Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What to Expect from the Book 'Stalking the Shadows'

Stalking the Shadows is a book filled with action and magical events. The factors that keep readers on the edge of your seat are:
  1. An Exceptional Plot - BJ Edwards, the author, has written an extraordinary story. First, the time selected for the characters - between the upper Palaeolithic and lower Mesolithic eras - is very different. BJ's keen eye for details is worth an applause. Two human races are fighting to declare superiority over the other race. During the same time, there is a conflict between good and dark gods. Dark gods - Balor and Camulos - are controlling the minds of people, who lack a strong will. They wish to end the golden road by which soul travels when a human dies. Other than that, they want to destroy the silver bridge, by which souls enter into the world. Good gods - Vantis and Modron - are determined not to let the dark gods win. Humans are also divided into the good ones and the evil ones, based on their actions. Dark gods begin interfering with evil humans to drive them towards the destruction of good humans.
  2. Magnificent Description of Animals - BJ did not keep animals devoid of his excellent penmanship skills. His description of horse, wolf, unicorn, mammoth, and other animals is written with utmost accuracy and intelligent words. For instance, look at the portrayal of the mammoth in BJ's words - "She stood tall, proud, majestic and huge, her form mountainous and dark against the grey sky, her tusks long and curved shafts of ivory, pointed and deadly. She surveyed the land below her, her huge ears flapping gently, her trunk questing. With an effort, she shook her massive head and tried to make for the thick cover of the distant forest, but her joints ached and her great heart pounded with the effort of movement." Another unique characteristic of this book is that the animals narrate their tale by themselves. Mammoth tells her emotion, unicorn remembers her past, and horse thinks about the events that happened in his past. 
  3. Majestic Glory of Nature - Description of river, mountains, sun, moon, land, etc. is very attractive. "The warriors had never seen the great river before, or even sand – the strange colour intrigued them; but the river awed them. It was huge and silver, deep and mysterious. It lapped gently at the shore, moving like a living thing and calling with a soft voice."
  4. An Outstanding Portrayal of Physical Appearance - BJ's selection of words to describe the physical appearance of the characters of his story is absolutely perfect. He paints the physical appearance of neanderthals and homo sapiens is worth mentioning - "The men who inhabited this land were one of the surviving pockets of Homo neanderthalensis. They were a robust species; tall, proud, strong and viciously territorial. Their features were strong, their foreheads narrow, their jaws and brows slightly jutting. Their bodies and limbs were thick with muscle, and although slightly hunched they were fast and athletic. The enemy was a new breed of man, the Homo sapiens sapiens. They were taller and more wiry; where the Neanderthals had hair and muscle, the Homo sapiens had paler skin and sinew, their foreheads broad, their lips thinner, and their noses sharper. They lacked the power and the strength of the Neanderthal, but they made up for it in intelligence, adaptability, and resilience." This is just one instance. There are several characters, and description of each of them is marvellous.
  5. An Accurate Expression of Emotions - This book consists of various emotions and actions, such as fear, cruelty, bravery, etc. BJ chose his words flawlessly to impart the emotions as per the plot's demand; the best part is that the readers begin feeling the same emotions in their heart and head. When he described the acts of cruelty of evil men, I actually felt a shivering down my spine - "She smiled up at him, and his rage and revulsion boiled over and exploded. He took his stone club and smashed her baby’s skull; she screamed with terror and grief." 
  6. An Epic War - Although I do not like the action genre in books, BJ's writing changed my viewpoint about them. His words drew a painting of warriors and gods fighting against each other in epic battle, in front of my eyes. I am sure other readers will agree with my opinion.
This book has a lot to offer to its readers. Experience an excellent combination of rich vocabulary and excellent plot when you read it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tuesdays with Morrie - Wonderful Compilation of Life Lessons

Tuesdays with MorrieTuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a long time since I came across a book, as powerful and inspiring as, 'Tuesdays with Morrie.' Author, Mitch Albom, compiles all the lessons, he received from his teacher - Morrie - in this book. His words are motivating, soothing, and uplifting.

Mitch is lost in a busy corporate world when he hears about his beloved teacher's condition. Morrie is diagnosed with ALS - brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system. Mitch describes the deteriorating condition of Morrie, throughout the book. Families, who suffered the loss of a loved one - or ones who are still going through this painful phase - will go on an emotional journey while reading this book.

Morrie does not lose his spirit even till his last breath. He shares his wisdom with Mitch. In our fast pacing life, we forget to appreciate the people, whom we love. Morrie explains to Mitch that we should not run behind money. He tells him that now when he is closer to death, he relates to other people's sufferings as if these were his own. He cries while reading about the pain others are going through.

His lessons are thought-provoking. I have summed up most of his preachings in my blog: Live Life “Morrie” Way!

Mitch supports his preachings with wonderful explanations. In his own words: if you're trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you're trying o show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.

This is just an instance of the beauty of Mitch's magnificent thoughts. Readers, who enjoy going on an inspirational voyage with a book, must read it. Mitch did not write the book that pushes down the author's beliefs down the readers' throats, rather, he narrates his conversation with his teacher in a capturing flow of words. Also, he remembers a few incredible moments with his teacher and presents them in the book; these reminiscences helped me in feeling more familiar with Morrie and Mitch.

I encourage everyone to read this book; this book should work as a guide whenever we feel lost in our long struggle - called life.

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Are We Thanking Our Parents Enough?

There have been a number of times when I did not agree with my mother's opinion. It feels like only yesterday when I was in college, and she called me to say that I shouldn't stay out of my hostel for long. A few times, she scolded me for being late. My reaction used to be of a typical teenager. I used to argue with her with lame excuses, without understanding the selfless love and care of a mother. As the time passed, I have got a sense of what she must have felt. How does it feel when we care for somebody and instead of acknowledging our sentiments, they turn us down? I have no words to express my remorse; however, I am thankful that I got back to my senses before it was too late.

I am writing this post, not just, to ask my mother for her forgiveness, but also, to ask every kid to value their parents, while they have time. Our parents do everything to ensure that we get the very best in our life. Although at the moment we may not understand them, we will begin treasuring them soon enough; let us just hope that soon is not late. 

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When they ask us not to go on a trip with our friends, they are not trying to stop us from having fun. They are simply ensuring that we do not put ourselves into danger. As a parent, it is their responsibility to keep us safe; as a child, it is our duty to act as a bridge between two generations, and help them understand the changes occurring in our time. 

Of course, there is one exception. If our parents are following the rules that do not make sense, and if they are sticking to the evil traditions of society, then we should try to explain the wrong in their ways.

Whichever may the case be, treasure your parents while you can; love them, care for them, express your gratitude towards them. Time travels with the speed of light; do not spend time planning the perfect moment to thank them for everything they did or are still doing for you. Let us live a regret free life. 

I do not wish to waste another second keeping my feelings bottled up. I love you, my mom and dad. I hope I never argue with you on unnecessary matters. I wish to treasure you, cherish you, and appreciate you, forever.

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I urge everybody to love your parents and value them.