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

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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Movie: The Shawshank Redemption (1994, English, US)

Shawshank Redemption DVD Cover

Directed by Frank Darabont
Released in 1994
Genre Prison Drama
Cast Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne
Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding
Bob Gunton as Warden Samuel Norton
Music by Thomas Newman
Produced by Niki Marvin
Language English
Based On Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption – A 100 page novella  by Stephen King
Length 2 hours 22 mins

The Plot, the Setting

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American prison drama film starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, and Bob Gunton. It is about a financial wizard a serving a life sentence for a double murder. The protagonist Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), lives his days and years in prison, through good, bad, and nasty times, while he maintains the hope that one day he will be free.
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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

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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Book: The Shift by Lynda Gratton


 The Shift - Cover Title The Shift:
The Future of Work is Already Here
Author(s) Lynda Gratton
Initially Published In 2011
Publisher Harper Collins
Formats Available Paperback, and Kindle
Available At

The Shift by Lynda Gratton looks at the forces that will change the way we work in the next fifteen years, and the key ‘shifts’ that individuals need to make to survive and thrive.

“A compendium of modern management and social science theories … the novelty of Gratton’s book is her synthesis of so many contemporary ideas about the changes to our working lives ”

— FINANCIAL TIMES (book of the year) 


The Shift takes a long and hard look at the trends that will affect work in future. The author conveys this through short ‘stories’ of individuals in the future – these scenarios include the negative as well as positive.

The Shift starts by identifying five emerging forces and the way they will impact the future of work. The five important forces identified by the author are (1) Technology (esp. the Cloud), (2) Globalization, (3) Demography & longevity, (4) Society, and (5) Energy resources. The book goes on to describe the history, trends and how these will affect our lives in the decades to come.

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Movie: Pushpak (1987, Hindi++, India)

Review of the Indian, silent movie Pushpak (Pesum Padam, Pushpaka Vimana, Pushpaka Vimanam, Pushpaka Vimanamu)

Pushpak (1987 Movie) - DVD Cover ImagePushpak (Hindi), Pushpaka Vimana (Kannada), Pushpaka Vimanamu (Telgu), Pushpaka Vimanam (Malayalam), and Pesum Padam (Tamil), is a movie without dialogues. It was released in multiple Indian languages in 1987 (being a movie without dialogues, the language does not matter; except for the credits/ titles at the start of the movie; the movie is exactly the same in all languages 🙂 ).

Directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Released in 1987
Genre Dark Comedy, Silent Movie, Romantic Comedy
  • Kamal Haasan as an Unemployed Youth
  • Amala as a Young Lady
  • Tinu Anand as a Contract Killer
  • Farida Jalal as Young Lady’s Mother
  • Sameer Khakhar as The Rich, Drunk Man
  • K S Ramesh as Young Lady’s Father and Magician
Music by L Vaidyanathan
Produced by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, Shringar Nagaraj
Written by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Language No dialogues
Length 2 hours 11 minutes

The Plot

An unemployed youth-UY (played by Kamal Haasan) lives alone in Bangalore. He lives in an old, run-down apartment building (chawl) with common toilets and bathrooms. He spends his day trying to look for jobs, but gives up easily, when he sees long queues, and long waiting times. He also wants to be rich and powerful, while not willing to put in the required effort. At the start of the movie, the UY is down to his last coin.
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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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The Secret Behind Impressive Corporate Language

Where do the heavy-sounding corporate statements come from?

Corporate Bullshit Image 1

You may have often marveled at the corporate leaders’ ability to spew wise-sounding, inspiring statements in presentations and speeches, and wondered how they can construct such sentences with heavy-sounding words, effortlessly.

Well, wonder no more, because the secret is out! They get their phrases and sentences from websites that generate such statements on demand. In the next meeting, you too can go armed with your set of phrases, and insert them at an appropriate point to impress everyone.

Here are some websites that generate corporate (bs) statements on demand:

Corporate to spiritual

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Movie: What is Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993, English, US)

Review of the classic 1993 Hollywood movie – What Is Eating Gilbert Grape?

Gilbert Grape DVD Cover

Directed by Lasse Hallström
Released in 1993
Genre Family Drama, Romance
  • Johnny Depp as Gilbert Grape
  • Juliette Lewis as Becky (Gilbert Grape’s romantic interest)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Arnie Grape (Gilbert Grape’s brother)
  • Mary Steenburgen as Betty Carver (Gilbert Grape’s casual lover)
  • Darlene Cates as Bonnie Grape (Gilbert Grape’s mother)
Music by Alan Parker and Björn Isfält
Produced by David Matalon, Bertil Ohlsson, and Meir Teper
Language English
Length 1 hour 58 minutes

The Plot, the Setting

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? is a 1993 American family drama film starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, and Darlene Cates. It is a gentle, heartwarming film about a dysfunctional family in a small town somewhere in the US mid-west. The protagonist is Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp), a grocery clerk in his early twenties taking care of his family consisting of his 500+ pound obese mother (Darlene Cates), a mentally challenged younger brother (DiCaprio) and two teen-aged sisters.
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