July 18, 2014

Binggo

Been 2 months since my last update, so thought I should get to it, though I have just 2 more books to add to the list. At this rate, I truly wonder whether I shall get done with all the squares... 10 done of the 25

Finished:
A book with a number in the title: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
A book with a blue cover: And the mountains echoed
A book by a female author: C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
A book with a mystery: D is for Deadbeat

The second book in a series: River of Smoke (Ibis Trilogy)  (*this can ideally be for a book with more than 500 pages too. Let me see if I manage to read something else by year end for that)
A book with a mystery: Tides of Memory by Sydney Sheldon ( that is in memory of my school time forbidden mystery ;) )
A book your friend loves: Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
A book which is more than 10 years old: The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu
 
Currently Reading:
A book which I heard of online: Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer

To be read
A book at the bottom of the to be read pile: Room by Emma Donoghue
A book set in another continent: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

July 16, 2014

Book Review: The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu

When we can gone to Thirthahalli, little did I know that I would come back with a book which would surely show me a life which is far beyond what I would have imagined. The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu, was a pick from Kuvempu's house which the State of Karnataka has turned into a historic museum. It housed many artifacts, books, articles of daily use which I remember being used by my grandmother! Things which I never thought I would see again were the items on display. And I had a strong urge to buy something from there as a memorabilia. And this book is what caught my eye.

Written by Kuvempu himself, and with a introduction by Girish Karnad. This was made into a movie by Girish Karnad, called Kanooru Heggadithi in the year 1999. He acted, directed and wrote the screenplay for this movie, and this movie won the National Film Award for the Best feature film in 2000.

Based around the Kanooru family, two brothers and their love for a girl. The ancestral property which plays as the stage for all that transcribes through a period of 10 years. The seasons change, the people age and children grow up and marry, but some of the smaller things in life such as family, love and respect stay on forever!

The language of the book, being a translation, works to be not that smooth, and at times you can see the Indian speaking style being translated as is in English. This does get a little while getting used to, but nevertheless it was a wonderful read. It narrates the life of villagers and farmers and their seamless association with nature and all that is available around them. I was left many times wondering why didn't I think of all these things which one could do.

The story is predictable and meanders around the main characters and their life. There are many small tit bits which are woven in to strengthen the characters and give depth to the narration. But, overall, I think this is a book for the writing and the clear picture it portrays of the life in the country. The story shows the feudal nature of life and at times the faces people assume with power, poverty, money and loss.

Rating: 3.5/5

June 24, 2014

Morning Drives

Weekends tend to be a snore unless you plan something in advance. And I am the kind of person who tends to go into a real bad mood by the end of the weekend if we have not done something more than the customary grocery shopping. Planning a weekend takes effort and when it involves more than your family, they really have to be the same kind of people.

A friend asked us to join them for a picnic and we were so thrilled at doing something different, we were up at 6:30am ( well in reality, T woke us up). We were off to Nandi hills, a mere 70kms from where we stay, but the idea of packing up food and eating it there was enough to have us cooking till 7:30 am, and then setting off. 2 couples and 2 kids all packed into the car, and happy to be off on a road trip, if I may call it so!
A welcome back to Nandi hills
Having been to Nandi hills many a times, it was just the pleasure of the drive and the conversation which was so great, but for our friends, it was their first trip up there. And, boy, has the place changed! I realized that I was headed up the hill, after 3 years, which means T has never been there even. They have lookouts set up and lots of picnic spots, which were all occupied. And along with the people, were so many monkeys, something which I have not seen in all the times I have been there prior to 2011.
There are monkeys everywhere!
The wind which blows at the top of the hill is something all the bikers and trekkers come for, and that was something which was still very much there. T was in fact a little cold, and I did not carry a jacket, which was quite irresponsible, but then I think a 3 year hiatus can affect the memory of the chill. ;)
The wind blown lovelies
The eateries have not become any more in number, and the same ol' tea shop served the ice cream and tea. It is still that early morning tea place, or else a picnic spot offering you the snacks and drinks supply all through. But, I think its one of the places from where you see Bangalore in a very different light, especially if you head up there at 6am, when the gates open, and watch the sunrise!
Chillly but so much fun!
As you can see I had clearly forgotten how chilly Nandi hills can get, but the company made it all worthwhile!

June 18, 2014

Hootsuite or Buffer?

Recently I had asked my social networks whether anyone had anything specific to say about Hootsuite and Buffer for social media management, and I wanted some user reviews based on corporate profile management. Most of the inputs were in favour of using Hootsuite, but having started off with buffer, I thought I needed to find out if Buffer would work too. Also, added to the fact, I was falling in love with Buffer's clean and simple approach without the entire tutorial need as I saw when I signed up for a Hootsuite trial, this was more an attempt to stick to something which was more pleasing to the eye.

No doubt buffer is certainly more pleasing to the eye, but Hootsuite seems to offer more.
Buffer

  • Clean, simple, intuitive
  • Adding content from feeds and adding feeds in themselves are a breeze
  • Scheduling posts and fixing time and days 
  • Quick analytics on retweets/favourites and most importantly, the reach of each post, essentially things which really matter. For better analytics, they have a business subscription
  • Allows 10 social profiles, 1 team member and 15 feeds for the Awesome plan ( approx. $10/month)

    Hootsuite
    • Looks very similar to tweetdeck and hence for those who have used it, would find it simple
    • Its easy to pull content from one social platform to another, and makes it simpler to discover content
    • The auto scheduler does an auto scheduling based on your message cap and with the days and time period which you would like. Very similar to buffer
    • Exact times can not be auto-scheduled
    • Hootsuite Syndicator works well for adding posts from feeds, but the overall interface is cluttered.
    • The reporting section looks more swanky with more things to show your boss
    • Allows 50 social profiles, unlimited feeds, 1 team member and 1 report/month ( approx. $10/month)

    And when I am looking to manage about 6-8 social profiles, and the chances of it increasing is very high, then I do not see how Buffer will work, even though it seems so much more easier. Maybe it is simpler for a person to use for their personal social media management, but I doubt it will work for a corporate profile.

    Do any of you have any thoughts?

    Images are linked to their original sources