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Book Review: A Piece of Your Mind for Peace of Mind by Manali Desai

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Writer Smita Das Jain reviews the book A Piece of Your Mind for Peace of Mind by Manali Desai.

I will start with a disclaimer first. I am not a connoisseur of poetry. I dabble in it once in a while with considerably less enthusiasm than the other writing forms. My (in)experience in writing poetry can only be beaten by my frequency of reading it. So, my book review is to be taken as the views of a layman rather than an expert.

It is the title of the book that intrigued me first to take a peek at the book blurb. Then Amazon’s algorithm went into action and started to display the book everywhere until I gave up and decided to buy it.

For once, Amazon’s algorithm was right.

Manali Desai’s A Piece of Your Mind for Peace of Mind is a collection of 45 poems – some indicative, others evocative, and all contemplative. The 92-page e-book ought to be a breezy enough read, but each poem makes you pause, think and reflect, and take your time finishing it. The book is best when savoured at leisure rather than gobbled in haste.

The reader will go through an ocean of emotions while going through the poems in the book. Each poem deploys a different rhyming style, imagery and other literary elements to exemplify how emotions are pervasive and affect our lives enduringly rather than fleetingly. Special marks to the author for starting each poem with an extended emoticon and ending with a vector- I found this uniquely endearing.

The author hits form right at the outset with the surprisingly hard-hitting ‘Just a Call Away’, which brings the unseen and unsaid feelings of mother-daughter to light. Both of them are unknowingly a source of strength for each other, the demonstration of which made me ponder on the bond with my own mother. And therein lies the beauty and power of the author’s verse.

Every poem is brief and straightforward but has a profound inner message. Each verse is skilfully crafted, and the words force the reader to go in-depth within themselves at various intervals. But I did find some poems a tad too short. Homecoming is one such poem where I found the ending too abrupt and would have liked the author to explore the emotions further.

The uniqueness of the author’s thoughts and the book’s pattern combine to tug at the heartstrings of the reader. The poetry is succinct and intense, my favourite ones being ‘Just a Call Away’, ‘M for Mischief’, ‘Moments of Joy’, ‘The Making of Success’, and ‘Not in So Many Words.’

If you are a poetry lover, the book will attract you because of its simplicity in language. For non-poetic readers like me, the bouquet of emotions strikes a chord. This book scores a 4.3/5 for me. Do pick up a piece of mind to make peace with your mind.


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