English Bites! by Manish Gupta

Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the book as I had never read language-improvement books before. I used to hate all my grammar text-books as I didn't have the slightest clue that I would one day become a blogger. A book which tries to teach you stuff will always have a certain degree of formality which I more or less hate. Plus, I have grown up reading storybooks and crime novels throughout my life, this was bound to be different.

I was right, the book does score in terms of its uniqueness. It is not typically like a GRE/GMAT/CAT guide but aims to make the reader learn new words and improve his/her vocabulary through experiences drawn from the author's life. Each and every experience is humorously portrayed and contains difficult words with a glossary below to explain their meanings. While I can't say that I am overly fond of the footnotes as it does hamper the reading a bit, they do help you when you are stuck with the meaning of a particular word. He explains them beautifully in the footnotes with detailed explanations of the usage of the word in sentences.

The book tells us the tale of a man who was once a tongue-tied boy in his school and now a successfully English speaking banker. While he faced difficulties at first, his zeal to learn the new language will often leave you inspired. The author also suggests some good methods of learning new words by combining mnemonics and etymology to take a firm grasp of the English language. He stresses that learning by rote is never a good solution as English language is very vague and meanings change along with the usage.

While the book was a good read, the fact that the footnotes hamper your reading flow is a huge concern. The glossary is no doubt useful when there are new words to be learnt but is a major distraction otherwise. While deleting this aspect would make the book lose its charm, I would propose that the author write the story on one-page and reserve the glossary for the other. This would entitle the users to choose when to read the page and when not to thus solving the distraction problem.

This book is a must buy for anyone looking to write the competitive exams like GRE/GMAT/CAT as it is way different from the available vocabulary books like Norman Lewis. While many people have tried to write study books which are entertaining yet informative, Mr. Gupta has actually made it happen through this book.

Bytes and Banter Verdict :  A Piece Of Art  -  4/5


  1. Dear Soumabha,

    Thanks 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 have taken note of your feedback and will discuss it with my publishers for incorporation if the book goes for a second edition. If there is any feedback (howsoever small, even minor), please do share it with me while the memories of the book are still fresh in your mind.

    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: www.facebook.com/manishdeepaligupta
    Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/EnglishBitesBook

    1. It was a pleasure reviewing this lovely book. :)


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