someday ill be in company of all....

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Post -When books find you


The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the caffeinated book reviewer. Its almost close to two years that I have participated in a Sunday post. Btw getting married and moving across the globe too many wonderful things happen to me. With flurries in the air officially sets of the white world ahead of us.I enjoyed my first fall and have been in awe.

Do you believe in books choosing its reader rather than vice versa; well I know thinking about it sounds weird but at least in my case  that has happened or lets say the dreamer in me believes so. That's how I have ended up venturing into different genres, just I like yesterday I ended up with A serpents's tooth as a result of some confusion and not because I had requested it .Though it is like picking a random from a long series I have come to like it starting from its cover.I have to return this book tomorrow to avoid further confusions this a short tale of a book choosing the reader.

I'm not sticking to any particular genre off late just reading anything  interesting and it starts from its cover.Now that I am in this beautiful country I am also reading more on American history.
Here wishing you all a great  week ahead with Thanksgiving by the weekend.

These are my blog news

And my favorite things from last week

Week started with supermoon









 Enjoying my egg nog


India demonitized Rs 1000 and Rs 500.making them a memory




Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: Guns, germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Title: Guns, germs and steel
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher:
Price: $26
ASIN: B004JLTPTI
Listening length: 16 hrs 20 minutes
Genre: Non-fiction
Version: Audiobook
Source: Library




Review:
You need to read the book with an open mind because it has a different take on history .Agriculture according to him was the deciding factor with farmer power and had it not been so then Africa with its diverse population  head start by their  early civilization would have dominated the world but on the other hand it did not give them any edge over European colonization while Africans were  still hunters and gatherers they were controlled by these giants with the help of  modern discoveries and lifestyle. He uses the same logic to prove his point on what happened with the native Indian being overthrown  by the immigrant Americans such similar comparisons are drawn across the globe from Eurasia to Australia then back to Indonesia ..

Describing all these he draw parallel with his own childhood working in a farm for an elderly man at Montana who had inhabited the land of native Americans land.the authors acquaintance with Levie a native American who otherwise sober and well mannered on an unfortunate moment cursed him to go back to his white land on the ship he came .This incident gave him a different perspective on the native Americans according to whom the white farmers had robbed  them  from their own land making them an outsider in their own place, while his school history taught him about the heroic wars his ancestors waged upon the land to make it their home while all of this on the other hand took away their heritage, warriors and a beautiful life.

The evolution of human from being hunters and gatherers to produce their own food and managing their own life stock., Authors emphasis that its foundation of moderns days guns germs and steel didn't depend on the geographical variation in  food production but that in turn gave few population an advantage over other.In other words availability of more consumable calories at their disposal meant that they could feed more number of people by going one step further by finding out the limited number of  vegetation and learning to grow their cattle that could be consumed. learning to cultivate his land man first found a way to get his needed energy at his arms length , was another big step towards Organising military coup which in turn gave them an upper hand over the tribe of hunters and gatherers that were always in a smaller number.All this domestication of animals and vegetation Prmoted denser population Which led in the invention of more sophisticated instruments to get on with their farming harnessing their animal force with instruments such as plough letting them live even on the uphills away from the riverside..This also gave away to smaller birth intervals in the settled population multiplying their number very fast.They also learnt the art of storing surplus food slowly paving way to political societies in terms of chiefdom and kingdom while most of the energy of the hunters and gatherers was consumed for their search for food.. He also brings out the direct and indirect results agriculture brought about in the society in building various classes in the form of priests, artists which laid the building blocks for the military conquests with horse and big mammals being used for transport.

Then he moves on to the importance of germs that according to him came from animals that after mutation and evolution became infectious diseases like smallpox , measles and flu to the human being resulting in epidemic killing many. Germs thus acquired from the animals evolved to cause severe damage to humans became an indispensable part in the civilization for the later years to come.following food surplus and energy in these denser area also gave these kingdoms to widen their horizon and paved way for further technological innovations..


Food production didn't kick start  in the major ecologically fertile land such as the pacific area of the united states at the beginning while it was on the seemingly sparsely fertile lands of Iran, China , Mexico things began hence author gives another point that the modern civilization didn't really start off as per the geographically superior land.He further asks questions on how independently certain places food production started while certain areas needed assistance from the outside world. Those answers might never be clear to us as the history is about the people who won and not by the ones who lose.

Author follows the slow evolution about the food production from the olden days to the production of nuts and cereals making up for a balanced diet that  we now follow. Being a person with life science background I developed a even more liking to the whole facts on why only  certain crops were domesticated that too in certain areas while some were not. he analysis the fertile crescent for their ability to cultivate certain crops over other..

He also emphasis the importance of open mind for adoption of innovation played an important role for the ultimate success of certain societies over others which he links to their earlier ability to domesticate certain wild vegetation to add on to their necessary energy.

Animals that could be domesticated according to author are all similar quoting Tolstoys  principle about marriage that is for a successful domestication which were few Eurasian terrestrial small animals those animals have to domesticable.  He refuses to acknowledge elephants to be a part of this group as according to him they are just tamed and not domesticated yet. Though humans might have tried many species they could only domesticate few as only they had certain qualities for being domesticated. Even though certain Indian prince had a stable of 1000 of cheetah it was just not possible to domesticate as later biologists found that cheetah do not mate in cage nor female ovulate under watchful eyes.So is the case of African wild buffaloes and Rhinoceros that's too wild and  large to control.So are Zebras that go wild when they go old and do not give up their grip on bite hence making then unsuitable for domesticating.

He compares how animals live just as humans living in herd with their own hierarchy to submission to each other forming a leader and their own ranks in the herd. Social animals that can be put together imprints on humans and making it easy for them to be domesticated.Some animals like dogs are instinctively submissive while cats are not.

Ecologically suitable for food production The book takes an interesting take on how agriculture shaped the world that we see now.The book is thought provoking in terms of geography, flora fauna and the successive life that molded the course of mankind. The book is for anyone who love to know about the human history beyond just war and king.


Book Review: Yuge by G.B Trudeau

Title: Yuge
Author:G.B Trudeau
Publisher:Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449481339
Price: $14.99
Pages:110
Genre:Comic
Version:Paperback
Source:Library




Now that Trump is the president -elect for the good or bad this book comes bit as a distressed humour. The book comes a premonition to his 30 years of work.Usually the comics go a step ahead exaggerating things but what we have been witnessing over the years this only makes the point clearly.The book starts from 1987 till 2016.
It all begins with this

When he keeps bragging about the quality of his ship, 


About his general attitude


His business dealing 

On the way he treats his employee



Hos does he name his business ventures


On putting his name on everything



 On the beauty pageants he owns

From his apprentice days



His hair fix.This one was particularly hilarious




 If you thought of being a president well

And when he announces his candidacy



His point on how he would make things great

Then more



If you thought that people wouldn't vote for him well then





And finally



 The book is sharp,brilliant amusing all a the same time.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi

Title: When breath becomes air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: Random house Audio
Price: $19.84
ISBN:9781524708146
Listening time:5 hrs 35 mins
Version :Audiobook
Genre:Memoir
Source: Library




Summary:
from goodreads

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a na├»ve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.

Review:

The book is a difficult book to review just like "The last lecture and Being mortal".The author at 36 after a decade being a student has finally reached at his prime of his career as a neurosurgeon .When he thought that he had it all he loses it all to lung cancer.

The memoir begins with him being almost certain for having cancer even before the diagnosis were made.

Then the book moves back to his childhood with where his immigrant parents always who pushed him and his siblings to succeed in life. His diverse degrees in history and philosophy , English literature, human biology and finally MD from Yale to become a neurosurgeon shoes varied interest . Kalanithi had great love for literature and its sad that  his debut book became his final.With all his interesting degrees he always wonder where did all this intersect. From literature to medicine we see how his thought process changes to become more matured and practical at the same time..He marriage to Lucy and his life as a surgeon slowly gets to us as we know that all this beautiful life is set to crumble in next few pages ahead. How would a father feel when he knows that he would never get to know his baby girl.

During the last days he tries to find meaning of life introspecting and  meditating about it which also becomes part of this book. Kalanithi and Lucy make all the decision with the support his family and friends starting with chemo and a visit to sperm bank for their future.As a couple they had decided to start a family at the end of his residency and its so disheartening to learn the painful truth that we make so many plans in life such wonderful colourful future that might be lost in a second and everything just loses its meaning but that is kalanithi tries to emphasis that even at the face of death one shouldn't lose hope.Their daughter Cady was born eight months before Kalanithi's demise.

There is an epilogue by Lucy speaking about his husband at his deathbed his take on life even though he was losing his battle to cancer each day.That was a real heart breaker.No one in the world should ever put in a stage where they have to prepare themselves for the lose of their loved ones yet death is an inevitable part of our life.

The book is a very sad read yet it emphasis on the beauty of life that each of us behold.

Book Review: Nimona by Noella Stevenson

Title: Nimona
Author: Noella Stevenson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 272
Price: $9.14
ISBN:9780062278227
Genre:Graphic novel
version:Paperback
Source: Library



Summary:
from goodreads
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.

Review:
Ballister Blackheart becomes the villain in a kingdom after losing his arm in the knight training. Nimona gate crashes into his life to be his assistant and she is shapeshifter and can change into anything living. Nimona speedily learns that her boss is not really a villain but a guy with principles she happily tries to help him to expose Goldenloin hero and the system of law enforcement that has been doing all shadowy things. As the story progresses Blackheart  learns the past of Nimona who as a kid has endured a lot.How they work together to achieve the goal is the rest of the heart warming funny book.

 I loved the way modern day science was used throughout the book .The contrast between Blackheart and Nimona are painted so well,while Nimona is  shrewd and sharp ,Blackheart  though very intelligent is a guy of immense moral value and driven by social obligation to the people of the kingdom. The book is a complete package of good, bad, science magic and lot of humour. The dialogs were outright , slapstick humorous that I was laughing aloud more than once.. Nimona is a star brave, brilliant, funny, happy that you love everything about her. Best part is that you can read it over and over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Script book review: Harry Potter and the cursed child by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

Title: Harry Potter and the cursed child 
Author : Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
ASIN: B01BMJWU4Q
File size: 1416KB
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $ 14
Version: Kindle
Source: Personal




Summary:
from goodreads
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Review

For anyone who missed Rowling's tweet about this latest release being a script book might have been disappointed , with its less magic and not exactly in the league with HP series. I read it driven by the curiosity of a Potter fan and because I could not see the play in London.

Cursed Child takes of from where the deathly hallows , the final book of the HP series ended that is nineteen years after the battle of Hogwarts where harry Potter with the help of his friends defeated Lord Voldemort bringing peace to the magical world. Harry who is now settled into his job as an auror  at the ministry of magic with his wife Ginny and three children and his friends Hermione and Ron also becoming a couple..All seem to go great except for one trouble, his not so great rapport with  second son Albus. Albus confesses his fear at the platform 93/4 being sorted to Slytherian , even though Harry tries to convince him that it doesn't matter ,Albus quickly becomes an outsider when his fear of being sorted into Slytherian comes true.

As the story unfolds from the train with Rose (Hermione's daughter) and Scorpius (Draco Malfoy's son) coming together how I wished to see a trio friendship just like  that of Harry ,Hermione and Ron's , but we quickly realise that this novel is more about the characters than the magic itself as we are left with Albus and Scorpious both living a life  under a heavy lingering shadow of their fathers. Albus who is unable to live upto the legend like expectation of his father and  Scorpious who is suspected of being Voldemort's son. How they together fight their darkness to find their inner lights forms the core of the book..

The book moves on the stark contrast of fatherhood both Harry and Malfoy had. For Harry it was the total absence of his father while Malfoy it was presence of the absolutely wrong one which  defined each them..Now that they themselvesbecame fathers all this is driving them into a world of spiral confusions..Though Harry and Albus share a lot of qualities the very same prevents them from bonding even when Ginny helps Harry to mend the bridge urges him to let their son know how specifically he is  loved but Albus need more than all that to find his own identity in his world full of trouble. Scorpious is the smart one among the duo reminding us of Hermione many a times..Scorpious world is also broken into million pieces wih the death of his mother and gossips of his parental lineage.

The novel does has its Rowling magic with Triwizard contest, Ministry of magic yet it doesn't hold upto the level of  magic  in the other books and I definitely missed the owls but I do understand the limitations of them to be being used in the play. The book has the time turner that takes us back and forth to the past and present with Albus and Scorpious actions commanding over thefuture they might have to live in. Though the time turner was a winning point in the 3rd book ,in this one they just dragged it too far ..The book has stayed honest to original Rowling theme of victory of truth over darkness I couldn't help but miss the Rowling's brainwave troughout. All this being said this book did provide me with a wonderful memory down the lane to my school days when I read my first book ..My favorites were the first four in the series of 7..

If you are a hard potter fan do read it , knowing that the book in a play style that would help to start with even if you are not a fan the book is worth for an entertaining read..

Book Review: Strangeness in my mind by Orhan Pamuk

Title: Strangeness in my mind
Author: Orhan Pamuk
Pages: 624
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 9780307700292
Price: $ 19
Genre: Fiction/ Turkish literature
Source: Library




Summary
from goodreads
A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.

In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else - the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is.

Review

I  read great deal about this novel as Pamuk took six years to complete it..This book has become one of my favorites of Pamuks work. .

The protagonist is Mevlut Karatas who as a kid moves from his village to the city with his father in the 60s with dreams and longs for a better life for love , respect and abundance but with successive failure in schooling, business and politics , he ends up as a poor boza vendor, there are plenty of  other small jobs he holds like selling yogurt, ice cream, chicken on street, being a waiter at a cafe plus working at a electric shop, but its his bozo job at night that impressed me the most as it is when the streets come alive..Later on he falls in love with a woman with beautiful eyes and there are exchange of love letters over three years only to elope with her older sister with few mixups..still he accepts his fate as a gift and they live happy though they remain poor..Yet through all the ordeals of his life he remains innocent to his state of mind and I loved the character even more.

One of the best parts of the novel is Pamuk's  love for Istanbul that you see through all characters of the novel mostly Mevut's extended family..Just like in his  other books, image of Istanbul's image comes alive through his words like a poem.The description is rich that makes you smell the heavenly Bozo and wow it taste so perfect.As we learn about bozo's popularity from the days Ottoman empire and its losing demand and being replaced by a more modern drink raki, Pamuk underlines how the old life was slowly disappearing to the modern day and still when the very few do get a bozo from Mevlut  just for sake of  old days, Pamuk holds us all tight with the grip of nostalgia.

 The different of point of views of all the characters gives us a comprehensive take on socio-economic and  legislation of Turkey moving the story ahead too.The vibrant city of Istanbul  surrounds the reader in all its plenty. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that you could see the streets through the novel so precise are the details.His love for his doesn't blind him though. He points out the inequality of women in the society, their lack of education that does bad for the society than good..

The book also takes an interesting cut on the changes of yesterdays tradition that confronts the present and a hope for the future. Pamuk is a master of loss and memories and if you have read his other works you would know what I mean.This is a very long read but for a lover of classics I even felt that I could go on even more that's the extend of my love for this book , definetely one of my favourites of all time.
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