Friday, 22 April 2016

Book Review: Bucket List of a Traveloholic

Book: Bucket List of a Traveloholic
Author: Sarika Pandit
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing
Pages: 242
Price: 250 INR
Genre: Non Fiction/Travel

Blurb: While her B-School batch mates are busy scrambling for top jobs and grades, a restless Sarika dreams of putting on her running shoes and having all the pages of her passport stamped by the age of thirty.

What follows is a frenzied quest of not just collecting stamps but ticking off items off her ever-expanding bucket list: From learning the local language in Spain to an alcohol trail through Greece; from a tryst with Shakespeare and Jane Austen in the United Kingdom to an encounter with the Vampire in Romania; from straddling the border between two countries in the Middle East to a road trip through Morocco to the Sahara; each experience bringing her just a little closer to reaching that final destination on her passport.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review:

Now, this book is a must read for every traveloholic. The various travelogues shared by the author in this book takes the reader to some very interesting places all over the world. Each travel account in this book offers something new and exciting. The enlightening and bittersweet experiences that the author had gathered while travelling reaches to the readers effortlessly.

"Bucket List of a Traveloholic" consists of 15 travel accounts of the author. The author makes a resolution that within the age of thirty, she wants to visit at least 10 countries and she achieves much more than that. Her first foreign tour was in Spain, where she went to learn Spanish. Once she tastes the liberating feeling of travel, there is no looking back for her.

She cruises the Nile, goes on a literary trail of her favorite authors (Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen) in the United Kingdom, becomes a chocoholic at Brussels, goes on an alcohol trail in Greece, rediscovers art in the Czech Republic and so much more. 

The best thing about this book is that you will be able to experience what the author has seen or felt at that time through her amazing narration. There are also pictures accompanied with every travel account. 

You also get to peek into the author's mindset while leafing through the pages. You can understand her restless and wandering spirit that refuses to stay stuck in one place. At one point of time, she feels frustrated with her job and wonders what she should do. As she gazes at the Sahara desert in one vacation, she makes up her mind to quit her job and listen to her heart's calling.

She also fulfills her wish of exploring a new country alone. She travels with a stranger in Finland and at the end of the day, gains a wonderful friend. All her travel accounts are so full of life and positivity that you would wish that the book never ends. 

And once the book ends, you will crave for an adventurous vacation to some far away place. This book is for anyone who loves travelling. 

Buy the book here:

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Book Review: Guy on the Sidewalk

Book: Guy on the Sidewalk
Author: Bharath Krishna
Publisher: Cinnamonteal Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 318
Price: 399 INR 

Blurb: Who am I, where do I belong and what am I meant for in this short life in this big world?

For Jay, life was a series of defensive detours until he gathered the strength to listen to his inner voice with honesty and decided to take life head on with fearlessness. Making the move from India to America was momentous. He sought to make something of himself, however, his yearning to live in his country and among his people never ceased to bother him. Over six years, despite the luxury of opportunities in the United States, he wondered, is this all there is? He left home to create a better life, but he could have never imagined that though his better life might be found in America, his best life might just be at home, in India.

My rating: 3.75/5

My review: 

Guy On The Sidewalk is a novel that cannot be categorized to one particular genre. You can't call it romantic, patriotic, thrilling or humorous after reading it. It is a book that tells the story of a confused guy called Jayawardhan who cannot figure out what exactly he wants to do in life. 

Yes, it's the story of many such people whom we see around us who are clueless about their life and their inner calling. However, instead of procrastinating, Jay is fearless enough to go with the flow of life. So after working in India for a few years, he moves to America for higher studies. 

He gets bewitched with America's lifestyle and ends up comparing each and everything of America with that of India. Though his plan was to study MBA in International Trade, he gets diverted to a different career path. His first few months in America were great, but he soon gets under debt and decides to clear all of his debts before moving to India. 

After surviving a patch of bad phase, he gets great opportunities and when he is climbing the ladder of success in America, he makes a firm decision to go back to his own country to that he can do something meaningful for his own people.

Why? Did any particular situation played the role of a catalyst to make Jay yearn for India? The answer is NO and I felt this is one of the drawbacks in the book. Readers won't understand why Jay wanted to leave everything in America and settle in India, when he was so much smitten with America's progressive lifestyle and culture. He returns to India without any plan, but a vague idea to do social work.

One of the best things in the book is its writing style. It is written in first person and readers can get a clear view of whatever is going on in Jay's mind. Despite the lack of twists and turns, readers would like to leaf through the pages of the book just to know where Jay's life is heading. Kudos to the author's narration. The book has a very few editing errors that can be missed.

Another thing in the book that appealed a lot to me is Jay and Siri's relationship that is not bound to the word marriage. They respect each other's decision and choices in life.

Here are a few quotes in the book depicting the relationship of Jay and Siri that I really liked:

"I guess some relationships don't cease to exist just because we cannot describe them. They remain beyond the capability of our understanding and the power of our vocabulary. Most of those relationships die when people try to define them instead of accepting and enjoying the mystery surrounding them."

"Talking to Siri was an ongoing thing for me, either I talked to her on phone or I talked to her within myself."

"In a world where masking has become the new original, finding someone whose presence makes us unmindfully original is a blessing and that was Siri to me.

The book also throws light on the way NRI thinks about India. Overall, the good narration makes the book a decent read. Considering the fact that it's the work of a debut author, I would like to say that the author has done a good job with his storytelling.

Recommended to both people who wants to settle in America and people who long to return to their own country. 

Buy the book here:

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