Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Two-in-One Bucket

1.)Freakonomics and 2.)Superfreakonomics

by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt

Review of Book 1
This book as the authors state is about nothing. The book has no apparent underlying theme and ranges from sumo wrestling in Japan to gangs and crimes in America to teachers helping their children cheat in tests. The authors have done some quality data collection and have consolidated it in a very reader friendly way so as to not scare away the potential reader while maintaining the beauty of the imbalances that lie in the real world and the way people perceive the real world. It's like a physicist discussing quantum physics with a bunch of high-schoolers; not getting too mathematical and yet conveying the beauty that beholds. A must read for everyone who wishes to be left in awe as his/her entire perception of the world changes drastically, much like the ending of Shawshank (except here the entire movie was the perception of world that you built).

Review of Book 2
(in the voice of honest trailers)...... Get ready for the sequel of the book that completely blows your mind off... ...SUPERFREAKONOMICS.......
(normal voice now) Get ready for some major trust issues when the authors tell you that the first book did have an underlying theme in the opening para. The second book is an even better written book as the authors take on more serious issues and prove unconventional points better than before as readers are left flabbergasted. Defending issues like wage gap and "global warming is not a real issue", the authors support their arguments fantastically with numbers so as to shut the biggest feminazis I've known once and for all. Not only does this book give you a fantastic flipside perspective just like the previous one, it might also give you a few points to argue supporting the male chauvinist in you. This book is the Dark Knight to the prequel that is Batman Begins. However if the first book wasn't motivation enough for you to read the second one I doubt this review will ever be.

-Nirbhay Wadiwala

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Anime Bucket

Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso(Your Lie In April)

Even though I had heard praises of Your Lie in April from various sources, including friends and Anime Pages/Groups on Facebook, I never got around to watch it. Maybe it was because it wasn't a Shounen Anime, i.e., it's plot wasn't 'Action-Filled', like most people watching Anime might be accustomed to. But after watching it, I was glad I did.

To give you a brief synopsis, this Anime is a heart wrenching tale about a boy named Arima Kousei, a former Pianist, and how he discovers the instrument again with the help of a free-spirited violinist named Kaori Miyazono. Your Lie in April has episodes of 20 minutes, like most anime. It has 22 episodes in total, with the opening and ending track changing after the 11th episode.
I was mesmerized by the beauty of this anime from the first frame itself. The art style is simply beautiful, sending you to another world altogether. And that's just talking about the Art Style. The music tracks in this anime are brilliantly enchanting, and go along with the art style to make a masterpiece.
The opening tracks are really good, but I recommend, for all Anime, not just this one, to watch the opening tracks after completing the show, as they almost always contain spoilers for the show. The Soundtrack for the show is also merry and beautiful, which is really appropriate considering the setting of the show, and making it more enjoyable. Also, the tone of the show never gets drab, thanks to the mind-blowing piano pieces of Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff being played in the anime.
Your Lie in April is, and, most probably, will remain, not just one of the best anime, but also one of the best love stories that I've had the chance to experience, and I'm glad for that.
So switch off the lights, grab some munchies, switch on the fans and A.C.s, snuggle into your blankets, and enjoy the masterpiece, that is Your Lie in April.
-Devansh Purohit

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Gothic Fiction Bucket

The Secrets of Cromwell Crossing
First published: 1965

Mansion on the Mountain - 1.jpg

An oddly inviting gaze from the eyes of a mystical mistress on the cover of a time-worn book compelled me to pick up an apparent antique . I am normally picky about what I choose; but it being Books-by-Weight, I could dare to be adventurous.
A struggling model, Robin turns con-woman as a meeting with a frustrated scion, Jamie, of the affluent Cromwell family witnesses an agreement that could change her life forever. Jamie convinces her to play his wife so that he could demand his share from his aged father’s wealth and property under the guise of settling in life,  thus monetarily benefitting both of them. But their visit to Cromwell Crossing, where the family mansion is located sees accidents happening to Robin, which makes her realise that someone in the beautiful, sad house wanted her out of the way -- or dead.
Coincidences occur, including the sudden appearance of suspicious characters, and while she begins to unravel the secrets that the family at Cromwell Crossing held, but she is shushed. Utterly alone and with no-one to confide in, she is terrified. The slew of unfortunate events which follow tests her mental resilience, commitment to her job owing to visions of a brighter future, and stark realisations about love and family values.

The characterisation of the story is done quite well. Throughout the story, we get to see the many facets of different characters, notably those of Robin. Just a tad more implicitness, and you’d be sure you’re reading a fine thriller novel.  The book also brings up the macabre side to people with troubled childhood, and most of the characters in the book oddly have some darkness to them.
The author’s description skills are worth applause, a notable mention being vivid imagery. Pour example -- the portrayal of the location of the house shown as meddling with the mind. Her sublime diction --which I felt to be one of the biggest positives of the book -- is something which greatly adds to the reading experience. She just has the perfect words for everything, without sounding extravagant at all.
The flow of the story is moderate, yet there are scenes which pack a punch strewn throughout the book. Thus it is perfect in the sense that you never get bored. Overall, the story is intriguing, to say the least. For this summer, I would say this a nice little book to gobble up whenever you’re bored.

-Kireeti Akkunuri