Goodreads readers choice awards winners 2018- 4 books which I wish to read

Hi friends,

Goodreads viewer’s choice awards have been declared on 4 December.

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Around 5 million votes cast and I am happy some of best books of 2018 got selected. Few of my personal favourites missed out; but community has chosen the best of them all.

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These are 4 books I am going to read pretty soon. I wish Harari had win non fiction category, but unfortunately his book got only 19000 votes.

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Four gems that sprouted out and now are part of my TBR;

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1. Educated

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This masterpiece is memoir about struggle of a girl who is too burdened by family expectations and who has got no support to fulfill her dream to get meaningful education. Autobiographical account with lovely prose shows her struggles and what she achieves.

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2. The great alone

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Former lawyer turned writer, has written this masterly crafted tale of survival of a family in Alaska amongst all atrocities and literally being at the edge of the world. Book has has a lovely love story and brutal nature of life of a war veteran.

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3. Still me

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Third book of Lou Clark trilogy which weaves a enjoyable love story with a delicate balance of heart break and triumph..

.Author who is journalist has captured imagination of millions of her readers.

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4. I will be gone in the dark

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A journalist investigates and writes about serial killer, golden State killer.

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Read to find out what folds out.

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These 4 are are in my TBR.

I wonder that books about survival and love stories are never going to go out of fashion.

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#goodreads#goodreadsawards2018#educated#stillme#thegreatalone#iwillbegoneinthedark#bookfan#readerschoice#TBR

Dying attention span of humans – Short blog posts or Longer ones?

Hi friends,

After string of book reviews, I am trying to bring out one small point that is gurgling in my stomach and it confuses my already confused brain.

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Are small blog post going to win blogging world in coming years, or long posts which Google algorithm loves so dearly, are going to stay at top.

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According to common advice which we get; when we start a blog, and search post about how to increase your followers ( God, after 1000 posts about it, I am still a man with no neurons assigned to this task.) ; is ” write long pieces, it makes algorithm to go into repeated orgasms.

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But I am also told, that attention span of sapiens has come down to the level of 7 seconds, just like a goldfish which, I suppose will never have to read a post about how good a book is or how to make prawns in wine and mayonnaise.

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How it is then long posts are going to see somebody going down them and actually seeing their bottom.

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( God, if you have read this much you are better than a goldfish. Congrats )

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What I presume is that, first 5-10 lines of any post has to do wonders to get hold of attention of readers like me, whose attention is already divided between job, boss, friends, phone, itching on the back of neck, burning eyes, yesterday’s alcohol, acidity producing coffee and next sale on Amazon.

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Then you need attention to feed yourself and go to restrooms where no blogger will like to be read and appreciated.

( Don’t tell me that you carry your phone in washroom to save your time. That is crime.).

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Untill post has hot models or nice photos or its is divided into bold headings, my hand doesnt listen to me and backs away towards new notifications.

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What I like is

1. Small post

2. Immediately conveys main stuff

3. No foreplay and build ups

4. Lots of pictures

5. Simplifies stuff for my limited IQ.

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So, may not be very soon, but short, content full, simplified, visual posts are going to gain advantage in coming years.

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I may be wrong in my prediction; but it is a small prediction which can be read and erased from your cortex which already has a lot of spam.

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Let’s pray our attention is spared and we stuff limited data into it.

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#blogger#followers#growblog#wordpress#google#algorithm#attentionspan#goldfish#sapiens#google

Review- Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author- Heather Morris

Publisher- Bonnier Zaffree books UK

Genre- warstory, biography

Pages-270

It is always going to be impossible to ascertain; whether wars supress the art or they nourish it. Art needs some sort of danger to sprout out of its seeds and humans are never short of creating horror and disputes.

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we see so many stories arising out of ruins of a war and they stimulate emotional typhoons like blasts in the psyche of the reader.
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I have read few books on wartimes but this one is different.
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It tells love story of Lale and Gita, which blossoms out of thin air; grows into a big forest and finally undergoes many cycles of green springs and torrid winters. Beauty of the book lies in use of simple vocabulary but still being powerful and deep. Author makes familiar plot into a beautiful novel.
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Story sometimes crawls out of book and feels like a dream you wish you watch completely before going awake.
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It has deep corners depicting bare pains and starkness of torture which occurred in those black times and gardens of blooming flowers when Lele meets Gita and they love each other; so deep that they forget their destiny is hung with a fine thread.

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Story follows their lives from the time of their arrival in camp to the day when they get seperated and war ends.

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Lales command on five languages and his helping nature saves him and many around him.

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Everywhere we see touch of reality with no superhuman acts or stunts. Story is sincere and realistic.

War and apocalypse lovers should get hands on to this one….

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My rating 4/5

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#warstiry#truestiry#worldwar#auschwitz#tattooist#heathermorris#novel#survivour

Review – A man called ove

Book- A man called Ove

Author- Fredrick Backman

Publisher- sceptre

Pages- 292

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This is a book with big heart.
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It makes you Happy ( whatever that means) and after few paragraphs sends you into sort of deep despair for pain filled around Ove.
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Every line is well crafted and cared about and well tendered. It shows that all novels depicting brutality of death, dont always need to be boring and brutal themselves. They can have giggles sprayed all over their plot.
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Its love story of Ove and Sonja, which runs in past but hits at present. Ove is an old block, still stuck in his past and who has stopped living after his love of like, Sonja left him in lonely house.
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It is the war between self made sincere grumpies, and new imbeciles who cannot do anything without help of others and who just want to have lunch all day.

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Ove finds it impossible to make sense of all his neighbourhood and all the abnormal things new middle class is indulging into.

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.But his new neighbours, an unwanted cat and grave of his wife, Sonja come to rescue him.

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It is the book, that has big heart ( like ove), has lots of silence ( like ove), always something to construct ( like ove) and tells a lot of jokes ( unlike ove).
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Truly one of the most heart warming book you will ever read.

Every body should read it. It is such a nice book.

Review- The Tobacco Story by N. Chandan

Author- SN Chandan

Publisher- Bloomsbury India

Pages- 192

Genre- nonfiction, history

This book with 162 pages, travels through era after era, to analyse effects of ‘tobacco’ on civilization.
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It shows how once declared as a ” gift from god” and magic herb, it gradually became demon of death which led to gore warnings over its packaging.

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Story is fascinating and it is some sort of historical account of how tobacco shaped fads and fashion of elite and commoners.
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first chapter enlists mythical stories about tobacco, which may be skipped by stern non fiction lovers.
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most interesting part is when 19 th century starts and various advertisements are shown.
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Book has a lot of pictures which are sort of decorative ornaments to an account which is a little boring at places.
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Somewhere reader may fall in love with weed but last pages reveal ugly face of tar and nicotine.
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technology helping cigarette making and tactics by tobacco companies to increase business and lust of governments to fill their treasuries with tobacco’s revenue, has some realistic description.
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Story of a devil unleashed by greedy humans, acquired from tribal chewers, domesticated and then thrown over weak masses.
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Tobacco became many things slowly, with changing times, but it is far from oblivion.

.two billion people will be smoking in 2025, according to WHO estimate.
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.My rating is 3.5/5

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#bookreview#bookblog#bookblogger#indianauthors#booklover#booktuber

When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanidhi

Title- when breath becomes air

Author- Paul Kalanidhi

Publisher- Hachette books

Pages- 286

Some books visit you to reallocate your priorities and to clean dust from front of your eyes. To make you see how fragile our life is and how death makes us, more alive and coherent.

Book depicts fight of a neurosurgeon with advanced lung cancer and depicts beautifully that even a dying soul yearns for meaning.

He faces dilemma which every philosopher tried to decipher but still nobody could make out; what is the meaning of life and being human.

Author who has keen interest in literature, takes refuse into books for comfort and extracts meaningn from literature he had read in his teens.

Strong in message, moving tale which depicts pain a doctor has to share with his patients and how it is actual pain that makes you aware of real hardships of a dying man.

But Dr Paul does it with dignity and courage to leave a excellent book for his daughter and countless souls; suffering patients and fighting doctors who sometimes become patients themselves.

It is a must read for non fiction lovers. It’s that sort of book in which you know the plot and you know what is going to happen at end, but still you turn pages anxiously.

It’s quote that I liked is ” life is lived for first 20 years, after that it’s all reflecting.”

#nonfiction#selfhelp#biography#indianbookblogger#books

Poonachi by Perumal Murugan

Book- Poonachi, or story of a black goat

Author- Perumal Murugan

Publisher- context

Pages- 180

This is a fable about a feeble black goat, poonachi and her endeavour to survive in all adversity and hardships.

One old couple in distant village of farmers, one day gets a small black goat as a gift and from that day, their life gets deeply entangled with the fragile creature.

Bond between old lady and goat is moving. She understands her bleats; can seperate painful bleats from bleats of joy and anxious bleats from bleats when goat is in heat. Their bonding stays firm while everything around them melts away.

It has deep sattire on authoritarian government and insensitive beauraucracy. It shows meekness of poor who find only solace in their imagined Gods.

There is a cute Love story embedded in the frame.

To weave painful magic in a small fable, using basic words of common dictionary is a profound act of genius by author.

This is a masterpiece of India writing.

Rating 4/5.🍩🍩🍩🍩

#bookreview#bookblogger#indianauthors

Review- A comma in a sentence

Author- R. Gopalakrishnan

Pages- 164

Publisher- Rainlight Rupa

Genre- autobiography, history.

This one is small read which I picked up due to its very lovely cover and small gritty hardcover format. Ofcourse, I had heard good things about the author. But I am content now, that I have read it.

Book is autobiographical account of life of brahmin family living in villakudi village of Tamil Nadu, which faces all the challenges in Indian society but still thrives creating deep impression on the mind of the author.

Book has simple language, gives a lot of historical facts, which I found interesting and has a chapter on wisdom by author which he has derived during his life long career as a top leader in Hindustan lever and Tata.

Chapter on Calcutta and Subhash Chandra Bose is very good. Book touches every aspect of society like cast, farming, family values, temples, rituals, religion based politics, brain drain and main events in Indian history from Tipu Sultan to liberalisation.

Not a novel book but still a lot can be learned in this pacy read with aroma of Indian society filling your room and one may find familiarity of unchangeable destiny of Indian middle class. Middle class whose only option is embracing the change and then trying to adapt quickly to it and survive generation after generation, becoming more affluent each time.

One section discusses stories which had impact on author, these are all interesting stories

Flaw of the book is that it’s simple journal about self and plot wanders irregularly between history, present and autobiography.

But simplicity of writing, makes me think I will read his other books someday.

Rating- 3.5/5

#bookreview#Indianbookbloggers#bookblog

21 lessons for 21 St century by Yuval Harari

Author – Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher- Jonathan Cape London

Genre- Popular science, history

Pages-318

First I would admit, I am big fan of the author. Anybody who has not read history as a subject, will find his historical stories very enticing.

This book explores present time, after he examined past in “Sapiens” and future in “Homo Deus”.

Author has excellent storytelling gift, which makes reading his books very enjoyable, even more if we surf ‘google’ alongwith reading.

Book examines every important aspect of our being, with focus on fact that present world is so complex that it is almost impossible to work out what is happening at the moment. Our life revolves around a lot of fiction and stories, which are pumped into us, the moment we become a zygote.

After that whole life we try to adjust our behaviour according to the story. Each country and each religion has its own story, which hardly considers other possible stories, other than their own story.

In an engaging prose, author covers work, liberty, free will, religion, terrorism, immigration,post truth and meaning of life.

What he imagines might be overcooked soup, but it forces reader to think and reflect. It’s only assumption but facts discussed are hard and researched.

As compared to sapiens, book is almost as enjoyable as his first book and has basic arguments which were seen in his other two books. Lots of new facts are there but basic reasoning is repeated in the book.

His chapters on God and secularism are boring to say the least.

I liked chapter on post truth and terrorism the most. His long discussion on Judaism is also interesting. Some hardcore people may take his blunt and strong opinions at heart. His comments cover almost every significant religion and nation. But countries of Africa and South America feature less prominently.

He succeds in almost in all his arguments, even if marginally.

He uses stories from movies at a lot of junctures which appear a little artificial. He has touched almost every religion. He is particularly hard on Russia and communism but deep faults in capitalism, religion, free will, liberty, revolution, war and countries of East Asia balances his criticism to include all defaulters.

Afterall, in n his own words, ” we cannot underestimate stupidity of sapiens”.

Rating – 4/5

#bookreview#hardcover#indianbookblogger#books

Book review- The Altitude Journal

Bio- David Mauro, Plaid Vermin publishers, 2017, 456 pages , travel and adventure.

There are few books that cling to you and let go, only when you have listened to them, all the way to last page. This book by david Mauro is fast, interesting, easy on mind and eyes and heart warming account of his pursuit, of conquering the seven tallest summits arount the world. In his own language , he is trying to catch his own tail througout and has a wish, that he should never catch it permanently.

Brief sumnary – Author a finance planner has many problems which life has thrown upon him. Unable to gather courage and determination to be face to face with them, author seeks redemption elsewhere. A way which will provide him with feeling of accomplishment, which may be shared by society and his loved ones. He then sets out on adventure of a lifetime, with the help and encouragement of his soulmates.
Battered by the life and unable to justify his existence, author sets out on a mission, he never considered in past. He chooses to walk the path, that attracts him subconsciously. He calls it, his calling.

Book describes all the events, in a enjoyable way, with pauses which analyse meaning of life and lots of interesting facts about mounteering. Reader will love self reflections of the author, along the way. He is able to touch complex topics, without being complicated. He has bloggers charisma to attach to his reader.

Accounts of papua guinea and Everest, are highlights of the book. They are informative and engaging. All other summits provide lovely insights into varied cultures

Recommended for all adult age groups and genre lovers. Photographs of author along the journey, enrich the reader’s experience. Lovely book which you will enjoy, as simple as that.

Remembering back and lots of characters to draw inspiration from. A lot of role models appear, during the pursuit.

Only drawback I noticed was, subconscious advertising of gatorade and starbucks and few descriptions of toilets during expeditions. There are few instances where you feel, story has touch of hollywood love stories. Love story of the author has elements of movie like imagination.

I will strongly recommend book to all non fiction and adventure lovers. I would have loved if book had more photographs.
My rating is 4/5