Yearly Wrap-up: 2016

[I know I’m like a year late for this post, but better late than never!]

Non-Fiction: Business and Money

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
When I read this book, I was a student majoring in Entrepreneurship. Though this book was assigned reading, I did enjoy it. Unlike other entrepreneurship books, where authors are going around the bush, trying to repeat their ideals in varying tones of ‘why this worked for me’, this book didn’t do that. (I know, surprising, right.) This book is concise and clear, from what a star-up is, to how to thoroughly evaluate an idea for it to work out as a business. The key component, how to do the whole process in a “lean” manner, without wasting resources. And thus the title of the book. Definitely recommended for anyone who is even minutely thinking of starting their own business, or innovating within the organization they work for.
Rating: 4/5
What I liked: It’s clear and to-the-point
What I disliked: —

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT by Jim Lecinski
A short and quick read by Google, free of purchase. It’s about how the marketing landscape is changing, specially after the introduction of e-commerce. Traditionally, a customer would follow a predictable buying cycle, however, now with more knowledge and tools at the customers disposal, they have already made up their mind what to buy, even before they enter a store. ZMOT is that the exact moment when a customer decides to purchase (or not to purchase) a product or service.
Rating: 3.5/5
What I liked: It’s a quick summary
What I disliked: —

What Money Can’t Buy by Michael J. Sandel
A thought-provoking book. As the subtitle of this book says ‘What are the moral limits of markets?” The author successfully raises awareness and questions common practices that might be on the borderline of being ethical. He opens a discussion on Market Morals and how far this may go, and what is the proper role of markets in a democratic society.
Rating: 3/5
What I liked: Interesting eye-opener
What I disliked: Felt dragging, and more of ‘complaining’ than ‘solving’ (This was also an assigned book, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it)

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Analytical and heavily research oriented, while being too wordy. Basically, how and why once-leading companies soon loose their ‘touch’. Reason: Disruptive Technology, that essentially changes the economic landscape. If the companies don’t adapt and innovate, they are soon to loose out to competition.
Rating: 2/5 – DNF
What I liked: —
What i disliked: too analytical that the logic gets lost somewhere in the repetition. If there is a simpler book on Disruptive Technologies, please let me know.

Fiction – Young Adult

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Rating: 1/5
What I liked: the surreal feeling you get while reading this book.
What I disliked: Everything. If you read the whole book, you will be equally lost as if you read the first and the last pages only. I failed to find an actual plot, and had no attachment with any of the shallow characters.

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1) by Mark Lawrence
Rating: 2/5
What I liked: The main character’s strong will to do anything
What I disliked: The writing did not flow well. The whole book only cared about the main character, with almost no regard to what everyone else in the story is doing. It felt like a prologue that needed to establish the nature of the main character.

Red Queen Series (Books 1 and 2) by Victoria Aveyard
Avg. Rating: 3/5
What I liked: The fight for equality, how the main character will become the key to walk a thin line of truth and lies to get what she wants
What I disliked: well.. the main character. She is utterly helpless on her own accord, and annoyingly pessimistic.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Rating: 3/5
What I liked: The underlying feel of how your real roots call to you even when you are leaps and bounds away from it.
What I disliked: Unexpected – how the story turns out to be, which left me unsatisfied. (Honestly, I don’t even remember half the event that took place).

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) by Rae Carson
Rating: 3/5
What I liked: The growth of the main character.
What I disliked: the (extremely) slow pace of the book.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
Rating: 3/5
What I liked: the personality of the two main characters and how well they synced together even though they were opposites.
What I disliked: I don’t particularly like dystopian stories.

Shadow and Bone Series (Books 1, 2, and 3) by Leigh Bardugo
Avg. Rating: 4/5
What I liked: The world and setting of the story
What I disliked: If only the main female character was slightly more proactive.

Air Awakens Series (Books 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) by Elise Kova
Avg. Rating: 4/5
What I liked: The writing and character development
What I disliked: —

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski
Rating: 4/5
What I liked: It was a quick, easy, read.
What I disliked: It’s predictable.

Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab
Rating: 4/5
What I liked: The storyline and the way it was presented
What I disliked: —

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
Rating: 4/5
What I liked: character development
What I disliked: It had the ‘second-book-syndrome’

Six of Crows Series (Books 1 and 2) by Leigh Bardugo
Avg. Rating: 4.5/5
What I liked: Everything, and it’s set in the same world as Shadow and Bone
What I dislike: —

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series (Books 1 and 2) by Sarah J. Maas
Avg. Rating: 4.5/5
What I liked: Everything, the characters, the plot and the plot twists
What I disliked: —

Happy Reading!

Check out the books mentioned above or the current Best Sellers HERE