REVIEW: Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie

I must confess the Hercule Poirot is not one of my favourite detectives. Not even close. But that’s personal opinion. What I enjoy most Poirot’s cases or I must say, Agatha Christie’s writing is the how the cases unfold in the end after reaching the climax. This book has a brilliant ending, that’s all. No spoilers. I enjoy her writing which never fails to create a tension on the reader to get to the end of it. And Then There Were None is the best case scenario.

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SENECA: On Shortness of Life

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.

– Seneca

Human beings are master of not thinking rationally over the time. We live in denial of recognition [of our conscious time] which then leads to us being unproductive procrastinators and our frequency of fantasizing about the outcome of a situation “in a perfect” manner turns into something we want to forgetfully avoid it and further leads to passivity.

Distracting ourselves, as we cruise through our daily lives, in this manner is strictly equal to being absent from our selves. Roman philosopher Seneca wrote in an essay about 2,000 years ago: On Shortness of Life.

He writes:

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Top Fiction Books I Read in 2016

Once again, I am offering you a number of books I enjoyed reading last year in a broader sense of a genre: Fiction.

Stoner by John Williams

A fascinating, fast, elegant read. William Stoner and we all have something in common.

Read Full Review

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REVIEW: Seneca On Anger

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, or Seneca was a philosopher and is best known for his wisdom that may help one to rethink of his own perspectives on life. Seneca was a stoic and during his time embraced Stoicism. He was also an advisor to the Roman Emperor, Nero, in 54 AD. His essays such as On Shortness of Life, and On Anger clearly reflect his contribution to the Stoic philosophy.

Surprisingly, I was never introduced to the word Stoicism before. Not during my school years, nor my college years. I guess, it is my mistake that I was never curious enough to explore, open to ideas such as Stoicism posses, until recently when I first read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

On Anger is a book which is further divided into three books in which Seneca reflects how this passion, this feeling can make us endure for the rest of our lives. He describes anger as an emotion, “and under its possession any human being does remain not humane.” We have all felt anger, on various points. Sometimes it us, many a times it because of the others, we may think. Some follow it is quite pragmatically causing terror that reflect up on the rest of the humanity. Some just want to avenge on the injury they have become a victim to:

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Crime and Punishment and Redemption

Redemption. We all seek redemption. Most of us are seeking it from our past self for an idealistic future self in various forms. Writing Crime and Punishment for Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a creative redemption from his past and some of his brother, originally titled The Drunkards. Dostoyevsky became fond of this project and rewrote a version of it from scratch, that we take in our hands today and proudly read.

From the start of the novel, the author accomplishes to decipher that the protagonist, Raskolnikov, is tortured by his own thoughts. A student, as many, poverty-stricken, plans an instantaneous murder of an old pawnbroker, thinking it will delay his poverty for few more weeks, completely ignorant of the aftermath and having minimal self-control. This act of morality follows an aftermath which turns out to be psychological for Raskolnikov and the author spots an absolute scenario of what happens after one stands on the brink of insanity using Raskolnikov as his puppet until the protagonist is bring in contact with his own buried conscience and another sufferer. On the engagement of the book and one’s mind, one will indulge in it actively enough as the plot moves forward.

There is suspense in the novel no doubt. Dostoyevsky, in some amount succeeds in the main theme which he tries to revolve around the story: redemption. Characters like Raskolnikov do have a place in a reader’s mind once they have acquired his attention, for longer period of time. But novels like itself, fails to provide strong reasoning for characters who prove to be a drag thoughtout it. I am not going to name a few, you have to read it and judge it for yourself. My assessment is this, when moving forward the path author wants it to and so does the reader, then why a writer like Dostoyevsky would use elements to create a labyrinth, a maze which has no possible point to prove through the novel and does proves to be unnecessary?
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Meditating with Marcus Aurelius

Writing a review of Meditations is a hard task since there is too much to describe and discuss in one post considering the idle length of a blog post, or of a book review or to have your attention till the end of the post, but it is not enough. I rejected the idea of writing a review before writing this review, several times. But as Marcus Aurelius said:

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He is considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers and what we read today as Meditations is actually a personal notebook written by Marcus, for himself. He divided his work into 12 shorter volumes that comprise today the Meditations. One might question, what to learn from a man who is now a part of wandering dust, who is dead for almost 18 centuries? Wisdom. Wisdom is the crux of life.

In each of the 12 volumes, Marcus’ writing is clear as he describes the virtue of one’s life as a plot that progress as the essence of how universe as a whole works. In his journal, he reminds himself with understanding of universe is recursive in nature.

Everything have always been the same, and recuring, and it makes no difference whether you see the same things recur in a hundred year or two hundred, or in an infinite period.

There is no point in loathing how one’s life is and Marcus writing helps one in endurance. He offers wisdom on how tackle endurance without affecting one’s mental or physical state, constantly reminding us of the solo life we have. From the start of the book, Marcus focuses on the logos, the reasoning, the rational part of our minds, our thoughts our actions, each totally depended on one another. He emphasis the importance of work and discourages the distractions and desires we all have to deal in time. The presence of oneself, the conscious moment, and in that moment he encourages one to be patient and control our actions accordingly. His words shine a beam on the tolerance of nature and how one dislikes, disapproves of another, and reminds us that everyone have faults, thus, one should not concentrate his physical and mental energy on anger.

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5 Classics I read in 2015

To know what an ultimate pleasure sometimes a book written at least a hundred years before, or more, is known only to those who read them. There is a reason why these books are still surviving, generations after generations. Thus, here are five classics book that I read this year and I think are worth taking a look again.

Middlemarch is George Eliot’s magnum opus. The 800 page novel, it took me almost 9 days to finish reading it. Eliot’s writing is witty and sublime. This book examines multiple themes such as the role of education in the lives of characters and how it affects them. And as Virginia Woolf said, “The magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.”

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is an intriguing tale.

My Rating 4 out of 5

The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created. Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, an impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame.

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