5 Stars, Authors, Book List, Book Reviews, Books, Non-Fiction, philosophy, Reviews, Stoic Philosophy

Top Non Fiction Books I read in 2016 Part 2

Hola! Welcome back to “Read in 2016” series of posts. I am glad you read the first post in the series in which I suggest you Top Non-Fiction Books I read this year, irrespective of their publication date. As, in the previous post, I discussed by motive to come out with these book lists is that to make your TBR list for next year, a bit heavy. So, I hope you are ready for some more titles. If you haven’t read the post go and read it here.

Continue reading “Top Non Fiction Books I read in 2016 Part 2”

Authors, Book List, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction

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

Continue reading “Top Fiction Books I Read in 2016”

Book Reviews, Books, Essay, Non-Fiction, Reviews

How to Read a Book?

If you are reading this post, then you are certain about the importance of ‘reading’.

To acquire knowledge with aim of increasing one’s understanding, is reading enough? The answer is yes, but the question remains, how?

We need to think about how we read and Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book is a perfect place to start with. Published in 1940, it immediately became a bestseller, and since that time the book has been updated many times, famously and notably by Charles van Doren in the 1970’s.

Most of the times, we think reading is something that you can do or you cannot – that is you can either read or not. The truth, however, is that reading is a skill that can be improved with knowledge and practice.

The goal of reading determines how you read. If you’re reading for entertainment, you’re going to read a lot differently and likely different material than if you’re reading to increase understanding. There’s nothing wrong in reading for entertainment but ask yourself, are you really learning anything new? Continue reading “How to Read a Book?”

Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the WildInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“For a few minutes the roof of the bus remains visible among the stunted trees, a tiny white gleam in a wild green sea, growing smaller and smaller, and then it’s gone.” –Into The Wild

In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless but he liked to call himself ‘Alex Supertramp’.

Before, Christopher McCandless’s story unfolded in these pages, Jon Krakauer wrote an article for Outside magazine from where the initial idea to develop this book came to him.

Six years back, I watched a documentary on the television about the story of Christopher McCandless being made into a movie. The theme of that documentary was the nomadic life an enthusiast traveller, inspired by the beauty of wilderness. The documentary mostly covered the making of the movie using the knowledge about McCandless from Jon Krakauer’s book. But it also showed the fascinating wildness where the nomad McCandless wandered in the April of 1992, towards the escapement by setting himself free from all man-made demons that not only consume our daily life and but whose slaves we really are. Though, this fact I realised after reading the book and not watching the documentary, six years back. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer”

Books, classics, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Imagine that feeling, when you are reading a book and by the end it makes you feel complete. We all have observed that by one or the other book(s). Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno is one of them. Written almost 700 years ago, it still has the mesmerizing capacity to capture a human’s attention. It’s iconic for a literary work to survive a 700 years and Dante’s work has reached that status: most people at least know of the Inferno, even if they haven’t read it.

Dante’s Inferno, the first third of what has come to be known as the Divine Comedy. Dante himself only referred to it as a Comedy and the “Divine” characterisation was added later. A long poem whose narrative describes what amounts to the poet’s tour of the afterlife. The whole poem is divided into 100 cantos, the Inferno (Hell) has 34, the other two parts– Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise) each have 33. Each canto is written in a form referred to as terza rima, where every three lines rhymes. Getting that rhyming scheme from Italian into English has been one of the major challenges of every translator of the work. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s translation is reasonable to some extent. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Inferno by Dante Alighieri”

Book List, Books

BOOKS TO READ FROM 90s LIST

The Nineties, I’d like to call it my time for I was born in the early nineties. Without any knowledge of what books are, I am sure I wouldn’t have thought at that time on turning into as a voracious reader in next twenty years. Still, I like to call myself the kid from the nineties who love books.

Here are some great titles published during the decade:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, 1990

Fifteen years after, I was amazed on finding that dinosaurs can exist on-screen. Five years down the line, I was again amazed to find that you could write a book that was a thriller and had science. 

American Psycho by Bret E. Ellis, 1991

One might say, my teenage days were ruined by reading these kind of books. Well I’d defend by saying they were essential part of my conscience both as a reader and as a human. This book made me familiar with lots of stuff that a boy at the age of sixteen could not even imagine.  Continue reading “BOOKS TO READ FROM 90s LIST”

Books

Ernest Hemingway’s reading list for all the Young Writers

In 1934, a young man who wanted to be a writer hitchhiked to Florida to meet his idol, Ernest Hemingway. Only because he read a story by Hemingway in Cosmopolitan, called “One Trip Across”, he traveled all they way from Minnesota to Florida. This young man soon becomes Hemingway’s assistant on a pay a dollar a day. He advised this young man to avoid contemporary writers and compete only with the dead ones whose works have stood the test of time and made him a list of two short stories and fourteen books and handed over to this young man. The list:

  • “The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane
  • “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  • Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • Hail and Farewell by George Moore
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Oxford Book of English Verse
  • The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
  • The American by Henry James

Continue reading “Ernest Hemingway’s reading list for all the Young Writers”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Matilda by Roald Dahl

MatildaMatilda by Roald Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To celebrate Roald Dahl’s birthday in my on way, I choose this book. I often regret on not coming across his books in my childhood as each of them are fascinating and Matilda is no exception.

The book’s a pure work of fiction, a classic I’d say. The story revolves around a five year old girl, Matilda who starts knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Matilda by Roald Dahl”

Book List, Books

BOOKS ON INSOMNIA- LIST

I had a similar situation of insomnia, a few years back. I used to put the lights out, as everyone did at home, get cozy in the bed and try myself to sleep. The land of dreams was a faraway fairyland to me then. I just could not sleep. Weeks passed by, and it was still me, alone in my bed, staring out the radium covered hands of minutes, hours, and seconds (in that order) of a wall-clock facing my bed. Sometimes it was 3 a.m., sometimes it was 4 and sleep was extra-terrestrial.

Then in those struggling days of getting some sleep, I really got into reading books. It started with the habit of reading before going to bed (I thought I might get sleep due to this), and ended up with my eReader, my only companion through out and every night. I soon became happier for I had not to struggle with lack of dreams, but I was dreaming some great dreams in other people’s words.

Thus I am concluding list here, it’s a mixture of the titles I have read and the ones in my TBR list:

FIGHT CLUB by Chuck Palahnuik Continue reading “BOOKS ON INSOMNIA- LIST”

Books, Fiction, Reviews, science fiction

You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?

The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?”

Labeled as a “survival thriller“, imagine Robinson Crusoe on Mars? It’s a tale of a man trying to endure alone on the incredibly inhospitable planet of Mars. But it’s not the tension of survival that makes Andy Weir’s debut novel brilliant, it’s the humor.

In the middle of nowhere, Mark Watney, a botanist and a mechanical engineer, without his crew who were forced by a dust storm to leave him behind, thinking he was dead, wakes up some time later to find himself stranded on Mars with a limited supply of food and no way to communicate with Earth or his fellow astronauts. Thus, Mark, with his good sense of humor and his “smart-ass” trait tries to overcome a series of increasingly tricky mental, physical and technical challenges just to stay alive, until finally, he realizes there is just a glimmer of hope that he may actually be rescued. Continue reading “You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?”