Thursday, 29 July 2021

The Archer

What can I possibly say about this tiny little book of wisdom. I am a big-big Paulo Coelho fan and have always been inspired and motivated by his books. His books come with some surprise factors which leaves a lasting impact in mind. The Archer is no different. 

What is life? How to stay passionate about mundane stuffs and continue to do the routine with utmost dedication? How to accept failures and be self motivated enough to try again? How to practice and repeat, only to repeat and practice? Is mastery a reality and if yes, is mastery a way of life or a gift? These were some of the questions for which I found answers. Beauty is that they were not explicitly available; rather implied between those thought provoking words.

Honestly, this book was a surprise. Very different from other books by the author as far as the narrative structure is concerned. The illustrations were an added bonanza

I recommend this book... Not only as a one time read but also as a book that could  be cherished as that encouraging friend who stands by us when we doubt ourselves. ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Dreams Come True!


Hand in hand; watching -
Both the sunrises and sunsets.
Ah! all dreams come true!

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

They say, don’t judge a book by its cover. But then there are exceptions to everything! Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a beautiful book. I mean the cover page is a marvel. And that’s why I picked the book. Looking at the font and design coupled with the title itself, I was hoping to read a very Paulo Coelho-ish rendition of something magical. I was hoping to read about the secrets, the universe and the journey of self-discovery written in a poetic way, happening in a surreal world. But then, what awaited me across the 350 odd pages was a simple and realistic portrayal of Aristotle and Dante’s friendships, their own inner struggles, and inhibitions in a beautiful way. Beauty was everywhere. In words. In the characters and their character arcs. The inner struggles and the mediums they choose to overcome their demons. And the beauty in it didn’t seem surreal or unattainable; instead it was relatable. That’s where the book wins! In world that is filled with negativity, this is a book that emanates positive vibes. Certainly not that of an ideal world or utopian dream. But it is about how positivity can be seen in everything and be spread with love – something that is universal yet compromised due to which humanity is forced to take the backseat and pride, ego, prejudices, etc. reign.

 

****SPOILER ALERT****

The book is based on LGBT and one of the most positive ones around. While Aristotle and Dante struggle to recognize and try to come in terms with their identity and sexual orientation, their parents support them. They see their children as fellow human beings with compassion and respect. They support their children and explicitly say that they care for their children and accept them the way they are as long as they are good-hearted, decent and loving. Such a perspective is so overwhelming. Maybe its really time to grow beyond all the discriminations. “Normal” as they say is very subjective. So why care defining it or fear defying it.

PS: I am glad that Aristotle and Dante found each other and that they have such amazingly supportive parents (I don’t mean perfect because that’s very subjective again). I so wish that the world is filled with such people and with such people only.

Rating

5/5 (No reason to not like it!)

Recommended to the parents, teenagers, and other adults!

Details of the Book

No. of Pages    : 384 pages

ISBN               : ISBN-101442408936 and ISBN-13: 978-1442408937

Language         : English

From the book blurb

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. 

Author

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.



Saturday, 26 June 2021

Grateful

When silence was deafening -
You came as music.
Forever grateful for that!


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

The Good Earth

The Good Earth, written by Pearl S Buck, is 90 years old as of now. The writing therefore is not something we are used to. It is dry and one-dimensional. But then, the character arc, the grip on narrative and its relevance in the context of history as well as today makes it a compelling read. 

I am no one to review a Classic. But I would like to tell you that it took tremendous effort to read it – nearly a month though its has only 352 pages (book size smaller than usual).

One of the reasons, in the hindsight, could be the depth in it. The story is not just about Wang Lung, his father, good earth and farming, his wife O-Lan, or the mistress Lotus or his five children. It is the story of what men were when they were farmers and what men have become with the industrial revolution or even emergence of money as a concept! I really wished the simplicity of life that Wang Lung had until he became a Land Lord.

While I was unable to empathize with the characters (maybe due to the style of writing), I was able to reflect to some of the ideas. For instance, how Wang Lung cares so much about society and what they think of him that he barely recognizes or notices his own family! His wife O-Lan is seen more like another equipment used for farming which enables to bear the fruits of labor – in this context bear sons! Speaking of sons, there is a lot of gravity given to sons and the shame of having daughters. Strangely, daughters are referred to as slaves. But later he reflects in old age that he finds solace from his daughters than sons. Interesting. Of course, there are also some aspects that includes the influence of education in one’s life.

I could go on and on because I spent a good amount of time with this tiny little treasure. I am glad that I didn’t give up on it. And I so wish I knew O-Lan more. She is the hero!

Rating: 4.5/5

Have you read this book? What do you think of it?