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Showing posts from May, 2016

Review: Stoner

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Stoner by John Edward Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”


Rarely does a book, seemingly unrelated captures your feeling in words that you wish were your own. Sometimes, when I am reading a book, or staring at the to-read pile at my desk, I feel a thought very similar to the one articulated above. Now that we have gotten it out of the way, let's come to the book.

An american classic, almost two years since the last one. I have since grown averse of the genre. They have a way of doing things to your heart. Today, the sole reason I started this book was to get it off my to-read list. It's been there for months. And I am glad I took it on.

"He listened to his words fall as if from the mouth of ano…

Review: A Short History of Nearly Everything

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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Watson was a misogynist and racist. Halley was the one who actually haggled Newton into publishing Principia Mathematica. Robert Hooke was a shameless plagiarist. Wolfgang Pauli's wife ran of with a chemist. Avogadro, of the Avogadro no. fame, was brought to a school by his mother who hitchhiked 4000 miles, to make sure he got an education and died shortly after they got to the school. Henry Cavendish was quite possibly the worst introvert in history. Almost half of Science's discoveries are misattributed, either because the discoverer's were very secretive, or because the ones who got the attribution were more influential in there fields. And the barrage of facts goes on and on like this.


A Short History of Nearly Everything (henceforth known as ASHONE) is one of those books you have to careful to keep at an arm's length, or you'll have to go through an existential crisis, every few ch…

Review: When Breath Becomes Air

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I opened 'When Breath Becomes Air' once again, I wanted to read something entirely different from the first time. The first read was in the middle of a night, in my college dorm. It was a race against time and sleep deprivation. Once I had started it, I couldn't stop. I raced through the prologue, and immediately wanted to know the story of this man, one if you had told me orally, I would've dismissed as pseudo-motivating feel-good story of someone who never existed. (I'm stupid that way')

But after reading it for a second time, I feel even more inadequate than the first time. I wanted to see meanings in this book, of mortality, of death, of bravery, of love, of commitment, of hard work. And I found them all. Perhaps, it is my tendency to try to relate to my life, whatever I read, is the source of this feeling of inadequacy. This book is pregnant with emotions and hidden meanings, struggles …

Review: Burden Of Democracy

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Burden Of Democracy by Pratap Bhanu Mehta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Indians love to exhort in the fact that India is a nation of contradictions. In fact, it is readily apparent to the outsider, the contradictions that embody the nation state called India. From the very birth of this nation, people have raised hue and cry that it won't survive at all. And they were are all, in their own way, justifiable. But India chose to beat those odds, and for extra points, settled on Democracy as its chosen mode of government.

And it was the most important choice that was ever made. Perhaps, it was, as P.B.Mehta cheekily points out, the result of the British Colony having produced too many lawyers affluent in the Western model of governments. But the choice of Democracy was not intuitive nor was it the result of a revolution as in the case of France or America. It was much a vehicle of social change as it was the result of one.

The idealism associated with State and Democracy in the be…