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Old 25th March 2019, 21:15   #151
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Any opinions on this book:
Coffee Can Investing
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Old 3rd April 2019, 12:49   #152
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An Unsuitable Boy

Karan Johar's autobiography. If you've heard him speak, you know that he has enormous wit & intelligence. Great story of a talented filmmaker. 4 / 5 stars.
Took me approx 4 hours to read this from cover to cover today. It wasn't that interesting, but I was free and I didn't want to keep the book aside and leave it unfinished (especially since I was reading after a long time).

I'd rate it above average. Maybe a 3/5 at best. It was nothing great, but it was also the first autobiography from Bollywood that I read, so maybe I don't know the basis of rating it correctly. Also, he kept on repeating certain things over and over, which made it boring at times.
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Old 3rd April 2019, 13:03   #153
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Thanks a lot for the recommendation. Really loved it. Rated 5*.
Now waiting for the next in series.
Just started reading this wonderful book. Have read about 25 pages and i love the pace.
Is there a series? I thought this was a single one.
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Old 7th April 2019, 10:26   #154
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Re-read David Niven's autobiography (The Moon's A Baloon) after a gap of over 20 years. And found it as hysterically funny, poignant and engrossing as the first breading.

For the current generation of readers who may be unfamiliar with the name, David Niven was a Hollywood star of the post war era right up till the 70's. A comedian and as deeply English as they come, he was a Sandhurst graduate who was decorated for his war-time services behind the enemy lines. And in characteristic deprecating style, he glosses over this phase of his career.

His entry into Hollywood would make for an astonishing movie in itself and he starred in such mega hits as "The Guns Of Navarone", "The Prisoner of Zenda" and "The secret life of Walter Mitty" among many others.

For all lovers of great English humor and for those who love a good yarn - this is the book.
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Old 11th April 2019, 12:10   #155
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Mind Without Fear - Rajat Gupta

I honestly did not see myself buying or reading this book. I had a lot of notions about Rajat Gupta fuelled primarily by internet articles, newspaper reports from the time and even his own Wikipedia page.

A social media post about the book launch at ISB got me interested and I looked more closely into him. I have been intrigued by McKinsey and have generally been interested in the life of a consultant. The book was brilliant. Provided many insights (some of them very humbling) into the exceptional journey of the son of a freedom fighter who was orphaned at a young age, looked after his 3 younger siblings, excelled at IIT Delhi and Harvard Business School and went on to head McKinsey for three terms after which he shifted his focus towards philanthropic efforts. He was the face of the global business world before his fall from grace after being convicted for insider trading. It is a very well written and a tell all tale. The author is of the opinion that he was made the scapegoat of the financial crisis of 2008 and that the public wanted to see a powerful man in a suit be put away. After reading the book the reader can't help but feel that Rajat Gupta was innocent and was manipulated by certain individuals around him. Its perhaps biased because I could not corroborate this point of view from the internet.

All in all. Interesting read. Recommended. I would give it a 4/5.
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Old 13th April 2019, 15:47   #156
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It is not often I write review of a book after 20 years. Yes, I read the following book around 1999-2000, while deciding whether I should take up MBA. It gave me an idea about what to expect, while warning me about the pitfalls.

It is a brilliantly written book by a former white house speechwriter. The book contains experiences of studying MBA at Stanford, and how students from various background are stirred and shaken while learning business economics, finance, etc.

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After reading the book the reader can't help but feel that Rajat Gupta was innocent and was manipulated by certain individuals around him.
That was the primary goal of the book I think, to make us think he was innocent. Looks like he has succeeded.
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Old 19th April 2019, 23:49   #157
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Most of us dream about living a life on our terms but never get down to actually making it happen! This techie guy went ahead and just did that. Interesting read for anyone who ever dreamt of farming and living in close sync with nature.

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Giving this (Moong Over Microchips) a rating of 5/5 from my mom. I had ordered this book after seeing the recommendation here but haven't gotten around to reading it. My mom finished it in 2 days though.
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Old 7th May 2019, 23:22   #158
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The Forest Of Enchantment by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

The Ramayana as seen through the eyes of Maa Sita.
A fast read and a book well researched.
This book is vastly different from "Sita" by Amish.

Now onto "The Palace Of Illusions" by the same author. The Mahabharata from Panchaali / Draupadi's perspective.

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Old 8th May 2019, 08:58   #159
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Amazon.com: The Everything Store : 4 / 5

The author Brad Stone puts the key issue in writing this book early on as asked of him by Jeff Bezos - "How to deal with the narration fallacy?"

Well, he does give his best attempt at it. A lot of journalists when asked to write about great companies and their charismatic leaders; take the easier route and keep the focus on the leaders and articulate the storyline keeping him/her in the primary focus aspect.

Here Brad does it slightly differently, keeping a dual focus on both the company and Bezos; and does a pretty good job moving across the timeline (almost) linearly. While the negative aspects and past decisions of the firm (and Bezos) aren't ignored or hidden, the author does put it mildly at times; however, it's up to the reader to form their own opinions.


A fantastic read; my only regret was the book storyline ends in 2014 (when this book was first published). Do note it's a very long read; but if you are an early-on user of Amazon like me, a lot of the changes in the way the firm worked over the past two decades would seem very familiar to you.


In Search for Stupidity: Merrill Chapman : 2.5 / 5

This book articulates the big-scale marketing disasters that have occurred over the past few decades primarily starting from the 80s. While someone who's been around over 30 years would be delighted to hear company names that once were the at the pinnacle of their industries, unfortunately, the delight stays momentarily.

The author has a deep base of information that is shown across the crisscrossed manner in which the book proceeds but he throws it at you in abundance; so much that one gets lost in the extensive contextual information given to you on the main disaster decision.

Unfortunately, I could not continue with the book - the "marketing disasters" that the author picks up are delightful to read about; but once I got past the 2nd or 3rd page of each chapter, the huge surplus amount of contextual information literally just drowned me. I could hardly move forward beyond the first few chapters. I gave over the book to an old friend of mine who was more interested.

I hope the author improves on his articulation/editing aspects in upcoming editions. It's a great book in principle but very poorly written (IMO).


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Please do share a review of it on this thread (The Books Thread (non-fiction)).
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Old 8th May 2019, 17:21   #160
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Ah what a fantastic thread! Manna to my soul
Some of my recent reads:


- Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Oh the horror. Adulated by the media and hailed as the next Jobs, it all came crashing down for Ms. Holmes once the extent of her fraud was discovered. An exciting read and now even an HBO documentary.


- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Absolute cra$ of a book. A big stinking pile of whatnot. Avoid at all costs. If you want books which can inspire read some real life stories and not such books.


- The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
If only I had read this book in school, I'm sure I would have tried out for IAF than become another engineer. Exciting, riveting and a page turner, this book is about the space journey of the US. An absolute must read to understand what it takes to push the envelop.


- Killer of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the birth of FBI by David Grann

Though a non-fiction, this reads almost like a fictional drama. One of the most captivating accounts of how and why FBI was born.


Will keep updating this thread
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Old 16th May 2019, 12:24   #161
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The Indigo Story - Giving it 3.5 / 5 stars. Decent one-time read for those (like me) who are noobs to the aviation scene. Covers the history of commercial Indian air space & provides a good overview of the industry. The author is clearly a fanboy of Indigo though. Uncool = the book has typos.

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Old 16th May 2019, 13:12   #162
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Uncool = the book has typos.
The quote on top seems like it's about the airline, not the book..


I'm big into reading about serial killers and understanding their psychology. I've probably spent hundreds of hours reading up about various serial killers around the world, although that habit has reduced significantly now. Some books I've read recently are:

1. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
A book by a woman who was once Theodore (Ted) Bundy's friend. She talks about the human side of him, and how he was a completely different person at times. A must read for those who are into this genre. Rated 4/5

2. I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
This book about the Golden State Killer is good for a one time read. I liked it more because the Golden State Killer (aka Original Night Stalker) is one of my favourite serial killers in history. I've spent nights stitching up the clues together and marvelling at how a man who committed so many crimes, was never caught. Unfortunately, Michelle McNamara, the author, led an obsessive search for the Golden State Killer all her life and finally passed away in 2016. 73 year old Joseph James DeAngelo was caught for the murders in April 2018, more than 30 years after his last known crime. I'll rate the book 3/5.
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Old 16th May 2019, 13:48   #163
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Should We Eat Meat by Vaclav Smil

With quite a lot many people turning vegetarian and a lot more propagating vegetarianism I wanted to understand if there is any substantial positive in it. But the book was a disappointment and read more like a research paper than a book. Had high hopes.

My rating 2/5

Last edited by GTO : 19th May 2019 at 07:35. Reason: Please do NOT type your entire post in BOLD
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Old 14th June 2019, 23:15   #164
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The Forest Of Enchantment by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The Ramayana as seen through the eyes of Maa Sita.
A fast read and a book well researched.
Now onto "The Palace Of Illusions" by the same author. The Mahabharata from Panchaali / Draupadi's perspective.
Finished "The Palace of Illusions".
Draupadi Maa is very brutal in this book towards her husbands, her mother in law and the Kauravas.
She only has overwhelming love for Lord Krishna & a soft corner for Karna.
Through her eyes we witness the entire Mahabharata and the war in its brutality.
Both these books are great reads and make great gifts for family.

Since this mythological bug has bit me, I have bought two books by Shri Shivaji Sawant in English.
1. Mrutyunjaya (Book on Karna)
2. Srikrishna - The Lord of the Universe (Yugandhar - English Version)

I understand that these are classic Marathi books that have been translated into English.
Since I cannot read Marathi in its chaste language, I have to suffice with the English translations.

Hope to finish them as time permits and will review them once they are completed.
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Old 15th June 2019, 00:09   #165
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There are English translations of Mahabharat ranging from slim volumes to the full 11-volume deal. I read quite a few of them whilst getting interested in this epic thirty years ago.

My favourite is by an American called William Buck. I am still catching up with replacing books lost in the Chennai flood. I have just received this one from Amazon, and his Ramayana should arrive soon.
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