I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

JUST A BUNCH OF CRAZY IDEAS by Pardu S. Ponnapalli

Xlibris Corporation
Rating: Average
ISBN: 9781456882369, $12.47, 78 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:
“This book is about thoughts and ideas on a wide range of subjects. The ideas range from how to modify the game of chess to create a really interesting version to how to pursue exploration of space in a way that captures the imagination of the public. New and innovative viewpoints on practical methods to building a space elevator, designing a method to cope with cat litter and some simple ways to conserve energy are presented. Economic themes about the federal debt and deficit are also examined.

“Pardu Ponnapalli is an IT professional working in Rockville, Maryland. He has been a Star Trek buff all his life. He lives in Hagerstown, Maryland with his wife, son, dog and two cats. This is his first publication. After earning a Ph.D in Physics, he was promptly rewarded with unemployment. Realizing that he had lofty ambitions in life (like eating), he switched into the lucrative IT industry. He has been an IT professional for about 20 years. His hobbies and passions include chess, astronomy and most of all playing with his son.”

There are 17 chapters in this little book, each on a particular topic: 1) Space Elevator; 2) Alternative Energies and Energy Conservation; 3) More Thoughts on Energy Conservation; 4) Gas Stations and Filing Up; 5) Luggage and Airplanes; 6) Thoughts on Chess; 7) Thoughts on Ice Hockey; 8) Thoughts on Cats and Cat Litter; 9) Our National Debt and Deficit; 10) I Am Overweight and So are Most Americans; 11) Star Trek and the Reboot; 12) Thoughts about Laptops; 13) Thoughts about Space Exploration; 14) Thoughts on the Stock Market; 15) Automatic Inform Systems for IT Workers; 16) Hikers Who Hurt Themselves; 17) How to Improve Dishwashers.

Just a Bunch of Crazy Ideas is a fairly quick read as it’s only 78 pages–a good read before bed. I don’t think you’ll find any earth-shattering ideas or patents pending, but it was interesting. My favorite chapter was Ponnapalli’s self-designed diet program...soups, black coffee or black tea. He includes, in chart form, the progress of his diet. On day one he weighed 208.5 pounds. At the end of his chart, he weighed 204 pounds on day 23. He had tried many diets, as we all have, and decided to create his own. Why not? The only thing that matters is...does it work? I have my own plan: eat your main meal in the middle of the day (whatever your heart desires) and then have a bowl of cereal or cup of yogurt with fruit in the early evening.

As far as Ponnapalli’s writing style–informal to a fault–or quality of writing, it’s evident he’s not a professional writer, but he does gets the job done and his enthusiastic personality shines through. If you have a taste for such an eclectic read, then I’m sure you’ll find some value in this little book.

Kaye Trout - August 8, 2011