Matter of Opinion

A blog about thoughts, fear, happiness, regret, ambition, anger and all the emotions you could think of.

Archive for the category “Review”

Book Review- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

After I have written my first book review – Surviving Women I moved on to another sexist kind of self help book. The name of the book is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. I am also going to move one notch up in my review writing exercise this time. According to the feedback that I got for my last review I have decided that I will structure my reviews better. You are about to read a more organised form of my review. Here it goes-

The 5 liner about the book:

  1. Men and women are different beings and they speak different languages.
  2. Communication is the key to happiness.
  3. All of us need help with communication with the opposite sex and no one should deny this and seek help.
  4. Love has faces. Love is not one dimensional. And we need all kinds of love to be happy. Love is perceived differently by men and women.
  5. Accepting differences between men and women is of prime importance

The Good: The best thing about the book is that it is not biased. No where has the author taken anybody’s side. If I have to summarize the first 100 pages of the book, it says ‘Do not give advice unless you are asked for it’ or ‘Do not provide solution before your partner asks for it.’ Everybody is competent of solving their own problems. All they need is support and assurance and not solutions. It is THAT simple and yet we end up making the same mistake of being pushy.

As I have mentioned in my previous review that I am on a spree of reading books on feminism and chauvinism, this I believe is the most mature book of them all. It caters to a more mature audience, people who have experienced relationships and problems in relationship. You instantly relate to things you do and things your partner does that creates conflict of thoughts. You will instantly appreciate the little things your partner does for you if you do not as yet.

One thing is for sure; this book answers two very important questions that have been bothering the humankind for ages. The questions are WHAT MEN WANT? & WHAT WOMEN WANT?

The Bad: The book only talks about the love relationship. Considering the fact that this book is targeted to a mature audience the approach seems a little pushy. After a point of time a lot of things get repetitive. I trust that the author wants to nail the ideas and the concepts in our head so that we do not forget. He is successful in doing so. But you feel the urge of skipping a few pages because you get a feel that you have just read it 2 paragraphs back.

It goes around in circles but thankfully the thoughts come back to a sensible conclusion and the flow is continued. Every chapter is unique on its own but are correctly linked with each other in most convincing ways. If I were hearing a tape of this book, I wouldn’t have mind the repetition. But when I read the book I would want to read a new thing in every paragraph. For all you know the book would have been as good in 150 pages.

Last word: It answers all your relationship issues. Issues that you didn’t even think is an actual issue leading to fights and differences between you and your partner. If you are receptive you will apply the ideas and see an instant difference in your relationship. It is a must read for all in a relationship.

Rating: 5

What the Ratings mean:

5- Add it in your must read list.

4- It is almost there. Worth one read

3- Very average. Nothing too good but nothing too bad.

2- If possible, just read the gist and get done with it.

1- If you have another book you think is more worthy of your time choose the other one.

Disclaimer: The rights to this format of review writing lies with Vibha Nayak.

Book Review- Surviving Women by Jerry Pinto

So that day arrives when I finally decide to start writing reviews on the books I read. There are two reasons why I wish to do this. One is to help other readers get a view on what the book is like before they decide to read it. I have two minds on this. I want people to explore the books themselves and decide and not be prejudiced by my opinion but what the heck? There are reviews available there. In 1000 words each, people write reviews for this very reason. But because there is a trend of paid reviews emerging, I would want to give some honest opinions here.

The second reason why I am writing reviews is to remember how I felt about the book when I read it for the first time. When I grow older I might read the books again and have a different point of view about it. Some wise fellow made me realise that if I get to read books at the right time of life I will absorb its true essence better than any other time. I just want to keep my feelings about the books and the opinion presented in the book so that I have something to compare with when I decide to read it again.

So here it goes, my first review for a book called “Surviving Women” by Jerry Pinto.-

I have been reading a lot of books on feminism and chauvinism these days. Dangerously I am reading them simultaneously. I can be highly opinionated at this point of time but also have a clarity of thought regarding my opinions on both the genders.

The author has put together thoughts from the men’s point of view very frankly. Some of the points are bang on and even if it is pointed out to the women I do not know how they are doing to do something to make lives better for men. I trust the experience compiled by the author are true to the fact but I strictly don’t believe some of the points only apply to men. Language for instance that he has pointed out affects men as much as women. If a woman is in utter stress and use harsh words to express it, it is likely to put men off completely. Moreover, they hold on it it much longer than women do at times. So this point was completely biased. Secondly, the fact that men have to sacrifice a lot to give time to their better half. Just to give you an idea, how many times have you heard this line from a woman, ‘I didn’t go to office because my mother-in-law or father-in-law wasn’t well’? The point I am trying to make is that women not only have to take out time for their spouse, but they have to take out time for his entire family. Moreover, if there is a problem in her family she only has to run around to solve. I respect all the men who support their wives unconditionally to take care of all these things. But what about cases where she is a one wo-man army? After all this, that she has gone through what is wrong if she asks her husband to spend time with her. I know women who go out only during the afternoons so that routine of the family doesn’t get disturbed. On the other hand men will prefer going out in the evenings. I am not saying all of them but it is all about your experience right?

The third issue is having a woman friend. They expect more than they say or they say something and expect more. True. But don’t they go all the way to help their male friends. I have had to suggest or buy a gift for a male friend’s friend a thousand times. I have completed journals of 50% of guys in my class when I was in school. That too I made sure it is done within deadline and neatly too. I had to do my own journal too, right? Moreover, male friends as I have seen are more willing to help their female friends than help their male friends. They keep offering help even if the girl doesn’t ask. Why was that left out?
Then there was this point about women at workplace. I sort of agree with the handling of power issue but it is not true always. And why are there more women at workplace is because our parent’s generation realised how important it is to educate girls. The outcome is what we see today. The reason why they do it with more interest because their mother’s generation didn’t get the exposure and opportunity. They don’t want to end up like their mother. On the other hand men are becoming less ambitious. They work because they have to. There might have even been cases of role reversals for all you know. But this might be a phase this generation is going through. There’s a lot on this that is going to happen in this area. So I cannot really comment on this.

I am not commenting on the rest of the book because either I agree with them or I feel I am yet to see a lot to have my opinion on it. But one piece of advice for all the men, the readers of this book from me would be do not try and survive women,  try and live with them. I do not expect you to understand women because it is too much to ask for. We can be as big a challenge as men can be. Men are evolving like women are as each generation pass. Women, as the author mentioned are more evolved being. Let write a book on Surviving Men and I will tell you how evolved men have become in our opinion or how evolved their needs have become. I know it is humanly impossible to gather all the views of men and put them in a book. As rightly put by the author, each woman is a different individual. But each man is equally different. If I am showing a bit of a feminist side of my here that doesn’t mean I have anything against men. On the contrary I love the men in my life. I want them around always and I will there for them no matter how difficult sometimes they are to deal with. But then I would call in “Living with men” and not surviving.

Last thought on the book is that the author has taken effort to filter out views from different men, that might seem important to understand women but it does no help whatsoever. Instead whatever he has put in as his own thoughts is kind of true to life and will at least help men read between lines when they have to.

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