Tag Archive | Review

Private India- Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

This is an outsourced review

I got this book for review as as part of the Blogadda program, but since I was on holiday in my hometown, I gave them that address to deliver it to. But it reached late and I was back in Chennai by then. So I asked my mother to read it and review it for me. I’ll read when I get my hands on it next week.

Below are her reactions to this book

When she started reading it , she sent me this text message ‘ The book is light. Like Perry Mason or some Tamil detective stuff. Too early to tell yet’.

The next message said ‘ It is ok, but not all that exciting or anything‘.

It has been a week now and today she texts me this ‘ Not such a great one. Had all the sophisticated devices. A bunch of detectives. Murders. Politicians. Underworld. Policemen. Stuff. Not a non-putdownable book. I would not give it 25/100′

And another text ‘ If L or S take that book from my bookshelf and don’t return it I won’t feel sad or ask them to return it’ . L and S are serial borrowers who raid our bookshelf whenever they visit.

Ok. So she’s rated it out of 100. That’s not even 4/10. How many not stars is that out of five? Do the maths.

Maybe it is not fair on my part to post an outsourced review. So let me call it a guest blog post curated from text messages. Now that’s a new method of reviewing, right? And it gives a potential reader a basic picture of the book. And that picture is Meh.

But I’m doing this just because I promised to review it, come rain or shine. Blogadda shouldn’t give us such a strict deadline of 7 days to finish reading a book sent for review. And they even have strict wordcount rules and this review needs to be in 500 words or more.  I would like do do some shameless cheating and post what the blurb says and add the ISBN code and the Flipkart or Amazon link to this book. I actually did that, then deleted it. I’d rather increase wordcount with my own blah rather than someone else’s. So if you want to know what this book is about, do a Google search.

I haven’t read any of Ashwin Sanghi’s or James Patterson’s books before, so I have nothing to compare it with. A friend who also got the book  from the Blogadda program texted me that the book was ‘the worst’. So I’m not sure if I’m in a hurry to get my hands on it soon. To keep my conscience clean, I’ll most certainly  read this book. But not tomorrow, not this month. I want to end my 52 books challenge with  a biggie and I’m still deciding which one it will be. Also, I’m not logging all these light reads as part of the challenge. Sorry Blogadda, let me off easy this time. Please don’t stop sending me free books.

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

Nope. No Kindle for me.

Update: A couple of months after I wrote this post I succumbed to an offer on Amazon and bought the Kindle Paperwhite. I love it to bits. I hope it forgives me for this nasty post below

I was one of those people who swore by physical books. I never ever thought that I’d go the e way until I bought my Samsung Galaxy Tab. And then the Kobo and Kindle app happened making me an an instant convert. I devoured books day and night, in the darkness and in the light. But as awesome as it was, reading on the tablet did have a lot of limitations. It was too distracting. With the internet on, I kept checking my social networks every ten minutes, sometimes live tweeting the book. Without the internet on, there was always Candy Crush tempting me with Just-One-More-Level. It was too bulky to carry around and too delicate to rough it out on a train journey. And reading in the dark was too stressful on my eyes. So I decided to become a hardcore ebook reader and get my Kindle.

Going by the numerous reviews of the Kindle Paperwhite, it seemed like it was the ultimate reading device . There was not a single negative review that I came across. So I put it in my Amazon cart and almost clicked on Buy.  And then, I had second thoughts. So I borrowed a Kindle from my friend to try it out for a few days before investing almost Rs. 14000 on one.

And I’m glad I did.

After a week with a Kindle Paperwhite, I decided that it was not for me. Am I the only one or are these issues that bug other people too?

The Refresh Issue:

Maybe the time lag between page turns is less than a second and a lot lesser than the time taken to turn a page on a physical book. But it irritated me to no end. After experiencing the smooth page transitions on the tablet, that blink that happens for a fraction of a second on each page turn was so annoying. But that wasn’t the worst part. Every sixth page, the screen would turn black and then white again. On pages with tables or pictures, it was worse. This is supposedly an e-ink thing. All the online forums that discussed it said that I would ‘get used to it’. But I don’t think I ever could. It was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I would brace myself for that sixth page blackout even before I turned the first page. Adjust your blinking pattern , you’ll get used to it they say! I’m outraged that people would even suggest such a thing.

And this black blink happens on every single touch when you handle the menu. Extremely irritating.


Yes, it is compact. It is thinner than a pencil, lighter than a paperback and it even fits in the back pocket of your jeans. But seriously, who carries around a Kindle in the back pocket of their jeans? Everyone slips it into a bulky and bigger cover. Some use a leather case, some a padded cloth pouch, some even a hardwood box. So why that stingy 6 inches? Why not the dimensions of a small paperback. And extra inch of screen space would have made such a difference to me. ( The iPad Mini has the best dimensions )

Page numbering

The Kobo app is really great when it comes to page numbering. It gives you the page x/n at the bottom of each page. Makes reading more pleasurable. You can tell yourself, five more pages to go and then I’ll sleep. But the Kindle has the weirdest way of showing your progress. Location 3 of 5760. 1%.  Why not a simple page this of that? Now imagine reading A Suitable Boy on the Kindle.

Cover design

Ok. I am shallow. I like pretty covers. I can accept the fact that the covers on the Kindle will be in black and white, but why have the same cover as the actual book? It makes your collection look so ugly. Like those photocopied textbooks with blurry black and white photographs. Why not have different covers for the Kindle (or any eformat) versions with crisper, sharper black and white images? Look at the cover of the book Kite Strings. That is the kind of cover I am taking about. It should work on both the colour screens and the black and white ones. Here is my collection on the Kindle app on the tablet vs the collection on the Kindle. Can you blame me for wanting pretty things?



There was an offer on the Play Store and I got a bunch of books free. Flipkart gave me a bunch at a discount. I have a whole set of books from the Kobo store. I have a stash of pirated books. I have author friends who send me manuscripts in a Word doc or official documents  that run into several pages that I convert into epub or mobi using Calibre. How do I read all those on my Kindle? I can convert a few an transfer to the device, but not all. It seems unfair that I would need a different app or an eReader for each format. Why not allow me to upload my entire collection whether I bought it from Amazon or not on the Amazon cloud and access them on my device? Piracy and all that, I know. But still.


Almost Rs.13000 for a device (with all the limitations above) that you use only for reading books? Slightly pricey don’t you think? And they don’t even throw in a charger for free.

So tomorrow, I will return the Kindle to my friend and remove the item from my Amazon cart. I’ll put cucumber slices on my eyes after a night of reading on my tablet. Maybe I’ll uninstall Candy Crush. And I’ll wait until Amazon can give me a better Kindle. For less than half the price of this one. I’m like that.