Live and Express

Live and Express

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BrownOut 666 – a book about living in a foreign land

How would you reckon living in a country whose culture and ways are different from the way you are used to and far away from your native? You got to study and figure that out first before you go live there, isn’t it? Check out “Brownout 666” by John Richard Spencer, which gives a detailed preview of how it is to live in #Philippines as a foreigner and the challenges faced.

You can buy the book here:

The official book review at OnlineBookClub for the book is here:

Hope you enjoy the book!

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Book Review: A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom by Upasna Sethi

This is a professional book review of “A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom” by Upasna Sethi.  This book has been placed under ‘Hoarding‘ and ‘Non-Fiction‘ under Amazon Kindle ebooks.  The audience of the book would be anyone who is looking to declutter their spaces as well as their minds, and lead a simple yet fruitful life.

The catchy, simple cover of the book invites the reader to open the book to read.  The book has been organized into small chapters, which are digestible and makes the reader ponder over the content after reading a chapter.  The exercises provided at the end of each chapter are helpful.  The graphics interspersed with the text look good and provide a colorful look to the content.

In each chapter, the author provides helpful tips on what they did to minimalize.  I especially liked how the author impresses upon the reader how the quest for shopping is insatiable and one keeps buying more and more!  But, I could not quite agree with the author’s suggestion to delete shopping apps from the smartphone, as apps for grocery, medicine ordering, cab booking, etc, are a reality of today’s life, and one cannot avoid them. I presume the author’s advice is for addicted shoppers and not for all.

Also valuable is the suggestion to celebrate minimally by being together rather than making huge and expensive arrangements.  Thus, each chapter provides a very valuable tip on how to minimalize, which the reader, in general, would be able to relate to and implement in their own life.

There are several mechanical errors in the book, which could have been avoided by careful proofreading. For example, an unwanted hyphen next to the word ‘by’ in the phrase “step by step” on Page 1, unnecessary capitalization of the first letter in many words throughout the book (“Life of a Minimalist” on Page 1). These errors give an impression that the author is a juvenile one, in spite of the mature, valuable theme of the book. This reviewer recommends a thorough proofreading in the next edition of the book or the next book of the author.

The font of the Table of Contents could have been a bit larger. It would help the reader to provide the page numbers against the chapter names.  I have to mention about the formatting. There are unnecessary lines between sentences, and the formatting looks too awkward.  A sense of completeness in reading is lost because of lack of properly paragraphed text.

Overall, I found this book valuable for someone who is looking to cut-down on their shopping, life style, and in every sphere of their life. We all realize that too much is very stressful and makes us unable to manage things. Consumption has to be cut down, as it is very important for our own well-being, for the environment, and for our mother planet Earth.  In this regard, the author has done a pretty good job in bringing together the tips that the reader can readily follow.  The formatting and the mechanical errors have to be taken care of, to make the book more presentable to the reader.  Owing to the overall value that the book provides to the reader, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

You can order the book at Amazon at the following links:

Amazon India
Amazon US



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Book Review: Headwind by Christopher Hudson

This is a professional book review of the book Headwind by Christopher Hudson. It’s placed under Action & Adventure section of Amazon, although if it’s up to me, I would have placed it under Humor section as well!

Tony is a freaky guy, who borrows money from a local car dealer in Miami, and does not give it back. The car dealer makes Tony work for an assignment for a somewhat equal amount, and makes the money come to him, instead of being paid to Tony. Tony chases the people who are taking the money to the car dealer in a hired charter plane from Miami to LA going through a variety of hilarious experiences, which will make the reader keep laughing while being captivated on what is going to happen next!

Although the book is a bit lengthy (around 400 pages), the reader would never get bored and would keep turning pages.  The variety of experiences that Tony faces, and the troubles he put the people with him through are very interesting!  At the end of it, one would not know if they should laugh at or feel sorry about Tony’s excesses!  The characterizations are done pretty well with a lot of care, and it shows in the conversations and the story. So, one is promised a great read for a weekend, or even during a boring work week.

There are mechanical errors all over the story, and one should learn to ignore them.  They are not much of a distraction but are very obvious.  Other than this, I would say it’s a totally enjoyable book. I would recommend this book for adults only because of the language used.

Overall, Headwind is a pleasurable read if you are of the type who likes action, adventure with humor interspersed. The story also goes through the varied landscapes of the USA cutting across a few states, which will give you some perspective on the geography.  I would highly recommend this book if you are looking for a light-hearted good laugh for a few hours! I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars!

The book is available in Amazon at the following links:

Amazon India
Amazon USA

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Book Review: For the Love of Suzanne: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

This is a professional book review of the book For the Love of Suzanne by Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill, which is placed under Romance section at Amazon.  It is a story of romance between a white American girl Suzanne, and a half-American, half-Native-American Cody.

If you are the type who enjoy happenings that would probably only happen in dreams, this book is for you!  After a realistic start which narrates Suzanne’s relationship with her abusive husband, the story moves on to unbelievable, yet very interesting territory that would take you on a ride that you would certainly enjoy.

There are several positive things in the story. The author narrates the struggles that a Native American goes through in the modern American society. There are narrations of friendship, love and companionship, which will keep you engaged throughout the story.  One thing about the book that could be improved is the dreamy entry and exit of Cody into Suzanne’s life because it sounds too unreal. Probably the author thought that those instances would make an impact on the reader because of the way it is narrated, but unfortunately, those instances stick out.

Overall, the book is a pleasant read as a romance novel. It’s a good book that you can pick for a weekend read, on a cruise, or on a holiday. I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars since I personally found the book a pleasure to read.

You can buy this book at Amazon, and the links are provided below:

Amazon India:
Amazon US & elsewhere:

Thanks for reading!



Private India – by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson : Book Review

Private India – by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson : Book Review (ISBN: 978-0-099-58639-5)

To give an idea about the pace with which the story unfolds, I completed this 448 page story in just above 5 hours! Good-paced, and the plot is well laid out and planned, characters and their roles well defined.

Santosh, the central character of this story, is a lead-detective of a detective company called Private India, which investigates a series of killings in the bustling city of Mumbai. The attractive feature is the way the story develops, twists, and twirls around all the characters, and how each of them is intimately involved in the plot.

The story weaves on the different layers of the society, how police, underworld, politicians and the rich & famous of Mumbai think, feel and act, and gives a glimpse of the complex interactions between them.

When I started reading the initial chapters, I was worried that the narration would be fully made of short sentences giving an awkward feeling, but later as the chapters go by, the sentences were full and the grammar was complete.  Not that I expected an English essay, but some amount of completeness is indeed expected in the thoughts of the characters.

Real speed picks up at the beginning of Part Three, and the suspense of who being the killer – is it a man or is it a woman, and who would that be.

Overall, a good story, but nothing exhilarating or thrilling about it.  Probably, I felt so because of my past readings of the likes of John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Ken Follett and Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason).

I would give a 2 out of 5 in rating.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!