How to get from where you are to where you want to be

By Jack Canfield

This is a self help book. I was a little worried and bored because of a monotonous life when my mother handed me this book. What attracted me was the red cover of the book where the A(of are) and B(of be) are printed in gold. Also A and B are connected indicating a route to take.Once I started reading this book it became very difficult to stop.

The author has defined the route to success in 25 principles. Each chapter covers one of 25 principles required to attain one’s goals. The author begins with the basic thing of taking the responsibility of one’s present situation and then resolving to change it. The book contains beautiful stories of people who have managed to achieve their goals inspite of all odds. It also mentions some very good exercises to take up like visualizing the goals, remaining positive, keeping a list to get to the goals, avoiding negative thinkers, asking for help, etc. One major point the author stresses is to keep persevering until one reaches the destination. He also states that initially one might also face failure but that should not deter him/her. Infact failure should be taken as a learning experience to prepare for the ultimate success. The book is filled with amazing quotes by successful businessmen, sportstars, actors, motivational speakers, etc. Each quote is worth putting up on the table in office.

Personally I was motivated to change some of my old habits like procrastinating things till the last minute. The fonts in the book are large making it easy to read. Also the topics are covered in small paragraphs making it easier for the reader to grasp each point, think about it and incorporate it in his/her life. This is a great book to be gifted as a corporate gift. It is good for all people above the age of 12 and who have high ambitions. It can be read while travelling to and fro from work. As it requires to introspect a lot so it may not be a good idea to take this on a long journey.

The oath of the Vayuputras

By Amish Tripathi

The oath of the Vayuputras

This is the final part of the trilogy. After reading the first two, like most of the readers I too was waiting with bated breath for the third part. Here the mystery about Shiva’s identity are revealed along with the ultimate cause of evil. The book began with where it had ended in part two.

Shiva found his long lost friend Brihaspati, who informed him about the ultimate evil, Somras. Shiva realizes the purpose of his life and decides to fulfill it. But there are many people who support evil. Moreover most of the kingdoms are divided. He sets forward towards uniting them in his fight. He is supported by his wife Sati, sons Ganesh and karthik along with a lot of people. Most of the suspense of previous books have been revealed here, like the history of Vasudevs and Vayuputras. The reader comes to know about the greatness of his uncle. The efforts used to create an entire army have been described beautifully.

The war strategies have been described in detail in the book. The image on the cover clearly indicates war in the story. All this has made the book really long. This leads to the user losing interest in between. Although the evil is destroyed, yet the story ends on a sad note. It is a good read if you are going for a long vacation. I would not suggest taking it on a long journey as the detailed descriptions may lead to loss of interest. If you have read the first two, then there is no way you cannot read this.

Secret of the Nagas

By Amish Tripathi

This is the second part of the Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi. I was so impressed with the first part that I couldn’t help taking this help as soon as it was available. The cover has the Mahadev holding a hooded snake with an open mouth. This definitely compliments the title and successfully catches the attention of the reader.

Here as the story proceeds Shiva and Sati have their son Kartikeya, who is as brave as his father. The story also unfolds the identity of the naga who follows Sati. After meeting the nagas, Shiva questions the reason for isolation of the nagas. Sati also meets her twin sister Kali who is the queen of the Naga kingdom. The author has cleverly used present day science by introducing a liger in one of the fights. The encounter is so well written that the reader cannot leave the book unless it is over. Also the description of the route to the naga empire has been done beautifully. The characterization of Daksha continues to add mystery to the story. The interactions of Parvateshwar and Anandmayi add the much needed spice to the story. The end of this book again leaves the reader longing to read the third or final part.

The story is beautifully written and the flow keeps the reader engrossed. Infact it is very difficult to stop once you start reading. The language is simple and the mythological symbols are nicely woven in the track. Although one can read it while travelling to and from work, I would rather suggest one should read when there is a lot of time in hand for example on a lazy weekend. Therefore if you are going for a long journey than this is the right choice. This will make a good gift along with the other two parts. All in all its a great book to read.

The Immortals of Meluha

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By #Amish Tripathi

This book was suggested by a teammate who said if I enjoyed reading then I must consider this. He was right. As the cover displays the central character of the book is Lord Shiva. The author has considered Lord Shiva a human being and tracked his journey from Tibet to Meluha.

The story begins with #Shiva as the head of a tribe from Tibet, pondering over the welfare of his people. He is assisted by Veerbhadhra who is ever ready to lay down his life for his beloved friend. They are brought to Meluha by Nandi. The king of Meluha is Daksha and Sati is his daughter. Although considered a human, Shiva still has all the characteristics of the lord like honesty, bravery, innocence, sincerity, etc. He falls in love with Sati, the moment he sees her. He also challenges age old customs. The story takes an important course when Shiva drinks somras and his neck turns blue. Everyone accepts him as the saviour. In the course of story he also befriends Brihaspati, the scientist. Each and every event has been nicely woven and the reader is completely engrossed in the book. The language is simple. Also the author has tried to give a scientific meaning to everything like the effects of somras, etc. The story proceeds towards fighting against the people who are trying to harm Meluha.

This is a beautiful book with very easy to understand language. Also the characters are wellknown. The story is narrated in a very interesting manner. It can be read by anyone. The author leaves you anxious to pick up the next book from the trilogy i.e Secret of the Nagas”. If you are going for a long trip then this is a perfect companion. Those who read while travelling will have a little problem since its very difficult to close the book once you start reading it. It is also a great book to gift.

Sense and Sensibility

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By Jane Austen

One of the readers of my blogs recommended this book and I sincerely started looking for this book. It took me a while to get this book but once I got it, I just couldn’t give up reading it. The story revolves around three Dashwood sisters Elinor, Marianne, Margaret and their mother. This does remind one of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Here again the problem is they do not have a brother of their own and after their father’s death, the entire property goes to their half brother John Dashwood leaving them with a mere allowance.

Soon John and his wife move in their home. Also they are least interested in keeping the three sisters and their mother in their home and so John starts looking for a place to shift his half sisters and their mother. The eldest of the three sisters Elinor is very mature and sensible. She doesn’t let emotions rule her decisions. After her father’s death she takes up the responsibility of her family. Although she has feelings for Fanny’s brother she doesn’t immidiately jump into conclusions rather waits for him to commit his feelings for her. Marianne is just the opposite and easily gets carried away by emotions. She easily gets attached to Willoughby without even bothering to find out about his history. These two sisters go through a lot of emotional problems. Jane Austen has cleverly displayed the two ways of handling difficult situations through them. In case of a heartbreak Elinor concentrates on work and tries to meet new people wherease Marianne withdraws herself and keeps crying thereby making everyone around herself upset. The story goes through a lot of ups and downs but all the missing pieces fall togather and the reader is truely entertained.

Like all books of Jane Austen this too has the capacity to hold the reader’s attention. It is fine for all age groups. If you are fond of reading while travelling to and from work, this is a great choice. Similarly for long journeys this is an amazing companion. Also if you are going for an apointment where you might have to wait, then carry this with yourself. It will not only relax you but also cheer you up.Also it is a great book to be gifted.

Haroun and the sea of stories

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By #Salman Rushdie

I was rumagging through my sister’s cupboards when I came across this book. At first it seemed a storybook for children but then I saw the author’s name. It was Salman Rushdie. I had been planning to read one of his works for quite sometime.

The central character of the story is a boy named Haroun whose father Rashid is a storyteller. One day Rashid is unable to make stories due to a personal crisis where his wife leaves him and his son Haroun blames him for it. Afterwards Haroun feels really sorry and pledges to get his father’s gift of gab. In his attempt he meets the genie “Iff” from the land of stories. He soon discovers that the stories come from the ocean of stories and “Khattamshud”, king from the land of silence, is trying to pollute the ocean of stories. From there an adventure begins where there is a princess to be rescued by a prince, a king has to protect his kingdom and a whole lot of soldiers. The author has nicely related real life problems with fictionary things like factories creating sadness are polluting the environment. Also a girl blabbermouth disguises as a man so that she can get a job in army bears a starking resemblance to women searching job. The best part is P2C2E (process too complicated to explain) which is the explanation given to any complex question.

The writing style is simple therefore the book can be read while travelling to and from work. The character names like princess baatcheath, prince bolo, etc are very interesting and #humourous. If you are planning to go on a long journey then you can opt for this book. On the whole this is a great story which will keep you on the edge of your seats. It can be read by people of all age groups. The story made me realize the importance of stories in our lives. Hence it is a great book to be gifted.

Anna Karenina

By Leo #Tolstoy

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This is one of the #classics by #Leo Tolstoy. The #author has rightly displayed the hypocrisy of the high society of 19th century. The story goes through a series of emotions. In the beginning one feels sorry for Dolly and Levin as well as hatred for Oblonsky and Vronsky. In the course of the story one thinks that right treatment is given to Kitty and things seem bright when she finally marries Levin.

Leo Tolstoy has very nicely dealt with the character of Vronsky. One hates him in the beginning of the story but when his past is spoken about one feels pity for him. By the time he gets married to Anna one can’t help but admire him for his dedication. He stands by her through all the problems, doesn’t even bother about his career or money. Inspite of so much honesty he is left with nothing, not even his daughter in the end. Anna, the central character of the story, truely displays the problems that occur when young women are married off to much older than them. One also feels a tinge of hatred for her as she leaves her ever so faithful husband for a playboy and even forgets her son. She doesn’t ask for a divorse even though Vronsky was completely loyal to her. The hypocrisy of the society is revealed when Anna is boycotted by everyone. Towards the end of the story she gets completely frustrated as she doesn’t get anything that she wished for and ends up taking a drastic step thereby ruining Vronsky’s life and robbing him of his daughter.

This is a beautiful story but needs to be really patient to read this. In case you are planning to read while travelling then this is not the right book. Every character has been nicely described and has a story of his or her own. This makes the story really lengthy. The scene where Anna meets Vronsky is assumed to be closest when literature meets cinema. If you are on a holiday and want to read then this is the right book. This is also a perfect book to be kept on the shelf. Also it is one of the best books to gift. Also if you are on a long train journey then this is definitely the most perfect choice.