Guru Dutt: Ek Adhuri Dastaan
देखी जमाने की यारी, बिछड़े सभी बारी बारी Ever since I saw the movie Pyaasa, I have been a fan of Guru Dutt's cinema, so when I saw this book in a bookstore in Delhi, I got it immediately. The book was originally in English, and I read the Hindi translation. Although Guru Dutt had a short life, his acting and direction made most of his work timeless. His love of art and his unique creative style can be seen all over his work and reading about his journey, and his personal life really removes the curtain and makes for a very interesting read. His is a sad story and the pathos of his characters ultimately crept into his personal life , it's very sad to have lost such a great visionary so early. The brightest flame burns out the fastest, Maybe it is true. I intend to watch more of his cinema, and if you're interested, add Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool to your watchlist.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
I picked up this book from a bookstore in Pokhra, Nepal. I am fond of Japanese literature/culture and when I saw a cat on the cover and in the book title, I bought it instantly. This is a lovely book, sometimes narrated in 3rd person, and most often from the perspective of Nana, a street cat who's rescued and taken in by our human protagonist, Satoru. We follow along Satoru and Nana's journey through Japan, as they look for a suitable person to adopt Nana as Satoru can no longer keep him. ( Read the book to find out why! ) I was delightfully smiling through the beautiful narration from Nana's perspective. All of the other supporting characters are very well written, and since there aren't many of them, we remember every character as the story goes by. The author has asserted a lot of importance of demonstrating the relationship of the other characters with Satoru, and how they've been involved in Satoru's life in the past. Nana, the street cat is of course the hero of the story, and the character is very well written. He is a lovely little cat and reminds me of the mannerisms of the cat in the movie Kiki's Delivery Service. Reading about the various landscapes of Japan, Mount Fuji, the ocean, etc. from the perspective of Nana often left me smiling and wondering. The second half of the book gets a little bit uninteresting, and the conclusion is very emotional. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
I have really been interested in the concept of minimalism for some time now. This book is a very good introduction and focuses mainly on minimalism in the physical space. I think I already practice a lot of minimalism in the digital space since clutter sends my brain off into a whirlwind, and the author has a lot of good arguments against wastefulness and the consumption culture. He also talks a bit about what drives us away from minimalism, and what can we do to rectify that. Some points made by the author seem harsh such as physical objects holding no sentimental value, and I was initially having a hard time agreeing with the same, but as the book progressed, I realized that the author might be right. Instead of objects, we should try to store memories.
The Writer on the Hill: The Very Best of Ruskin Bond
I read this book bit by bit, chapter by chapter, reflecting on each story or memoir of Ruskin Bond. I've read a lot of Ruskin's work, and the text of this book flows in a similar fashion, smooth and hilarious , leaving you with a smile. Divided into two sections , fiction and non-fiction, I must say that Ruskin Bond seems to have lived such a wonderful life that there seems to be little difference between the two. One thing I learned from this book was to acknowledge and appreciate nature more. Pay attention to the sounds near you, the birdsong, the ticking of the clock, to flowers and other beautiful stuff in nature.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
I think this is the most profound fiction book I've read. The portrayal of the characters is grand and like most fiction I read, It is difficult not to find a part of your own personality in the character. My biggest mistake was reading this novel in small parts, and not as a whole. I read this book like a story, but as I sit to write down this review, I discover the philosophical questions that the book poses. There are many philosophical concepts in the book, but the one I could most closely relate to was `Es Muss Sein` meaning It must be. I've often found it hard to reconcile with reality and wondered whether Fate is a real thing. In a difficult situation, Ask your self Is this real? and answering with "It must be", does tend to resolve most conflicts. Here are some links that I read to understand the book more deeply. https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/l... https://www.shmoop.com/unbearable-lig... shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/un...
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
This book came to me on days that were not good, when hope was scarce, when I was stuck indoors due to the pandemic. Real storytelling is the best medium of instilling hope. Agreed, I skimmed through most of the later chapters, it does not diminish the role of this book in the times that book was with me. Also, Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end. - John Lennon
गुनाहों का देवता
काफ़ी समय से इस किताब को पड़ने का मन था. फिर जब एक दिन देखा की Storytel पर इस किताब की ऑडीओ बुक आयी है वो भी कुमार विशास के मुख से निकली है तो मैंने सहसा इस ऑडीओ बुक तो सुनने की सोची बस फिर क्या था. रात के दस बजते और मैं खो जाता अलाहबाद की गलियों में, चन्दर और सुधा की ज़िंदगी में और इन दोनो के इर्द गिर्द होती ज़िंदगी की कश्मकश में मैंने कभी नहीं सोचा था की इस कयी दशक पुरानी किताब में मुझे प्रेम की परिभाषा मिल जाएगी. इस किताब में हर किरदार को बखूबी लिखा गया हैं और वे सारे larger than life है जैसे जीवन में प्रेम और दर्द दोनो होता है इस कहानी में भी अनेको दर्द है. सुधा और चन्दर के दर्द के सामने अपनी ज़िंदगी के दुःख छोटे मालूम पड़ते हैं अक्सर हम दूसरों की कहानियो के किरदारों को अपने आप में खोजने लगते है. मैंने क़यी दफ़ा चन्दर को अपने आप में पाया. अंत में यह एक किताब का वाक्य लिख देता हो जो शायद मन पर छप गया है. प्यार करना सिर्फ़ देवतायो या बुद्धिहीनो के बस की बात हैं.
Let's Talk Money
This is a really good book for people who want to learn how to manage and invest their money and is written specifically catering to India. This book covers all topics that are deemed necessary for an introduction to personal finance. The mutual funds topic could have been more expansive but maybe that would affect the simplicity of the information in this book.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
A short, good book on how to do creative work.
Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog
When I was in school, on our annual day, students who'd performed well in their classes would get books as awards. I did not realize it then, but it was the best thing you could give to children. I received a copy of this book , and could not put it down once I'd started reading it. The book's humor is timeless, and the description of the journey of 3 men in a boat through the river Thames is as picturesque as it could be. As I was rereading this book, I couldn't help but smile and laugh at the well written humor. Some of the UK's intricacies and boating related scenes were difficult to visualize but nothing that a quick google search won't help.
Hell Yeah or No: what's worth doing
This book, as the author says is a collection of succinct ideas. These ideas can be applied to various facets of life and depend on how you interpret them. The things written in this book might linger on at the back of your mind, as you retrospect and realign your thought processes. This is the kind of book that warrants a reread from time to time, and I am planning to do the same.
The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
This is a very interesting book, and you feel like you're a part of the story the author is narrating. I am intrigued about the idea of remote work for a very long time, and if remote work is executed like Automattic has been doing in the last decade, it really can become the future of work. I was impressed with the caliber demonstrated by the author while being a manager at Automattic, and the book is full of wonderful lessons that can be applied in your personal/professional life. As the book draws to a close, the author talks about how work in the modern era might not be psychologically fulfilling and a better work culture might solve this. This struck a chord with me, as I'm more than often concerned with the "meaning" of work but as the author says, work and play might not need to be mutually exclusive.
निठल्ले की डायरी
व्यंग लेखन पड़ने का मुझे बचपन से ही शौक़ हैं। हिंदी अख़बार के सम्पादकीय पृष्ट पर जो व्यंग आता है उसे मैं काफ़ी पसंद करता हूँ। हिंदी साहित्य में मेरी रुचि के दोबारा जागृत होने के कारण मैंने परसाई जी की इस किताब को पड़ने का निश्चय किया। यह किताब परसाई जी द्वारा रचित व्यंग कहानियो का संग्रह हैं। इन कहानियो के द्वारा जो इन्होंने समाज के बारे में कहा वह बातें आज के सामाजिक स्वरूप में भी मान्य हैं। परसाई सामाजिक कुरितियो के बारे में इतने सलीके से लिखते है की हर कुछ पंक्तियो बाद चेहरे पर हंसी की चमक छा जाती हैं। परसाई जी की कहानियो में जिझकपन कही नहीं है। वह अपनी बातें खुलकर कहते है। यह कहानिया चेहरे पर मुस्कान के साथ-साथ दिल में टीस भी छोड़ जाती है यह याद दिलाते हुए की सामाजिक एवं राजनीतिक परिदृश्य में तर्क का समावेश होना अभी भी शायद रहता हैं। I am very fond of reading (Hindi) satire since my childhood. I thoroughly enjoy the satire section that is a part of the editorial in Hindi newspapers. Recently, my interest in Hindi literature was re-ignited, so I decided to read this book. This book is a collection of satirical stories written by Harishankar Parsai. The things about society that the author has expressed through this book are relevant even today. The author writes about social edictions in such a subtle way that leaves a smile on your face after reading a few lines. In the stories, the author does not exhibit reluctance to say things clearly. The stories, apart from leaving a smile on your face also leave a sting on the heart suggesting that even after all this time, the inclusion of logic in socio-political context is yet to be seen!
The Beauty of All My Days: A Memoir
This was a nice book overall. Reading Ruskin's memoirs reminded me of similar times in my own life that I thought I had long forgotten. There seems to be a fine touch of humour in the book and I was often smiling and laughing as I turned the pages. The various photos spread out throughout the book from events in Ruskin's life are also delightful and you can not help but wonder how fast time progresses.
Modern Web Development on the JAMstack
This book was a really good introduction to the ideology behind the Jamstack. The book is well written and to the point. The case study on how Smashing Magazine migrated its legacy blog to a modern Jamstack static site has a lot of things to ponder upon. A good book on the subject!
Kafka on the Shore
This book is beautiful in the way that it makes you think and imagine. When you're reading this book, you see the world through Kafka's eyes, you feel like You're Nakata, trying to navigate through this confusing world. The imagery is beautiful. The middle sections of a book are a little weird and the story can get convoluted and is difficult to comprehend but the narration as the book draws to its conclusion is beautiful.
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
This was a really interesting book, one of those which I read in a really short time because I was always wondering what would happen next. It had all the elements of a detective story but what made it more interesting was that the events described were in fact real. Although the methodologies used by Mitnick in his early days is a bit difficult to wrap around your head so the book might sound a bit boring in those sections. In other thoughts, A whole government rallying together to see behind bars someone who meant no harm and did hacking only to tickle his curiosity is scary. Reminds of the poor fate of Aaron Shwartz and Ross Ulbricht.
When Breath Becomes Air
What is born must die one day. What is a memory must vanish one day. Whatever is today must cease tomorrow. What is the meaning of life then? Paul's death teaches you a lot about life itself. Through this book, I feel like he wants to tell us, he might have had an early death but even in that short period of time, he affected the lives of those around him deeply. Paul might have gone, but he lives on forever as a memory. Death is coming for all of us, so let's make use of this life of ours to have a meaningful impact. Maybe then, even we won't really die when our breath becomes air.
The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media and Technology Success of Our Time
The book starts out really great with the intriguing story of the utter genius that the google founders possessed and the kind of hard work they did through which they turned a wild thought to the money making machine that google today has become. Google’s keen focus for innovation and the brilliant business acumen of the founders fascinated me a lot. The chapter on how google hired a chef via a competition to help make healthy food for google employees was the one that I enjoyed a lot. The middle sections of the book turn a little boring in my opinion. The book’s ending is also abrupt and thus the book does not feel complete. An average read.
Remember the Roses
Today as I read this story, It is as hauntingly beautiful as it was when I read it sometime around 2013, when it was in a collection of short stories in our prescribed textbooks in 10th Grade.
The Room on the Roof
The Room on the Roof has always been something of nostalgic memory for me, as I read it back when I was in School. After all these years, as I reread it, All of the magic is still there. The beautiful streets of dehra, the delicacies of the Chaat shop, the beauty of Meena, and The heartache when the book draws to a conclusion.