Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

RJing

September 25, 2006

This one happened almost a month ago. Was in a taxi & the taxiwala had RadioCity on. Being the newest FM station in town, was curious about them & started to listen. They seemed to be slightly offbeat when compared to Radio Mirchi & Suryan FM, the more popular ones. It was real nice when the RJ announced that he’ll be quoting/talking about a book. And was even more surprised when he said the book on that evening’s show would be “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach! Was very much appreciative of the fact that here was a FM station that is talking about famous books at primetime. Of course there were cine songs & ads inbetween. All went well & then came this contest question at the end – Who’s the author of the famous Tamil song ‘Odi Vilayadu Paapa … ‘. The options were a)Subramanya Bharathi b)Vairamuthu c)Pazhani Bharathi.

Scott Adams on writing books

September 13, 2006

Have been an on/off reader of Dibert cartoon strips. Scott’s humor can many a time be thought provoking. From a recent entry in his blog :

When I wrote my first book, The Dilbert Principle, I inadvertently stumbled on the most powerful, sure-fire book-selling concept ever: Say what other people are already thinking, but say it better than they are thinking it. In my case, I told people that their managers were as useful as the undigested bits of peanuts in a squirrel’s turd. (See, you just laughed.) Bingo – best seller.

All non-fiction best-selling opinion books are nothing more than your own opinions fed back to you with seasoning. Ann Coulter sells to conservatives who agree with her. Al Franken sells to liberals who agree with him. And they do it brilliantly, in my opinion.

I tried to violate that rule with a later book called Dilbert and The Way of the Weasel. My thesis was that everyone is a weasel, including you and me. Oops. I think seven people bought that book, and probably as gifts for people they don’t like. No one wants to hear that he or she is a weasel. People want a book that says OTHER people are weasels because that’s what they believe. Most people don’t want to risk having their mind changed.

To be fair, there are independent thinkers who read all sorts of books. But there aren’t enough of them to make a best seller.

Liked the way he puts things in a matter-of-factly way.

Starting a book lovers club

March 18, 2006

We are just getting started with a club for book lovers at our office. The first meet happened last month (just an intro of all members) & the second meet today discussed the controversial Best Seller from Dan Brown, ‘The Da Vinci Code’.

The session went great. There was so much trivia & info being exchanged. And the book/author being in the limelight helped, I suppose. Lines from the book were read & we touched upon the author’s style, plot & the extensive research gone into making of this book.

Though the attendance was poor (some 15 out of the 50 members attended), believe the faithful will continue to come & we will have a good time exploring books.

five point someone

March 17, 2006

Much has been written about the book & I’d been long waiting to get my hands on it. The oppurtunity presented itself last night. Liked it so much that read it in two sittings.

The story takes place during 90-94 plus or minus a year. Seems like being in an IIT isn’t that much different than in any engg college & this story of 3 friends going through their 4 years of college evoked many such feelings of my own college life, though I didn’t have that adventurous a life as Hari, Alok or Ryan.

The story does capture much of what an engg student goes through. The Prof asking ‘What’s a machine?’ & Ryan coming up with a gym’s benchpress example, ragging, dating the HOD’s daughter, drinking vodka & smoking grass on the insti rooftop, Ryan’s funny ideas like C2D, stealing the Indem question paper, Alok trying to commit suicide, the guys getting caught almost everytime they do mischief, Prof Vera & his helping these 3 guys – all these events had quite an impact on me. I liked the way there were interludes in the form of italicized chapters of Ryan, Alok & Neha telling the story – soemthing that reminded me of the story told by the Doctor in “Treasure Island”.

Hari & Ryan missing out the convocation while Alok attends it, Hari dreaming about the HOD Cherian coming out clean in public about his son’s suicide & the senti filled pages are some of the loopholes/not-so-good parts of the book. And there are some anachronisms too, events that I thought didn’t happen during the early 90s.

Chetan Bhagat’s got this nice, funny, Indian way of writing & I think I’ll read ‘One Night @ the Call Center” soon. (though people have warned me about the ending having a call with God!)