21 lessons for 21 St century by Yuval Harari

Author – Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher- Jonathan Cape London

Genre- Popular science, history

Pages-318

First I would admit, I am big fan of the author. Anybody who has not read history as a subject, will find his historical stories very enticing.

This book explores present time, after he examined past in “Sapiens” and future in “Homo Deus”.

Author has excellent storytelling gift, which makes reading his books very enjoyable, even more if we surf ‘google’ alongwith reading.

Book examines every important aspect of our being, with focus on fact that present world is so complex that it is almost impossible to work out what is happening at the moment. Our life revolves around a lot of fiction and stories, which are pumped into us, the moment we become a zygote.

After that whole life we try to adjust our behaviour according to the story. Each country and each religion has its own story, which hardly considers other possible stories, other than their own story.

In an engaging prose, author covers work, liberty, free will, religion, terrorism, immigration,post truth and meaning of life.

What he imagines might be overcooked soup, but it forces reader to think and reflect. It’s only assumption but facts discussed are hard and researched.

As compared to sapiens, book is almost as enjoyable as his first book and has basic arguments which were seen in his other two books. Lots of new facts are there but basic reasoning is repeated in the book.

His chapters on God and secularism are boring to say the least.

I liked chapter on post truth and terrorism the most. His long discussion on Judaism is also interesting. Some hardcore people may take his blunt and strong opinions at heart. His comments cover almost every significant religion and nation. But countries of Africa and South America feature less prominently.

He succeds in almost in all his arguments, even if marginally.

He uses stories from movies at a lot of junctures which appear a little artificial. He has touched almost every religion. He is particularly hard on Russia and communism but deep faults in capitalism, religion, free will, liberty, revolution, war and countries of East Asia balances his criticism to include all defaulters.

Afterall, in n his own words, ” we cannot underestimate stupidity of sapiens”.

Rating – 4/5

#bookreview#hardcover#indianbookblogger#books

Review- Men and Dreams in the dhauladhar

Author – Kochery C Shibu

Publisher – Niyogi books

Pages – 283

Genre- fiction

I purchased this one because of lovely cover, but now I am happy to own it. If Indian fiction has to grow taller, these are the books which should be bestsellers in place of too many love story paperbacks floating around.

I really think mature Indian reader will love this book.

Book is about life of characters which are too alive, too vivid, too raw and too intervined. This revolves around Nanda, an engineer from Kerala who escaping from his past reaches dhauladhar mountains of Himachal and encounters many similar characters escaping from something and finally resting in the lap of dhauladhar.

Lots of characters but they only make story a rainbow of Indian diversity. Story is gripping with detailed version of each character with real depiction of their action even if amoral and controversial. Story starts in Kerala and tightens in Kashmir and Pakistan to finally reveal itself at dam construction site in Himachal.

A little patience from reader will make effort worth it to taste real India and atrocities faced by poor and unlucky people who cannot choose their destiny and live day to day. Technical details of construction may seem heavy but even if we don’t understand them, story has same punch.

You will have smell of kashmiri, Gujjars, Kerala, Gujarat, Chamba cultures and realistic characters which you may find if put the book down and walk a bit in your neighborhood.

Being realistic don’t imagine filmy ending or rapid twists but story leaves you happily contemplating and ruminating.

Prose is in past tense, simple,fast paced and easily connectable to each event.

Talk between Nanda and dhauladhar is really enjoyable and you feel for sufferings of the weaker beings at construction site.

Rekha and khusru, Two other main characters are also well developed and narrated.

Only thing I could not make out, was behaviour of Rekha, a doctor who wants khathak dance, but ends up dreaming for a hospital after falling for khusru.

This is a book for mature and seasoned Indian reader

Rating 4/5 🍩🍩🍩🍩

#bookreview#niyogibooks#Indianfiction#paperback

Review One Million Followers by B. kane

Name-calling one million followers, how I built massive following in one month.

Author- Brendan Kane

Genre- self help

Pages- 235

This is a nice book for starters on social media. It systematically covers all relevant platforms except twitter and provides wisdom in simplified language.

Summary at end of chapters will do for impatient readers.

It uses success stories of social media and tells free as well as paid strategies to build long term followers and brand.

Insight into developing nations and Facebook are good but Instagram and YouTube are average writes. At end wisdom which we find in multiple texts is shared as a chapter repeating modern dictum of following your dreams.

Don’t get confused by the title, It’s not a magic book. It will help you to start with firm basic principles and solid guidelines but quality of content and collaboration, with mild paid advertising are cornerstone of growing organically.

Not if you are already a hotshot, but somebody new will learn a lot. A lot of blogs are there to provide similar or may be better advise on the topic of social media marketing.

My rating – 3/5

Review graphic novel – The Fire Story by Brian Finn

Author – Brian Fies

Publisher- Abrams books

Genre – Graphic novel

This graphic novel, peeps into aftermath of an unexpected disaster. When you run out of time and have too choose what to save for yourself as your house burns, it’s tough choice.

You risk to loose a lot of your personal history and your children’s history. Aftermath of disaster are even more painful with slow tedious recovery which is never back to your best times.But tough times glue families together and showcase helping each other through the storm.

Book has power to engage with simple illustrations and insight into various aspects of post disaster life.you see emotions on face of characters. Original photos of site are also nice innovation.

However, shaded melting line diagrams inbetween might be a little letdown. Stories of other people ( Given as text) might be difficult to focus after few pages of simple cartoons. Overall, a good book about, how we behave when disasters strike.
My rating 3.5/5

Review ARC – The Book of Humans by Adam Rutherford

The Book Of Humans

Author – Adam Rutherford

Genre- Popular science, history

Publisher – Weidelfield and Nicolson

Pages- 233

This book does difficult work of making complex topics simpler and interesting at the same time, so that non technical reader may enjoy and learn a lot of things about our past and how it unfolded.

Book describes, latest reserch and scientific knowledge about how our genes and tools evolved us in most successfil species on the planet and why other mammals and ape cousins lagged way behind.

Book is engaging description of how humans used tools, language, teachings, fire and art to conquer the earth and how we became better than our cousin apes and all the mammals, who share many similar genetic features. Their is wonderful description of archeological sites around the world which, led to astonishing discoveries.

After a slow first chapter, book becomes rainbow of fabulous facts about us and animal kingdom. Chapters on sex life of man and animal kingdom is very good with details you will be surprised to know. Book dissects brains of man and other species in parallel. Illustrations that pop out at various points are pleasurable bonus. It also examines psychology of animal behaviour with examples from forest and zoo. It makes one to realise animals are more intelligent than one can imagine.

Thing which one may dislike is complex discussion of genes and genetics and too much Darwin. Also, description of abnormal sexual behaviours in animals may be distracting force for some readers.

Overall, a feast for science and non fiction lovers with a lot of new information but little complex nodes in between. Book may be little complex than sapiens, but has lot of information that you may have never come across.

Truly, book of humans.

Rating- 4/5

Thanks to publishers and author for Advance review copy provided for a honest review.

#popularscience#sapiens#humans#tools#archeology#scienceofsex#mammals#genetics#genes#evolution#darwin#fire#tools#teaching#community#apes#neanderthal

Review The Girl in Room 105

Review 6 – The girl in room 105

Author -Chetan Bhagat,

Publisher-Westland books,

304 pages,

Genre- thriller

A book is good, if it is enjoyable. CB ( Chetan Bhagat) has expertise in sprinkling humour over main theme of the story. At some points humour seems forced, but at other points reader will giggle.

This work is simple, engaging, tickling and full of interesting characters. Theme hovers around two amateur and accidetal detectives, who risk everything in search of truth. It keeps reader engaged and builds up nicely. Reader will like investigations and details of contemporary India.

Book touches complex political issues but only at surface and tries to stand free of controversy. Undertones have familiar sociopolitical struggles which come up and vanish, when story again takeover.

Immersed brand advertising is distraction and at one or two points story stagnates. Nobody wants undercover ads to pop out at places. And again come up after few pages.

Avid thriller readers might not get a kick out of it.😏 They will predict ending and will say few of details were imperfect. Characters are too typical and behave erratically at points to justify the storyline. Each clue appears too easily, for our protagonist to latch upon. And, surprisingly all characters in the book have increased libido.

overall, another typical Cb bestseller, which one can pickup anytime and enjoy.

Rating – 4/5 🍩🍩🍩🍩

#booklover#bookfans#boofriends#bookshelf #library#fiction#penguinindia#kindlebooks#friend#bookstagram #bookgeek#bookworm#bookrecommendations#booktime#bookshelf#booknerd#bookisfun#bibilophile#bookaddict#bookstagramindia#bookreview#thegirlinroom105#chetanbhagat#westlandbooks#thriller

Review. My Mute Girlfriend

Author – Himanshu Rai

Publisher – Shristhi publishers.

Fiction

208 pages

This is work of fiction which focuses on love story of two engineering students who get trapped into deep turbulence in their life. Events unfold in such a way that they find themselves in situation, which demands great courage to get back on track.

This is a very simple read with very little strain on mind of the reader. Although you miss dose of humour, which India paperback authors like Chetan Bhagat provide.

Story is predictable throughout with college life depiction, which has already been tapped by many authors active in our times. So you tend to miss novelty at a lot of places.

But author has formatted the story in a meaningful way. Last one third of book has power to touch raw nerves of reader with emotions outpoured in abundance. Climax salvages the story which somehow appears too predictable.

Few of the acts by characters seem to be artificial and few like, entering school in night which is, somehow left open for anybody to visit and remember their old days. Also leaving family marriage event for evening stroll.

Author has been succesfull in evoking emotions which teens would like. Themes may seem familiar but last part gets better.

Overall nice book for romance genre fans.

Rating. 3/5

Review Dream chasers by Uta Schmidt

Author – Uta Schmidt

Advance review copy

 

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This book by Uta Schmidt is, concise work which aims to deliver pearls of wisdom from the lives of 9 great leaders of our time and aims to provide wisdom for common beings, who are facing their own difficult curves of life.

Book is divided into nine chapters and uses interviews of leaders and their books to decipher, how they thrived in the times of personal disasters.
Book is easy to read, simple and enjoyable most of the time. Anybody who has interest in theology and biographies will like this one to read.

Parts describing Nelson Mandela, Andrew White, William Paul young and Desmond Tutu are best segments and are quite insightful and enjoyable.
Other parts are at points, slow and appear stretched and you tend to feel good again when chapters on Andrew white and Paul Young start.

Anybody with scientific mind might feel unattached to areas of book describing visions and callings. If you are looking for a pure self help book, this one has lots of theology in it.
Overall it’s a nice read with its own difficult pages, interspersed with very good parts.

In last author describes, what has to be learnt from great people and how we can apply their advice in our daily lives.

#Uta Schmidt#netgalley

Rating 3/5

Book review- The Altitude Journal

Bio- David Mauro, Plaid Vermin publishers, 2017, 456 pages , travel and adventure.

There are few books that cling to you and let go, only when you have listened to them, all the way to last page. This book by david Mauro is fast, interesting, easy on mind and eyes and heart warming account of his pursuit, of conquering the seven tallest summits arount the world. In his own language , he is trying to catch his own tail througout and has a wish, that he should never catch it permanently.

Brief sumnary – Author a finance planner has many problems which life has thrown upon him. Unable to gather courage and determination to be face to face with them, author seeks redemption elsewhere. A way which will provide him with feeling of accomplishment, which may be shared by society and his loved ones. He then sets out on adventure of a lifetime, with the help and encouragement of his soulmates.
Battered by the life and unable to justify his existence, author sets out on a mission, he never considered in past. He chooses to walk the path, that attracts him subconsciously. He calls it, his calling.

Book describes all the events, in a enjoyable way, with pauses which analyse meaning of life and lots of interesting facts about mounteering. Reader will love self reflections of the author, along the way. He is able to touch complex topics, without being complicated. He has bloggers charisma to attach to his reader.

Accounts of papua guinea and Everest, are highlights of the book. They are informative and engaging. All other summits provide lovely insights into varied cultures

Recommended for all adult age groups and genre lovers. Photographs of author along the journey, enrich the reader’s experience. Lovely book which you will enjoy, as simple as that.

Remembering back and lots of characters to draw inspiration from. A lot of role models appear, during the pursuit.

Only drawback I noticed was, subconscious advertising of gatorade and starbucks and few descriptions of toilets during expeditions. There are few instances where you feel, story has touch of hollywood love stories. Love story of the author has elements of movie like imagination.

I will strongly recommend book to all non fiction and adventure lovers. I would have loved if book had more photographs.
My rating is 4/5

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Fiction

Vintage International

Pages 123

First published 1946

Nano plot –

This is about a socially withdrawn man, who gets a call about death of his mother. After that point, series of events leads him to a pebelled path. Accidentally he commits a crime, which puts his life and into vicious spiral.

Author has imprinted each character very beautifully and reader feels than he can feel each emotion Meaursalt (main character) feels.

Depiction of emotions and mind chatter is realistic.

Story examines fate of an accused, who somehow becomes neglected part of the whole process. Many times you cannot choose your fate but you can choose how you react.

There is also deep emotions and many unanswered questions, which does not feel bad.

Good classic short novella, which is highly recommended.

Rating– 4🍩🍩🍩🍩/5