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Category Archives: reviews

The Information Diet by Clay Johnson

In many more ways than one, this book can be described as “food for thought.” Clay Johnson aims to do for information what Michael Pollan did for food. The parallels the book draws between the food and information industries are surprisingly persuasive. Like our food, the most easily and cheaply accessible information that we consume […]

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Once you get used to reading 18th century English, this is an absolutely delightful, interesting and thought provoking book, well deserving of its place at the top of the Harvard classics bookshelf. The two facts I knew for certain about Benjamin Franklin before I read the book were that he was a founding father of […]

The Shiva Trilogy, Parts 1 and 2

Came across this series while browsing bookstores in India. Thanks to vacation time, I could polish off the first and second parts in four days, just like old times! The first book is titled “The Immortals of Meluha” and the second is “The Secret of the Nagas”. I can’t remember the last time I’ve finished […]

The name of the wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

I hadn’t read fantasy fiction in quite a while and decided to give this book a spin based on many recommendations. The first of a series, the novel is about an accomplished but world-weary magician, Kvothe, who has all but retired and become an innkeeper in an insignificant little town, to all intents and purposes […]

The myths of innovation, by Scott Berkun

A great book of insights, history and reasoning about the process of innovation. I think Scott Berkun chooses the perfect way to go about describing innovation — debunking the myths and half-truths that have cropped up about it since the term became overly abused in corporate and business communication. The work is far from merely […]

Weekend media notes

Saw ‘Visual Acoustics – The modernism of Julius Schulman’. Fantastic documentary about a fabulous man. He’s one of the best known architectural photographers of the 20th century; and covered much of America’s modernist architecture. His dedication to his work, brilliant ideas, curiosity, humour and vitality even in ripe old age are inspirational. Not to mention […]

Less, by Marc Lesser

Who could resist reading a book called Less by an author called Lesser? The book’s subtitle is “Accomplishing more by doing less”. The focus is to try and resolve what the author calls the “busyness” problem — having so much to do in life that we do none of it deeply enough or satisfyingly enough. […]

The Value of Nothing, by Raj Patel

Most of the economic literature that I read tends to fall into two neat categories — dense and nearly incomprehensible, or overly simplistic soundbite material. Fortunately, I’m getting better and picking up books that go into depth but are still understandable. Raj Patel’s brilliant book falls into this category. The main thrust of the book […]

The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh

Set in the mysterious, dangerous and constantly changing terrain of the Sunderbans in East India and Bangladesh, this gripping tale of young woman’s journey unfolds spectacularly with all the drama of a Shakespearean play and mythological echoes of the great Indian epics. A young Indian born American marine biologist, Piyali Roy journeys to the Sunderbans […]

The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie

A marvelous story told in (almost) classic British comic style by Hugh Laurie, who played Bertie Wooster in the “Jeeves and Wooster” TV series. A review I read before reading the book spoke of this as a mix of P. G. Wodehouse and Fredrick Forsyth and I didn’t believe it. I won’t say I buy […]