Book Reviews (38)

πŸ“š Heaven's River - Dennis E. Taylor (2020)

As the latest entry in the Bobiverse series, Heaven’s River is a departure in narrative and length. It picks up a tangent of the first book where a Bob descendant named Bender sets out to travel into deep space without any means of FTL communication. read more β–·

πŸ“š All These Worlds - Dennis E. Taylor (2017)

Intended as a finale for the many plots that began and developed in the first two books, All These Worlds features an increased number of Bobs and Worlds, each with their own problems and personality quirks. read more β–·

πŸ“š For We Are Many - Dennis E. Taylor (2017)

Slightly shorter than the first book, For We Are Many closes some arcs, develops others and starts new ones. I’m currently in a binging phase of sorts, and hope to burn through the Bobiverse ASAP. read more β–·

πŸ“š We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E. Taylor (2016)

The first of four books in the β€˜Bobiverse’ series turns out to be a pleasant read. With a nice mix of self-aware AI action and space-travel, it is directed specifically at engineers and does a good job of it. While more popular in its audiobook form, I still went for the e-book version, being the Luddite I am. read more β–·

πŸ“š Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (1938)

Rebecca is as good an intro to Gothic fiction as it can get. The book is narrated through the eyes of a lowly servant girl who marries Maxim, the enigmatic owner of Manderley, a famed estate in the British countryside. She soon discovers a moody side of Max and various rumours surrounding the death of his previous wife: Rebecca. read more β–·

πŸ“š Eight Worlds of C.M. Kornbluth - C.M. Kornbluth

Eight Worlds… is a collection of eight science-fiction short stories by C.M. Kornbluth, each of which were published during the 1950s. It is a quaint series, where you see varying predictions of the future from the perspective of an author whose world is yet to land on the moon or truly discover the computer. read more β–·

πŸ“š Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman (2017)

With a passing interest in superhero movies, I knew that some Marvel characters were based on Norse mythology. So, when this book was going for deep discount, it was only natural for me to pick it up. Written as a personal retelling of the different versions of the Norse folklore, it is reminiscent of Devdutt Pattnaik’s writing. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Cuckoo's Egg - Clifford Stoll (1989)

The Cuckoo’s Egg is a classic computer espionage mystery novel. Set in 1986 we see Clifford Stoll, an astronomer in Berkeley, try to uncover a $0.75 accounting error in their university computer system. This small error soon unravels a maze of trails left behind by a Hacker in the system. read more β–·

πŸ“š Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (2015)

I picked this book up, after a friend on twitter mentioned really wanting to gift their copy to a famous politician. What I discovered was a no-nonsense book talking about how to fix your leadership problems. read more β–·

πŸ“š Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain (2000)

A recollection of memories by a celebrity chef before the celebrity, Kitchen Confidential tries to be a curt guide and a memoir, achieving only mild success in both. The book’s β€œcourses” focus on different parts of Bordon’s professional career as cook and then a chef. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells (1896)

This is perhaps the lesser known of the H.G. Wells sci-fi books. The premise however, is as amusing and groundbreaking for its time as the rest of his books. You can think of Dr. Moreau as the O.G. mad scientist who somehow has an entire Island at his disposal to carry out his experiments. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Now Habit - Neil Fiore (1988)

β€œThe Now Habit” is about a very specific and important part of the general idea of habit formation. It talks about the importance of self-image and illustrates the non-intuitive idea of why perfectionism is an undesirable quality. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Tartar Steppe - Dino Buzzati (1940)

Published in 1940, The Tartar Steppe is a haunting walk-through of a life wasted away in wait of an opportunity that never arises. Think of it as a manual on what not to do when you’re stuck in a lifeless job with the perpetual hope of things improving at some point in the future. read more β–·

πŸ“š Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett (1987)

This is the third published Discworld novel. It is a quick read, set in the fantastic land of Discworld, set upon the backs of four elephants, who’re standing on the back of the great cosmic turtle: A’Tuin. Mixed in with light subversion of gender tropes, the venerable humorist’s prose will make you think while you laugh. read more β–·

πŸ“š Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service - Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal (2012)

For those like me who didn’t know, Mossad is Israel’s counterpart of the usual three letter secretive organisations from other countries. This book is a compilation of the various high stakes missions that this organisation has undertaken since the formation of Israel as a country in the forties. read more β–·

πŸ“š Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Edwin LefΓ¨vre (1923)

Happened to read this book around the peak of the blockchain frenzy. I went in expecting some insight on how stock markets worked, instead what I found was a romanticised recounting of a stock operator. I later found out he killed himself. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells (1897)

I think almost all sci-fi is social sci-fi because it otherwise would have to be science-fact or simply bullshit. This book can be spotted on almost every bookshelf under the classics section and on every β€˜to read’ list you can find. Though I’ve never actually met anybody who has read the book. read more β–·

πŸ“š A Game of Thrones - G.R.R. Martin (1996)

I began the series after seeing all the seven seasons of the television adaptation. About halfway through I regretted starting the book because I always knew what was going to happen and reading it happen again wasn’t really helping or adding much to the original experience. read more β–·

πŸ“š Meet Mr. Mulliner - P.G. Wodehouse (1927)

Angler’s Rest, a pub(-lic house) in London, is the hangout spot of the author and the titular Mr. Mulliner. His stories of all the weird things that happen with his relatives are a source of constant amusement to the author and other patrons. Having always heard people mention that Wodehouse was their favorite English humour, I decided to give it a shot. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Lean Startup - Eric Ries (2011)

This is the second of the two most recommended readings for anyone doing anything even remotely startup related (the other being Zero to One). read more β–·

πŸ“š Animal Farm - George Orwell (1945)

While intended as a satire of the Russian revolution, I think this book has far wider applications. It delivers the quintessential communist microcosm in an amazingly crisp but understandable manner. read more β–·

πŸ“š Jaya - Devdutt Pattanaik (2010)

An amalgamation of the various versions of the Mahabharat, consolidated by one Mr. Pattanaik. This version encourages one to achieve inner peace in their life, but portrays how people actually end up doing the completely opposite in their life. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett (1983)

Having looked at various recommended reading orders and the litany of books that is Discworld, I am unsure if I will ever be able to read through Sir Pratchett’s legacy. Having decided to at least taste the series, I started with the first book, β€˜The Colour of Magic’. read more β–·

πŸ“š Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki (1997)

This book made a lot of waves back in 2000 when it came out. People were recommending it left and right. Most of what the book claims makes sense and is probably common knowledge in certain circles. read more β–·

πŸ“š Zero to One - Peter Thiel (2014)

I started reading this book after having already attempted ( what felt like) a startup and working in a new one right now. The best way to keep up with this book is constant mental questions and thinking about how you’ve been thinking before. An good exercise is to evaluate your own experience or companies that you’ve seen closely as you read through the various ideas presented in this book. read more β–·

πŸ“š Sultan - Mahesh Elkunchwar (1989)

This is a collection of one act plays; another recommendation from my Mother as a nice way to get used to Elkunchwar’s style. The book is named after the first play and the name seems unrelated to the remaining ones. read more β–·

πŸ“š Ranga Half-Pants - Suman Kumar (2016)

The book’s name and cover led me into believing that it was about how Ranga got his full-pants but that’s only half the book. You have to read the synposis to find out about the other half, which is a different tale set in the same village. read more β–·

πŸ“š One Thousand Days in a Refrigerator: Stories - Manoj Kumar Panda (2016)

We’ve been told to not judge a book by its cover. I, for some reason, always took it in the sense that one shouldn’t think a book is bad because of its cover. Never had I ever seen a bad book with a good cover. Well, there’s always a first time. read more β–·

πŸ“š Why I Am Not a Hindu - Kancha Ilaiah (1996)

For the uninitiated, this can be a very eye-opening read. For others, it is an amusing treatment that spends quite some time establishing theories. I belong to the former category and I concede that this book made me look more closely at the caste system in India; something that I’d managed to ignore for quite some time now. read more β–·

πŸ“š Life, the Universe and Everything - Douglas Adams (1982)

The third installment in the series, Life, the Universe and Everything continues the pan-universal adventure of one earthman Arthur Dent. As bizzare and british as its predecessors it tries to resolve Arthur’s search for the question to the answer of The Life, Universe and Everything else. read more β–·

πŸ“š ΰ€΅ΰ€¨ΰ€΅ΰ€Ύΰ€Έ - ΰ€ͺΰ₯ΰ€°ΰ€•ΰ€Ύΰ€Ά ΰ€¨ΰ€Ύΰ€°ΰ€Ύΰ€―ΰ€£ ΰ€Έΰ€‚ΰ€€ (1994)

This is the first real Marathi book that I’ve read. It discusses the childhood village life of ΰ€²ΰ€‚ΰ€ͺΰ€¨, a character that represents the author’s childhood self. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand (1943)

It is almost impossible to have not heard enthusiastic mentions of The Fountainhead before you start it. Consequently it is also impossible to have not formed a notion of how the book might be. This plays both for and against the book’s experience. read more β–·

πŸ“š Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling (2007)

Bravo! That’s all I have to say to Rowling. A fitting ending to a fantastic series. This is one of the few books that has maintained its quality consistently throughout the series making for a very entertaining read. read more β–·

πŸ“š Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (2012)

Marriage. That’s what this book is about. Long term relationships between a husband and a wife. Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot are a couple in Missouri and Amy is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. Shit has finally hit the fans on a stale five year old marriage and no one has a single clue about what is going on. read more β–·

πŸ“š Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian - Eoin Colfer (2012)

This is the last book in the series of eight and Eoin Colfer has promised to conclude the Artemis Fowl saga. I was quite excited when I heard that the serie had finally ended. This has been one of my favorite series and I have been hooked since the first book. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan

An excellent book for people who were recently introduced to skeptical thinking and want to understand the idea further. read more β–·

πŸ“š The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

I’ve not seen the movies. I’ve not read the Lord of the Rings ( yet). This book is Bilbo’s story of how he finds the ring and helps Thorin and Company take back the Lonely Mountain. read more β–·

πŸ“š The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga (2008)

This is an interesting book. It presents a different kind of entrepreneurship. One that requires a person to kill, bribe and lie through their way in the system in order to be successful. One where people are denied their chance to succeed in the world due to various societal factors. read more β–·