Top Fiction Books I Read in 2016

Once again, I am offering you a number of books I enjoyed reading last year in a broader sense of a genre: Fiction.

Stoner by John Williams

A fascinating, fast, elegant read. William Stoner and we all have something in common.

Read Full Review

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Tiffany McDaniel

THE WRITING PART

Q. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Briefly, about yourself?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed by you.  So, a little about me…I’m an Ohio native who loves to garden and read and bake really delicious pies.

Q. What genre is/are your book(s)? 

Literary fiction.

Q. What draws you to this genre? 

I just write what’s in my head, and it happens to be what is categorized as literary fiction.  What is beautiful about this genre is the opportunity to really get deep down into a character’s soul.

Q. Briefly, what led up to last/latest book?

Also, Please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.  In one sentence I’d say: “The devil comes to town.”

Q. What was the time frame for writing your last book? 

I wrote The Summer that Melted Everything in one month during the summer I was twenty-eight.

Q. How much research do you do? 

It varies from novel to novel.  With The Summer that Melted Everything I had to research the 1980s.  How people dressed and how they were as a collective culture of that decade.  It wasn’t too much research involved with this novel.  But my most recent novel had much more research because it takes place during the Second World War, so I had to research the major events of the war, the Holocaust, and make sure I got the timeline concrete to the truth.

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BOOK REVIEW: Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora

Sometimes, when in life, there aren’t enough twists and turns, my suggestion is to pick a book that has enough twists and turns to keep you interested. A book in that kind of category might be hard to find when you need it the most, but sometimes you just have to look on your book-shelf, read some back cover blurbs and Viola! You did it. Now go back to your comfort zone and start reading it.

Similar production is Jyoti Arora’s Lemon Girl. The book is full of aforementioned twists and turns that goes with the character reflecting their lives as real as our reality is present in front of us. The book is a fast pace read as it alternates between the first person narratives.

To indulge this book in your intellectual there is a definitive understanding of characters, to question their motives, and analyse them rationally. I feel the character of Arsh, the narrator other than the protagonist, is the way to do so.

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BOOK REVIEW: Misjudged Nuances by Garima Bohra

Looking for something fresh? Something intriguing? Well, you reading the right review then. Misjudged Nuances by Garima Bohra is a tale of two doctors who fall in love with each other but there twists and turns that will indulge you to read on.

The blurb is a start for any book to read, so here to is: SOUMYA AWASTHI, a medical graduate finds herself in an extremely infuriating position when she is assigned to work with RIDHAAN AHUJA, an arrogant classmate and bitter enemy, who is determined to settle an old score with her. The internship begins on a rough-uptight note where each tries to outshine the other through work, arguments and fights. Until one grave incident which changes the circumstances and makes them forget their grudges. Gradually she starts trusting her foe-turned-friend and soon both develop tender feelings for one another.

But the perfect phase of her life shatters when a well-preserved secret is exposed causing a serious problem wherein the price of Soumya’s recklessness is paid by her best friends Tarang and Anjali. Will Soumya be able to save herself and her friends? Is Anjali right when she blames Ridhaan for the situation and accuses him of framing them? Can vengeance overpower every emotion? Can your feelings and faith break your own heart and hurt your soul?  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Misjudged Nuances by Garima Bohra”

BOOK REVIEW: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

This book is for everyone. It is long, the clever sounding plot, full of characters, each one unique and have their own part to play in the story. Set in mid-nineteenth century, it is one of those books to remember for quite a time. The element of murder mystery which is highly anticipated through out the novel might sound regular to some, but it is the the presentation of the mystery that is extraordinary.

When one starts this book, it has a tendency to grab a reader’s attention from the first chapter. Walter Moody is used as a pawn to unfold the mystery that is set in New Zealand goldfields. Thought him a reader is introduced to twelve sophisticated men who have gathered to discuss a secret in which they are all indulged both directly and indirectly. These twelve men are rare characters and is hard to come across such characters in the modern day novels. You might one or two in books written in eighteenth or nineteenth centuries but so many at one place is a rare thing. The secret they share begins with a hermit who is found dead in his cabin, one of the the richest person in town has disappeared, and a local prostitute is found in the middle of a road completely intoxicated.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton”

BOOK REVIEW: The Marijuana Project by Brian Laslow

Yes the from title you get a hunch right? The book is about marijuana and no it is not illegal in my country to write about it, consuming might be. I am not here to discuss it, I am here to appreciate Brian Maslow’s The Marijuana Project. This book is altogether something different. Even containing the elements of thriller the because an extremely new breed and considers security(which we all crave for) in-depth.

The Marijuana Project is about Sam Burnett, a security expert who has been hired by a firm that produces medical Marijuana. Sam has one simple job, to establish a secure network and an environment for the employees as well as the product to survive the daily or event based breaches. Due his religious bringing, his conservative views about drug use and if that is not enough, his son’s best friend is killed in an accident and cause is the Marijuana.  Sam finds himself in a moral dilemma and struggles with his own consciousness.

The plot is exciting and is a perfect definition of contemporary, the current, the resembling such a hot topic that mingles human minds all over the planet. The novel is written in thriller type of manner, a sort of mystery. The characterisation of protagonist is well-defined but I did feel some were left in between the development. The in-depth knowledge of security the author has indulged is what earns this book brownie points and is a positive side for a reader to learn something new. It is indeed an impressive point and a great example of what you know best is what you should write about thing. Laslow certainly knows security in and out and that comes from his personal experience. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Marijuana Project by Brian Laslow”

BOOK REVIEW: Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explained why a person does what he does. He is out with a new book this time, entitled—  Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive and applies same relentless level of details, with numerous research studies and interviews, makes this one too, highly informative.

Unlike The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better offers a variety of chapters, each different from the other in terms conceptual illustration and every chapter’s locus is on the key ideas of expanding productivity. Some elements related to productivity discussed in this book are the mental state of a person’s mind in a particular situation. Then comes decision making part. Duhigg explains the importance of creating mental models to take control of a situation through various interviews including Marine Corps, Google, the original team that created Saturday Night Live, General Electric.

For enhancing decision making, Duhigg suggests one should involve probabilistic possibilities of a significant outcome in terms of both negative or positive. That’s the fundamental of calculating odds. Along with that, the author has also enhanced on how data is important to us and how an organisation of any form can learn something from it by its implementation. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg”