ManBooker 2016 Shortlist and Manbooker Review-thon

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ManBooker 2016 shortlist has been announced today. The winner would be announced on 25th October 2016. Which means that I have a selection six of the best fiction books published this year on our reading list and around six weeks to read all of them, review them, and predict the winner (before the final prize is announced). Exciting six weeks ahead!!

Here is the shortlist –

PS: slightly disappointed not to see any Indian names in the list.

PS: It has been more than one and a half years since I wrote anything related to books/reading/literary stuff. I always know that I have been neglecting blogging, but, somehow, in my mind I never assumed that the gap is more than few months, a temporary phase and I will pick up again very soon. Also, I completely missed blogging about Manbooker 2015 (I wrote a lot about Manbooker 2014 and Manbooker 2013). What to say, life happened when I was busy making plans for this blog. Hopefully, would be more regular now.

 

Good Stuff I read This Week – May 17 2015

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Just a collection of some interesting/useful/informative stuff I stumbled upon this week!!

Do you know your wrecking crew? – I think everyone should read this article, and then, for once, thank their “wrecking crew” – people in your team/office/organization who work in the background, largely unnoticed, rarely appreciated, but are extremely critical for smooth execution.

Also, see this documentary if possible. See Trailer below:

What’s the point of a professor? – A very good article on how “the being nice” phenomenon is probably ruining the education system. Ability to give and receive negative feedback is a universally accepted attribute for a successful professional life. However, we as a society are getting less and less comfortable with the idea of our teachers being brutally honest about our performance. Is this making grads “unfit for job”?

Quotable Quote: In 1960, only 15 percent of grades were in the “A” range, but now the rate is 43 percent, making “A” the most common grade by far.

The Last Day of Her Life – A heart warming story of Sandy Bem, an Alziemer’s patient who decided to end her life with dignity, rather than surrendering herself to the gradual degradation of her mind and body by the disease. I think the extent to which we will be affected by Alziemer’s and how ill-prepared we are to deal with it is the most scary thing about the future.

Quotable Quote: With Alzheimer’s disease, she would write, it is “extraordinarily difficult for one’s body to die in tandem with the death of one’s self.” That day at Mapstone’s office, she vowed that she would figure out a way to take her own life before the disease took it from her.

Note to Self: Being Alice is still unticked on the “to-Watch List”

Ending this post with this tweet.

As soon as I read this, my memory was flooded with names of people who needs to be told this.

Good Stuff I Read This Week – May 10 2015

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Just a collection of some interesting/useful/informative stuff I stumbled upon this week!!

The Behavioral Revolution the internet has solved the “Information Problem”  you want to know how to do stuff – that information is available at the click of a button. Will solving the behavior problem be the next revolution. Very interesting and thought provoking article by David Kadavy. Another reason why inter-disciplinary education in Technology and Behavioral Sciences would be an awesome thing to have.

Quotable Quote: As we learn more about why people behave the way they do, the knowledge for a behavior revolution is being transferred from advertisers and big business to individual entrepreneurs. This transfer may create the economic force necessary to make a behavioral revolution possible.

The Twitter Fiction Festival The 2015 Twitter fiction Festival, a five day virtual writing contest held entirely on Twitter, is starting next week (May 11 to 15).What? Fiction on Twitter? For those who don’t know, it is the newest literary fad, writing stories using a single or a series of tweets. The fad is new, but the universally acknowledged best twitter fiction was written many years before the medium even existed – this master piece by Hemingway

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

The Value on (Financial) Controllers – Bean Counters? Necessary Evil or Strategic Partners?

The story of a Clean Real Estate Company in India its visionary founder and young CEO on Twitter. among other things, how a founder placed trust on a young talent and groomed him as his CEO.

To end this week’s post, this is amazing, like science fiction: “How to control someone else’s arm with your brain”

Good Stuff I Read this week – May 03 2015

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Just a collection of some interesting/useful/informative stuff I stumbled upon this week!!

The Importance of Respect (Strategic Finance Magazine) – Cannot agree more with this article. Respecting your team members and colleagues is the more powerful and impactful than anything else you can do to be professionally successful.

Quotable Quote: Why is respect important? Because it is an essential qualification for a successful career and is sought after as you progress through various stages of leadership and responsibility. It’s something that you want to earn and something that you want to bestow.

Inside Automattic’s Remote Hiring Process – An inside view on the hiring process of the company with the most unique office set-up (100% remote).

Quotable Quote: A) never interview anyone that I’m not confident will make it to a trial, and B) never offer a trial to anyone who I’m not fairly confident will make it to a final interview.

Most Common Biases that effect business decision making

A very interesting case study on the struggles of a whistle-blower – Scary how difficult it is to fight big corporates. Immense respect for Tony for not giving up!!

Most productive ways to disagree across cultures – a very relevant read for anyone working in a cross cultural environment

On a lighter note, these 27 new words are insanely funny!!

Also, another fail from Microsoft –  they have this age guessing site, which is almost always wrong.

And to end this post: tech troubles in Marble Universe

My Most Anticipated “Book-Movies” of 2014

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2013 was a good year for movie adaptation of books. We had The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby, Hunger Games – Catching Fire, The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (although it is not a book adaptation, it is a based on a short story, I am taking the liberty of adding it here). There were some disappointments too – most notable being Ender’s Game (what a great book and what a mediocre movie).

The trend continues in 2014, we have some really good literary adaptations in the pipeline.

Here is my list of the most anticipated “book-movies” in 2014:

  • Gone Girl (based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn): With a wonderful cast (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) and a superbly talented director who knows how to handle literary adaptations (David FincherFight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network), Gone Girl is one of the most awaited movies of 2014. The beauty of the book was the unexpected twists and turns. Now, that we know the story and the ending, it would be interesting to see how David creates an interesting thriller in the face of “i-know-what-happens-next audiences”. There are talks about substantial changes to the story and even a new/alternate ending. Fingers crossed for this one.

Gone Girl

[My review of Gone Girl]

  • A long way down (based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby): A brilliant dark comedy about four strangers who bump into each other at the rooftop of a building on a new year’s eve, each one being there with an intention to commit suicide. This book has some really interesting characters, and I am looking forward to seeing Pierce Brosnan play Martin and Aaron Paul play JJ.
  • The Imitation Game (Based on “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges): It is based on the life of one of the most respected mathematicians of all time and the title role is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Any more reasons needed?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing

  • The Maze Runner (based on the YA dystopian novel of same name by James Dashner). The book was good, the trailer looks good. Could this be the next Hunger Games?
  • Dark places (based on novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn). Dark Places is probably the darkest of Flynn’s works, which given her body of work, means that it is really dark and gruesome and extremely disturbing. It would be interesting to see the story and characters coming alive on-screen, especially Libby Day being portrayed by Charlize Theron.

And finally, this list cannot be completed without the mention of The Hobbit – There and Back Again (last installment of the Hobbit series by Peter Jackson, based on The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien) and Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Part 1 (the next installment of the The Hunger Games series, based on the novel Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins).

Which “Book-movie” are you looking forward to in 2014?