Made out of Stars

Name of the Book: Made out of Stars Author: Meera Lee Patel Publisher: Particular Books
Questions are good because they lead to answers. ‘Made out of Stars’ by Meera Lee Patel is a journal that can take the reader from the path of obscurity to clarity through a series of pithy questions. These questions make the reader introspect and realize that there is magic within each; what prevents it from blooming is the want of self-realization. The questions are myriad and each of them compels the reader to view himself/herself as someone valuable and capable. Perhaps, this power of the book almost makes it a beautiful miracle.
The colorful illustrations that accompany the questions are a treat to the eyes. Made with water-colors, every illustration has a quotation by a renowned author. The quotation forms the basis of the question framed.
One of the purposes of the book is to make the reader feel connected with the universe and realize that one is made up of the same star-stuff. ‘What make…

Interpreter of Maladies

Book Title: Interpreter of Maladies Author: Jhumpa Lahiri Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 13: 978 81 7223 502 4
An anthology of short-stories, Jhumpa Lahiri was awarded the Pulitzer Award for Fiction for this book in the year 2000. The feat of the book lies in making every story unique, unpredictable and carefully nuanced.
The stories are concerned with a spectrum of characters. They are Indians travelling or living abroad mostly. They range from Bibi Haldar who gets epileptic attacks to the unchristian Sanjeev who abhors his wife Twinkle for her inclination towards everything Christian. The characters’ private lives are explored and the reader realizes that they are as unflattering as theirs. Twinkle gets out of the tub with her face caked and leaves a stray of water as she walks out of the tub and threatens Sanjeev to leave the house in her towel.
The stories do not present the world of the characters in a gilded fashion presenting a euphoric world in which everything is perfect. …

Notes on a Scandal

Book Title: Notes on a Scandal Author: Zoe Heller Publisher: Penguin ISBN: 978-0-141-03995-4 No. of Pages: 245
 “You never appreciate what a compost your memory is until you start trying to smooth past events into a rational sequence.”(Barbara Covett) This is a fictional memoir of a history teacher at St. George named Barbara Covett; it is a memoir which is also psychological thriller. Barabara Covett is the close confidante of Sheba Hart aka ‘Queen of Sheba’ who seemed to her like “some magical lake in a fairytale: nothing could disturb the mirror-calm of her surface”. However, the memoir unfolds her tragedy and by the end, she is left drooping and howling. Queen of Sheba is found guilty of having an affair with one of her pupils, Steven Connolly!
Zoe Heller has written the book in the first-person point of view. The language is colloquial and makes it a brilliant prose to read: it is straightforward; tinted with interesting wisecracks such as “you know how you sometimes have anothe…

Mrs. Funnybones

Author: Twinkle Khanna
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143424468
No. of Pages: 235

Mrs. Funnybones, as the name suggests is a woman who is funny to her very core. However, just like the name makes sense, so does the narrator. One may assume that the book is probably full of gibberish jokes; to the contrary, the occasional jokes make the readers think and are funny at the same time. When the 'man of the house' (Akshay Kumar) calls Twinkle Khanna an idiot, her toddler daughter asks: "Where idiot?Show me!"

The book is divided into a number of chapters and all of them have a befitting title: "Oh no! I'm under arrest" and "Just leave me alone in June." In these chapters, Twinkle Khanna has penned down her observations, some anecdotes and some words of wisdom: "The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don't let go..."

This is a humble book.Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar are celebrities and one would easily assume tha…

Start Where You Are

Book Title: Start Where You Are: a Journal for Self-exploration Author: Meera Lee Patel Publisher: Perigee ISBN: 978-0-399-17482-7
“It’s impossible to follow a dream that has no shape or outline.” This is a powerful book that is magical! It is full of colorful illustrations with quotes written on them along with an exercise for applying every quote. The exercises range from knowing to healing oneself.  There is a quote by Kazuo Ishiguro: “There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.” This is followed by an exercise on the next page in which one has to find something to be grateful for amidst the darkness.
The exercises make it a very practical book. They can be used in different stages of life. One can give a concrete plan to an amorphous dream; dissolve fear when terrorized and even watch the Sun to de-stress. Therefore, it is the practical magic added with beautiful colors that make this book outstanding.
This book also encourages a person to be brutally …