Book: Straight to Normal
Author: Sharif D. Rangnekar
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, LGBT
Number of pages: 222 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of ‘Straight to Normal’ from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The book is an autobiography of the author’s life, describing his family and childhood in Mumbai, then Kolkata and finally Delhi. The author has vividly described his struggles with academics, his excess weight and how his family and he struggled to cope with the untimely loss of his father.
He was vaguely aware that there was something different about him as far as his interest in women was concerned but due to the lack of available information during that period, he could not easily figure out that he was not inclined to be attracted towards women but rather towards his own gender.
The process through which the author comes to terms with his sexuality and the support received by him from his family and close friends is wonderfully depicted by him.
I found it extremely endearing that the author has placed so much emphasis on his objective of finding true love. He has been extremely candid in talking about regarding his failed relationships, crushes and various disappointments in life, as indeed a true autobiography should be.
The book is extremely interesting and thought provoking. I am sure that it took a lot of courage and determination on the author’s part to make sure that it was published. I hope that this book serves the purpose of dispelling the prejudices still held by many towards the gay community. I believe that everyone will definitely benefit from reading this book.
Book: The Paintbrush
Author: Krishnasish Jana
Published by: Locksley Hall
Number of pages: 183 pages
My Rating: 4/5
MY REVIEW: The author provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
The story is about an artist Raman and his life. He grows up dirt-poor in the slums with an abusive father. But he has one talent that stands him apart from the other children: he is good with colours!
His mother gifts him a paintbrush that sets him off on his journey towards becoming a great artist. The paintbrush stays with him throughout his life and has a great significance for him.
Raman does see success as an artist but he also has to face many losses in his life. Raman remains determined to find his masterpiece that will fulfil him as an artist.
Raman tries his best to be a good father to his daughter Pakhi who also turns out to be a talented artist.
Will Raman be able to find his masterpiece or not?
I recommend this book to readers as an extremely touching and well-told story.
Author: Ashish Jaiswal
Number of pages: 210 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of Fluid from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The book begins on an interesting note with a few incidents based on different characters. The author uses these characters as an example to demonstrate how they are not ‘fluid’. He then goes on to explain his concept of being fluid.
The author has obviously extensively researched his facts before presenting them in the book. I was amazed to learn so many little known facts about various famous and historical personalities that have been narrated in the book.
So what is being fluid all about? Of course, the reader needs to read the book to find that out but if I am interpreting what the author means to say correctly, being fluid is all about not slotting oneself in a single category, but being multi vocational and knowledgeable in different fields.
There are many insights by the author about the rigidity of the educational system, in particular the divide between science and art.
The book and the concept put forward by the author is extremely interesting and thought provoking. I believe that everyone will definitely benefit from reading this book.
Book: Broken Crayons Can Still Colour
Author: Captain Rakesh Walia
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Number of pages: 143 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of Broken Crayons Can Still Colour from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The book has been divided into three parts, probably for each stage of the author’s life.
The author first describes his miserable childhood and teenage years, how being orphaned at the age of six, led him to being passed around from relative to relative and the kind of existence that he led. His childhood is best described in the author’s own words as being truly, “Dickensian”.
I loved reading the part where the author gets inspiration to join the armed forces. He holds on to the dream over numerous years and strives to fulfil his dream, managing to overcome various obstacles.
The author has given us a wonderful insight into the rigours of training to be an officer as well as the numerous hardships faced by soldiers on their postings.
Later the author leaves the army and starts life as a civilian. In his new life also, he faces many difficulties and has described how he managed to overcome each one and establish himself in the corporate world.
The book is extremely well-written, interesting and highly motivating. I was both moved and inspired by it. I believe that adults and young people both will definitely benefit from reading this book.
Book: The Mind Game
Author: Devika Das
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Published by: Blue Rose Publishers
Number of pages: 203 pages
My Rating: 4/5
MY REVIEW: The author Devika Das kindly sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This book can be deemed as a “self-help” or a “self-improvement” book. But what I really liked about the book is that the author doesn’t preach to the reader. Instead certain pearls of wisdom are imparted very simply and clearly to the reader.
The book has been divided into six sections: how to master your emotions, how to analyse people, how to live better with lies, how to strive for happiness, how to deal with anger and how to be happy in the workplace.
It is necessary to be guided in all these matters in the modern times when stress levels are at an all-time high and numerous people are struggling with unresolved anger, stress and depression.
There are many things in the book that the reader may already know. But when we struggle with certain situations in life, we tend to forget these things. Reading the book certainly helped me to get a fresh perspective on how to approach my life and problems.
I will certainly recommend this book to readers as motivating and inspiring. People of all ages can understand and relate to the book.