Friday, October 31, 2014

Books I have read recently - #3

The Carpetbaggers - This is really seven books rolled into one. I read this mainly to get a taste of the author. I can't really say I enjoyed it or hated it. As the book trudges on for hundreds of pages, you can't help feel a sighhhhh. But he is a master story teller - akin to a magician weaving strands of silk out of thin air. I really liked the 'Max Sand' character. Wish his part had been longer.

The Harry Potter Septology - Its unfair to try and do justice to this book in a two-or three line review. Again seven books - but not done in one sitting. I/we (and my wife) read the books together, interspersed with the corresponding movie. It has been one of the most enjoyable experiences. A summary of the impact...

A Thousand Splendid Suns - A fictional account set in the backdrop of wartorn Afghanistan. The story spans over a few decades. However, the story is edited like a movie screenplay which doesn't do full justice to what the author has tried to convey. Besides, the story moves dangerously close to stereotyping men, but is redeemed by a few characters - one or two at maximum. But the power of Khaled to instill a particular situation or emotion inside the reader is brilliant. I just wish he had utilized this gift to expound more about the two leading ladies.

Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine - One of the brilliant books I've read. It is scientific but almost reads like a novel. Its a story of two notorious characters in most people's lives - caffeine and alcohol. They have many things in common - scientifically classify as drugs, dangerous when over the limit, generate bittersweet experiences within the limit, have addictive potential and steeped in lore. Ignore the lore and just talk about the science - yaaawn. Ignore the science and just talk about the lore, you either deify or demonify them. So the book talks about both and in the process elucidates and entertains. Very rare! And the writing is not industry sponsored - so it is unbiased to the bottom. The consciously and necessarily dumbed-down to layman-level science is very high voltage material.

1 comment:

Anupama said...

Hey... the 2000s called, they want their Potter-mania back (the books of course).
Been there, heavily invested myself in the characters and wanted to know the middle names of Harry's grandchildren.

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