BOOK REVIEW: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

AmsterdamAmsterdam by Ian McEwan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Man Booker Prize Winner Amsterdam is a short work by Ian McEwan, a book fewer than 200 pages and the whole book could be read in one sitting. But that is not advisable from me, for this book.

The plot revolves around two character or in better words, “character studies” of two friends– a composer, Clive and a newspaper editor, Vernon and there shared dead lover, Molly. Actually, Molly is just a starting point that bounds them to the third character, Julian Garmony, a right-wing politician tipped to become the next prime minister, who also share mutual ex-lover as of them. It’s a sharp contemporary piece which cleverly tries to emphasize on humor but somewhat fails to do so. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Power of Habit and Why and What we do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter, takes a reader to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.

The book begins with anecdotal accounts of people who changed destructive habits in their lives. Many of these anecdotes are fascinating but one about of a man who had absolutely no short-term memory but was able to function as a result of habits already ingrained within him appealed to me. His case clearly demonstrates that there is something distinctive between one part of our brain and another.

In the book, Duhigg  tries, with his investigatory narrative by presenting various examples and stories of different people on different aspects of habits, to explain the basis of habit formation, and how can we change those habits. He expressively suggests that each habit whether regarding to smoking, drinking, eating high calorie food or even procrastinating one’s important tasks are all results of habits that have been optimized in one’s brain. Continue reading

260 Days, 100 Books!

The year 2014 is going well for me, at least in terms of reading. Last year, when I failed on completing my challenge of reading 100 books, reading 100 books in 365 days became a major priority for me this year. Along with reading 100 books, I decided many minor targets to diversify my reading habit  such as reading at least 10 new authors belonging to the contemporary world, or reading at least 10 books written by Indian authors and a few more.

I feel I am growing not only as reader but as sane human with grabbing more knowledge and developing  a clear ability to understand and grab literature more. Reading is beneficial, always. Some of the minor challenges are still going on, but many of them are completed along with the major challenge. I am glad to say that I have read 100 books in 260 days. Somehow, it is an achievement for me.

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BOOKS To Read From The 60s LIST#2

The Sixties, refers to the “cultural decade” to describe the evolution of the counterculture and revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, dress, sexuality, formalities, and schooling. There were wars, football games, new discoveries, significant events in music and man went to moon. 

With all this happening there were many writers who were writing books, in solitude. Without caring much of what was happening in the world, they were creating a world of their own, and for us readers.

A list of books from “The Sixties”, many of the titles are still well read today.

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, 1960

To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is one of the well read books today.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, 1961

Catch 22 has been so adopted by popular culture that it has become its own phrase in common literature. A phrase meaning a no-win scenario, either because of contradictions or difficulties within a situation. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

‘Brilliantly Funny’

Nick Hornby, no doubt know how to make words look funnier and he does that brilliantly. When I read Hornby’s Fever Pitch, I was impressed by his writing which is simple yet satirical but not as much as by the book itself. After then, whenever I was in mood of some light and humorous read, I overlooked Hornby till recently when I had second thoughts and decided to give him one more chance.

To stop myself from anymore procrastinating, I give his first novel, HIGH FIDELITY, a bold shot. I must confess, I am glad that he displays fidelity in such a manner that I will never say no or overlook anything written by him that exists out there. I want to read them all. I am not only impressed by his humorous writing but the well crafted yet simple plot he used and a perfect piece for a light mood reading. By light mood reading I mean the book gets over in not more than a day and yes it did. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie

Lincoln the UnknownLincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie

I read this book last week when I was in that desperate mood to read about someone extraordinary. And whatever I have heard about Abraham Lincoln before, it did motivate me to pick him up. Thus, I found this book written by Dale Carnegie called Lincoln The Unknown. In past, I have read about Carnegie’s obsession with Abe Lincoln and I thought his written words on his favorite personality might satisfy my desperation.
To some extent, it did. I started this book expecting more about Lincoln’s childhood and adolescent years. I was curious to know how Lincoln was in his youth. His struggles, and how did he cop up with them. But this book gives just enough insight on his tough years of adolescence. Continue reading

Librivox: A Reader’s ‘Audio-Heaven’ #2

This post is based on the Librivox: A Reader’s ‘Audio-Heaven’ #1 where I talked about what and why Librivox. Click on the link see for yourself. 

 

In this post, I’ll make sure that you get familiar with Librivox. Here are some tips for getting started on Librivox.

All the readers on LibriVox are volunteers, finding a good audiobook can sometimes be hit-or-miss. Here are some tips I’ve found useful when searching for audiobooks on LibriVox: Continue reading