is extremely gripping and the credit goes to the author for keeping their readers hooked till the end. As each chapter is short and crisp, it is a quick read and motivates readers to move to the next and probably that helps  in finishing this book in no time. My only advise to the readers is, if you are really interested in period drama, only than opt for such books.

BOOK DETAILS

PAGES: 276

FORMAT: Paperback/Kindle Edition

PRICE: 328/310.65 INR

PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House

AVAILABILITY:  Amazon

Monday, March 14, 2022

An Insightful Session by Meghna Pant, Kiran Manral & Kanchana Banerjee on Relatability in Fiction #BlogchatterWritFest


A sign of good book is when characters make you feel intense emotions and the reason you are turning pages is because you are feeling things. 

The best tips come from people who have been there and done that. Blogchatter Writfest brings us some immensely successful and talented authors who have published number of books and are inspiring budding writers and authors. Today I am sharing an insightful session conducted by Blogchatter WritFest with Meghana Pant, Kiran Manral & Kanchana Banerjee which was moderated by our own Harshita Nanda.

When asked how does an author make a strong social issue the focus of the book, without making it moralistic or preachy?

All the author unanimously agreed that whether the character is a noble-hearted man or a thieving anti-hero , if you want your readers to invest in their journeys, you have to make your character look relatable. And what makes a character relatable, their humanity, the reader should be able to empathize with your characters. Some times you might have to add some humor, romance or thriller in the story to make it light and interesting. Meghna Pant added saying that women centric books that are focusing on any social cause still needs more acceptability and requires correct portrayal of their personality by giving narratives that takes feminism forward. 

" Women are neither Becharies, nor Krantikaries they are just normal Naaries" very well articulated by (in Hindi) - Meghna Pant.

Do author gets self indulgent in terms of plot twisting or language and how to avoid that and be more relatable?

According to Kanchana Banerjee, clarity while writing is the key. Writers do soak in all they see around. It is difficult to keep yourself aloof from the society and it does reflect in your writing but sometime you need to be little cautious and restrain yourself from being too self indulgent. Know your vision for your story and adhere to it with discipline. It is fine to play around for a while but don't get sidetracked from what's best for your story. Keep your writing crisp and powerful as possible.

How much trends influence writing?

According to Meghna Pant, write a story which you think cannot be written better by anybody else. Write what you like or what you are comfortable and comes naturally to you. Art is to elevate and not to suppress the creativity. Never follow trends. Both Kiran and Kanchana resonated with her thoughts and added saying that, don't write for money, write something that you cannot only be proud of but also enjoy the process of writing. Write from your heart and what gets you excited to sit in front of your computer everyday. Do not fear failure instead go with your instinct and trust your voice. A successful career in writing typically takes too long to achieve, can be too exhausting so better write what you are passionate about and believe in yourself. It is important to enjoy the journey and be authentic. Kanchana Baneerjee rightly said that, as a writer you are your first reader, if your are not liking what you are writing and not enjoying reading it, then, the end result can never be good and story won't live up to its potential. 

Is it important to have a writing ritual?

We all are individuals and we all have different needs and very different points of inspiration. What might work for some might not for others. So follow your own ritual which suits you the best and inspires you to write. Anything that gives 0% distraction and 100% focus. It could be a closed room, a café or an outstation.

Is there a difference in approach for writing fiction and non-fiction books?

According to Kiran Manral, whether it is a fiction or non fiction, facts needs to be right and believable. So in fiction get your facts right and than fictionalize the facts. 

What do you aim for while writing, relatability or innovation at the risk of courting absurdity?

According to Meghna Pant it is all about balancing both. You need to think out of the box and be more creative, as people do get bored very fast and at the same time try to make it more realistic. Too much of relatability makes it mundane and too much absurdity is also not relatable. According Kanchana Banerjee, it is important that characters in the story should be compelling, who can grab reader's attention instinctively.

What do you choose first, genre or story?

It is important to write what you love. The characters, plot, and setting are going to come much easier to you if you love what you write about. It's never a genre, either you choose a story or story chooses you. That's the best approach and that's how it should be.

Author's favorite books and recommendations

Kiran Manral: 3 Men In the Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Kanchana Banerjee: Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Meghna Pant: Alice Munro books, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

If you have missed this session, here is a quick glance into the session. Stay tuned for more such insightful sessions by BlogchatterWritFest.


Written as part of BlogchatterWritFest

'This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with RRE Studios and ShowCase Events.' 



 











 'Written as part of BlogchatterWritFest