As you would have guessed from my previous post in the series – Good Books to read in 2015 – January, I am a great fan of reading books. I simply love reading – I love reading the good ol paperbacks, eBooks on kindle and also eBooks on my HTC M8. Pretty much any time I can squeeze in between my work and other chores, I will be reading a book. So carrying on with that, here is another list of 6 good books to read in 2015.
In this series, I only list out the books which I am reading or have read just now. I cover all genres of books so feel free to pick any of these good books.
“Paper Towns,” by John Green
Ok. This is my second John Green and I am beginning to like the Author. I would admit it’s a fairly old book and one that I got from an old book store for a steal. But I was pleasantly surprised by this. The style and language of the Author is bit different and the humor is mostly dark. But if you are a fan of such stuff, this will be an incredible ride. Now about the plot – The main character is named Quentin who is secretly in love with a girl called Margo. But Margo doesn’t pay attention to him. One night she cracks open a window to come in his life, dresses as a Ninja. Then she asks him to join her for an all night trip on adventure, mischief and revenge which he does. He hopes that this will rekindle their friendship.
“Tonight, darling, we are going to right a lot of wrongs. And we are going to wrong some rights. The first shall be last; the last shall be first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting. But before we can radically reshape the world, we need to shop.”
But the next day Margo doesn’t return to school. Margo, who always seemed like a perpetual flight risk, however leaves clues behind to her location. From there, starts the infatuation of Q for Margo, as he is fascinated by her adventurous lifestyle. But the more he gets nearer to her, the more the idea of Margo changes in his mind. This all leads to the climax and the ending is an unexpected one – which you’ll either love or hate. The book is good read and has nice sense of humor built in. The best part is character development of Q. One interesting part is how Q rate people based on how more or less than human they are. John green’s style seems very refreshing and balanced – writing is so simple it feels reminiscent of Young adult novel yet somehow is so deep it doesn’t feel like one.
Islam in Liberalism – Joesph a Massad
It is not like any other book in this List. It is definitely not a beach book but I cannot see any other book in this list more suited to this time. The public perception and misconception is high about Islam currently. mostly due to way it is portrayed in media and lack of understanding about it mostly in western countries. At this crucial junction, were we see struggle between ideologies, the book takes a hard look at supposedly traditional and conservative Islam and the liberal mission to purify it. The Author is able to demolish the western preconceived notions about Islam. It starts with talking about how Islam is perceived in the west as representing oppression intolerance and cruelty while west and ironically Christianity is seen as the one with tolerance, equality and freedom. It shows how Islam is defined and how it is essential for the self definition of the West. An interesting aspect is how political situation in middle east is extrapolated to the Islam while that in western countries to Christianity . This book is an undaunted critique of western ideology to save and salvage the so called unenlightened. A must read for those interested in politics of liberalism.
Is everyone hanging without me (and other concerns) – Mindy Jailing
I’ll be honest. I loved The Office and Mindy’s work there as an writer/actress. So I was interested to read this. And yes, there can be comparisons to Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. Both of the Authors have had similar lives as writer/actor and subject is also similar. Even Mindy admits the same and says Tina’s better. Well I would not judge which is better but for this toy can say that this is written with honesty.
“I’m only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all. My body mass index is certainly not ideal, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie Sale section. I’m kind of a mess.”
I liked the book on a whole but a major portion of second part felt anecdotal to me. The first half though is really good when she talks about her childhood and teen years when she was a chubby girl and without a date. The second part of her life after college, starts on a good note especially when you hear about her life and struggle before Office. The behind the scenes part of the sitcom is also great. But when she establishes herself as actor and writer on office, the book looses it’s charm. In between all this ups and downs, you have Mindy giving her strong opinions on issues like friendship and love. While you might not agree with her views, you have to appreciate her firm and honest opinion on these issues. All in all, It’s an easy to read beach book or something that you can finish in one one lazy afternoon. The target demographic is young ladies who have dreams and goals to accomplish. You will thoroughly enjoy this. For others, a good light read with clever bits of humor sprinkled over a series of life essays.
The Boston girl – Anita Diamant
I have previously read “Red Tent” by Anita Diamant and was eager to try out another one. The Boston Girl is quite opposite to the Red tent. While the former was stylish and lush, this is very much a memoir. That is not a bad thing however. Its a story of a grandmother recollecting her days as young Jewish woman growing up in early twentieth century Boston. The Novel begins when Grand daughter of 85 year old woman Addie Baum is asked a simple question. How did you get to be the woman you are today? This starts the journey of how life was in Boston at the time. Anita’s writing is easily able to take you to early twentieth century and you can feel the soul of Boston at that time. The journey starts in 1915 when Addie was 15. She was born to immigrant parents and had a family of four living in one room apartment. As she grows up in a multi-cultural neighborhood, she experiences various facets of life – friendship, relationships, feminism.
“How did I get to be the woman I am today?” It started in that library, in the reading club. That’s where I started to be my own person.”
Her life opens up when she joins an girls group and she makes some lifelong friends and companions there. In many ways, this is a timeless coming-of-age tale about a girl struggling to make it work on her own in a big city. But the time in which all this was happening makes it all the more interesting. Overall, Boston Girl is a lovely, breezy read and especially recommended for the feminists out there.
Amnesia – Peter Carey
I have been reading Peter Carey for a while now and have read quite a few of his books. So when I got a chance to read Amnesia, I was not going to give up on that! After all, he has won the Man-Booker prize, one of the most prestigious literary award, twice! But it is not the usual Carey. In fact it is quite different that what we normally read these days. Amnesia is both fascinating and confusing, as well as specific and disparate.The story is deep and robust and complex – at times claustrophobic and incomprehensible The story describes life of Hacker Gaby Baillieux. She releases a computer virus in Australian prison system which infects many of the systems in America as well who used the same software. The Angel worm releases assorted prisoners detained in Australia’s prison system and effects were felt across USA where the worm infected 117 US federal correctional facilities, 1,700 prisons, and over 3,000 county jails.
Has a young Australian woman declared cyber war on the United States? Or was her Angel Worm intended only to open the prison doors of those unfortunates detained by Australia’s harsh immigration policies? Did America suffer collateral damage? Is she innocent? Can she be saved?
To save Gaby from Extradition or worse, her mother Celine and a wealthy Realtor Woody makes a plan to tell the true story of Gaby. They hire a disgraced journalist to do the work. The book at times is read from Felix’s view point who has no idea what is going and creates a confusion for the readers. Add to it complex plot, and hundreds of characters and many of them main characters(yes, they just keep coming at you!). Not an easy read for people looking for a simple thriller. But overall, a good read and a great one for book worms like myself who like complex narratives like these.
The $100 Startup
Ok, after 5 good books to read in 2015, another book which I finally tried this time was called the $100 start up. I am sure most of you would heard about the book. I also decided to finally take the plunge since I am starting a startup!
“There is no rehab program for being addicted to freedom. Once you’ve seen what it’s like on the other side, good luck trying to follow someone else’s rules ever again.”
If you are budding entrepreneur and planning to start a new business of your own, this can be your perfect companion. The books covers stories of 50 individuals who have started a small business of their own with less than 100$ investment. Its really good to read from people’s experience and realize the struggles faced by people like you in their journey. Though each case study is not in much detail and many at times you expect them to be a bit more detailed so that you can understand the steps taken by the entrepreneur to achieve success. The books talks about the important of personal freedom and how micro-entrepreneurs were able to achieve this.
There are no excuses for not starting. Take action now.
It is a great guide to learn to finalize your idea, do market research, business operations on a budget and finally executing the big plan. A great read. I have ready only 60%, but it has been really useful for me.