Showing posts from 2011

Five Six - The 30 week project

Just because I wasn't able to post here doesn't mean I wasn't true to my self-assigned project :-) For week five I picked up the much recommended Google Hacks  by Rael Dornfest. It ended up being my book for week six too since getting through the book involved some do-it-yourself stuff on the laptop as well. Before getting this book from my library I wasn't aware of it being closer to a reference book. Nevertheless, I had fun reading this one and would say it's a good one to keep next to your computer (if you're one of those who still has a desktop at home) so that you can try the self-contained hacks when you have time. Also, hack here means a neat or clever trick as opposed to a dirty trick, and it's meant to act as a tool to help you get the most out of Google (or to get you out of those situations when even google can't rescue you). There is also some space devoted to tricks that would help you amuse/fool your friends, but I think that

The 30 Week Project - Week 4

So on with my book for this week , the promisingly titled Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right  by Douglas Merrill (former CIO of Google) and James Martin. I have a self-imposed rule of not giving too much importance to self-help books. This one made it through my filters since it was a) heavily recommended and b) the premise appeared to be a bit different than your typical self-help literature. The author being a former CIO at Google definitely helped matters. In the end, it proved to be a bit of damp squib for me, but not necessarily because of the being particularly unreadable. I was more shocked than disappointed since I already practice most of the stuff suggested in the book, and I would definitely not describe myself as organized :-) But I guess I would have been a lot worse were it not for my judicious (I have to call it that, even the former CIO of Google recommends it) use of the vari

The 30 Week Project - (2 week long) Week 3

Thanks to work, and preparations for Deepawali , the second week of my project lasted a couple of days longer than two weeks. But through it all I'm happy that I was able to stick to my rule of devoting only the non-productive time to the book at hand. The book that I'm done with now is " Gandhi An Autobiography - The story of my experiments with truth ", which, as I know now, was written in Gujarati originally. The style of the book is very simple and conversational, which makes it an easy read. The author didn't write it in one go, or take too much time out from his daily schedule to pen this. Instead, he tried to complete a chapter or two each week, which makes it easy for the reader to have breaks between chapters (and suited my reading pattern just fine). The author is one of those people who bring out deeply polarizing opinions in people. I am yet to meet someone who looks at him objectively, he is either the Mahatma or the selfish politician who

The 30 week project - week 3

Week 3 of The 30 Week Project beckons, and it is this week that will test my resolve for the first time for I am totally inundated with work. Nevertheless, I will try to stick to it, and hopefully will be successful. Week 3 started on October 2nd, the birthday of one of the most well known Indians. So I decided it would be the right time to get to a book that has been on my   list for some time now. The book is " Gandhi An Autobiography - The story of my experiments with truth ". I have read parts of this book in Hindi a few years ago. Since then I've wanted to give it a complete reading but something or the other kept popping up. But now the stars have aligned in the form of my 30 week project , and my wife randomly buying this book, so I shall make full use of it. I went through the first few chapters this morning on the way to office and what stuck out for me from the introduction were the bits where he asks the readers to not take like/hate any idea beca

The 30 week project - week 2 conclusion

It wasn't too much of a reading week since I finished the book in a couple of days flat. Turns out that was for the best since I haven't had any time to spare from work since then. As I'd mentioned , I'd taken up Lee Goldberg's "Mr Monk is miserable" last Sunday. It was a fun breezy read and for the most part it kept true to the portrayal that we have seen on TV. It was a good idea on the author's part to stick to Natalie's first person account of the events. She has the best view of Monk and the mystery at hand, and provides the much needed saner voice when Monk is going berserk in his own way. As is common with Monk, investigating is something that comes as second nature to him and it isn't really the centre-piece of the tale so to say. That honour goes to Monk being Monk  when experiencing Paris, trying to find order in chaos, trying to arrange all human skeletons by type in a Catacomb , trying to single-handedly clean up the stre

The 30 Week Project - Week 2

I am assuming you know about the 30 week project that I am on right now. Week 1 was a success and now I am on to week 2. I'd this vague idea that I'll try and mix up the kind of books that I read, to prevent boredom from setting in. And so the book that I have started in week 2 is Lee Goldberg's "Mr Monk is miserable" . Monk is one of my favourite TV characters, and one of quirkiest detectives that you will ever see. His cases are always a mix of good fun (for the viewer) and great detective work. As I have discovered after buying it, this book is not the first but the seventh in the series of Monk mystery books, so I assume they have had some success, thus patting my own back for this impulse buy being a good one. I have seen a lot of characters make their way from books to TV and cinema screen, this is the first time I will be following someone the other way round (full disclosure, I started on Sunday and I am already pretty deep into it). It look

The 30 week project - week 1 conclusion

So week 1 of  The 30 Week Project  was successful, partly because I stuck to public transport, mostly because  the book  that I was reading held my interest. I had no idea who  Rob Lowe  is till I'd seen  Sam Seaborn . Without having seen too much of his work, I can say with certainty that Rob Lowe would be hard pressed to not put Sam's name forward were he asked to present just one of his roles to showcase his work. As I often tend to do when I like something, I read more about The West Wing and that was when I came to know of his unceremonious exit from the show, the controversies surrounding his video-tape, the early fame and the late blossoming as a dependable and sellable TV star. The stuff that I read was interesting enough to get this book on my reading list when it came out, and I am glad that it did. What I like best about the book is that it is in first person throughout. It is not an adult Rob telling you what a 10 year old Rob did, it is the 10 year old Ro

The 30 week project - week 1

Starting today, for the next 30 weeks, I will be trying to finish one book each week. By trying I mean that I will be putting all my non-productive time into reading (mostly commute time), without actually going out of my way to meet this imaginary deadline that I am creating. Why am I doing this? Because I want to. Everything doesn't have to have a rock solid, well thought out reason :-) It's just one of those things I have decided to do on a hunch, and I plan to stick to it. I started today with Rob Lowe's "Stories I Only Tell My Friends" . I don't see too much of a problem in finishing this one on time :-)