Books Read in 2008

This year, I have been reading more for knowledge than for pleasure. However, whenever time permitted and when the mood was right, I did lay my hands on books, some of which I had bought ages ago, and some bought at the spur of the moment to satisfy an immediate curiosity.

Anyway, the list so far looks as follows:

1) Just for Fun – Linus Torvalds and David Diamond: An autobiographical account about the person who wrote the first version of the Linux kernel, and gave it out to the world, which now hacks it, for pleasure or purpose. I enjoyed the book, except for the bit towards the end which got a little bit boring.

2) When Nietzsche Wept – Irving D Yalom: A book I gifted myself as a birthday present, this talks about a fictional interaction between Josef Breuer and Fredrich Nietzsche, and how the former helps resolve the mental issues that the latter is suffering from, and in the process, cures his own personal problems. It’s a relatively unknown book, since not many of my friends have heard about it. The theory behind the birth of psychoanalysis that’s presented in this book is quite interesting. The book does wander into the philosophical territory, but more than anything else, it goes on to show the human side of the brilliant thinker and a gifted physican.

3) Shantharam – Gregory David Roberts: My roommates gifted this for my birthday, and I took quite a while to finish this book about an Australian convict who lands up in india, interacts with the local mafia, and becomes a pakka mumbaiyaa. Good book, read it if you get it.

4) Prisoner of Birth – Jeffery Archer: Bought as an act of impulse when I saw the jacket photograph on the doors of Sapna Book house. A very “Count of monte-cristo” like story which has no surprises in store, but the execution is quite deft. Typical Archer novel.

5) First amongst equals – Jeffery Archer: Four ambitious MP’s and they journey to grabbing the coveted post of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. In typical Archer istyle, it keeps you guessing asto who will end up with the PM position, until the last page.

6) Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol: A prequel to GEB, I thought when I picked up this book long ago in Pune. But read it only after three years. Some of the puns are the wittiest I have ever come across.

7)The three biggest mistakes of my life -Chetan Bhagat: I made a mistake reading this one. Guess it was written inorder to be made into a stereotypical Hindi movie.

8)The Broker – John Grisham: Bought it at the Chicago airport, when I realized that “I am a strange loop” by Douglas Hoffstadler wouldn’t keep me hooked throughout the 14 hour journey. I have mixed feelings about this novel. While the story was interesting in parts, the Italian lessons in the town of Bologna was really not that exciting. And unlike the Grisham novels that I have read in the past, this had little to do with courthouse.

Currently reading the Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien.


About gautshen

A jack of many trades of which , Linux Kernel Programming puts food on the table. Also pursuing his PhD in the area Theoretical Computer Science at the Chennai Mathematical Institute. Is an avid reader interested in the Hindu traditions and philosophy. Loves Bicycling and Good Music. Name is Ranjal Gautham Shenoy.
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One Response to Books Read in 2008

  1. Logik says:

    Er. Shouldn’t that be “Shantharam”?Grisham novels without law stuff are different and hence makes for a good read. I rate Painted house to be his best work yet. Closely followed by The firm and The partner.

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