Energized Efforts

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This is such a tacky name for an article, but it suits what I’ve to say.  For everyone following my blog, there is some amazing news! I’m working on a new logo for my blog, and it should be up and ready within the next week, after which I’ll start Instagram, Facebook, be more active on Twitter and maybe start writing on Reddit and more on MyTrendingStories (I’ve fallen in love with Reddit over the past few months, especially random reads on NoSleep).

Plus, I’m working (albeit lazily) on my novel (Still untitled, and I can’t properly reveal what it is about, since I haven’t defined it properly) and a new short story, called The Assassination. Writing a novel is not easy, especially when you’re battling sleep deprivation and boredom and the incessant pressure of what is to become of your life. Plus, there is always the struggle that writing is only 10% writing and 90% thinking and ideation and refinement; all the things which become tiresome just too soon; so it’s a perpetual challenge to go past the 90% to write to your heart’s content.

Also, yesterday I checked and turns out that my theme, BonPress is no longer used and has been depreciated, so I’ll be giving the blog a facelift as well (for the time being, since I still utilize the free plan).

Plus, I’ve read a couple of amazing books, and I’ve played Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn and fallen back in love with Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, so expect more gaming on the blog. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll also start a Youtube Channel, which will focus on gaming and video blogging. The Youtube channel is still speculation, but it’ll be fun to do it though.

That’s it for today. Happy Reading!

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Book Recommendation-Click by Rom and Ori Barfman

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Don’t all of us remember the time when we just Clicked with someone? You were with someone, sitting or standing or walking, and you started talking and it all felt perfect. Like all the stars aligned and the planets too were aligned and it was an event of great cosmic significance. It was all perfect. You could pour out all you wanted to, without being afraid of seeming clingy or emotional or weird, and the other person reciprocates. You both were on some different plane of existence, and you just got each other.
That is a Click. That magical moment, when you and the other person just, get each other. It could be set off with even a small spark, like some words exchanged in an office, or maybe sitting across each other in a table, or just a random conversation about anything, or shared adversity. Anything.
A click seems pretty simple. You talked, and magic happened. And from there on, the magic took over the entire relationship and you knew you would be with the person for at least forever. But we all know that. What we all don’t know, is what goes behind a Click? A Click is such a rare and simple phenomenon, which happens to all of us in our lives, but we never know how or why it happens. We pass it off as serendipity. Click, the book talks about how Clicks take place. What are the factors involved in it, and how small things, which we often think insignificant or uncomfortable lead to people Clicking.
Honestly, this book is fantastic. I’ve read it twice and what it teaches is fantastic. More importantly, easily applicable in everyday life. A major part of what it talks about is how people come together, Click or not. Not every conversation leads to a Click, but that doesn’t mean that conversation can’t take you forward. It tells you various little nuances of the human mind, such as proximity, similarity, the quality of conversation, personality, environment and how these impact human nature and the way we come close to people.
Clicking is not a very well defined research area; hence a lot of what Rom and Ori talk about in the book comes from personal experience rather than being backed up by statistical data or scientific evidence. So, people who like data and proof whether such things work will need to take a leap of faith. I can vouch for the experiences, since I’ve used many of the techniques in my life.
Vulnerability, one of the first concepts, rarely suited me. Because I used to feel fake being vulnerable at will with someone else; and because I don’t bond well over vulnerabilities, usually. Proximity, on the other hand I’ve seen the effects first-hand. Being in the centre of the line and the end have a lot of impact on how many people you can talk to, and hence Click with. Environment, undoubtedly one of the biggest factors for conversation; and we all know its impact and use.
Even for a causal read, Click offers a lot of insight into how we can better ourselves and make better connections. Because all of us, want to feel good, and make the other person feel good as well, till the time it is the person who licks the teacher’s behind (Let’s face it. We all hate these people). Because awkward conversations make us feel weird as well. Because all of us wouldn’t mind being friends with everybody we can be (or be respected by them, if not liked).
There is nothing much more to say about this book, because it really doesn’t talk about much; rather than me writing it in short form, it would be better to read straight from the book itself. It’s a good book, and also substitutes as good advice to better your personality.

Big news!

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This is big news, which is why I’m not posting a new story/ Book Recommendation/Movie To Watch/Movie Review/Informative articles today.
I’m sending out the first two chapters of the novel which I’m working on. So, I’m setting up a whole Prologue, Preface and making a list of all the things which I want to know whether they work or they don’t. I’ll be sending out the first two chapters on Sunday, so I won’t be posting anything till then. On or after Sunday, I still have to pick one, I will be posting a new article.
Thank you for your co-operation and support for the blog everybody! It has been tremendous! Everybody who likes, shares, re-blogs, follows, rates the blog and sends feedback, thank you all so much! The energy and optimism I have today for the novel would have been much dimmer without the blog and how it is going!

Book Recommendation-The Shakespeare Curse by J.L.Carell

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The Shakespeare Curse is a great book, in every sense of the word. Thriller and story. It is a complete and wholesome book, especially thriller. It has meaty twists and secrets, misdirects, fleshed out and interesting characters and a well-conceived lore to fill the secrets in with.
Like the name suggests, the story revolves around Shakespeare and his plays, especially Macbeth. Apparently, Macbeth has a long and complicated history and mythos surrounding Macbeth, which J.L Carrell has articulated beautifully in her author’s note and in her novelisation of it as well.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the times when Shakespeare wrote. One says Shakespeare was a spy; another suggests Christopher Marlowe actually used Shakespeare as a pen name. None of these theories or any other well-known theories are used in the novel. Instead, the novel presents one of its own.
The book delves into the world of wizarding and witchery. Since Shakespeare’s works often have witches or the dark arts in some manner, the book takes the liberty of assuming he knew something intimate about it.
The importance of knowing about the controversies and what the novel puts forward is important, because it enumerated how little we know about some eras and how much could actually be.
The Shakespeare Curse has a tense narrative, even and fast paced and keeps you in the dark. Just about what every thriller must do, but doesn’t, so it’s important to articulate.
Like I said, The Shakespeare Curse is a great book, and it gets two things on point.
One, the immense lore set by J.L. Carrell. It is big enough to span 490 pages without it feeling stale. J.L. Carrell has put great insider knowledge regarding Shakespeare. Characters often quote lines from his play to move the conversation forward. Then, J.L. Carrell has filled the book with everything: Dark magic, Ancient Rites, Witchcraft and Wizardry, Secrets, Family Ancestry, A killer aiming to use these to gain power. Everything in the lore is so well though our and insanely immersive.
Second, the writing style. I love how J.L. Carrell has written every character, described every location and action, and detailed every aspect of the lore with accurate and precise history. J.L. Carrell is spot on with her writing.
I finished the novel at 1 PM. While taking out butter for lunch an hour later absentmindedly, I started remembering events of the book rather vividly, as though I had seen them all on a TV.
The Shakespeare Curse is a very fine thriller and a book. It is sharp, very well written, and littered with Shakespeare. The amount of effort J.L. Carrell has put into the book is amazing. This book is not a very grand affair, like a high budget action movie. It is a medium budgeted, well directed, fine story driven action movie.

Book Recommendation-Name the Baby by Mark Cirino

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Name the Baby is a unique book. I’ve never read a book like Name the Baby. It is deep, insightful, fast and enlightening. The narrative is extremely rough, raw. It isn’t like the usual refined narratives, where the narrator is a refined person and speaks eloquently. The narrator here, also the lead character talks like a normal person. He uses cuz for because, ‘rents for parents etc. He’s an everyday boy wandering in life and the narrative reflects that. This makes him easy to relate to.
In every first person narrative, the problem is how do you fill the blank spaces? How does the character act or talk when he is alone, maybe the few minutes before sleep hits, or travelling from one place to another, or while watching a band perform. In a third person narrative, I feel there is an easier pass by talking about things no normal character would ever notice, like the flowing stream upon which there are orangish red leaves or a fight going on in the twenty fifth storey of an apartment high rise. No lead character would probably notice such things while walking down a street, so the blank spaces have to be filled by what the character sees or what he feels about things. And it is not necessary for either of these things to be interesting enough for the audience to read. So, how do you go about it?
Simple, if reading were as easy as writing. You let the lead character talk about things which further the unique narrative style and the depth of the character. You give layers and layers, while at the same time, keeping the conversations light. One mistake I’ve seen quite a few first person narrative stories do is they make every second of the character’s life intense. Every line spoken and read is powerful. Everything is important. Frankly speaking, I can’t even remember half the conversations the lead character made in Name the Baby. I distinctly remember the serious moments and the emotions surrounding them, but a lot of the less heavy moments will only come back on a re-read.
This is a quality very essential to a first person narrative. Because it’s not as though the lead character says stupid things in between the heavier things; he says sensible things there as well, but doesn’t stress on them too much. So you remember the essence, but maybe not the words and the scene. And I believe that’s important. A too intense read would not only take much longer to absorb the words, there is a greater chance of the reader becoming irritated by all the intensity.
Name the Baby keeps it light, and most of all, keeps it moving. It doesn’t sulk on one part and keeps on presenting to you knew environments and new aspects of the lead character and his reactions to it.
With the mix of the pace and the narrative, the book is fun to read. You go through it, enchanted by the character and the odd position he sees himself in and the way he reacts. But this enchantment only lasted till about 80% of the book.
Sad part is, this book could have been so much better, but it messed up; not because of a lapse in narrative, but because of the summary written at the back of the book. So many books are guilty of what this book has done. The back summary made the story up into something it was not and hence could not deliver on. It left the story on a suspenseful end, which made you think the last part 20% of the story would be entirely different, but of a particular theme.
The book set up amazing premises and characters in the first 80%. But the things which were promised by the summary were just not there. They weren’t a part of the book. You waited for it to happen, but it never did. That disenchanted me from the last portion of the book and made it a little disappointing.
Though still, Name the Baby by Mark Cirino is a book which a lot of people will love; because almost everyone will fall in love with the lead character and his predicament and what all he has to say. It’s an old book, First Edition in 1997. If you were to find this book somewhere, and feel the price is justified, you should absolutely give it a go.


In recent times, I’ve felt too disappointed by a lot of books for somehow being too cliched or derivative or having no impact once you finish it. But Name the Baby does leave a mark, and I guess that’s why I wrote this Book Recommendation instead of the other books I finished recently!
Happy Reading!!

Book Recommendation- The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

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I came across The Screaming Staircase at the book fair, near a staircase which was screaming. Heheheheheh.Okay on to the recommendation now.
The Screaming Staircase has been one of the most enjoyable reads of this year. Beating out the likes of Alice Sebold, Eva Ibbotson, Charles Duhigg, Harlan Coben and many more. It’s not that The Screaming Staircase has a prose as powerful as A Thousand Splendid Suns or Sleeping on Jupiter, or philosophy as deep as Paulo Coelho, or insanely amazing and powerful dialogues. It’s, just a book I took up, and then proceeded to ignore the world for hours till I finished it. I had so much fun reading this book. I literally did not put this down. I went past my own bed time just to read another chapter. A book may not be very good objectively, in terms of its plot or characters or whatever, but if a book pushes you to such things, it’s a good book for you.
Just because I’ve said The Screaming Staircase doesn’t have the best prose or plot or dialogues that powerful, doesn’t mean they are no good.
The first winning point is the concept of The Screaming Staircase. In the world of The Screaming Staircase, in England, a new problem has emerged. There are ghosts that are there in the world. All the little creaking you heard at night, all the weird sightings at night. You guessed it. Ghosts. Ghosts have emerged in this part of the world and it’s up to specialised teams, made of children (because they can sense ghosts very well. And not five year old. But more of ten and eleven and early teenagers if I remember correctly.).
At the top of the book, you will see Lockwood and Co. written very magnificently. Lockwood and Co. is one of the various ghost hunting agencies in the world. It has the narrator Lucy, George, another member and the leader, Anthony Lockwood.
Another winning point about this book is the chemistry of these three together. George is the well, nerd of the group. He likes to study all cases (as in, cases of catching the ghost), read deep into the history of the case and the place (the location of the ghost haunting) and be prepared for anything. Lucy is the newbie. She doesn’t read all that much and is more hands on. Anthony Lockwood, better known as just Lockwood, is the charismatic leader of the group. He is smart, hands on, knows how to play people and get his way and always steps up to a challenge.
The three of them mesh together and form a team you root for the whole time. All three characters feel like real life persons as well, with their back stories fleshed out and their reactions being what we would most probably do in such a scenario.
Another winning point of the book is the world. Jonathan Stroud builds up a world from scratch. He details every little aspect. The types of ghosts. How the problem started. The counter measures taken by the government. The agencies and their history. Such as Lockwood and Co. and the various other agencies in existence for a long time. The weapons used against the ghosts. The tactics used at the place of the haunting. The origin of the haunting. Every little thing you could think of is there. Jonathan Stroud left no detail when describing the world.
There is however one gripe I had with the book. Like we all know, every thriller or book of this sort (I can’t put a finger on the genre), there is a mystery and then a huge climax. Sadly, the climax and the huge mystery deals with humans, rather than ghosts. There was a big battle, yes, but the main mystery was with humans. It’s tough to articulate it. But if your premise is a ghost world, then your huge issue should be related to ghosts, not an accident and a cover up by humans. That was a gripe for me.
Now, onto more winning points. Another winning point is the ease with which it is read. Like I said above, it is a book I could not put down. There aren’t any complicated plot twists or any tough words. It is a breeze to read through and a joy. It’s a simple book.
The Screaming Staircase is a book I would tell everyone to read. It’s just a simple, fun book that you’ll love from the moment go.


It’s beeeeeeeennnn a long time since my previous Book Recommendation. I’ve read a couple of books in the past week, but I can’t think of why I would like to recommend those books. I’ve read Chocolat by Joanne Harris and The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, and I’m going to be doing thorough re-reads again in order to capture their essence which I believe I missed on my first read of both the books!

But The Screaming Staircase is one hell of an amazing book. I loved it thoroughly, and while it is termed as a kids book by many people, I’d rather read this book than many other adult writers. Kids books have such hearts and souls and fun. They draw you towards them!

To everyone, do try and read this book if you get a chance. It will be money well spent! TIll my next post, Happy Reading!

Book Recommendation-Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin

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I’ve had Hide and Seek since January and I’ve read it now. Such a shame. I think it’s because the book was playing Hide and Seek with me, not allowing me to read it. And with that, we continue the tradition of lame jokes for ever Book Recommendation.

Hide and Seek was written back in 1991, hence is free of much of the complexity of modern books. Hide and Seek follows Inspector John Rebus. It is one fine day when John Rebus finds a dead body in a squat in Edinburgh. The dead body is of Ronnie, a drug addict who apparently overdosed on a batch of Heroin, after a dry spell where he didn’t get a fix. Rebus notices the body, laid out seemingly in a satanic pose, maybe as a sacrifice to the devil himself. In another room in the squat, there is a pentagram. The body, Ronnie, is full of cuts and bruises, as though beaten up. And there is a pouch of fresh heroine with the body. It seems like any other drug overdose. Yet what Rebus discovers, in parts of his own accord, and at times being catalysed into action by certain acts.

Rebus is the main reason you will stay hooked onto this book. That’s because, the plot of the book is OK. It’s the plot you know that seems very simplistic but is not. There is a huge conspiracy surrounding it. The plot seems all over the place, with too many characters and too many stories. It’s not that they aren’t impactful, but it’s just too much. Even the climax is unable to hit you that well. There are a few moments in the climax, but it is too, I don’t know. Maybe baffling or convenient or farfetched. I couldn’t make sense out of it. The plot just didn’t work for me.

It’s Rebus. Rebus is the one for whom you’ll be reading this novel. Rebus starts off as this run of the mill, everyday cop who has nothing special about him. Pining over the fact that he’s become old. Thinking about his old lover. Being an ass to his juniors; calling them names. Showing signs of humanity and pity for other people. But a great cop. The way he works, though you might not be approving of it, he gets results. He thinks things through and works hard and gets results. He’s an ass to his juniors for a reason. And he’s sharp. And he’s experienced. He knows how most things work and how to tackle situations. But at times even he can be beaten, despite the experience. Rebus is the winning point of the book, because he comes off as a great and real cop, but most of all as a relatable human.

There were very few things that I liked about this book other than this. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the book properly. Rushed it a bit too much for this Book Recommendation. I don’t know. But a few more things I appreciated. Such as the fact it is also a much focused book. It deals with the case. Only the case. There are no shenanigans per say and there I very little straying from the case in the narrative; though like I said, the number of stories relating to the case itself are too many.

And the narrative. Ian Rankin has written in a third person perspective. He usually follows Rebus in the narrative, but at times also follows other secondary characters, to provide more information regarding the plot. While it was fun, sometimes the fact that the portions of the narratives were too little to actually enjoy them.

All in all, Hide and Seek is not a bad book. It is a good book. Might actually be a great book. I still don’t know if I read it properly. It feels weird. I can’t think of much about the book. It’s a 250 page book, so maybe all of you can give it a steady and brisk read and tell me whether I’m right!