BR 26: To Rule Mankind and Make The World Obey – A History of Rome by Frances Titchener

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Good book. I learnt a lot from a tale of the Roman empire! A few of the things I remember are why humans began wearing clothes (it was a sign of position in society – i.e. the kind of clothes), how empires ran into ruins the moment appointing heirs was only restricted within the family among many others.

What to expect: A nice lecture series from a good history professor. Fun facts and a good learning experience..

BR 25: The Art of Profitability by Adrian J Slywotzky

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: More like an academic look into businesses and profitability. Good in terms of the various profitability models discussed, decent in terms of linking it up into a story but I wouldn’t rate it very high on impact. The paperback could offer a better experience though as it was difficult to follow a few of the numbers and calculations on audio.

What to expect: A detailed look at about 20 (if I remember right) profit models weaved into a moderately engaging story. If you are looking to start your own business, this could be a good book to read to get you thinking about profitability.

BR 24: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Very good book in terms of the concept. I liked the book for the most part and the only reason it is not a ‘BUY it!’ is because while I understood how many ideas made it big, I felt a big part of it was beyond my control and hence, less actionable.

What to expect: Gladwell is the business and self-help lover’s  Dan Brown in my opinion – he puts together a whole lot of data and presents it VERY well. Hence, The Tipping Point is an example of many good facts put together to bring forth some good insights.

BR 23: The Godfather – Mario Puzo

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Who said you can learn from management books alone? This book, to me, is not the story of the Italian mafia don, nor is it the story of how the famed five families of New York controlled a big part of the city.

To me, this is the story of a man with a very strong will, value system (albeit with some values being questionable) attained power and despite being knocked down, masterminded his opponents by thinking many moves ahead. It is also a story of how vices can be our greatest enemies and what was most astounding was the importance of making sure every move is right one. One wrong mistake would lead to the loss of a life..

That’s a tough job.

A thrilling (and sometimes long winded) story of a Mafia Don and his family’s fight for survival and supremacy in the city of New York.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: I have no idea why I reviewed The Godfather here. I guess it was a special nod to one of my favorite works of fiction.

BR 22: The 48 laws of Power by Robert Greene

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Take this book with a pinch of salt.  I tried reading the book as a 19 year old and found it a touch too dark. It has interesting insight on games of power.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: I read this book again a few years later and would stick to my original note – take it with a pinch of salt as you can start seeing power games everywhere. Robert Greene is an artful writer, though, and this book was understandably very popular when it came out.

New categories – Read it, see it-buy it, shelf it or read if it falls on your lap..

Dear Readers,

After some feedback on the difficulty to gauge between ‘Recommended’ books and not-so-recommended books, I have been working on a change in the way the book reviews are presented. The way forward would have books split into 4 categories –

Category 1 -> Read it ASAP!

Category 2-> If you see it, buy it!

Category 3 -> Shelf it.. read when you have time.

Category 4-> Read if it magically falls on your lap..

The next steps would be to re-categorize the existing book reviews and then resume book reviewing.

I am looking forward to your feedback..


This has been updated to –

1) Read ASAP!

2) BUY it!

3) SHELF it


BR 21: How to make big money in your small business – Jeffrey J Fox

Category: 4 – SOMEDAY it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: This was my final Jeffrey J Fox book. The issue I have with it is that it makes it look too easy, when it is not in reality..

What to expect:
Many good bite sized learnings and short stories. Not short on learnings, but a tad short on the real difficulty level..

Effective Book Releases – Learning from the Get-It-Done Guy..

As mentioned in a post previously, I’m awaiting a copy of the ‘Get-It-Done’ Guy’s book  so I can share the review first up with all of you! 🙂

And I think it is a great lesson to take away as well – his reaching out to bloggers around the world and giving free copies away so we can do the good work of spreading the buzz. The most successful books are called best’sellers’ after all.

While I’m waiting for my copy, check out more on the 9 steps to work less and do more on

BR 20: Stillness Speaks – Echkart Tolle

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: This is a book I read typically during one of the following 3 situations –

1) When I’m struggling to sleep and need to make sure I get rest before morning..
2) When I’m feeling restless on a flight..
3) When I need something calming..

And in all 3 of the above times, this book is simply brilliant. It is deep, extremely thought provoking and narrated in Eckhart Tolle’s calm and sleep-inducing voice..

What to expect: The following –

1) A book that cannot be read or understood in 1 sitting.
2) A book that can be read and re-read many times and still enjoyed..
3) A brilliant book for relfection..
4) Lot’s of silence and pauses during the book ..
5) Tons of insight..

Regularizing book learnings, writing a book and more updates..

Dear Readers,

This is a post on my learning blog that I felt was apt. A big part of it refers to this blog.. However, just thought I’d post it so I could keep you informed of the updates. 🙂

Dear Readers,

For a change, this is not as much a learning as it is a status update and letter to you. I’ve found myself getting a tad stretched in trying to maintain 2 blogs of late in addition with adjusting to work-life. So, I thought I’d pause for a minute and pen down updates from my end and keep you posted about what’s going on –

1) Marler’s Observatory: This is my other blog that started out as a place to consolidate initiatives I’ve been working on/plan to work on on the side.
One initiative that I literally stumbled upon and began working on was ‘Book Reviews’. And I’m happy to inform you that this has been received rather well with quite some (unexpected) traction and lots of encouragement.

2) GTD Guy’s request for Review: The GTD guy, Stever Robbins reached out as a result of (just) 18 book reviews and is in the process of sending in a copy of his new book (releasing this week) for me to review and share with you on Marler’s Observatory. More on this coming soon..

3) Starting on my own book project: As a result of a strong bout of inspiration that came through on Friday, I have decided to begin writing my own book. So, this is going to be a project that will take shape over the next few months.
The book is going to be very related to the ‘A learning a day’ concept and I’m sure you’ll find a lot of content from previous posts but I hope to do this properly and make sure the end product is of good quality. As with any new project, I am definitely nervous about whether you will find the aggregation of these learnings useful.. but let’s hope it works out.
You will definitely hear more in the coming months..

These are the 3 big updates from my end. I will try and get into a schedule of adding in Book Learnings 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) on M’s O. As far as this one goes, I have a whole bunch of ideas that are waiting to be posted but I’m trying to improve the quality of the posts as well as not exceed 2 per day. Additionally, I also expect time to get invested into the new book initiative.

In short, LOTS of activity, action and hence, learnings are all set to come your way in the next few months. Thank you all for being fantastic – it is very nice meeting friends from time to time who have nice things to say about the posts as readers. I would love to hear the ‘not-so-nice’ things as well so I can ramp up the quality while hopefully adding value to you..


PS: Like any blogger, hearing what you have to say in the ‘Comments’ is equivalent to blogger’s bliss. So, just letting you know that a simple comment goes a LONG way! 🙂 Thanks again..