Saturday, November 30, 2019

Book Reviews. 2017. 9

Reviewing the books that I read in 2017.

40. Replay - Ken Grimwood

Different concept, well written, first 3/4th book is extraordinary, then it gets a little repetitive, overall liked it. 4/5

41. Life with Jeeves - P.G. Woodhouse

It contains Right Ho, JeevesThe Inimitable Jeeves; and Very Good, Jeeves. Jeeves, that noiseless provider of deliverance from the hangover, a bird of the ripest intellect, calm and wise enough to rescue Bertie and his pals from the most fearful scrapes. 5/5.

42. Dark Matter - Blake Crouch

If you have read other books by Blake (eg. WaywardPpines) then the start of this book would be deja vu, people waking up in labs/ hospitals, not knowing where they are. After the start, you need to be open and acceptable enough to read about scientific theories which are not proven yet (and maybe they never will), for the span of this book just assume those theories are true and once you do that the book is absolutely amazing. 5/5.

43. Mum on the Run - Fiona Gibson

I liked the story, did not like the whiny characters. 3/5.

44. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson

Gave up after 3rd chapter. Too much about Christianity, familial bonds, religion, prayers, and stuff. 1/5.

45. The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse

The adventures of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves are narrated by Wodehouse with his natural flair and brilliantly fun-filled manner. P.G. Wodehouse yet again shows off his comic genius in this timeless funny classic. 5/5.

46. One Plus One - Jojo Moyes

I do not like Jojo Moyes' stories and this definitely is the last book of hers that I read. 1/5.

47. Ana and the french kiss - Stephanie Perkins 48. The Testament - John Grisham

Gave up both books halfway.

49. A briefer history of time - Stephen Hawking

There are better books in the science genre. 3/5.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book Reviews. 2017. 8

Reviewing the books that I read in 2017.

36. Why does the world exist? An Existential Detective Story - Jim Holt

The question of why is there a world rather than nothing at all? remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. Jim Holt enters this fractious debate with his lively and deeply informed narrative that traces the latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. He leaves us with the question Stephen Hawking once asked but couldn't answer, ‘Why does the universe go through all the bother of existing?’. 4/5.

37. Harry Potter and the cursed child: parts 1 and 2 - John Tiffany

Before you start reading this book, separate your mind from the fact that this is going to be an exemplary continuation of the previous seven books. Aside from being a play, this book is also a more mature, character-driven, less magical story. I liked it. 3.5/5.

38. The first fifteen lives of Harry August - Claire North

Replay is a great book with a similar storyline, I highly recommend Replay but did not like the first fifteen lives of Harry August. 2/5.

39. Very Good, Jeeves! - P.G. Wodehouse

"Very Good, Jeeves" is a collection of 11 short stories featuring everyone's favorite valet ("a personal gentleman's gentleman," as Jeeves describes himself) and the ongoing scrapes of Mr. Bertie Wooster. In each story, either Bertie or one of his friends and relatives is in a bind, and fortunately for everyone, Jeeves is always there to advise and set things right. 5/5.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Book Reviews. 2017. 7

Reviewing books that I read in 2017.

31. When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 4/5.

32. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse

Wondering what Wodehouse smoked before writing books. Pu la Deshpande once mentioned that pg is his guru, after reading this book I would say there is no doubt about it, outrageous, hilarious and the best book in Bertie Jeeves series.

33. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad - Twinkle Khanna

This was an easy read, a movie is also made on this book. Liked it. 3.5/5

34. Indian Superfoods - Rujuta Diwekar

It is interesting that yoga became cool only when the West embraced it. This book made me realize that billions of Indians are doing the same about food...blindly following trends of the West. I am not saying that everything that comes out of the west is 'evil' (I mean, I'm writing and getting to read an audience because of the West). But sometimes, it is nice to question what we have been taught. In my family I have seen my grandparents, parents living a healthy life with trim figures, how did they manage to do that? they don't follow any trends, dietitians or nutritionists. We already know the science, it is passed on to us from so many generations. Indian food is a superfood, I have always been a believer of that. Loved Loved Loved this book. Highly recommended. 5/5

35. Kosla - Bhalachandra Nemade

(Marathi book) I have the same feeling as I had for Catcher in the Rye (Kosla is 'inspired' by it). WTF did I just read? Nemade has received a Padma Shri and is a well-renowned writer. You can give this book a try if you want, and let me know how it goes :). 2/5.

What I wore in Las Vegas:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Book Reviews. 2017. 6

Reviewing books that I read in 2017.

26. Keys to Great Writing - Stephen Wilbers

From grammar rules to revision strategies, you'll find the crucial information you need in short, easy-to-browse sections that enable you to hone your own signature writing approach. 3/5.

27. Red Rising - Pierce Brown

Gave up halfway, dystopian future... not my genre, otherwise, the book has very good ratings.

28. The Great Escape - Fiona Gibson

Gibson's stories are about really mundane things like in mum on the run - a mother of 3 decides to start running every day and lose some weight, in this book 3 friends meet after a long time and how it changes their lives in small possible ways. I love the way Gibson develops the scenes and the plot, there isn't a moment when I feel bored when reading her books, she has a good writing style. 4/5.

29. The Whistler - John Grisham

Predictable, boring, expected better from Grisham. 2/5.

30. Behind closed doors - B.A. Paris

It is a fast-paced, pulpy read that plays with your emotions without ever making you think too hard. I could not put it down. 4/5.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Lucky Basta**s!

I do not envy anyone, not anymore, not after junior college. I am content with all I have or don't have. I am willing to work hard to accomplish what I want so there is no reason to envy.

But lately, I have started feeling envious of some writers who have the power to express freely.

I want to be a loose cannon when writing, I want to write whatever comes to my mind without thinking twice and I was going to when I started this blog because I never expected anyone would read it :-)

But slowly that changed and now hundreds (I was gonna say millions but that would be the height of exaggeration) following my blog and judging me on the basis of the mere two paragraphs that they read here ... in spite of not having met me in years ... or even worse, have never met me in life but somehow found my blog. Maybe they think I am this deep serious person or probably a vain person spending time on clothes.

This is where I wonder don't other writers/ bloggers ever have such problems? How do they manage to give explicit access to people who might be on their blogs just for gossip and not necessarily the content, or maybe judging them, falling in love or hate with them... and how do the bloggers provide opinions, information without worrying about who will be hurt in the process? How do they write without feeling scared of being misread/ misinterpreted/ misrepresented?

Those are the writers whom I envy.  Lucky Basta**s!