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Katha By Shoba Narayan | Book Review

Being a professional book reviewer, that too associated with prestigious team ThinkerViews has its own perks. We get a chance to read books from various genres and even get a chance to connect to some talents which are not well-recognised yet.

While most of the reader prefer thrillers, fantasy fictions and mythological stuff; self-help, inspirational, motivational and marketing specific books have their own readership. Actually, I believe that everyone must explore such books. They often introduce a new perspective to looking at the same thing.

Here are some such books we got a chance to read.

Today I am going to share my views about Katha – an interesting book by Shoba Narayan.

Book Cover:

Being a gateway to the virtual world explored within, the cover page plays an important role in book purchase and/or reading decisions.

Katha By Shoba Narayan | Book Cover

Katha By Shoba Narayan | Book Cover

As you can see the cover page of the book is simple and gives you “classic” feeling. The typewriter in the center not only conveys the heart of the book title, it also gives a “vintage” feeling. The use of beige and a shade of red in the cover page makes it a little more attractive. A balanced cover page.

Views And Reviews:

Usually, we take a bird’s eye view of book plot and share our views and reviews for the same in two different segments. The nature of this book is different and thus we are merging both the segments.

What I like the most about the book is the concept and its execution.

We all grew up hearing stories and thus understood the importance of the same. It would not be wrong to say that “the stories are part of ourselves”. There was a time when kids fall asleep only after hearing bed-time stories from grandparents (or parents). They used to wake listening to morning songs. Even lullabies are a kind of stories. Eventually, these traditions are disappearing due to the change in the social fabric, but the human nature is still the same. People turn towards online platforms to fill the void and we find some good and imaginative adaptations of the stories, poems, folklores, poetries, spiritual stuff and more. The author rightly mentioned in the book:

Mention the word ‘stories’ and people immediately go back to their childhood.

Also, the stories are not meant for growing-ups only. Grown-ups are fascinated with the same, with even more intensity. And, the author re-iterates and well-known fact in the book:

Politicians are adept at fashioning stories to deliver a message.

We know it very well that it is not an easy task to get fund from anyone. Even kids need to ask their mom to convince the father to give money :), especially when the amount is remarkable.

A salesperson needs to convince the potential buyer that the product/service is worth buying. An entrepreneur need to convince the investor that the dream he/she is showing, is realistic and genuine. And, the politicians need to convince the people that they have a vision that is going to bring the better future.

In almost all these cases, the personal involvement of the person (who is trying to convince the other) in the product/service he/she is offering. The author says in the book rightly:

Your story shows the client that you have a stake in the game.

While involving statistical information in the speeches/presentation is game changer (in terms of make-believe), the importance of emotional quotient is equally important.
Assuming that the product and other deliverables are good, a personal anecdote can be more revealing than a bunch of numbers.

In fact, author tells about her journey of writing, winning a price for her essay; talking about her personal background and circumstances, to successfully connect you to this book – emotionally.

The author clearly says:

By Story, I don’t mean a long-winded narrative. It could be just an anecdote, told at the right time to the right people.

For people associated with sales and services department, the following line is one of the most useful ones – from the book.

Good storytelling is all about creating images and linking your product with that image.

The book not only talks about importance of storytelling, but also talks about the tools of storytelling. She even refers to many of the popular movies and how one should analyse them for this purpose (to learn storytelling). I like the definition of “Metaphor” she has mentioned and some of the examples she had given in the book:

A book is like the ocean. You never know what you are going to find inside.

A restaurant is like an orchestra

As I cannot include spoilers (though, some of them are inevitable), I had to skip mentioning some good quotes/content pieces. But I can tell that this small book tries to live up to its tagline “Tell a Story, Sell a Dream”.

I found the references of some of the commencement speeches, and I was happily shocked. It is rare to find such stuff. We also find commencement speeches a good source of inspiration, motivation and more importantly life-lessons. It is obvious to find references to References to Panachatanra, Amar Chitra Katha and other such tales.

If I had to choose one quote from the book, I would be settle down for the following:

You can paint an image with one line, as advertisements do very well.

The book could have talked about using the “status” / “pride” / “esteem” – emotion and how to weave them in the narrative. Leaders in Armed forces, law-enforcement agencies, government bodies, sports,… make them part of their stories and motivate the team to do their job, and even make sacrifices. The case of how “Apple” products are considered as status symbol and despite being considered “overpriced” people love to go for the same. If such stuff was involved the book could have been even better.


An interesting way to look at the “art of storytelling”, fine-tune your abilities to tell a story, and use it in the professional life. It is only for the serious readers who are looking for value-for-money-and-time they spend to read the book. Definitely, once readable.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 stars out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:

Over To You:

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