Books, classics, Non-Fiction, philosophy, Reviews

Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau

My Rating: 4/5

 

Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity

This is a call for self-honesty and harmony with nature in the writings of Henry David Thoreau.

Walden was published in 1854 written during the reign of transcendentalists of which Thoreau was a central figure. Transcendental was a philosophical movement that was influenced by romanticism, Platonism and Kantian philosophy in which one must examine and analyse the reasoning process which governs the nature of experience. German philosopher Immanuel Kant developed the base idea for this movement.

Continue reading “Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau”

Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Man by Mary Shelley

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Critics consider The Last Man is Mary Shelley‘s most important novel after Frankenstein. Since I read Frankenstein, a few months back, my obsession with the author’s writing style grew and I wanted to gradually examine Shelley’s writing by reading her other works.Thus, I picked this 500 pages long novel that explores similar thematic concerns as in Frankenstein, though from a vastly different perspective. The nightmarish story envisions the end of humanity from a ruthless and inescapable plague. Full of heart-wrenching loss, The Last Man tests the resilience of humanity, as well as its capacity for sorrow and grief.

The storytelling starts at the constant node following the timeline in a similar manner though sometimes, with deep descriptive instances, somewhere it does feel a dragging and one might feel tempt to rush through it. These instances occur only a few number of times most notably when Shelley often passed over the moments of action or character growth with a short summary, but that certainly never affects her descriptions of places or emotional states. Rest of the book does leave a similar impact on a reader as Frankenstein (only, if you have read Frankenstein). Like many other Victorian authors, Shelley felt no need to rush the plot along, nor to curtail her flood of words. Luckily, she backed them up with ideas and feelings, so it was not merely the empty deluge of words. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Last Man by Mary Shelley”

Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Power of Habit and Why and What we do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter, takes a reader to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.

The book begins with anecdotal accounts of people who changed destructive habits in their lives. Many of these anecdotes are fascinating but one about of a man who had absolutely no short-term memory but was able to function as a result of habits already ingrained within him appealed to me. His case clearly demonstrates that there is something distinctive between one part of our brain and another.

In the book, Duhigg  tries, with his investigatory narrative by presenting various examples and stories of different people on different aspects of habits, to explain the basis of habit formation, and how can we change those habits. He expressively suggests that each habit whether regarding to smoking, drinking, eating high calorie food or even procrastinating one’s important tasks are all results of habits that have been optimized in one’s brain. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Palo Alto by James Franco

James Franco, made his debut as an actor almost fifteen years ago but got famous for his role of Harry Osborn in Spider-Man trilogy. Three years, back, he made his literary debut with a collection of short stories called PALO ALTO, set among the Californian streets where Franco spent his own childhood.

This collection is a fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California teenagers and misfits, violent and harrowing. The book is made up of snapshots of life in Palo Alto as experienced and each story is told by a young narrator, felonious teenager who spend most of his/her time drink-driving, taking drugs, obsessing over sex and indulging in random acts of violence.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Palo Alto by James Franco”

Books, classics, Essay, Fiction, Goth, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

For several years, I avoided reading FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelly because the name had been caught up in endless clichés and had been inextricably linked with the horror genre, which I consider a bad form of fiction. However, being obsessed on reading more Gothic Fiction and the author herself I decided to give it a read and I confess that I am sorry I have waited for this long.

The story behind the writing this great piece of Gothic Fiction is as animate as the book itself. In 1816, at Lord Byron’s villa on shores of Lake Geneva, Lord Byron himself and his guests Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, and John Polidori. Byron, inspired by some fireside readings of supernatural tales, suggested that each member of the party should write a ghost story to pass the time. The incident is well described by the author herself in the Author’s Introduction to the book: Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley”