Books I have been reading-I

23 Feb

I am thinking of asking the bank where the salary slip comes to auto transfer the money at month beginning to Shopper Stop’s(and through them Crosswords) coffers considering how berserk one has been going at both these establishments of the late stocking up on things one doesnt need.

So what have we been devouring?

1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Prof.Obvious indeed! The book claims we never ask the highly successful people-the outliers the correct question-their success is not because of who they are but rather is a function of where they came from. In short


No wonderful surprises there but the book is told in a lucid fashion with simple language and enough anecdotal evidences to keep you hooked till the last chapter where the book turns autobiographical. The other interesting and I guess new theory propounded in the book is that it takes 10,000 hours of experience at any art/work for one to become truly good at it,abilities aside. Yes he has put a figure to it-10,000 hours.

All these theories are propounded not in so-bored-i-can-sleep-with-eyes-open fashion but interesting stories from life (though primarily American) of people we have admired for long as well as curious stats. Sample, why are most Canadian hockey players or American baseball players born in the months of January to March? No Linda Goodman’s star signs has nothing to do with it 🙂

2. Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight by Rujuta Diwekar

Rujuta for those who arent as celebrity obsessed as me happens to be the lady behind Kareena’s size zero figure. Her diet advice is mostly sensible but its her english that is terrible, horrible and every other adjective which can convey similar emotions. We read how Karisma was dabaoing(Rujuta’s favorite word by frequency of appearence) chips, she was doubtful if a client was line maroing her or Kareena’s “Shit ya“. You recoil at what is equivelant of literary lunch comprising Cheeseburst pizza with bucket of  Pepsi being thrust at you through the Hinglish she uses.

In case you dont have the patience of going through the book, the four mantras are:

1. Do not begin your day with tea/coffee

2. Eat every 2 hours. Not elephantine meals but mini meals and 3 regular ones.

3. Exercise. (Yeah no escape)

4. I forgot. I think it was to be happy.Errr…

3. The woman who thought she was a planet by Vandana Singh

I think the book jacket is very wrong in proclaiming this as a Sci-Fi collection. Its more about the alienation in daily life than aliens arriving in saucer shaped ships. Although a couple of the stories are actually about space travel and tetrahedron shaped alien crafts, I believe even these stories focused more on space between people. Overall I was not spell bound by the short story collection.

4. Kleptomania by Manjula Padmanabhan

After Escape my expectations were sky high and in usual fashion they took a severe beating. This short story collection left me underwhelmed because it was like the author was trying too hard to shock, or tie up loose ends. I havent finished the book 2 months after buying it as I have lost the initial enthusiasm.

5. Kari-a graphic novel by Amruta Patil

Maybe am not mature enough to understand the subtleties but I dont think the story made much sense (it ended with a to be continued, so maybe it wasnt all my fault). Neither am I waiting with bated breath for the sequel nor am I venturing to buy any other graphic novel any time soon.

What I bought over the weekend and am eagerly finishing are The Palace of Illusions-Panchali’s Mahabharata by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and The Female Brain by Louann Brezindine.

Next post will have more details on these two books.

Oh and I lie sniffling, wheezing like a 60 year old in my bed with Cold and Glycodin induced delusional dreams of a tub of BaskinRobbins finest and I haven’t seen Dilli-6 yet.Sob!


Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “Books I have been reading-I

  1. Smita

    February 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Am reading the 2nd from ur list vaise not reading but like you have taken out the conclusions & following them 😉

    I have been eyeing 4th & 5th book and am glad I didn’t pick them 😉 you saved my money so I owe u one book 😀

    Palace of Illusions is one of myfav books….I hope u love it…

    Am into “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay” and am sucked up in it…fabulous book…

  2. Helen Hunt

    February 24, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Nice list –
    If you ever want to have your review posted on a high-traffic blog, please let me know and I will publish it on our blog.

    We get over a thousand unique visitors a day, and you might just drive traffic your way 🙂

  3. Saurabh Garg

    February 24, 2009 at 9:40 am

    How many do you read at the same time?

  4. Banjo

    February 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I sometimes wonder if we expect something from a book rather than take a book as it comes, raw and without concern about what we might think.

  5. WSW

    February 25, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Bought Panchali’s book because remembered recommendation from your blog.

    Usually a couple.

    I guess every time you read a review, or even the book jacket some part of you has already started building expectations. But then how else would you choose a book over the hundreds of others?

  6. Upkaran Gupta

    February 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Just Fabulous…… after reading your blog I am also now making a dash to the bookstore to pick up your recommendations……

  7. Amrita

    February 25, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    The thing about a BS artist like Gladwell though is that he’s such a good writer. He takes you along with the story and even while a part of your brain knows its being taken for a ride (although it was all but shoved into our face this time around that he was really reaching for his conclusions) you’re enjoying yourself so much, you don’t regret the money you spent on it.

    If a good fairy is listening somewhere, I would want more Indian writers of nonfiction to develop this ability.


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