Book Reviews of some priceless books..!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seasonal Joy...!

Its that time of the year again - On one hand you revisit your goals/resolutions and measure yourself against the set thresholds and either congratulate yourself or push yourself for running that last 1 mile; On the other hand you make elaborate plans for celebrating this festive season in the most memorable manner! Well, we did a small exercise last evening and to our amazement it turned out to be quite motivating and encouraging.

We compiled all the feedbacks and comments we have ever received on this blog, printed them out and read each one of them to ourselves aloud- believe me the comments were quite fascinating, diverse, insightful and often very funny- but the point is they left us feeling very good inside which is why say "Thank You Readers!".

On Christmas eve, whether you watch the snow come down or the sky light up or simply indulge in celebration with loved ones to capture the holiday spirit, lets just say that the joy of the seasons has just begun! We wish you all Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays ahead ! Here are some links in case you wish to do some light reading during the holidays-afterall this blog is about reading resources !;) Free eBooks, Short Stories, Popular Manifestos, Cool Comics, Interesting Articles
Be Merry, Be Jolly, Be Savvy & Have Fun !


Monday, December 08, 2008

Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style

Picture this-21st January, 2006-0500 hrs PST-Tring-Kring! Tring-Kring! "Hey Nids, Gd Morning buddy- I wonder Why is everything so BIG in this country?, Why do people utter sweet one liners like "Hey-How you doin'?", How come streets are so clean? Why do people grab a Coffee on their way to work?" ...and before he could bombard me with dozen other questions-I muttered (quite strongly though;)) "Can we talk later pls CG? Its way too early here in West Coast !" And perhaps I heard the anticipated "Oh, I am so sorry Nids."-. Yeah, I am referring to one of the contributors on this blog and the incident refers to the 1st phone call he made to me upon arriving here in the land of way too many opportunities. By the way this blogger (any guesses?;)) is by far one of the most inquisitive persons I have ever come across on this planet(or even in Milky Way). You really have to be super patient to hear his never ending questions and bunch of crazy ideas/solutions he comes up with to deal with everyday problems. But watching him actually execute few of those fanatical ideas despite facing stiff resistance or unsweet criticisms most of the time (this blog is an example) can be seriously inspiring and entertaining at the same time !

Anyways here goes the review of "Green Chic:Saving the Earth in Style"-a brilliant book I read on my way back from NYC this Saturday. The book as the title suggest is all about adopting a smarter and greener lifestyle. If you observe closely you'll realize that nowadays almost every corporation(including the consulting firm I work for) loves parading the "Going Green" Mantra around in Press Releases, in Shareholder Meetings and in every possible public appearance of the firm. After all they wish to communicate that they are concerned about the environment, the mother nature, the ecological balance, the rising CO emissions, the alarming Ozone depletion and what not! Well, all that sounds good and sometimes such initiatives actually work too but we all know the ground reality. I mean c'mmon leave the organizations aside-given a chance I (or for that matter most of us) would love to drive a Ferrari (~ 20MPG avg), go on a cruise trip to Bahamas or fly a private airplane. So here I am almost on the verge of hurting land, sea and air habitat.

Well, this bestseller by Christie Matheson is centered around the belief that "No one can do everything but everyone can do something". Her writing style resembles that of a blog and she has loads of creative recommendations for pursuing Greener lifestyle at home, at parties, at workplace and almost everywhere. The author understands that in modern times-its very vital to live a stylish life but she adds by saying that habituating a few educated choices in our everyday activities can certainly make our world a little greener and sweeter place. One of the coolest things about the book (Thank-you Google!) is the fact that it's printed using Vegetable based inks on a certified recycled paper which conveys the book's message even more strongly-she sure practices what she teaches. Some of the tips I loved are:
  • Create a cute recycling setup
  • Skip soda and consume organic foods
  • Watch your workout gear
  • Be a material girl
  • Get Green Bling (They do prove to be instant head turners for men:))
  • Let there be [LED] Light
  • Be picky about paper products
I would certainly recommend this humorous and entertaining book to eco-committed stylish readers (savvy chcis in particular). Wish you luck (you'll need plenty :)) on your march towards Going Green and being super stylish ! It's been months since I wrote something and seeing my thoughts in black and white here somehow leaves me feeling so good inside-Thanks CG!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hit the Library...!

There's this amazing thing I realized about the books we read - somehow we seem to extract much more out of them than what the writer/author put into in the first place! There can be 'n' number of interpretations & inferences of a para in print! While there are books we just enjoy reading, there are those which are thought provoking and might transport us to a different dimension altogether and then there are those which might even change you life! So, in case you are still wondering how to make 2008 an exceptionally memorable year, try grabbing one of these books and we are positive that you'll have a blast. Cheers ! :D


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October Bestsellers...!

With festive season round the corner, all of a sudden life around seems to be brimming with opportunities - point is can we grab them before they vanish into thin air. Hang On for before we get super enthusiastic-we do realize that nothing happens until you move or put in genuine efforts - be it cracking a standardized test, cooking a special delicacy or trying to persuade someone (the toughest of all)-e.g. an amazing writer (in our case) to write a book review for this blog. While we put our persuasive skills to a test - here's a list of October Bestsellers you might wish to have a look at (Thanks for emailing it over Betta) !

We wish our readers a very Happy Diwali & splendid Halloween ahead !

Chinmay & Tanya

Friday, October 17, 2008

Games People Play...!

"Games People Play" is just the kind of book I wanted to read since ages - it seems to answer a dozen of questions I've always wanted answer for !If you have encountered situations where your best friend behaves in an Incomprehensible (mystical) Manner, appreciation comes unexpected corners, your children/loved ones challenge your beliefs, people around you tag you as "one-of-a-kind", you wonder Why strange things are happening?- all I would say is "Welcome to the Real World", read this amazing book and enjoy your stay in this world composed of interesting people :)

The groundbreaking book by Eric Berne is a brilliant composition of psychological theatricals that human beings play during the course of their ever changing lives. The author (a famous psychiatrist) observes behavior patterns between human beings quite closely and terms them as "Games" that are powered by intense human emotions, feelings and motives. The book is detailed with classifying and discussing a variety of games people play on a continual basis in their lives. He classifies such games into seven categories - Life, Marital, Party, Sexual, Underworld, Consulting Room, and Good and describes their structures, the roles of those involved, respective anticipated payoffs and smart ways to recognize and move beyond any game. I seriously marvel at author's observation of vivid human behaviours and interactions and they sure strike a chord somewhere. For example, the author presents people as beings driven by stimulus hunger (e.g. the need for strokes or quick appreciations) which is understood in case of infants who always need stroking and moral boost but the same is shaped into need for special recognition by family and society as one gets older. The author further iterates that adults have a hunger not only for stimulus and recognition but also for structure of their waking hours which is why most of us want our work@office to be challenging and structured.

In the latter half of the book, the author focusses on the three ego states - Parent (exteropsychic), Adult (psychic) & Child (archaeopsychic). He declares that the key to structural analysis and an understanding of game play is the concept of deciphering the ego state person you are interacting with is present in. Contrary to the general perception that one matures with age (Infant to Adult)- author says that all of us toggle between the said ego states every now and then depending upon coherent set of feelings and behavior patterns of people participating in a game - all interrelated.

Numerous examples illustrated by author like usual battles between couples, parents-children, boss-subordinate and boy-girl make the book quite an interesting read. Though in extremely difficult and emotional inreations I prefer (staying quiet and) NOT being judgemental (Thanks for the Tip Dad !) and it sure helps !! My take away from the book is the advice author gives towards the end of the book - "As with any game, it comes to an abrupt end when one player decides (mostlyunconsciously) to stop playing !" Sounds simple - isn't it...well try it out for yourself and let us know :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Koyal Dark Mango Sweet...!

Before suspending my Lib Membership for few weeks, I decided to vist YA Section yet again and was so happy upon spotting yet another bestseller by "Kasmira Sheth". The book "Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet" is a first-person narrative of a smart Gujarati girl living in the most eventful Indian City - Mumbai. The book describes Mumbai life in quite a vivid manner and it sure is a ready reckoner illustrating Indian Culture and tradition. The story revolves around Jeeta - a 16 year old exceptionally smart girl who lives in a small apartment in Mumbai with her family. I particularly liked her conversations with her mother(almost each one of them made me smile) spc. when she keeps challenging her mother with old beliefs and customs. The story outlines many events which are such a common place occurence in any Indian Family. Kashmira really describes things / occasions in such a simple language - as a reader you certainyl feel immersed in the story. Both her books have left quite an impression in my mind for sure. The book describes the anxieties and tough times that parents go throuh while trying to find a match for their daughters. The concept of "Arranged Marriages" has been in practice since centuries in India and the story does touch upon key areas that one (unmarried guy/gal) must consider before marriage. I am sure that this story would get an instant admiration from young adults since in a way the story talks about Generation Gap, Women Empowerment, Career Focus and Choices for the Young - thru the protagonist Jeeta.

I wish to write so many inferences I derived from this amazing book but since I am seriously short of time right now - all I would say is that if you get a chance pls do grab a copy of this fascinating tale of friendship, relationship, bonds and true love ! Here's an Interview from the author herself. N'joy & have a nice evening ahead.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Blue Jasmine....!

I visited the local Public Library yesterday and asked for some Indian Author's bestseller. Without a doubt Bertha (the amazingly energetic librarian who loves talking about her Grand-Children) directed me over to YA Section. As I was walking past book shelves, I spotted a catchy title "Blue Jasmine". Sounds interesting - I said to myself ! A quick glance on the back cover intrigued me instantly. The author Kashmira Sheth earned a Paul Zindel First Novel for this book and I couldn't resist myself from reading the book right away. Well, 'Blue Jasmine' is basically a narrative on cultural differences & the experiences of Seema Trivedi - a young girl who moves to America as an immigrant at young age.Heading for the land of opportunities (as her Dad termed) was not so easy for the 12 year old Seema since that meant separation from all her friends and her beloved Grand Parents. While her father enjoyed his job and a batter pay, transition for this girl from India to Iowa was quite an experience - as the author illustrates in this beautiful book. The way author has carved out small cultural differences is simply brilliant ! For ex. Seema's teacher at school doesn't understand why she refers $1,000,000 as 10 Lakh than a Million or why is 'Swastika' - the symbol of Good Luck hated in US. Because of heavy accent and shyness, her classmates make fun of her, she faces many troubles making friends and realizes what differentiates a good friend from not so good ones. The inquisitive Seema keeps asking her mother for explanations for tons of questions she has about Why things are eccentric in US.

The story takes many emotional turns and besides Seema is centred around two more characters : her cousin
-Raju and her (poor) Indian Classmate-Mukta. Both Seema and Raju are very attached but physical separation makes them each other so much specially on occasions like Rakhi and Kite Festival. Likewise Seema is quite attached to Mukta who always reverred Seema back in school; Mukta handed her a handkerchief with a 'Blue Jasmine' (and thus the Title) carved on it when Seems was leaving India. This Blue Jasmine keeps reminding Seema of Mukta and their correspondence through letters is quite interesting ! However, due to a personal emergency Seema has to rush to India and we now see a matured smarter Seema. We certainly recommend this book - the characters in this book are so lifelike and we bet all immigrants can find a near instant connection !

While you hunt for a copy of this book - here's the first chapter from the book itself:) Enjoy !