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Tips to become a succesful book blogger

No one has become a superstar blogger overnight.Recognition in blogosphere takes time and there are no short cuts for achieving instant success as a blogger.Read like there is no tomorrow and pen down your sincere thoughts in a lucid, organised and unpretentious manner.Your work will definitely get its due.

Blogadda-Quikr Shopping Fiesta: My Experience

It was like a slap on my face.Thankfully Arun was not there with me to witness by embarassement. I was all set to call him when some random piece of paper with a phone number written on it from my pocket caught my attention.

Book Review:Salvation Of a Saint

On the whole,’The Salvation Of Saint’ is a decent thriller.It may not be as racy as ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’,but still it’s a pretty good one.

Interview with Doctor-turned- Writer Deepal Kripal

Earlier this week,we chatted with Doctor-turned-Author,Deepak Kripal.He has authored 'The Devil's Tale:An impossible journey',published by Leadstart Publishers.In this candid interview,he tells us about his debut work,future plans,his journey as a writer and his other interests in life.

Private India: Book Review

On the whole,'Private India' by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi is a strictly average work.

June 20, 2018

QBR: Angelica's Smile by Andrea Camilleri


                              Angelica's Smile By Andrea Camilleri

                                           RT Rating: 2.5/5

                               304 Pages, Pan MacMillan(2015)

                               Romance/Police Procedural

       The Verdict: An okayish , half baked romance-police procedural

Synopsis: Vig├áta's elite are targeted in a series of brilliantly executed robberies,can Inspector Montalbano solve the mystery?

The Good: Easy Read, fairly good English translation,partly funny

The Bad: the romance was half baked,so was the investigation,ends up neither here nor there

Recommendations:Skip it!

-nikhimenon

June 19, 2018

Quick Book Review: Behind Closed Doors BY B A Paris


                For those of you, who are too lazy to go through 'long, boring' book reviews, RT hereby presenting the new Quick Book Review (QBR) series (if James Patterson can bring out BOOKSHOTS,why can't the poor nikhimenon?☺)



                         Behind Closed Doors By B A Paris

                                      RT Rating: 3/5

                            293 Pages, St Martin's Press (2016)

                                    Psychological Thriller

           The Verdict: A fairly good read built on an intriguing premise!

Synopsis: Jack and Grace are the perfect couple and everyone adores them, But are they living a perfect lie?

The Good: The Premise is fresh , Grace's characterisation, emotional nature of the read, focused narration

The Bad: The climax was not entirely convincing!

Recommendations: Borrow it!

-nikhimenon
                      

April 11, 2018

Book Review: The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

              
Pic-amazon.in

                   The  success of The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl inspired many first time writers and scribes to come out with their own versions of it .While some of them have been decent enough (The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena definitely being one ) ,many of them have been damp squibs.Ruth Ware's The Woman In Cabin Number Ten (though pretty formulaic) fortunately belongs to the former category and is undoubtedly a time-pass read.'The Woman'... is Ruth Wares's second novel after the hugely succesful 'In A Dark, Dark Wood'

                 The Protagonist is Lo, a woman with anxiety disorder and also with drinking issues  (Rachel,anyone?).She is the resident editor of Velocity,a travel magazine.As her boss is on maternity leave,she is assigned to cover the inaugural voyage of a luxury cruise.While everything is okay in the beginning,she happens to witness a woman being thrown out of her next cabin to the deep blue sea.Though she is pretty sure about what she has witnessed,not everyone is convinced about her version of events-as there has never been an occupant in the next cabin! (cabin number 10)

               The writing is decently paced and devoid of long, unnecessary detailing.As the book cover rightly puts it,'The Woman'.. reads more like an Agatha Christie meeting The Girl On The Train.The setting is pretty much Agatha (too many people locked in a particular set up),but the writing and characters are more like Paula Hawkins'. We have got a (not-that-likeable) flawed heroine who is trying desperately to prove what she has 'witnessed' has not been a product of her deviant mind.

               On the downside, I felt that the blurb gave away too much regarding the story line. It's like, if you have read the blurb, you can pretty much skip the first one fifty pages or so. Also, the suspense is not that unpredictable either (the tail-end twist with that mystery about the money in the account is good though!).On the whole, I am giving this book a 2.9 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

April 3, 2018

Mini Book Review:The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson


                         The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a thriller which is worth your time and money. Full of twists and turns,this 400+page work is a genuine page turner. Ted,Miranda and Lily are the principal characters.Ted is upset that his wife Miranda is cheating on him.He meets Lily while waiting for his flight in Heathrow airport. Lily offers him help.They hatch a plan to kill Miranda. But Miranda has other plans for Ted.

                          I particularly liked the characterization of Lily.The manner in which Lily's past life is revealed is truly riveting.The writing is taut and thrilling.The Chapters alternate between Ted and Lily's perspectives and believe me, the shift in perspectives is not done in an irritating manner.

                         For those of you who are still wondering the origin behind the title of this work,here it is- Lily says at one point , "Truthfully, I don't think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing."

On the whole,I am giving 3.5 out of 5 for this novel.

-nikhimenon

March 22, 2018

Mini Book Review : Little Boy Blue by M.J.Alidge

           
 Little Boy Blue is the first book by M.J.Alridge that I have read.It's basically a crime thriller and is the fifth book in the D.I.Helen Grace series.I was not that aquainted with Helen Grace and her subordinates before picking this book up for my weekend read, still I found this work to be quite an enjoyable read.

            Jake Elder( a professional dominator) is found dead in one of the shady clubs in Southampton.Though the case initially looks like a bizarre sex game gone wrong,pretty soon it becomes clear that there is something more to it,as bodies start piling up in a similar fashion at various other places.What's more striking is Helen's personal equations with the victims and it becomes evident that a lot is at stake for her. Adding spice to the narrative is the unhealthy competition between Helen's subordinates , Sanderson and Brookes.The tension catches on, the killer is revealed culminating in a stunning climax, leaving the reader anxious and surprised at the sudden turn of events.

Little Boy Blue is undoubtedly a fast paced,nail-biting thriller.I can't wait to grab a copy of the next one in this installment.I'm giving it a 3.5 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

March 15, 2018

Mini Book Review: I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Agreed, this book is a smash hit and the author is widely hailed as the 'next big thing' among the new breed of women crime writers, but I found the novel to be a pretty average work.

A woman(Ella) accidentally stumbles upon two teenage girls during a train journey only to find out later that one of the girls (Anna Ballard) has gone missing.The book is all about the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of Anna. This 'Gone Girl' meets 'The Girl On The Train' kind of tale is told through the perspectives of it's principal characters -Ella (the witness),Luke (Ella's son),Sarah (the friend), to name a few.The chapters are pretty short and each one ends in a mini cliff- hanger (which was pretty annoying,after a point).The characters are poorly written, their motives and intentions quite patchy to say the least. Also, the reason for the 'guilt-feeling' of Ella and the others is not properly explained. The final twist is just about okay.

On the whole, I am giving a 2.5 out of 5 for this book.

-nikhimenon

February 21, 2018

Mini Book Review: Home by Harlan Coben

Home is the latest title in Coben's Myron Bolitar series and re-unites Myron,Win,Big Cyndi,Esperanza once again for a brand new adventure.Also Joining them in the adventure are Mickey,Ema and Spoon.

Two boys go missing and twelve years later,Win and Myron stumbles upon one of them in London and manage to bring him home ,but not everyone is convinced that he is the real person.This is the basic premise of 'Home'.Myron and Win ,in their trademark style try to solve this mystery but I must confess that 'Home' is one of the weakest works to have come out in Bolitar series.The book is not at all racy and nothing much really happens in the first two hundred +pages of this tale.The twists are far and few in between and not of them are indeed convincing.Too much time is spent in unnecessary detailing and by the time the actual mystery is revealed,the reader loses interest in the whole proceedings.The good thing about the climax is that though the twist is predictable,it manages to move you emotionally (the tail-end twist including Brooke and 'the gun' could have been avoided though).The epilogue reveals a positive event in Bolitar's personal life and I am definitely looking forward to the next one in the series.

On the whole,I am giving this one a 2.75 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

January 25, 2018

Mini Book Review: Harlan Coben's 'Missing You'

               

                  'Missing you' is yet another work of Harlan Coben which I have picked up to read.This is another stand alone- domestic thriller from the master crime writer.The premise is typical Coben.There is a past murder,a forgotten boy-friend who is making a re-entry years later, a single mother who has suddenly vanished without a trace and a female investigator accompanied by a teenage boy trying to solve the mystery and the tail-end twist which is happening in the very last page. It's a stand-alone thriller which is totally worth your time and money.
                   Kat is a NYPD detective who is fighting her past demons.She stumbles upon her ex, Jeff who had ditched her almost two decades earlier in a dating website.There is this teenage boy (Brandon) who is seeking Kat's help as his mother(Diana) has gone missing all on a sudden and is potentially linked to Jeff.In the middle of all this, Kat should also to find out who killed her beloved dad.
                'Missing You' tells the story of Kat,Jeff and Diana.It's an absolute page turner.The writing is fast paced,twist laden with never a dull moment.Go for it!

Verdict- I am giving it a 3.5 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

January 21, 2018

The Great Indian 'Law' Story !

                  
                Judiciary as the ‘saviour’ of democracy- a lot of noise is being made on this regard these days. A Nation without a robust judicial system will definitely face mayhem and turmoil. Agreed, Judiciary is one of the most pivotal limbs of democracy, but to bestow upon the guardianship of democracy solely on the Indian Judiciary is something which is not only over- ambitious but also outright ridiculous. Democracy is defined as the Government of the people, by the people and for the people. Judiciary and Democracy should complement each other so that the absolute interests of the state are upheld.
                India has been fortunate enough to have a sturdy judicial system. The efficiency of the courts in India is something which even the world has acknowledged and appreciated. From H.J kania to Deepak Mishra , we have had many CJIs who were renowned for their honesty and professionalism. And being the world’s largest democracy,we,as a nation cannot afford  to have a  half-baked legal system. It also should be remembered that the courts function on public money which necessitates the need of accountability pertaining to their work.Openness in the court procedures and lucidity in decision making can facilitate parity between the nation’s security and the civil rights of the people.
                 Judiciary is widely perceived to be the common man’s last ‘ray of hope’.Infact the responsibilities of the judiciary are many. It not only has to apply and interpret the law as per the constitution and exercise  the rule of the law but also act as a player in state politics.
              Having said that, it is also true that the legal system of the Nation has so many issues plaguing it. The huge back-log of cases and the time-lag which happens between hearing and the final judgement is indeed a stark reality. Also,of late,the courts seem to develop cold-feet when coming to giving judgements pertaining to extremely sensitive issues ala a ‘Babry’ Case or an ‘Abaya’ Case.
            There are many other matters worth pondering on.The country has got enough and more number of ‘attention seekers’ and ‘potential head line grabbers’ who resort to litigations and ‘PIL’ s to achieve social and political gains. Unwanted litigations like these waste the precious time of the honourable courts and only serve to ‘delay justice’ for the genuine aggrievers.
             A couple of days back, the Nation witnessed an unprecedented spat between a couple of sitting SC judges and the honourable CJI. In the present context, if an average citizen gets the idea that the ego-conflicts and power wars among the sitting SC judges and the honourable CJI has resulted in this present judicial crisis, he can’t be blamed. This situation of ‘it’s a matter of (the ‘rituous’ and ‘holy’) us v/s (the ‘crooked’ and ‘unholy’) him could have been easily averted had the grieving judges not resorted to washing the dirty linen in public. The recent developments have only served to tarnish the image of the highest court of the country among the general public. When four of the 25 judges of SC gang up and hold a press meet only to declare an open War on the CJI, there will indeed be repercussions and the message that it sends out to the general public and to the world  is not at all pleasant. After all, it’s not reality television that we are talking about! But sadly, the attempts to milk this episode for political capital has begun and it is anybody’s guess that this will go on till 2019!
            The role of judiciary in the maintenance and prosperity of an evolving democractic society cannot be under estimated and if done so, it will have alarming consequences which will be detrimental to the society and the country as a whole.

-nikhimenon

January 12, 2018

Notes on 'The Luckiest Girl Alive' by Jessica Knoll


                'The Luckiest Girl Alive' is apparently the debut work of model-turned- writer Jessica Knoll.The book tries to tell the story of Ani Fanelli,who had a troubled life as a teenager.

              The cover screams loud that it is the next 'Gone Girl'(and it even has a 'Girl' in it's title,incase you have missed it's 'aspiration'). After having finished about fifty percent of this mammoth 400+pages book (I am trying hard to finish the rest), I can confidently say that it's no where close to the Gillian Flynn masterpiece.Jessica struggles to maintain the tone of the book which remains inconsistent through out.The reader never gets to know whether it's a satire(on wedding planning and the 'weight loss exercise')or a dark psychological thriller.There is a graphic description of rape and torture and a supposedly shocking revelation about violence at school,but when the writing is inefficient,all the efforts generate mixed results.The writing is not at all fast paced and the constant back and forth narrative just manages to confuse the reader.On the whole,I am giving it a 2 out of 5. If you loved this book,kindly let us know!

-nikhimenon

January 9, 2018

Mini Book Review: Shari Lapena's 'The Couple Next Door'

             
          Shari Lapena's 'The Couple Next Door' was one book which I had wanted to read for quite long. It took me almost a year to get hold of this book, but then, once I had it with me, it took me only a couple of hours to finish reading it! Though it had shades of 'The Girl On the Train' and 'Little Face' , it turned out to be a true page-turner and totally worth the money spent on it.

        Anne is a new-mom and she lives with her husband Marco who is quite supportive of her and her child.They get invited for a dinner by their next-door neighbours and in the process leave their baby at home alone only to realize later that she has gone missing.This suspense filled novel is all about their efforts to get Cora (the baby) back.

       The writing is crisp and fast paced and we get to know many intricate details of Anne and Marco as a couple. There are plenty of twists and turns and at no point of time the reader gets bored. Although the build up was quite good, the climax was pretty lame, I felt.

       On the whole,'The Couple Next Door' is an interesting read.It doesn't have much depth but is definitely a paisa- vasool time pass read! I am giving it a 3 out of 5.

-nikhimenon

January 8, 2018

'My Story' Song and the 'Controversy'!


Prithvi is no Ranbir and Parvathy is no Deepika. I genuinely dislike this song video.The atrocious choreography ,fake expressions and the song itself is quite irritating!

-nikhimenon

November 5, 2017

Hyde Park


                                Hyde Park is the largest of the Royal Parks. It's one of the important tourist destinations right in the heart of the City. Spread over about 400 acres,the park is indeed a really beautiful place and is also the habitat of many species of birds.You have to either get down in Hyde Park corner to reach here or take a bus from Victoria.Diana Memorial fountain,The Serpentine,Peter Pan are a few of the attractions in the Hyde Park.A few pictures are being shared here.








-nikhimenon

October 29, 2017

Random thoughts on two Harlan Coben novels

Cover -amazon.in

                                            I am slowly, but surely becoming a huge fan of Coben. Last week, I finished reading two of his domestic thrillers.Caught (2010) and Hold Tight (2008). I must say that that both the books were gripping, fast paced and truly entertaining. While the former is about a 17 year old girl (who has suddenly gone missing) and a TV sting that has gone horribly wrong , the latter is about the sinister secrets harboured by a teenage boy and also deals with themes like abuse of prescription drugs, teenage suicide topically. While the plotting of Caught is quite similar to Coben's previous works, Hold Tight is a marked departure from his usual style.What make both these works quite different from the usual thrillers is the fact that they both deal with quite relevant issues and that too in a fast paced and quite entertaining manner.
                             'Caught' starts off with an innocent man getting falsely implicated in a crime which he never did ,but the book is a lot more than that.Infact a lot of things happen in this 300+ page tale. A girl mysteriously disappears , a T.V reporter is on the run trying hard to prove a point, and there is also a group of men caught in a very tricky situation.The narrative is fast paced and there is never a dull moment but towards the end ,we get a feeling that the writer tried to pack in a whole lot of things in quick succession.There are twists galore in the end and before the reader can fully assimilate the first one, there comes the second one, the next and so on. On the whole, the work is a pretty good, entertaining read!
                         'Hold tight' follows the pattern of the typical Coben domestic thrillers.There is this family who are happily living the American dream and then suddenly they discover that their son (Adam) is harbouring a sinister secret. He starts behaving in a weird way and the panicked parents (Mike and Tiya) install a spyware in his computer.Soon the boy disappears and 'Hold Tight' is all about their race against time to get their son back.The book also deals with the many unethical practices existing in the field of health care and drug trade. On the whole,a truly gripping thriller!

-nikhimenon

October 12, 2017

Oxford Street/Oxford Circus


Oxford Street is one of the richest streets in London.Please note that this is different from the city of Oxford University of Oxford.The toy store,Hamley's is located here.

The Tube Station






- nikhimenon

October 9, 2017

Green Park!


Green Park is one of the eight Royal Parks in London. It's indeed situated in the heart of London and is a habitat for many species of birds.This is more of a picture blog on Green Park.There are many ways to reach the Park,the easiest is to take a tube to Green Park station which is in the Victoria Tube Line.Spread across 40 acres,this is also the smallest/shortest park among the royal parks.
The Tube Station
Welcome to Green Park!
The Walk
The Park!


                   
The place was filled with tourists,it's a beautiful place indeed!

-nikhimenon

October 2, 2017

The London Bridge!


Well,this is mostly going to be a photo blog post(which basically means that you will have to bear with my non existent photographic skills !).London is quite full of places of historic importance and  beautiful tourist attractions.People from all over the world come here to have a glance of the most iconic tourist spots.
1.The Tower Bridge(London Bridge)- The bridge opens up to make way for the big ships/boats which are trying to cross the river,which indeed is a beautiful sight!
2.The London Eye-This is something like a giant wheel which give the full view of London.Situated just beside the river,gives a beautiful view of the city indeed.
3.The Parliament-Well,I don't have a picture of the parliament yet,but this is where it's situated and there are some beautiful statues of the world leaders here.
4.The Palace-I'm sure that many of you might have seen this image somewhere else,but I believe no post about London is complete without these pictures.
5.The Gardens-I forgot the name of this garden ,but that doesn't matter,right.There is a nice kid's play area also inside and I bet your kids are going to love this place.
6.Thames-Do I need to say more?
7.The Streets on a Sunday Morning-It's actually full of tourists from different parts of the world(they aren't there in this picture though!)
8.Victoria Station-The national rail trains to various parts converge here.
9.The Roads-They aren't very crowded, right?
10.The Heron-This one is so used to humans ,I believe!Doesn't mind posing for a snap or two!

11.The Big Ben-They are renovating it.But that hasn't reduced it's charm in any ways!

-nikhimenon

September 30, 2017

London!

(This is going to be a pretty long post.If you are a native of London or/has been staying here in London for a while,this post is probably not going to interest you much.If you are new to the city or happen to be one who has been thinking about visiting this city, I strongly recommend that you read on).

                                It's been a week here in London.The weather is pretty okay, not very cold or very warm. Getting used to the transport system was the first and the most important thing which I had to sort out in the initial days. I will be penning down a few things which I noticed during the first week of my stay here. Hoping that these gyaans might come handy for those of you who plan to visit or stay in London in the near future.
1.Get used to the transport system as early as possible-Unlike in India, here, there is a very good public transport system and almost everyone uses it. They have this thing called the 'Oyster card', which basically is something like a 'season ticket' and looks like a 'credit/debit card' (obviously without the Visa/MasterCard logo in it!). You can either use it on a pay as you go basis or as a season ticket. The card works in tubes,trams,buses and even in the overhead national trains.You just have to show/swipe the card in a yellow automated card reader which is there in the entrance of the tube station or in the entry door of the public transport bus which you get into. The fare for your each journey will be automatically deducted from the card.Always rember to show the card at the entry and exit points of the tube station, else you will either be charged a penalty of 80£ or will have to face prosecution.

2.Stick to your time-The British are very punctual , so when they say that they will meet you at nine,they do actually mean it. Don't turn up late for any of the important meetings or classes as far as possible.

3.There are a lot of Indian restaurants out here-If you are badly missing Indian food, you can always step into any of the Indian restaurants out there in your locality. There are many out there. If you are here on a budget, then you can get whatever you need from the local Indian store out there and prepare your own meal at home.

4.The British Chips and Fish- Almost all the places here serve the famous English 'Fish n Chips' on Fridays. If you are into fish, u can definitely give it a try.

5.The free 'Metro' and the 'Evening Standard'- Well,this is one thing which I liked a lot.If you are a commuter, everyday you will get free tabloids in the mornings and in the evenings along with weekly magazines.There are racks outside each tube station and inside each bus/tram from where you can pick your daily free copy of the tabloid/magazine.

6.The 'People'- The native British people are very polite, well mannered and cultured. But beware,like in any other country,not all people are good though.

7.There are 'strikes' in London-If you have been thinking that strikes and 'dharnas' are only seen in developing countries,you have got it terribly wrong.These things are there here too.

8.The traffic culture-One thing I think I should emphasize here is the way they treat the pedestrians.In every major crossings, you will see a system like this (above picture) which enables the pedestrians to cross the road in a safe and timely manner.If the signal for automobiles is green,you just have to press the button over there and wait till the green signal for the pedestrians shows up.And remember,if there are no signals in he lane which you are trying to cross,the cars and motor cycles will wait until you have crossed the road!

9.Tesco- They are a chain of hyper markets like our Reliance fresh and Lulu which stock almost all the daily essentials.

10.Lyca and Libera Sim-If you are from the Indian subcontinent,these are probably the best mobile sims which you can get hold of.They have got some really good plans which you can avail of and it really makes your calls to India quite cheap.

-nikhimenon