REVIEW: JK Rowling’s Hogwarts Short Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After completing the reading of Harry Potter Series earlier this year after feeling a nostalgic buzz when the new play The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling got released in paperback in July. Yes I confess of not reading the first three parts of the series before and yes I call myself a reader. However, one thing I realised is that Prisoner of Azkaban is my second favoruite Potter book now. So, just to get another glimpse of that Potter buzz, earlier this week I bought three ebooks which are published by Pottermore Limited, tagline: digital heart of the Wizarding World, two months ago. The set includes the following titles:

  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
  • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
  • Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide

This post includes reviews of all three books. Let’s start.

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Philippa Perry on Self Observation


How to be Sane by Philippa Perry is a short, and surprisingly a good book to read. This book is a part of The School of Life series which takes a different approach to introduce self-help genre, in an intelligent way.

Philippa Perry is psychotherapist and in her book she offers some pragmatic insight on observing one’s attitude, reactions or thought process. She argues that there are four cornerstones to being sane, to being conscious. Self-observation is one. She suggests, we should start with:

The ability to observe and listen to feelings and bodily sensations is essential to staying sane.

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BOOK REVIEW: Fearless and Free by Wendy Sachs

Published by Amacom Books | My Rating: 4/5

Often these days we see books with catchy covers that are entitled to one half of our species. Then many of us from the other half disown the notion of reading that book even though we know that it will do good to us, we will gather some better thoughts for our intellectual and conscience from that book. There isn’t any gender gap at start when we are naive. It’s a seed sown inside our heads. This is what we teach and preach from then on and that’s how our children begin to differ. And then it becomes a problem.

Both women and men are human beings. One species! How can someone differentiate between the workings of the two? I tell you to disown the “disowning notion” right now. Start it today. Start by reading some books like Wendy Sachs’s Fearless and Free: How Smart Women pivot & relaunch their careers.

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BOOK NOTES: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

My Rating: 5/5

These notes include Books Recommended to Tim over his interviews with various people. Do take a look in those books, you might find something useful and that you haven’t read before.

  • Questions are your pickaxes and competitive advantage.
  • Borrow liberally, combine uniquely, and create your own bespoke blueprint.
  • Very often, “our” beliefs are not our own.
  • The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths.
  • Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
  • Everyone struggles. Take solace in that.
  • “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” —Lao Tzu
  • “The rule is: The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
  • take phosphatidylserine and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). For me, this also has a noticeable impact on lowering anxiety the following day.
  • 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute by Richard Wiseman (for stress reduction)
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
  • when you’re a leader, people are going to mimic your behavior, at a minimum. . . . It’s a guarantee. So here’s the key piece of advice, this is all he said:
  • ‘Calm is contagious.’”

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BOOK REVIEW: Mastery by Robert Greene 

For a start, I want you to watch this video:

No, I did not watch this video before reading Mastery by Robert Greene book. Though I do watched it after reading the book and it made me read the book again and get deep into it. Malkhaz has elegantly and importantly described the whole 310 pages long book in almost 13 minutes and if you are not going to read this post, at least watch the video. You’ll definitely learn something new. If you decide to read this post, keep in my mind that I’m only writing about this book is because I enjoyed reading it and simply want to share my thoughts on it.

I was first introduced to Robert Greene’s works in 48 Laws of Power when I saw that red binding, vertical blue stripe in the middle of the cover in a local bookstore. I had a series of thoughts in parallel and some of them were extreme and exciting. After reading a few pages, he become my company for the next few days, especially morning and night. Not many books do I enjoy reading in the morning, but I can say Robert Greene’s writing is definitely the one to be enjoyed in the morning bliss. Wake up, get yourself together and Greene’s words will help to get hold of yourself for the rest of the day.

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BOOK REVIEW: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

My Rating: 5/5

My Rating: 5/5

I introduced myself to Tim Ferriss last year when I randomly found a post on his blog in which he had interviewed Maria Popova. Actually, I was searching for Brain Picking’s Maria Popova’s interviews as she is such an inspiring blogging personality, the way she curate the content for every post is amazing and seems an example of a creative process, just right out of her imagination.You must check out Brain Pickings. Moreover, scan through Tim Ferriss’ blog which is called FourHourWorkWeek.com and got introduced to his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show [Podcast Link]. He has done an amazing job by taking more than hundred 60+ minute interviews with some of the successful and interesting people by digging deep into their “mind”, process of their workings, process of maintaining their bodies, listening to their suggestions and how do they motivate, inspire, live and do something that they love to do.

Tools of Titans is an enormous collection of bits and pieces of interviews that are available on his podcast and highlights the major theme of most of the interviews Tim has included in this book. The book is huge, exceeding 700 pages and is certainly not meant to be read all at once. It’s not Tolstoy’s War and Peace or David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest that you can read continuously without moving your body parts for next 7 to 10 days or so. Bear in mind, reading Tools of Titans will take more than that many days since it has a sheer amount of practical information to be processed by our mind. I’d recommend you to take your time with each interview described by Tim, think over it, if there’s a book recommended in between as there are so some interesting book recommendations, try to read few of them or at least do a little research on why the book is being recommended, what’s there inside and is the book for you? Then you can definitely add it to your TBR.

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REVIEW: How to be Sane by Philippa Perry

How to be Sane written by Philippa Perry is a short, and surprisingly a good book to read. This book is a part of The School of Life series which takes a different approach to introduce self-help genre, in an intelligent way. For more information on The School of Life, please refer to my previous post.

Philippa Perry is psychotherapist and in this book she offers some pragmatic insight on observing one’s attitude, reactions or thought process. She argues that there are four cornerstones to being sane, to being conscious. Self-observation is one, other being your relationship with others (Man is a social being ~ Seneca), the Good Stress & our own perspective.

She starts with a short introduction to how a human being’s mind work, and then takes a reader to a number of pragmatic approaches through exercises that are designed to strength our capacity to recover from adversities. She clearly warns each reader that some of these approaches or exercises may work for some and may not work. It is similar to what is our perspective to the situation or adversity and the approach we take to overcome it.

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