Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What I Read in 2012...

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I always loved reading books. For me reading books use to give me lot of relaxation. There was a time when I use to read a book every week. But these days, with the amount of work and the time I spend with my family I rarely get chance to read at that pace. But still I make it a point to find time to read books that interest me. The books that interest me are mostly current affairs, politics and cricket. All the book I have read will fall under these three categories. I am creating this blog post to keep track of the books I read every month.
I have three books with me now. I am looking forward to reading them now.

December 2012 - PaxIndica by Shashi Tharoor
This book is a window for people like me to understand the relationship of India with other countries. Learned a lot reading this book. If you are interested to know the impact of foreign policies in India's development then you read this book.
Rating 9/10
December 2012 - Patriots and Partisans by Ramachandra Guha
I started reading this book sitting in Chennai airport on the way to Vizag. This book was so well written that in another 10 hours I finished reading it sitting in a hotel room in Vizag, time was 6:00 AM and I never realized it. If you are someone who likes to dwell more into the history of post independence India this is the book for you.
Rating 8.5/10
December 2012 - Dongri to Dubai - Six Decaded of the Mumbai Mafia by S.Hussain Zaidi
I have read a lot about in bits and pieces about Mumbai Mafia. This book gives you a great picture of the evolution of Mafia or the underworld in Mumbai. 
Rating 8.5/10
December 2012 - Mafia Queens of Mumbai by S Hussain Zaidi
Another book on Mubai underworld by Hussain Zaidi - narrates the story of 6 mafia queens of Mumbai. Not as engaging as Dongri to Duabi.
Rating 6/10
November 2012 - Conversations with Mani Ratnam by Baradwaj Rangan
I am not into watching lot of movies but still loved reading this book. This book has chapter dedicated to each of Mani Ratnam's movie and is written in the format of an interview. The questions are so deep to bring the best out of Mani Ratnam and gives as a picture of how much pain this Director takes to make a movie. Good job Baradwaj and must read if you are a fan of Mani Ratnam.
Rating 8.5/10
October 2012 - A Better India A Better World by N R Narayana Murthy
A must read book for every Indian. Compilation of speeches made by founder of Infosys N R Narayana Murthy, is a great read. 
Rating 8.5/10
September 2012 - No Easy Days by Mark Owen
After reading this book it is not the minute details about the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden that struck my mind but American brutality in two countries where they cannot appreciate and understand culture of Iraq and Afghanistan. In the name of wiping out terrorists, mighty Americans are killing lots and lots of innocent people. No wonder whole Muslim world is up against them
Rating 7.5/10

September 2012 - Poor Little Rich Slum by Rashmi Bansal
After reading this book, now I want to visit Dharavi in Mumbai. This book, that narrates the life of Dharavi through people living in Dharavi or having links to Dharavi gives as a glimpse of India and its people. Another significant thing about this book - its awesome photos.
Rating 8.5/10
September 2012 - Budget of Poverty, Poverty of Budget by Eza Sezhiyan
Compilation of 50 articles of Eza Sezhiyan former Member of Indian Parliament and a Janatha Dal leader, published in The Hindu from 1991-2011; Eza Sezhiyan, considered as one of the heros in the fight against emergency imposed by Mrs Indira Gandhi deals with so many important issues India faces in those articles.
Rating 6.5/10
September 2012 - Jinnah India-Partition Independence by Jaswant Singh
I am now a big fan of Jaswant Singh. I salute Jaswant Singh for the courage he has shown to write this book. This book was a real eye openor for me. Mr Singh has beatifully narratived the shift of Jinnah as an Indian nationalist to Quaid-i-Azam of Pakistan. Looking forward to his next book that is getting released in October 2012.
Rating 10/10
September 2012 - Ettamathe Mothiram by K M Mathew
An excellent autobiography by K M Mathew who took Malayala Manorama to new heights. This book is the written history of Manorama, newspaper with largest circulation in Kerala. I bought this book from Kottayam railway station on my journey to Vellore from Trivandrum and almost finished it by the time I reached Vellore. A good book for any one interested in knowing Kerala better.
Rating 9/10
August 2012 - Olicamerakal Parayathathu by Berlin Kunjananthan Nair (Malayalam)
I never thought it will be such a good book when I bought this book; Kunhananthan Nair has written about the degradation that is happening in CPI(M) now; how the working of the party has changed after Pinarayi Vijayan has become the State Secretary of the party; he narrates how the present leadership hijacked the core principles of communism. A good read for all those who follow Kerala politics.
Rating 8.5/10
August 2012 - Sancharikkunna Vishwasi by Lonappan Nambadan (Malayalam)
Autobiography by a Kerala politician who has served the state as minister (2 times), 25 years as MLA and 5 years as MP. Nambadan, know for his simple living and high thinking narrates his political journey in this book. 
Rating 7/10
August 2012 - Obama's War by Bob Woodward
Whenever I read the work of Bob Woodward, I wish he was born in India - then Indian politics could have some great books - like a detail account of Babri Masjid demolition - who all were involved in the plot; what did the then Indian Prime Minister did on the day of demolition - all that we could have known. This book is all about how President Obama made his decision to increase the troop strength in Afghanistan. This book also shows us how different working style of George W Bush and Obama is.
Rating 9.5/10
August 2012 - Rahul Dravid Timeless Steel
A compilation of essays and interviews of Rahul Dravid that appeared in Cricinfo magazine till now. This book is as lovely as a technically perfect cover drive by "The Wall" of Indian cricket. 
Rating 9/10
July 2012 - Turning Points by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
A great description of those days when Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam was the President of India. The vision he tried to put into practice to make India developed by 2020 makes it a great read
Rating 8/10
July 2012 - A Grain of Sand in the Hourglass of Time by Arjun Singh
Compared to Western world, autobiographies of politicians is a rare commodity in India. Arjun Singh, who played a big role in Indian politics for more than 50 years have come out with his autobiography. In this book he gives us a glimpse of what has happened on the fateful night of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, day when Babri Masjid was demolished and so many other political incidents. I enjoyed reading this book.
Rating 8/10
July 2012 - Chinthayil Ninnu Veeshanathileeku by A P Abdullakutty (Malayalam)
It is a great feeling to know that a politician from Kerala, that too some one who came from Communist background is thinking so much about giving a new direction to development of Kerala. This book written by A P Abdullakutty MLA talks about the changes that needs to be made in our mindset to make real development happen in Kerala. Few of articles are well written while few of them deviate from the topic.
My Rating - 6.5/10
July 2012 - Decision Points by George W Bush
I always loved to read to autobiographies of politicians and this one also did not disappoint me. Decision Point talks about some of the major decision made by George Bush and how he made that decisions. This book gives a good insight into the way American President works. 
Rating - 8/10
June 2012 - Winning Way by Harsha Bhogle and Anitha Bhogle
What has sports and management has in common - many says Harsha and Anitha! A very well written book - for a novice like me in management subjects, I could understand the complicated management fundamentals as it was explained using well known sports anecdotes.
 Rating - 9/10
June 2012 - Keeping the Faith - Memories of a Parliamentarian by Somnath Chatterjee
A parliamentarian for close to four decades - this book gives a glimpse of everything Comrade Somnath Chatterjee fought for. Some of the great speeches he made in parliament is given in this book. The most interesting part of the book is the chapter describing the incidents that lead to his expulsion from the party he served for over four decades.
Rating 7/10
June 2012 - India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha 
The first question that came to my mind after reading this book - why the hell it took me so long to read this book? One of the best books I read about Indian history till now. If you are interested in understanding India after independence , I suggest you read this book.
Rating 9.5/10
May 2012 - Priyadarshan - Hittukalude Rajakumaran (Malayalam)
Biography of movie director Priyadarshan by Suku Palkulangara in Malayalam - narrates the life of one of the most successful movie maker from Kerala - his initial struggles, his love for reading and how he made it big in Malayalam and Bollywood. I finished reading this one in one go waiting for a bus in Bangalore  on my way to Madurai.
Rating 6.5/10
April 2012 - Nitish Kumar and the Rise of Bihar by Arun Sinha
A great read...A must read book for those who want to understand the contemporary politics of Bihar. The best thing I like about this book is that Arun Sinha in the second part of the book has narrated both sides - where all Nitish could go good as Chief Minister and which all areas he needs to make improvements. Also got a great idea about "Lalu Raj" where entire administration machinery was on standstill.
Rating - 9/10
March 2012 - My Unforgettable Memories by Mamata Banerjee
A compilation of articles written by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – helped me to understand the politics of West Bengal better.My Rating – 7/10
February 2012 - Men of Steel - India's business leaders in candid conversation with Vir Sanghvi
If you want to know more about the big names that drives Indian economy like Tata or Azim Premji – then this is the book for you. It is a compilation of articles Vir Sanghvi wrote in Sunday Times.My Rating – 7/10 
January 2012 - Out of the Blue: Rajasthan Road to the Ranji by Aakash Chopra
This book was so good that I finish reading it in one go. Here is a review I wrote of this book. My Rating – 9/10
Now you may have understood my taste in reading. Do you have any suggestions for me?

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Anonymous west bengal board said...

All these books which you mentioned are of those people who converted their life and people's life from a life of tyranny to life of happiness.Especially Mamata Banerjee has changed the whole Bengal system by overthrowing communist party.Now education is also improving in West Bengal.

April 17, 2012 12:12 PM  
Blogger kalyan inampudi said...

Nice reads , Would like to read two of them sometime.

My suggestions

1) The power of habit by Charles duhigg
2)Why nations fail (its awesome)

3)World is Flat ? (already read it ? )

I would also like to suggest you trying Shelfari.com

May 26, 2012 11:23 AM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...

Thanks buddy...First two I haven't read, I read World is Flat... Will try the first two...
Thanks again..

May 26, 2012 11:28 AM  
Blogger scorpiogenius said...

Good that you now find time for this. I bought one a few weeks back and still havent reached anywhere.

Its funny about Priyadarshan. They should name the book 'hittukalude raajavu; copy adikaludeyum'

July 24, 2012 12:47 AM  

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