Book Tag

The bookworms strike back

In the very first (and partial) exception to my personal chain mail policy, here’s my post about books, prompted by an email from Quizman.

Total number of books I own: Easily over a thousand, split between what my mom stowed away in the loft in Mysore, what my former housemates find in their bookshelves, what lies in cartons, bookshelves, cupboards, under the bed and in the litte Fairy’s mischievous hands.

The last book I bought: The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki. My own opinion, based on attending corporate meetings, is that intelligence adds up like electrical resistance in parallel, while stupidity adds up in series. In other words, the a group of smart people is less intelligent that any one of them, whereas a group of stupid people is as stupid than all of them put together. James Surowiecki does a good job in proving that my opinion is not universally correct.

The last book I read: Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This is an excellent read — reminds me of the various discussions we used to have in university canteens. But Mr Ravi Bhatia and I were trying to apply electrical engineering concepts to uncover those hidden truths.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

An Autobiography or the story of my experiments with truth, by M. K. Gandhi. His earnestness stands out. Thanks to the Mahatma Gandhi e-Archive, this book is now available free online.

Exodus, by Leon Uris. I read it a long time ago. It made a difference.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. The edition I have has all the five volumes in the ‘trilogy’. Adams was a genius.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I own is the original facsimile edition, with all the original illustrations and typeface.

The Adventures of Tintin, by Hergé. No, I have not outgrown Tintin. I recently acquired the reprints of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and Tintin in the Congo, black-and-white parents of the familiar Tintin series.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs: While I would rather not rope in particular individuals, all of The Acorn’s readers are welcome to participate in this meme — of their own volition.

Update:To think that I forgot Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum!

10 thoughts on “Book Tag”

  1. I have started to catalog the books I have read along with some kind of arbitary ranking and some comments. Not exhaustive and not comprehensive but a start anyway.

    A lot of people seemed to like Foucault’s Pendulum but somehow I just lost interest in the book. Maybe I should try to read it again…

  2. Hi Nitin,
    It was really nice to read this ‘personal’ mail of yours.
    As for the passion of books is concerned,I too have the collection of “Adventures of Tintin” and the “Complete works of Sherlock Holmes”.And I too have been inspired by the book “An Autobiography or the story of my experiments with truth”

    But my favourite book is “Yoga Vashistha” and besides that,I really enjoy reading Emily Dickenson’s and William Wordsworth’s poetry.

    Btw, I was curious to know your profession. :), and that how come you sometimes end up posting multiple times in one day ?. Surely your profession must be a part of what you write over here…

    Enjoy reading your blog posts.

  3. Nitin:
    I would add “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” by Jack London, the stories of the various idle English nobility written about by P.G. Wodehouse and the stories about Malgudi by R.K. Narayan.
    I would also add “Fundamentals of Physics” (the US Edition with illustrations) by Haliday and Resnick to the list of books that I enjoyed most reading.

  4. that how come you sometimes end up posting multiple times in one day ?. Surely your profession must be a part of what you write over here

    I will leave Nitin to answer that, but knowing his profession I find it really impressive that he has the energy to post multiple times one day!

  5. Srijith,

    I felt the same with Foucault’s Pendulum…it is not structured as an ordinary novel. After I read it, I hated Umberto Eco for a few days. Somehow the plot did not justify the length of the book. Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon is along the same lines.

    But Eco’s book is much more the simply the plot line. It goes into the European occult, Masonic myths, philosophy and some social commentary. I think it is more a work of scholarly intellect than simply a work of fiction. (Having said that, a simple work of fiction is also a product of scholarly intellect of a different kind).

    I urge you to muster up the time and energy to finish reading Foucault’s Pendulum. You should also tell us how you do the catalog. Is it a WP plugin?


    My profession deals with telecoms. Very far from what this blog is about 🙂


    I’m glad you mention Resnick and Halliday. I wanted to mention Feynman’s works as well as Roger Freeman’s book on telecommunications engineering. Not to mention some of my school text-books! 🙂

  6. Me and my friends had a running feud over how many parts are there in hitchikers trilogy. thanx for settling the matter in my favour 🙂

  7. You should also tell us how you do the catalog. Is it a WP plugin?

    Na, just some homegrown perl scripts. Wouldn’t mind sharing it as it will give me a motivation to clean it up.. 🙂

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