Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book reviews by me…

Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

There are very few books or videos that really change your life. Last lecture is one that will really change your life. It is all about achieving your childhood dreams. Randy is no more with us but he has left a legacy. Dream and Dream big and then work hard to achieve them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had seen the lecture first and then I read this book. Book provides background on the lecture and Randy’s life. Was a great read. Actually some portions of book are really emotional. Great read I will highly recommend watching the lecture and reading the book.

The Last Lecture


Rating: ★★★★★

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures

Author: Dan Roam

Amazingly easy read. You will learn something and will be able to use it in your work life next day. ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually started using some things from the book and the ideas really work.

This book is about visual thinking. In short how do you draw your ideas and how that helps you think about a problem and come up with solutions. Had 3 hour meeting today discussing about our productโ€™s future. I thought this book gave me great ideas on how to think about things. ๐Ÿ™‚ Loved itโ€ฆ

Suggestion: Do not read it on Kindle which I did. ๐Ÿ™‚ Images are really horrible on Kindle. I had to borrow a copy from my friend to look at images. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course I will highly recommend this book to anyone.

Outliers – The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

This is a great read. ๐Ÿ™‚ I read it in 1 week. I have never read a book in that short period of time. ๐Ÿ™‚ This book is about Success…

Outliers says success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed. Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is rather a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.

Great read and I highly recommend it to y’all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Five future strategies you need right now

BCG MissionToday while flying back from Dallas I picked up this book. I wanted to read something that I could finish in couple of hours and was valuable in business terms. This book turned out to be a real good one. There is some fluff in it but some content is real great. George has really done a great job of keeping it in around 100 pages and highlighting the key future strategies.

According to George the 5 key strategies to look forward to are

  1. Supply Chain Gymnastics : Our infrastructure on west coast is crumbling and in future importing things from overseas through sea route may not be feasible. How can you react as business to this?
  2. Sidestepping Economies of Scale: Bigger may not be always better. George talks about disposable factories. It is not a new concept, it is very common concept in project oriented industries where you setup small manufacturing operation on project site. 
  3. Dynamic pricing: Ability to provide unique price to individual buyer. I have heard about this in past but George brought it home with a great example. Example he gave was of toll charges which change based on traffic patterns using RFID. It is being tested in Washington state.
  4. Embracing complexity: Other way of putting this is increasing and accepting configurability of products. Every individual should be able to uniquely design the product he desires. Great example of this is MINI. ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. Infinite Bandwidth: Leveraging high speed Internet bandwidth to change business processes or even define new business models.

It is a good book and will highly recommend it to everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy

Playing for Pizza

Author – John Grisham

It is just hilarious. This was first time I experience a audio book. In our journey from Raleigh to Seattle we heard this book. It was just hilarious. It is about a third string quarter back of Cleveland Browns. He screws up big time in a critical game. He is thrown out and with no options left he goes and plays in Italian league of American football. The story is about his experiences in Italy. If you like football and love comedy. This is for you. My journey was so much more enjoyable because of this book. J Go get it .. J

Tipping Point

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Tipping Point is my first book in couple of years. It is a great read and I will highly recommend it to everyone. Malcolm Gladwell talks about events and people that help make a major transformation. Tipping point is when a technology or product goes from being only for innovators to mass market. How does this happen? That is what Malcolm tries to find and his finding are really interesting. He talks about Law of the few (Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen) and The Stickiness Factor and Power of Context. Enjoy

Raving Fans

“Satisfied customers are not enough as they can switch to competitors on first opportunity, We need customers who are raving fans”


Following are key takeawaysรขโ‚ฌยฆ Three steps to creating Raving fans are

  1. Decide what you want
  2. Define a vision
    1. Discover what customers want
    2. Know what to ignore when they tell you what they want
    3. Know when to tell customers to take their needs to someone else
    4. Identify limits of your vision
    5. Your vision and customer’s vision should merge/fit.
    6. Listen to customers
      1. Customer’s say one thing and mean another. Listen to hidden meaning.
      2. No feedback is bad
      3. “Fine” is not good enough
  3. Deliver vision plus 1 percent
    1. Consistency is key
    2. Focus on few thing and do them well every time
    3. Don’t drive expectation down, drive delivery up
    4. Exceed the expectations consistently
    5. Systems are key to consistency
    6. Systems are not rules. Rules create robots.
    7. Systems are pre determined way of achieving results
    8. Emphasis has to be on achieving results not following the system.ร‚ย 

Other key take away are:

  • Track customers needs,
  • Increase speed of delivery of service,
  • Provide customers tools to help themselves,
  • Provide suggestions to customers to help do their tasks better and quicker
  • Differentiate yourself from others
  • Be flexible and focus on results.

It is an interesting book. The way author narrates the story is a bit weird. It is a quick read. I was able to read it in couple of hours.

The Alchemist

Author : Paulo Coelho
Recommended to me by: Nisha

This is my fav book. This is one book everyone should read. Do I say that for every book? :):) But no this is one book really everyone should read. This is not about current affairs or some novel or anything. It is about life. It is about achieving ur dreams.

Book talks about a journey of a young guy achieving his dreams. What he learns on his way. Author talks about omen’s. God gives you hints at every stage of your life it is you who has to pick them up and proceed in your life. It tell you about

Truths and omens come and go like grains of sand and desert winds in this Celestine Prophecy-like tale of our alchemical kinship with one another in mind and spirit. It teaches us about our inherited strengths, which many of us sadly fail to realize as we go through life.

It is a very simple and good read. You will be able to read it in just few days. I will recommend this to everyone of u. So do read and tell me if you liked it…


The World is Flat

Author : Thomas L. Friedman.
Today I completed reading this book. It took a while but it is one of the most important books I have read. IT is actually an eye opener. Every person who wants to excel or even survive in this global world should read this book. It is worth a read.

The book is about globalization. Author talks about a flat world. How technology has brought everyone in the world to the same level playing field. How 11/9 and 9/11 have changed the world. One was the day when berlin wall fell and world was united(East and West) and one was the day terrorists attacked USA.

Author has done a great job of explaining every aspect of globalization. He explains why the world has become flat in last few years. Why India and China have an edge. What should a person do to survive in the world and how we can solve problems in the world keeping the flat world in mind. Finally author also explains the problems in unflat world especially conservative communities of Arab Muslims and what needs to be done to get them up to the speed. He tries to compare the Muslim population in India which is progressive and forward looking to the one in Saudi or Egypt where they feel opressed…

Great read. Everyone should read this book. I was so impressed by this book I gave J my fried at work a copy of it as gift… U guys need to read it…. Get it today…:)


Author:Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner

I read this book a while back. Actually it was recommended by our micro economics professor in UNC. Amazing book. Author has done a great job of explaining general phenomenon like why crime went down in 90s or why drug dealers live with there grandmom or what is similarity between comics and KKK… Its amazing how author can take such controversial topics and provide at totally unimaginable explaination and support it with statistically facts…

It is a fun read. Everyone should read it. IT will open ur eyes to some real critical thinking… So enjoy a great read…