Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Review: One hell of “edge of your seat” read about the only survivor on Mars- Mark Watney, who was left behind by his Ares 3 crew when they forcefully evacuated the site on account of severe dust storm. With the next NASA mission arriving in next four years and his food supplies lasting for just 180 days, Watney, a botanist & mechanical engineer, is forced to grow his own food on Mars. He begins to grow potatoes on Mars by using his own dump as manure and producing water from hydrazine(where he almost blows up himself). He keeps a log of his daily activities hoping that someone would discover it after his death. He repairs and uses Ares 3’s rover and drives for three weeks to the Pathfinder lander and brings it back to the Hab to communicate with the earth.
Continue reading “The Martian- Book Review”
Title: Pretty Baby
Author: Mary Kubica
Review: If you love her first novel “Good Girl”, you will definitely love this novel too!
Heidi Wood, a charitable woman one day finds a homeless teenager, Willow with a baby at the train station. She feels really sorry for Willow and the baby and follows them everywhere to know about their whereabouts. She even pursues Willow to come home with her so that she can take care of them. She succeeds in bringing them home, to her shocking husband and daughter. They disapprove Willow and her baby and speculate that she might be a criminal. Heidi takes care of the baby and tends to it as if her own. Heidi has her own history of miscarriage and unable to bear the second child. She gets all nostalgic and paranoid about this baby. She even drives Willow out of her house and keeps the baby herself. In the parallel story, actually Willow was sexually abused by her foster father, who had given away her baby sister for adoption, whose adoptive parents later had their own second child. To avenge this, Willow had kidnapped the adoptive parents’ second child. The adoptive parents go searching for their missing baby and finally finds it with Heidi. Heidi on the other hand needs psychological counselling to let go of her dark past of miscarriage and her possessiveness to the baby that is not her own!
Title: Reconstructing Amelia
Author: Kimberly McCreight
A psychological thriller about an extremely intelligent, high achiever Amelia, who is accused of plagiarizing on here English paper and committing suicide by falling off her school’s roof! Her mother Kate, who is a litigation lawyer blames herself and her busy career for her daughter’s death, until she receives an anonymous text saying “She didn’t jump”!
Kate sets out on a wild goose chase procuring immense support from lieutenant Lew sifting through her daughter’s texts, emails and Facebook activities to discover the shocking dark truths about her daughter’s last days of life and people mysteriously involved in her death!
Captivating plot that will give you goosebumps questioning your parental skills and a drive to introspect “how well you know your own child”!
Title: IAM Malala
Author: Malala Youzufzai
Inspiring story of a courageous girl who stood for what she believed in, where she recounts the events that unfolded in her life before and after the advent of Taliban in her peaceful hometown in Swat valley; numerous atrocities committed by Taliban; political instability in Pakistan during the reign of Nawaz Shariff, Benezir Bhutto, Pervez Musharaf and Asif Zardari; how their hometown was destroyed by coming under crossfire between Pakistan army and Taliban; how they were driven away from their own valley and lived as refugees in various cities of Pakistan; her longing and immense love for books and education; how she strived to make education available for all girls, her philanthropic work, her persistent fight to denounce terrorism and wrongdoings of taliban, LET, Pakistan government and army; and her efforts to bring peace back into her valley, and Pakistan in general, by being vocal in her inspirational speeches, peaceful demonstrations and rallies, her blog and tv interviews.
She is a fearless 15 year old girl who stood by her principles and morals and took the taliban’s bullet head on.
Even after she miraculously recovered the tragedy, she still continued her work for global peace and girls’ education by opening many schools and providing free education.
Title: Kane & Abel
Author: Jeffery Archer
Engrossing read about the story of two men Kane and Abel born on the same day in two opposite parts of the world- one to a powerful Boston millionaire and the other being adopted by poor polish family.
These two men are driven by their aspirations, money and fame, hunger for power and dreams to establish their own empires that they leave no stone un-turned to destroy each other, by pursuing their vendetta against each other for more than thirty years, hurting everyone and everything they love in this pursuit; only to realize at the end that one of them had selflessly helped the other one anonymously during his time of crisis.
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
A delightful read where Malcom relates statistical evidences and studies to prove that some people are successful not only because of their personal traits, intelligence or ambition, but, also, because they had an opportunity to be exposed to special privileges and opportunities to which others weren’t fortunate enough to experience.
He provides various scenarios and examples of:
1) how 10,000 hours of practice is required to make a person expert at something
2) how Bill Gates, Bill Joy had exposure to the first personal computers at their school/college which made them pro at computing.
3) how age cut off limit provides demarcation of star hockey, basketball players born before fall
4) why Korea had major plane crashes and they flipped things around
5) why Asians are ace at math
And many more.
Title: The Lowland
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
“The Lowland” by #JhumpaLahiri A captivating story of two brothers Subhash and Udayan set in the 1960s during the rise of naxalite movement in West Bengal. Even though Subhash and Udayan resemble each other, they have conflicting personalities. Subhash is silent and subdued; while Udayan is rebellious and demanding. Udayan is against the agrarian culture and is attracted by egalitarian ideologies. He becomes deeply drawn and becomes active member of the uprising naxalite movement and CPIM in Calcutta. Subhash on the other hand, leaves to US for his further studies.
Tragedy strikes their family, when Udayan is killed by paramilitary forces, in front of his parents and pregnant wife Gowri, for his involvement in naxalite movement.Subhash visits India trying to pick up ramshackle pieces of the tragedy that just ripped their family apart. He feels sorry for Gowri and entrusts himself with the responsibility of providing her a good life, by marrying her.
Back in Rhode Island, USA, Subhash selflessly strives his best to provide a great life to Gowri, and her new born daughter Bela, only to be abandoned selfishly by ungrateful Gowri to take up a teaching job in California.
Story emphasizes on Subhash’s sacrifice and selfless life which revolved around providing a great life to woman, who was his brother’s wife; a daughter and grand-daughter who weren’t his.
Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Intense than “Gone Girl”.
A fast paced story of kidnapping gone wrong; as narrated by victim’s mother, cop and the kidnapper himself!
Unexpected turn of events with motives being met, but at the cost of innocent being a “pawn in the game”!
Title: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova
A heart touching story of Alice- a highly accomplished Harvard professor of cognitive psychology who get diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s at a age of 50 and how her life changes with the diagnosis !!
Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Creepier than “Gone Girl” with unbelievable twist at the end! A regular train commuter gets unknowingly accused in a murder case when she is trying to sort out things with her past; what unfolds later is an unsuspecting murderer who makes your jaw drop!
Story of 3 women whose lives are full of love, hatred, lies, cheating and deceit and how these women are connected to each other by one common entity!
Title: Love Story
Author: Erich Segal
A beautiful love story about Oliver- belonging affluent family, and Jen belonging to working class. Harvard Law student, Oliver falls in love with Jen, a music student at Redcliffe.
They get married against Oliver’s father’s wishes and strive hard to make ends meet in their minimum salary.
A great love story which leaves a message “Love means never having to saying sorry”!
Title: Unreal Elections
Author: C.S Krishna
Review: “Mother of all sarcasm”! Laughter riot about Indian political parties, leaders and their fiascos which will make you cry with laughter!
Title: The Old Man and his God
Author: Sudha Murthy
“The Old Man & his God” – a collection of short stories beautifully woven around Sudha Murthy’s real life experiences with people belonging to various walks of life viz: beggar, cook, maid, postman, security guard, blind man, street vendor, students, best friends, colleague, team mate, doctor, engineer, businessman, philanthropist et al.
Her experiences with them reinforces her views on basic essence of human values like unconditional love, affection, compassion, peace, content, empathy, selfless love and service, trust, gratitude, thankfulness , good attitude, great friendship, simplicity, modesty, honesty, mother’s sacrifice, philanthropy and other virtues which restores faith in humanity!
Title: Gently falls the Bakula
Author: Sudha Murthy
“Gently falls the Bakula” by #SudhaMurthy !!
Lovely read! Story of two neighbors Srimati and Srikanth, who excel in their academic, and fall in love with each other. Shrimati is smitten by history and pursues Arts course, despite being a topper at her school, while srikanth pursues his science course in IIT Bombay. They get married despite opposition from srikanth’s mother and his sister. After wedding, Srikanth works hard and climbs up the corporate ladder, but Srimati continues discharging duties of a dutiful wife, forgoing her academic aspirations of PHD in history. Some incidents make her introspect her empty life and she decides to do something about it!