Book review: The Whole Shebang by Lalita Iyer

Name: The Whole Shebang 

Author: Lalita Iyer

Genre: Non fiction

No. of pages: 142

Published by: Bloomsbury India

Published on: 10th September 2017

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★★★★/5

"...our imaginary lovers seem to be going through the rest of their life quite breezily without us. Because love is mostly a woman thing: the chase of it, the romanticizing of it. Your market value is judged whether you are chased and desired by men. And so we make it our greatest mission."

Book blurb:

The sparkling witty smart little black dress of books for women – The Whole Shebang will be invaluable if you are fumbling to find the right man, underwear or career. Lalita Iyer doesn’t do self-help but if you need a survival guide in your pocket, here it is - dating, relationships, money, sex, home, motherhood, friendship, body image, style, and other life skills – languid and real, this will make your journey through life a little wiser and funnier.

About the book:

The Whole Shebang is a collection of 17 essays penned by Lalita Iyer that talks about the various spheres and stages or even men and clothes that women go through. Each essay speaks volumes about the topics that every woman on earth should have known since the beginning of their life. But as the saying goes, 'it's better late than never', it's never too late to know about things that is supposed to be your birthright. This is why Lalita Iyer's book is there to help you surf through your life.

If there is ever a book that will help me become a better woman (hopefully if I can) then it is this book. The Whole Shebang is that book that will tickle you and make you think 'Ah! So this is how it is' at the the same time. Author and columnist Lalita Iyer speaks to you through her own life experiences. Though I have not even reached half the age of what Lalita Iyer is, some of the essays are so relatable that I wanted to go and hug her and say 'Thank you for writing this'.

From anecdotes of first menstruation to advices about how to raise a child, the author has covered everything. The snippets about losing one's virginity to 'the one' had me guffawing. My personal favourites are the essays on period, food, underwire bras, thongs and finding the right man. While the first few essays are on the basic things that every teen girl has undergone, the remaining essays are advices about money, friendships, relationships, and most importantly, in-laws. Though these are life advices, I can assure you one thing. You won't be bored. In fact, you will want more. Lalita Iyer gives you assurance that you are going to make it through in the most sarcastic and comical way.

The book has the most humoristic and quizzical titles for the essays. Sample these: "Underwire and other instruments of womanly torture", "Thongs and other weapons of mass destruction", "Home is where the cat is." I will never get enough of this book. In short, this book comes highly recommended from my side. Every woman (and man too) needs a copy of The Whole Shebang in her life.

Writing style:

Author, journalist and columnist Lalita Iyer knows how to give a bitter medicine in the most soothing way. Her riotous take on a woman's life is worth a read. Each and every line spills out hilarity. Her knowledgeable content is given to the readers in a easy breezy manner. It won't bore you, it won't make you sad or thoughtful, but it will assure you that only you can love yourself the most. When you read the book, you will fill the passion emanating from the pages, from the author who has so much to tell you about life and love. This is a book that you should not miss.

About the author:

Lalita Iyer is a journalist and columnist and has written on parenting, relationships, food and travel for Times of India, Indian Express, National Geographic Traveller, Midday, India Today, Vogue and others. She has written two books: "I'm pregnant, not terminally ill, you idiot!" (Amaryllis) and "The boy who swallowed a nail and other stories" (Scholastic). She has also contributed to two anthologies: "A book of light" (Speaking Tiger) and "Gifts of Teaching" (Scholastic). She was Managing Editor, Filmfare and Deputy Editor, Hindustan Times, where she also wrote the popular weekly column Chickwit.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.


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