Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: Keeping Score

Book:  Keeping Score
Author:  Marc Brackett
ISBN:  97809834888-0-4
Genre:  Non Fiction
Price:  $10.95/US (I got it from Writer)
Pages:  116
Publisher:  Treinta y Tres publishing

Speaking of a book on relationship, the first thing that comes to any reader’s mind is a rendering story supported by an alluring theme which more often than not bestows what’s right and what’s wrong for a relationship to sustain. But even after reading numerous books and reckoning our society at large have we able to find any clue on how to construct a successful relationship? No, we haven’t and this book is an efficacious attempt by Marc Brackett to find the missing link between the theories and real life by devising a model to measure human relationships.  A point to plan action for evaluating and assessing relations which in turn focuses on personal forefront of both the genders, thus formulating steps to work on respective weaknesses and then strive for happy and prosperous relation.

Cover Page & Title:

To understand any relation to its core is complex and devising a scoring framework is again a daunting task. It would really be difficult for a book to appeal to its audience if the cover page would have been equally straining. Therefore an evident title ‘Keeping Score’ along with the purpose- ‘A guide to Love and Relationship’ with a heart sketched entails an apparent but clear approach of the evaluation processes which even a lame can understand.
 About the Author:

The author, Marc Brackett, lives in Idaho with his wife, Kristin, and five daughters. When not busy with work, the family enjoys a number of outdoor activities that only Idaho can offer in such abundance.
This book was also made possible through the professional efforts of the following people:

Cover and interior design by
Fountain pen image courtesy of Waterman:

Compositional Report:

At a point in life we all feel life would have been much easier if we could get the luxury, a guide to move forward in life specially when dealing with relationships. Whoever we may be, we all fall into the cavity of echelons and fight it out to keep hold of our relations and not be considered a failure. ‘Keeping Score’ is an impelling tool to bifurcate failing relations as it focuses on strengthening one’s weaknesses by an evaluation method.
A book coined as -' A relationship book even a man can understand.'

‘Keeping Score’ is broadly categorized into two categories viz. the Eve and The Adam. It’s a deliberate demarcation to focus specially on the point of view of a specific gender to its counterpart.  Yes Love is necessary for any relation to grow and prosper it’s the heart and soul of any relation but then there are diverse factors which play an important role especially when you are thinking of life ahead.  Starting From Education, Career, Financial stability, Destructive Habits, Work Ethics, Behavior, and Equality both financially and individually everything comes into account when you plan your future. Relations with your in laws/future family members, Common interests, Shared Activities to religious inclination everything has a role to play. Marc Brackett has carefully twined all the basic necessities and has drawn an evaluation guide through a scoring chart where you can analyze your compatibility with your spouse’s score and work towards improving your score to achieve a successful relation.

Second half of the Book is devoted to all the action points and why Marc chose them to be a part of analyzing any relation, giving each and every point a reason for their presence in a relationship. Just like an exam the higher you score the better you would be in your career, similarly this is a scoring chart for the success of your relation which can be evaluated time and again to know one’s progress in a relation. A book for married couples to stand up against all the ups and downs of life and make efforts to last the distance. Not only for the married couples ‘Keeping score’ is a scout for all the singles to seek out for quantifiers to determine the qualities that would lead you to successful married life.

As far as the weak links are concerned I would say quantifying human factors to numbers is innovative but exact representation of a particular aspect to its numeric coefficient is controversial and may change from person to person as well as cultures across the world.

Overall ‘Keeping Score’ is a book to enhance your compatibility with your (to be) spouse. It’s a prospective attempt to seek for an ideal relationship.  The practicality of the theories to real life can only be gazed when people across the world implement methodologies to their life.  As far as the attempt to quantify human aspect to measure potential improvement in relationship is concerned full marks should be given to Marc for his effort. It’s an evaluation score to keep couples inching towards cent percent successful relationship.

Rating:  I would rate ‘Keeping Score’ 4 out of 5

Life Adjudication of the book:

Keeping Score is best read when you want to edge out a failing relationship.  It doesn’t matter whether you are married or not as it’s applicable for all.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review- Shades of Sin:Behind the mask

Book:  Shades of Sin: Behind the mask

Authors:  Vivek Banerjee, Upneet Grover, Saksham Agarwal, Aanandita Chawla, Vrinda Baliga & Sreelatha Chakravarty

ISBN:  978-93-81791-19-6

Genre:  Fiction/Short Stories

Price:  195 ( I received it directly from Publisher)

Pages:  188

Publisher:  APK Publishers

At times, what’s perceived by the world isn’t the truth and when intrigued with reality it reveals the hidden personality which in most scenarios expose the dark side of humans, most appropriately be called –‘Shades of Sin

As we ruminate into human behavior it would divulge us towards various negative facets which if unmasked exhibit a dingy tale of a person’s existence or absence. ‘Shades of Sin’ is a compendium of short stories which would bring forth the dark side of life. Stories which would surely necessitate, what lies beyond the shades?

Cover page & Title:

Look says it all; Glimpse of the cover page is enough for the readers to be curious. Readers would be compelled to have a peek into it, as the cover page is as mysterious as the title which reads-“Shades of Sin: Behind the Mask”
Barren dead tree and the man in shades serves a prologue for the content which is as explicable as it can be, thus enforcing the reader to move ahead with the book at the first sight.

About the Authors:

Dr. Vivek Banerjee is a pediatrician by choice and a writer by chance. He has been published by Westland in Chicken Soup for the Indian Doctor’s Soul and Grapevine India in Shades of Love. His Debut novel, The long road, which was well received by the readers, was published by Cedar, an imprint of Pustak Mahal in December 2010.

Upneet Grover is your run of the mill engineer cum MBA, with a penchant for writing. Stuck in a 9 to 9 consulting Job, He somehow manages to eke out a couple of hours every day to read and write. His debut Novel, The Dream, has recently hit the market.

Saksham Agarwal is a professional consultant and an amateur writer. His writing has been shaped by his seven years of campus life, his devotion to reading and his humanistic worldview. He writes short stories and is working on a novel.
Aanandita Chawla is a journalist and aspiring filmmaker. In her spare time she reads, writes and plans to find a wonderful way to convert everything she writes directly into moving pictures.

Vrinda Baliga lives in Hyderabad and enjoys writing short fiction. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies like City of Gods, Two is company, Urban Shots, and Crossroads, as well as in various print and online literary print and online literary journals. She is a prizewinner in the Unison- Reliance Timeout short story competition 2011 and katha Fiction contests 2010 and 2012.

Sreelatha Chakravarthy is a poet-writer-doctor and has been published with Frog books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishers, Mumbai. Her debut novel is titled An eternal Romantic. Sreelatha lives in Kochi, Kerala, presently, with her husband and two kids. Creative writing is her new found passion and she has only just begun.

Compositional Report:
Shades of sin is a typical anthology of short stories bent on revealing the dark side of human which has been classified as Light Grey, Dark Grey and Black. In all there are 25 stories and all the 25 stories have been classified amongst the three heads I mentioned above.

Etymologically shades can be of any color but the implication of the stories and it’s connection with the hidden side of human has been specifically embarked with dark shades like Grey and Black and certainly not coincidentally the stories bifurcated in various heads have been degrading on moral ethics as we move ahead with stories under light grey to Black.

Almost all human immoral conducts have been covered. Each and every story stands tall amongst the others in focusing the evil which has emerged from the world around. One of the classical features of this anthology is, it maintains the decorum of interest all the way through with stories bent on peculiar vices. ‘Shades of sin’ is an interconnection of various perverse features with the theme that’s concentric to shades behind the mask.

Best part according to me is the bifurcation of the stories on various levels. It’s next to impossible to choose a best story or the worst story as each and every story is unique and focuses on  different aspect of human vices like Hatred, Anger, Jealousy, Lust, greed, Pride & Ego among the other frailties.

There wasn’t any weak links as such, though it was a collection from various writers from different background and dissimilar writing styles but each and every story seemed to cover all its bases as far as the main theme is concerned. It’s a book that’s compelling and the stories though fictional can be assumed to be true and can be connected to the real world. Stories were like stimulating vibes, that’s the charm a reader would get and would spur them to finish in one go. Over all, a good read to know and learn about the various shades a person possess along with its consequences.


I would rate ‘Shades of Sin: Behind the mask’ 4 out of 5


Life Adjudication of the book:

This book is best read to divulge deep into the character a person possess in a life that never recedes.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Review: Romi & Gang

Book:  Romi & Gang

Author:  Tushar Raheja

ISBN:  978-81-926810-0-9

Genre:  Fiction

Price:  149 (I got it from Author)

Pages:  237

Publisher:  Pirates

Going by the general consensus: Let me first begin with a question- what’s the most cherished moment of your life.  I am sure without much discrepancy memories of our childhood stands out tall amongst all the reminiscence.  Its right we all wanted to grow up at a certain point in time but there are instances when we all wanted childhood to stay forever.  Romi & Gang is a fictitious tale of such an evocative narration which claws us back to our childhood days, to all those memories we wanted to stay lifelong.

Cover Page & Title:

Romi & Gang is ably depicted through the cover page and any onlooker can visualize through the cover page  i.e.,  it’s a fitting story of school going chaps from the hills who form a group and the title concedes a conform to be partners through all ups and down in line with those of a gang. What is conceals is worth pondering as it encompasses all the passion and those childhood dreams we all want to accomplish.

About the Author:

Tushar Raheja’s first book was the popular comedy, Anything for you, Ma’am. At the moment, he is a doctoral candidate at IIT Delhi in the field of Applied Probability. He can be contacted at

Compositional Report:

Romi, one of the members of York, a cricket team perceives it’s upon him and his team to restore the long lost pride of their School by conquering the Eagles (a cricket championship) after a mysterious disappearance of his proficient brother Kim. Romi is moved by his brother’s skill and more often than not comprehends he has to win the championship for his brother.  A team which could make Romi’s dream into reality includes Versatile Sunny, Dodgy Sukhi and blunt Golu.  Romi considers his team along with Kim’s inspiration is enough to revive his fortunes but is always circumspect about Sunny edging over him in terms of his abilities. 

As it’s said will and determination can follow suit only when it gets the adequate guidance required. No doubt Romi and his group had the caliber but they need to last and there Victor sir came along with timely counseling from Romi’s first coach, his Dad. Coupled with the moral and mental support provided by Romi’s dad and victor sir’s physical forbearance Romi and his gang were up for the grabs first to impress their school as they could compete with the seniors and then challenge five time winners St. Martins for the Eagles.

Characterization of the passion for cricket for me is the highlighting part of Romi and Gang and it does take the center stage as whatever is followed up in the story has a direct impact on the lives of each and every person involved. Victor sir’s note to Romi, Romi’s Father’s inspirational tips as well as sunny staging ahead of Romi even at the end needs a special recognition as far as the story is concerned.
As far as the loose end is concerned it would be Kim’s absence. There was no reference of any whereabouts of Kim which was carried in suspense all throughout and it ended in suspense. Ending also showcased unfortunate partition of Romi’s kingpin Sunny because of the mishap which was again a mystery to seek.

Over all Romi & Gang is an effluent story of Romi, a story of a teenager chasing his dream.
Tushar has efficiently delved into the characterization of Romi along with his other gang members Sukhi, Golu and Sunny. Plots and subplots were carefully fed to bring out the essence and it never did diverted from the theme and thus we get to read a vibrant story of teenagers is aptly conceived and then portrayed through a mesmerizing story line where a reader can connect vividly.  

Rating:  I would Rate Romi & Gang 4 out of 5

Life Adjudication of the book:

A Book where you can go back to your past and relive those dreams with a penchant  smile…!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: Billionaire Boy-Mark Zuckerberg in his own words

Book:  Billionaire Boy: Mark Zuckerberg in his own words

Author:  George Beahm

ISBN:  9789350298909

Genre:  Business/Inspiration

Price:  199 (Received from Indiblogger)

Pages:  184

Publisher:  Collins Business


We all have dreams and a successful person is not the one who realized his/her dreams but he/she is the one who has the tenacity to continue to ameliorate by probing dreams.  This also goes on with - ‘Success is not measured by your achievement but how you hold on to your priced possession’. ‘
Billionaire Boy: Mark Zuckerberg in his own words’ isn’t a biography or an autobiography but an insight to mark Zuckerberg’s rise to glory through Mark’s quotes and from various other dignitaries and organizations. It’s a sheer inspiration for all those aspiring Entrepreneur as it’s an action from behind the screens. 

The Biggest Risk is not taking any risk… In [a] world that changes really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”- Mark Zuckerberg

Cover page & Title:

If there’s a punch line that can stir up your senses it is –‘Hacker. Dropout. CEO’ and it’s been optimally used along with Mark’s cover Page photo. It’s a depiction of a success story inspired by determination and will up against degree or certifications.  In short it’s a portrait of a thinker at work.

About the Author:

George Beahm, the editor of the internationally bestselling I, Steve: Steve Jobs in his own words, is a former army major who served on active duty in the National Guard, and the army Reserves. He has published dozens of non-fiction books. Beahm lives in Hampton Roads, Virginia
                His website is

Compositional Report:

George Beahm  with his magnanimous prowess of describing his thoughts through structured detailing has again turned the tide on his side with ‘
Billionaire Boy: Mark Zuckerberg in his own words’.  We all know how boring a non-fiction business oriented book can eventually become but this is indeed a trademark distinguishing feature of George , he not only makes it interesting but also persuade people who are least interested in reading business,  pouch on it. A word for those who have read George before this is as inspiring as it can be.

Billionaire Boy: Mark Zuckerberg in his own words’ set forth with the present scenario, citing about Facebook’s current worth and it’s brief history  referring to its evolution followed by Mark’s letter to his investors.  It wasn’t a letter to beckon with but an entire propaganda of Facebook. A letter where Mark with his sheer brilliance pulled of an attire which would be woven across the globe in the years to come and this letter was only a prologue of it.
Instead of the life history of Mark Zuckerberg, George focused on describing the working notes in inspirational lines and the quotes from the emergence to feast were just exemplary. In short and simple words through quotations we came to know about the transformation of a programmer to world’s youngest billionaire.  We can call it a journey towards bloom.

As Far as the lacuna's are concerned it would be the connection of events as the story wasn’t sequenced as such the events were taken at random.  No doubt it was inspiring but the motivational part would have been further enhanced if it were on succession of events.

The best part according to me was the citations of dignitaries where focus was on both the pros and cons of being a billionaire boy. Yes he was named ‘Person of the year’ in 2010 by Time and vanity fair magazine rated him #1 of the top 100 most influencing people in the information age (ahead of Steve Jobs) but also adduced for the challenges faced where a single dodgy move could shamble like that of the Facebook IPO.  Collapse of Facebook stocks and the character personification of the Movie –‘The Social Network’ everywhere Mark was on receiving side. But he bludgeoned all these with his proactive thoughts which were viable when he denied selling off Facebook to yahoo and Microsoft. His determination and willingness to improve was also visible when he withdrew the news feed from the Face of Facebook on users’ disapproval.

With Great powers comes great responsibilities and Mark has portrayed all that in his 29 years of his life and going by his views –‘Fail Harder’, ‘Move Fast and Break things’ and ‘Keep calm and Hack on’ certainly goes off from the normal conventions and this is the reason why this book falls in the category of inspirational books where the emphasis is not only on the goals but how to achieve, To Retain, To move forward with innovations, To Fight out of troubles and To keep motivating  oneself and the group . This book is certainly an epitome to delve into where you can safely lose your senses to find the zeal to succeed.


I would rate ‘
Billionaire Boy: Mark Zuckerberg in his own words’ 4 out of 5

Life Adjudication of the book:


This book is best read to derive the hidden potential within you… ‘Everyone has in them what it takes to be successful all they need is to be proactive

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