Raya by Srinivas Reddy

Political leadership has perhaps been the most controversial of ships to sail in. The very shroud of mystery that encapsulates them, also deprives them of the link that allows human connections. Couple this with the vagaries of history, and you have a potent combination of either superhuman or inhuman personalities, exhibiting rather extreme shade of…

Blood by Sunil Gangopadhyay, (Translated by Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard)

Navigating your owner static identities is a tricky job. As much as one might fight it, one’s inherited socio-political, and to a large extent, geo-cultural identity is difficult to escape from. Despite living in a hyper-globalised world, the very idea of which is being ironically challenged today, walking away from the ingrained identity associated with…

Amnesty by Arvind Adiga

The centrality of moral conflict in human life is such a given, that describing it seems a cliche. Yet, it seems to be a reasonable exercise to test one’s compass hypothetically once in a while, especially if self-discovery is something you hold dear.It is absolutely fascinating how human beings react when they’re confronted with equally…

The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee

Discomfort, by definition is something that we are trained to avoid, or walk away from. Yet somehow, it is the unifying factor of human life, forcing us to confront the banal truth of life – chaos is not the exception, but the rule. Order is not real, but simply an illusion we construct to distract…

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Actions have consequences. Perhaps no other adage can sum up the history of well….everything. Sometimes, the tiniest of steps result in the largest of leaps, and the deepest of jumps are in retrospect nothing but a swim in the shallow end. This remarkably simple principle is often…

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

I’ve always found it rather odd that the “success” of human beings has historically always been associated with positive extremes. The example of Musk sleeping on the floor of his company has become the global standard of the required extremities for entrepreneurial success. But it’s only on rare occasions that we collectively stop, look around,…

Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

The spirit of innovation is what drives the human spirit. The humdrum repetitive action of doing the exact same thing again and again might sound perfect from an automated robotic efficiency utopia’s perspective, but the fact is that being mindless drones is a thought that repulses humans at some point or the other. This is…

Low by Jeet Thayil

Orderly chaos. This oxymoron has always stood out for me as a perfect metaphor of the world around us. Most of us love to pretend that there is a semblance of structure, clear cut emotions and reality. But what we don’t want to acknowledge is that we’re wrong. That the world is not just grey,…

The Red Tenda of Bologna by John Berger

Over the eons, acknowledged literature has ranged from elegantly crafted haikus to verbose tales of valour running into thousands of pages. This very craft of communicating with an unique method is what has captured the interests of human beings ever since the beginning of civilisation. The Red Tenda of Bologna is an example of how…

I Have Never Been (Un) Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

Honesty is often simple. It is found in unflowery language, easy yet elegant sentence structures and mostly, impassioned emotional outpouring. Talking about depression, anxiety, and/or any other mental ailments is slowly gaining grudging acceptance in an increasingly democratised online society. Yet, the taboo associated with actual conversation about the same is changing at a turtle’s…

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

The strange nature of art that continues to baffle both creators and connoisseurs is the fact that more often than not, some of the artist’s most widely spanned, criticised and even hated work, is often one that is deeply personal, and oddly satisfying. This is the first Murakami non-fiction book I have read, and I…

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

The fact that strangers play a critical role in our lives seems antithetical and counter-intuitive to our rather narcissistic way of thinking. But the truth is that in a world of over 7 billion individuals, our immediate family, friends, communities and acquaintances, are merely but a statistical dot. True to his rather unorthodox choice of…

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The beauty of reading is the fact that often a reader will end up interpreting something larger, something personal from an author’s work, with absolutely no intention on the writer’s part. More so than ever for non-fiction work, which is largely deemed to be non-interpretative and instructional, rather than embracing the wide interpretative spectrum of…

Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

The pressure of liking a collection of poems that were responsible for the first non-European’s winning of the Nobel Prize in Literature is simply enormous. Add to that the tall stature of the poet in our country’s history and social renaissance, the task of reading the collection is fraught with fear. At first go, the…

How the World Thinks by Julian Baggini

Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a…