Authors, Books, Interviews

Author Interview: Jamal Merchant

Q. Hello and thank you for agreeing this interview and congratulations on your latest book, ‘One Enduring Lesson’. Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Aman, I am most pleased to be interviewed by you.

Born in Bombay (now Mumbai) and brought up in Tanzania, East Africa, I am a Chartered Accountant and now live in London, UK where I am settled since 1972. Over the years I have had a varied career path in England having worked in audit firms, the private sector and a registered public charity. I am now a self-employed property finance broker specialising in arranging commercial property finance for my UK clients.

I have travelled widely including to India, Kenya, Tanzania, China, Egypt, USA, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. My interests include reading, current affairs, movies and cricket.

One Enduring Lesson, a story based in India and a tale of the undying human spirit of survival against all odds is my debut novel

Continue reading “Author Interview: Jamal Merchant”

Advertisements
Book Reviews, Books, Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: The Boy from Pataliputra by Rahul Mitra

Pages: 384, Paperback
Published: March 2017, Fingerprint! Publishing
Cover Rating: 5/5

Set in 4th Century BC, Rahul Mitra’s The Boy from Pataliputra is based during the time of Alexander’s invasion of India. As Alexander is overcoming every kingdom to become a world conqueror, he has set his eyes on India.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Boy from Pataliputra by Rahul Mitra”

Books

It’s MONDAY People, What are you Reading?

itsmondaywhatareyoureading_zps783bb9b0

 

Every new week brings new excitement of reading books. Reading books help us to tolerate and survive the dullness and stress of the week. Since it’s Monday, my readers, what are you reading?

I am Currently Reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

 

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

I have been trying to read this books from past five months(when I first heard about it) and this weekend, I finally took a step forward. When I am reading a good book, it doesn’t take much time for me to finish that book. The Fault in Our Stars, beautifully written, light-read and fast-paced book, by John Green. This is my first piece of John Green’s writing and I must say I am impressed by his style and lightness of the book. The book’s about Hazel Grace Lancaster, and how a book about a cancer sufferer which brings two sufferers close. The other sufferer being Augustus Waters.

But there is some fault in the characterization. John’s characters, Hazel Grace and Augustus, sound more like 25 or 30 year old adults then 17 year old teenagers.  The character of Augustus is more very mature according to his age. But then the wit John has used in his characters is wonderful to read. The sarcasm is outstanding. This made the dialog conversations between the main characters is realistic and fun to read. I could imagine the characters in front of me conversing to each other. It was that clear. Also, the book is for a quodophile(i.e. me). I also feel, John develop these mature characters as the book also targets young adults and which I feel is a very good thing. The young adults could add something new to their vocabularies and learn some small-small morals which this book provides and make a good impact on their attitude and personality through their whole life. This effort, of the author, I appreciate.

There was also one more fault with the book is that in the end it becomes too much emotional. And that aspect I certainly do not like. But hey, I am not the author, John Green is, and he has full rights to write whatever he wants. Also, he being a male writer, wrote the entire book in female teenager’s point of view. And I feel, he did a good job. Never once, I felt that something was too manly about his female characterization.

One thing is for sure, I ‘d like to read him again, and he is certainly one of the best new authors I read this year.

3.5 out of 5 from me.

Books

THE MYSTERY OF ROBERT GAILBRAITH

Creator of the Boy Wizard, Harry Potter, J.K.Rowling has written a crime novel now, The Cuckoo’s Calling, released earlier this year under the pseudonym: Robert Galbraith.

Over the years, Rowling often spoke of writing a crime novel. In 2007, during the Edinburgh Book Festival, author Ian Rankin claimed that his wife spotted Rowling “scribbling away” at a detective novel in a cafe. Rankin later retracted the story, claiming it was a joke. The rumour persisted with The Guardian speculating in 2012 that Rowling’s next book would be a crime novel.

The story was broken by Richard Brooks, the arts editor of the UK’s Sunday Times.

Kate Mills, fiction editor at Orion Publishing, came forward to admit that she had unwittingly turned down the new Rowling work, and suggested that colleagues at other publishers had done the same.

She told The Independent that the book was well written but new crime novels are hard to launch these days.

The Cuckoo’s Falling follows a private investigator Cormoran Strike who investigates when a model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony. the book received praise from crime writers including Ms McDermid, Mark Billingham and Alex Gray.

Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron claimed the book had sold just 1500 hardback copies before the author’s identity was revealed. The site also claimed that a second Galbraith book is to be published next year. Since the author’s identity revealed the book’s Amazon sales have gone up more than 150,000%.

And I am one those buyers as I look forward to the book. As an avid reader of crime fiction and to be more curious, I wonder how  Rowling…oops, Gailbraith, has cope with the world of crime fiction.

The Cuckoo’s Calling
Books

CURRENTLY READING: A GAME OF THRONES

CURRENTLY READING: A GAME OF THRONES

A GAME OF THRONES by GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

Books

NEW BUYS

NEW BUYS

George R.R. Martin, James Patterson, Ian Rankin, David Whitaker

MyWorks, Poetry

ALE OF BOSNIAN BAR ( A Poem)

ALE OF BOSNIAN BAR ( A Poem)

by Aman Mittal

Get drunk, live life
Have fun, love your wife

If you don’t have one, try somebody else’s

Welcome to the Bosnian Bar

Try some wine

Cheap beer makes you wild

Taste some whiskey

But don’t get too tipsy

Otherwise you’ll end up in trash
Smelling of puke and with no cash
With no clothes on, in the chilly wind of Bosnia

You might get pneumonia

Take care of your missus

She might get some kisses

If not you, then we’ll do

Welcome to the Bosnian Bar.

Books, Reviews

TOP TEN FOR FIRST HALF OF 2013

2013, a year it is! It’s been six months since the year started, since those words I started to read written by various authors. Six months time is long and but not enough to read. Still I managed to read thirty one books (till the last month, and yes I keep a log). So far, it has been a great reading year for me and thus I manage to compile a list of my top ten books I have read so far.

1. THE GREAT GATSBY BY SCOTT FITZGERALD

I was flattered by the book and the philosophy behind it by Fitzgerald. How this book can be closely related to his private life and the time of 1920s is by reading the book. You might realize after reading it that you have not fallen in love with it or any of it’s characters. But that’s the beauty of it. That what resembles the lavish 1920s. It’s highly recommended by me.

2. NAMING OF THE DEAD BY IAN RANKIN

Ian Rankin is one of the most prolific crime fiction writer of 21st century. And this one is his one of the masterpieces’. He knows what to write. His characters know how to perform. He conveys the atmosphere to perfection. It was quite a page turning for me. This is the sixteenth novel of John Rebus series.

3. METAMORPHOSIS BY FRANZ KAFKA

It always bugs me why this story of Kafka is included in every literature course everywhere in the world. Well after reading it, I got my answer. Kafka displays a new concept by this story. A man to a bug, it was my first experience with German literature and proved to be wonderful in the end. Intense of the story is quite strong.

4. 1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL

 After reading this, I realized this book is a conception of what reality is becoming. And thus, it is turning out to be true. Orwell wrote it after the World War II and till today I feel this book is applicable to our reality. The philosophy behind this book is intensive. But due it’s length, I got a bit bored.

5. THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

 Bernard Shaw, as he liked himself to be called, is a master of witty plays. And I read Pygmalion and Devil’s Disciple at the same time but the two are not comparable. Pygmalion is a straight set win while Devil’s Disciple is totally witty. I enjoyed Shaw’s inscription.

6. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY

This novella is one of the major works produced by Hemingway. It is one of his famous works but I did not feel why. In the starting I found difficult to indulge myself but when the story goes on, my was indulging deep and down in the sea with the old man. It’s a short read, and certainly a Pulitzer Prize winner.

7. INFERNO BY DAN BROWN 

 The fifth addition to Robert Langdon’s Saga. Angels and Demons was the first book I read written by Dan Brown. It’s still his best work. Inferno, is a fast read, which was not expected by me as Brown’s earlier works worked at normal pace. When it came out I was so excited as I had read pre-reviews about it’s relation to Dante. I started reading when it was five hours after it launched. And read it in tow sittings. I can say I was not impressed by this book as I was by Angels and Demons. 

8. DAISY MILLER BY HENRY JAMES

It was my first of something I read written by Henry James. I had waited for it quite long, and made sure something of Henry James’ was on my reading list of this year. It is a novella and just a novella. I would love to read more written by him.

9. THE DARK ROAD BY MA JIAN

I am glad I read this book. Firstly, I wanted to try a new author this year, and unknown, at least for me. And Ma was one of them. Secondly, it was whole new experience of words for me, the plot, consequence, the atmosphere as the book is setup in China. Ma Jian is the author I am keen to read more and I am recommending this book toe everyone, but it’s a bit too long.

10. BEST KEPT SECRET BY JEFFREY ARCHER

I was recommend to him by a friend of mine a few years back. Then, I read only book but I started reading his Clifton Chronicles lately, and this one was the third in the series. Though it was the first book, Only time will tell which made get myself indulged in this series, I am waiting for the fourth one.

 

With half of the 2013 being a good for reading, I am excited for the other half. I am looking forward to read so many books and in mood of trying some new authors as well.

What have been your favourite reads so far in 2013?

MyWorks, Poetry

A BLUE BOX (A Poem)

A Blue Box

by Aman Mittal

I am sending back the key

Which let me in your study

Where we made love in madness;

I am sending back the key

Of the darkroom which I cannot see

Anymore, where my X-rayed heart

Thrown away in a blue box.