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Swapan Seth "Luxeist" (New Delhi, India)
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Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir
Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir
by Fatima Bhutto
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY IS SHYLOCKIAN IN NATURE, 4 April 2010
History is Shylockian in nature. It demands its pound of flesh. It requires certain debts to be paid. And sometimes, it asks for it through a book.
I have been a lifelong admirer of the Bhutto family. Barring the odd rotten apples.
The cloistered corridors of Pakistan and its dictatorial demeanours have prevented many from knowing what happened to the Bhuttos.
Of course,one always gathered the bits and pieces, but never the entire tale.
Fatima Bhutto's " Songs of Blood and Sword" is a book that i waited for far too long.
So when it was delivered to me hot off the shelves last night, I decided to devour it beginning 6 am this morning.
The book is Fatima's repayment of a debt to her father. Infact, perhaps just not to her father but to an entire Nation. I daresay even the world.
It essays the journey of a family whose political legacy has ultimately just been personal tragedy.
Fatima continues to live in Karachi.
And therefore to be able to author a book while being part of a regime that is ruthless and selfish, requires a courage of a different order.
Fatima has her father's fearlessness and fairness.
Her book also reflects a certain candour and conviction that is not necessarily encouraged in societies like Pakistan.
The book is peppered with wonderful moments. For instance, the grief that overtakes Murtaza upon the demise of his brother Shahnawaz.
She describes the relationship between the brothers in a manner that prompted a tear: " They were so different, but direct complements of each other. Where Shah was spontaneous, Murtaza was patient; when Shah was melancholy, Murtaza was hopeful. They were more than just brothers tied by blood, they were comrades. Companions."
Tomorrow as I will walk up to Fatima to get my personal copy autographed by her, this is what i would like her to write for my two sons.
Thank you Fatima for a splendid morning.
I always believe there is only one good book in an author's life.
Fatima is blessed to have written it as she stands at the footmat of her thirties.


Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase
Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase
by Duff McDonald
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BANKER OF LAST RESORT, 3 Nov 2009
Duff McDonald's " Last Man Standing" is an engaging account of unarguably one of the most engaging bankers that walks the planets. The book compellingly charts Dimon's career from the risky beginnings that he made after business school right through the risk that he took by walking out of Citigroup to take over Bank One. What makes Duff's book a masterpiece is the insights that he has into the private life of Dimon. Finally, the book celebrates Dimon's unassailable authority during the 2008 financial crisis. A staggering book on a staggering subject.


The World's Greatest Wine Estates
The World's Greatest Wine Estates
by Robert Parker
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE SPINE OF WINE, 4 April 2007
It is said that Robert Parker can make a millionaire out of you with his mouth. When he spits out the wine from his mouth it can either spiral you into a different stratosphere or can bury your winery for life. That he is more influential that perhaps most people in the world is clear when you see his influence spanning Tennessee and Tokyo. The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy is a tribute to the undisputed czar of the cabernet. It traces his modest beginnings from meatloaf to Michelin starred restaurants. Even today, a score of over 90 from Parker can set cash registers ringing over a humble Riesling. Interesting, Parker owes his heady rise to the top to his love for Pat, his girlfriend who lured him from the boondocks of America to the cafes of France. It is another matter that Parker to this day is married to the woman. The book is an interesting take on a charismatic and often arrogant oenophile. But for those who have even a passing love for the Lafite, The Emperor of Wine is mandatory reading. The bouquet of the book is heady, the body wholesome and the flavour just right. Knowing Parker, the book would have got a 90 plus. Uncork it and pour it into your library.


The Emperor of Wine: The Story of the Remarkable Rise and Reign of Robert Parker
The Emperor of Wine: The Story of the Remarkable Rise and Reign of Robert Parker
by Elin McCoy
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GLASS ACT, 27 Mar 2007
It is said that Robert Parker can make a millionaire out of you with his mouth. When he spits out the wine from his mouth it can either spiral you into a different stratosphere or can bury your winery for life. That he is more influential that perhaps most people in the world is clear when you see his influence spanning Tennessee and Tokyo. The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy is a tribute to the undisputed czar of the cabernet. It traces his modest beginnings from meatloaf to Michelin starred restaurants. Even today, a score of over 90 from Parker can set cash registers ringing over a humble Riesling. Interesting, Parker owes his heady rise to the top to his love for Pat, his girlfriend who lured him from the boondocks of America to the cafes of France. It is another matter that Parker to this day is married to the woman. The book is an interesting take on a charismatic and often arrogant oenophile. But for those who have even a passing love for the Lafite, The Emperor of Wine is mandatory reading. The bouquet of the book is heady, the body wholesome and the flavour just right. Knowing Parker, the book would have got a 90 plus. Uncork it and pour it into your library.


Cirque Du Soleil: Corteo [DVD] [2006]
Cirque Du Soleil: Corteo [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Mauro Mozzani
Offered by Copeylad
Price: 19.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PRANKS IN PARADISE, 28 Feb 2007
From its very inception, Cirque Du Soliel has aspired to a constellation of performers whose sole objective is to delight people with their wonderful circuses and shows. So when my older son, recommended that the younger one see Corteo, I promptly clicked the order button, pleased that now even my 9-year old was ready with his recommendations. Corteo is simply awe-inspiring. It is the tale of a clown who dreams that he is dead and finds himself presiding over his own funeral. The setting is complete with fairies and animals and musicians. The entire exercise is about amazing acrobats, sensational stunts, and stylish swings. It's all fun fantasy. Cirque Du Soliel has several DVDs to its credit but this a first for director Daniele Finza Pasca is the latest and without a doubt, it's finest. Sit the kids down with it.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
by Daniel H. Pink
Edition: Paperback

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BRAIN SURGERY, 28 Feb 2007
James Watson who won the Nobel Prize for helping discover DNA called the human brain, "the most complex thing that we have discovered in the universe." Woody Allen called it "his second favourite organ." Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind, is in many ways a seminal book. It builds upon the fact that a neurological Mason Dixon line divides the brain. The left brain is analytical. While the right brain is more creative. In this book, the author argues that the future will belong to the right brainers which means that the structured MBA, comp-geek will progressively become a no-brainer, so to speak. However, make no mistake; Pink's perspective is no complex cortex compilation. Instead, it's a racy read divided into two parts. The first is dedicated to Asia, Abundance and Automation (slight yawn) while the second part is devoted to the six senses that will be significant in the world of tomorrow. Filled with leads to brain tests and must read magazines, this book is delightful for anyone who wishes to know which minds will be the great minds of the future. The book is also peppered with some lovely quotes: "The guy who invented the wheel was an idiot. The guy who invited the other three was a genius." Or " He who laughs last, doesn't get it." A must read.


No Title Available

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION, 19 Feb 2007
The tagline of the film sums up the magic of the movie: sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people. I believe relationships have regenerative tissues that repair themselves even though a relationship gets injured. This film is about that process of repair. Naomi Watts plays Kitty who has the very reserved Dr. Walter Fane played by Edward Norton fall in love with her. Out of sheer boredom, Kitty decides to have an affair which come to Norton's knowledge. An already fragile relationship, gets further splintered. Idealism takes Norton to China where a nasty cholera poutbreak devours villages. Whats it also does is bring the couple closer to each other. Remarkably shot, director John Curran excels. Naomi Watts is remarkable and Edward Norton once again stamps his remarkable talent all over the footage. Based on a novel by Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil is my punt for the Best Film 2007.


The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia's Love Affair with Luxury
The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia's Love Affair with Luxury
by Radha Chadha
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 25.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MANALO AND MANILA, 9 Nov 2006
First, some staggering statistics: 88% of Louis Vuitton's sales come from Japanese consumers. 50% of that from stores in Japan and 38% from Japanese tourists while traveling. Chadha and Husband have cobbled together a first rate book that puts Asia smack in the centre of luxuria. The book however is not a littany of stats alone. It traces Asia's historical linkages with luxury and does a powerful psychoanalysis of the Asian consumer. Showbuzz is the new buzz where what you wear and show says a lot about you. This is a fascinating piece of writing that is essential to anyone remotely linked with the business of luxury, which, incidentally is not a luxury any more.


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