The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz

The story opens by exploring the life of a Oscar, a promising young Dominican child growing up in Jersey who morphs into an overweight, unpopular nerd who is desperate to lose his virginity.

The story then proceeds to explore the lives of Oscar, Oscar’s mother, sister and Mother’s family (persecuted by Dictator). The first half of the book is a little bit irritating as the author uses footnotes and many Spanish language phrases that are not translated. Besides these language issues and the jumping back and fourth in time and among characters the book beyond where the main characters develop very nicely. Awesome integration of the political, social and economic history of the Dominican Republic and how the environment shaped many of the lives of the generations who migrated to the U.S.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz

The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong

Trevor, ‘s mum has offered him 30 punds to walk the dog every day of the holidays. But Streaker is no ordinary dog, she’s a rocket on four legs with a woof attached. Trevor’s sure there must be a way to control her and Tina, his best friend, knows about training dogs. Their attempts involving such things as a pair of roller skates, a mobile phone and a bicycle, always lead to trouble. Horrid Charlie Smugg bets Trevor he can’t train Streaker before the end of the holidays. But Trevor and Tina construct a dream plan and Charlie has to eat his words.

The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom! is probably Faulkner’s greatest and most difficult novel covering the rise and fall of the Sutpen dynasty and a great allegory of the rise and fall of the Old South.

The book told through three interconnected narratives tells the life story of Thomas Sutpen. The story simultaneously covers the rise of the Old South. The narratives are not straight forward and present a constant disturbing challenge to the reader (Dyslexics beware!). But if the one does not close the book in despair the rewards are great indeed.

The mood of the storytelling alone is worth the price of admission here. The long flowing sentences are marvels and testaments to Faulker’s skill as a writer. The narrative drive makes reading the book almost like reading an epic Greek tragedy. We get multidimensional views of Sutpens life from several townspeople and also across generations.

Complete this and you would have certainly accomplished something. You don’t so much read this novel as you become lost in it. Jump in get your feet wet and prepare for some of the most intense Southern gothic that you are ever likely to read.

First time readers of Faulkner would probably want to test the water by dipping your toes into As I Lay Dying or The Sound and the Fury first.

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido

Be prepared to get trapped right from the first page. Barbara is a genius.

The time is 1995, but everybody is linked by their past. Brilliant Australian Caroline can command everyone except her own ghoulish mother, which means that things aren’t easy for Josh and Zoe, her husband and twelve-year-old daughter. Josh has bizarre origins in a South African mining town, but now teaches mime in Bristol. Zoe reads girls’ ballet books and longs for ballet lessons; a thing denied her until, on a school French exchange, she meets a runaway boy in a woodland hut. Meanwhile, on the east coast of Africa, Hattie Thomas, Josh’s first love, has taken to writing girls’ ballet books from the turret of her fabulous house – that’s when she can carve out the space between the forceful presence of Herman and her crosspatch daughter Cat who, after some illicit snooping, is secretly planning a make-or-break essay on mask dancers in Mali. Hattie wakes from a dream of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and asks herself about the composer, ‘Do his glasses look sexy?’ His glasses are just like Josh’s glasses from two decades earlier. From far and wide, they are all drawn together; drawn to Jack’s place. Or is he Jacques? Or Giacomo? Beautiful, mysterious Jack, the one-time backyard housemaid’s child who, having journeyed via Mozambique and Senegal to Milan, is back exactly where he started – only not for long. In its mix of people from different spheres, the book throws up the complexity, cruelty and richness of the global world while, as a sequence of personal stories, it comes together like a dance; a masquerade in which things are not always what they seem.

 Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido

Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus

From a man who is held dear by millions of micro entrepreneurs giving them wings for a start in a world where naked capitalism does not observe their existence comes his third book titled “Building Social Business – The new kind of Capitalism that serves humanities most pressing needs.”

Muhammad Yunus is the founder of the Grameen Bank a Nobel peace prize winning organization which has been a path breaking funding organization and now is some sort of a pilgrimage for development economists to be emulated across the world.

Here develops his bold new concept that promises to revolutionize the free-enterprise system: social business. Designed to fill the gap between profit-making and human needs, social business applies entrepreneurial thinking to problems like poverty, hunger, pollution, and disease, creating selfsupporting, self-replicating enterprises that create jobs and generate economic growth even as they provide goods and services that make the world a better place. Partnering with some of the world’s greatest corporations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have already launched several social businesses that are addressing challenges like malnutrition, lack of potable water, and endemic illness in Yunus’s homeland of Bangladesh, and other organizations around the world are developing their own experiments in social business. In this book, Yunus traces the development of the social business idea; explains its lessons for entrepreneurs, social activists, and policy makers; offers practical guidance for those who want to create social businesses of their own; and shows why social business holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free enterprise.

A must read for anybody interested in how a simple idea can really make a world of a difference, given dedicated and driven people and most importantly vision. Probably the only book micro economist networkers will ever need to read.

Mr. Yunus you rock!

Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus