Review: Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the best non fic I have ever read. It’s not a simple read, took me almost three months to finish it off. The good part is it helped me divert my mind and kept it engaged during a time when I most needed it. The ponderous nature of the chapters did slow me down in the beginning. But once you get the flavor of the book, its difficult to pull away from the charm.
Each chapter, unique in its own might, points to an ‘controvertible’ truth, the real ‘story’ of successes and how the factors beyond our choosing make a difference to that story. I was constantly reminded of the term ‘fate’ in my head throughout the narration of the book. Quite a gem of a book it is and I would go with a rating of 4 for this one.

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Year in Books

2016 was a not-so-bad year up to July for books. I finished off 25 books (most of them in the first part of the year) before the reader’s block hit me hard. Nothing impresses me nowadays. Romance, Thriller, Philosophy, Non-fiction, Spiritual… I tried all sorts of genre and nothing gives me the much-needed mojo to read more. It’s as if I have hit a wall and I see no way forward.

So I start 2017 with no TBD books in my kitty, absolutely nothing other than ‘The complete Java Reference’. Time for a complete detoxification. No more reading challenges and no more reviews till the dawn. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise! Hopefully soon.

2016 Book Overviewbooksoverview

Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ideally, this should have been my favourite book of the year considering how I like this genre of books. But here I am, already picked up the next book in my reading list and that is not the sequel of The 5th wave. Somehow Cassie Sullivan did not hold my interest enough to get me pick up the next book in the sequel. Maybe later I will pick it up, but not now for sure.
I first thing about the book is how the mood of the writing changes from start to end. In the beginning, I liked the narrative of all characters which sounded very poignant suitable for flashback narration. But towards the end, the shallowness creeps over progressively, making it like a James-Bond-movie-eleventh-hour-escape-sequence. The scene when Cassie and Ben Meets Evan sounded so cheesy and out of place that I might have skimmed a few pages there. Other than that the book is good enough to hold your interest until the end. Going with a three for this one.

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Review: Room

Room
Room by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting book which creeps you out in an impossible way. I, like everyone else on earth, have a tiny little fear of closed places which peeks out every time I am on a lift or in the upper birth of a train. But never thought a book will ignite this little paranoia. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for about a week even after I finished reading.
The best part about the book is the Five-year old’s narrative. It’s always a mystery to me how authors pull off Children’s narrative for a story. Their thoughts, their priorities, their innocence, it takes magic to get all these together right and Emma Donoghue is perfect with that. I would go with a four for this one because to tell you a complicated story with a kid’s narrative is am an impossible task and the author has done an amazing job doing that.

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Review: Undercover

Undercover
Undercover by Danielle Steel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone reads Danielle Steel and everyone loves Danielle Steel. It’s so true. Recently I was feeling a little distanced from reading because of all the non-fic books I picked up on psychology(I don’t know why I did it, anyway all of them got returned to the library in no time). This book gave back the lost vigor to my reading. Simple nice story and amiably simpler narrative just made me finish off the book in two days. When the author tells you a story in the simplest and endearing way, there is no way you can give anything less than 4 to the book.

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Review: We Should All Be Feminists

This book is an adaptation of a TEDex Talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  Here is the video!

 

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We should all be feminists

I really enjoyed reading this book mostly because it resonated with my views and opinions. It feels good to read about ideas and thoughts similar to yours but coming from a completely different country and culture.  Though I wouldn’t say this is the Must-Have-Bible-For-Women, It can be one of the Must-Read-Books-For-Women. I liked the book, still, I feel there are few additional points which probably add a little more depth to many arguements.

In my opinion, everything comes down to Respect at the end and it is a two-way street. Many times, the battle, the presumed battle of belligerent warriors of feminism,  seems to be more toward the niceties or does more towards cementing the prejudices against women than strengthening the gender. Just when we say ‘Woman has every right to wear whatever we want without being subjected to prejudices or harassment’, the reverse should hold good too . The same respect a high-heeled-lipgloss women commands should be given to a Bindi-worn married lady or a woman in Hijab. The mettle of women is decided by neither the length of the heels nor by the size of the bindi she wears. By creating such caricatures of what a feminist, err female-feminist,  should and should not be, we are just limiting our progress towards gender equality.

Nobel prize winner Malala, who inspires millions of women around the globe is seen with a headscarf most of the time. Being a mascot of Girl Education movement, she has spread powerful and focused messages on Girl Education. Malala’s speeches on youtube are very inspiring and touching at the same time. All superficial judgments, fade away in front of this determined Girl who forces us to focus on the message than the messenger. It’s applaudable that without changing her identity to match the norms of society, she has proved that only intentions should matter.

While we move towards the egalitarian society, we should strive to eliminate discrimination, poverty, lack of education and all other regressive elements which push women to the back alleys of society. It should be a humanitarian movement including both men and women.  Nowadays the bulldozer-feminism flattens every other boastfully individuality cornering out of the movement as a hate-men propaganda. I would rather stick to a mild #heforshe version of the feminism than labeling each and every member of the other sex as the arch-enemy. This is one of the reasons why I think Emma Watson’s speech at UN He for she campaign should be heard along with this book.

 

I like to conclude that no one should treat Feminism as a battle to be the dominant sex in the world. It should be a process mainly to Empower the Women, to Create society where women are treated on par with men, and to strengthen the Education system to motivate the next generation to be an empowered one. So I would go with a four for this book with an added comment that it is not the ultimate ‘The’ book and we should know to think beyond the limits.