Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

Pooh Bear and the Tiger

I read/listened to few books since my last post. I read Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and Tiger by Jeff Stone. I also listened to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (I will blog about that in a separate entry).

  1. Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
    This book was recommended to me. I was told that as a kid, we watched this cartoon, but as an adult, we should read this book, to see different personalities present in the story. We understand the personalities better as adults. I read the book, and concluded that the book was cute. However, the characters were little disturbing. Eeyore is extremely depressed and somewhat creeped me out. Rabbit and Owl think very highly of themselves, where Pooh has very low self-esteem. What to say about Piglet? Piglet is gullible. The author does not introduce Tigger in the first book. Overall, I enjoyed it. I look forward to reading “Tao of Pooh” which should go more in detail about the characters and their personalities. I give this book 9 out of 10.
  2. Tiger by Jeff Stone
    I had read some reviews of the series, and I wondered if the concept for the movie “Kung Fu Panda" was taken from the book. I enjoyed the book, but its not my favorite. I realized that I don't enjoy reading about fights as much, especially kung fu style. The concepts are somewhat similar. There is a master, and his pupils, learning how to fight and they must protect the dragon scrolls from a former pupil who has switched over to the dark side. There are several books in the series, and each book is based on the one of the major characters. However, the main character in the movie "Po" is missing from the books. Overall I enjoyed the book, and I might read rest of the books to finish reading the series. I give this book 7 out of 10.

Now I am reading Who killed Change? Its okay so far. Signing out of the blog...Good Night.

On the Other Hand...

The title of the blog comes from the musical "Fiddler on the Roof." The words are said by Tevye, when he is "soul searching." The movie was excellent. It was released in 1971, and is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and Other Tales by Sholem Aleichem. Here is a synopsis of the movie:

Tevye, a milkman, has five daughters. He follows traditions especially when it comes to marriages. According to the traditions, a matchmaker (Yente) must find a groom for his daughters. His first daughter loves a poor tailor, and seeks for her father’s permission to marry the tailor. Tevye agrees as he gives more importance to his daughter’s happiness than the tradition. The second daughter loves a poor scholar. However, she does not ask for her father’s permission, but simply tells him that she will marry him. Tevye again approves thinking about his daughter’s happiness. The third daughter falls in love with a young Russian and Orthodox Christian man and runs away to marry him. Tevye is Jewish, and the Russians are forcing the Jews to leave their towns. Tevye refuses to accept his third daughter’s marriage. However, in the end, as he is leaving the town, he finally bends to his daughter’s happiness and accepts the relationship. The movie reminded me of Indian traditions regarding arrange marriage. I loved the song, “If I were a rich man…”

If I were a rich man,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

Slumdog Millionaire a.k.a Q&A by Vikas Swarup

The movie Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars, and I have yet to see the movie. I wanted to read the book first. I had heard that the movie is very different from the book. My personal preference is to read the book before watching the movie. The only exception to this rule was Lords of the Rings series. I have not read the books but I enjoyed the movies.

 Anyways, the novel was good. I am not familiar with lives in slums of India, especially Mumbai, so I can't agree or disagree with Mr. Swarup. The plot and concept was good, but a little filmy. Ram Mohammad Thomas, main character, is a dynamic character. He is very much into movies. The book is constructed in a beautiful way. There are no loose ends, and does not leave the readers wondering what happened afterwards. However, I feel that the movie might be more thought provoking than the book. Anyways, I will give this book 8.5 out of 10. Another name of the movie added to my list of "Movies to watch after CPA is over."

Now I am listening to "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. So far I am enjoying it very much. I am also reading "Winnie-the-Pooh" as Christina mentioned that an adult should read that book. I have realized that as I continue to read more and more books, my list of "books-to-read" grows also. I thought it would work the other way. Oh well...

The Cat Who....

I actually read the book instead of listening to it. It took me over two months to finish the book, and that should indicate how boring this book was. I don't like to leave the books in the middle. I had to check the book out twice from the library and renewed it twice (Checked out total time: 3 weeks x 4 = 12 weeks or 3 months).

Coming back to the book:
The story dragged and dragged. The story was suppose to be a mystery solved with the help of the cat. The cat helped alright, but not until the last few pages of the story. The mystery doesn't come into play until half-way through the book. None of the characters were interesting. I believe cat-lovers will enjoy this book little more than me. I found this book boring, and I have no plans of picking up another one of "The Cat Who..." series. This was a waste of my two months. Well, at least now I can ignore all the hype about the series. I would give this book 4 out of 10.

Freakonomics

I wish I could say Freakonomics was freaking awesome. It was a good book. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner put lots of time and effort into the research and they justify each statement. The following topics were discussed. (source: Wiki)

  1. Discovering cheating as applied to teachers and sumo wrestlers
  2. Information control as applied to the Ku Klux Klan and real-estate agents
  3. The economics of drug dealing, including the surprisingly low earnings and abject working conditions of crack cocaine dealers
  4. The controversial role legalized abortion has played in reducing crime.
  5. The negligible effects of good parenting on education
  6. The socioeconomic patterns of naming children

I would say that all discussions were interesting but I think the most interesting was topic 3 about crack cocaine dealers. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it, as it involved reading raw data. Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of the book, read the book. Many instances he read off the data, and while driving, it made it difficult to follow it. I think all finance majors should give this book a chance, as they will understand many concepts since they are applied to real-life scenarios.

This book one of the few non-fiction I have read, and I am recommended to read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and told I will enjoy that more. I have added the book on my future-reads list.

I will give this book 8.5 out of 10.

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