15 September, 2011

A long due post... with excitement!

I have been meaning to write posts for a while now & every time I decide to write a blog post, something comes up. Oh, who am I kidding, (I myself apparently).

Truth be told, I just get lazy or get distracted by something more Coca Cola (immediately satisfying but hardly useful in the long run).

I have read quite a few amazing books over the past many months worth raving about here on my blog. Now thankfully, there is no written law prohibiting me from sharing some of the book's names, if only the names.

First & one that immediately comes to mind is 'Girls of Riyadh', a wonderfully entertaining & delightful story of four girls & their quest for love in the conservative Saudi society. Considering the many years we spent in Saudi Arabia, the story was all the more vivid for me & the finale nicely wrapped it all up & was just as satisfying as the rest of the book. After finishing the book, I did wonder what those girls must be upto now, which is always a good sign.

'Girls of Riyadh' was quite informative but hardly educational which is where 'The Checklist Manifesto' comes in. A book about... checklists (!?!). And its good!

Atul Gawande makes an excellent case for how inspite of all the explosion of knowledge, we still have not been able to correct some of the most basic mistakes we can possibly make, thereby leading to the very disasters advanced sciences are suppose to help us solve & avoid. Answer comes in the form of, yes, checklists. Atul cites many case studies (most are relevant to his profession of surgery) to deliver the message home & it works.

Let me just say, I make checklists everyday, in my paper diary, yes a paper diary! You need to read this book.

I think many people know the story of Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in US. Randy died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. Before he died, Randy wrote an essay book with a friend & gave a talk at the university titled 'The Last Lecture'. I watched Randy's presentation on youtube a while back & decided to read the book as well.


For someone with a low attention span, I actually found the book much more insightful than the youtube video & it has more of Randy's stories. And great stories they are.

Some of the stories that really stuck with me were the ones on team play & the story of Sandy Blatt & Jackie Robinson. Read the book to find out, you'll be glued to it till the end. Oh & its free too!

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