Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh

This is the story of the puzzle that had confounded mathematicians since the 17th century. 
‘I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.’
It was with these words, written in the 1630s, that Pierre de Fermat intrigued and infuriated the mathematics community. 
For over 350 years, proving Fermat’s Last Theorem was the most notorious unsolved mathematical problem, a puzzle whose basics most children could grasp but whose solution eluded the greatest minds in the world. 
Many people had tried and failed, including an 18th-century philanderer who was killed in a duel. 
An 18th-century Frenchwoman made a major breakthrough in solving the riddle, but she had to attend maths lectures at the Ecole Polytechnique disguised as a man. 

In 1963, a schoolboy Andrew Wiles browsing in his local library stumbled across Fermat's Last Theorem. Aged just ten, he dreamed he would crack it.
In 1993, after years of secret toil, Andrew Wiles  announced to an astounded audience that he had cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem. 
The solution of the Theorem was one of the most important mathematical developments of the 20th century. 
In ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ Simon Singh has crafted a remarkable tale of intellectual endeavour spanning three centuries, and a moving testament to the obsession, sacrifice and extraordinary determination of Andrew Wiles: one man against all the odds.

[Book Description Source:  and] 

Goodreads Rating - 4.21 out of 5 (17,874 Ratings; 739 Reviews - As on February 18 2017)
My Rating 4 out of 5
My Comments:  Gripping narration about an esoteric mathematical subject. Not a single dull moment throughout the book.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik - Devdutt Pattanaik

Journey into the amazing world of Hindu mythology with Devdutt Pattanaik,
Why are most temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva or the goddess, but not to Brahma or Indra?
How are an asura, rakshasa,yaksha and pishacha different from each other?
Why did the Pandavas find themselves in naraka rather than swarga? 

Over several months, EPIC Channel's ground-breaking show Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik has enthralled countless viewers.
Here, finally, is the book based on the first series of the ever popular show, which will take you on a scintillating tour through the myriad stories, symbols and rituals that form the basis of Hindu culture. 
Prepare to be surprised and thrilled as Devdutt narrates magical tales about larger-than life figures gods, goddesses, demi-gods and demons who you thought you knew well but didn t. 
Learn about the intricacies of Hindu thought as he explains the origin and meaning of different creation myths, and throws light on why we believe in a cyclical not linear concept of time. 
This book is your perfect introduction to the endlessly fascinating world of Hindu mythology.
[Book Description Source: ] 

Goodreads Rating - 3.84 out of 5 (327 Ratings; 28 Reviews - As on February 11 2017)
My Rating 3.5 out of 5
My Comments: Full of interesting facts and interpretation about Hindu god, goddesses, rituals, customs and philosophy.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Introducing Hinduism : A Graphic Guide - Vinay Lal & Borin Van Loon

Hinduism is said to be the world's oldest religion. 
Yet the word 'Hindu' is of foreign 18th-century origin. 
Hinduism is defined as a polytheistic religion, but Mahatma Gandhi famously declared that one can be a Hindu without believing in any god. 
Hinduism appears to accommodate endless contradictions.
 It is a religion at least as much of myth as of history - it has no historical founder, no single authoritative book, and few central doctrines.
Introducing Hinduism offers a guide to this extraordinarily diverse faith. 
It untangles the complexities of Hinduism's gods and goddesses, its caste system and its views on sex, everyday life and asceticism. 
Why do Hindus revere the cow? 
Must Hindus be vegetarian? 
Introducing Hinduism explores the links with and differences from Buddhism, Jainism and other religions, and describes the resurgence of Hindu extremism, the phenomenon of Bollywood and the overseas Hindu diaspora.

[Book Description Source: ] 

Goodreads Rating - 3.52 out of 5 (105 Ratings; 7 Reviews - As on February 5 2017)
My Rating 3.0 out of 5
My Comments: Quick and entertaining comic book style  guide to Hinduism. Some concepts are treated rather frivolously and may offend some people.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Manage Your Project Portfolio - Johanna Rothman

Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects
All of your projects and programs make up your portfolio
But how much time you actually spend on your projects, and how much time do you spend responding to emergencies?

This book will introduce you to different ways of ordering all of the projects you are working on now, and help you figure out how to staff those projects--even when you've run out of project teams to do the work.

Once you learn to manage your portfolio better, you'll avoid emergency "firedrills." 

The trick is adopting lean and agile approaches to projects, whether they are software projects, projects that include hardware, or projects that depend on chunks of functionality from other suppliers.

You may be accustomed to spending time in meetings where you still don't have the data you need to evaluate your projects.

Here, with a few measures, you'll be able to quickly evaluate each project and come to a decision quickly.

You'll learn how to define your team's, group's, or department's mission with none of the buzzwords that normally accompany a mission statement. 

Armed with the work and the mission, you can make those decisions that define the true leaders in the organization.
 [Book Description Source: ] 

Goodreads Rating - 3.61 out of 5 (127 Ratings; 17 Reviews - As on February 04 2017)
My Rating 3.0 out of 5
My Comments: Good tips on managing the Agile project portfolios.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cosmic Love and Human Apathy - Jyotirmaya Sharma

Swami Vivekananda's Restatement of Religion 
The truth is rarely simple. 
The common consensus is that Swami Vivekananda, as Sri Ramakrishna's chosen disciple, spread his master's message across the world. 
The fact, though, is that after Ramakrishna's death in 1886, Vivekananda not only shifted the devotional emphasis of the new monastic order from Kali to Shiva, he also embraced a world far removed from Ramakrishna's. 
Cosmic Love and Human Apathy is the story of this rupture.
Integral to the tale is the issue of Hindu identity. 
The essays in this volume examine Vivekananda's formulation of Hinduism as religion: the most definitive restatement of Hinduism in modern history.
Erudite yet accessible, consistently probing and skeptical of hoary traditions, controversial and thought-provoking, Cosmic Love and Human Apathy is an invaluable addition to the existing scholarship on one of India's greatest religious and social icons.
[Book Description Source: ] 

Goodreads Rating - 3.38 out of 5 (8 Ratings; 0 Review - As on February 1 2017)
My Rating 2.5 out of 5

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Carnage by Angels - Y.P. Singh

Police and administration are logically ordained to be angelic. 
But unfortunately, as the years rolled by, they degenerated, as the men and women in power played the cruel game of corruption. 
Alongside, an entire world of intrigue, deceit, sex, love and money started governing the dynamics of governance.

And that is how this novel traverses through the enormous world of glamour, police, bureaucracy, politicians, women, credulous citizens, corporate bodies, underworld, power-brokers, doctors, and media.

This novel endeavors to make a graphic expose of this uncharted ocean of deceit.
[Book Description Source: Back Cover of the book ] 

Goodreads Rating - 2.37 out of 5 (27 Ratings; 7 Reviews - As on January 28 2017)
My Rating 2.0 out of 5
My Comments: The story raises a very important issue of corruption in Police  but the narration is rather mediocre and does not hold your attention.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Agile Portfolio Management - Jochen Krebs

Agile development processes foster better collaboration, innovation, and results. 
So why limit their use to software projects—when you can transform your entire business?
Written by agile-mentoring expert Jochen Krebs, this book illuminates the opportunities—and rewards—of applying agile processes to your overall IT portfolio.
Whether project manager, business analyst, or executive—you’ll understand the business drivers behind agile portfolio management. 
And learn best practices for optimizing results.
Use agile processes to 
  • Align IT and business strategy
  • Adapt and extend core agile processes
  • Orchestrate the collaboration between IT and business vision
  • Eliminate wish-list driven requirements, and manage expectations instead
  • Optimize the balance of projects, resources, and assets in your portfolio
  • Use metrics to communicate project status, quality, even team morale
  • Create a portfolio strategy consistent with the goals of the organization
  • Achieve organizational and process transparency
  • Manage your business with agility—and help maximize the returns!
[Book Description Source: ] 

Goodreads Rating - 3.42 out of 5 (19 Ratings; 3 Reviews - As on January 21 2017)
My Rating 3.0 out of 5
My Comments: Good tips on managing the Agile project portfolios.

Buying Options 
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