Deception Point – Dan Brown

Deception PointTitle : Deception Point

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 1416524800

ISBN-13 : 978-1416524809

Paperback : 752 pages

The Plot :

A shocking scientific discovery. A conspiracy of staggering brilliance. A thriller unlike any you’ve ever read….

When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory — a victory with profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic scholar Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery — a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But before she can warn the president, Rachel and Michael are ambushed by a team of assassins. Fleeing for their lives across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.

Review :

Another thriller by Dan Brown, that moves at a break neck pace. The story is fantastical yet believable. This book has his trademark mix of hateful and likable characters. It is different from I his other works yet has his stamp all over it. I turn to a Dan Brown when I want to be totally immersed and lost in a story and this book was ideal for it. Overall, I loved the book. Highly recommended.


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The Hours – Michael Cunningham

The HoursTitle : The Hours

Author : Michael Cunningham

ISBN-10 :  0312243022

ISBN-13 : 978-0312243029

Paperback : 240 pages

The Plot :

Michael Cunningham draws on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.

The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf’s last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two modern American women who are trying to make rewarding lives for themselves in spite of the demands of friends, lovers and family.

With rare ease and assurance, Cunningham makes the two women’s lives converge with Virginia Woolf’s in an unexpected and heartbreaking way. As the Novel jump-cuts through the twentieth century, every line resonates with Cunningham’s clear, strong, surprisingly lyrical contemporary voice.

Review :

Having seen the movie before reading the book, I had great expectations for it, and it truly lived up to all the high hopes. The story beautifully transitions between these women spread across eras. The common thread that runs through the three stories is Virginia Woolf’s book ‘Mrs Dalloway’.

For me, this was one of the rare books that had me dumbfounded and thinking for long after I had finished it. A quick one sitting read, but with such a deep meaning, this is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Highly recommended!

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Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

Angels and DemonsTitle : Angels and Demons

Author : Dan Brown

ISBN-10: 0743486226

ISBN-13 : 978-0743486224

Paperback : 572 pages

The Plot :

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. An unthinkable target. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to his first assignment to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol — seared into the chest of a murdered physicist — he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati…the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy — the Catholic Church.

Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair…a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

Critics have praised the exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit found in Brown’s remarkable thrillers featuring Robert Langdon. An explosive international suspense, Angels & Demons marks this hero’s first adventure as it careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

Review :

This is the first novel of the Robert Langdon series which introduces us to the Harvard professor of Symbology. Like any Dan Brown thriller, it is fast paced and very very addictive. It is what I would call a genuine page turner. It sucks you in from the first page and leads to an amazing climax. Over all highly recommended.


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The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent WifeTitle : The Silent Wife

Author : A.S.A. Harrison

ISBN-10 :  0143123238

ISBN-13 : 978-0143123231

Paperback : 326 pages

The Plot :

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event.

Chapter by chapter, the narrative evolves from their alternating perspectives. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. The alternating voices pitch the reader back and forth between protagonists in conflict who are fighting for self-preservation, both making deeply consequential mistakes, behaving in ever more foolhardy ways, and losing at the games they are playing.

The Silent Wife is a finely wrought, emotionally charged psychological thriller about a marriage in the throes of dissolution; a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. It ensnares the reader from page one and doesn’t let go.

Review :

Most definitely one of my favourite reads after Gone Girl. This psychological thriller about a marriage that is like a dam, ready to burst after being patched overs years. It is fast paced yet details the nuances of two people struggling to hold on to their lives.

The thing I liked most is the characterization of Jodi and Todd. They are so human in their flaws that instantly make them relatable. The language is beautiful and the story is gripping from the first page. Definitely an addictive read.

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The End Of Your Life Book Club – Will Schwalbe

the end of your life book clubTitle : The End Of Your Life Book Club

Author : Will Schwalbe

ISBN-10 :  0307594033

ISBN-13 : 978-0307594037

Paperback : 352 pages

The Plot :

“What are you reading?”

That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.

Review :

This has to be one of my favorite reads. The story is touching and so well told. It is wise and witty and moving. Will’s mother is most definitely a strong powerful woman who is so lovable from the very moment you are introduced to her. She is truly inspiring the way she handles her situation.

The story is heartfelt, inspiring, passionate and powerful. It is a book about parental love, loss, grief, and life but mostly it’s the power of reading and books. I highly recommend this book, full of emotions and great reading recommendations as well.

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The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

The Light Between OceansTitle : The Light Between Oceans

Author : M.L. Stedman

ISBN-10 :  1451681739

ISBN-13 : 978-1451681734

Paperback : 352 pages

The Plot :

Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife, Isabel, live a quiet life, cocooned form the rest of the world.

Then one April morning, a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant – and the path of the couple’s lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.

Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day – as the baby’s real story unfolds…

Review :

The story is mesmerizing, the details and descriptions are lovely and the characters so endearing. All in all it is an amazing read. It makes you question what is right and wrong. It gives you a look at how our actions can set into motion such a chain reaction and affect so many people around us.

What I loved about the book is how the main premise of the book is about choices that we make. Some are big, some are small but that doesn’t mean they won’t have repercussions that can be so magnified beyond our imaginations. I particularly loved the ending which I found was very satisfying for such an elaborate story. Highly recommended.

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Orange Is the New Black – Piper Kerman

Orange is the new blackTitle : Orange Is the New Black

Author : Piper Kerman

ISBN-10 :  0385523394

ISBN-13 : 978-0385523394

Paperback : 327 pages

The Plot :

When Piper Kerman was sent to prison for a ten year old crime she barely resembled the reckless young woman she’d been when shortly after graduating Smith College, she’d committed the misdeeds that would eventually catch up with her. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, she was suddenly forced to reckon with the consequences of her vary brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

Kerman stent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behaviour and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated.

Revealing, moving, and engaging, Orange Is the New Black offers unique perspective on the criminal justice system, the reasons we send so many people to prison, and what happens to them when they are there.

Review :

For the first time ever, I felt the show was better than the actual book it is based on. It is a memoir I agree but for me it just lacked depth because the other characters were really underdeveloped. It was interesting at first but got repetitive and tiring. It seemed like the story had to be stretched to fill in a certain number of pages.

I loved the character of Piper initially but disliked the constant reminder that her blonde hair and blue eyes got her a lot of perks and made it so much easier for her. The show deviates here and I liked that. The writing is light and straightforward but it lacks the makings of a great read. Overall I would recommend the show highly but the book, not so much.

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The Valley of Amazement – Amy Tan

The Valley of AmazementTitle : The Valley of Amazement

Author : Amy Tan

ISBN-10 :  0062107321

ISBN-13 : 978-0062107329

Paperback : 608 pages

The Plot :

Violet Minturn grows up in Shanghai’s most exclusive courtesan house, the striking and wilful daughter of its American mistress. In 1912, when the Emperor is deposed and celebrations rock the city, a cruel act of deception separates Violet from her mother.

Forced to become a virgin courtesan, Violet determines to master the arts that will make her one of the most desired women in Shanghai. In this new way of life, romance is an illusion and seduction nothing more than a transaction; but she can never relinquish her hope of finding truth in love.

Violet’s need to understand her past fires her quest to uncover the truth about her mother and the men – father figures and lovers – who have shaped her journey. Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement is a deeply evocative narrative of a fateful family history. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, Amy Tan conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and betrayals, its power and truth.

Review :

To me a good book is one that keeps you so engrossed in the story that when you are reading it you are blissfully unaware of things around you. Personally I could have read The Valley of Amazement in the middle of a parade route and not looked up from the book for a second. The one word I can think of to describe the story has to be ‘mesmerising’.

The characters are so likable that you are so invested in their lives from the very first chapter. The 600 plus pages is like living a lifetime with Violet and I enjoyed every minute of it. Amy Tan has a beautiful way of looking at even the most mundane things and making them sound exotic and her lyrical style is very engaging. If you liked Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden you will love this book. In my opinion this is a definite must read.

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Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea – Chelsea Handler

ImageTitle : Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea

Author : Chelsea Handler

ISBN-10: 1416596364

ISBN-13 : 978-1416596363

Paperback : 272 pages

The Plot :

The second book by E! TV show Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler, is yet another collection of essays and funny stories about her life.

1)    Blacklisted: In third grade, in order to avoid being bullied and made fun of at school, Chelsea concocts a story that she is in negotiations with Goldie Hawn to play her daughter in the sequel to Private Benjamin. Soon the lies escalate and Chelsea has to find a way out without being blacklisted at school. 

2)    Chelsea In Charge: During a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Chelsea pretends to be 16 years old in order, when she is actually 12, to be able to babysit to make some money. After completing some very successful stints as a baby sitter, she is called upon to babysit someone 2 years older than her actual age. Chelsea now needs to do her best to pretend to be 16 and manage this ultra-hyper 14 year old.

3)    Prison Break: Chelsea is arrested for a DUI and spends the night in jail.

4)    Bladder Stones: Chelsea’s father is happily conning people via his used cars company and her books.

5)    Big Red: Chelsea dates a red head.

6)    Dining In The Dark: Chelsea and her friend try out a new restraint where they have to eat in pitch darkness.

7)    Dim Sum And Then Some: Chelsea and her friend wander into a sketchy part of town looking for a massage and get the most awful service of their life.

8)    Barking Up The Wrong Tree: Chelsea dog sits for her friends.

9)    Re-Gift: Chelsea gets invited to the birthday of a person she barely knows and decides to re-gift an old board game.

10) Jumped: Chelsea gets into a fight.

11) Mini Me: Chelsea meets her match in a smaller package.

12) Costa Rica: Chelsea takes a vacation with her dad.

Similar to her previous books, this one is just as funny. It makes for a good read on a lazy afternoon. I liked its quick pace and hilariously narrated incidents. It is nothing great yet makes for a fun read!


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Is Everyone hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling

mindy1Title : Is Everyone hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Author : Mindy Kaling

ISBN-10: 9780307886279

ISBN-13 : 978-0307886279

Paperback : 222 pages

The Plot :

The first book by actress, comedian, writer, and producer Mindy Kaling, is a humorous collection of stories and essays from her life. She talks about everyday things in chapters titled:

1)    Hello :

Mindy answers questions like ‘What is this book about?’ and why it’s not like Tina Fey’s. and comes up with just the funniest list of alternate titles for the book.

2)    I Forget Nothing : A Sensitive Kid Looks Back

How Mindy dealt with her weight and bullies in her childhood. Mindy’s Great non love story with athletics. Why not to peak in High School and How Mindy made her first real friend.

3)    I Love New York And It Likes Me Okay

This chapter talks about her life in New York. From her apartments, to achieving the exact level of fame, karaoke etiquette, day jobs rights & responsibilities of being a best friend to coming up with ‘Matt and Ben’ with her friend Brenda and their first claim to success and fame.

4)    Hollywood : My Good Friend Who Is Also A little Embarrassing

This chapter contains a list of the romantic movie leads that are not real in any way. Anecdotes from her time at ‘The Office’. Her not so successful stint at ‘Saturday Night Live’. A list of her favourite moments in comedy. What a Day of writing involves for Mindy Kaling and the day Mindy stopped eating cupcakes

5)    The Best Distraction In The World : Romance And Guys

Mindy explores the rem “hooking up” which always confuses her. She tries to figure out why ‘One Night Stands’ are appealing to some people. She also talks about ‘Irish Exits’ from parties and how guys need to do almost nothing to be great, the difference between men and boys and how married people need to share the beautiful part about marriage. Also there is a list of non-traumatic things that make her cry.

6)     My Appearance : The Fun And The Really Not Fun

Mindy talks about what people expect you to wear when you are not traditionally skinny. She shares some of her selfies and photos that Mindy took on her BlackBerry. She also shares some of the revenge fantasies that Mindy plays in her head while working-out.

7)    My All-Important Legacy

In the final chapter Mindy leaves us with a list of instructions for her funeral. Also A eulogy for her by Michael Schur.

By far one of the funnies books I have read ever. I have to say, even though I am a huge fan of Tina Fey, I liked this book better than her book ‘BossyPants’. It is such a wonderful book full of witty statements and looking at things from a different perspective. A definite must read for someone who wants to roll on the floor laughing! Loved every minute of it.


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My Horizontal Life – Chelsea Handler

my_horizontal_lifeTitle : My Horizontal Life : A Collection Of One Night Stands

Author : Chelsea Handler

ISBN-10: 1582346186

ISBN-13 : 978-1582346182

Paperback : 221 pages

The Plot :

The first book by comedian Chelsea Handler, is a collection of humorous stories and essays from her younger years. It includes the following stories:

1)    Look Who’s Having Sex With Mommy

2)    The Beginning of The End

3)    Dumb and Dumber

4)    Guess Who’s Leaving Through The Window?

5)    My Little Nugget

6)    Desperado

7)    Skid Mark

8)    Thunder

9)    Shrinky Dink

10) Don’t Believe A Word I Say

11) The Cookie Monster

12) Doctor, Doctor

13) Oh, Shut Up Already!

14) A Wedding Story

15) Overboard

16) Out Of The Closet

17) Rerun

18) False Alarm

Over all I loved the book. It was an entertaining read with the trademark Chelsea Handler wit and humour. There were points where I was laughing out so loud that people actually gave me weird looks. A definite must read for people looking to just laugh about something silly. The book is written in such a format that I felt like I was watching Chelsea Handler on her show doing a monologue. My next read? Definitely her second book ‘Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea’.


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Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang – Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Chelsea Bang BangTitle : Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Author : Chelsea Handler

ISBN-10: 0446552437

ISBN-13 : 978-0446552448

Paperback : 256 pages

The Plot :

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is the third book by comedienne and late night E! TV show Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler. It is a collection of funny stories and essays from her life. Similar to her other books, it is just a collection of funny incidents that occurred in her life. The book includes the following stories:

1)    The Feeling – This is a story of how Chelsea got in touch with herself (quite literally).

2)    When Life Hands You Lemons, Squeeze Them Into Your Vodka – An account of how Chelsea manages to get a Cabbage Patch Kid, in order to fit in better with her peers.

3)    Grey Gardens – Even Chelsea Handler feels the blues.

4)    Dudley – This one is how the prank that Chelsea played on her then boyfriend, Ted, came to be.

5)    Wedding Chopper – Chelsea and Ted are invited to a wedding with her friends but Ted has other plans.

6)    Water Olympics – After consuming some mushrooms with her brother, Chelsea goes on a rescue mission.

7)    Black – On – Black Crime – Chelsea and her gang of crazies take vacation in Turks and Caicos.

8)    Dear Asshole – Chelsea’s Dad rents out his less than desirable property in Martha’s Vineyards.

9)    The Suspect – Email exchanges between Chelsea and her siblings while trying to convince their dad to sell his decrepit house in Martha’s Vineyard.

10) Chunk – Chelsea rescues a dog and names him Chunk.

11) Deep Thoughts By Chelsea Handler – A collection of open ended lies that Chelsea Handler told the people around her.

Over all it is a funny book that you can enjoy only if you keep your brains aside. It is a short read and sometimes you just need a little splash of stupidity in your life. I enjoyed the 4 or so hours it took me to read the book. Although this one was not as good as her first two books I still would recommend it to people looking for a little silliness in their lives. Trademarked with Chelsea Handler’s dry sense of humour and witty comebacks it makes for a truly fun read.


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