Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Wellness Toolbox Master, the Guide to fitness

Wellness Toolbox Master

Book: Wellness Toolbox Master

By: Don Roberts

Genre: Health Non-fiction

Wellness Toolbox Master Summary:

Four sections comprise Wellness Toolbox Master.

The first section begins with a collection of fitness myths and facts. This is followed by tips, reminders, and home/travel workouts by the author and Fitness and Nutrition Specialist Don Roberts. The second section features the author’s client’s before-and-after photos and a description of their transformation journey. This section also includes the author’s bodybuilding photos. Don Roberts’ personal pantry list, his tips for consuming less food, food pyramid, and nutritional tips follow in section three. Listed in section four are other health myths and facts, followed by suggested resources by the author.

From time to time, “A Don Story” is included in between the chapters. The myths, facts, tips, advice, and stories are all accompanied by a quote or proverb from an unknown or famous personality. Most of the points are followed by cartoon illustrations that illustrate the preceding idea. There is also a list of recommended books and films provided to assist the reader in achieving overall wellness.

Liked/Disliked elements:

The book is exceptionally edited. The writer took care not to make any topic monotonous when debunking all myths and providing facts. A full explanation of each topic is provided in a concise format.

I enjoyed the intriguing topic on the relation between a person’s mood and his craving for a certain type of food. I also like the fact that each myth and fact is not just a hollow assertion. The author relies on studies and research to support the assertions.

After reading many instilled myths being debunked in the book, I am still skeptical about a few points. However, I have no particular reason to dislike anything in the book.

My ratings:

I give Wellness Toolbox Master a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. At no point does the information seem overwhelming. The cartoon illustrations are enjoyable. Different types of exercises are addressed, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, the section on nutritional tips contains a wealth of information. This also includes the benefits and side effects of each food mentioned. The book concludes with references that help alleviate, if not completely, any skepticism on the part of readers.

For readers:

In the book, several energy drinks are slammed as the worst on the market. This could offend such beverage companies if they are still in existence.

For fitness enthusiasts looking for a trusted guide in the form of a book, Wellness Toolbox Master is a good option. As a motivational injection for lazy, unmotivated people who need guidance, it is also a powerful means of getting motivated.

Exclusive Guide On Easter Eggs, 200 Ideas: Book Review

Easter Eggs

What Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is all about?

Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is a collection of 200 ideas, techniques, and designs that offer some pretty, if not extravagant, guidelines on how to make Easter eggs. Initially, the guide looks at the purpose of celebrating Easter and different ways to display Easter eggs. It further proceeds to the author Maya Elston’s preferred method for celebrating Easter & decorating Easter eggs. An introduction to the objective of Eggstravagant Easter Eggs is also added.

With 17 sections, the 1st section of the book provides readers with tips on how to choose appropriate eggs for their Easter celebration. There is a description of all types of eggs used for Easter eggs, along with their benefits and disadvantages. In the following section comes a detailed description of tools and equipment one may need to make any of the 200 Easter eggs in the book.

Throughout the book, there are fourteen categories encompassing all 200 ideas for creating and decorating eggs, with each category including eggs on a similar theme, except for section 17, which presents some random ideas to begin a new series.

Liked/Disliked Elements:

I appreciate the efforts Maya Elston put into providing an extensive guide on gorgeous eggs. She attempts to mention potential mistakes one might make while creating the eggs. The presentation of lavish and beautiful eggs was also a point of interest for me in the book.

The low readability score, however, is probably the only thing that disappoints me. To make the explanation easier, the procedure for making and decorating eggs might have been presented in shorter paragraphs, or points.

My Ratings:

The book gets 3 out of 4 stars from me. From simple and easy to complex and laborious, it’s a rigorous collection of inventive ideas & techniques for creating Easter eggs. Alternatives to expensive decorative items are provided. To facilitate comprehension, images of eggs from different angles are provided for laborious egg designs. Furthermore, the author has provided a list of all items she used to decorate her Easter eggs.

I found a lack of clarity in the procedures for some Easter eggs. The lack of brevity and clarity in several areas of the book made me snatch a full starts rating from it.

The audience for Eggstravagant Easter Eggs :

It is an excellent option for people who desire extensive do-it-yourself Easter eggs from beginner to advanced level. Though the eggs in the book can be prepared together with children, parent supervision is required.

Best English Book For American Idioms: List Of 300 Idioms

idiom book

How the book is structured?

Idiom Attack Vol. 1 Everyday Living is a collection of 300 North American idioms on 25 topics that concern everyday living. Each of the 25 topics consists of between 9 and 16 idioms. Moreover, each topic is followed by a four-layer revision process that consists fill in the blank questions, a paragraph story to illustrate idioms from the chapter, questions about the paragraph stories, and finally, questions for discussion to help learners confirm their understanding.

The book contains five sets of chapters, with each set including five topics on a similar theme. Each set ends with a crossword puzzle based on the set’s topics. Additionally, after the illustration of the 300 idioms, a fourteen-page index is provided where all the idioms are alphabetically sorted and accompanied by the page numbers for further reference. Answers to the crossword puzzles are provided at the end of the book.

Editing in the book is exceptional. With over 20 years of experience in teaching English to children & adults in South Korea, Peter Liptak seems to have mastered the correct method for instilling idioms in ESL learners. I appreciate the author’s efforts to ensure that the learner goes through several stages in order to inculcate every idiom. And to this effect, the four somewhat challenging revision process seems apt.

I don’t find any valid point to dislike something in the book.

My Ratings of Idiom Attack Vol. Everyday Living:

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It has been very useful to me as a student of advanced English as a second language. The book categorizes and gives context to North American idioms, making them easier to understand and remember. The explanation doesn’t seem overwhelming, and all the possible meanings of an idiom are provided with comprehensible & catchy examples.

The Right Audience:

Idiom Attack Vol. 1 Everyday Living is an excellent pick for both intermediate ESL learners proficient in the language in edition (other languages edition is available) and advanced ESL learners, who wish to master English Idioms & sound like a native speaker.

IRONING Book Review: Factual Reality Through Fictional Stories

Book: Ironing

Author: Navajo

Genre: Fiction

What Ironing is about?

Ironing is a sundry collection of short stories of ordinary people of different age groups, backgrounds, & even cultural values. There is some connection between all these stories in that their setting is the same, i.e., London. The other aspect that brings about a link between the stories is the acquaintance between their characters.

Each story betrays in humans the natural tendency to be loving, selfish, anxious, kind, capricious, & incredible. They also show the human tendency to be slinking back and forth with these aspects. All the stories absolutely revolve around human & their dilemmas; caprice; transitory moods, the mere essence of being a human.

As the name suggests, Ironing is indeed full of irony, which ascribes to momentarily bringing smiles over reading. The author’s employment of ironies in the book instills incredulity in readers about human nature. In an instance, the statement of a Muslim father on her daughter’s marrying a white boy Roger, & calling him not a ‘proper white’ because he isn’t culturally one of them betrays the comical yet serious irony.

Liked/Disliked Elements in the book:

The aspects of the book that I enjoyed & looked forward to were ironies, and the casual conversations between the three girls reflecting the genuine talks between teenagers, who are social media freaks, love experts, gossips lovers, precocious, & a lot of times, impulsive & immature.

Although there were only a few stories that I found exciting & striking, it might not be the case for every reader. And though I liked the ideas presented by the writer, there also seemed to be a loose link between various stories.

The language in the story is bold, with a lot of offensive words & swearing. There is a scene of explosion & the explanation of the aftermath, which could be uncomfortable for some readers.

The book also shows a facet of cultural restrictions to a Muslim girl when she has to remove her headscarf to protect her friend. “It’s not covered, but at least it isn’t enticing”, is what the girl comments, which could be offensive to people belonging to that section of the society.

Ironing strictly exposes the negative side of dating apps, the mentality of people, the harsh realities &pains in the contemporary world. It presents, through fictional stories, the factual reality.

Book Review: Bridge To Haven, A book of Love and Trust

Book: Bridge To Haven

Author: Francine Rivers

Genre: Christian fiction, Romantic Suspense

Author Francine Rivers shows her writing talent in her 466-paged novel, Bridge to Haven, by showing how a long novel can stay riveting throughout and not become monotonous & tedious.

Bridge To Haven by Francine Rivers: Summary

The story begins with Reverand Pastor Zeke. He believes God to be an omnipresent power and the ultimate decision-maker and caretaker of everything.

On a cold October morning, while going for his daily early morning walk, he runs across a crying abandoned baby (Abra). Despite the inevitable degradation of his wife Marianne’s health, he gives in to her persistent insistence that they become Abra’s foster parents, understanding this as a divine message. He vows to provide every care for the girl, as a loving father would.

From unconditionally loving Abra to the point of having to give her away with a heavy heart, the non-deliberate act is what sends Abra into solitude. This is further watered by the feeling of not being understood or loved or wanted. Subsequently, it leads her to a reckless decision, which becomes the cause of her great suffering. Her insecurity ultimately lands her fate in an industry that many girls just dream of. But little she knew at what a big price…

My Take On The Novel:                                                               

Following a wrong decision in a callow stage, due to her lack of belief in the love and support from her family and friends, & God, Abra finds herself plunged into a maze of confusion. She is soon far from Haven and in a wild jungle.

The repentance for her misconception and the love for her people, homeland reconcile her to her Haven, revealing, Abra & readers, her real lineage.

Honestly, when I looked at this book in a Book store almost 2 years back, the main reason for picking it was the Book’s attractive cover and scent 😀

I didn’t touch it for a few months, thinking it to be a tedious and highly religious one. But it was way more than that. It captured my mind and thoughts throughout the storyline.

It compelled me to fall in love with the purity and calmness of Zeke and Joshua; adore Mitzi’s buoyancy. One commiserates with Abra’s Dilemma & could resonate with some aspect of each of its characters.

Who Should Read Bridge To Haven:

Bridge to Haven is brimming with spiritual and religious teachings of the Bible and the importance of love and family. It also emphasizes belief in the omnipotent God, & ceaseless faith in his plans for everyone.

Readers not into such conceptions & themes at all could find the piece a boring pick.

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Book Review: HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL

Self-help

Book: How To Be Successful

Author: M. Curtis McCoy

Genre: Self-help, nonfiction

What to expect in the Non-fiction?

How To Be Successful is not a book that preaches some magical points for its readers to adapt and benefit from. The book instead wonderfully presents for its readers the stories of some successful people. Moreover, it also highlights the importance of personal and spiritual success.

The book constitutes 27 chapters. While the interviews and separate chapters filled with insights and wisdom collectively work to show someone the way towards becoming a successful businessman,  the same principle could be applied to attain success in personal life.

After being successful at a young age, author M. Curtis McCoy fell victim to Brain Cancer. But what came about later in his life is an inspiration in itself. The doctor tells him that he has very little time left, but he does not give up. He works his guts out to not only beat cancer but also reach his goal.

His trust in God & passion, induced in him by her mother from a young age, drives him out of brain cancer, towards his Cellular Business, and eventually to helping people out through this Book.

Liked/Disliked Elements:

The best part of the book, for me, is the answers to the interview questions, which are inspirational and enjoyable to read.

The interviews are not just some talks about success; they are actual insights into the life of each interviewee, which weren’t as exciting or wonderful in the starting.

The interviewees could have been fewer though since certain questions feel repetitive at some points.

Who Should Read How To Be Successful by M. Curtis McCoy ?

If people have excuses for not starting the ball rolling due to hardship, lack of natural talent, or bad genetics, the book will help them contradict those thoughts.

HTBS is recommended to people struggling to achieve their goals and would like to gain insight into people successful in all aspects of their lives.

Is Your Fate Predetermined? Puzzle Of Fate Review

Book Review

What to expect in Puzzle of Fate?

Puzzle Of Fate sets forth several factors and sub-factors which interlink to shape, determine, and engender our future happenings. It tells about those factors whose effects one can counter influence in their life; one can only exercise some free will; the factors on which we control complete will. Writer Dr. Reza Kamarei has recourse to vast information and examples to prove his thesis and put weight on his points.

At the end of the Book, the writer doesn’t leave the reader just to considering the factors that have shaped his fate. Or just wondering the factors he could have prevented from influencing his fate. The Book eventuates to a test for readers, to help them explore their fate, with a chapter devoted to how they can manage, if not pre-decide or control it.

Liked/Disliked Elements in the book:

What I disapprove of in the book is the abundance of overwhelming information on each factor. For the difficulty in assimilating everything without missing a point, one could occasionally lose interest in reading; however, probably the writer also sensed this, for, at the end of each detailed paragraph, a concluding remark summarizing the main points of the paragraph is given.

The summary helps the reader in not only revising the whole paragraph in short, but it also facilitates the reader to go back to each point without having to search through the whole chapter.

Mr ratings: 3/4 stars

POF succeeded in giving me a definite meaning of the word I often used though wasn’t aware of its literal meaning. It compelled my mind to question why I never thought what it could be which shapes our lives.

I wouldn’t give it 4 stars rating for the overwhelming content, which I think could’ve been shortened for readers to assimilate easily.

The right audience:

What have you understood the meaning of fate all your life? If you are not sure how to convey your thoughts on it or have no explicit definition for that matter, the Puzzle Of Fate is worth a read for you.

Puzzle of Fate may challenge some readers on their accepted interpretations of fate and its determinants. But it guarantees a new and never explained take on the ambiguous definition of the universally used term fate.

Dolphins Do Not Run Marathons: 26.2 thoughts Against Marathon

Book: Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons

Author: Sam Brand

Genre: Non-Fiction

What to expect in Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons by Sam Brand?

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons is an epitome of a book that conveys its message with the help of riveting metaphors. The articulation of the idea is short, precise & to the point. The book starts with the explanation of three types of people running a Marathon (the race of life) in the jungle (the world): the human-ant, human-chimpanzee, and human-dolphin.

Describing himself as a human ant, the writer outlines his New York 2008 Marathon. The Marathon where every human ant is competing for one thing: the gold medal, the success goal. Regardless of the physical & mental health deterioration that it can ensue, they are running the race, the long run. Sam Brand, on many occasions, urges the reader to take advice from the human-dolphin friend. To consult the friend that helped him transform into a human dolphin. While the goal of human ant is to achieve the goal medal, the goal of human-dolphin is the ultimate happiness. 

Sam Brand has perfectly employed metaphors to convey his idea about the three human personalities in the world. Words such as jungle, marathon, and long-run, with their ambiguity could initially leave the reader guessing on their contextual use. However, gradually it clarifies the doubt, thus igniting commendation for the writer’s manner of expression.

Most liked/disliked elements in the Book?

The feature of the book that amazed me is the possibility to read the entire book in merely 2 hours! No idea seems redundant, and yet nothing seems to be left out to convey. However, the only flaw in the book I would bring up is the presence of the word ‘sex’ not less than 15 times. In addition to this, the use of a few dirty words could, unfortunately, hinder its path to the children’s shelf.

Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons deserves a 4 on 4 stars rating on my shelf. Being a human-ant runner myself, the book made me ruminate on the idea of the writer. How there are other important things too than just running in the jungle, towards a goal. Moreover, it also advocates the importance of sporting activities which not only revive the health but the quality of life as well.

Recommendation for prospect readers:

However, the Book has mentioned a good amount of times the flaws of the whole concept of the marathon race. The book could thus offend the people associated with it or the people having family members associated with it.

I would recommend this book to every marathon runner running the dead end to get the gold medal. It’s also a great read for people who are fans of short, easy read books with great meaning associated with it: Don’t stop running. Just keep it short doing short runs.

Happy Reading!

Why Books VS Movies? And Not Their Blend!

photo by pixabay

MOVIES VS BOOKS: ADVANTAGES OVER OTHER

Books VS Movies? Would you choose to watch a movie over reading a book on a Story? If the question is asked to a group containing 100 people, it’s likely to get a fifty-fifty answer. There is no denying the truth that a movie based on a book offers visual & sound graphics. It fulfills the necessity of providing pictures of the setting, the demeanor & the countenance of the characters. Above all, movies also help express the sublimities of thoughts by the alluring scenes. All these aspects are undoubtedly the advantages to readers that enhance apprehension, sensibility,& delight on the spectator’s side.

But what, If I say books help one perceive the situations more than can ever be done in watching; or that books let the imagination of the reader to penetrate through the possible boundaries of the an-already-provided scene; and that, as to the countenance of the characters, one could mold them in accord with the possibilities that the situation provides. (Don’t like the look of pride in Mr. Darcy’s eyes? Blend it with a look of uneasiness caused in a company of total strangers!).

WHAT’S THE BLEND OF BOTH?

  If I were to answer this question, I would have scruples as to which one I would prefer, as, for me, it’s kind of a blend of both. Yes! When I decide to pick on a book that has already been adapted into a movie or series, I take the advantage of both the medium! I read a few pages of the book and revert back to the movie to ONLY get the basic ideas; ideas about the plot setting & character’s demeanor to keep in mind while reading the book. Not only does it provide the background picture of the plot but, it also enhances the delight by the familiarity with the character’s traits.

So, for example, I watched the Harry Potter series when I was around 10. I couldn’t follow the method that I now do with the books which have already been adapted into movies. Anyway, when I read the book series, I hadn’t watched the movie series for a few years now. So, the settings & faces of the characters were still afresh in my mind, but not explicit. I knew the setting of the plot, Harry’s green eyes (or were they blue in the movies?), Hermione’s bushy & Ron’s orange-colored hair & so on. Imagine how it would be to read about Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & wizardry, without having seen the Hogwarts’ magnificent building beforehand!! Or how funny it could get to imagine someone’s FLYING on a broom, without having watched Harry’s riding on it, aesthetically.

PENETRATE TROUGH THE WALLS OF RESTRICTION

So when I read the book, with every setting in mind (WOAHH!!), I was penetrating through the walls of restriction and perceiving a lot more than what the movies could ever have empowered me to perceive! I agree & acknowledge that it can’t be possible in a movie to incorporate every line present in the book. Anyway, not unless it takes a few decades, a truckload of money on producers, years of actor’s commitment to a movie, and maybe a lot more conditions to fulfill. Consequently, the details of the plots present in movies aren’t even half of what books accumulate in its pages. So if one requires every minute details of what-how-why in the story, books are always rendered better companions.

Imagine a movie scene that presents the geographical setting in Gardner. The lovers are about to reveal their feelings for each other. There is just a Gardner with beautiful grass and maybe a pretty fountain in the middle of it. Now, let your mind explore the other possible beauties that could fill the scene. Maybe a view of the horizon, the sunkissed pretty face of the girl. And coinciding with this love revelation is the scene of a male dove’s proposal to a female dove, instrumenting its white feather as if asking the female to embrace him…

Okay, maybe too cringe for someone:D, but you may have got the point.

CONCLUSION: BOOKS VS MOVIES

The opinion regarding what should be the preferred way of consuming a story is altogether subjective. It totally depends on individual choice as to which method they prefer to assimilate the story. While some may try to squeeze in whatever time they could for reading, the busy-life of this era can’t make it possible for everyone to invest in reading. In leisure time, while some may prefer watching Netflix or catching up with friends, bibliophiles may excuse themselves to complete the last chapter of the book.

What matters is the ultimate delight, whichever may the medium be 🙂

Happy Reading 🙂

Book Review Of The White Tiger

The White Tiger Novel

The debut novel The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga won the prestigious literary award ‘The Man Booker Prize’ in 2008. The Book’s also been adapted into a movie lately, starring Priyanka Chopra & Rajkumar Rao.

What would’ve made the novel won the distinguished title? Was it even worth it? Apart from these questions, there were other few questions too that exhorted me to pick this literary piece up.

Does only revealing the hard-boiled realities of a country like India render the Book The Man Booker Prize? Or is it making people stumble upon the uncomfortable ignored truths they have known for centuries by presenting them in a literary piece? Let’s get into what the Book presents for its readers-

SUMMARY OF THE BOOK THE WHITE TIGER:

The Novel ‘The White Tiger’ is an epistolary novel. The letter addresses the Chinese President who is soon to visit India to hear the success story of its Entrepreneurs.

The writer of the letter, Balram, recalls in the letter his challenging, thrilling, and blood-curling journey. A journey from a local village Boy to a successful Entrepreneur, A WHITE TIGER born once in a while. As a child, Balram isn’t only bereft of the basic necessities of life- proper schooling & guidance but also his identity, a name.

He resolves to not step in the footsteps of his fellow Village men & live an impoverished life forever. To this end, Balram pulls all the stops out in learning to drive and getting himself employed somewhere. His efforts pay him off and his fate gets him a kind-heartened son of a dishonest and cruel landlord.

A uniform of his own, a piece of cloth enough to elicit reverence in the people of his village, renders Balram content. There is absolute satisfaction in driving the composed Vikram Saheb & his madam to places. A kind-heartened owner, the driver of an ‘air-conditioned’ car is all he could ever wish for. What happens then which crushes Balram’s scruples and implores him to commit a horrendous action? And obliges him to the crime of A BRUTAL MURDER- is what the story takes to the reader.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE NOVEL?

While describing the two economically divided classes of the oppressed and the oppressor, another important social issue is also there. The exposed corruption and power-sickness of the politicians are visible throughout the story; the power of the rich to even buy the lives of the poor, with the latter’s helplessness to market themselves!

We see the pretend of the generosity by the potent & the forlorn hope of the perpetually hopeful poor to get their basic rights & acknowledgment.

It successfully uproots and stands bare the shrewd and self-centered affluent society. Also, what leaves a reader in awe is the eloquent writing style of Aravind Adiga. A reader finds himself flowing through the plot with ease, anticipating the journey of the protagonist. In the end, the reader cannot help but praise the writer’s ability to put forward such grave issues & still getting successful in bringing in the comedy with his mordant wit. 

MY FINAL THOUGHTS:

I recommend ‘The White Tiger’ to anyone who is in seek of a highly compelling masterpiece. It unveils & ridiculously exposes the dark truths hidden behind the walls of Power and Money. It alleviates the reader from merely conjecturing on the causes of darkness in the dark areas of the country to actually confirming their hidden speculation.

To be sure, a commendable job on the writer’s part! With each paragraph being imbibed, the writer’s objective to stir several emotions in readers gets successful.

Going through the plot, sentiments such as incredulity, anger, grief are all perceived by the readers. There are also many moments for a chuckle. Eventually, the contemplation on the seriousness of the matters by the reader is also achieved.

Happy Reading!:)