Listen to this one-of-a-kind episode of my podcast, Coffee Conversations with Author Heena, where I talk to Miss Alameda Jessica Jane Robinson, a pageant winner, social worker and environmental activist, about her environmental superhero book Resilience: Birthright.Jessica Jane Robinson aka superhero Resilience attended the University of San Francisco, receiving her BA degree in Performing Arts and Social Justice with a minor in dance. Jessica participated as Miss Alameda in the 2010 and 2011 Miss California USA pageants. As Miss Alameda, she founded the grassroots program, "Miss Alameda Says Compost!" helping the City of Alameda address its Climate Protection Plan adopted in 2008 and helping it reach its diversion goals by 2020. Ms. Robinson has been an Al Gore Climate Leader since August 2012, is in the top 1% out of 10,812 Climate Leaders around the world, and has presented to over 17,130 people (2017). She has served on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Recycling Association since 2013, served as treasurer from 2013-2016, Vice President from 2017-2022, and is currently the President.Resilience: Birthright is different from other comics; it encourages fans to become leaders who actively reduce climate change, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources.These stories are based on real heroes who help restore our planet and address actual environmental challenges through fictional storytelling and characters.BONUS: Author Robinson talks about her schedule of waking up at 5:00 am (sometimes even 4) and shares how she manages to juggle between her work and passion for saving the environment and how she has brought everything together in this series of illustrated environmental graphic novels. You can connect with author Robinson on her Website, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.You can find her novel Resilience: Birthright here.Support the showFor more, you can follow me on Instagram at @CrazyCatWriterYou can find out more about me, my books and my developmental editing service on my website: http://www.heenarathorep.com Follow me on: Instagram: @CrazyCatWriter Author Website: http://www.heenarathorep.com Book Blog: The Reading Bud YouTube Channel: @Crazy Cat Writer Twitter: @CrazyCatWriter Facebook: @CrazyCatWriter
Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Deepak Mullick for sharing an excerpt from his latest release SimplyMutual: The 1% Formula To Gain Financial Freedom.
About the Book
SimplyMutual : The 1% Formula To Gain Financial Freedom
Everyone wants to be rich, but not everyone is. There is a method and meaning to it that’s more than just numbers.
In this book, investment veteran Deepak Mullick takes you on a journey to financial freedom. SimplyMutual isn’t just a guide to make more money, it is about building wealth to live the life of your dreams.
If you’ve ever thought of retiring in your 40s to do what you love, this is THE book for you!
On a warm summer evening in 1947, my grandparents packed their bags and left their life behind. FREEDOM. That was the chant in the air. History was being made as the British left a partitioned India behind. For millions of people this meant leaving behind everything they owned, their life’s work and savings, the security and comfort of their homes, of the life they had known, and moving to unknown lands with an uncertain future. My grandparents too made their way from Dera Ismail Khan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of what is now Pakistan, to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
I grew up hearing the stories of their life. In the evenings when we all sat together in the courtyard of my grandparents house, they would get nostalgic. My grandmother would tell us about our culture, our food, the traditions, all the wealth we had, the lands we owned back then, and how we earned our surname Mullick, a title given to big landlords. Even as a child, I could hear the longing in her voice, and a note of bitterness at being uprooted. When I write this from the comfort of my home now, I can’t even imagine what they must have gone through. The way they had managed to move with just a few suitcases, hurriedly packed. The way they had to travel hundreds of miles in search of a new place to settle in an environment of extreme hostility.The stress and anxiety of not knowing where they are headed and the despondency of having to start living from scratch.
But start again they did! And they made quite a success of it too.
Why am I telling you this? What does a story about uprooting and migration have to do with a book on wealth building?
Well, in this story there is a lesson. That life is unpredictable. That ups and downs will happen. That sometimes everything you took for granted will be disrupted. But don’t lose your wits. Financial success is all about thinking in the long term. As the poster boy for long term investing, Warren Buffet said, “successful investing takes time, discipline, and patience.”
I’ll add to that and say wealth building is also about optimism. I consider myself an eternal optimist! It’s in my DNA! And even after witnessing the ups and downs of economies for over 25 years, I continue to believe in the India growth story. But more on that later.
I learnt important life lessons – resilience, optimism, and street-smartness – from my parents, grandparents, and my Alma Mater La Martiniere, that have helped me immensely on my path to financial freedom.
After I finished my schooling, I had the easy option to join the family business. But it wasn’t something that interested me. I wanted to look at work as something that helped me live the life I desired. And I am very unapologetic about it. I am a firm believer that you work to live and not live to work. Have you ever thought about it?
What would you do if you had all the money you needed to live a comfortable life?
Would you still pursue the job you have currently?
Would you go after something that you are truly passionate about?
Would you give and contribute to the world?
Would you spend time travelling the world, experiencing new things, and gaining different perspectives?
The thing is, most of us spend a lot of time in the lower 2 stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy. We struggle to make enough money to pay for our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. And we compromise on building meaningful relationships and on finding our true potential. Often because that raise or that promotion is so much more important. Well, I didn’t want to live all my life with some golden handcuffs.
So my aim was to find a career path that would help me realize my retirement goals (yes, I was thinking of retirement when I was 20!) by the time I turned 45. A highly ambitious goal given India’s economic situation then. However, in a series of seemingly unconnected events, I found my calling.
In the early 90’s when I was figuring out my career choices, the financial services sector was abuzz with activity. India was undergoing an economic transformation. From a bottomless pit for foriegn aid, India was creating Economic Liberalization policies that will make it an emerging superpower in just two decades. Companies were coming up with IPOs every other day and there was high demand for finance talent. Later, this timeframe would also be known as the IPO scam period. Amidst this turmoil, I passed out with an MBA degree and a campus placement in a financial services company that gave me a take-home salary of about Rs. 5000/- per month.
From a starting point of Rs.5000/- per month to a sizable corpus of a few Crores, I have come a long way to retirement at 45. And I have lived well. I’ve indulged in my passions and in things that interest me and my family. We’ve traveled extensively and experienced the world closely. From whisky trails to northern lights, we have made our way to 29 countries across 5 continents.
This financial freedom has been a journey of considerable learning. First, I found a God-sent friend, philosopher, and guide with whom I have had the privilege of working for two decades. And then, for over three decades, I had the opportunity to witness the rapid evolution of the country’s economic constituents – the businesses, the consumers, the regulatory environment, government policy, the markets, and the ever-changing global scene. I have figured out what works and what doesn’t. I have learnt to tame the volatility and to invest in a way that sustains my lifestyle choices while building my corpus of funds. I have distilled this learning into this book and created the 1% formula to gain financial freedom.
The idea of this book came from my experiences of sharing my technique with friends and family members who wanted to quit the rat race, to pursue other life goals, and passions. And most of them have benefitted by following my technique.
This book is written as an equity investing guide for those who are keen to make their money work for them. People in their 20’s and 30’s who are looking to retire by 45 or those who have 7-10 years before they want to retire. People who want an easy to understand insight into how investing works. This book is your ticket to long term wealth creation and living comfortably off that wealth without giving in to stress, anxiety, or overwork.
In this book I will tell you the secrets to financial success. I’ll share stories of people who have seen the light and changed their investing behaviors for enormous gains. I’ll help you build good investing habits and make informed investment choices.
While there are different assets you will invest money in – both physical and financial, we will not cover the entire umbrella of financial planning and management. And there is a reason for that. I believe that if you understand equities the right way, and work with the 1% formula, the need for other kinds of investment vehicles is greatly reduced.
In my 25 years of experience in the financial sector I have got a fair idea of practices of banking industry, insurance industry, and the quality of the advisory business across categories of advisors. I have worked with several financial planners, attended many workshops, and deep dived into the subject of financial and investment planning. I’ve looked at all asset classes – real estate, gold, debt, equity, foreign equity, etc. from the lens of factors such as – returns adjusting for risks, returns adjusting for inflation and taxes, liquidity, volatility, convenience, costs of investing, etc. I’ve realized that Equity Mutual Funds is where the best balance can be achieved. In fact, I’ve been able to pull out of my term life insurance policies because of the corpus I have built through equity MF investments!
And so, this book will deal in equity investments only, and more specifically investing in equity through mutual funds. For the purpose of this book I am also considering Hybrid Mutual Funds with over 65% investments in equity as Equity Mutual Funds.
By reading this book, you would:
Get a better understanding of the India opportunity and how long will it remain
Get the right perspective on share-markets, understand emotional hurdles and mistakes on the way to financial freedom, and gain insights on how to benefit from the markets
Learn a simple equity-based technique to build wealth and to create your own “Salary-Pension” stream for retirement
Like every great adventure, this book is a start. And as you read it, I’d like to give a word of caution. This book focuses on financial resilience. That means periods of no-gain or even loss that you sit through for long-term returns.This book is NOT about quick fixes or immediate gains. If that’s what you are looking for, then this book is not for you. If thinking long-term does not appeal to you, then this book is not for you.
That said, in the coming pages there is a wealth of knowledge and tried and tested methods that work. I hope you’ll find them as useful as I have, and use them to find your financial freedom.
About The Author
Founder and Chief Wealth Strategist, SimplyMutual
Deepak has spent over a quarter of a century in the investments industry, working with the country’s largest wealth creators. His last assignment was a 15-year stint at HDFC Mutual Fund. He was their Business Head for North, South and East India during different parts of his tenure. Having dealt with a large spectrum of investment avenues, Deepak realised that Equity Mutual Funds is where the best balance can be achieved. This belief in the India growth story and its potential to create wealth for decades to come stems from deep experience.
Deepak spent decades in the financial sector witnessing the fast evolution of each constituent of the investments industry — mutual funds, banking, insurance, investment advisors, NBFCs, the regulators, etc. He associated with the country’s top minds in financial and investment planning, attended numerous workshops and conferences, and dived deep into the intricacies of the business.
To come up with the best solutions for investor needs, he constantly drew comparisons between the most popular asset classes, such as equity, debt, real estate, fixed deposits, and gold, and other new asset classes like foreign equity, cryptocurrency, and art. He weighed each option with an exhaustive list of factors such as liquidity, volatility, regulatory environment, transparency, cost of investing, cost of holding and maintenance, convenience, and returns adjusted for risks, taxes, and inflation. This analysis has cemented his belief in the importance of Equity Mutual Funds for individual investors and given him the foundation to create SimplyMutual: The 1% formula to gain financial freedom.
Author: E.T. Gunnarsson Release Date: 19th December 2020 Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Futuristic Fiction Series: Format: E-book Pages: 231 pages Publisher: Bragi Press Blurb: Three timelines. One dark future… A new form of energy has poisoned the earth, leaving civilization in ruins. As decades go by, the inheritors of this devastation struggle to survive and reconquer a broken planet… In 2099: Mankind emerges from the darkness. A lone rider named Oliver journeys east, seeking civilization beyond the Rocky Mountains. Braving the toxic earth and poison air, Oliver must battle a horde of deadly mutants as he unites a band of refugees into the first nation of this new world… In 2153: Fledging nations clash over land and resources. London, a veteran of the wasteland, struggles to protect his adopted daughter Rose as the world decays around them. But little does he know, both he and his adopted daughter will soon find themselves drawn into a coming war…
In 2184: Simon, a descendent of those who fled the earth, lives on the great Arcadis Station. A gifted technician, he works vigilantly against those who rule his society with an iron fist. In the shadows, he will be the difference between enslavement or liberty… Fans of The Gunslinger and The Stand will love Forgive Us. This epic novel takes readers on a post-apocalyptic thrill ride, spanning three generations of a ravaged earth…
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Forgive Us by E.T. Gunnarsson is a brilliant sci-fi post-apocalyptic book.
I LOVED this book because it had not 1, not 2, but 3 stories interweaved in such a manner that it completely blew my mind. The writing is fantastic, the plot structuring is excellent and the concept is really, really good. I loved the entire case of such rich and strong characters. This book moved forward at a steady and heady phase and I loved every second of it!
I love when books actually play out in my mind like a movie but what is a thousand times better about this boo is that it played out in my mind like a good effing role-playing video game!
If you want to get your mind blown by a new sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, futuristic read then this book is for you! Highly recommended!!
Author: Ian Lewis & Matt Sugerik Release Date: 29th November 2020 Genre: Short Story Collection, Mix of – Speculative Fiction, Thriller, Horror & Slice of life Series: Format: E-book Pages: 231 pages Publisher: Blurb: Join authors Ian Lewis and Matt Sugerik on a unique storytelling journey in which each use an identical writing prompt to create a work of short fiction. As originally heard on Season 2 of the Promptly Written Podcast.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Promptly Written (Volume 2) by Ian Lewis & Matt Sugerik is a really interesting collection of short stories that I enjoyed reading thoroughly.
I am a sucker for good short stories because if done well, they have more power and offer way more than a full-length novel without the reader having to spend a lot of time reading them and these stories were precisely that. Well-written, succinct, terse and entertaining. I liked all the stories and was left wanting more.
I’d recommend this collection to all short story readers, especially to those who are looking for new authors to explore.
Indian, including myself and my family, love investing in two things – property and gold, no matter what. Even though 2020 was a difficult year for the entire world, it hardly affected this deep-rooted habit of obsessively investing in gold as well as properties. The real estate market in India saw a downward dip in the initial months of the lockdowns, but since the lockdowns were eased, India, being one of those few countries that are already on the path of recovery from the economic damages caused by the global pandemic, saw an upward climb in the real estate market.
Now, Indians are investing in property as much as (if not more than) before. Nothing will deter the Indian population from investing in a good piece of land or a well-built house or apartment. Though, one significant change that can be observed in the priorities of the Indian buyers while considering a new house is to look for the extra space to be able to establish a home office. During the pandemic, while many lost their jobs, a lot of people were asked to work from home, and thus began the new culture of working from home in India. Where earlier, this concept was only rarely seen in a few new start-ups, today we all have accepting working-from-home as the new normal.
So when Vishal and I also began looking for a place to buy, our priorities included having two separate home-offices/workspace for both fo us. Earlier where we shared one of the biggest rooms in our bungalow as our shared office space, we are now looking for an even bigger place to have our 2 separate workplaces so that we both can do our work dedicatedly throughout the year.
Many people, including us, now actually prefer this way of life to the old one where one had to constantly be away from home in order to pay the bills. Now you can simply stay at home and do the work. But of course, the most important thing that is needed is the privacy of the extra room or space and that is why post-COVID, people are looking for bigger places and extra rooms in apartments.
In fact, with the humongous evolution of digital markets and the need for social distancing, there are now various ways in which you can not only view the properties online on innumerous websites but can also calculate the mortgage online when you plan or decide to buy/rent a property. One such website is Mortgage Calculator.
This website has a lot to offer – it can quickly and efficiently estimate mortgage affordability based on one person (or even two people’s) income, you can also find graphs of loan repayment along with monthly and yearly amortisation tables and printable amortisation schedules, etc. Even though this website is primarily for the UK market, it suits the needs of every country’s market and has personally helped me in calculating the mortgage for the property we are planning to buy.
Buying a home is a huge deal for us and I am personally really grateful to such online devices that can help buyers to not only view but also help in the planning of one’s finances. Corona has affected the entire world, but in a way, it has brought the entire world together too.
Happy 71st Independence Day to all my Indian brothers and sisters. Today is the day of pride for our nation and on this beautiful and honourable day, I am happy to share with you all something about India’s Independence Day:
Independence Day is annually observed on 15 August, as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. India still retained King George VI as head of state until its transition to full republican constitution. India attained independence following the Independence Movement noted for largely nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC). Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British India was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan. On 16 August 1947…
There was a prince in the great Hindu mythological epic Mahabharata, Arjuna, considered to be the greatest archer ever. Indian government awards the Arjuna Awards to outstanding athletes every year. There was also Dronacharya, his guru. We have an award after his name too, for coaches.
P V Sindhu won an Olympic Silver medal in a moment that brought great joy and pride to whole of India. Sindhu, and Saina Nehwal before her in London, are both protégés of Pullela Gopichand or Gopi Sir, former All-England champion and the man behind the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. Kidambi Srikanth — quarterfinalist in Rio — is also his disciple. Tributes started pouring in forSindhu on her stupendous triumph. Her profile, biography and struggles were the highlights on social and electronic media. Naturally, Mr. Gopichand was being praised too. And then something happened. There is a school of thought, on the internet of…
Check out author Kate M. Colby’s next book’s cover. isn’t it just beautiful?! If you haven’t read her first book and they read it while this one comes out as I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss either of them
Hello, everyone! Today, I’m pleased to present the cover and book description for The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2).
A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.
Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.
But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.
After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the…
As you can see I made some serious changes to the theme and graphics of this blog. I love this new look- rugged and hardcore. What do you think about it?
Anyway, after a long consideration, I decided against having a separate Instagram profile for TRB. But then my nature took over and I got impulsive and spent an entire Camp NaNo day creating TRB’s new profile and again, designing logos and all for it.
End result? We have a new (and totally amazeballs) BOOKSTAGRAM!!! Yay, TRB!
If you are an Ig addict like myself, then follow TRB on Ig right away: TRB’s Instagram and join us on the journey to create Instagram a better Bookstagram 😀
We follow back everyone except for spammers and fake accounts.
Thank you, everyone, for all your love and support! Today TRB has successfully completed 2 years ❤
This year in numbers: (March’15 – March’16)
No. of books read: 90
No. of books reviewed: 87 (including reviews from contributors.)
No. of comments: 1,918
No. of spam comments blocked: 6000+
Facebook followers: 1,286
Twitter followers: 235
Plans for this year:
I’m starting a different section of TRB with Emily Green (Social Media Strategist and Publicist at CP) which will focus on Book Promotions. We’ll have giveaways, cover reveals, excerpt reveals, author interviews and other promotional services. This wing of TRB will be paid and have different packages that’ll be created and looked after by Emily.
The reviews will remain free of cost as I don’t want to ruin the book reviews by making them paid.
I’ve recently received an email from a mobile app company offering a sponsorship for TRB in which they are volunteering to create and app for TRB. How awesome is that!? If everything goes fine, we might have our own TRB app soon.
At the end I’d like to thanks all my review contributors for helping me keep TRB flooded with reviews all year round! THANK YOU!!! ❤
Author: Tony A. Smith Release Date: March 27, 2015 Series: DCI Lambert Genre: Memoir Edition: E-Book (mobi) Pages: 315 Publisher: Self-published Source: Author Buy it here:Amazon
Papa’s Family Recipes is a true story of Alberto Petrucci, the son of emigrant Italian parents from Detroit. Alberto went on to become one of the largest contractors in the Midwest. He was a very kind, caring, and humble man who loved his family deeply. He also had a passion for cooking and was quite good at it. Alberto, know to those in his family as “Papa”, left behind a treasure trove of tasty recipes like his Italian Chicken recipe, and his recipes for Risotto. He also left behind a recipe for his secret family spaghetti sauce. Have you ever met someone you liked the first time you met them? That was the man called “Papa”.
Papa’s Family Recipes is a heart-warming tribute to author Tony’s father-in-law- Alberto Petrucci aka Papa. I’m generally not into non-fiction, but this book is something entirely different.
It took me to an emotional journey and left me craving for my own father’s company. It was touching and the love and care Tony put into writing this book comes across beautifully.
The writing is brilliant and it feels like author Tony and his wife are speaking directly to the reader.
As I mentioned, I’m not into non-fiction, hence, I have no particular example to compare or rate this book with, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m quite sure I can happily rate it 5 stars because this book is beautifully heart-warming read.
And the recipes? I LOVED them! And I’m going to try each and every one of them. I especially liked the Tomato section. What really touched me was that each and every recipe’s original photo was provided with the recipe, which made it all the more relatable. Somehow it managed to pull a string in my heart.
Kudos to a job well done, author Tony A. Smith.
Opening Line: “Alberto’s parents came directly from Naples, Italy, making him a 100 percent purebred Italian descendant.”
Highlights: The love that can be felt pouring out of every line.
Author: Erin Rhew Release Date: October 21, 2014 Series: The Fulfillment Series Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance Edition: Ebook (mobi) Pages: 345 Publisher: BookFish Books Source: Author Buy it here: Amazon
With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.
Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.
Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.
Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.
The Outlanders start right where the first part, The Prophecy, ends. It feels as if you’re reading the book in continuation without any break, which in this case, is a good thing, cause really loved the way the book’s been written.
I enjoyed this par more than the first as there were some amazing detailing in relation to the awesome world build by the author for this series. It had layers and layers of elements which took the entire experience to the next level.
The new characters that were introduced in this book are so amazing that either you’ll love them or completely hate them! I mean, this part evokes such strong emotions that it leaves you crazily craving to know what happens next and wonder “how the hell is everything going to get better!?” The drama added an another layer to this awesome story and the love triangle successfully created a complicated web of suspense (in a good way.)
This is one of those rare instances where the middle book of a trilogy is actually the best part of the story. And I’m happy that i read this book, simply because it is an awesome Fantasy read!
If you’re looking for a kickass Fantasy series then this trilogy is what you need!
You can read my review of The Prophecy (The Fulfillment #1) here.
Opening Line: Will stared down at the delicate hand gripping his arm.
I thought I’ll share all the amazing testimonies that I’m receiving for The Reading Bud (one by one.)
Here’s the first one:
“I was very impressed and pleased with all my interactions with The Reading Bud. When I initially contacted Heena requesting a review of my YA horror novel, Sisters of Sorrow, she was polite and professional. Specifically, she replied to my emails promptly. She made her expectations clear and her instructions specific and easy to follow.
I felt that Heena evaluated my book with an open mind. She took her time to understand the story rather than rushing through it in order to post a review and get on to the next book. I appreciate that, a lot. Her review was thorough and highly detailed. She posted it at Amazon, Goodreads, and several other important forums. I could not have been happier.”
From now on I’ll be posting reviews that’ll be quite short and quick compared to the detailed ones I usually do. I’m glad to tell you that I’m in talks with a publishing firm for the publishing of my first book (a psychological thriller) and hence, I won’t have enough time to write lengthy reviews for each and every book I read.
2015 has been an excellent year and in order to say goodbye to this amazing year, I have decided to do a post listing all our reviews in 2015. So here it is, but before we begin, I’d like to thank the review contributors of TRB.
This year I spent almost 4 complete months writing and editing my novel, Decieved, I was short on time fulfilling all the review requests and it was then that these review contributors really helped me keep TRB flooded with reviews. So a big THANK YOU to all the review contributors (even those who are no longer doing reviews for TRB.) You guys have been a really great help to me!
Special thanks to Galit and Heather. You guys rock! ❤
Also, a big THANK YOU to all the lovely readers of TRB. Thanks for all you Likes, Comments, and Support. You are the soul of this blog ❤
Here are the books that we reviewed at TRB in 2015:
Author: J.R. Stewart
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Young Adult|Sci-Fi|Dystopian|Fantasy|Mystery|Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi)
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishing
Buy it here: Amazon
When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone’s deepest desires may be realized – even visits with Andrew.
Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon’s dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders’ biggest challenge is determining what is real – and what is virtual.
Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking oan entire government to do so.
Nirvana is an amazing YA read with a really fresh plot line and a great new dystopian world setting. I loved the characterisations and the fast pace of the story.
I was really impressed with the storyline and the world-building concept of Nirvana, though, it lacked a little behind when it came to the execution of these two concepts. I enjoyed the book (no doubt about it) but somewhere I felt that if the second half of the book can be tweaked a little bit then it can be at par with the best-selling YA reads of today.
I loved the lead character, Kenders, and was able to feel a connection with her. Though, in the second half of the book I felt that connection slipping (as soon as Serge comes into picture.) I loved Andrew, the male lead, as well but sadly the same thing happened with him.
This book falls in the romance genre as the plot depends on the romantic relationship between Kenders and Andrew. And like any other dystopian book there is a love triangle (Kenders, Andrew and Serge) but thankfully it’s not a farfetched one. It starts and ends within an acceptable time frame and now I’m really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.
I enjoyed the easy flow of author’s style of writing. It’s simple yet relatable and makes reading this book a pleasant experience. Having said that, I’d like to point out that I felt that the first half of the book was excellent whereas the second half lagged a little behind not only in terms of the plot line but also in terms of the characterisation and flow of the story.
I started enjoying Nirvana right from the first sentence and continued to do so halfway through the book. Everything was just amazing and I had no issues with anything (but only till the first half.)
The second half of the book along with the ending felt quite weak to me. The plot went on to some other uninteresting tangent and ruined an otherwise excellent story. I really hope that the sequel will be better than this one.
The blurb is good, but I felt that it actually revealed a major spoiler about Andrew’s fake death. I would have liked it better to have come across it while reading the book instead of the blurb.
The cover art is marvellous. I really like the eerie feeling it radiates. It’s just perfect.
I’m the featured reviewer at NetGalley for my book blog, The Reading Bud, for their monthly series, Blogger Spotlight, for Mystery & Thriller edition.
I was really excited when I received a mail from NetGalley inviting me for this spotlight. I really enjoyed answering each and every question for this interview and consider myself lucky to be interviewed by and featured at NetGalley’s blog!
On the morning of her fifth birthday, Miki Suzuki’s aged grandfather gave her an unusual gift – the fragment of a story. The tale told of a magical realm where all the women were beautiful, dressed in the finest gowns, and where the men had the looks of movie stars. The trees were covered in ivory-white blossom all year round, and everyone was joyful and proud. This place, young Miki learned, was a city in far off Europe – a city called Paris.
The story took seed in Miki’s mind and, over twenty years, she became quite obsessed with the French capital. Having studied its history, language, and traditions, she vowed that one day she would venture there.
Winning a competition at her work, where she sold low-grade beauty products door-to-door, Miki embarked on the journey of a lifetime to her dream destination.
Feverishly excited, and exhausted after a long flight, she hit the ground running, in her desperation to see every last tourist sight in town. But, as the others in the tour group looked on in horror, the telltale signs of a rare condition began to manifest themselves – a condition known as ‘Paris Syndrome’.
Made crazed by a stream of unfavourable events, Miki went on a riotous rampage, which ended in her mooning the sales clerk in Louis Vuitton – an assault that gripped the French nation. And so began the treatment in the most bizarre of clinics – a refuge for fellow sufferers of Paris Syndrome. All this set against a backdrop of vigilante groups, trade wars, bounty hunters, and true love.
Both hilarious and toe-cringing, Miki Suzuki’s psychological rollercoaster ride gets under the skin like nothing else, as the novel explores the real condition that afflicts dozens of Japanese tourists each year.
This is my second book I’ve read by Tahir Shah and he keeps the same style of adventure here as well and I feel so lucky to have received this book. The story is bit mad like as a lot happens to Miki (the main character) and all at once. After a story her grandfather told her, she becomes obsessed about Paris and tries to get there in every way she can. I love how the author weave the story and the fantasy of Paris build up in Miki and in us. He lures us into the story with bits of fantasy about the beautiful Paris, but when she finally get there, after a lot of struggles and tears, the reality of her wonderful and magical city shatters her totally (I want to say so much here… but you must read it to know more). The author shows us so well what can happen when your dreams meet reality. I love how the madness consumes the main character and how crazy it can get. I can relate to that a lot! It’s a drama and comedy all in one 🙂
Miki is a very strong, intelligent and very loyal friend. She has so much love for her grandfather and she never gives up, no matter how tough is the struggle or how mad things become for her.
Her true love and obsession is Paris!
I love the author’s writing style so much. The way he show us the details, the way he tackles real things in way we can all relate to (like the Paris Syndrome) and the overall emotions are so upfront, but not overbearing. There is a very dark element in the story as Miki finally arrives to Paris, but I liked it a lot.
The author shows us the reality of Miki (the main character) and the Japanese culture, so well, that let us into that culture very easily as well. At the start of the story, we see the beautiful Miki and her friend, how they live and Miki’s hard job. We see the memory of her grandfather’s stories of this beautiful city and his adventures in Paris.
The story ended with a promise.
The cover art is beautiful and I love the vintage feel to it.
The blurb showcases the book’s plot perfectly and with the hint of the author good humor.
Today I’m extremely happy (like flying-in-the-air-happy) to announce that The Reading Bud has turned into a 1 year old baby. I can’t believe how fast this year went! It seems like yesterday when I said to Vishal (V), “I’m thinking that I should start a blog for reviewing books…” and he encouraged me to go ahead by upgrading my library membership to the platinum package in which they deliver unlimited books at home. I remember him telling me “Go ahead and make me proud.”
I had no clue what book-blogging even meant that time. V encouraged me to go ahead and his unwavering trust in me led me to start a book-blog in January. I’m so, so, so happy that I did… ❤
Do you love to discover new books? Do you review and recommend books online, in print, for your bookstore, library patrons, blog readers, or classroom? Then you are what we call a “professional reader,” and NetGalley is for you. Registration is free, and allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advance reading copies, on your favorite device.
First of all, lets clear what NetGalley really means. In publishing world, galley is the uncorrected or in some cases corrected copies of the books that are not yet printed. And when these galleys are provided on the internet as e-books, you have what we call as NetGalley.
NetGalley offers a wide range of books for reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers.
At NetGalley publishers provide galley proofs to readers in order to get what they call as “feedbacks” and what we call as “reviews.” There are a lot of publishers, including some…
Firstly I’d like to thank everyone who responded or reblogged or helped me by sharing the “Reviewer Wanted” post on fb and twitter and if not then just for reading it. Thank You All!
I’m really glad to let you all know that after going through 14 mails, I’ve picked up 5 review-contributors for The Reading Bud. And now I’m feeling so light as all the burden seems to have disappeared from my tiny shoulders…
So let’s welcome these 5 bibliophiles whose reviews you’ll be reading along with mine, every month on The Reading Bud. I hope you’ll enjoy reading their blogs as well!
I’ve been MIA from last two weeks as I was busy with V’s birthday preps, and now I’m gonna be busy with my own b’day! So please be patient and hold your horses for another week as soon I’ll be back with a lot of book reviews (once I get free from all the celebrations…) Till then I wish you all Merry Christmas!