Wednesday, 22 January 2020


The Spark That Changed Everything | By Veena Prasad |

Well, that's not what she said. But she would have if it was even near the truth.

What she said was this.

The invention of zero made numbers powerful; not just mundane tokens for counting. Numbers now became an abstract entity entering the realm of imagination. This led to negative numbers and square roots. It led to the big bridges and handy laptops and, yes, to the nuclear bomb.

Veena Prasad has written an insightful book. About ideas that drove early man on his journey to become a modern man. Written in anecdotal form, it holds the interest of the readers till the end with dozens of facts that steered mankind to a totally new direction.

We see the schoolmarm in her style of writing. I myself would have been made to stand up on the bench for the slow pace of reading.

I wish this book had more resources. Many more heads contributing to bring it out in a bigger size and format. With a lot more images and photographs, and a font size that is easily accessible to the younger generation.

My other wish is she collaborates with a visionary movie production team to develop the book as a TV series. Much needed because the developing mind has mind-numbing programs today. History should be taught with a more DIY kind of approach and Veena Prasad is ready for that.

But until that happens, get a copy of this book, read it and pass it on to another  - just don’t say I told you that.

Name of the book: The Spark That Changed Everything: Stories of the Greatest Discoveries, Ideas and Inventions

Name of the Author: Veena Prasad

Genre: Non-fiction reading for young minds - History

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review by Hemant Singh

Thursday, 14 November 2019


I don’t even know what this is. Joke yes but to what purpose. It makes no sense. I think she went on Fiverr and got someone to write a book for five bucks. Put her name on it and then to Amazon.

What got my goat are those errors. BTW I am no grammar police. But the author here was just lazy. I can forgive the lack of a plot or the lack of character development and even the unimaginative book cover but not this.

My rating
One star out of 5
And that is being charitable.

but if you still want to buy it, the book is here.

[If the author repairs the book and sends me a copy, I will redo the review or, maybe, even delete it]

Wednesday, 13 November 2019


The name of this English novel is "Au Contraire, Mademoiselle". Yes, it is unreadable and unpronounceable. Fifteen people in India may actually know what it is. It translates to "On the contrary, Madam" in French. One of the things Indians use to irritate other Indians during a debate.

But once you get past that hurdle, it is an interesting read. I have never seen a woman write a woman protagonist like her. Usually, women fight half the battle, get married and become a good Indian bahu. But not this girl. She goes head-on without a care. Without any support. Hits her head on the wall and surprise, it’s the wall that breaks.

Brilliant, Stand-alone, tough as tent pegs, part-time misandrist and one who wants to rule the world. That’s our heroine. The writer put such a shade on a female character. Our heroine is delightfully aggressive. Her professional life is going well whereas her personal life is one big mess. She is sexually ambiguous or let’s just say she is a little bi-curious. We don’t see details of any of her male relationships, but you can bet it won’t last.

If you like the language in 'Gangs of Wasseypur then you are going to love this novel. Especially when you learn it’s a girl who mouths them.

Then there is a climax. Unexpected and visceral. I have still not gotten over it.

You must read the book. And pray someone up there sees this book and brings it to the big screen.

Male Characters – 0/5
Female characters – 4/5
Heroine – 6/5
Author – A solid 4/5
The book – 3.5/5

Review by Hemant Singh

Monday, 4 November 2019



What’s wrong with men? Why do they behave so? Instead of ruling the world and earning name and fame and money, they only aspire to become the lover boy of the gully. Get besotted by a female and do anything – silly, sincere – to enter her good books. And then move on. Literally.

Our hero, Aarav, is one such. Just had his heartbroken. Moves to London. Presumably to heal. Not yet set foot in this big city when he begins his next pursuit.

Then it is the same. Mushy mushy. Kitchy kitchy. And. Falling in love again after a terrible break up is supposed to be the bravest thing you can do. But men do it with ease. And that’s good coz women are getting to be so unpredictable. Especially in matters of the heart.

Girls are going to love this book coz, in the end, the girls come out victorious. You will see. The boys will – emmm – well, they too are going to love this book. There is some genetic bond between romance books and Indians. They just love it. Sci-fi No, Adventure No, A sincere message yukk No. But Romance Yes.

So folks, keep a pack of tissues handy or get out that one handkerchief you have and dig into this book. It’s a ride you will not regret.

The author Avijitt Ssood - yes, he wants to spell it this way – has a certain command over English and has created a magnetic story that include all the tropes of a romantic novel and more. I await his next book.

I give the girls in this book a rating of 5/5 stars. The hero, the lucky bugger, I give a 1/5 star. And the author a 3.5/5 stars.

Review by Hemant Singh

Saturday, 2 November 2019


Review by Hemant Singh

Beneath The Eyes by Upender Reddy is a horror story about medical trials and the ethics surrounding it.

There is so much we don’t know about this human body. The eye has always been a mystery. How did evolution create such a complicated organ? Or was there some help. Taking this idea forward the writer raises another question. What if the eye is a portal to another world!

That’s what the actors in the novel must answer.

The novel devotes time to characters and fleshes them out well. It also establishes an emotional connection between players.

And. It has its moments of sheer terror. Relentless. Ruthless. It takes you along and you just can’t wait to find out who and why.

You can ignore the one or two plot holes and read the book as a good time-pass.

I give the writer a solid 3.5 stars.

Thursday, 21 March 2019


Name of the book : Hold My Hand
Author : Dujoy Datta
Genre: YA fluff
Readable: Yes, very much
Can it be made into a movie : Yes, but change the climax

Book Review by Hemant Singh 

I can’t tell you how good the English is. I am full fida. The writer has great sentence-formation chops.

However, things end there.

He began with a bang. The first 20-25 pages convinced me that I was reading the next Salman Rushdie.

Before said Salman takes offense, let me clarify.

The writer lost interest. That’s a delightful way of saying he is no
storyteller. So much so, he gave a silly title to the work.

It is so apparent. No plot. No character development. He even turned a Punjabi kudi into a Bengali shrew.

There are half a dozens missed opportunities. There is this guy, a neat freak and a fitness fanatic. He is mentioned talking to a club bouncer. Twice. Fits the gay trope fine. And the novel would have flown. But na. Then he has an Afghan character. Our writer doesn’t know any community other than pocha maach. So what does he do? Conveniently, kills her off.

Every character, including the villain, is socially-appropriate. Like over-sweet rosagullas. What was he hoping for? That they will prescribe it for class 7 students. He has straight-jacketed boy-girl and then father-daughter conversation. But in damn good English.

The worst is our hero. Neither a joker nor an intellectual and definitely not a hero. Visualise a tall Johnny Lever mouthing inane hyfy stuff.

This novel fell into my lap. When a woman flung things at me. So I read it. I couldn't throw it back at her coz, one, her husband is a bodybuilder and, two, the writer has exceptionally good command over English. Something I love and don't get enough of. But the story didn’t go anywhere and I sleep-walked through this beautiful maze.

The book commits another crime. Of giving disabled peeps blind hope. It’s like those Telugu movies, where a snake listens to your command and takes revenge after drinking the milk you laid out in a saucer. Sad.

Nonetheless, I am sure the Hong Kong government will be pleased with the book coz he describes the whole city. The road, the shopping places, the eating joints, metro, boats, cable car, temples. You know. And, frankly, hits the bulls-eye, unlike any other travel blog. Boring, but spot-on. The only offense that they may take is when the book, reaching a sort-of literary absurdity apex, show an injured blind girl lying on its street, bleeding, and its citizen continue their existence without batting an eyelid, and the poor thing has to wait for the said hero to arrive a half hour later.

I hope and pray the writer seeks me out so that we can collaborate on a book. I provide the story, he the finishing and the baby-face to sell our book.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019


#sex #callgirl #prostitution #athens #greece #bookstoread #timepass #woman

Name of the novel: Sunshine, Sex & Easy Money -Diary of a Call Girl

Author: Maria van Daarten

Sunshine, Sex & Easy Money is an interesting book. It’s a memoir of a call girl and, as one can expect, it’s full of explicit sexual encounters.

It also delves into the psyche of a woman. A woman who has, with a sane mind, chosen a not so run-of-the-mill profession. Considered by many as the oldest profession in the world.

You will enjoy reading this book. Not just for the erotic content. But also for the candid and matter-of-fact posture, the book takes. And also for something that I much liked -the way she describes Athens and its nearby islands.

And thank heavens. It has no crying. No complaining. No blaming others.

The book is also a striking comment on contemporary life. And how acceptable this profession is. This story is from a woman’s point of view. She sees men as inanimate objects like a statue or a robot. So she shies away from going deep into their character and motivation. She treats them like an ATM machine. And nothing else. Nevertheless, she does form deep bonds with a woman or two.

If you are a little fed up with romance novels, read this book and travel thru Greece with a beautiful woman in your arms.


#sex #callgirl #prostitution #athens #greece #bookstoread #timepass #woman

Book Available here

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

THE LITTLE PRINCE - hemantsingh the little prince
All Images are from the net

The Little Prince is a novella – meaning you can read it in 2 hours flat. It’s written by French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was first published in April 1943. And has sold millions of copies since. This book is said to be one of the most-sold book in history. It still sells about 2 mil copies per year. That’s enough data for you peeps – something the novel says not to pay much attention to.

The book left me bemused. It raised more questions than it answered. What. Why. Who. When. Everything was a puzzle. Every new page brought in a more complex scenario. Starting from page 1. FYI, Page 1 has a kid drawing a boa from the outside and the inside.

I ran to Google and what I read made things even more complicated. Some say that this is a kids book for adults. Others call it an adult book for kids. Some describe it as a book about life. Others call it a book about the author’s wife.

The book has a Dali-like time wrap. The tiny planets, the kid cleaning the volcano. And that boa. And insists of talking about unconventional things. Like a geographer or a lamplighter.

So I read it again. Took a good 4 days. Slowly.  Some inferences became clear. But not the point.
It was not until one reviewer called the book ‘Hotel California of Literature*’ did I begin to understand it.

There is a rose in the book that causes so much befuddlement. Who does it refer to and all that. If only they bothered to check the memoir of the authors’ wife. It is called The Tale of the Rose. The author is said to have had a stormy relation with his wife. And like a good normal human, he didn’t deal with it straight. Rather wrote about it in this book.

Then there is a fox.  The fox says he is not tamed but, paradoxically, seems to have a lot of sane earthy wisdom and morals to share.

We have a dozen other seemingly normal characters who are actually utterly crazy. This is a caustic comment on contemporary life.

When your mind is deprived of water for many days-plus the desert heat, you begin hallucinating. Our writer appears to have been gone thru some such ordeal and went on to write it down – confusing the hell out of us.😊

Nevertheless, It does have a charming sense of humor backed by some minimalistic but interesting drawings – by the author himself. That's my way of saying its a great book - not to be missed.

So read it. And I am sure you will understand more than what I did.

* The reviewer is Rajat Ubhaykar

Monday, 29 October 2018


The Wonky Donkey

Author : Craig Smith
Illustrator : Katz Cowley
Genre : Read-Aloud Kids book

Today we review a video. Not any video but a homemade video of a granny reading a story to a toddler. This video went viral with more than 2M views. And the reason behind it is the laughter of the granny. She just couldn’t control herself.

She was reading a book called The Wonky Donkey and got so carried away by its genuine humor and wit.

The aftermath made a compelling story too. After the video went viral, the sales of the book skyrocketed and the publishers went running to print more books but not before stopping at the bank.

Anyways, good news all around.

Don't miss this video 

Buy this book (US)                    Buy this book (India)

Have you seen the video? Please share your views and comments. I would like to know what you think.

Friday, 26 October 2018




Genre: Sci Fi

The premise of the short stories in this book is, literally and figurative, out of this world. Thankfully no Indian romance stuff here. Just good old time-travel and alien stories. The author has even attempted to explain, rather convincingly, the magic of Indian mythology with rational scientific reasoning. 


The conversational style of writing makes us rather intimate with the players.


We have a funny genie.


I always expect more.

In terms of world building, point of view, and story structure. Imagine Lion King without the Pride Rock or the elephant graveyard or the Hakuna Matata setting.



Why are the characters so one-dimensional? Frankly, the villainous king comes out more interesting than the bland hero. Where are the twists and turns that a writer loves to show-off with?

Having said that, this is a good time pass book. Especially for a science fiction fan. And in Varun Sayal, one sees a talented wordsmith whose next book I eagerly await.

Buy the book (US)                Buy the book (India)

Have you read the book? Is my review fair? I always worry about that. Do share you views and let me know.

Saturday, 20 October 2018


Genre : Parenting

This book is so lucid in its communication that it can easily be called Parenting for Dummies. And to top it, the core here is plain and simple common sense.  What the writer has done is skillfully taken everyday ideas, analyzed it, illustrated it and packaged it into this highly readable book.

But the ha is that a never-want-to-be-a-dad, me, reviewing a parenting book. How messed up is that. However, I have been giving some thought to this parenting thing lately. It’s like your life ends when you become a parent. That’s how it should be. And if you are not prepared to make a sacrifice then don’t become parents. My views.

This book should be read by anyone planning to be a parent and kept for a long time after and revisited often. And then passed down as a family heirloom.


I give credit to the writer for noticing things others don’t even see.  And more importantly, not making rocket science out of it.

So, peeps, grab a copy of this intelligent, easy-to-use guide to better living. And literally save you from the bane of today - Faulty Parenting.

I wish my parents had read this book. They wouldn’t have messed up so badly.  😎

Review by Hemant Singh

Buy the Book (US)                        Buy the Book (India)

Have you read this book? Have you benefited? Do let me know.


Well, that's not what she said. But she would have if it was even near the truth. What she said was this. The inventio...