Author: Sheena Iyengar
Tags: Informative. Interesting. Insightful.
How do we make the choices? This book analyses factors that influence choice, such as cultural conditioning, our perception of the situation, being in or out of our comfort zone, and so on. The author discusses research and experiments in the field, and breaks some myths such as – more choice is always a good thing. We see how we make choices in both the mundane (which butter to buy), and the emotional realms bl(family-related decisions). Most interesting is the fact that humans – and even animals – feel happier when they believe they are being allowed to exercise choice (even if it is an illusion of control). One can understand why we celebrate or regret certain choices. We can understand if our choices are driven by our personality, our convictions, or our cultural surroundings.
Author: Julia Alvarez
Genre: Non-fiction historical novel
Tags: Inspiring. Heart-breaking. True.
This is a gripping account of the incredibly brave Mirabel sisters who lived under the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. The story is told in the different voices of the sisters, moving seamlessly from first to third person as needed. At times we read of experiences typical to young women anywhere, with light-hearted episodes such as teenage crushes. As they grow up, we read of the non-typical terror of living under a dictatorship, and the personal difficulties they face as women and citizens. The slow rebellion that always boils beneath the surface creates an atmosphere of terrible suspense. Their country’s circumstances made these women into brave, inspiring national heroes.
Happy New Year! 2016 is here, and with it the usual well-meaning resolutions of
‘exercise more’, ‘wake up early’, and so on. Besides these, I’ve realized that I’ve been lazy about blogging for the better part of 2015. My last blog post was in mid-May (pathetic!). It’s quite easy and far too tempting to just forget that one has a blog. Some of the hiccups I’ve faced in maintaining a blog:
So now in 2016, I’m going to hopefully resolve all of the above by writing short (150 words at the most) posts, once a week, on a book I’ve read or am reading. This way, I don’t have to wrack my brains for a topic. Since I love reading, and love encouraging others to read, why not dedicate this blog to just that?
The books we see in Indian bookstores are mainstream. My cousin — a middle-school English teacher in Mumbai — has introduced me to some fantastic literature in the last two years. I’ve suggested these books to other friends, who have absolutely loved them. These books are well known abroad, but are not easily available in India (most of them are on Flipkart, but aren’t cheap as they are foreign editions). We readers felt that it’s a real tragedy that the typical Indian bookshelf has to be so limited.
So here’s to reading new books in the new year!