WYSIWYG

What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menolibrikul; E-book Reviews' Part Five

Am I going to manage two reviews once more? You betchya! As always, I supply the original download links but appreciating there are quite a few of my readers who may not wish to enrol at that website, I am happy to forward the PDF of the items reviewed on your email (or comment) request. These books are free, and I am certain the authors will be glad to have as wide a readership as possible!

This first one had me engaged from the very beginning. 

I will say upfront - and the author himself clarifies - that this product comes directly out of blog posting in April's A-Z challenge. There is no attempt to concatenate any concepts or perhaps curtail some of the work references, which just occasionally felt superfluous.

Did I care? I did not! Mr Moothedath has a most lyrical and conversational style to his writing that engages one and invites one in to sit with a cup of chai and perhaps a samosa or two and take a wide-angled view of some of the matters that affect life. I swear I could hear his voice...

Right away from "A", you know that here is someone who cares about others and who they are as people, not just their trimmings and social masks. By the time you get to "G", you have had several confirmations of your opinion of this new companion, as he expounds on the true meaning of 'greatness.' My heart ached a little and eyes welled somewhat as I read of the "I"ndia that could be... and admired how the author managed to tell us how this beloved country is failing just now without getting 'hissy and spitty', instead, showing us the potential unrealised. Though, when we get to "Q", we see a little more dynamism in criticism of the current situation. The discussion on "U"topia is both scholarly and has a practical eye out, concluding (rightly, as I see it) that such an improved society can only come about if all the individuals in that society are improving themselves. Finally, we reach the idea of "Z"en - and starting out by another look at the state of play in India just now and how un-Zen-like it is. 

The alphabet is negotiated really well - and yes, randomly, just as any conversation can meander around topics when a word or phrase triggers deeper thoughts. 

I was particularly taken with the letter "C", in which creativity and its importance to life are discussed. As you see from this screenshot, the author tackles that thorny subject of who and or what gets published, when and where. There is no question that an awful lot gets published (particularly on the Big A) that really ought never to have seen the light of day. I wholeheartedly applaud the notion that we all have something creative to offer, and it ought not to be quashed. However, publishing on social media does not necessarily equate to something being worthy of reaching a market involving the exchange of other folk's hard-earned. It certainly does provide the opportunity to see how one's work is received and perceived, and it is also true that most will dwindle away if the traffic indicates poor response. 

There are some, though, who have the boldness referred to in "B" to go ahead anyway. Perhaps it is an excess of egotism as referred to in "E". It is mostly fuelled by lots of their pals or peers patting them on the shoulder and giving encouragement - but no real critical feedback. I touched on this in last week's review. Just because one can publish does not necessarily mean one ought to - at least not at book-for-sale level. Not until a thorough going-over has been undertaken. The gulf between an edited and a proofread book and one that has not received such attention can be vast indeed.

This carnival organised by Blogchatter has a clear purpose of encouraging and supporting its participants in reaching the truly published goal. Thus, it behoves me as a reviewer to point out that, as much as I have very much enjoyed the content here, it does not constitute a 'book' as such. It most definitely has the potential to be, and I hope Mr Moothemath might consider engaging an editor and shaping this one up. Nevertheless, this is an item to savour. One chapter a day and then lots of pondering on the points. As it stands, it is a rather fine collection of essays from a humanitarian thinker - but even at that, there are some production issues, with occasional typos and some tracts of script changing appearance. For flow, I might have liked all the poetry items to have been appended, rather than within the body of the text - though this is quibbling, for as stated, the content is of great worth and most definitely worth one's time in the reading.

How does it differ from the publication LIFE, as reviewed recently? The two might appear, superficially, to have the same intent. However, the approach of each gentleman is quite different. There is a rawness (boldness?) in LIFE, one might say a cutting edge to the writing. In Random Thoughts, we have a much more anecdotal but no less erudite or learned quality. I put it to you that they are two sides of the same record, and it is worth playing both sides!!!

(You can download Random Thoughts on Random Words from Blogchatter.)

Now, for something completely different.

Story-telling - and good story-telling at that! I was immediately struck with the absence of some of the alphabet in this publication arising out of the A-Z. The author has not stated whether these existed originally - but anyway, the flow of the story is not greatly affected. However, occasionally one felt there was room for 'a bit more'. 

What kind of story? One for those who like character and scene-setting. There is a sense of the traditional generational tale about the writing and a revealing of the harsh realities that life can rain upon one - particularly in Indian society. Delightfully drawn personalities and situations to which one can relate (even if never experienced). I was grasped by some of the small moments that caused a lump in the throat. 

There is much to commend this tale. However, it does suffer a little from being 'episodic' - the missing 'letters', perhaps? There could be a little more filling out of the characters' backstories and what they each do when separated - currently, this is all a little 'hurried' and sketchy. 

I do so very much hope Harshita will now take it and polish it and put in all the linkages that a full story needs, for I think this has the makings of an excellent and sellable book. A bit of proofreading by a 'third eye' might also help, for just a few typographicals jarred - most notably the use of a full stop after "Miss." which is completely unrequired - but also inconsistent. As it stands though, it makes a most pleasant afternoon's read.

(You can download Xanadu from Blogchatter.)


17 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for your erudite review! It is great to receive feedback from various quarters, people with varying thought process and sensibilities. It was a pleasure to receive yours.

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    1. Hari OM
      there was much pleasure in the reading! Yxx

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  2. Editing is not fun but absolutely necessary if the writing is to look and feel polished. Publishing is a gruelling process, not for the faint of heart :)

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  3. Thank you so much for an insightful review. Yes you are right to point out it needs a third eye overview to iron out the kinks.

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    1. Hari OM
      You are welcome and I do very much hope this delightful story grows! Yxx

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  4. love the review... and the third eye is a very useful thing, we agree

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  5. Hi Yam - I can't keep up ... but also I can't always reach into your thoughts, so I can get the drift of your ideas - I need to educate myself more. I have just read William Dalrymple's 'In Xanadu': In Xanadu traces (by walking, using local transport, when necessary, the path taken by Marco Polo from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to the site of Shangdu, famed as Xanadu in English literature, in Inner Mongolia, China. Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hari OM
      You made me smile Hilary - for I know you have as eclectic a view of the world as I and should certainly not think yourself lacking in any way! If there is a gap of understanding, then it is more likely to be a fault in the writing here. I could, perhaps, have given this Xanadu a little more expansion as I had done with the first in today's post and have, perhaps been a little uneven in not doing so. WD's Xanadu is a wonderful read - and if you appreciated that, you may find from learning about the area that it aids in the reading of this novella... which I shall attach completely unasked, but I think you may well enjoy it and it is, as mentioned, quite a short read. Yxx

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  6. Congratulations Rajeev for getting such a positive review from a critic who is also an Advaita Teacher.

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    1. Thank you Pankajam! Yes, I value her feedback a lot!

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  7. Insightful and incisive reviews as always.
    Have been enjoying reading Rajeev Moothedath since long. His HRDian training does come to the fore in his writing.

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  8. YAM well done on that review. It was very obvious from your review how much you enjoyed it.
    Hugs Cecilia

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  9. Interesting points here about the gap between what makes for an interesting and readable series of blog posts and what is required for a book that's worth purchasing.

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  10. You review really well - you should do it for a wider audience (as in professionally). Xxx F

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    1. Hari OM
      LOL - oh I'm not sure about that... there is already a plethora of critics and I am not at all certain I am that good. If you noted the comments above, Hilary took me (ever so gently) to task and I admit that there was less offered on Xanadu than might have been - the danger of doing two in one!

      I am completely open to constructive criticism myself. How else to improve? This implies of course, that one has a clear understanding of what is constructive and what is just sheer b***s***. There are some in the world who simply cannot hear anything negative at all and cannot even think critically about the criticism. Oh yes, there is a whole separate writing thing going on there.

      Thank you for taking the time to catch up on a week of posts, and then to comment on each. As well as give us your own very excellent post! Hope you have a restful Sunday. Hugs to you and whiskeries, to Mr T. Yxx

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  11. 👌👌👌👌🌲🌹🌻💐 Magnificent job of reviewing the whole concept of random things with suitable anecdotes marking interest and involvement. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

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  12. As person who took the pleasure of reading the posts about each word, couldn't agree more with the reviewer.

    Great job Rajeev

    But the word I liked best with you is consistency. Did you write about that word? You lived it though!!

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