Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Writing A Book Review For Penguin Books..!

Last two days kept me very busy with some thing other than writing blogs. It took me to a related field of writing - writing a book review for Penguin Books.

Shobhaa De, a famous Indian writer is on my blog list; and on one of my regular visits to her blog I came across the launch of 'Blog A Penguin Classic'. The publishers Penguin Books (India) were sending out review copies to selected people for reading their range of 'Modern Classics' and for writing a review of what they have read. This appealed to me immensely. ...what better than to be able to enjoy reading a book, and then to try your hand (or your pen/key board, actually) at writing a review?
The next day after I clicked to show my interest in their promotion, I received in my courier mail, a beautiful and an elegant looking book: Selected Stories by Parashuram. Being a voracious reader, I was lost to the world for two days as the book is a tough read.

..... this is the actual picture of my book while I read it at night.

Some of the stories were fun read and some were serious stuff; but all very interesting.
The serious stories had
intense situations, and many layers of mind blowing characters that it took me two reads for a couple of stories at least, to understand their depth.

Then came the writing part. Having never written a book review before, it was a challenge to write about a masterpiece; that too a translated one. It took me some serious research work and reading other book reviews before I could put my pen to paper. ooops !! my fingers to my key board....God! how things have changed in our lives..!

By the time I had read a few reviews my mind was already racing up. After burning the mid-night lamp (3.00 am), I had a skeleton 'review' sitting on my desktop. That night I slept peacefully over it, and the next morning with a fresh mind I re- read my review. With a bit of editing done, I dashed it off to Penguin Books. And there it is now on their website waiting to be lapped up, and commented upon. Pls do the honors, my friends.

How did the review turn out ? Pls let me know..!

check it here:


If this one doesn't work pls try: http://blogapenguinindiaclassic.blogspot.com/ and look for Parashuram's Selected Stories Reviewed by Shaheen Saeed (that's me)

A wonderful experience : reading and writing this review. I hope I can do more of these in future.


Nessa said...

What a fun project. Will go look at the review later today.

Rabbit, rabbit.

introspection said...

Hi Nessa,
thanks for stopping by. pls do visit and comment the REVIEW when you have some time.

Lilly said...

Good on you, thats wonderful. I clciked on the link but it said the link was broken. I will try angain later. Maybe this will be the start of a new career? I cant wait to read the review now!

introspection said...

That is sweet of you Lilly. I am sorry about the broken link. Pls try this one:

and look for 'Parashuram's Selected Stories' reviewed by Shaheen Saeed post.

Thanks for your inputs

Sonja Chandrachud said...

Writing a review is so darn tough coz one has to be brutually honest ...we writers love great reviews as they make our lives and am sure yours must be simply great!!

Juliana RW said...

thanks for your nice comment on my Tulips post. Btw, I want to ask. You wrote "Congrats for POTD. A well deserved win."

What is POTD and do i win?? will you explain little bit. thanks

Viji said...

Hey, what a cool job:-). You get a book free and on top of it review it too!! A WOW project:-).

I will chk it out too!


introspection said...

Hi Viji,

Ya a real fun project. do check it out. But pls read the review I wrote and Importantly dont forget to post your comment on my review page.
Thanks for passing by. Do you have your blog?

Jo said...

Wow! I am extremely impressed. Your review was very well written. It seems you are a good writer too. :-)

introspection said...

Hi Jo, Thanks for stopping by. The comment you wrote has made my day today. It's specially important coming from you - a great writer yourself. You can turn the most mundane subjet into an interesting writeup so effortlessly.

Pls do leave a comment on my review page, if possible. Thanks again.

Indrani said...

Great! I think i will look up soon.

Meanwhile I wanted to thank you for the nice words at my post and David's. It means a lot to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I love that you did it and I will check it out right away.

Thank you for your ever kind words to my blog! Truly.

scarlethue said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. I'm so happy that it meant something to you-- it was a private thing for me, but I felt like maybe it could do someone some good. It was an honest piece of writing, and my blog is all about honesty.

It took me some time to find a love like this too. I spent almost five years with a man so self-absorbed he was drawing me down into a darkness I almost couldn't escape. Thank goodness I met my husband then, he saved me. He showed me what life could be like, and I ran as fast as I could towards it.

But it's not always peaches and cream. You can tell from that letter we've struggled, we've had downs. The difference is, even in our darkest hours, our meanest fights, we know our foundation is solid because we work on it every day. You have to. You can just get married and ignore the union, no more than you could have a child and expect it to raise itself. It takes work, everyday. The good thing is, the work, once you get used to it, is fun-- stuff like taking walks together so you can talk, finding common interests (ours are Tom Petty and baseball), etc.

I would perhaps suggest couples counseling. Or if he won't go, get counseling on your own. I've been to a psychiatrist before myself, and it's just nice to have a non-judgmental ear, someone to bounce ideas and feelings off of.

Please feel free to visit me anytime you like! That's why I blog-- to be inspired and hopefully to inspire in some way.

Shiva S K said...


Thanks for stopping by in my blog.. i hope to write meaningful and heartfelt posts in the future too..
Meanwhile ur blog is lovely.. et to read ur review.. but its appreciable tat u hav put an honest effort, spared time and wriiten it with sincerity and passion.. i most of times intend to do things but end up not doin them bcos f sheer laziness.. Way to go & will read d review soon and comment!

Dale Forbes said...

as Nessa said, what a fun project!
do you know if you can get this series in europe? it would be nice to read the book you reviewed.


Anonymous said...

I miss your posts! Hope all is well in your life!

Lilly said...

Have you got any more reviews planned and how did you go with it? Thanks for the beautiful comments you always leave me on my blog. I very much appreciate them and you.