God Is A Gamer: Book Review

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Is Revenge a Crime? Author: Ravi Subramanian

God is a Gamer

Book Review:

Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai. Enter Varun, part time drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

My Review: This book exceeded my expectations. This was the first time I picked up a book by this author, and I must say I was impressed with his writing style.

Off late, too many substandard works are passed off in the guise of catering to “Indian audience”, this book is definitely not one of them. The writing and editing was excellent, not to forget the excellent cover. I really REALLY loved the cover design, the first thought I had when I received this was this will look so good in my shelf!

The story line is initially quite haphazard at first, with many miscellaneous things happening across the world. As the book progresses, you come to know that all the things that has happened are somehow connected.

I will not be able to go much into details without giving out the spoilers. But the story line was awesome, the way the author has pieced together a complex puzzle had me guessing the final outcome to the very end. The twist in the final chapter was the icing on the cake, quite unexpected and that made it even a better read on the whole.

The book is a mere 230 pages, and so is a quick read.

The only thing that was a little irksome was that the female characters were too stereotypical. But when you compare the story line and the book on the whole, this is just a minor blip, not to miss out on reading this story just for this reason. I learnt a lot of IT stuff from this book, so that was an added bonus.

Do I recommend it? Yes. Pick it up, its fast and a furious read.

Here is one book trailer for God is a gamer: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Disney Princes: Every Girl’s Dream?

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Just like toy store, as you walk into a bookstore, you would find shelves of pretty barbie pink books and other shelves of books with the blues, blacks, greens, reds etc.

If you have not guessed till now, the first shelf is for Girls, and second for Boys. First one contains books like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, etc, while the second consists of Spiderman, Batman, Carz, Tarzan etc.

Now I do not understand this, as all the books that came in my house were read by both me and bro, be it Rapunzel or Tarzan. Now, as we developed our own tastes, our book preferences differ, but at that time, it was always a competition on who would complete the story faster.

This trend of gender policing books for kids as young as three or four is quite disturbing. Little girls are just left to being princesses waiting for their prince charming, while little boys have a wider range of choices from saving the country to exploring the jungles.

But are these expectations ‘normal’? Who decided that girls like only princesses? And that too, only those who dress “pretty in pink”?

What about a little girl who likes, say, black colour or would like to read about adventure, would she have to shop in boys collection? Since when personal preferences be defined by gender? What does it say about our society if boys as young as four or five starts to be embarrassed to be seen reading anything “girly”? Since when did “girly” become something to be embarrassed about? What is the worst thing that would happen if a boy reads about Cinderella and a girl reads Batman?

I came across this picture on facebook:

Why do we train girls to be dependent on boys, and then crib about how boys have to work hard to provide?

Why cannot we teach girls that they are Heros of their lives, just as boys are heros of theirs? That instead of waiting in the tower for prince charming to rescue them, they can slay the dragons and go on an excellent adventure themselves?

While I am not saying that Princess Books are bad, but I am saying that they should be treated like a genre of kids book, and BOTH girls and guys could read them as well as other books without facing any societal pressure of being called girly or a tomboy.

Are Prince Charmings really all that charming in real life?

Take a look at this video, which shows what would happen if prince charmings were real.

The Bro Code: Book Review

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Author: Barney Stinson, Matt Kuhn

The Bro Code

Book Blurb:

Everyone’s life is governed by an internal code of conduct. Some call it morality. Others call it religion. But Bros in the know call this holy grail the Bro Code.

Historically a spoken tradition passed from one generation to the next, the official code of conduct for Bros appears here in its published form for the first time ever. By upholding the tenets of this sacred and legendary document, any dude can learn to achieve Bro-dom.

My Review:

If you followed the show “How I Met Your Mother”, this book is for you.

The book has all the Bro references that Barney Stinson ever made on the show about the Bro Code. A bro is that special friend who is at your side through all the ups and down of life. And yes, even females can be a “bro”.

The book is quite small and an extremely fast read.

This is for people who see the show and know the kind of character Barney is, and how he evolves through the show. Others would find this to be very sexist as they would not know the context that the particular code was used by Barney. And plus, let’s face it, he was kind of over the top with his Bro-ness, before meeting Robin.

As with Barney, all the Codes are to be taken with a grain of salt.

All in all, an okey-ish one time read.

Here is a video on what you might expect from the book:

 

 

Mischelle Knight: A Real Life Hero

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Who is a Hero?

For me a Hero is someone who survives when giving up was the most obvious choice. Someone who chooses to fight back, while continuing to be compassionate, loving, selfless and kind when it would be understandable and almost expected to become selfish.

Yesterday, while watching random Dr. Phil videos on YouTube, I came across this story of Mischelle Knight. Her story touched my heart, and she truly is one of the most brave, courageous, and an inspirational woman. She, and two other women, were held against their will,for ten years in a dark house.

Not only had she survived a horrible ordeal for ten years, she went to court and faced her tormentor and saw to it that he was given the punishment he deserved.  She was the first one to speak to the media, she was the only one who came to court to face her abuser and if that is not a test of true character, I do not know what is.

The below picture is of Mischelle giving testimony against Ariel Castro, her abuser (in orange). She said:

“You took 11 years of my life away, I spent 11 years in hell.

Now your hell is just beginning I can forgive you, but I will never forget.”

(FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE CASE VISIT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Castro_kidnappings and  http://www.clevelandkidnappings.com/ )

She has written a book “Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness” about her horrifying tale of survival. I have already ordered it, and am looking forward to reading it!

But, here is Mischelle Knight’s first and subsequent interview of what exactly happened. Have a look:

Part one of the first Interview:

Part two of the first Interview:

One year later:

 

 

Limited period: One day offer for increasing the life span of your husband!

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*Conditions Applied.

Ladies, do you LOVE your husbands?

Then for you, and only you, we have a limited time, one day offer to increase the life span of your husband!!!

Do not eat for one day and help us deal with our competition, the God of Food, by totally ignoring him for one whole day, and in return we will increase your husband’s life!

Please read the FAQ section below for more details.

So, come all decked in your newest saris and fast for your Gods!

Love,
God, Almighty

 

FAQ Section:

Q. What about my lifespan?
A. Oh come on! Who cares about your life? Your life is good only till your husband lives. So you better hope he lives for a long long time.

Q. Umm..ok..so how does this even work?
A. By forgetting all the science classes you ever took.

Q. But, it is so romantic to fast for the one you love, isn’t it?
A. Yes, so true. Showing your love and care by doing things to make another person happy, make them feel loved and respected by words or actions throughout the year, is just not done. One needs to show love by sacrificing, compromising and whole other ‘ings’. Also, might I suggest ways of showing your love by writing a letter from your own blood, telling other person you love them so much you would kill yourself if they ever leave?

Q. But he will fast for me as well, isnt he so cute?
A. Owwwwhands on the heart, wipes a tear.. Indeed, you are so lucky, to have someone who, instead of telling you not to put yourself through discomfort, would rather put himself through discomfort as well!! How wonderfully logical husband you got! Lucky you!

Q. But, it is traditional, traditions should be followed as they are our a part of our wonderful culture!
A. Indeed it is, and let’s totally forget that this day was marked to celebrate a new bride’s friendship with other females (who are not her in-laws) when she reaches her husband’s place, but let us follow everything others tell us blindly without questioning or researching, and follow traditions that were not there in the first place! After all, who has time for knowing our culture, when one can just shout ‘respect our culture’ and do what others do! :)
Oh, and while we are honoring patriarchy let’s bring back Sati, Doodhpiti as well, they were a part of culture that started around the same time Karva Chauth started being about men’s life span instead of female friendships!

Peace!

(This post was also published here)

Check out my last year’s post on the Importance of Karva Chauth here.

50 Shades of Grey: Book Review

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Book Review: E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

Book Blurb:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

My Review:

Well, that’s a few hours of my life I will never get back :/ This book is a New York Times Best Sellerwoa..my respect for this list dipped so low..

It was after I read this book, I came to know it was a twilight fan fiction, and that explains so much! E. L. James took Twilight, and dragged it to even deeper depths. Anesthesia Steel makes Bella Swan look like a strong, Independent and Sane Person.  Also, while reading Twilight at least we had the comfort of Stephanie Meyers’ entertaining writing, this book is extremely poorly written.

While everybody knows what the book is about, I will not go into graphic details (pun intended), I will focus on storyline and characterization.

Anesthesia Steel is one of the most irritating characters EVER. Not only is she very weak, she also has a vocabulary of a 6 year old, and unfortunately as the novel is in her point of view, we have to constantly endure her saying the same words again and again and again and againand again. Ana is a 22 year old, who acts like she is eleven.

It took a hell lot of time to read it, because I could only endure “Holy Cow” and “Channeling my inner goddess”  or even  worse “Geez” for maximum five times in one sitting.

Christian Gray was a person who was so controlling, that he thought that it is his “care and love” that makes him decide how, what, when, and the quantity of food his lover should eat! And that is one of his most ‘reasonable’ expectation‘, among things like wear only the clothes what I give you, throw away the car that you got instead you will travel with only my driver in my car, or if and when she can roll her eyesetc.

If the characterization is bad, the story line is even worse.

A young, Innocent girl who is beautiful, but thinks she is plain and not worth it,who meets a rich, powerful, confident guy who then becomes the only thing she ever thinks about.

I thank the lucky stars that I did not spend money on this book or own a physical copy, as I would never EVER want such a pathetic book in my collection.

About the ‘Adult part’, it was not as ‘Shocking’ and ‘Exciting’ as the hype would have us believe. I do not know, maybe to someone who has never read an adult book in their lives before, it could  seem like that, but let me assure you there are far better books with Adult content, which also have a wonderful, Unique storylines and Intelligent Characterization.

Would I read the remaining two books of the trilogy?

Not even if my life depended upon it. I’d sooner give my life than put myself through the *holy cow, inner goddess, geez* with a few other words scattered around, ever again.

 

 

Animal Farm: Book Review

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Author: George Orwell

Animal Farm

Book Blurb:

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/ communist philosophy of Stalin in Russia.

My Review:

The thing about Animal Farm is depending upon the reader, it could be read in two totally different ways. It could either be read on its face value, and can be read as it is or it could be read as a brilliant social satire that is based on the Soviet Revolution. Either way, it conveys what it wants to convey, that any revolution, though with excellent core beliefs, could be contaminated over time if not checked, and power is not handled correctly could nullify any good cause.

The book starts with “Manor Farm” that is run by Mr. Jones. One day Mr. Jones forgets to feed his animals, that causes the animals to rebel. This leads to Mr. Jones running away from the farm, leaving the animals free from the “tryant human beings that are the root cause of all trouble”. Under the leadership of pigs, Napoleon and Snowball (the cleverest animals on farm), they create a model of equality called “Animalism” with seven commandments that goes as follows:

But as the more simple minded animals were not able to learn how to read or remember these, they formulated a one liner “Four legs good, two legs bad”.

Things went wonderfully, but power got into Nepolean’s head and the rest of the story goes on to state how the original commandments were changed to gain what was in benefit of the pigs which now looked something like this:

If you read it from the point of Satire on Soviet Revolution, you will notice how the characters get their personality traits from Politicians. Like Mr. Jones seems to be based on Tsar Nicholas II, Old Major would be based on Karl Marx, Napoleon on Joseph Stalin,  Snowball on Leon Trotsky, the dog squad on KLB, And the rest of the farm animals as the lower working class of the Soviet Union.

A great read for kids and adults alike.

A movie was made in the year 1999, here’s a trailer:

If you want your kids to view the movie, here is an animated version (Full Version):