Divya Manian

RSS Feed Youtube Channel Github

Book Reviews for April 2010

I am surprised I managed to read five books after last month’s poor showing. I should probably have a lot more to review next month, given all the downtime I have thanks to travel. Onward with the reviews!


After Sin City, I had great expectations of a Frank Miller adaptation, but unfortunately, 300, the film, was a disappointment. I was so sure that it was the fault of the movie makers and not the book itself, that I borrowed it just to feel smug in my point of view. Sadly, I was proven wrong. 300 sucks.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

I did not know about This American Life before I moved to Seattle, so, it is not that embarrassing to admit I did not know about David Sedaris before I found Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in the “Staff Picks” of Seattle Library.

Every story reminds me of the narratives from Waiter Rant (if you have never read Waiter Rant, be prepared to spend the next 5 hours reading it). I loved “The End of the Affair” (audio version) the best (probably because it resonates so well).

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!

I did the Landmark Forum sometime ago, and this book is like a word-for-word description of what goes on there or in any self-help seminars - except the author is actually a psychotherapist instead of a “life coach” and describes his work with sexual offenders.

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! is a great insight into what happens to a psychotherapist as he treats people for their mental illnesses (yes it affects him too). Unfortunately, this book is dated (Sheldon Kopp considers homosexuality, a “mental illness”), but a good read on how psychotherapists try to resolve issues for their patients.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 10

Yet another random pick from the Graphic Novel bookshelf. Thankfully, it is awesome. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 10 has everything to do with corpses turning into clones, robots, zombies, and every other absurdity imaginable. Must read, if you like absurd manga.


This book has caused the author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali to go into hiding. Infidel is not a simple put down of Islam but an examination of questions that grip a progressive follower of Islam. I did get a few goose-bumps when she described her genital mutilation, and how resigned Somalian women were to their fate. Her descriptions of assimilating into Dutch culture mirrored my own experiences of doing so in Singapore.

I am sure this book is biased (after all it is an autobiography), but no where does she condemn Islam for anything other than the practices followed by the hard-liners.

And so it ends! Any books you read last month that you recommend?