Friday, October 31, 2008

Title: New Birth or Rebirth?
Sub-Title: Jesus talks with Krishna
Author: Ravi Zacharias
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 9781590527252
Genre: Fiction, Imaginary Conversation, Religion
Presentation: Hard Bound non-standard size(approx. A5)

When the blurb about this book was sent to me by a publicist, I was curious to take a look at the book from the perspective of a Hindu (myself) and see how the author a Christian would present the innermost truths of two great religions of this world. I did mention to the publicist that my review may not be all that favorable but she was gracious to accept that and send me the book for review. The book reached me during my transition days, weeks and months after my retirement from a full time job, which took 42 years of my 60 years on this earth plane. Retirement caused major changes in life style and the review process got slightly disarrayed. With apologies to the author and the publicist, I present here my belated review.

I am in a way shocked and disappointed that a so called scholar of religions could be so biased and dogmatic. The back cover says that the author has three doctoral degrees and is an acknowledged authority on comparative religions, but this book is not a fair comparison at all. It is a blatant attempt at proselytising and showing the most ancient religion in a poor light and try to 'convert' educated people to his brand of christianity.

As I went through the book, the bias and the prejudice of the author was showing up so often that it was difficult for me to continue and finish the small book. I will give specific examples of that later.

For now, I would say this: if you are a believing Christian, this book is not needed. If you are a Hindu, this book is not needed. If you are an atheist, this book is anyway nonsense. Then to whom is this book meant for? To preachers, who are financed by the church to convert people to christianity.

A more detailed review will come later if I can bring myself to finish the book.


Title: Invent your Retirement - Resources for the Good Life

Author: Art Koff

Publisher: Oakhill Press

ISBN: 1886939764

Genre: Non-Fiction, Seniors, Self-Help

Presentation: Soft cover

I received the book way back in 2006 for review and due to several factors beyond my control, the book was lying unread and unreviewed. In June 2008, I retired from a full time job, which was keeping me engaged for nearly 42 years of my 60 years on this earth plane. While sorting out various papers, this book caught my eye and now that I am retired, I thought that this book will show me some new avenues for spending my time usefully. So, I went through the book and here is my review of it, with profuse apologies to the author and the publicist who sent it to me and waited patiently all these years for the review.

First the pros: The book is well structured and does the job intended by the author, namely give various options to the retired person (or who is planning to retire shortly). It also helps family members and friends who read this book to discuss the issues facing the prospective retiree more intelligently and meaningfully, with compassion and understaning. The style is fairly good and the information (mostly a lot of resources) is useful.

The main draw back (or scope for improvement) in this book is that the majority of the resources listed are internet based and thus the reader will need to enter the URLs (addresses of the various internet sites) manually and there is scope for error. If this book was published in electronic format (as a ebook), the links could have been embedded into the ebook and just clicked upon. An ebook also lends itself for easy upgradation since the links to various web pages may change often.

But for this small drawback, the book is a good addition to the many existing books on retirement.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Title: The Perfect Board
Author: Calvin K. Clemons
Publisher: Ovation Books
ISBN: 978-0-9790275-6-7
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business Organization
Presentation: Hard Back with Dust Jacket
Received for Review on: 24th June 2008

The Perfect Board is all about the Board of Directors of an organization, and is a comprehensive resource on how to be a good director and thus help in making the Board perfect. The author is well equipped to write the book, having served on the boards of directors as well as being an executive vice-president, executive director or director of several associations.

The book takes an interesting form. The beginning and the end are like a novel, with good narrative. The main part of the book is like a good manual, telling the reader what to do and what not to do. The author uses a well qualified and sincere lady as the main character (seeker of knowledge) and a retired, highly knowledgeable expert as the teacher.

The book is well written and well printed (easy to read and easy on the eyes). I did catch a few typos but let me assure you that they are very minor and don't affect the understanding.

If you need to understand what being a director involves, or if you were always curious to know what exactly your directors did (and more importantly are supposed to do!) or if you are a student of business organization course, this could be a good and useful read. The book takes just a couple of hours to read and is handy to carry in your bag, briefcase or coat pocket. Since the contents page covers all the important points, lack of an index is not a big handicap. The bibliography at the end provides more resources if you need.

All in all, an excellent book on the subject and highly recommended.

About the reviewer: The reviewer is a graduate physicist, metallurgist and held senior positions in a large organization till recently and more importantly served on several committees, and associations as an office bearer and is thus familiar with most of the rights and responsibilities of the Executive Committee or Board of Directors. He retired recently after more than 4 decades of service on pension and is sharing his own knowledge through lectures and articles.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Title: The Eye of Icarus
Sub-Title: Book One of the Space Frontiers Series
Author: Michael D'Ambrosio
Publisher: Helm Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9801780-2-9

The book is the first of a new series from the author, who has already published a trilogy. I did not read any of those books and this is my first experience of reading a book from this author. I was thrilled to read a fast-paced book, which was difficult to put down!

The story is simple and straightforward - the victory of good over evil. However, it is told with a great style and thus I never felt bored. The characters are quite well developed, the science part of it was sufficient to make it a SF.

Since this is an online review, I won't give the excerpts from the story etc. since you would probably reading this review at a site, which has a link to and you can browse through the book there.

I enjoyed reading the book and I strongly recommend it if you are a SF fan.