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Review of Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

Review of Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan

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I actually reread this marvellous autobiography for a book club meeting and I am glad I did. The first time I read Adeline Yen Mah’s autobiography was when I was twelve years old way back in 2001. The story of the so called ‘unwanted Chinese daughter’ made me think of my own state in life, as the child who destroyed my mother’s marriage by just being born. In my case, I was the girl child whom my father my father didn’t wish to care for and neither did his family as ‘I was a girl.’ In Adeline’s case, her birth caused the death of her mother which scarred her relationship with her father and with his family forever. Reading this book at age twelve made me feel I was not the only ‘unwanted’ daughter in the world, as someone from China was also going through or had gone through the same pain and rejection that I was and still am going through. Rereading this book at age twenty-seven gave me a deeper understanding of the negative psychological effects that Adeline’s father and step mother had on her and how they scarred her entire life from even beyond the grave and through the actions of their other children. I have no siblings, yet I can still identify with Adeline, as even though she had six siblings, all were up against her, making her childhood a sad and lonely one, just like mine. To overcome disaster and to hope are the main themes of this memoir which make it a life worth the read for a person undergoing the same trauma in their own lives, which is, being rejected by your own family and in all respects having some members of your family as your worst enemies. The Chinese saying that title each chapter resonate beautifully with the narrative, making the autobiography a charming yet startling read. To a lover of history, the lives of the Yen family parallel the life of China as a country through the late 19th century and 20th century which is skillfully written to introduce an amateur to Chinese contemporary history. It took me a week to finish this wonderful book because of illness in the family, but it is only a 275 page book which can easily be read with the least possible effort and which still gives a lot of emotional and reflective material to chew upon. It was indeed nice coming back to Falling Leaves after so many years.

Copyright© 2017 Fiza Pathan

Review of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 – Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Review of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 – Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan

Verdict: An exceptional book by a very talented author. Marvellous.

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I wanted to read this book for a long while, but I just kept putting it off until last week and I’m so happy that I’ve read this book which I claim to be one of my best reads of 2016. It’s a flawless book with suspense, adventure, wit, sarcasm, and bookish fun put together to form a wonderful story. If you love books especially the old-fashioned paperbacks and hardcovers or the leather-bound covers of old, this is just the right book for you. However, if you are also of a digital bent of mind who dreams that Google and the Kindle version of books are changing the way we buy books and store information, this is the book you have just got to read. The plot is suspenseful and the book is unputdownable. I read it in in two days’ time. This is a book which you will want to talk about at your book clubs and libraries after you yourself read it. It is full of surprises, puzzles, and mysterious people who intrigue not only Clay who is the main protagonist in the story, but also the readers of the book, that you will fall in love with the act of reading books all over again. One of the main distinctions that this novel has from all the other books about bookish topics that I have read over the years so that it tries to show the wonder of words itself whether on a kindle or a paperback. The characters come alive and are as curious and ingenuitive as the theme of the novel itself. The chapters are divided very well and professionally so that there is a lot of synchronization with each page turned by the reader. Robin Slogan as an author is a grandmaster of technology and suspense. He has done a near to perfect if not perfect job with Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore which is a powerful book meant for readers who love adventures, libraries, bookstalls, old books, Google, etc., and is a master storyteller. So please order or borrow Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan as quickly as possible if you want to get to know the power of the word and words better. An exceptional book by a very talented author. Marvellous.

Copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan
Image copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan

 

Review of Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Reviewed by Fiza Pathan

Verdict: ” …. you will come out after reading the book a really empathetic person who redefines what the whole idea of hell means to you at your most lowest as well as at your best.”

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To be truthful, I read this book before I picked up and read Life of Pi, and I’m glad I did that because this novel is a lighter introduction to the works of Yann Martel. Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel gave me a new way of looking and perceiving the tragedy of the Holocaust. I took a week and a half to read it because of work, but otherwise this book is simple, just around 224 pages and is an easy read with a profound message for its readers. You don’t need to be :

  1. An overcautious intellectual to read this book and probe into its symbolism as it’s an easy read and the symbolism is easy to comprehend
  2. You do not need to have read Life of Pi before reading this; in fact it’s great to read this book first then Life of Pi.

I really don’t want to give any spoilers here but, if you are a writer or someone who wants to become a writer then you will just love this book. If you are a person who has delved in the archives and history of the ‘Holocaust’ then this is another book you must read to get a totally different perspective on this genocide that still sends shivers up and down every person’s spine. If you are worried about too many characters then don’t be, for there are a few characters in this book, but are dealt with in such a refined way that they will stay with you for a while. I also would beseech the reader/you, to not skip any descriptions in the book as they are a very important part of the whole story and besides, Yann Martel has done a great job with his descriptions so don’t miss out on them. Beatrice and Virgil are a donkey and howler monkey respectively who will take you right down to the worst in us, but you will come out after reading the book a really empathetic person who redefines what the whole idea of hell means to you at your most lowest as well as at your best. Don’t also miss out on the bit of personal biography that Yann Martel has weaved into this wonderful book. If you’ve not read Life of Pi save that one too to your reading list. This was a very soul-searching read.

Copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan

Image copyright: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_and_Virgil
Google Images
Author: Yann Martel
Country: Canada
Genre: Novel
Publisher: Alfred A Knopf,  Canada
Publication date: April 6, 2010
ISBN: 0-307-39877-3 (first edition, hardcover)

 

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Amina” in its 2016 international book award contest

For Immediate Release:  September 4, 2016

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Amina” in its 2016 international book award contest.

The 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

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Mumbai, Maharashtra. Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Amina” by Fiza Pathan is a Bronze Medal Winner in the Fiction – Realistic category in our 2016 International Book Award Contest.”

Synopsis: Amina: The Silent One brings vividly to life the grim realities facing women in India today, the grinding, filthy poverty, and debasement with which most Indian women must contend in their daily lives. This book will shock you and rip your eyes open. Through the magic of fiction, it tells an awful truth in human terms that cannot be told in any other way.

Author’s Bio: Fiza Pathan is a teacher and an award-winning author of nine books: S.O.S. Animals and Other Stories, Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories, Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom, So This Is Love – Collected Poems, Classics: How we can encourage children to read them, The Flame Will Always Burn-Selected Poems, Amina: The Silent One, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues, and “Flesh of Flesh” (Short Story). Her books have placed in many prestigious international awards: Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, Reader Views Literary Awards, Mom’s Choice Award, Beverly Hills International Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Award, Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Finalist), Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Finalist), etc.

Learn more at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/amina

Amina: The Silent One has won the following awards:
2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards -Winner 1st Place General Fiction/Novel
2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards – Global Award for Asia
2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award- Bronze Medal
Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist Multicultural (Adult Fiction)
2015 New Apple Book Awards – Solo “Medalist Winner” in the E-Book General Fiction category.
2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Finalist Novella Category
2015 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award- Category Fiction
2015 New England Book Festival – Honorable Mention in Regional Literature
2016 Pacific Rim Book Festival- RUNNER-UP Regional Literature.
4th Annual Beverly Hills International Book Awards- Winner in Regional Fiction category.
55 Best Self-Published Books of 2015 – IndieReader
2016 IAN Book of the Year Awards- Finalist General Fiction
2016 IAN Book of the Year Awards- Finalist Novella

 

Fiza Pathan

Amina

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/amina

Email: pathan.fiza@gmail.com

 

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Classics” in its 2016 international book award contest

For Immediate Release:  September 4, 2016

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Classics” in its 2016 international book award contest.

The 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

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Mumbai, Maharashtra. Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Classics” by Fiza Pathan is a Gold Medal Winner in the Non-Fiction – Education category in our 2016 International Book Award Contest.”

Synopsis: With the aid of this book, I want to propagate the importance of classics to everyone . . . every student, parent, teacher.
Through this book I shall introduce to you the various classics that have influenced me, the different skills one can develop by reading good literature and how sometimes good fiction makes reality a lot more tolerable.

Author’s Bio: Fiza Pathan is a teacher and an award-winning author of nine books: S.O.S. Animals and Other Stories, Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories, Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom, So This Is Love – Collected Poems, Classics: How we can encourage children to read them, The Flame Will Always Burn-Selected Poems, Amina: The Silent One, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues, and “Flesh of Flesh” (Short Story). Her books have placed in many prestigious international awards: Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, Reader Views Literary Awards, Mom’s Choice Award, Beverly Hills International Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Award, Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Finalist), Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Finalist), etc.

Learn more at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/classics/1

Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them has won four awards:
Gold Award- 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards
Silver Award Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards® Kindle version.
2014 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Best Book in the category of Education. (Paperback)
2015 Beverly Hill Book Awards-Winner in the category of Education/Academic

Fiza Pathan

Classics

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/classics/1

Email: pathan.fiza@gmail.com

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Raman and Sunny” in its 2016 international book award contest

For Immediate Release:  September 4, 2016

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Raman and Sunny” in its 2016 international book award contest.

The 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

Screenshot 2016-09-01 01.12.38

Mumbai, Maharashtra. Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Raman and Sunny” by Fiza Pathan is a Gold Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Social Issues category in our 2016 International Book Award Contest.”

Synopsis: The book deals with parenting, the agony of middle school, the individuality of each child, the jealousy, resentment and fear of change faced by both children and teachers, each at their level. It deals with violence, resentment, bullying, and defiance in children. It explores new methods to get the child on the right path by introducing him to those less fortunate than himself. It explores a synthesis in learning and new and fun methods of teaching. And it deals with the inherent goodness in children and in man. It’s a family story, which shows that love, forgiveness and understanding in family life will help bring stability to a child’s life.

Author’s Bio: Fiza Pathan is a teacher and an award-winning author of nine books: S.O.S. Animals and Other Stories, Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories, Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them, Nirmala: The Mud Blossom, So This Is Love – Collected Poems, Classics: How we can encourage children to read them, The Flame Will Always Burn-Selected Poems, Amina: The Silent One, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues, and “Flesh of Flesh” (Short Story). Her books have placed in many prestigious international awards: Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, Reader Views Literary Awards, Mom’s Choice Award, Beverly Hills International Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Award, Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (Finalist), Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Finalist), etc.

Learn more at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/raman-and-sunny

Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues has won seven awards:
Gold Medal – 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards -YA Fiction – Social Issues
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
Silver Award Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards® Kindle version.
2015 New England Book Festival- Honorable Mention in Young Adult
2015 London Book Festival- Honorable Mention in Young Adult
2016 Los Angeles Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winter 2016 – Winner in Young Adult

Fiza Pathan

Raman and Sunny

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/raman-and-sunny

Email: pathan.fiza@gmail.com

#BookViral #Book Review of Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues

Book Viral VerdictAnother exceptional read from Fiza Pathan, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is recommended without reservation.

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One of the hardest things for any author to acquire is a distinctive voice, but Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues puts Fiza Pathan in the category of those who have achieved it. A powerful, charming and above all honest read, it’s not one of those novels that can be reduced to naive labels.  With a pitch-perfect sense of character, this is a novel that’s bursting with life, energy, fears, and frustrations, one that neatly sidesteps trite and formulaic plotting and dives into the nub of Pathan’s overarching theme. Pathan respects the idiosyncrasies of her characters, suggesting as much as she tells, and encouraging us to identify with multiple points of view. In this respect it’s utterly convincing, with emotionally genuine gravitas, as we come to know Raman and Sunny. Great writing should pull readers through a portal to another life and this is exactly what Pathan does and in doing so reminds us, that irrespective of cultural identity, there are periods in life that aren’t so easily reconciled.

Verdict: Another exceptional read from Fiza Pathan, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is recommended without reservation.

My book has won the following awards:
The Mom’s Choice Awards® Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is a Silver Award recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award.
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
2015 New England Book Festival- Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2015 London Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2016 Los Angeles Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winter 2016- Winner in Young Adult

It has also won critical acclaim from Readers’ Favorite, Authors Talk About It,
and Reader Views.

Readers’ Favorite: “This is a very deep book that deals with a multitude of woes for the tween age group: starting middle school, a child’s individuality, parenting choices, the ways teachers and educators choose to respond to students, jealousy, resentment, fear of change, bullying, defiance and disrespect. It offers real life situations showing these examples and talks about the good and bad things that can happen in each situation. It shows young readers how one might traverse these situations and the outcomes that can result when right and wrong paths are chosen. Overall, it is a very educational book that parents will feel good about their children reading.”- Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite.

Authors Talk About It: Raman and Sunny will touch your heart and open your mind.
“Readers need to get passed the first five or six chapters, then they will begin to discover the beautiful depth within the story. From sibling love to sibling rivalry, from bullying to friendship, from lackluster education to expansive and new study methods, Raman and Sunny is a story readers will remember! Well, worth your time, and a good read for middle schoolers.”

Reader Views:
Reviewed by Faryal Jabbar (age 14) for Reader Views (3/16)

“Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues” by Fiza Pathan is packed full of new perspectives and ideas. Some people, including myself, have the idea that all twins are in sync and always get along, a stereotype. Raman and Sunny however, have a rocky relationship challenged by their differences ever since the beginning of 6th grade. Sunny is a musical prodigy, cool and calm versus Raman, the sensitive sportsman. The ever-present middle school bully takes form in Amanda D’Sa and her girl goons, who love to see the twins squirm. The boys both strike, for and against each other, resulting in life changing consequences.Good or bad? You will have to read the book to find out. Raman’s best basketball friend Imran is writing a book, “Middle School Blues,” an interest that once was a pleasure for Raman before he made a wounding decision. As the story goes on Sunil Mendonca, the new teacher, brings new and innovative ideas that threaten the other teachers, who fear his example will make them have to work harder. Meanwhile Indian culture, family life, and middle school play subtly in the backdrop.

Pathan uncovers the unseen flaws in some education systems, the  struggle of middle school, and family life. The book has inspired me to change the way I think about learning and even read classic books, something I otherwise would never have thought to do. The exciting plot and small details make an intriguing and realistic story. I felt as if I was reading a true story because of the way Pathan incorporates culture and modern life into the story. The characters raw feelings and emotions were clearly felt, making them more readable and realistic. The different points of view give a better understanding of the story and characters. There are several climaxes, which enrich the story, although some transitions were a bit unclear.

I recommend this book for people 10 and older. Middle school students will enjoy it the most, but adults can learn from the messages in this story as well. If you like realistic fiction, dealing with growing up, or middle school, this book sums those ideas up nicely.

“Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues” by Fiza Pathan is a wonderful book that takes you on a small but, meaningful journey. Friendship, betrayal, resentment, culture, corruptness, family, and love fill the pages.

Video Trailer:

The book is available for sale at:
https://www.amazon.com/Raman-Sunny-Middle-School-Blues-ebook/dp/B019CPQUJS/

Copyright 2016 Fiza Pathan