Friday, November 20, 2015

Rama series (1 & 2)

I recently read Rendezvous with Rama and loved it. The prose read as any paperback, but I just loved the fantastic imagination.

A beautiful idea - and then it created a world around it. I have not read many literary science fiction, but the reason you don't miss the literariness is that the richness and the beauty of Clarke's ideas is amazing. Introduced for the first time, the concept of the alien spacecraft with its own ecology leaves you enthralled. Set in it is the wondrous cylindrical world described in detail. Through the book, it leaves your mind beautifully applied traversing concept such as, shifting gravity levels at different points in the craft (and how it would feel) or, wondering what would you see on the horizon if you were in a world which closed in on itself (inside a huge cylinder with scores of kilometres circumference rather than being on a sphere where the horizons tapers off and declines).

Your imagination works in tandem with the author's and you come out enriched from the read.  One realises in such books that narrative or characters are relevant only for the book to move forward. What you are truly after is the fabulous imagination. It was a short read with lot to think about. And had a positive feel good atmosphere around it.


And it really made me look forward to Rama II. I realised once I bought book two that Arthur Clarke had just provided the outline, the writing was not his. I still tried to stay optimistic remembering the science delights offered by the first book. But book 2 was a big let down. Earlier, I was keen to finish the series (there are two more books) but now, I give up. I cannot endure more of this. I need to recreate my AC image by reading some of his short stories or other writings.

What put me off Rama II? For one, Rama II had some really poor characters in the book. And also, it reads like some kind of Hollywood movie script rather than science fiction. There is very little science, and very little newness to the wonderful concept of book 1. All it does is some incremental build up. And worse, it becomes a paperback with series of poor characters. One is forced to wonder that what has the world come to, if within the sample of people selected to go to meet an alien spacecraft, only 20% are good souls or what you call excellent people or heroes. All other are self serving individuals, or more easily defined as villains in Hollywood terms. Their thought process defies logic. Situations are built up the way it happens in cheap thrillers.  May be, it was written as drama, but that is not what you wanted to read after the huge excitement of book 1. It does not make you feel very good, and is something that you can easily do without. It doesn't intrigue. It irritates. And I am glad it is over.


In summary,  Rendezvous with Rama (the first of the series) is worth a read. It had good characters, and anyway, the people are secondary in  that book. It is the massive idea and mystery of Rama that dominates the book.  From Rama I, I also had a list of things to further look up and understand including the double sunsets of Mercury (!?), Coriolis effect, further daydreaming about a cylindrical world, and a keener desire to read up all the sci and cosmos books sitting next to me.

But Book II can be easily missed. All the pleasures are well contained in book 1.


Another thought that I take away from all this is that when people write about ideas, and try to create stories around them, they are better dealt in short stories, or novellas (And AC's short stories are some of the best sci fi ideas). If you try to spin too much around one single idea (without any characters with depth), be it a book series or a television series, it is bound to disappoint.




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich

By Aleksandra Solzhenitsyn

I recently came across Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn when I bought a book by him - August 1914, the first one in the Red Circle. I am yet to read that one. It is quite a formidable tome. I look at it and I start thinking of my failed attempts with War and Peace.

On one of my recent visits to a bookstore, I had picked up August 1914 with mostly an intent of buying it unless I came across something more interesting. As I was exploring the new (for me) bookshop further, this one slid behind and somewhere under the bookshelves that were connected and it took massive effort by the bookseller to get the book out again. So I thought I'll as well buy it for all the effort gone in retrieving it.

Reading through the opening pages, I realised that AS received the Nobel prize for literature in 1970. His was a life of imprisonment and exile.  This is how Joseph Brodsky (another author I admire) refers to Solzhenitsyn in his Paris Review interview: "I really think that in him the Soviet rule got its Homer: what he managed to reveal, the way he kind of pulled the world a little bit around".

So I was on alert mode for the author name, and in the library, came across this relatively small book - 'one day..'(150 pages) by the author. And I am glad that I read this book. One of the best books I have read in a while.

This book depicts a day in the life of a prisoner of a labour camp in Russia. This book was one of the first to talk about what went on in these camps (and is famous for that reason). But apart from the historical significance, what moves one is the way people live and the human spirit that survives. It is not a free life, but people find their daily victories in some way or another.

Sometimes it seems that human beings and human spirit are like water, just taking the shape of whatever vessel it is stored in. In prisoner camps, there is no money earned but people need to work hard in snow and cold without enough warm clothes or heating and without enough food in their bellies. Most of the people seemed to be imprisoned for political reasons -  for perhaps exercising a freedom of choice or that of speech. Since the sentences are for 10 years or 25 years, or more, there lives are more in the camp than outside it. They prefer work to not working; days pass quickly when one is working hard, when one is exhausted and there is not much thought left to spare or squander.  And you follow Ivan Denisovich for the day, and his ups and downs, and his thoughts and feelings, and his pursuit of whatever meagre he can get, and through him, you start pondering about life, happiness and what defines wealth and richness. It is not comfort but it is the content spirit that struggles and achieves or is defeated in pursuit but keeps on struggling.

Time and again, books that leave a lasting impression happen to be those that showcase the indefatigability of the human spirit. At times, this one reminded me of Motorcycle Diaries, but then only because of the wealth of spirit. The inmates have nothing, their daily struggles are around fighting the biting cold with literally nothing, and how to get perhaps 100 grams of more ration to survive.  And that is it.

You read about them, and you then look around you. It is a world apart. It is so very easy to forget all the good things in one's life, all the things one should be grateful for; personally, as well as human beings of this time and age or of a particular country. I don't know whether I can capture or express the thought well, but the feeling it left me with is that our happiness, contentment is a function of our expectations, our gratefulness and perspective. Recognising what we have. Our bars for happiness or unhappiness seem to be so different. Should I speak for myself here, as I have no clue? Or do I? Isn't the popular media, entertainment an example of people's thoughts and worries and what makes them happy and what makes them sad?  Most of modern day normal life problems and decisions sound so silly when you read these accounts. In trading for things, have we traded the depths of our lives?

This book leaves me with a lot to ponder about and takeaway. An awareness of all the privileges and freedom - and recognition of its value. The understanding of how 'things and stuff' and decisions around the web of 'things and stuff'  need to occupy only so much of mind-space and not all of it. And then, to retain the perspective, and to understand that happiness or peace is not an external function, but so much radiated outwards by our own thoughts and spirit; be it in a Russian camp, or in the microcosm of the world I live in which is full of silly mindless problems.

On reading what I have written above, I realize I sound like a preacher, but this post is as much a note to self. A way to preserve the way I feel after reading about a day in life of Ivan Denisovich before I trample into the shallow waters of my own modern life surrounded by stuff and choices which mock the very reason of existence. Pursuit of deeper, still waters, and a proper perspective, is what I wish to remember this book by. That feeling is worth saving.

Highly recommended to anyone interested.


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Search for Roots by Primo Levi

I like Primo Levi's writings. His prose is heart felt, flowing directly from his life, the vicissitudes he experienced beautifully meshed together with his scientific temperament and training.

Artists that influence you, your thinking, you try to read up around them and try to understand what all inspired them, what shaped their thinking and what led them to write the way they did. At some level one starts seeking a conversation with them who take up your mind-space and since the conversations are not possible, anything that provides more insights into their way of thinking is so much welcome.

Presented in this anthology are extracts of books that have influenced him with a forward/ introduction by Primo Levi. They go over different topics/ genres and most of them I have never read. Books that shaped him. Ranging from science to poetry mostly aimed at understanding the nature of human being and understanding his place in the world/ universe - through laughter, injustice or pursuit of knowledge.

I took my time reading this anthology - have been reading this one for the last few weeks while in parallel I dipped into other books (most of them seem like lit Sci-Fi or war histories).

This book triggered quite a few thoughts and I end up with a list of books to explore further. Book list for my ref:

  • Charles Darwin - The origin of species. Here P. Levi picks up the section on beauty and the utilitarian aspects of same. And lays out in simple, clean concepts. Would someday love to read the book.
  • Sir William Bragg - Concerning the Nature of Things (Lectures) - About atoms and how atoms arrange themselves including those in soap bubbles. Loved the read. Will look up the lectures.
  • Jonathon Swift - Gulliver's travels. This section on immortality.
  • Antoine de Saint Exupery - Wind, Sand and Stars (section on surviving in Sahara). Had some of the most pleasing and appealing lines and thoughts. Not sure if this one is easy to find. One of the bits from it:  "I can no longer understand  those dense crowds on the suburban trains , those men who think they are men and yet who are reduced like ants, by  a pressure they do not feel, to the use that is made of them. When they are free, on their absurd little Sundays, how do they fill their time?"
  • Marco Polo - The travels
  • Frederic Brown, Sentry, Galaxy (Sci Fi)
  • Arthur C Clarke - Profiles of the Future: An enquiry into the limits of possible. I love AC's writings. And this one is more of future envisaged by him. Will look this one up first in the whole list.
  • Hermann Langbein - Humankind in Auschwitz
  • Kip S. Thorne - The Search for Black Holes. One of the most packed science passages in the book. A lot said in simple terms in a few pages. Take away fact - if we were to make a black hole out of  earth, then earth will need to be reduced to a circumference of less than 5.58 cm for escape velocity to reach 300k km/s.




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Handmaid's Tale


This Sunday, I bought Margaret Atwood's  The Handmaid's Tale.

It is great writing, but it is a sad book and quite despairing portrayal of an alternate future. It affected me. Most well written sad stories do. And I end up spilling over the emotional overload in my daily life. Irrational, and not a good thing for people around you!

It hits because it is so well written. But I do not understand why one would envisage such a bleak future. The book is more or less a diary, of a woman in some future where women have been reduced to nothing. It depicts the implosion of a society, how the hunger for power and control (it must be that, right?)  turns life and a country upside down; how systematically the females are cut off with nowhere to turn.

It portrays fanaticism - an unrealistic world which defies a logical justification - and it is like fanaticism of any type but the anguished ones here happen to be females and not a religious sect. The world has shown us in the past what low levels humans in a group can stoop to, and perhaps those doing it do not understand what they do; perhaps they create justifications for almost any crime, giving it some religious higher purpose, or they are just mindless sheep following random directions; perhaps. How can one otherwise do such things!

I do not like the book because of the heart rending alternate reality it depicts. What happens to all the spirit, spunk, the life in people? What do they then even exist for? They are tied down with machine guns, thoughts of their loved ones who might be jeopardised, and the politics of all - it all builds up like the water coming to boil around the gradually alarmed frog.

I know it is unreal. One of the more literary sci-fi they say, but this is some kind of return to blindfolds or some kind of savagery that only religion can bring out in people. Or some kind of deep, selfish, hunger for power.
It is all so, so sad and so wrong.

It is stifling. Finishing it, I seek fresh air, some nicely ending, some wonder lending sci -fi.



PS - and I got it. I watched The Martian last night. And loved it!! Way to go, human spirit!
Also, feel like seeking out next part of Rama. They talk about a world united (more or less) facing a new common challenge.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bolano's 2666

Picked up the book in India. (That is what I remember now. Memory can be elusive). Had bought this one a while ago...the year it was released I guess. However, it lay there, big  and fat, in the collection that I left back in India (read and unread) that I couldn't carry back or wouldn't ship to myself across the seas.

So instead of reading the newly bought books, I picked this one up and read through most of it pretty quickly through year end holidays. The book is engaging read, and unlike many that I read - reminding me of Garcia Marquez at times, but much more direct. It is 900 pages long - five books in all, common theme/ characters. Three of them were good fun and almost page turning reads. Fourth one became a very difficult read - for the violence it depicts. So much so, that after I finished fourth, the book lay untouched for last six months since coming back from India. I tried reading/ re-reading but lost interest.

But I had to finish book five since the secret of how those different books link together is in the fifth one, and you don't leave engaging stories unfinished.  Recently, I picked it up, and I was delighted. I thought book five was the most poetic of all.

Starting with critics, book authors, artists, journalists and lots of killed women - 2666 is a mixture of fiction and reality-  and since it talks about an author and his works, it is sort of meta fiction as well. The aspects it touches are unbound. Reminding me of a more language constrained DFW at times, and in themes, as people point out - Pynchon (and I agree from what I know of him from Lot 49).  It goes from different parts of Europe and different times of Europe (war times to current times) and a bit of North Am to end up in Mexico of late last century or earlier this century in all five of its books. Some people say it is one of the greatest novels of recent times...I can just recommend. If you can go through the detailed reportage of scores of women (or was than hundreds) found dead in a town in Mexico over a decade, everything else in the book calls out for reading.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Moveable Feast and The Paris Wife - Hemingway and Hadley

Husband narrates one (real), and the wife narrates the other (fiction), and the reader is the lucky one - getting to experience this one of the most poignant real stories.

The Paris Wife reads like a bit of those quick read page turners (read and forget types) - you read because it is Hemingway and Hadley that the book talks about, you read on. I enjoyed it, but it reads like a soap script, and is fun, but just that.

A moveable feast is delectable - as a feast itself. His direct style. His clean composition - it all sticks so well. And you keep thinking about it for a much longer time than Hadley's narration. These are sketches, so they don't flow unlike the other one, still, you want to read more and the next one, and you finish them off quickly.

It is very interesting to see the life, to see the other famous artists through their eyes. And then, if you just read a few other Paris Review interviews of some of the contemporaries, you broadly get a good picture.

It is also interesting to read the world views - the vantage points being different. What floats at the surface of people's mind, what touches them deep. I liked it.

What I didn't like was the general helplessness, or the lack of independence that Hadley has.  And I don't like Hemingway for it. She has a lot of grace, but I just don't like and don't want to accept the way things turned out for them.

However, people do what they do, and they choose what they choose.

The books touched me - the heartbreaking end that it leads to. You want to hate Hemingway, but Hadley doesn't and Hemingway partly redeems himself in the last few pages of Moveable Feast.

What I liked - his discipline, work ethic of sorts. Groundedness until the 'rich' come in their life. The intensity. The very live/ very sharp/ very intense living, observing, experiencing.

The other thought that stays - people don't really know where life can take them ten years down the line. It is interesting to see the young Hemingway struggling...especially in their case, life changes so much and so often..so many people come and go, and sometimes you start feeling...if only they had known!

I have not read much of Hemingway. A book or two I guess. I tried to read his stories, but you need to grow up to them was what I thought. I'll look for them now, and try reading them.

I am really glad I read both the books together, and that I read these in the first place. It's quite something to note that they were the happiest when they were poor, and young. Its a good pairing (them, and the books) - and you see one better for the another.





Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wishlist 2015

As of right now.
My pursuits tend to get modified as time dulls some of their sharpness. Some of these titles might get replaced as my mood changes.
Like today itself, I added a couple more to this wishlist  - history and some more essays.
The stack is a bit taller now.




Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moments of Reprieve


Collection of Stories by Primo Levi. I have been thinking about the Periodic Table on and off. This one is similar...sketches of people drawn from his life. He sketches himself for you as he portrays the world around him. Grounded, humble...a life that has gone through so much injustice but the prose does not complain about it, it just shares his life with you. I am glad that I read this book. In the mad rush of things, such thoughtful prose, drawing all sorts of insights and perspective from a life that has seen the peaks and troughs is a valuable, peace lending thing. 

In many ways, Primo Levi and Ernesto Guevara sound similar - their prose, thought process. One had the wanderlust, and the other a very open observant heart, but both have a humility, groundedness, an innocence, and belief in the goodness of people individually (even though as a group, people become fanatics and thoughtless), and hence, a prose which restores faith in humanity. Their books always a good idea when the world seems a dark place - the lightness of these spirits sure can lift one up.


After reading such accounts, I sometimes wonder if my generation or a previous one had to live in the world of wars where almost every house had somebody out on front fighting or if the world were changing significantly from day to day, month to month, such that there is nothing long term, I am not sure how we'll cope.  It is not about the war, it is about behavior in face of an ever changing landscape. Our world is so stable (for most of the people), and life's aspirations so mediocre (for most of the world) - that there is no higher purpose left except to settle and aspire to little luxuries and little victories. A couple of generations ago, it seems people had much more to deal with and many more difficulties to surmount. There is no major issue in most people's lives these days, and then smaller things expand to take that place instead. Such degradation of the quality of lives lived! Even though the world becomes more stable, it is important to retain the perspective of what is worth fighting for and what is just mindplay since mind has no better problems to deal with.
Easier said than done I guess.



PS: Picked this one up in the library. Fast read. I tried to look for more P. Levi books during my vacation but couldn't find any. This one hence as soon as we returned. Again for this one, this is time taken out from 2666. It is almost a month since I started reading 2666 ..it still continues. I have reached the last book. Hope to finish it in January. (Didn't like book 4 - it is very saddening, very wrong, and  unlike the first three - but am too deep in the book and quite curious to understand how it all ties up, so finish it I will)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014

Happy new year!
Time to close year 2014 on this blog.
I don't read as much these days. Below from my closed page. A quick recap of what I read in 2014.

  1. Periodic Table by Primo Levi (deadtree). Beautiful sketches of people! And you get to wonder so much more about Turin, chemistry, War, prejudices, with the author's very clean succinct writing...it draws you in. The curious in me got really intrigued by Chemistry and geography - and noticed what the author says about the land on my recent trip to Italy and the Swiss land. Keen to read more from him. He shares so much more on the world around him in those times...enjoyed it, and would rate it ****
  2. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (January) - deadtree. The book gladdened my heart! The middle one third might seem like a drag, but the different culture, different landscape, makes it so much more interesting!) My recco to anyone who wants to learn a bit more about Japan in a fun way.
  3. Raised from the ground by Jose Saramago (April/ May) - deadtree (picked this up on vacation in Italy. Was trying to pick up something more local but ended up with Portugese. Liked it much better than the other Saramago I've read - Seeing or Blindness, one of them)
  4. Clifton Chronicles - 3 - Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer (May; quick read, airport buy; deadtree) - its more like I had to read it. A very quick unput-downable read - both of them)
  5. Clifton Chronicles - 4 - Be careful what you wish for by Jeffrey Archer (Kindle (finally!!). . And I have promised myself not to read any more page turners until I finish a couple of proper lit. (So Stieg Larsson 3 has to wait)
  6. An artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (May, deadtree). This was bought long long time ago, but finally got read in almost one go. I realise for whatever I might have said in the past, I am not an Ishiguro fan (this is my emotional self speaking). The book is another amazing piece - on Japan (and different times Japan than deZoet's - this one is around the wars, and just post war), and the changing mindsets. In its heart the book carries a sort of disappointment - in the autumn of your life if you realise that you have lived your life for a wrong cause, its not highly heartening. Read it for understanding the land and what shaped some of its people some more. But try to read something happy soon after. (I am reading Science by Asimov - have been learning all new sort of intriguing facts. Sometimes, a dose of wonder is good to kill disappointments; it brings back a lot of perspective)
  7. Circle by Dave Eggers (May, deadtree) Concept is intriguing, but there is a lot that I disagree with. But as K says, you can't disagree with people opinions or judgement, they are true for where they come from, they are not universal facts...but when people make such bad choices in the book as if they are helpless...when they clearly have a choice, and they do not stand for themselves or speak against the issues ...that's where I gave up on the book. Then it becomes just about the drift of the story, and like any other fast read/ not lit page turner - I don't think it claims to be serious lit anyway. Very interesting premise, but the writing is non remarkable. Read it for the premise and what it portrays. (Emotions post reading - unresolved. Didn't like the choices and the weakness in people, disagreed, but I was hooked)
  8. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (June, deadtree). We read the part 3 after reading the first two parts 3 years ago. So it was good that I watched the Part 1 movie recently. I had Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth in my head...and yes, Robin Wright as Erica Berger as I breezed through the book. Well, its the end, and it ends the thriller...it leaves you wanting to read some other thriller... but I guess its shortlived feeling. I'll watch the other two movies sometime. How to rate it - read it for the thrill. Rest its the same feeling I got last time...its very transactional text.
  9. Murder in the dark by Margaret Atwood (July) - deadtree. Short, poetic book. Seems like I might have read this earlier. This one is akin to a series of blog posts with interesting premise and thought flow and sketches. Playing in mind - "How does it feel to play God - even for five minutes"
  10. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (September, kindled on idevices)...quick notes: a bit of a let down like his other books...don't know why I expect more from him. As I begin his books, as in the last two as well, generally I like the premise and hope and wish that he would deal with them better. Its a good very fast read, but then I wasn't hoping for a page turner...Don't expect greatness, awesomeness...'read and forget' category, like so much of the fiction I read this year.
  11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. (September, holidays)...really don't want to say much about this one. Goes in my 'read and forget'...I just didn't like the characters...the book asks for no empathy...its not even like Archer or Larsson kind of thrillers. Picked it up from Sydney airport before the holiday - was in the rank 1 box.  
  12. The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara (November) ****. Loved the book, pleasantly surprised by it. Che Guevara is adorable. I am not sure many people will begin with that. But first time ever in my life I actually gave thought to learning & practicing medicine (as a would have been!). And given that this is the same weekend as watching Interstellar, I am quite enamored by the whole 'explorer' spirit. 'Old men should be explorers, here and there does not matter'.  (Am really glad I finished any book after a long while. The book came as a gust of fresh air which I was seeking badly at some level - lifts me up a bit, and am thankful for that.) Will recommend to anyone keen to know more about Latin America, probably supplemented by one of the fiction accounts of those regions, and then just for feeding the youth within us. And before this book, I had never thought about Che. Now I want to buy a Tshirt with his image (and a beret ;).
  13. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (November, deadtree, ***). My first Pynchon! Not a long one, this one is a novella. It has been with me for a long while, and I have attempted many many times to read it (given the length, it was a very attractive target to kickstart reading), many times reaching almost a third....but finally, managed to read it. It reminded me of DFW...in the way subjects are touched and woven together...the thread through the books is that of mail delivery/ and I was intrigued to look at how messenger services were so central to the rise and fall of empires...in this age and time, one forgets! Good to imagine an older world.... Someday I might write about the book. Not today. Other things beckon.
  14. The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith (December, deadtree, ***) This is a longer short story than a book. Different to what I have read recently. I feel at times that I need to grow up to some of the books. May be read again later to see how they end. I end up feeling that I need to know more about those characters..and understand what happens next rather than let the story end where it ends. This took less than an hour...and is time snatched from 'On the Road' by Kerouac which I have been reading for a few weeks now. Somewhere midway.
  15. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Nov, Dec - deadtree ****) Just a couple of words: 'beat' and 'dig it'! Later - writing this after a few weeks of reading the book...as I travel through India right now, I get reminded on and off of the author's road trips...and the objective of finding oneself through the road trips. Nothing so dramatic here, but still, as they say, some books stay longer with you...this one is surely one of those.
  16. Guerrillas by VS Naipaul (Dec - deadtree ***) Picked the book at Lucknow airport before boarding a flight to Mumbai. Glad to get back to reading with this one. Sounds so much like Nadine Gordimer. May be, its the description, the struggles...but this one had so many dark undertones...so much of despair floating around in the book. Books like these though give one a lot of perspective, and at least some understanding of how the world lives, breathes, functions...the rest of the world, outside of the homogeneous world that we occupy. These are good to ground one...to remember that life can be so different,..its just by fluke that I am writing this and you are reading this. It could have been very very different. And then, a gratefulness that we have what we have, the resources, the thoughts, and the most important thing - freedom to think, say, write, read...it can be such a different life. The book is set on a Caribbean island, and runs through a few episodes over the course of a few months. Lots of immigrants, and struggle to control resources, and probably, some struggle for freedom...some politics...(it would be a different world if politics were devoid of personal ambitions)...I didn't understand the exact struggle completely...and may be some of that was the point of the book. 
Takeaway: I read quite a bit of non lit/ fast read/ page turners this year...so 16 is tainted. Need to read more but then need to do so many more things as well! For a moment I thought I'll be able to read 3 books a month...but it seems difficult. Still, lets strive for it. And then, to read from different countries...there is something about books and fiction which portray the daily life at a particular point in time in a particular country, it can lend you a lot of thought fodder..and a lot of perspective. And then there are some high RoI books and articles....sometimes people spend months and years writing those books and essays researching, thinking, and you can get so much out of them just by reading them. When the time which you can spend on reading is limited given the 100 different pursuits, the time is better spent on reading such high impact/ efficiency writings...the idea is to collect such books, authors and essays...explored separately in the other blog which I hope to bring live some day.

As always, here's hoping that we read more and better this year. Happy 2015!