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I finished reading it a course in miracles. That’s just about the time it took me to wrap up reading this highly recommended book. There are many candid anecdotes and personal insights shared here that I didn’t know about, for instance, I did not know Nafiza Ali was offered the piece of Dimple Kapadia’s in the film Bobby and so many others that will make you look back in nostalgia. The book is well-written, very engaging and is a page-turner: a standout amongst the clutch of autobiographies that have come out of Bollywood recently. The book gets a conservative three and a half stars (heavily tilting on four) from me. Unputdownable.

“Bleachers” and “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham:

Reading John Grisham is a yearly custom that I can never dispense with. One never passes up reading a John Grisham novel. I read many of his books and I still marvel at the fact that the way of his intense storytelling magic never blurs or sounds out of sync. I like his prose; his narrative style is superb. I genuinely venerate that feat of his. I have just finished reading “Bleachers” written by none other than the one and only legal thriller specialist John Grisham. Good on him.

I’ve just finished my yearly ritual reading John Grisham’s latest legal thriller “The Rooster Bar”. The story is about three legal school dropouts trying to con their way through the civil courts and making some easy money for a living. But the inventive trio gets stuck in other people’s shady deals and the big-shot dupe-sters who have no gumption to bend the law for money. It doesn’t work that way for them all. Before long, they all get caught. It’s a good book but not a great one if you ask me. I enjoyed reading it very much for its effortless prose and Mr. Grisham is a master at telling a story like magic. I’m already looking forward to the next book from one of my favourite thriller writers: John Grisham. I heard that “The Reckoning” is going hit the stands soon. I can’t wait to read the new book.

“Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen” by Vaasanthi:

Avoiding all the controversial parts the book “Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen” delivers what we already know. At just 175 pages in total, the book is a marvel and it reads like a dream.

Written by the Tamil novelist Vaasanthi, “Amma” is a gripping story of one of the most charismatic politicians and superwomen of India, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Selvi Jayalalithaa (JJ in short). A must read for those who want to quickly know about one of the most characteristic political leaders of the southern state of T.N. and indeed of India. I rejoiced reading this slim book, which is so engrossing that it becomes really tough to put the book down once you’ve started reading it. The book is a nice elucidation of effortless writing and simple storytelling that sings. Marvelous author, wonderful book.

“Last Days” by Adam Nevill:

“Last Days” by Adam Nevill is a fine horror novel. I like reading books about horror, occult and the paranormal; it keeps my horror goosebumps in spick-and-span condition! Although I get spooked very easily because I don’t have a short attention span, but I can’t say I’ve had my fill of horror novels; no, I never will.

I still remember reading “The Ritual” written by the same author; I was shocked and lost my normal life for days together!! The book Last Days is about an infamous cult that meets a bloody end in the desert of Arizona where they set up a shack and call it as Temples of the Last Days. With bodily apparitions, fleeing members of the cult, ancient evil, and paranormal elements all intensified to a crescendo, the terror is at once sinister and diabolical that you can damn well feel it all. Nevill does it with an astonishing panache that’s very rare, a true hallmark of a mature author handling the genre of horror today. I’m thinking of Stephen King also in the same nervous breath. I think it is one of the top-notch horror books that have come out recently.

“They Lived With God: Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna” by Swami Chetanananda:

“They Lived With God: Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna” by Swami Chetanananda presents a unique picture of the Divine Incarnate Sri Ramakrishna and his intense spirituality from the eyes of his lay disciples who lived and served the great soul.

This wonderful book offers a glimpse of the life and times of 32 close disciples of Sri Ramakrishna’s inner circle of devotees. Reading about their stories and experiences was an enriching experience that comes rarely by in this day and age of Kali yuga. Those were the spiritual times. What we have these days is that there is no sense of devotion towards god or any godly subjects; instead, fake gods and ‘distant darshan’ shortcuts via satellite link rule the minds of their foolish followers. I wonder what a wonderful time these lay disciples must have had when Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Maa, and Swami Vivekananda – the Holy Trio, were around in their midst. This book has the potential to change one’s life. It gives an inspiring first-person recount of those beautiful days gone forever.

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