Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Undercover Economist - Tim Harford

We are witnessing one of the fastest changing era. Especially, this side of the planet where I'm in. You can be a supporter or a critic of this phenomenon but you cant escape the same. Look around you, the landscape is changing every day. Newer buildings newer roads and more and more shops and super markets and vehicles. Added to this is pollution, corruption , crime and poverty. This book is about all that and is from an economist.

This very well written book by Tim Harford looks at these common things that is changing our lives from an economists view point and takes us through the complex economic affairs in his simple language. From the cost of coffee at the railway station bar to the cost of insurance and from environment to Gobalisation he discusses vast subjects. There are no jargons or theory used and there are no major charts or graphs to confuse th reader. Neither does he gets into the serious microeconomics discussions.

I for one, is not in agreement with some of his opinions on Globalisation , but still enjoyed reading his perspective on the same. While I've not learnt Economics, world commerce and trade always nterested me and and I found this book worth reading.
Little Brown Books
Rs 295
278 Pages

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Rainer Maria Rilke Translated by M D Herter Norton

This book is supposed to be the only novel written by the famous 20th Century poet and that was my attraction in buying this book. If you plan to read this book, let me warn you , it is not an easy read. This book is quite a hard read and needs a lot of concentration and attention. This book is very lyrical, I guess it come naturally from a poet.
Written as a collection of notes and musings, this book is of random recollections of his childhood and growing up in a royal familiy. A very depressive or dark essays with the once fashionalble 'existential touch' , this book hit you in a very different way. The lack of flowing storyline and the predeominant negative mood of life through out, this book makes it a slow and hard read. Rilke maintains that this is not autobiographical, however the charecters and places makes one to believe it otherwise. As one of the reader suggested this book is about the crisis modern existence. Death is a constant companian through out the pages. May be there is an underlying necessity for Rilke to tell this story of his childhood, family and upbringing, as if he is searching something within.
Somehow, this language did not appear to me as clear and conventional. I'm not sure if I could get beyond the written words and find the hidden meaning. Rilke himself put it as " There will come a day when my hand will be far from me, and when I bid it write, it will write words I do not mean. The time of that other interpretation will dawn, when not one word will emain upon another, and all meaning will dessolve like clouds and fall down like rain."
I may have to go back to this book at another time and may I have better luck with it.

Rainer Maria Rilke Translated by M D Herter Norton
235 Pages

Pick: She was far away when she read, and I dont know whether she was in her books; she could read for hours, she seldom turned the leaves, and I had the impression that the pages became steadily fuller under her eyes, as though she looked words into them, certain words that she needed and that were not there.