Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

The first one in the Shopaholic series. I was not disappointed by the book as I was not expecting much in the first place.

Rebecca(Becky) Bloomwood is a financial journalist with zero interest in finance and one hundred percent interest in shopping. She is in debt thanks to her addiction to shopping. But this does not stop her from shopping for more designer clothes, cosmetics and homeware. As her credit card bills amount to thousands of pounds she tries to cut back her spending but is not able to do so. For example when Becky tries to make her own curry to cut back her food expenses, she ends up buying a lot of new things like a recipe book, a spice grinder and lots of spices.
 Her attempt to make more money also does not work out as planned.  Now what will Becky do as her bills mount up and she has to somehow avoid a meeting with the bank manager?

This is a simple, humorous, well-written book. Do I want to read the sequels? I don't think so!  3 out of 5.

Trivia: This novel was initially published as The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

I lost my interest in national best-sellers after reading a certain best-seller, so I was a liitle hesitant to start reading this novel. Surprisingly, this was a good read.

The novel tells the tales of two king-makers, one named Chanakya, who lived during 300 BC, the other one named Gangasagar Mishra living in the present day in Uttar Pradesh. Both of them are shrewd and cunning, and do not hesitate to deviate away from set moral standards to achieve their goal. Chanakya masterminded the ascent of Chandra Gupta Maurya as the emperor of Bharat whereas Gangasagar is set on making Chandni, a former slum kid, the prime minister of India. The narrative moves back and forth between the two timelines, drawing parallels between the plots used by the two king-makers who lived centuries apart. 

Sanghi mixes mythology, politics and history well in Chanakya's Chant to give us a fast-paced thriller. Chanakya's story is supposed to be based on historical facts with a little amount of fiction added to it. The author has used one-liners from many other sources but also has acknowledged them at the end of the book. Overall, Chanakya's Chant is a well researched and well written thriller.

A good read, 4 out of 5.

Trivia : Ashwin Sanghi originally published his first novel under the pseudonym Shawn Haigins.