Category: Books

Satyajeet Bhargav

Soni (my wife) published her first mystery novel a couple weeks ago. This project started more than a year ago, and the central idea was rooted in a concept that required a well established character. Characters are established over time, and to be able to realize her original concept, she started on a much longer route.

Soni‘s new fictional character, Satyajeet Bhargav, is a detective in the 1930s, in the city of Banaras in India. Three of the short stories have been published and are now available on Amazon US and Amazon India.

Congratulations Soni!

Reposted from this LinkedIn post.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne – 1/5

It should be expected that “The Secret” will talk about mystical beliefs – something will happen on it’s own kind of thing. All you have to do is, believe that it will happen. The advice was a bit costly though (GBP 12).

There’s more to the secret though. There are testimonials and advices from a think tank that always believed in it any way. Things like the placebo effect are taken to the advantage of the topic. So what happens when things don’t come true even though you believed in them? The answer is, you had some “doubt” or “negativity” about it. Even though the book talks about the “negativity” being a thousand times less effective than the positivity, still the idea would stick in that the whole thing goes bust if you are out of faith. Heh.

This is a new cult coming up that is linking Quantum Physics to God and energy within you. I don’t think people should read this trash since every sensible human being already knows that “looking forward”, “being positive” and “believing in yourself” are the things to be successful. People who just lost something need a reminder, but please read it here instead of unnecessarily feeding on the garbage that is devoid of any new ideas and just keeps the parrots alive.

“Why are you even giving it a 1/5?” asks my wife. “To make myself feel good that I did not completely waste GBP 12 and the 1 day spent reading”. After all, that was one of the messages: “feel good”.

The Canterville Ghost

Nice classic to be read. The story is completely satirical with humor flowing in unexpectedly. The blend of characters with the central theme is completely homogeneous and that makes the flow all the more interesting. Though I missed the narrator’s introduction somewhere, but I assumed it to be the author in first person and that didn’t bother me much. Shouldn’t take a lot of time to complete this one, probably three sittings of two hours each or so. One of my favorite moments follow. ROTFL. Am sure you’d like the story!

"My dear sir," said Mr. Otis, "I really must insist on your oiling those
chains, and have brought you for that purpose a small bottle of the
Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator...

You can get a free copy of the e-book in the public domain here at Project Gutenberg.


Extremely engaging and has a series of experiments, encounters, real life situations along with supportive theory behind how the human mind does a lot in a very short span of time. Gladwell has balanced the subject quite well appealing to both sides of the coin – things can be accurate in a blink as well as disastrously false. This was something I liked the most – although at one point it leaves you confusing as to what is being achieved. Fact is, the complexity of the subject leaves little to having a straight line define everything.

One of the best takeaways was that it is extremely essential to train yourself for extreme situations by subjecting yourself to such situations time and again. That trains different parts of your brain and nervous system to not lose control on the highly cognitive processes in emergent situations.

I’d highly recommend reading it in case you are even slightly interested in Psychology.

The Hitchhiker's Guide – Douglas Adams

Finally, I completed this book. One amazing bite of humour (notice the “u”) and you are out of your own world. In case there’s something troubling you – or you are not able to concentrate – hold a copy of the Guide and pick out any random chapter to start off. Of course, you have to read it once top-bottom, but after you’re done doing that – you can start playing the pages on random mode. You will never get over it. Guaranteed.

Now I know where the tons of software names, companies, buildings and whatnots have turned up from. It’s all in the Guide. Trillian, Googleplex and Babelfish – to name a few. Mr. Adams was amazingly ahead of his time (and still is). There’s no stopping to the genius in him. Like this one:

“What? Harmless? Is that all it’s got to say? Harmless! One word?” – Arthur.
“Well, there are a hundred billion stars in the Galaxy, and only a limited amount of space in the book’s microprocessors.. and no one knew much about the  Earth, of course.” – Ford
“Well, for God’s sake, I hope you managed to rectify that a bit (after your 15 years of stay on Earth)” – Arthur.
“Oh yes, well, I managed to transmit a new entry off to the editor. He had to trim it a bit, but it’s still an improvement.” – Ford.
“And what does it say now?” – Arthur.
Mostly harmless.” – Ford.

I know how to die laughing now. I have to just remember this bit at my deathbed and crack it once for everyone around me.

Q&A: Cosmic Conundrums – Robert Matthews

This was a fascinating read (especially the last three chapters). I found this book accidentally (was on sale in Landmark) and the first few random pages looked really good – so I grabbed it along.

Simple explanations for a lot of things (that you wonder or don’t wonder about). ‘Tis true that most of the stuff there is scattered over the wikipedias, but to read it under lamp and one after another is nothing short of ecstasy (heh). Must read if you have any curiosity at all.

Curious incident of the dog..

An excellent read. I could not have read a better book than this one in quite a while. If you like reading stuff that is out of ordinary and breaks literati-set-rules then go for this novel.

My observation was that the author was clearly into his first project (and bang on). There were problems in between (plot becomes slow), but the surprises were very neatly set in to wash all that off.

I would give this book a 8 out of 10 on all aspects and would recommend it to be read by 16+ only.