Category Archives: Writings

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Animal Farm

Animal Farm: 1984

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Originally published: 17 August 1945
Author: George Orwell
Page count: 112 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Satire, Political satire
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0452284241
Product Dimensions: E-book

100 Word Book Review:

‘Animal Farm’ penned down by Eric Arthur Blair under the pen name George Orwell. It might have derived its source from the events leading up to the 1917 Russian Revolution. The author has channelized his thoughts via making allegorically use of animals, which proves to be highly effective on the reader, makes us see what is unseen to our eyes. The story summaries when given a chance to a country after getting independence to rebuild its constitution and its future, it is in the leaders’ intentions as well as the followers’ which will decide where the county will go.

Who should read:

Animal Farm is suitable for readers who are keen in politics. It is an introductory short story that depicts from the start of a revolution, to the final stage of tyranny state. There are many similarities drawn from history, and present paradigms as well.

Not to mention, the animal responses are exactly the same as how citizens react in the actual world.

Who should not read:

Most likely this book is not suitable for readers who are looking for indept discussion of politics or governance structures.

Likewise it is also not suitable for those who are not comfortable reading about talking animals who live their lives just like humans.

Takeaway points:

  • Power corrupts.
  • During every election, it is very unlikely to know which party is corrupted or not. Only when the party is in power, the true colour reveals.
  • Not all is lost. There are still good leaders who will serve truthfully and altruistically.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3]

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England; and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed as are his essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[4]

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term “Orwellian“—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including “Big Brother“, “Thought Police“, “Room 101“, “memory hole“, “newspeak“, “doublethink“, “proles“, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime“.[5][6]

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Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

 

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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Originally published: 24 April 2017
Original Title: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
Author: Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant
Page count: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Non-fiction, Self Help, Psychology
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1524732684
Product Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 25 mm

Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2017)

100 Word Book Review:

Sheryl opens up describing the grief and isolation in the wake of her husband’s sudden death. No proper farewells, no premonition nor physical indications of an end. Abrupt as it is, life goes on. Option B illustrates that deep within us, we all have resilience and adaptation. A dynamic evolutionary process that fits us to our current circumstances. While Sheryl was certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again, her psychologist friend Adam Grant guided her. Indeed, it is a sad book to read but this will help readers to seek the recovery strength within themselves.

Who should read:

Ironically, Option B is very suitable for those who are upset, depressed or despondent. The author been through possibly the lowest point in life one could ever be.

One may argue what she been through is worse than having suicidal thoughts. But this is not the point here. If anyone is upset and depressed for prolonged period of time, he or she should seek help. Of which the author did, and she is using herself as a living example to guide those in need too.

Who should not read:

Obviously readers who are expecting a happy story, or maybe a sad-first-then-happy-ending-story, should not read it.

Option B focuses quite a bit on the author’s feelings and emotional state. Unknowly, one will eventually feel equally depressed or probably even worse after that.

Also, the positive turn comes much later towards the end of the book. So it takes a bit of patience to get to that part.

Takeaway points:

  • Life is short, unexpected, a constant struggle
  • It is natural to feel sad, but it is important to snap out of it and recover.
  • Life goes on, and there are so much more.
  • Happy and sad things happen for a reason, and at times, happen unexpectedly without a reason too. And events that happen without a reason usually will have the greatest impact.

 

Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook, overseeing the firm’s business operations. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future

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Originally published: 19th May 2015
Original Title: Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future
Author: Ashlee Vance
Page count: 400 pages
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Biography
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062301233
ISBN-13: 978-0062301239
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches

100 Word Book Review:

SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, Paypal, and the recent The Boring Company are founded by South African Elon Musk. He is an entrepreneur and innovator who seeks to explore self-sustaining solutions, changing the world to be a better place. The book begins by documenting his difficult environment and rough childhood in South Africa. By 17, he finally moved to Canada which he desired very much. In a chronological order, along with management issues and engineering innovations, it reveals the turbulent personal life of Elon Musk, who called his estranged father ‘a terrible human being’. Overall, Elon prefers not speak about his personal life.

 

Who should read it:

Entrepreneurs who are in tech start ups looking for a role model to emulate and look up to. Not to mention, readers who are in admiration and respect of Elon Musk should read this book too. It gives a sneak peak to the man, his logic and his thinkings.

 

Who should NOT read it:

For readers who are totally NOT in to technology stuffs. Personally I think this book will rather bore you to death. If you are not keen in techs, or Elon Musk, pick up something else. It will save your life.

 

Takeaway points:

Invention is the creation of a solution to a need. It is a both innovation, knowledge and grit to make the dream into a reality. Elon is determined to make it happen, and his mindset, as well as mentality, allows great things to happen.

 

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Poll: 100 Words Review

BooksAvenue has always been a small initiative to bring about changes to the existing market. It is a Not-For-Profit company and has always been the same till now.

The 100 Words Review is one of the small changes that is implemented along the way. It has been ongoing for quite a while already. A simple poll has been created to hear from our friends if more focus should be on this initiative.

Naturally, it is a simple platform for readers to interact with others, bringing people together, bridging the gap between books and people. So do give your thoughts at :

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBooksAvenue%2Fposts%2F2074275379254212&width=500

 

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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Originally published: 18th Feb 2013
Original Title: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
AuthorHéctor García (Author), Francesc Miralles (Author)
Page count: 208 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Penguin Books (August 29, 2017)
Genre: Self Help
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143130722
ISBN-13: 978-0143130727
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches

100 Word Book Review

Ikigai a Japanese word describing the art of doing something, where work becomes not work anymore but a way of life. It is the sweet intersection point between passion, mission, vocation, and profession, imbue into daily life. Work becomes second to breathing, an uninterrupted flow in the process of working, immersed and focused. It is an enjoyable journey to see one’s creation comes to fruition. With cited interviews of seniors living past a century, they remain active and work at what they enjoy. It is clear that they’ve found a real purpose in life, living and working every waking moment.

Who Should Read

Those who are stuck in life, procrastinating of things that needs to be done and have not done so in days, weeks or even months. Likewise, those who do work diligently and would like to further understand the mentality of people who worked hard. This new perspective helps them to regain new perspectives which may be helpful in their future endeavors.

Who Should Not Read

Perhaps scientists and research who are seeking quantifiable results and solutions for comparisons between different individuals. This book provides insights and perspectives, not quite numbers and facts for cold hard comparisons.

Takeaway point

Work can be dull and interesting at the same time, it is perspectives and attitude that will help in a more enjoyable working experience.

The Politics Book – DK Publishing

The Politics Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

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Series: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Originally published
: 18th Feb 2013
Original Title: The Politics Book
Author: Sam Atkinson ( Senior Editor)Rebecca Warren (US Senior Editor)Kate Johnsen (US Editor)
Page count: 352pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: DK (February 18, 2013)
Genre: Politics
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1465-402-144
ISBN-13: 978-146-540-2141
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches

100 Word Book Review:

An excellent summary of political ideas that have evolved over aeons ago. It beautifully illustrated shadow-like cartoons, succinct quotations, and accessible text that break down even the most difficult concepts so they are easier to grasp. No doubt it has a textbook feel which absolutely aids beginners to gather information. Arranged in a chronological order, it details the birth, development and evolvement of different ideologies. At the same time discussing different perspectives and possibilities. Towards the end, it has a summary page of Terrorism too. A simple, clear, concise yet detailed book for all who are keen in political science.

Fridays with Philip

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Originally published: Aug 2008
Original Title: Fridays with Philip
Author: Philip Lee
Page count: 196 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Epigram Books
Subjects: Political Science, History, Weekly column
Language: English
ISBN-10: 981-08-1128-4
ISBN-13: 978-9810811280
Product Dimensions: 133 x 203mm

100 Word Book Review:

A compilation of weekly column by Philip on Streats during 2000 to 2005. The writings are arranged by subject matter namely, Language, People, Nostalgia, Anecdotes. It compromises largely on local (Singapore) trends and Philip’s observation and thoughts, such as the Speak Good English campaign, American Idol’s William Hung and dignity, why Singapore women go for ang mohs (non-Asians), our youth, local’s perception of foreign workers and etc. The content is very much close to heart, expressed in a sharp witty manner, much from local’s perspectives. It is a great book for short reading and reminisces Singapore in the 2000s.

About the Author:
Philip Lee has been a journalist since 1974 when he left the civil service to join The Straits Times as a reporter. He spent the first seven years covering politics, the civil service and reviewed local plays. He rose over the years to become Associate News Editor, News Editor (The Sunday Times) and Chief Copy Editor of The Straits Times.

In 1990, he left for a new life in Vancouver, Canada but returned in 2000 to work again as Copy Editor with The Straits Times. He also had stints as a copy editor with the tabloids, Streats, and The New Paper. He works as a writer with the Special Projects Unit in the Marketing Division of Singapore Press Holdings. He cooks, enjoys The New York Times crossword puzzles and sings the oldies when in the company of songloving friends.

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

 The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

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Originally published: 12 September 2012
Original Title: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Authors: Lee Kuan Yew
Page count: 680 pages (Hardcopy)
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (October 14, 1998)
Subjects: AutoBiography, Political Science, History
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0130208035
ISBN-13: 978-0130208033
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2 inches

100 Word Book Review:

A factual and concise book documenting Singapore’s history from Lee Kuan Yew’s perspective, illustrating his challenges, frustrations as well as personal observations of people and events. From a brief background of his childhood through the colonial days, the Japanese Occupation, then the post war and internal self-government, then finally the merger with Malaysia and subsequent Singapore’s Separation from Malaysia. Each chapter details the dangers and opportunities, the hardship that Lee Kuan Yew and his team faced internally and externally. It brings clarity to historical events during the forming years, documenting Singapore’s arrival in the global village of nations.