Often a catchy title of a book makes you want to read it all the more. One such book is, “No Mud, No Lotus” by Thich Nhat Hanh, who is reckoned to be one of the best Zen Buddhist teachers in the world. This slim book, just 109 pages in all, was published by Aleph Book Company in 2017. As a reader we figure out what the title of the book suggests and this is borne out by the book’s byline, ” The Art of Transforming Suffering.” At the outset, writes Hanh, “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud, to help the lotus flower of happiness to grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”
If a story line has a plot and situations that we can’t quite relate to, we find such stories rather tedious to read. On the contrary, as indeed they should be, there are some books which have a story that most of us relate to quite naturally. We see something of ourselves in the characters portrayed, making the book that much more credible and all the more enjoyable. ” The Off-Site Tamasha” ( A Comical Tale of Team Building) by Abhay Nagarajan is one such book. If you are looking for a light read, look no further.
“Devnaa’s India: Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food” by Roopa Rawal will be a welcome addition to the cookbook collection in the kitchen book shelf of those in the UK and elsewhere who are developing a new-found taste for Indian vegetarian cuisine. Continue reading ““Devnaa’s India:Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food””
With Christmas very much in the air, it was fitting that my reading took me to “Christmas Mysteries: Ten Excerpts To Set The Season” put together by Open Road Integrated Media. There’s something about excerpts that you may have noticed. If, like me, you enjoy mysteries, stories incomplete and the scope to figure out for yourself what happened before or after that excerpt, you will enjoy reading them. If you don’t, while they make for good reading in any case, excerpts can be annoying as you find yourself wanting more with the excerpt ending just as you got hooked to it. Continue reading ““Christmas Mysteries””
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s latest novel, ” The Hunt for Kohinoor” (Westland, 2013) is slated to be released in mid-December 2013. As is common these days, you can pre-order this at Flipkart. This, if I am not mistaken, is a sequel to her earlier book, “The Taj Conspiracy” which was very interesting. I loved her first book, “The Long Walk Home,” which was set in the Punjab at the time of the Partition. My best wishes go out to Manreet. May ” The Hunt For Kohinoor” be a super hit!
Many people have the urge to write and write well. However, not everyone makes the grade. In this context, I liked this blog post by Maria Popova in Brainpickings called, “9 Books on Reading and Writing.” With gems from authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, this post points you to books that can transform your writing.
A few extracts:
- Anne Lamott in ” Bird By Bird, A Few Instructions on Writing and Life,”
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
- Stephen King in his classic, “On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft”
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
- Ernest Hemingway in ” Ernest Hemingway On Writing”
” The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”
Being an avid fan of both historical fiction and John F. Kennedy, I immediately reached out for Leon Berger’s “The Kennedy Imperative.” I find that this is the first of The Kennedy Trilogy and was published in September 2013 by Premier Digital Publishing. The other two are scheduled to be published later this year.
“Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK” by Gerald Posner is by far the most comprehensive book I have read about that event that shocked the world way back in November 1963. First published in 1993 and now re-published in 2013 as an ebook, nearly 50 years after that fateful day in Dallas, Tx, Posner explains painstakingly why all the many conspiracy theories are just that, theories without substance. Continue reading ““Case Closed” : Gerald Posner”
Who can write better about an air war than someone who has been there and seen it for himself? “The Deadly Skies: The Air War in Europe 1939-1945” is by Bernard Nolan who was a young co-pilot and later commander of B-24s and B-17s in the 8th Bomber Command of the USAF during the Second World War. This book, which covers the air wars in Europe from 1939 to 1945, is by a retired Lt. Col. in the USAF who flew 33 combat missions and is qualified to speak of the experiences air crew ( those in bombers, in particular) had in their long flights into far away Germany from bases in the UK. Continue reading ““Deadly Skies”: Bernard T. Nolan”
Social media is fast enveloping our lives and there’s no getting away from it. Both professionally and personally, use of social media is sky rocketing by the day as more people jump into the fray to derive the benefits of a revolution whose time has come. Older people, both in business and in their own capacities, who were more skeptical a few years ago, now recognize that social media can give them benefits they had not imagined they would get earlier. Likewise, professionals and men and women in business see social media as a huge opportunity to communicate their brand and develop their business. Continue reading ““Social Media For The Executive”: Brian E. Boyd, Sr.”
I have read hundreds of books about the Second World War but “No End Save Victory: Perspectives of World War II” edited by Robert Cowley must rank as being one of the best. I had looked at this book several times and kept it back in its assigned shelf in the library I use, daunted by its size, (688 pages), but some weeks ago I decided to give it another shot, and am so glad I did so.