The person you really need to marry: Tracy McMillan at TEDx Olympic Blvd Women

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Tracy McMillan is a television writer (Mad Men, United States of Tara) and relationship author who wrote the book Why You’re Not Married…Yet, based on her viral 2011 Huffington Post blog. She also appeared as a dating coach on the NBC reality show Ready For Love. She lives in Los Angeles and is the mother of a 16-year-old guy.

In her TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen talk, McMillan answers the question: “Who is the one person you need to marry in order to have a successful relationship? (Yourself)”

Mockingjay: Book Review

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Author: Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games: part 3 (Catching fire (part 2) review Here and Hunger Games review Here)

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Book Blurb:

My name is Katnis Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katnis Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katnis was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katnis.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katnis’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.

 

My Review:

This is the Hunger Games book, without the actual Hunger Games in it.

While I could understand why Ms. Collins could not end the story by putting Katnis in third consecutive Hunger Games, I could not understand the reason for it being three books. I believe that if catching fire and Mokingjay had been combined it would have been such an amazing fast paced book.

The writing is really good, I could feel Katnis’s desperation and confusion. Also, I liked how various issues came up like the treatments of victor’s after they have won the Hunger Games, the power plays, the fight for survival, etc.

But I have a few issues with this book:

First of all, I would have liked to know what was ACTUALLY happening in the war, what were the strategies, who did what and why…instead of hearing what people just told to Katnis while she was either in the hospital or pretending to fight in low concern areas.

Secondly, the speeh of Finnik should have been more detailed..and also how it exactly impacted snow..

All I am saying that this book could have been a whole lot better if Katnis would have been shown as an actual leader instead of a piece in even bigger game.

But, still this series on the whole was really good!

Also, the trailer is out for the movie, if you have not watched, here it is:

Rating for this book: 3 out of 5

Rating for the entire series: 4 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

.Susan Cain: The power of introverts : A Ted Talk

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In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Being a reader myself, I can so relate to her. The way people assume and do not understand that it is OK to WANT to read in a group. In my family no one sits in front of TV at night, everyone reads, and so reading before sleeping for me, was the most normal thing to do in the world! When I shifted with other people for study and work, I found out that some people found it RUDE that I preferred to read a book before sleeping in their presence. It took me a long to convince them that it is normal and ok to read, and it is not necessary to constantly talk when together. Some understood, some didn’t.  That’s life!

Twice Upon A Time: Book Review

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Author: Anjali Bhatia

Twice Upon A Time

Book Blurb:

Is a man’s past set in stone, or can it be changed? Rewritten and reshaped?
Is time a reality, or a construct of the imagination? Fleeting and fragmented?
One man is about to find out . . . 

Meet Arpit, a bitter young man who embarks upon an incredible and seemingly impossible journey to right the seven wrongs that have shadowed his life, all in a quest to be together with Mannat, the love of his life.

When Arpit meets Nishimaya, a modern-day mystic, little does he know that his life is about to change. In entirety. But change comes with effort. And Arpit has to lose himself in order to resurrect his past and set things right. With every past mistake he corrects, he finds a corresponding change in his present life . . . but not all changes are easy to make. And as Arpit travels further back into his own life, he’s forced to dig into frightening depths and fight against his own self to dredge up the truth from the sediments of folly that litter his world.

Unknown to him, however, Mannat is supporting his struggle from halfway across the world even as she tries to gather her own life together. And Nishimaya, as she takes Arpit through the swirls of time, has to confront ghosts of her own as well. 

As their lives get caught in the web of karma, dreams, memories, and destinies, Arpit, Mannat, and Nishi must stumble and fall if they are to reach the end. But Time still holds a revelation none of them had expecte

My Review :

This book’s main premises is what got me interested in reading it…from the book blurb it felt like it would be Time Traveler’s Wife meets Paulo Coelho. 

The story tarts with the Protagonist Arpit, who is deeply distressed by his past and is now desperate to look for answers. He meets Nishimaya a modern day mystic who might give him ‘answers’.

I liked that the book talked about how making peace with your past would help law foundation for a peaceful and happy future…After all that is what we need to do in life right? How can a person carrying his past as an albatross around his neck ever be happy? Kudos to the author for such a powerful message.

Coming to characters, to me, they did not feel real. They did not come to life, I could neither connect to them nor visualize them.

Also, I felt the book had a very distinct good and bad, and almost no grey area. As in the characters were either shown in a good light or bad. I know that these characters were from one person’s point of view, but still, one person cannot be all bad or all good.

Also, some very logical decisions taken by Arpit were seen as wrong like taking up higher education in a reputed school in the city.

All in all, a good book, but lacked in some points. 

Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

I thank finger print publishers for sending me a copy of the book :)

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Web Series Review

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Jane Eyre is by far my favorite literary heroine. I just love her spark, her independence and the fact that she is so strong, and so vulnerable..yet, she does not let her vulnerability come in way of her decisions. I reviewed the book here.

After watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube (Review here), I came across this Jane Eyre series. Here is the first episode:

Unlike the Lizzie Bennet one, this took a few episodes to actually connect to. And unlike the book, this series starts off with Jane looking for employment. I guess, it was not possible to start where the book started off, but I would have liked this Jane to speak a tad bit more of her past.

Also, the ending was quite abrupt, and we do not even get to see Mr. Rochester :( I understand that the actor playing Mr. Rochester had some issues with the producers and so they had to revolve the story a bit, but still…it’d have been nice to have a better ending.

Unlike the book Jane, this Jane is a bit more open and fun. Which was good, as I think a modern Jane who is so serious, would not have been so interesting.

A good adaptation, I still like the Lizzie Bennet one better though.

Catching Fire: Book Review

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Author: Suzanne Collins

Book 2 in the Hunger Games Series…My review for book 1: Hunger Games can be found here.

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BOOK Blurb:

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katnis has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katnis should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katnis wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katnis and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katnis has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katnis and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katnis Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

 

My Review (Minor Spoilers ahead):

IS CINNA ALIVE????????

A lot of people online and offline have told me that Mokingjay  is not up to the mark when compared to its previous two prequels…BUT with THAT cliffhanger and the fact that I am really REALLY worried as to what happened to Cinna will make me dive into the third book pronto, bad reviews be damned…

I liked Cinna in the first part, but in this book he really became one of the best characters I have met! As Dumbledore said “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”, And in that sense Cinna is BRAVE..In a way his act of defying Capitol was much more than anybody else…It was understandable on the part of those living in hunger and oppression to rebel, but for someone who lives in Capitol, who is not directly affected by all this and to take a stand on such a platform, in such a public way…it was…amazing! Hats off!!

I liked the games this year more, as it had more characters, more alliances….This year Katnis was not against kids, but experienced Killers who were friends and knew each other since years…And this put the entire game in a different perspective….I look forward to seeing more of Finnik in Mokingjay…

Also, I loved the way the political unrest was handled…

I just hope it’s not toooo much of a let down!!

Here is a trailer for Catching fire: