Sunday, September 29, 2013

The English Nightmare

Book : English Bites!
Author: Manish Gupta
ISBN : 9780143419006
Pages: 334
Price: 250
Rating : 4/5

Something from the book:
However, one column in Reader's Digest continued to depress me for quite some time. Even with liberal self marking, I could never get more than five correct answers out of the fifteen posers in 'Word Power.' I persisted and my scores improved, slowly and steadily, as did my determination to get a perfect 15/15 sooner rather than later.

Learning a language is always difficult. I always found Hindi to be the toughest language, during my school days. My notebooks were decorated with red marks more than the blue ink scribbles but for vernacular students English is a similar kind of nightmare. But when we proudly declare ourselves well versed with English, do we really know everything in English? If so why we whack our brains and drill holes in our grey cells during entrance exams to store a few more words and their meanings in it? MBA, GMAT, GRE flash cards are like demons for us during entrances. Oh! Foolish us to think we are great in English. These were my thoughts after I read the Blurb of “English Bites” by Manish Gupta.

English Bites – My Fullproof English Learning Formula is indeed a foolproof formula as it makes learning words total fun. I still remember when I was small my dad used to ask me to learn 10 words from dictionary or newspapers and report to him in the evening. In school we used to hate the English lecture when we had a vocabulary lesson because it used to be the driest 45 minutes of the day. If only we had a book like this back then. The book is the story of the author who also was from vernacular medium and fought a long exhaustive war with English to finally conquer it. The journey is scribed in the book with pinch of humor, satire, a bit of emotions, all on a strong base of reality and is adorned with apt comic sketches and a lot of amusing trivia.

The book successfully erases the trite methods of learning languages and sets a new and a trend through this book, reason? The book not only a compendium of lot of words, it gives you the meaning of all the words then and there, at times with their origin as well. So you could let your dictionary rest and just enjoy the book without any distraction. And if the reader is like me nothing could be better as I am super lazy while reading a book. I would rather re read the line two three times and figure out some meaning than check the correct meaning by travelling some meters, picking up a dirtied by age old dust Dictionary and hunting for the word in the yellowed pages. The book sounds amazing now right?
  1. Humorous and prompt narration makes the book a very enjoyable read.
  2. The way the words are interspersed throughout the book helps in keeping the interest of the reader in the story and the words equally.
  3. The trivia provided is an added advantage of the book and makes the book very informative at the same time.
  4. The story is straight out of the author’s life pages and hence is easy to relate to.
  5. The illustrations are apt and fun.

  1. Just one the start was a bit slow and not as gripping as the rest of the book. Till page 50 I guess.

I thoroughly loved the book and I am not lying when I say this I am going to remember a lot of words by relating them to instances from this book. People who have read this book would know why the word bedraggled would always make me smile and why arachibutyrophobia is also going to make me check if my bread has peanut butter sandwich on it. 

On the whole I loved the book and if I clear my GMAT or CAT next year Manish Gupta you are going to get a big chunk in my credit speech. It is an easy 4 on 5 book and a must read! And higher education aspirants you know which book is a must in your closet now! This is a book you don’t want to finish in one go but a chapter a day and English will be your best friend. Every Bit worth its cost - a total worth it book.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I was looking for such type of book. Would try it!

    1. Dear Kirti, I thank you for your interest in my book. It is available at all bookstores and all online resellers. is offering the book as an eBook as well and Free Delivery for sometime on physical copies as well. Incidentally, I am a finance professional and I am glad that I discovered your blog. I have subscribed to it via Twitter and FB. Could not locate the option of an email subscription. I hope to read some of the articles during the course of next week. I also love the thought behind creating this blog.

      Do share your feedback with me on English Bites! I hope you will relish and cherish its delicious bites.

      Best regards, Manish
      Twitter: @English_Bites
      Facebook Account:
      Facebook Page:

    2. Kirti do try it is an amazing book...:)

  2. Dear Vaisakhi,

    Thank you very much for a wonderful review. I am glad that you enjoyed the book and gained something out of it. I am also relieved that the book lived up to your expectation.

    I am counting on your support to spread the good word about the book esp. when people ask you for recommendation on books to improve their language. And I am sure, given your background and the accomplishments in this field, there are just so many of them who keep seeking your guidance.

    Many thanks & best regards, Manish
    Twitter: @English_Bites
    Facebook Account:
    Facebook Page:

    1. Thanku so much Manish...glad i got a chance to read your book and review it.

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  4. This is a beautiful text about learning a language and the book - English Bites. 99CarRentals