#BookReview – The Man in Blue by C.S Luis

The blurb reads,

The Man in Blue

Claudia Belle never imagined what life would be like with her parents gone. Now she must face that horrible reality.

With her parents, dead and her grandfather a perfect stranger, Claudia has never felt so alone. Her mind-reading abilities have always made her feel like an outcast. And now will those same abilities reveal who she really is?

Following the death of Dr. Edwards, a new principal is sent to take his place, undercover for a secret organization called The Company. The Man in Blue’s true mission is the identification and eradication of alien life forms. The entity he pursues, this time, is as dangerous as they come. He must identify the source of the creature’s powers to capture the subject and complete his job.

There is just one problem, his one weakness: women. And Claudia fits the description of his dream girl.

Success or downfall. Which outcome awaits him?”

 

I absolutely loved reading this book. I only had to read the first chapter and I knew I would like it. The book had my attention from the get go and I didn’t realize when I had read over a 100 pages in one sitting.

The mystery involved was an intriguing one and I loved the different points of view which got me to the conclusion. I was gunning for the characters and I could feel every emotion they felt. I can’t agree enough with the other reviewers when they say the book is captivating.

Each chapter brings out a new facet about the character or some background which is like one more piece of the jigsaw puzzle that fits in place. That makes the book a thoroughly engaging experience.

The one part which really got to me was Claudia when she loses her grandfather. Having lost a grandparent recently, I can imagine the pain, the void that this loss leaves. And in that sense, I could feel how well the book was written. I really felt every emotion Claudia went through.

I will definitely be reading the next books in the series.

#BookReview – America Under Mind Control by Jamell Crouthers

The blurb reads,

“What happens when society takes control of your mind and how you think? This book speaks on all of the issues going on in today’s society and how the rich, wealthy and elite do everything in their power to keep the American people under mind control. There are different tactics and ways they use to make sure we as a people don’t strive for greatness in life.

It starts from when you’re a child in the education system and how we’re taught to be obedient and to respect authority all the way into Corporate America. Our minds are programmed on a daily basis and whether we realize it or not, we don’t take the time to see the bigger picture of how the world is run.

From the music we listen to, to the television we watch, the politics they control and infiltrate, this book deals head on with how we the American people are controlled by so many messages on a daily basis. It’s a book that speaks truth into how this country and the world is in shambles and how we need to come together as a nation and as a people and do better.”

 

I have been working with Jamell to promote his book and had the chance to read this gem and boy, IT WAS HARD HITTING!

You know, this book is like holding a mirror to our life. There are so many things wrong with our life at this moment. The world is so obsessed with greed, money, earning and then living a comfortable life, that they don’t care about the people they crush in the process. A multinational may not give a second thought about the farmer that killed himself because of their arm flexing. Or another one may not care about destroying a consumer’s life while pushing credit cards on them, and ruthlessly collecting afterwards.

The point I am trying to make is, there are so many subtle markers around us, which point out to this irony, which try to protect us from it and yet we fall into its trap. Take for example, the advertising world. Or the beauty industry. It’s an industry that thrives on our low self esteem. If we were happy with ourselves, would we buy their products? If we were happy with our clothes, would we make them rich by spending money we could otherwise have invested? NO!

The book is filled with stories or poems like that which are literally so true about the American society today. I live in India but because for us, mentally, a lifestyle followed by people in America is idolised and thought of as the right lifestyle here. I can literally see it. People buying products to fit in, or just because someone endorsed it. Or buying product after product simply because of the push advertising. Or the fact that their behaviour is so influenced by how things are put. Or how opinions are controlled because of how things are reported.

The world is not black and white and in this bucket of grey monotone, it is worth noting that we need to look into the mirror. We don’t need fast fashion. We don’t need a television. We don’t need a credit card or anything that someone else tells us is necessary. Is our mind subtly being controlled by corporations who want nothing more than our dollars? This is the whole crux of the book and it is something that is worth thinking about very deeply.

In a world where humans are reduced simply to their worth in money, it is worth thinking where we are spending that currency which determines our value. Perhaps if we introspected a little and supported our own opinions as compared to something that the so called society seems to thrust on us, we will be better people and will  be able to make the world a better place.

And I don’t mean this for a utopian world. Our habits or what we do simply out of impulse needs to be checked. You never know who is behind the strings controlling this behaviour.

This is an excellent excellent read! The words are hard hitting and a poem or two into the book, you realise that this is reality. And it isn’t a pleasant one.

5 full stars from Books, Food and ME!

#Book Review – Debris by David Miklos

The blurb reads,

“A turn of the screw from magical realism, Debris is a novel where everything is unique, yet repeats itself indefinitely.”

It took me a long time to get wrapped in this book. And once I did, I really understood the meaning of the blurb.

There are 3 to 4 different stories which are going on side by side. And it takes a while for the reader to understand the relevance of the different stories and the connection to the picture as a whole.

The writing is lyrical and looped and it really feels like you’re going in circles until the pathways begin to clear up one by one. The stories are linked one before and one after the other. That’s where the book is genius.

I can’t really discuss much without giving the story away, but the book reads a little differently. Don’t expect the standard fare where things are linear. This book is as twisted as it gets. And that’s where it is an excellent read. It feels like different diaries have opened up at different points of time to show you different pictures and as you’re seeing the different pictures, a clearer complete timeline emerges.

This was a nice book to read.

My Rating: 3.5/5

My rating as such because it took almost one third of the book till I made connections and that made it a little hard to want to continue reading. It’s a toss up between having more clarity and having a completely dreamy quality that the book has. It is a good read nonetheless.

#BookReview – Threads of Silk by Amanda Roberts

The blurb reads,

“When I was a child, I thought my destiny was to live and die on the banks of the Xiangjiang River as my family had done for generations. I never imagined that my life would lead me to the Forbidden City and the court of China’s last Empress.

Born in the middle of nowhere, Yaqian, a little embroidery girl from Hunan Province, finds her way to the imperial court, a place of intrigue, desire, and treachery. From the bed of an Emperor, the heart of a Prince, and the right side of an Empress, Yaqian weaves her way through the most turbulent decades of China’s history and witnesses the fall of the Qing Dynasty.”

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I absolutely loved reading this book. For some reason, I’m very attracted to reading books about China and their culture and this book completely hooked me from the get go.

The one thing that I keep wondering about, was how restricted Chinese women were, and I know, after reading this book, that I’m being remarkably blasé saying Chinese when I probably mean Han, who the protagonist is. The binding of the legs, the matchmaker, their customs. It strikes me as being a completely different world. I can’t imagine the way women were simply treated as child bearers and having no importance in the household. I suppose, there are a lot of countries where women are still treated that way, but reading the extent to which lives were mechanized there in China really amazed me.

I find myself drawn to their history and culture, probably because they have preserved it so well. Their knowledge of their own traditions is intact and accessible. It makes studying or immersing yourself in their culture a rewarding exercise.

Reading about the Qing empire made me research about them on Wikipedia, and it was especially interesting to note how the British landed in the country and went ahead spreading Christianity in the country. I find that an extremely sore point and it angers me to know that countries still routinely send missionaries preaching the superiority of their religion over others. And forcibly converting people. The grim realities in villages in India and Sri Lanka supports me when I say this practice is absolutely disgusting. And to know that it got to China and its people earlier really hurt me. I wish Christianity and Islam as religions stuck to their own roots and did not seek others to add to their religion like a flock of lambs. This behavior is crude and I wish leaders had the guts to call it out globally.

I do digress. Reading about Empress Dowager Cixi showed me a different side to her. Wikipedia spoke about the decisions that she took and the failures that resulted in the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, and yet, I felt Cixi was very smart for most of her life. She showed that if a woman is given the reins and she has enough confidence, she can go the distance.

I spent a few nights completely absorbed reading about the collapse and the end of the Qing Dynasty and reading about how foreign invasions hurt them. And how their loss in wars hurt them. I’ve always felt colonial expansion deprived our world of a lot and this book reinforced that. To say that every country colonized has lost a great deal would be.. diminishing the true extent of the depletion in world culture that resulted.

I absolutely absolutely loved this book. I loved how this book transported me into the Royal Palace in the Forbidden City and how vividly every scene played out! I really wish more such books come my way which transport me in history.

My Rating: 4.5/5

4.5 stars