“Norse Mythology” is a book by Neil Gaiman containing retellings of some of the stories from, well, Norse mythology. The stories have been told in a modern voice and are embellished with a humor that makes one break into a smile every now and then. The stories range right from the creation myths all the way to the final destruction (also known as Ragnarök). If you have been curious to know more about Norse mythology, this book should serve as a fine starting point. It also makes for a good book from which to tell stories to children and friends.
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[2019-12-31] “Norse Mythology”
[2019-12-30] “D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths”
“D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths” is ostensibly an illustrated introductory book to Greek mythology for children by the artist-writer couple Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. However, it is a fine introductory book to this important subject for adults as well because of the breadth of its coverage and its nice artwork. For a more comprehensive coverage of this vast topic though, you would have to consult other books and even then it is quite unlikely that a single book would cover everything in a satisfactory manner.
[2019-12-30] “Measure What Matters”
“Measure What Matters” is a book by the investor and venture-capitalist John Doerr on using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition) to drive excellence and growth in a company. These have been replacing MBOs (Management By Objectives) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in many companies. OKRs were pioneered by former Intel CEO Andy Grove, but have been proselytized by the author over the years. They were made famous by their adoption and continued use at Google as it grew at an unprecedented scale. If you want to know more about OKRs and how to apply them at your company, this is the book for you.
[2019-12-28] “Ayodhya: The Dark Night”
“Ayodhya: The Dark Night” is a book by the journalists Krishna Jha and Dhirendra K. Jha telling the story of that fateful night of 22nd December 1949 when a bunch of Hindu activists smuggled in an idol of Rama into the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. This act started a chain of awful events that led to several communal riots across India in the recent past and most recently led to a historic judgement by the Supreme Court of India in the dispute. This book is an essential read to understand the conspiracy among various actors as well as the collusion and apathy at multiple levels of the administration and judiciary that led to the events of that night.
[2019-12-26] “Getting Things Done”
“Getting Things Done” is a book by productivity-consultant David Allen that describes their famous time-management method of the same name (often referred to by its abbreviation “GTD”). It has become somewhat of a classic book on improving productivity for individuals and achieved this status almost as soon as it was published in 2001. It has its share of naysayers, but if you are someone who is overwhelmed by all the things that you have to do in your work or to achieve your personal goals, this might just be the book for you.
[2019-12-24] “The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society”
“The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society” is a historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer (finished by Annie Barrows due to the former’s ill health). It is an epistolary novel comprising letters and telegrams written by some of the characters to each other (as well as the odd set of diary-entries by one of them). It is an enjoyable novel that is partly funny and partly tragic and mostly romantic. It was recently adapted into an eponymous movie as well.
[2019-02-04] “Early Indians”
“Early Indians” by Tony Joseph takes a look at some of the recent scientific research in genetics, linguistics, archeology, etc. to figure out just who the first settlers of India might have been and how they might have evolved over the years to form the current population of the Indian sub-continent. It is a relatively small book, but it is packed with information and provides copious references to the curious reader for further research. As it touches upon the roots and the identity of us Indians in these hyper-nationalistic times, it seems to have ruffled a few feathers already despite having what I consider a well-balanced and non-judgemental presentation.