Category Archives: Books

Books that I have read and liked

Book: Headhunter by Michael Slade

Headhunter Cover Image

Title Headhunter
Author(s) Michael Slade
Initially Published In 1984
Publisher W H Allen & Co.
Formats Available Paperback, Hardcover
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.

Headhunter is a murder mystery, a psychological thriller,  a whodunit and a horror story with plenty of details of police investigation procedures and methods. The novel is based in Vancouver, Canada in the 1980s and revolves around a set of grisly murders of young women, whose bodies are found headless. While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is investigating, more victims are discovered. Graphic violence, traumatized bodies, and perverted sex are all depicted with powerful imagery in this extremely well-written book.

I have read Headhunter three times, and each time I am gripped by the narrative and held spellbound even though I knew the ending.

“This is, beyond all doubt, a real chiller!”

 Robert Bloch, author of Psycho

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Speed of Dark Cover Image

Title The Speed of Dark
Author(s) Elizabeth Moon
Initially Published In 2002
Publisher Orbit Books
Formats Available Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.

The Speed of Dark is a near-future story about a young autistic man, Lou. Lou is computer analyst, who is also a good fencer. The novel is a combination of science fiction and a thriller, often narrated from the autistic man’s point of view.

“Every once in a while, you come across a book that is both an important literary achievement and a completely and utterly absorbing reading experience—a book with provocative ideas and an equally compelling story. Such a book is The Speed of Dark.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

The main character in The Speed of Dark has been inspired by the author’s own autistic son.

The World

The Speed of Dark is a futuristic story, where the world has found treatments to manage the condition of autism. This treatment is administered in very early childhood.

In this scenario, autistic children born before the treatment was available try to live ‘normally’ with their condition, and also work hard to be useful members of the society.

Continue reading Book: The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game Cover Image

Title Ender’s Game
Author(s) Orson Scott Card
Initially Published In 1985
Publisher Tor
Formats Available Paperback, Kindle
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

Ender’s Game brought immense fame and recognition to its author, Orson Scott Card. It is a science fiction book, set in the future with a ‘military’ theme.

“Superb! This is Card at the height of his very considerable powers–a major SF novel by any reasonable standard.”

— Booklist

The novel won the Nebula Award for best novel in 1985, and the Hugo Award for best novel in 1986.  Ender’s Game was also nominated for a Locus Award in 1986.

The World

Ender’s Game is situated far ahead in the future, where human beings have left the confines of the earth and started expansion to other planetary systems. During this expansion, humans encounter another species on a similar expansion drive. This results in two wars between the two species. At the end of these wars, both species retreat to locations near their mother/ home planets. There is no communication between the humans and the alien species, who are officially called ‘formics’ and unofficially called ‘buggers’ (because they look like insects) by the humans.

Continue reading Book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose Cover Image

Title The Name of the Rose
(originally published in Italian under the name ‘Il Nome Della Rosa‘)
Author(s) Umberto Eco
Translator William Weaver
Initially Published In 1980 (Italian) 1983 (English)
Publisher Multiple –  Bompiani; Martin Secker& Warburg; Harcourt; Vintage Digital; Everyman’s Library; Mariner Books
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

I was planning to re-read and post the review of this book after a few months. However, when I heard of the death of Umberto Eco (the author) on 19th February 2016, I decided to pick it up ahead of my original schedule.

The Name of the Rose (Italian: Il Nome Della Rosa, 1980), is the first novel by the Italian author Umberto Eco. It is an intellectual murder mystery set in an Italian monastery, in the year 1327. It combines semiotics, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory. It was translated into English in 1983 by William Weaver.

“The most intelligent and at the same time the most amusing book in years”

— Der Spiegel

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude Cover Image

Title One Hundred Years of Solitude
(original Spanish title: Cien años de soledad)
Author(s) Gabriel García Márquez
Translator Gregory Rabassa
Initially Published In 1967 (Spanish) 1970 (English)
Publisher Multiple –  Harper & Row (US); Jonathan Cape (UK)
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, originally published in 1967 in Spanish and later translated to English in 1970, is considered to be one of the best novels of the century.  According to some reports, the number of copies of the Spanish version is next only to the Bible.

“The narrative is a magician’s trick in which memory and prophecy, illusion and reality are mixed and often made to look the same.”

— Robert Kiely, The New York Times

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent

The Shore of Women Cover Image

The Shore of Women, originally published in 1986, is treated as one of the classics in the science fiction genre. It is also a romantic story (with a mild dose of eroticism), and a story about a dystopian society. Some label it a feminist novel.

“With her luminous prose and vivid characters, Pamela Sargent has written a compellingly and emotionally involving novel”.

–Publishers Weekly

The World

On the earth, far away in the future,  the human society is gradually being rebuilt after nuclear devastation brought on by men wielding immense power and devastating technology. As the society is being rebuilt, men and women live separately – the women in city-enclaves and men in the wilderness, in small bands. The women have taken charge of the world and make sure that the men remain savage, superstitious and ignorant and have no say in running the world.
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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

Dispossessed Cover ImageThe Dispossessed, originally published in 1974, and in print ever since then, is possibly Le Guin’s most intellectually challenging novel.

It is placed far away in the future – a long distance from the earth; yet it is easy to identify with.

It is a book about two societies – one a model egalitarian, anarchist, resource-strapped society (with its flaws) and another a resource-rich, capitalist society with huge inequalities. It is a story about a physicist (also an idealist) who wants to learn from others and share his findings with the whole of humanity. It is about the benefits of community collaboration while celebrating the lonely journey of the creative genius.

The Dispossessed is a timeless tale, with a science fiction setting, but appealing from a literary point of view. It is rooted in the political issues, communal counter-culture, and women’s movement of the late 1960s and early 70s.

It is hard to put down, once you start reading it. I have read it four times over the last 20 years, and I am likely to read it many more times.

The book has been studied and analyzed by scholars and students and is a subject of research.

Title The Dispossessed
Author(s) Ursula K Le Guin
Initially Published In 1974
Publisher Multiple – Orion Publishing Group, Harper Voyager, Easton Press, Harper & Row, Gateway
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

“Le Guin’s book, written in her solid, no-nonsense prose, is so persuasive that it ought to put a stop to the writing of prescriptive Utopias for at least 10 years.”

The New York Times 

The World(s)

Far away in the future and far away from the earth, human beings have occupied and thrived on other planetary systems, while the earth has been destroyed (our earth is not the focus in this book).

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Breakfast of Champions - CoverThis must be the fourth or fifth time I have read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr– I had first read it in the late 1970s, and have always considered it as a ‘classic’ that needs to be read again and again.

It is difficult to categorize this book, but here are the categories that it may fit in: fiction, biting satire, black humor, science fiction/ fantasy, and serious literature. The fact that the book has alternate titles may provide a hint on the unpredictability, and difficulty at slotting the book.

Title Breakfast of Champions or
Goodbye Blue Monday
Author(s) Kurt Vonnegut
Initially Published In 1973
Publisher Random House
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

“Marvelous . . . [Vonnegut] wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful and lovable.”

The New York Times 

The Plot

It is the story of “two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.”

Dwayne Hoover, is a charming, rich man – he runs a Pontiac dealership, owns land and is franchisee for many chains (like the Holiday Inn) in and around Midland City. Dwayne’s mind is disintegrating because of bad chemicals that his body is producing. However, no one appears to recognize the signs of his mental disturbances.

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Finding Flow - CoverOne of the books I read (re-read, actually) in the last two weeks was Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Finding Flow is part psychology study material and part self-help guide. It proposes to help us reclaim ownership of our lives. Based on research of over thousands of individuals, Finding Flow contends that we often walk through our days unaware and out of touch with our emotional lives. People are happiest when they are most absorbed in their actions, a state the author terms as ‘flow.’ We experience ‘flow’ when we work towards clear goals that provide a slight stretch to our existing skills. Constant feedback on our progress also enables flow. So, to be happy we need to constantly be absorbed in such situations.

Title Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life
Author(s) Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Initially Published In 1997
Publisher Basic Books
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.com.

Csikszentmihalyi eloquently argues that living fully in the here and now requires that one heed the lessons of the past.

— The New York Times Book Review

Flow is defined as the sense of effortless action people feel in moments that stand out as the best in their lives.  Like athletes ‘in the zone’, or musicians in ‘aesthetic rapture’, or religious mystics in ‘ecstasy’.

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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink

Last week, I re-read this really useful book on healthy eating.Mindless Eating - Cover

 

Title Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
Author(s) Brian Wansink, PhD
Initially Published In 2007
Publisher Hay House
Formats Available Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook
Available At Amazon.comAmazon.in, and Flipkart.

10 calories a day equals one pound in the year

— That is, 100 calories a day means 10 pounds more/ less on your body in a year.

This is a book that will help you improve your eating habits (it is not a diet plan book). It provides insights into how we eat (mostly mindlessly) and how we are highly influenced in the quantities that we eat by our surroundings and other things on which we have no control.

Continue reading Book: Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.