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Diana Rohini LaVigne
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  • Khushē Manäo Title: Khushē ManäoBy: Sheetal Singhal Published By: Meera MasiISBN: 9780977364558Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style MagazineThis children’s book collection is as educational as ...
    Posted Oct 23, 2010, 12:21 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne
  • Going to School in India Title: Going to School in IndiaAuthor: Lisa  HeydlauffPublisher: Chafrlesbridge (www.charlesbridge.com)Review by: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & StyleGraphic designer and illustrator B.M. Kamath and ...
    Posted Oct 23, 2010, 12:01 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 13. View more »



Khushē Manäo

posted Oct 23, 2010, 12:01 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Khushē Manäo
By: Sheetal Singhal 
Published By: Meera Masi
ISBN: 9780977364558
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

This children’s book collection is as educational as it is colorful and entertaining. Written in Hindi running alongside English transliterations, it is great for those who want to learn the beautiful language. The rhymes are easy to remember and delight readers of all ages. The words and illustrations invite the readers to read and reread the book collection over and over again. This is important to learning Hindi and makes Hindi fun to learn! Although its geared towards the under 5 market, I’ve given this as a gift to children of any age if they are beginning their Hindi language learning journey. The praise for the thoughtful gift has been overwhelming. These books can make learning fun for the whole family. With the additional CD included, the package is complete and an all-in-one solution for learning Hindi. Singhal has pulled together a wonderful series with the right look, feel and direction to make any child’s learning experience both fruitful and rewarding. It’s a series that I suspect will be the number one Indian American’s baby shower gift for many years to come! 

Going to School in India

posted Oct 23, 2010, 12:00 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Going to School in India
Author: Lisa  Heydlauff
Publisher: Chafrlesbridge (
www.charlesbridge.com)
Review by: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style

Graphic designer and illustrator B.M. Kamath and photographer Nitin Upadhye along with writer Lisa Heydlauff have created one of what I would say is one of the best children’s books to introduce a snapshot of daily life in India. It’s cleverly crafted so the young readers will have new things to notice with each read-through and adults will love reading with their children as well. The visuals are strong and diverse and each spread delivers a different look and feel but every page invites exploration.
The text is a brave delivery of some of the harsh realities that Indian children endure but also offers plenty of extremely inspirational tidbits too. The incredible attention to detail like the graphics for page numbering shows how much thought went into each and every element in this cultural-rich book.With a portion of each book purchased going towards the Global Fund for Children charity, this book isn’t just a wonderful book but a good way to spend money that gives back to the community that needs it most. The book is a powerful addition to any child’s bookshelf regardless if they are Indian or not. Trying to bridge the gap between cultures, ‘Going to School in India’ is an important contribution to children’s literature

Vivah - Design a Perfect Hindu Wedding

posted Oct 23, 2010, 12:00 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Vivah - Design a Perfect Hindu Wedding 
Author: Meenal Atul Pandya
Reviewed By:Diana Rohini LaVigne

 A Must Have Book For Every Hindu Bride To Be!
Vivah: Design a Perfect Hindu Wedding, written by Meenal Atul Pandya, is a primer for anyone involved in a Hindu wedding. It looks to bridge the gap between traditional ceremonies thousands of years old with modern traditions. Vivah is a step by step walk through of all the elements of a Hindu wedding from philosophy to finding local resources. The author uses vivid photos so readers can visualize their perfect Hindu ceremony.
Vivah covers rituals and ceremonies in detail and offers readers a better understanding of the process. These general guidelines are explorer in further detail by a section dedicated to regional customs and rituals. From Tamil to Punjab weddings, this helps readers understand the special regional touches that they might want to add. Following the extensive cultural customs are explained, it takes an organized approach to planning the ceremony complete with a planning timeline. Finally, the book ends with a resource list that has many local contacts to help the reader design the perfect Hindu wedding with ease!Author, Meenal Atul Pandya has written three books, hundreds of articles, and several poems. Her writings have appeared in many prestigious magazines and newspapers around the globe. Currently, she works as a consultant.This is a highly readable book with something for everyone involved in planning, attending or hosting a Hindu wedding. It is suitable as a gift, a coffee table book, a primer to learn about Hindu ceremonies and a resource list for those planning the ceremony. The graphic design and photos make this book a visual treat while the information makes Vivah invaluable.Vivah starts out with helpful segments entitled "Before We Begin". It starts with easy reading and works on building a starting point for envisioning the perfect day. Each chapter talks about the ceremony and what it takes to have a beautiful ceremony but never forgets to add spiritual and inspirational words and comments to remind the reader that marriage isn't just a ceremony but a sacrament.Readers are treated to short quick tips throughout that provide small bits of information that might be lost in a page of text. The tips are featured from front to back cover and offer the key to make any Hindu ceremony a success. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants a deep understanding of a Hindu Wedding Ceremony and how to translate old traditions into modern day. Personally, I am preparing for my Hindu wedding later this year and I know I will be referencing Vivah: Design a Perfect Hindu Wedding often. This is one book that every Hindu bride should own! 

Psychology of the Hero Soul

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:59 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

TITLE: Psychology of the Hero Soul 
Author: Sharif Khan
Book Review By Diana Rohini LaVigne

 A Wonderfully Inspirational Book!
Sharif Khan is President and founder of Diamond Mind Enterprises, an organization devoted to transforming coal minds into diamond minds through the applied pressure of higher knowledge, wellness education, and leadership training. Sharif has dedicated over ten years of research in the field of human potential development and studying great leaders. He is a very dynamic, highly engaging, and much sought after public speaker who lectures about topics on what makes great leaders, the winning qualities of leadership, success, and what makes a hero, to a wide range of audiences from university students to associations to the corporate world. The author now also serves as a book consultant specializing in helping people successfully produce, sell, and market their information products. After finishing his Bachelors in Psychology at York University, he went on to successfully manage and operate a Bestsellers Franchise for over five years selling, marketing, and promoting. Many names of a hero come to mind from history to pop culture. This book captures the essence of the universal `hero soul'. By combining the wisdom of over 10 years of research the making of great leaders along with studies in psychology, human potential, philosophy, mythology, the arts, and comparative religions, Sharif Khan has revealed the inner makings of heroes around the globe. 

This book is for anyone who wants to embark on the hero's journey: a remarkable adventure that will inspire you to awaken and illuminate the hero soul within, rekindling your passion for greatness. This book is also for political, business, and religious leaders who wish to promote heroes in the workplace and everyday life. Finally, this book serves as an ideal foundation for writers, playwrights, screen writers, actors, creative directors, marketing executives, producers, and anyone who needs to develop a heroic figure, brand, or protagonist in their creative work.
Khan's method is to connect readers with historical and well known hero figures. He examines their journey to success and builds an understanding about their role in society and their role as a hero. He discusses the elements that make a hero. The book is written for a complete look at the hero from outside to understand the hero within. His wealth of knowledge in so many areas allows readers from all walks of life to see a little of themselves in the author. Khan makes it clear that this book is about seeing the vision of a hero and emulating it yourself. 

Figures in the book span all time periods, all walks of life and people that span the globe. It's global prospective is important to its appeal in building not only today's heros but future heros.Being an enjoyable and easily readable book, it is suitable for people from university aged to senior. People with an interest in finding a higher ethical living standard or role model to inspire should make this book a top priority read.Each chapter is written independently and although enjoyed read as entire book, it is set up in a format to be read by chapter out of sequence all at once or over a long period of time. Each chapter delivers a different angle to the same theme. In the end, Khan book allows readers to really acknowledge the heros of our time and times past. It also helps us to be a hero and inspire other prospective heros too.
This is a highly recommended book for helping to achieve that higher sense of self. And with a portion of the book's proceeds going towards the non-profit organization, Artists Against Racism, you can't go wrong purchasing this book.

Indian Parenting Book

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:58 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Indian Parenting Book
By Meera Publishing
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style magazine

"This is a wonderful primer for new parents but also for others involved in the upbringing of a child. It's uniquely refreshing and addresses all the major child raising issues and concerns. The cover could have used clearer images but the border and the text is very appropriate for the intended readers. The writer shows her experience if starting with the basics and progressing in a mode that any caregiver/parent can follow. A delight to read."

The Complete Indian Wine Guide

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:57 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: The Complete Indian Wine Guide
Author: Dr. Aakash Singh Rathore
ISNB: 81-7436-434-X
Published By: The Lotus Collection by Roli Books (
www.rolibooks.com)
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

Just a few years ago, no one would believe there was a market or need for such a book as The Complete Indian Wine Guide but the industry has ripen and the book is at the forefront of the emergence.

With award-winning wineries on a global scale, Indian wine has become a valuable commodity and a prized possession of recent years. Pairing Indian foods or other cuisines with Indian wines might seem daunting if it weren’t for this new addition of certified wine advisor and author, Dr. Aakash Singh Rathore.

The book starts with a basic introduction to wine and to wine tasting which might prove too elementary for the more experienced, however vital to those new to the pleasure. Chapters are broken down by wine regions and each wine has a full description and how it specifically appeals to your eye, nose, mouth and then an overview. The book is packed with information and tidbits that will prove to be interesting to non-drinkers and drinkers alike.

Even the appendix is informative with a pricing and overall evaluation chart of Indian wines. With so much information, it makes not only a wonderful festive gift for a friend but also a great conversation piece if left on a coffee table at your home or office. It’s comprehensive, easy-to-read and entertaining to learn.

The Complete Indian Wine Guide makes even a novice feel like a wine expert. A very worthwhile book for anyone interested in wine.

Holy Cow; An Indian Adventure

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:56 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Holy Cow; An Indian Adventure 
By: Sarah Macdonald
ISBN: 0767915747
Pages: 291 (paperback)
Published By: Broadway Books
Review by: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

If you can get past the narrow-minded beginning, Holy Cow delivers! With a rocky start making reference and fun of ‘the way of India’ might seem a bit too strong for many readers but I encourage you to stick it out. Things shift on a dime from condescending to a thoughtful curiosity about India, its culture and most of all, its people.
It correctly identifies India as a land of contradictions but author Sarah Macdonald grows to admire and embrace those very contradictory ways. It is from chaos that she sees the emergence of her own personalized version of India where she grows to love the servants and honor the ways things happen in the land of milk and honey.  Her adventures are hilarious and offer insight into how a foreigner sees India. She explores religion, Bollywood, daily life chores and the ever-changing and ever-challenging weather changes in the New Dehli.  Holy Cow dives into India without hesitation and shows the world that Macdonald is a truly brave author.I suggest this to modern-day thinkers who love India already, live in India and want an outsider’s prospective and western-based folks planning a visit to India.  This soul-searching book was a favorite of mine, but I wouldn’t suggest this for anyone with a high sensitivity towards cultural mannerisms. Absolutely a great book to read!

Celebrate Diwali; with Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks.

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:56 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Celebrate Diwali; with Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks.
By: Deborah Heiligman
ISBN: 0-7922-5922-X
Publisher: National Geographic Society (
www.nationalgeographic.com)
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

The entire collection of Holidays Around the World by National Geographic Society is amazing however Celebrate Diwali is one of the best of the bunch.
With rich, vivid photographs, bold use of color and creative and engaging text, Celebrate Diwali is an important book that engages young readers to explore this Indian festival of lights. The book cleverly weaves old generation knowledge with modern twists in celebration which delivers a book that is easily approachable for today’s youth and supported by elders alike.The book encourages readers to do more than read but to participate in some of the Diwali activies like cooking and learning Diwali’s main game, Teen Pathi. The book has an important section geared towards older readers, educators and family members with websites for more information and other complimentary books for more in-depth study. This book leaves you wanted to learn more, to participate more and to celebrate more. This engaging and creative work of art is an amazing contribution to children’s book in America.

The Way of the Belly

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:55 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: The Way of the Belly
By: Neena & Veena
Review: By Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine (www.indianlifeandstyle.com)

Visually pleasing, packed with helpful information and fun to read, The Way of the Belly is a grand exploration into the world of beauty, health and happiness.  This 173-page reader is a treasure cove for those interested in being inspired by two of the nation’s leading dancers and sensual gurus, Neena & Veena.  As identical twins, they are a force times two in every way.  Their styles are similar but offer a slightly different point of view.
The book is one of the best bargains available at only $24.95.  Bursting with recipes that make your mouth water, easy to read side bars with tips of the trade and classy visuals that show you what the text explains in detail, it’s hard to beat the value.  Additionally, The Way of the Belly offers a free instructional Belly Dance DVD with the book! It’s obvious the Belly Twins are more interested in educating others about the dance than counting their dollars made by their books’ sales.   The Way of the Belly and the Belly Twins are a breath of fresh air in the industry of dance and fitness.  I strongly recommend this to brides looking for fun fitness to slim out before their weddings, wives looking to spice up their romantic side, anyone interested in fitness and mostly to those who seek creative ways to health and happiness.  These fitness leaders are heading for almost guaranteed global stardom.  

Here Comes Holi; The Festival of Colors

posted Oct 22, 2010, 11:54 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

Title: Here Comes Holi; The Festival of Colors
Author: Meenal Pandya
Publisher: MeeRa Publications (
www.meerapublications.com)
ISBN: 0-9635539-3-3
Review By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine

Here Comes Holi is a modern-day story telling of an ancient and important story. Children and adults alike will enjoy reading this colorful and easy-to-read book and get a deeper understanding of one of Hindus most celebrated holidays in the calendar year.The colors, the illustrations and the well-worded text come together to form a beautiful introduction for children to learn more about Holi. Towards the back of the book, the author has put a quick-reference glossary and a short piece on how Holi is celebrated. These two parts are a beautiful addition to the story. ‘Here Comes Holi’  gives the spirit of the festival and is a great book for any child’s bookshelf.

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