The Lucky One

By Nicholas Sparks

This is the first book by Nicholas Sparks that I have read. The central character is a marine in Iraq named Logan Thibault. One day he gets a photo of a girl. He tries to find its owner but is unable to and so he keeps it with himself. After that his batallion faces many encounters but in all of them he gets saved. His friend Victor has only one explanation and that is the photo brought him luck.

He is unable to stop thinking about the photo even after leaving marines. After the tragic death of victor in an accident, he is left with no option but to find the girl in the photo. Thereby he starts to search for the girl accross his country. He does locate her and it turns out the girl is a divorced lady with a small son. She runs a dog training center in a small town. Thibault joins her business yet he keeps the photo a secret. Soon a number of events happen which brings them closer. The story takes a turn when the secret of the photo comes out which has a severe impact over their relationship.

On the whole its a simple story based on the concept of luck and coincidence. The writing style is very descriptive which makes the story very lengthy. This might result in many readers losing interest in between. I would not recommend it for those travelling to work by bus or train. This can be taken up on a picnic or tour when one has lots of time and no targets to meet. The reader is left expecting more at the end of the book.

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The complete Adventures of Feluda – volume 2

The complete Adventures of Feluda – volume 2
By Satyajit Ray

This week I finally got to read this book which has been lying on the shelf from a long time. From the time I had watched “Sonar Kella”, I had planned to read this book but somehow kept on delaying it. This is a collection of 19 mystery stories solved by detective Pradosh Mitter alias Feluda. The prime characters are Pradosh Mitter(Feluda), Tapesh (Topshe) and Lalmohan babu(Jatayu). Feluda is a sleuth and is observant about every minute detail. At the same time Jatayu is his complete opposite but their contrast nature make the stories more interesting. The comments by Topshe add the cherry on the cake.

All the stories are written as first person with the author as Topshe who is Feluda’s cousin. The stories cover wide range of topics and places in India. Some stories are based out of India(HongKong and London) as well. The clients range from magicians, doctors, pychiatrists, kings, actors, lawyers, etc. Each mystery reveals a thorough study by the author in each of these professions. Special attention has been paid to the characterization of each person from their dress to the way they hold the tea cup. The jokes of Jatayu provide a much needed comic element to the stories which is rare in detective stories. One also gets a feel of the old Kolkata from the description of the various places. Also a lot of information has been provided about each location like the terracotta temples of Dubrajpur in “Robertson’s Ruby” or the sunrise of Khilanmarg in “Peril in Paradise”.

Satyajit Ray successfully creates the same enthusiasm through his writing as he did with his movies. Once you start reading a story you cannot get up unless you complete it making it a must read for all mystery lovers. As it is a collection of stories it is most recommended for those travelling to work. This is also a stress buster after a hard day’s work.

Life is what you make it

By Preeti Shenoy

I came across this book quite by accident in a gift shop. At first i thought it was a self help book but one look at the synopsis and there was no way this book was to be ignored. It deals with psychological issue called bipolar disorder. This is still a subject which is considered a taboo and most of us are scared to talk about it.

The story is about a middle class girl Ankita Sharma. She comes from an urban nuclear family and like most urban girls is brought up with the competitive spirit to do well in academics. She is good in her studies and makes it to a good college for her bachelars. She does well in her studies and this motivates her to do even better. She makes to one of the best management colleges and continues to do better in her studies. She gets so obsessed that she ends up ignoring the feelings of her friends. This obsession although leads to good performance but as they say anything in excess is not good, it has its side effects on her health and soon she ends in a mental health hospital. The story becomes really interesting from there.

The representation of life in a girl’s college which includes events, politics and boys is brilliant. The author has very nicely touched the subject of psychological sickness which need not occur due to poor performance or broken relationships. Her research on the topic is clearly revealed towards latter part of the story. This is a good book on a lazy summer afternoon when going out is an absolute no no. Since the topic is serious it may not seem a stress buster after a hard days work.