34 Bubblegums and Candies

Author Preeti Shenoy
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Price: Rs. 100
Publisher: Srishti Publishers and Distributors

I had heard about this book quite a lot. But because of my I-wouldn't-read-hyped-about-books-till-the-hype-gets-over obsession, I hadn't read it up till last week when I was climbing up the stairs to the Metro station and realized that I hadn't any newspaper/magazine/book with me! The thought of travelling in the Metro with nothing to read was daunting and I headed towards the book shop. 34 Bs and Cs caught my attention, because one, I knew it was good and two, I had been following the author's blog since a long time and liked her posts.

About the book
This is a very simple book, a compilation of the author's life's experiences and instances that emanate meaningful lessons for life. Each chapter is a unique story and contains experiences the author had, from the point of view of a mother of two, a wife, a daughter, a sibling or simply a silent spectator. Each chapter ends with a note of what the experience tells us- how life gives us unexpected challenges or equally unexpected moments of joy or surprise and how we react to them. Such notes at some places are motivating, some thought provoking and some totally profound. 
Preeti Shenoy says "Life is like Bubblegums and Candies. Sometimes you have to keep on chewing so that you extract whatever you can out of it. At times, the bubble you blow bursts unexpectedly and you are left with a sticky mess. Sometimes you lick it slowly and relish it."

34 Bubblegums and Candies book cover
My take
The best thing about this book is that we all have experienced similar instances and we can easily connect with her stories, sometimes nodding our heads knowing that that is what happens and sometimes getting bewildered at the funny turn of events. The first and last chapters were emotionally moving, talking about the author's dad and how the book came to be. My favorite chapters include:

- My Special Friend (About the author's dad)
- Please hug me (About kids suffering from AIDS and how they are just like any other kids, full of love, but not so much loved)
- Feeling needed (When kids pester you continuously, it seems irritating, but you enjoy the feeling that you're needed)
- Dance like no one is watching (Enjoy the little things in life. And dance like no one's watching. Even if they are!)
- Siblings without rivalry (An instance where the author's older kid accepted punishment in school, saving his younger and rule-abiding sister from the embarrassment)
- Age miracles (A funny chapter with instances where Preeti Shenoy was mistaken as being a kid herself! [she looks quite young])
- Truth is stranger than Fiction (Talks about coinciding date and time of her dad's demise and her brother's first child's birth)
- The stranger (A stranger in Kerala who made her kids happy by catching up with two goat kids and letting them pet them.)
- Mail Exchange (Emails exchanged between IIT-IIM kind of "professionals" and "artists". It was funny)
- The Magic of faith (A beautiful instance of the author's six year old daughter's faith in her mother)

I liked the other chapters too, but these are my favorites! I would recommend this book to everyone. Young and old! 

I'll soon be reading Preeti Shenoy's second book, 'Life is what you make it', a story of a young girl, Ankita who's got a perfect life, until she's diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It's a story of love, hope and strong will to overcome odds and live life the way you want.
Her third book, 'Tea for two and a piece of cake' is up for pre-order from Flipkart!


  1. Did you post a link of this to Preeti? She'd be really happy to read it! :D

  2. The best review from you, of the three I read. :)
    It was short, precise and well, great. I read some of her book's review earlier, and they mostly trashed the book. For whatever reasons.
    But now I think I should read some from her blog as I see that her prompts are quite popular too. ;)
    Keep reviewing. :)

  3. Thanks a ton Usama! Yes, I guess you should start taking part in her prompts as well. :)


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