Thursday, November 5, 2015

#NaBloPoMo Day 5: Book Review: Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

Much Ado about Nothing (Photo Credit)

The Brunch Book Challenge by HT Brunch is about finishing just 30 books in a year. Any books of your choice. A very achievable number, right? Wrong! When one is hard pressed for time and keeps postponing reading because the book she started is too boring to pick up but has to finish it, it becomes a huge number to finish. And I am still on book 19 with 11 books to go in only about 9 weeks! So, I changed my strategy - read simpler, shorter books but at least keep reading. And that's when I decided to buy the famous and much talked about Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna. I guessed it's just fluff and it isn't hard for someone like to her get media footage and celebrity endorsements for her first book. (And I was right) Anyways, since it suits my purpose, I went and bought a kindle version of it. (I have turned into an ebook reader, at least it's easier on the move).

My review in one line would be - Much Ado About Nothing!

First, the good

True enough, it was a breeze to read! You can put your brain to rest and sleep walk through it. We all are familiar with her columns. When put together as a book, you tend to see the pattern in her life. It's like a peek into her life that resonates as the story of any woman. I know she has a lavish lifestyle with a lot of staff to help her. But deep down her issues are pretty much the same as any woman's or mother's - getting her son to do her homework, tantrums of her younger child, managing packing on her own, the banter with the spouse, the love-hate relationship with her mother-in-law, getting stains off the sofa, dieting and weight issues, fears of what her daughter-in-law will be like, balancing between work and home, to name a few. The A-Z chapters give it a semblance of structure as a book.

The book is interesting only in tiny bits. The monotony of talking about her daily routine is broken only by her pontification about the topic of the chapter. For instance, when she talks about how despite Karva Chauth, Indian men are nowhere near the top of the highest life expectancy list or when she sadly ponders over the rising suicide cases in the country and hopes she will be able to teach her son never to give up. Some of her quips hit the nail right in the head. For instance,

"A punjabi mother, her son and food form a triad as sacred as Brahma, Mahesh and Vishnu".

Actually true or all mother-son duos :)

Also, my favourite one is her take on people who forward inspirational messages every morning and think that their good deed for the day is done. Her suggestion instead is -

"Go out there! Sweep a pavement, plant a tree, feed a stray dog. Do something, anything rather than just using your fingers to tap three keys and destroy 600 people's brain cells in one shot." And I so agree!

The funniest line in the book is when she says that it helps to have the man of the house cook sometimes so that you can relax on your couch with enriching books "like this one" - truly hilarious and I am sure the irony isn't lost on the intelligent readers.

Now, the bad

Firstly, I did not realise that it was a collection of her columns and not an actual book she wrote to make a book. I actually remember reading some of those chapters before. So, it was a dud for me. The chapters made sense when they were stand alone columns about a topic dealt humorously. It does not make much sense as a book. It just feels like a series of chapters about her daily routine which gets boring pretty soon. The transitional notes between chapters make no sense. The font is too small to read on my kindle and I think this is important since considerable people read books on ebook readers. The book has no meat, nothing to ponder over and exhibits no literary prowess. For once, I am going to say that Chetan Bhagat deserves credit since he at least cooks up a plot and thinks of characters. So, you can imagine where this one stands.

Unless you have lots of free time and can spare for a book like this or need something to speed read through to complete a challenge, you can give this a miss. There will be more columns you can catch up with instead.

For your reading pleasure, here are 12 hilarious lines from the book and you can safely add this book to your list of 'finishes reading'.

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