Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

Shopgirl - Steve Martin

I finished Shopgirl by Steve Martin on Oct. 20th. It was recommended to me by a librarian who was impressed by Steve Martin's talents. He is an awesome actor but as for an author, I was not very impressed. After finishing the book, I wondered why I listened to it. I found the book boring. The book is about a depressed girl who finds her true "soul mate" after having an affair with an older man. There is a movie on the book, which I am not sure about. Overall, it was an okay book and I don't think I will recommend it to anyone. I will give this book 5 out of 10.

Literature World collides with Business World

It is interesting to find famous authors names in the business news. Today I came across an article titled F. Scott Fitzgerald Did His Own Taxes (Until He Arrived in Hollywood) posted on WebCPA (find it here). William J. Quirk reviewed Fitzgerald's tax returns (you can only do that if the author is dead...I think) and found

Fitzgerald’s ledger for 1929 recorded royalties of $5.10 from the American edition of Gatsby and $0.34 from the English edition, Quirk noted.

Fitzgerald kept the ledger and did his own taxes by hand until 1937, when he went off to Hollywood in search of further fame and fortune. Once he arrived in Tinseltown, Fitzgerald used accountants to prepare and type his returns.

This was interesting because I loved The Great Gatsby and dying to read/listen to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons." Quirk states that Fitzgerald's returns reveal a lot about his life. Interesting...The original article is here titled "Living on $500,000 a Year" in The American Scholar.

Second article sent to me was regarding Ayn Rand. I have listened to two of her books, We the Living and The Fountainhead. The article is titled "Greenspan Backs Key Obama Wall Street Reform Effort" at Huffington Post (read here). The article starts stating

A keystone of Obama's Wall Street reform agenda is getting support from the unlikeliest of corners. Alan Greenspan, an acolyte of Ayn Rand and extreme free-marketeer, is backing one of the most far-reaching elements of the financial overhaul: the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

In the article, Alan Greenspan admits that he was shocked to learn that this ideology was not right and was not working. The article further states, "He [Alan Greenspan] has already said that he erred in assuming that the market would take care of things--the Ayn Rand point of view--but this seems to go farther than he's gone before in calling for a new agency to protect consumers from financial products" to hammer the point that Alan Greenspan has now become a "former" Ayn Rand acolyte. I enjoyed reading Ayn Rand, but for me her novels were more like novels than an economic way of life. I understand her ideology, but I don't agree with it one hundred percent. Reading this article gave me a new insight. I remember, in college Alan Greenspan was worshipped in the economic world. At that time, I didn't take initiative to learn enough about Greenspan to know his ideology. I wonder what Ayn Rand followers have to say about this.

Coraline - Neil Geiman

During our daily walk, Christina and I discussed Coraline by Neil Geiman when she was listening to it. The story captivated me. I had seen trailers of the movie, and wondered if which is better: book or the movie. Well, I found out as I finished the book mid-week last week and watched the movie over the past weekend.

The book is a children's novel. It is a cute horror book. The story is about Coraline, which is obvious. The family moves into a home, and Coraline, who loves to explore, is bored. She decides to explore the house and finds a secret door, which is closed. At night, the brick wall disappears and the secret door leads to a different world, which is copy of Coraline's real world. However, in this other world, Coraline has an "Other" mother and an "Other" father. The world is fun and exciting. The difference between her real parents and her "other" parents is that her "other" parents have buttons for eyes. They tell Coraline that they have been waiting for her and would like her to stay with them forever with one condition, which is that Coraline lets them sew buttons on her eyes. Coraline refuses and goes back to her real world. The other mother, who has constructed this other world for Coraline, kidnaps Coraline's real parents to lure her back. Coraline goes back to save her parents, and my summary ends here. I won't reveal the end, or what happens to the characters.

I didn't find the "buttons for eyes" creepy. However, I did find the mice's song creepy. I will give this book 8.5 out of 10. I look forward to listening to The Graveyard Book by Neil Geiman in near future.

I watched the movie over the weekend. I was not disappointed as the movie stayed very close to the book. I enjoyed the movie. I missed the songs that were in the audio book, but not in the movie. The movie also added a new character, a little boy, but I think that was to make the movie longer as the book is very short. In conclusion, the book was better than the movie.

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

I am about to finish the novel "Shopgirl" by Steve Martin, so I figured I should write about my opinion about The Thirteenth Tale and Coraline. So here is my "review" of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

The Thirteenth Tale is a debut novel of Diane Setterfield and I am impressed. I enjoyed it very much. It is a ghost story without being a ghost story (if that makes any sense). The novel revolves around two characters: Margaret Lee and Vida Winter. Vida Winter is a renounced writer who refuses to talk about her life to anybody. She decides to tell Margaret Lee the "truth" about her life for the reasons revealed later in the book. As Margaret learns about Vida Winter's life, she also learns to cope with her story.

Overall, the book was great. I found the tale enchanting. After getting out of the car, I kept speculating what will happen next. The book was read by two readers; one for Margaret and one for Vida. I will give this book 9 out of 10.

Happy Diwali!!!

This Diwali, may you be blessed with good fortune as long as Ganeshji's trunk, wealth and prosperity as big as his stomach, happiness as sweet as his ladoos and may your trouble be as small as his mouse.

Happy Diwali !!!

Raha Dekhe - Shubha Mudgal

I heard this song on Mera Sangeet Radio channel on iTunes. It is from the movie Raincoat. It is such a touching song.

Here is the song:

I finished two books (The Thirteenth Tale and Coraline) and will write about them soon. Time to get back to work.