Evicted: Matthew Desmond

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Evicted traces the struggles of a few poor families in Milwaukee going through the process of finding homes and getting evicted.  A case study on poverty in US.  I read the book with mixed feelings.  On one hand, coming from where I come from and doing what I do, these poorest of the poor still come off relatively privileged compared to people in Africa and South Asia.  On the other hand, the fact that such crippling, back-breaking poverty exists here – in the land of opportunities – comes as a shock.  The book is written very well, and reader’s involvement in the lives of Arleen, Lamar, the Hinkstons, and Scott is total, and their stories are likely to stay with you, long after you have finished reading.  The race angle is stark too.  That the poverty is a lot more prevalent amongst the blacks is also a nagging, troublesome truth.

Read.

 

The Sialkot Saga: Ashwin Sanghi

 

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Ashwin Sanghi, one of the best selling authors in India, pens a tale of two men making it big, who end up competing and clashing with each other.  Then there is a parallel story of ancient secrets being passed from kingdom to kingdom – with the two stories coming together at the end.  There are several good things about the book.  The first is its pace – it progresses really quickly – and it works.  The second is Sanghi’s ability to relate real-life events and characters to this fictitious account.  It blends  very well and the reader also gets a taste of the many major events of modern history.  What doesn’t work – the writing is clichéd, the book tends to be a bit repetitive in the protagonists chalking out victories after victories, and the immortality  discourses at the end does not make much sense.

Read.

Fire and Fury: Michael Wolff

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An absorbing account of the palace intrigues, inter-camp rivalry, and the musical chairs game, Trump’s White House has become.  The book begins with the incredulity in Trump’s team on his victory.  Bannon, Kushner, Conway, Melania and Trump himself, apparently all had their plans post-elections, which got disrupted by his surprise victory.  Then began a series of upheavals in the staff that continues to date.  Jarvanka vs. Bannon is an engrossing running theme.  But above all, the book offers a none-too-complementary window into the mind of the 47th President of United States.

Read.