Tangential talk is the best part about sharing books- one writer leads to a story to another writer to another story. There’s a randomness that happens when each person in a group talks about a book that has affected him.

We saw in Part 1 that expert advice could go wrong. In fact data interpretation is the challenge of the hour. Something as elusive as an observation can affect the outcome. “That’s kind of like science fiction.” Sudharshan from Vantage Circle opined.

Which brings us to the science fiction read of the party.

Kumar. S, Architect at IBM, believes that as far as science fiction goes the most challenging book of all has to be the Neuromancer, compared to which a movie like Matrix is simple fare.

The MartianHe came upon a book called The Martian, a 2011 science fiction novel by Andy Weir, also adapted as a movie starring Matt Damon. “It’s pure science fiction, but what I couldn’t understand is how the protagonist handled loneliness. There’s no mention of this challenge in the book at all.”

Loneliness is not to be taken lightly. Ralph talked about how there were so many nonagenrians who were too healthy to die but wanted to nonetheless. Umakant mentioned that this would be the next biggest challenge of growing life expectancy. Machines would be the new solace- science fiction is already posed to become a part of the everyday life of the old and the ignored.

CharlieHarris Ibrahim K.V, Python Tamer at Eventifier, delighted in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. He found the poetry in the book delightful and quite a departure from the sombre horror of Dahl’s short stories. Dahl’s reputation is colorful to say the least. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War and even worked as a spy. You might want to have a look at this.

Unfortunately the movie failed to move him,as movies often fail their book counterparts. “If there is a movie that does justice to the books, it must be The Lord of the Rings.” But here again, some readers debated over the genuineness of Aragon being lost on the silver screen.

james and the giant peach“Not to mention how deeply hurt I was by Voldemort of the Harry Potter series. The sense of doom about him was absent- he was almost (dare I say it?) comic,” Abhaya said.

Harris Ibrahim was not the only one who read Dahl. A young reader, Eshwar, spoke about James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl that he considered the best book he had ever read. The story line is so tempting- a boy loses his idylllic existence and escapes from the tyranny of his evil aunts with fruitly intervention-  you want to read it straight away.

More books were shared. We’ll talk about these in Part 3.