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Old 10th November 2018, 13:19   #106
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How about reading a crime thriller for a change? Yes, I do realise this is the non-fiction book thread.

I accidentally picked up this book on Kindle, because of the sensational title.

Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No. 1 Enemy

Turns out, the title was not sensational enough. It is fast paced and an unbelievable story behind the famous Magnitsky Act. The author Bill Browder was the most successful foreign investor in Russia. His success came by unmasking the criminal activities of many Russian oligarchs. In retaliation, they cancelled his visa and threw him out. He started to fight against their schemes from UK, using Russian lawyers. As the plot thickened, his staff members and lawyers are forced to flee Russia. However, one idealist Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky, stayed back and uncovered a huge tax fraud perpetrated by the Russia police force against Bill Browder's companies. That resulted in his arrest and months of torture, which ended in his death.

Bill Browder turns from hedge fund manager to an human rights activist to bring justice to his friend and lawyer. After non-stop campaign, Bill Browder got both USA and European Parliament to pass laws banning all the accused Russians from ever entering USA and Europe. Even their overseas assets are frozen.

In retaliation, Russia banned USA from adopting Russian orphans. Now, that sounds a little strange, isn't it. It might even ring a bell. Remember how the Russian female lawyer met the Trump campaign in Trump Tower in 2016 to discuss adoption? Or why Putin talked to Trump about adoption? It is all connected to Magnitsky Act.

Russia wants that law gone... a law that was made possible by a hedge fund manager who lost his visa.

Members who have interest in economics and finance will greatly appreciate this book. You will understand how Russia came to be owned by oligarchs, and how Putin came to rule all the oligarchs.

This book gets a 11/10 from me.

Last edited by Samurai : 10th November 2018 at 13:54.
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Old 11th November 2018, 15:29   #107
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^^ Thanks Samurai - I haven't read it yet, having just read your post. But I intend to get hold of a copy at the earliest. Promises to be eye-opening.

I have been leaning somewhat towards Putin's urbane practicality when I see Trump's bull-in-the-china-shop petulance.
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Old 14th November 2018, 08:25   #108
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It's So Easy: and other lies by Duff McKagan

Duff "Rose" McKagan was the bassist and one of the founding members of the super rock group - Guns 'N Roses.
This book is a surprisingly honest take on his life as a superstar with all its glories and pitfalls and near death experiences.
While reading up on him, it surprised me to know he used to write a column -Duffnomics - for Playboy magazine.

I will recommend this book to fans of the Rock genre and others who would like to know what a rollercoaster ride it can be.
Mine was the kindle version.

It's So Easy .
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Old 14th November 2018, 08:47   #109
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
How about reading a crime thriller for a change? Yes, I do realise this is the non-fiction book thread.

I accidentally picked up this book on Kindle, because of the sensational title.

Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No. 1 Enemy

Turns out, the title was not sensational enough. This book gets a 11/10 from me.
Thanks for that recommendation. I went to Amazon to buy it, and just happened to scroll down to read the blurbs. Very impressive, especially as two names caught my eye:

Quote:
“Reads like a classic thriller, with an everyman hero alone and in danger in a hostile foreign city . . . but it’s all true.” (Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series)

“In Red Notice, Bill Browder tells the harrowing and inspiring story of how his fight for justice in Russia made him an unlikely international human rights leader and Vladimir Putin's number-one enemy. It is the book for anyone interested in understanding the culture of corruption and impunity in Putin's Russia today, and Browder’s heroic example of how to fight back.” (Senator John McCain)
Not to mention endorsements from Garry Kasparov and Pussy Riot.
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Old 14th November 2018, 10:33   #110
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Senator John McCain is in the book, he even sponsored the bill, which ensured Magnitsky Act passed in the senate.
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Old 18th November 2018, 16:25   #111
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One of the best non-fictions that I have read till now is the Himalayan Blunder by Brigadier John Dalvi. Finding it in paperback format is a story in itself. After an exhaustive search all over Kolkata and following up with a bookseller from College Street for a year I bought this gem of war memoir.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 16:02   #112
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Giving Bloomberg by Bloomberg 3.5 / 5 stars.

Till very recently, I knew little about the unique success story of the Bloomberg terminal. Read some tidbits online and wanted the full story, so deep-dived into this book. I would have liked more details about the growing years, that is of how the company went from small to medium-sized and more dope on the operations + decision making then. Still, a good business read with lots of sound advice. A fascinating story of a man who found success in the financial markets, media & politics (although his tenure as Mayor of New York isn't covered).

Not a 'great' autobiography, but a 'good' one.

The Books Thread (non-fiction)-20181122_154457.jpg
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Old 27th November 2018, 07:58   #113
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Went through Michael Palin's Himalaya .

The Books Thread (non-fiction)-img_20181127_073808012.jpg
It is an account of travels that he did, starting from Khyber Pass in North West Frontier Province in Pakistan down to Bangladesh all along the Himalayas, covering India, Nepal , Tibet and Bhutan along the way. It's more of a travelogue, with sprinklings of very British humour.

Also read the Northeast Trilogy by Dipti Bhalla and Kunal Verma. Well written books, the lot of them, and with nice photographs to boot. Though the authors couldn't possibly have covered the entire kaleidoscope of the Northeast, they have majorly covered a little bit of history, geographical location, origins and heritage of the tribes and people living in the North East. There is so much to discover in the northeast, and these books only add to that curiosity !

Cover
The Books Thread (non-fiction)-img_20181127_073927627.jpg


A Page From The Inside
The Books Thread (non-fiction)-img_20181127_074022955.jpg

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 27th November 2018 at 08:09.
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Old 28th November 2018, 18:46   #114
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Just finished reading this

1962: The War That Wasn't

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Great read for those interested in war history. Very detailed on various blunders played out in theater of war and in delhi at same time.
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Old 28th November 2018, 22:24   #115
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Just finished reading this

1962: The War That Wasn't

Attachment 1822994

Great read for those interested in war history. Very detailed on various blunders played out in theater of war and in delhi at same time.
A great read indeed on the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict - well researched and presents a balanced view. Another book to read on the subject is Brigadier John Dalvi's widely acclaimed 'Himalayan blunder; The Angry Truth About India's Most Crushing Military Disaster'. This is a first person account from a man who bore the brunt and fought through the Chinese assault on the Thagla Ridge and his detailed and well written narrative is lucid and free flowing. Though this book covers only the NEFA Sector, IMO, everyone who wants to know about the Sino Indian Conflict must go through this book.

To get another perspective, one that seems subtly tilted in the Chinese's favour, do go through Neville Maxwell's 'India's China War'. Though the book may not appeal to everyone, it does cover the origins, buildup to the conflict and the battles in both the Eastern (NEFA) & Western (Ladakh) sectors in fair amount of detail.

A recent book, called 'China’s India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World' , author Bertil Lintner has given a counterpoint, and counters Neville Maxwell's point of view soundly. It's definitely a good read.

Those interested in the China and Tibet, including a lot of history (some of which covers the conflict too), Claude Arpi's blog would be a good place to start.

Cheers !

Last edited by Ironhide : 28th November 2018 at 22:29. Reason: Adding link to blog
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Old 29th November 2018, 00:04   #116
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Another book to read on the subject is Brigadier John Dalvi's widely acclaimed 'Himalayan blunder; The Angry Truth About India's Most Crushing Military Disaster'. This is a first person account from a man who bore the brunt and fought through the Chinese assault on the Thagla Ridge and his detailed and well written narrative is lucid and free flowing. Though this book covers only the NEFA Sector, IMO, everyone who wants to know about the Sino Indian Conflict must go through this book.
Agree. I am reading this one already. Surely, Having bore the brunt of first wave of attacks with everything inadequate,to see his men die around him & than spend some 5 odd months as POW, this will be a interesting read. Perhaps, it shows the than political & military leadership in their actual colors
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Old 29th November 2018, 11:53   #117
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Also read the Northeast Trilogy by Dipti Bhalla and Kunal Verma. Well written books, the lot of them, and with nice photographs to boot. Though the authors couldn't possibly have covered the entire kaleidoscope of the Northeast, they have majorly covered a little bit of history, geographical location, origins and heritage of the tribes and people living in the North East. There is so much to discover in the northeast, and these books only add to that curiosity !
Thanks for sharing! Would love to read the NE trilogy, but sadly they seem unavailable on Amazon. Any other leads?
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Old 30th November 2018, 13:18   #118
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Recently finished Touching the Void.

The book is a true harrowing tale about the nightmare two climbers encounter on Siula Grande in the Andes during descent. The author, Joe Simpson, breaks his leg after a fall from an ice cliff after summiting. Thereafter it's about how they manage to get off the mountain in treacherous conditions.

A very absorbing and moving read. It's a breathtaking account of courage and determination. Having read accounts by Reinhold Messner, Ed Viesturs, Chris Bonnington etc. of their adventures on Himalayan giants, I wan't expecting anything close to what actually transpired. The effect of this read on me was immense.

Proves a popular theory that gauges mountaineering difficulty against the mountain height, wrong. Some of the eight-thousander's in Himalaya's are technically less challenging and require less effort.

Last edited by strawhat : 30th November 2018 at 13:20.
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:33   #119
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This is Siachin.

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Siachen! An isolated world within this world situated in the 6,000-metre high icy mountains of the Himalayas. The world where temperature ranges between -20⁰ and -55⁰ Celsius. The world where Indian Army’s lion-hearted Jawans and officers guard our border in the face of indescribable hazards.
This book is originally written in Gujarati and later translated in English. However, the core thoughts and issues are captured very well. It is actually a travelogue kind of book by a Journalist/civilian who got special permission to visit Siachin's forward posts. It also covers report of Chadar Trek and Stok Kangri attempt, which author undertook as a preparation for Siachin trek. A nice read who wants to know about Siachin from a Civilian's POV.

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Recently finished Touching the Void.
Thanks for the Review. Just yesterday I received my copies of "Touching the Void" and "The wonders of Himalaya". Looking forward to reading it very soon. After finishing "Annapurna".

The Books Thread (non-fiction)-20181130_133307.jpg

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Having read accounts by Reinhold Messner, Ed Viesturs, Chris Bonnington etc. of their adventures on Himalayan giants,
I consider myself an armchair mountaineer and keep reading these Himalayan giants. Currently Reading "Annapurna" from Reinhold Messner.

The Books Thread (non-fiction)-ann.jpg

Last edited by SJM1214 : 30th November 2018 at 14:36. Reason: Minor Change.
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Old 30th November 2018, 15:09   #120
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I consider myself an armchair mountaineer and keep reading these Himalayan giants.
Me too. I spent hours reading articles and books about reconnaissance, history and various attempts on Everest, K2, Nanga Parbat etc. There is something in those narratives that transport me to those places in an instant. There is a certain mystique associated with these snow clad peaks. The sight of Kanchenjunga I had in Sikkim flashes in front of my eyes as I type.

No picnic on Mount Kenya is another such narrative that had such impact on me. It is a similarly remarkable and fascinating read.

Last edited by strawhat : 30th November 2018 at 15:11.
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