Phone Box At The Edge Of The World.

After reading my blog post Landline Telephony, my sister Padmini asked me on WhatsApp if I had read the book Phone Box At The Edge Of The World. I responded that I had not and asked her if it was worth reading. She promptly responded with an “Yes.” I value her judgement on literature and promptly bought the book to read on my Kindle device.

I have not been reading fiction except for two of my favourite authors who write Action Books, and this totally different genre came as a big surprise to me.

The book from the very first page grips one and the pace keeps increasing as one progresses. The contents pull just about every string in your emotions as you proceed and in short a totally engrossing book.

As hard to imagine the set up claimed to be real of a non functional phne box in Japan used by people to talk their hearts out, characterisation and descriptions take the reader to a very different place than the normal fiction does.

An Italian writer writing about a Japanese situation adds spice to the experience and the translation into English is admirable for not losing nuances.

If you have not read it, please do. Well worth the expense and the time spent on it.

Support.


Besides these two, I also have Email, Uncle Google,  two Resident Geeks and Kindle to get through my days.

Oddly enough, because I am better versed in handling these modern supports, I am the support and go-to person, for some friends who are not as blessed as I am, with Resident Geeks.

There are some who use me to fact check ‘forwards’ received by them. This is usually a terse “True?” either followed or preceded by the forward message, usually controversial or out of the ordinary. I inevitably oblige and find out the veracity about the message as if untrue, further forwarding can land people in trouble.

There are others who use me as their online buying agent, usually for books after some online research as well but, on the odd occasion, for other things from say Amazon or other online merchants. I haven’t yet fixed an Agency Commission but, am seriously considering doing so.

And finally, there are a couple of friends who use me as the conduit for making donations as they do not want their identities to be known to the recipients lest they be harassed for further donations. I happily oblige and am now considered to be a serious donor for some very deserving causes.

So, my supports have enabled me to become a support for others.

What about you dear reader? Are you satisfied with just being supported or, are you a support too?

Is amazon.com overrated or is it really useful?

Amazon in India launched online marketing in February 2012 with a portal called Junglee.com (Junglee in Hindi means ‘wild’ or ‘ill mannered’). From the very first month of its operations in India, I have been a regular customer of theirs. They became Amazon.in in June 2013 and if anything, my purchases from them increased. On an average, I make three to four purchases from Amzon every month, now a days, mostly books for my kindle application. I also buy gifts to be sent to others on at least a couple of occasions every month.

I have also used Amazon.com and Amazon.uk on a few occasions to import or deliver something overseas to friends.

I tried their competitor Flipkart on a couple of occasions but was disgusted with their after sales customer service and stopped dealing with them totally.

I have also used eBay on occasion with satisfaction but by and large depend on Amazon.

There are a number of other online marketeers that I use for dry fruits, specialised books, grocery, vegetables and fruit besides a number of home delivery of food portals.

To sum up, I am more or less an exclusive online-shopper from home and have found the experience satisfying and convenient. I am particularly fond of Amazon and so, the answer to the question asked by my fellow Friday blogger Shackman for this post, is a resounding no, they are not overrated but are really very useful for comfort zone denizens like me. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say about his experience with Amazon.com.

Disclaimer. I have a grand nephew working with Amazon India in Pune. That rascal never visits me or calls me with the excuse that Amazon keeps him too busy. I am glad that Amazon keeps him so busy that he is forced to stay out of trouble, particularly the kind that his grand uncle that he calls Daadu can get him into.

Coincidence?

I am just now reading two books one of which is Nazi Hunter by Alan Levy. I am unable to remember now how I came to buy it, but it was the oldest of the kindle books that I had not read for a long time,  and I started to read it about a week ago.

In  the book, I am at the story of Dr.Joseph Mengele who has so far escaped the hunt by Wiesenthal, but it has already indicated that the former died by drowning. I am yet to read the rest of the story.

In the meanwhile, today, my attention was drawn to another story as to what has happened to the remains of the infamous doctor.

“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.”
~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

The Girl In The Spider’s Web.

girlinthespidersweb

My favourite heroine Lisbeth Salander is back and with a vengeance as should only be expected.

Caveat, the book is written by David Lagercrantz and so does not quite come up to the standards set by Stieg Larsson, but it is very readable indeed.

The story is full of computerese and other jargon. Those portions therefore are difficult to understand for someone like me. But because of that perhaps, the story is very believable, particularly now with so much one reads about invasion of privacy by the big brothers everywhere.

The narrative is fast paced and taut. All the characters come alive on the pages. I read it in my kindle and regretted that I had not bought the hard copy. In the latter, I could have easily gone back and forth to recollect the hard to remember names and characters.

And as should be expected, all the bad guys get their just rewards bar the main antagonist who escapes to live and bring us another sequel. I hope that Lisbeth Salander Mark V makes for better reading with less jargon.

For my readers who have read the earlier three books, this is a must. WWW, there, I have just given my verdict.

Books, Books And Books.

My readers know how I collect, read and re-read books of all sorts. I have blogged about it some time ago under the title “Books”.

Part of the problem of such a pastime is the storage of books. In the blog post that I have referred to above, the library is groaning, and now it simply has no more space to store any more books. I have started two more shelves in my bedroom for them.

Knowing my problem, two people have come up with two different ideas for me to solve my problem. The first one comes from a very dear friend with a great sense of humour and that is this:

The second solution is a gift from my nephew Jai, who is IT savvy and very practical when it comes to handling his uncle and his quirks. He gave this:

I am in already in love with the latter. As soon as I am able to locate a carpenter who will not charge me the moon, I will arrange to get a sofa like the one pictured above to replace one of the arm chairs in my drawing room. And that will be heart breaking.