Round up for the decade

December 31, 2009

Well today is the last day of the decade and it has been an eventful one. The 4th decade of my life has been probably the most eventful one yet. I have changed homes, countries, lifestyles, made new and lost, family and friends, started and left companies and have hopefully become a better person. Have been buffeted by obviously the goings on in the world around me but surprisingly a lot of changes are simply because I looked for and experienced new things. So a quick round-up of the things that I have liked or have simply influenced me a lot over the decade.

Books

I have always been an avid reader and this decade has been a great one for me. I discovered genres, authors and books which defied any particular classifications and these are some which I have stayed with me.

Fiction – Roberto Bolano’s Savage Detectives, even though the original was published in 1998, the english version came only in 2008 so for me it counts in this decade. His 2666 is magesterial but for me Savage Detectives is what I will remember as being an introduction into a different world. Honourable mention also goes to Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel.

Non-Fiction – Fooled by Randomness stands head and shoulders above anything I read this decade. The Black Swan simply expanded on those ideas but to me the sparser and simply argued FBR pretty much is in perfect sych in what I kind of look for in non-fiction. Honourable mention goes to ‘Everything and More‘ a meandering, sometimes frustrating, erudite but ultimately rewarding  take on the subject of infinity, by David Foster Wallace.

Fantasy – The standout for the decade has been George RR Martin’s Fire and Ice series. Looking forward to the Dance with Dragons as well as the HBO mini-series.

Science-Fiction – Have read lots of science fiction in the last decade but for me Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon was absolutely brilliant.

Movies

English Movies – The memorable movies for me were Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Dark Knight.

Hindi – My absolute favourite was Dil Chahta Hai, it was a coming of age story at a time when I was also transitioning from single bachelorhood days to a married life and it struck a chord.

Foreign Movies – The Japanese movie Departures is my pick for the decade.

Animation – There were a lot of brilliant animation movies like Shrek and Incredibles but I was most impressed by Sita Sings the Blues.

Sports

This has been Golden Age of Batting in Cricket. We have watched Michael Schumacher, Roger Federer and and Tiger Woods dominate their respective sports. And what great fun it has  been to watch them over the decade

Places

A trip to Egypt and Abu Simbel was really the highlight. I am always surprised how many people do not take the trip down to Abu Simbel considering it is barely 4 hours from Luxor.

Bloggers

I discovered the world of blogging and one of the first few bloggers I read regularly were Megan McMardle and Marginal Revolution but my pick for the decade would be Paul Kedrosky. His mix of economics, investing, tech and everything else is good way to know what is going on in the world.

And it’s appropriate for the decade to end with a partial lunar eclipse across Asia. Shadows across the moon a perfect harbinger of the new decade.

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