Showing posts from 2017

Omar El Akkad's American War - Review

It's a novel predicting a grim future where climate change and internal conflicts have caused tremendous damage. North and South are divided, not by the racial lines, but by the usage of fossil fuel, so severe the division is that a second Civil War starts in 2075 and ending in 2095, costing millions of people their lives in the process. Omar El Akkad's American War is written well, has good characters development, plot and fast moving story, and I felt while reading it that the writer has written this novel as a metaphor, pointing to the eerie similarities between our contemporary world in early 21st century with the mere six to eight decades in the future. The story of an innocent girl named Sara T. Chestnut (Sarat) and her family, suffered from the war's violence. A born curious and exploratory girl, who might in better condition could have become a great scientist or a writer, Sarat gets manipulated by war veteran man named Gaines, who utilizes his charm and eloque

The Lost City of the Monkey God - A True Story - by Douglas Preston - Review

I thought it would be a very different sort of book, like adrenaline pulsing adventure story. The Lost City of the Monkey God - A True Story by Douglas Preston turned out to have more nuanced actions but more thoughtful observations about the archaeological exploration, Honduran politics, academic squabbling and the terrible parasite based disease called Lieshmaniasis, a disease that the millions of people in bottom rung of the economic ladder have to face without generating much interests from the big pharmaceutical companies as less money to be made from researching and developing vaccines and other medicines combating this "poor" world disease. The author's exploration of the lost city in the La Mosquitia region of Honduras, along with archaeologists, film makers, photographers and military proctors, are well described, including the tremendous daily struggles that all of them had to go through. Historic accounts were given about the lost city, and earlier explore

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

In November I finished reading two books. First was Benjamin Percy's The Dark Net and the second one was Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. Both of them are thrillers, well paced, good story plots. The Dark Net felt like a science fiction in the beginning but it turned out to be a super natural story. Not bad as a page turner, but I think the author Benjamin Percy has much more potential than he displayed in The Dark Net. He pointed some of the darkest corners of the web and how it can spirals out of bound, ushering in the dark ages of future. Plausible. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch has a good story plot, that unfolds fast and furious. The quantum mechanics based theme, the Schrodinger Cat theory, alive and dead at the same time, the multiverse, the intense longing to return to the loved ones made the reading memorable. Blake Crouch's writing was fluid, some of the words and sentences I found to be profound, quoting a few below: "And maybe that’s what makes tragedy

Origin by Dan Brown - a Review

Dan Brown's latest novel "Origin" is an entertaining book. Like his previous novels, the author has created a page turner, though the main plot of the book I found to be not too shocking as I could deduce it from the very early on, however, I found this as an absorbing reading because of its presentation of two very basic questions of humanity: Where do we come from? Where are we going? Like the other classic Dan Brown's novels, the protagonist professor Robert Langdon embarks on a whirlwind adventure finding out the puzzle left by a brilliant scientist and futurist Edmond Kirsch and his progeny the artificial intelligence entity called Winston. What is a bit different in Origin than say from Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons is that unlike the more narrower scope of previous stories, this one tries to answer the existential questions of humanity. Some of the pros and cons presented regarding life's origin, it's undeniable future progression and the ri

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes - A Review

Terry Hayes' I am Pilgrim is probably one of the best spy thriller books I've read in recent days. More than 800 pages long but packed with heart pounding actions, deep character development along with the writer's observations of socioeconomic malice abundant in many parts of the world. The protagonist and the main villain, both of them brilliant and determined in their own cause, and the various events that led to the final climax was breathtaking. This was a page turner and the writer Terry Hayes is prolific in his words, describing scenes in detail as if I was watching a movie. It proves the brilliance of the writer's screenwriting ability that he transformed into this unputdownable book. Some of the acute observations that protagonists and other characters made are memorable. Here is a quote: "Edmund Burke said the problem with war is that it usually consumes the very things that you’re fighting for—justice, decency, humanity—and I couldn’t help but think

Sharata Bikel Amar Akela Kete Jai - An Instrumental Music

An instrumental music of a nostalgic song from my childhood. I don't remember all the lyrics but still remember the melancholic tune that I played in my keyboard tonight. A few lines of lyrics that I can remember: সারাটা বিকেল আমার একেলা কেটে যায় শুধু তোমায় ভেবে ভেবে সময় যে কেটে যায় ছোট্ট বেলার পুতুল খেলার সঙ্গীরা কোথায়? এখন দিন গুলো যেন বছর মনে হয় আবার রাত গুলো যেন বছরে ফুরোয় ....... এই অবেলায় এই অবেলায় -------------- ছোট্ট বেলার পুতুল খেলার সঙ্গীরা কোথায়? English translation: My all evening passes alone Only thinking of you all the time is spent Where are all the childhood friends? Now the days seem like years Even the nights ends in years ................. In this wrong time In this wrong time ------------------- Where are all the childhood friends?

Rocket Man vs Con Man - a Poem

Rocket man goes Look at me, look at my shiny toys They fly higher, girls and boys I am the scariest, craziest loon Can eat ice cream without the spoon My dancing is the best and daring As my frown frazzles the fools blaring Idiotic tirade at me and my people Who have freedom like the best sheeple Con man goes Look at me, look at my grimy palm While I scare the hell out of calm My toys are bigger, stronger, snappy I have the smartest brain from almighty My loud mouth is the coolest and caring As my cold stare rattles the louts flaring Nonsensical protests at my twittering policy I love liberty and life for the docile polity A toddler goes Toddle, toddle, toddle I am walking! Don't befuddle! Cuddle me! Hug me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Feed me and stop watching TV Daddy! The Rocket and the Con Man Are too naughty to play 

Good Pointers of Success

Good pointers from a Forbes article regarding success: "Do what you are passionate about. Without passion, your work is not your love and you can never be your best or be better than others who are running with their passion." "Do something that you are inherently good or talented at. We all have our relative talents but spending your life doing something that is inherently more difficult puts you at a disadvantage to other more talented people." "Do something that creates value and can be sold into a market present or future. Creating a widget that nobody but you wants may be self satisfying, but it certainly is not going to make you your fortune nor lead you to personal or professional success." Here is another quote: " It’s simply a determination to never ever give up. That is the most important element of success: dogged determination.  " 


Photo source: They are uprooted from their burnt out villages. Their schools are demolished. Homes are ransacked and bombarded. Malnourished children fleeing with persecuted parents. The faces of traumatised Rohingyas, begging, pleading for help. Thousands of them drowned in sea while attempting to flee by boat and many more died in jungle camps, many of these are run by brutal people smugglers. And when the news of ethnic cleansing started pouring out of Myanmar, the Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's response was shocking as she takes the trumpeted "fake news" to brush aside the concern. How easy has it become to brand any valid concerns and the gross violation of human rights of citizens as "Fake News"! Aung San Suu Kyi is respected worldwide be

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - a Book Review

At first, I didn't want to read this book despite its winning the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award along with other distinguished accomplishments. Having read a few of the great books earlier that described the horrors of slavery, its aftermath, even the continuation of its thread in various forms into 20th and 21st century, I thought it would be a tale of endless brutality and human deprivation that I can pass for now. After reading Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad", my initial assessment of grimness was justified but in the end I was glad that I had read this great novel. It's a story of a slave girl Cora, who was born and raised in a Virginia plantation. Her grandmother Ajarry was abducted from an African nation, along with many other men, women and children, with the help of fellow Africans and sold to slave traders who took them into the new land called America that she knew nothing about. Ajarry was sold and resold many times before settl

A Bangla Instrumental Music - Ei Mukhorito Jiboner Cholar Bake

An instrumental music I've recorded today, it's a popular song by Souls, a musical band from Bangladesh.   Here is the lyrics in Bangla: এই মুখরিত জীবনের চলার বাঁকে অজানা হাজার কত কাজের ভিড়ে ছোট্টবেলার শত রঙ করা মুখ সুর তোলে আজও এই মনকে ঘিরে। ঝিনুক শামুকে ভরা বালুর চরে ঢেউয়ের সাথে নেচেছি, রঙ্গিন স্বপ্নে গাঁথা স্মৃতির মালা সৈকতে ফেলে এসেছি। ওরে ছুটে চল সেই সাগরো তীরে ওরে খুঁজে নেই চল, ফেলে আসা মুক্ত হীরে। রাত্রিতে জোসনায় দাওয়ায় বসে মজার গল্প কত শুনেছি, ডুলো ডুলো আখিতে আবীর মেখে স্বপ্নের জ্বাল বুনেছি ওরে সেইতো ভালো চোখ দুটো বুঝেছিল ওরে সেইতো ভালো সবকিছু ভুলেছিলে। Here is my translation of this song in English but not poetic as the original song is: In the curved path of this busy life Amid all the unknown thousands of mundane work Hundreds of colorful faces from childhood Tune the melody surrounding my mind. In the beach filled with oyster shells I danced with the waves Memory garland of colorful dream I left at the beach Hey, let's go

Think Like Einstein by Peter Hollins - a Book Review

When 2017 began, I made a resolution that I would read more books this year than the previous year. So much distraction these days! Endless applications, Facebook, Instagram, news from every corner of the globe, forums of any kind -- where is the time to read good quality books? From my childhood I have always liked reading but noticed that I have been reading less and less in recent years. So that was the reason I made the resolution to give an honest effort to read more. As part of this effort, the latest book I have completed reading earlier this morning is Peter Hollins' non fiction book, title: Think Like Einstein. I am writing this review as detail as I can, hoping that someone will get some benefits reading this review and hopefully will be inspired to read this particular book and overall to read more good quality books for rewarding feat. Einstein's intellect is legendary. His contributions to the realm of science is widely known, even when I was growing up I

The Caine Mutiny - a short review

A great entertaining novel by a powerful writer. Character building and the story plot were nicely executed. Sometimes it felt a bit too long but in the end I have enjoyed reading this book. Through vivid detail of tumultuous ocean, typhoon, the writer provided a sense of how insignificant humanity and civilization are in the face of a infinitesimal nature. Here is a memorable quote: "what was Ulithi, after all? A tiny enclosure of coral in the empty, empty ocean. A ship sailing within ten miles of it wouldn’t even have seen it; and all the great Third Fleet, sinking at once, would not have raised the level of the sea by a thousandth of the breadth of a hair. The world’s arena remains, to this hour, somewhat too big for the most ambitious human contrivances." I recommend this book.

We are the Borg - a Poem

We are the Borg Resistance is futile You will be assimilated, defeated Your uniqueness, distinctiveness and your pursuit of happiness, life, liberty and dreams will be shredded into clean pieces and will be recycled into our mould Resistance is futile We are the Borg We have come in style To bring you freedom and wealth, abundance We will flourish together Discarding the undesirables Only the best of the best Strongest of the strongest Will triumph over the weak We will swipe away the compassionate freak We are the Borg, the mighty, the beautiful Give us your smart, vigorous pomp We will stifle the wretched, the tired, the poor and the huddled masses into happiest quack, playful romp And send us the homeless We will transform them into statues of liberties, of beautiful homes for all to see and applause in glorious days and victorious nights Beside the neatly trimmed garden. the golden door and a doused torch ----Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) August 2, 20

Two Books - Fiction and Non Fiction - Wait...What?

Two books I have read recently. One is Graeme Macrae Burnet's novel "His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to Roderick Macrae" and the second one is a non fiction written by James E. Ryan, title: "Wait...What? And Life's Other Essential Questions". I have enjoyed reading both of these well written books. Graeme Macrae Burnet's novel has good character development, and written such a way as if one is reading a non fiction account of an actual event. I am familiar with Scottish and Irish history, not a whole lot, but some through my other readings in the past. However, this particular novel describes the tragic life of a boy who was brought up in poverty in a remote Scottish village. What surprised me is so much similarities I have found between the central antagonist, the village constable who bullies a poor family and takes advantage of their plight and the rural villages in Bangladesh, where I was familiar with similar characters that used to be k

First They Came For ...

The problem is not only the disgraceful Muslim ban, the shameful wall, the taking away of privacy protection from many immigrants and non immigrants. It is also the ingrained belief in many that this banning decree only applies to those people from hand picked nations. History has the abundance of similar scenarios when the most vulnerable segments of the world were barred from leaving the persecutions of despot rulers. Many of them perished, children, women, men, emaciated, degraded to the utmost bottom level of a concerted dehumanization process. Yesterday's Remembrance Day for the Holocaust victims is one of the painful reminders of our world's blunder of the past. My heart goes out to the countless millions in America, Europe and many other places, where the unmistakable xenophobia is rising in alarming speed. The ironic part is that the most victims of the violence, wars and senseless terrorism are the Muslims. They are the ones along with the other minorities

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

I'd published the following review in Goodreads on January 4, 2017:  Some in this world are indeed brave and full of compassion. The author of this remarkable non fiction book, Bryan Stevenson, is surely one of them. This is an impactful book that gives detail on the sordid state of criminal justice system in the US, world's one of the most advanced nations in terms of economy and societal progress. If US is in such a painful state where equal justice and protection for all citizens needs an urgent transformative overhaul, then what can be said about other nations where democracy and human rights are in unstable ground? In my humble opinion, this should be a must read book as I believe the real life pain and anguish of the innocent people who are denied the fair justice for so many years can help people who are unaware of this miserable justice system can help raise the awareness for the necessary correction in the system. Some of the invaluable lessons I have learned are: &