Hocus-Pocus Mystery!!

THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY (2011) 3.5/5 YES Crime Detective Rs.106 (Amazon.in) Agatha Christie [3.7/12212 ratings Goodreads]


Review #457 (Book Review #157)

Finally after so many days I completed a Agatha Christie novel. Previous to this I’ve read few other novels of her but they basically belongs to a central detective character created by her named, the famous Hercule Poirot. This time I’ve completed THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY and its not belonging to any central detective character, this is a book of solving mystery collectively by various characters used in the book.

There’s an imaginary English town named Sittaford which is high on the hill and near Dartmoor in UK and it get the snow year round. During winter months it was always covered in thick snow and even the roads to the nearest town Exhampton get blocked. It’s a small town having only 6 cottages, wherein lived 6 families. One cottage “Sittaford House” is owned by Capt.Travelyan who has now lend it to Mrs. Willett, and he himself is now living in a rented house in Exhampton. One day he was found murdered by his friend Major Burnaby. Who killed him? And what were the suspicious yet queer environment in which someone guessed that he was murdered? Read it to know more.

So lets come on to some statistics. First my personal stats: I completed this 348 pg. book in 18 days which is fine speed I guess. This book is first published in 1931 and it seems #13 (as per wikipedia) from AC. Well now lets jump to the pros and cons related to the book.

Well AC sure does imagine wonderfully and all her readers went to beautiful locales in their imaginations, as a reader I too went to dfferent locations and scenarios without actually being there, that is the beauty of her writing and descriptions of places, she also able to provide a figurative description of all her characters of the book so that you will know who’s who and what’s what. Yes the English used is old English, and sometimes you may thought it gramatically wrong but that doesn’t hamper the feel of novel for atleast an avid reader.

Now for the plot: Its a murder mystery and yes AC was able to hold on the reader till the end with the grasping mystery which involves a queer business of psychic interpretations and You would actually like the buildup of the plot however the end was not able to satisfy the means i.e. I didn’t liked the end of the book because the buildup actually build up your expectation of a good end, somehow didn’t found the motive of killing that lucrative as one can expect. So yeah, I will say that book is good and on the lines of some other of her novel (which I read), even better in start and till end so I will say “you can try this one”. However this book does not belong to the famous central detective character “Hercule Poirot” created by her. In this story every character is involved in crime mystery solving so its a kind of combined detection.

All-in-all I will recommend this book with a 3.5/5 rating from me, and except end the book is good.

GRuchirG. (“G” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in crime, english, Foreign | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the frontiers..

GAZING AT NEIGHBOURS (2011) 3.5/5 YES Non-fiction Travel Rs.49 (Amazon Kindle) Bishwanath Ghosh [4.12/151 ratings Goodreads]


Review #456 (Book Review #156)

I always likee reading about different places, I guess there is a roaming spirit in my body but the reality is hard – the money is required for roaming, so I started reading travel books, atleast imagination and dreams don’t cost you. So presenting you review on one more travelogue – this one named GAZING AT NEIGHBOURS and is written by Bishwanath Ghosh.

I have read 2 other travel books written by him – ‘Chai Chai’ and ‘Tamarind City’. He is an Indian journalist and a writer too and has written some travel books about various aspects/areas/cities of India. He was born in December 1970 in Kanpur in the Uttar Pradesh state of India.

In this book of his, he covered some border areas which lies on Indian side, the villages and the fields and interacted with many people about their daily lives alongwith how they felt about living near to an International border. He visited Punjab border areas which share the boundary with Pakistan, then he went to Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya region which borders with Bangladesh. What he found in bordering areas of Punjab state is that the people are same, it’s just the imaginary line which separate the two person from each other. And it’s bit more hostile.

While the same case is not there in Bangladesh bordering areas, there the norms are relaxed and friendly, one can go and do shopping from one country to another and can come back the same day if one has visa. He also shared the plight of some comnunities living in enclaves. The author shared the story behind these enclaves. The friendliness is there but this also increase the smuggling effects which need to be put in check.

The book is fine and very easy to read, it’s not long, however I’ve read its kindle version but length can be determined, again a lazy afternoon read kind of book is what it is. And its a huge relief for me to detox myself from a stream-feast on Netflix, Prime and Hotstar. Recommended with a 3.5/5 rating. Do check it out.

GRuchirG (Ji Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in non fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Real Safari!

DARK STAR SAFARI (2002) 4/5 YES Non-fiction Travel Rs.76 (Bookchor.com) Paul Theroux [3.96/11909 ratings Goodreads]


Review #455 (Book Review #155)

Paul Theroux, I’m sure many of you are aware of this name. For me this is his 3rd read. Paul is an american travel writer and novelist and had written many books. I’ve already read 2 of his travelogues before – THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAR and RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER.

In TGRB (1975) he travelled through India but I didn’t liked that book because he was too complaining in that book for a country which is still growing. In RTIR (1988) he travelled on a train from Russia, Siberia, Mongolia to China, here again he complained but still it was a balanced book. Now this is the review of his travels through African continent and this book was first published in 2002. I have one more book of him with me, again a travelogue, let’s see when I will start that.

So Paul is currently 78 yrs old and born in Medford on Apr 10 1941 (wiki) and he travelled through African continent which he covered in this book. He started his journey from Egypt – Cairo, and travelled on land covering Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Obviously he missed some of the African countries or didn’t want to go there. He travelled on land, using buses, trains, matadors or makeshift four wheelers, also took ferries on Nile.

He showed the real Africa which is not what everyone visited, the real adventure, the real threats one can face, the degrading economies, and degrading non-existing infrastructure. He faced visa problems and even told not to go by roads or roam in nights but he did exactly that (as per book). But this book is an exhaustive read and I liked the book. Yes it points out the negativity of this vast continent which everyone tried to capture, which is still not growing even after so many foreign aid campaign, infact as per his views these foreign aid NGOs are actually making thing worse for africans. But he balanced the book by pointing out what is good and raw about this land. He earlier worked in African countries as teacher, and have many friends and students residing there, so he compared his earlier times with the time of this travel.

Language wise book is easy, you just take the book and start reading at night times or at your leisure times and if you’re a travel/adventure bufg along with an avid reader, you will like this book. It’s a long book, my copy is around 400+ pages, and I took time to finish it (check 2nd pic for my reading speed) since I’m not a bachelor now. And I’ve visited many places in India (being an Indian) and only US (other than India) but I’m a travel fan so travelogue is my constant companion (other than my better half) since if you can’t travel some places due to time/money you can atleast read and imagine about them. I also traced Paul’s route on google maps so as to get the feel of route he took.

Recommended with 4/5 rating.

GRuchirG. (“JEE” RUCHIR “JI”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in english, Foreign, travelogue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

YES!! I CAN DO IT!!

WILD (2012) 4/5 YES Memoirs, Adventure Rs.175 (Amazon.in) Cheryl Strayed [3.99/520140 ratings Goodreads]

Review #454 (Book Review #154)

One fine day I got my hands on a movie WILD starring Reese Witherspoon and it was released in 2014. I kind of liked that movie so I found out the inspiration behind it. So now here’s the review of the book on which that movie was based – WILD written by CHERYL STRAYED and it was first published in 2012.

WILD is a memoir written by Cheryl Strayed, she changed her surname after getting divorced and the book’s full name is WILD: FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL. So, you can now have a pretty damn idea what this memoir could contain. Its an emotional journey of a lady and her trek on the most famous American trail – the PCT. In this book of 300+ pages, she explained all her feeling, it looks like she has opened her heart and poured out all the feelings on the pages. The things she faced in her life including the death of her mother, their family’s movements, their poor conditions, her divorce and then gathering the courage to trek a monstrous trail alone.

Previous to this I’ve read such books but those are not autobiography kind of books – I’ve read INTO THE WILD which was the story of a guy Christopher who went to Alaska and died, but it was written by a journalist Jon Krakauer. WILD is written in first person, the same lady who went through that trauma written the book. It’s a long book, so you can say that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea/coffee. Plus its a memoir, a non-fiction so you will not get twists and turns or dramas. But yes you will get emotions. And its a kind of travel book but a travel book written with a personal touch, not like a guide actually.

It took me 85 days to complete this book, as I was busy in watching streaming apps, like Netflix, Prime and others. But I will also say that do not hurry in reading this book, you have to take your time in reading this, expereince all the happenings of the author’s life, and get a feel what she’s going through. Readability is okay and by the end of it I felt that I went on that trail. She was a novice yet she accomplished a feat that many of us can’t even think about it.

She faced problem enroute, explained weather of different parts of trail, how she made new friends, how she survived alone on the trail. The pace of the book was fine although she told a lot about her flashbacks here and there. I would recommend this book for serious readers with rating 4/5. GO FOR IT!!

GRuchirG (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in Foreign, Memoir, non fiction, travelogue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Confession of a girl.

13 REASONS WHY (2007) 3/5 YES Young Adult Rs.100 (2nd hand bookshop) Jay Asher [3.97/672255 ratings Goodreads]


Review #453 (Book Review #153)

《 Before proceeding to review I want to salute Indian Armed Forces for their valor, courage and bravery. I pray for the martyrs of Pulwama terrorist attacks, may they rest in peace. 》

One fine morning, I was in Indore due to some personal work, and Indore has 2nd hand book stores, since I have some time to kill I just went through one which still exists and found this book 13 REASONS WHY by JAY ASHER. Previous to this I never read him but I was fully aware of a netflix series by the same name so I knew that this book must be it’s inspiration, and I haven’t watched the series (still not seen) so I thought ‘Why not I read about it first’. So I got the book for Rs.100.

I wikipediad Jay Asher. He is an American author born in California in 1975. I guess this is his first work, other than this he wrote 3 other books – The Future of Us, What Light and Piper. Rest you can do wikipedia, this much info is enough for my review. Oh yes, this is also my 1st read of Jay.

Now lets go through the plot. One fine morning Clay, a high-school student receive a shoebox which is filled with some cassettes, which he found out as recorded by his classmate Hannah, but Hannah is dead. She has recorded these cassettes before taking her life, i.e. before doing suicide and these tapes contains 13 reasons why?

Now these tapes must travel from 1 reason to the other, basically those 13 reasons are characters in her life, it’s not what but who, and everyone has to listen to those and to pass it further down the line and now Clay had those.

As you can deduce from the above picture that I took 44 days to complete this small novel of just 250 odd pages, you all may be thinking why? Well there are 3 reasons behind it. 1. I am a multitasking guy, at a time I have 3-4 novels open and I use to read any one of them at a given time, let’s say, depending on my mood. Currently I am reading 1 Hindi language crime-thriller novel ‘Dial 100’ and 1 non-fiction adventure WILD and 1 oddly sci-fi comic novel ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. 2. Yes, novel had some issues which prevent me to read it fast. 3. Time crunch.

The novel’s concept is real good, I haven’t seen this concept elsewhere, unique, now I am intrigued to watch the series too. Novel is not thick, so a regular user can pick it. The novel had a hidden message about how one person can affect other person’s life, so it encourages the readers to be at their good behaviour all the time. Language wise its easy. At the end the book contains writer’s interview and interview of the series’ cast, coz my edition released after the netflix series, check out the main page photo I shared above, that is from series, and netflix name is also mentioned.

Now regarding language, the book seemed confusing at the start. Clay is listening to the tapes, so to distinguish between Clay’s acts and Hannah’s recordings, writer used italics. Meaning if it is italic, it is said by Hannah in recording, if it’s normal font means it’s Clay’s thought process. So at first the reader may get confused. A lot of lines interspersed with 2 different narrations, later on you will get hang of it. Plus even 280 pages sometimes looked boring, like not much is happening but it’s there anyways. The interviews are not in 280 pages, they’re after those pages.

So yes, the novel touches a sensitive subject and the writer really handed it very very well, kudos to Jay for actually writing this novel and handling the sensitive topic well. And I am sure the series adaptation will be good. So I will say a YES to this book with a 3/5 rating. Do check it out.

GRuchirG (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in younh adult fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE FIGHT IS HERE!!

KASHI (2018) 4/5 YES Mythological Historical Thriller Rs.0 (Kindle Unlimited) Vineet Bajpai [4.11/705 ratings Goodreads]


Review #452 (Book Review #152)

Finally Completed the 3rd book of a recent series HARAPPA by VINEET BAJPAI, and its named KASHI, a sequel to Harappa & Pralay.

Before going further in this review check out my review on other 2 books, links are below:

HARAPPA: https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/curse-to-be-continued/

PRALAY: https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/890/

Well well well how do I start, If Harappa was the batter and Pralay was the cake then Kashi is the cherry on top. Wow! A worthy series to read with all books satisfying hunger of a reader. And I liked this genre of mythological-historical conspiracy thrillers so this series suited well to the genre.

SPOILERS》 Now let’s first look at the story: The story took us further to where the 2nd book ends. Vidyut is the last god-human on earth and his bloodline is the protector of earth’s biggest secret of black temple and now its his duty to save that from the assassins who just wanted to get their hands on it. While in the Harappan timeline, Manu is fighting the nature, trying to save the world as he known it from the oncoming Pralay by building a mighty ark, while fighting other enemies like Daityas.

Now the good points – the story is structured in the same way as other 2 books, 2 timelines – Ancient Harappan timeline and the current timeline. The characters are well etched and written in proper way so that readers can make immediate connection with them. The feelings are intact, you feel and imagine all the situations and happenings through your mind, just like you are watching a movie and not reading a book, one of the biggest positives for the book. You also feel bad, sad or happy along with the characters, I really want to watch this series’ movie adaptations now. And like I stated above this book is better than the other 2, not that other 2 were bad, but this is best of 3, a fast-paced edge-of-the-seat thriller. I completed it quite fast. The language is easy for an average Indian reader or to those who appreciate good storytelling using simple language.

Yes it has its share of some cons too- mainly that in the current timeline they took a little more time in revealing the secret, though in no scenario the secret was bad. And felt that our main villain showed too much leniancy in his attempt to hunt the secret, that character was weak and after knowing the value of secret I thought that this character could be presented with more seriousness for acquiring the secret.

But overall this book is not to miss, the thrill increased till the end for a befitting climax, it revealed a secret and yet Vineet has left something for a new series to start if he wants to. One of the nice mythological conspiracy thriller book I’ve read. RECOMMENDED I rate 4/5.

GRuchirG. (G RUCHIR JI)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in English, Indian, Mythological/Historical, thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kalachakra: the wheels of time

KEEPERS OF THE KALACHAKRA (2018) 4/5 YES Thriller/Conspiracy/Histotical/Mythical Rs.229 (Amazon.in) Ashwin Sanghi [3.76/1720 ratings Goodreads]

Review #451 (Book Review #151)

About Ashwin Sanghi: He is an accomplished Indian thriller writer born 25th Jan 1969 in Mumbai. He has written many thriller books esp. of the genre of historical thriller infusing with conspiracy theory and is a well known writer along with Amish who pioneered the Indian english language writing into this genre. You can also call him Indian Dan Brown because of subject of his novels. His bibliography includes books like The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key, Sialkot Saga, which all could be said as BHARAT SERIES, and this one could also said to be a part of this series. So here’s the review of KEEPERS OF THE KALACHAKRA (KOTK).

KOTK was released in 2018 January, and my copy is 401 pages for which I took 43 days. I can say that I liked this book, and it was certainly much better than Ashwin’s last fiction book Sialkot Saga. I liked all of his other books (mentioned above).

So, the story goes like this: There’s a secret organization at work who is somehow involved with assassinations of some known names in political world, how are they performing those killings and why they’re doing this, noone knows. Also, there are some scientific researches are also going on and as many of these researches are already knows and pre-validated by Indian yogics somehow someone wanted to reach to its conclusion so that it could be used for world power shift. Meanwhile, there is a young scientist who got offer to work in a cutting-edge research facility situated in mountainous Indian state of Uttarakhand. What is the purpose of hiring him? And many such questions arises, do read the book for same.

Now the pros: A wonderful book with many conspiracy theories thrown in at regular interval to keep the reader interested through the whole book which is 400+ pages, Ashwin didn’t hold back any secret or findings for later use, though he successfully built the secret for the central theme of book which he revealed at the end only. There are lot of various terms, scientific and otherwise with many incidents and instances included in book for which he surely have done lot of research. Many recorded incidents are used, you can google them. The language is easy, and it’s a fast read, language alongwith thrill and different incidents helped the reader to actually finish book quite fast.

Cons: There are too much of incidents used in the book due to which the central narrative got lost many times, it seems he got carried away in sharing so many references from wiki and google, the central characters got very little space and less time, plus many of these incidents are picked up word-by-word from websites, I’ve checked 3-4 myself on Google, just few words changed, rest same text, he has also provided the references in the last of the book though. There are too many characters involved due to the vast canvas of the story, which can cause hindrance for a less-serious reader. Plus I still didn’t understood the main concept of Quantum Twins, maybe it’s a research topic but I am still not convinced.

The book has a central theme of Radicalization of Islam, you can read it to find out, I liked the book even after some of the cons, and I recommend it with rating 4/5.

GRuchirG. (“G” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

My Reviews of other books by Ashwin Sanghi:

THE SIALKOT SAGA: https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/a-looong-saga/

THE KRISHNA KEY: https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/a-magical-being-named-krishna/

check out my other blogs:

My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

My travel experiences: itravelilive.wordpress.com

My movie reviews:pocketmoviereviews.wordpress.com

Posted in English, Indian, Mythological/Historical, sci fi thriller, thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment