Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: Kidnapped (Graphic Novella)

 

I recently got hold of this book – Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson, from the local library and it proved to be an interesting read and the illustrations in the novel were very good too. Its an abridged edition of course but is able to hold the interest of the reader quite well indeed. Following is some summary of the book in my words – David Balfour goes seeking for his inheritance after his father’s demise – and meets his uncle Ebenezer Balfour who is the evil kind who will not want David to get his share of the estate and conspires to kill David but fails and eventually manages to sell David off for bondage labor to a captain of the Covenant ship. There David happens to meet a guy of Scottish decent who he befriends and who finally helps David to come back to England and get his property back from his uncle. The adventures of David and his friend while they escape from the Covenant till they reach England forms the major part of the story line. Overall a  nicely done novella – good for a quick read.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: The Call of the Wild


This is my first review of any book on my blog. I have recently started paying attention to my reading habit and have completed the first book – by author Jack LondonThe Call of the Wild. Though much has already been written about the book I will try to summarize it in my words below. This story has its appeal for me for the fact that I am presently staying in Santa Clara California where Buck used to live in Judge Miller’s house and I have also once visited Alaska where most of the story is based on.
This is a classic American story about a dog (Buck) who is sold by Judge Miller’s (in who’s household Buck used to inhabit as a pet born of a Saint Bernard father and a Scotch Shepherd Mother) gardener, Manuel, to the wrong hands at the time when (strong sled) dogs were in great demand (due to Klondike Gold Rush). And so Buck was relocated from the Santa Clara valley California to the north land (Alaska). The story is about how Buck experiences and sustains through the drastic change in his life being brought about by being moved from a domesticated pet dog to a hard working sled dog in the extreme climate of the north land. Buck survives it all because of his physical strength, ability to adapt to the changing environment, and above all, not loosing his values and remaining true to his self. Buck was passed on from one master to the next but they all liked him except for the trio who were themselves bad masters and they end up loosing Buck to Thornton. Bucks affection for Thornton is very heart warming. Eventually Buck avenges for his master’s death and returns to answer the call of the wild – where he does not kill for pleasure but only for his need to survive.
This is a children’s classic and is a quick read and a nicely told story.

Book notes: Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems, by Martin Kleppmann

My notes from the excellent book on how software has evolved to handle data from hierarchical databases to the NoSQL -  https://www.goodrea...