Random Tales of Total Geekery

Archive for the ‘Now Reading’ Category

TBR Pile & economics

Posted by Q on December 24, 2009

Among other things, the TBR of January ’09 had me purportedly reading the following

  • Alan Furst – The Foreign Correspondent
  • Brent Weeks – Night Angel Trilogy
  • Don Wilson – California Fire & Life
  • Donald Thomas – Sherlock Holmes & The Voice from the Crypt
  • James M. Cain – The Postman Always Rings Twice
  • John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy Of Dunces
  • John Levitt – New Tricks
  • Kurt Vonnegut – Breakfast Of Champions
  • Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Malcolm Lowry – Under The Volcano
  • Matthew Woodring Stover – Heroes Die
  • Thomas Pynchon – Gravity’s Rainbow
  • Tobias Buckell – Sly Mongoose
  • Walter Jon Williams – Implied Spaces


Well then, in the 12 months since, I’ve managed 5 out of the 14 luminaries mentioned before. Which is a pretty decent strike rate (35% whereabouts). Putting on my 65%-rated economics hat, I can comfortably predict that people only really enjoy fruits from 35% of the total money that they spend on enjoying in the first place. I dub thee, the marginal happiness law


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Look what the IRC Cat dragged in this week…

Posted by Q on March 11, 2009

Okie, this is more like last week’s releases. But that’s ok, cover pr0n is always mucho appreciato 😀

Usually IRC dumps are 90% Torquere & Cousins/Project Gutenberg and 10% recent fiction. The trend continues this week; a few notables though

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Devil in the details, ebooks in India..publishers, wakey wakey!!

Posted by Q on February 2, 2009

Top 15 Fiction Bestsellers for upto Oct 2008  in India – take a look


1. Solve Your Problems The Birbal Way  – Anita S R {2005}
2. 3 Mistakes Of My Life – Chetan Bhagat {2008}
3. One Night @ The Call Center  – Chetan Bhagat {2005}
4. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat {2004}
5. Inheritance 3: Brisingr  – Christopher Paolini {2008}
6. Story Of My Experiments With Truth – Gandhi M K {forever}
7. A Prisoner Of Birth  – Jeffrey Archer {2008}
8. Kite Runner  – Khaled Hosseini {2003}
9. Creation Of Wealth  – Lala R M {2006}
10. Wordpower Made Easy  – Norman Lewis {forever}
11. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho {1993}
12. Brida  – Paulo Coelho {1990}
13. Secret – Rhonda Byrne {2006}
14. Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S Sharma {2003}
15. The Greatness Guide 2  – Robin S Sharma {2002}

Any name in that list that you havent been seeing for ages. Now, compare that with the NYT lot…

Top 5 at a Glance

1. MURDER GAME, by Christine Feehan
2. THE APPEAL, by John Grisham
3. THE PAGAN STONE, by Nora Roberts
4. GLITTER BABY, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5. MARRIED IN SEATTLE, by Debbie Macomber

Top 5 at a Glance

1. SUZE ORMAN’S 2009 ACTION PLAN, by Suze Orman
2. TWILIGHT, by Mark Cotta Vaz
3. THE LOVE DARE, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough
4. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
5. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

Top 5 at a Glance

1. MARLEY & ME, by John Grogan
2. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, by Barack Obama
3. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama
4. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
5. TEAM OF RIVALS, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Clearly, there is a huge sync gap between what we read in India compared to what is being read in an English country. Barring a few major ups and downs, I don’t see this list changing drastically for any other country apart from US. Which is really weird because in all places where English is not native, you’d expect ethnic literature selling; which does not seem to be happening in India either. We seem to have been caught in some sort of time bubble as far as new book releases are concerned
Maybe we are less willing to spend that much amount of money on an activity as frivolous as fiction reading. As the table clearly shows, we tend to buy things that are cheaper and known VFM {Value for Moneys}. I’d hate to be a newly published author here. Here’s the pricing table

1. Solve Your Problems The Birbal Way  – Anita S R –> INR 80
2. 3 Mistakes Of My Life – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
3. One Night @ The Call Center  – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
4. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
5. Inheritance 3: Brisingr  – Christopher Paolini –> INR 600
6. Story Of My Experiments With Truth – Gandhi M K –> INR 30
7. A Prisoner Of Birth  – Jeffrey Archer –> INR 180
8. Kite Runner  – Khaled Hosseini –> INR 300
9. Creation Of Wealth  – Lala R M –> INR 295
10. Wordpower Made Easy  – Norman Lewis –> INR 95
11. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho –> INR 195
12. Brida  – Paulo Coelho –> INR 295
13. Secret – Rhonda Byrne –> INR 550
14. Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S Sharma –> INR 185
15. The Greatness Guide 2  – Robin S Sharma –> INR 185

Note: 50 INR= 1 USD

Well, I suppose book publishers do have a business case for churning out reprints after reprints of back catalog instead of putting out newer authors. Which means that for a reader like me, who unlike the rest of the countrymen is abreast of what is happening around the world, has only one way of getting hold of a Pat Rothfuss or a Joe Abercrombie – and that’s ebooks. Sadly, no marketing/BTL push has been happening on the book front here. It still is very much a second-hand/pirate market than anything else. And we ALL know how many titles are available as ebooks 😛 So, if I say I’ve read all of Scott Lynch’s/Tobias Buckell books, you know where I got them from.

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Books Read – November

Posted by Q on November 27, 2008

Okie, it’s still a few days before November ends. But i have free time only now 😉 was thinking of doing it for October also, but never got around to actually doing it; guess iwll update as soon as November ends

Peter V. Brett: The Painted Man (aka The Warded Man)

Brilliant fantasy debut. I’d say 8.5/10

Robert Charles Wilson: The Divide

Was the usual RCW Spin style book. Interesting, but the ending felt flat. 6.5/10

Simon R. Green: The Author of the month, i’d say. Read tonnes of his stuff. All of them would be 7-7.5/10

Nightside Series

Something from the Nightside
Agents of Light and Darkness
Nightingale’s Lament
Hex and the City
Paths not Taken
Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth
Hell to Pay
The Unnatural Inquirer

Deathstalker Series

# Deathstalker
# Deathstalker Rebellion

Hawk & Fisher Series

Hawk & Fisher; No Haven for the Guilty

T.A. Pratt: (YAUFA) Yet Another Urban Fantasy Author. 7/10

Marla Mason Series

Blood Engines
Poison Sleep
Dead Reign

Scott Lynch: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastards)

Did not have quite the flavor of the first book, Lies of Locke Lamorra…but still quite an entertaining read 7.5/10

Brent Weeks: Way of The Shadows

Good fantasy debut. Assassin, trainee assassin, court intrigue…all checks in place 😉 8/10

Michael Moorcock: Elric of Melnibone

somehow did not get into the book at all. a weak 4.5/10

Richard Kadrey: Butcher Bird

good writing and a stronger plot than the usual urban fantasy mess. i’d like to read more from this guy. 8/10

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The thin red galaxy

Posted by Q on September 2, 2007

Space Opera! Now that’s a Doll. Everyone who is anyone swears by Foundation Series, which I discovered due to the happy circumstance of my under-grad university having a huge and under-utilised library stack section (Three cheers to Dewey though, he made sure that the modern library system treated fiction like an unwanted step-child of the human brain; stacking it up in the remotest corners of the space available). To cut a long reminisce short, I was the only dude hanging around those custodians of the light and termite, rescuing those books from a dusty end.

Anyway, as I ate my way through delights like Stainless Steel Rats, Space cadets, Captain Starr, Marvin & Zaphod’s excellent adventure & the imaginatively-named Bill, amongst others; there was this feeling that where do I find more. The Nebula Galaxy yields just one great guy a year; M/s Hugo & Dick, to pardon my pun, do not uncover any Hugo Dicks themselves.

So here I stumble upon this wise man, who in spite of a few glaring exceptions (Mc Devitt, hello!!) has cobbled up a very-very readable list of Top 10 science fiction novelists of the ’00s — so far. Would strongly recommend going through this ‘un. Especially a certain Mr. Scalzi and his very readable Old Man’s War Trilogy. Super Stuff!!

Go on! It’s time Fantasy took a back-seat. And now that you-know-who is quietly and firmly lying 6 feet under; it’s time to put our feet up and step outside to the galaxy at large. Things are getting just as…magical, shall we say? 😉

And yes! Talking of spinning galaxies, we might as well pay a visit to Gallifrey; and find out how is everyone’s favorite Timelord is doing. Apparently they ran some sorta stupid contest about everyone’s favouritest Timelord of all, err time? Anyway, apparently screaming, hysterical girls of with short hemlines and shorter brain-spans voted for Tennant as the winner. Which wasn’t surprising considering the gay makeover that Russell T Davies has instilled in the series. (Apparently Queer As Folk din’t quite run for as long as expected). Btw, why wasn’t the show called Queer-assed folk, hehe. But Ecclestone’s my man, vote or no vote! And I really did not appreciate the new Face of Bo angle thrust upon us, just seems too pat, you know J

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