Category: favbooks


review –http://www.amazon.com/review/R1QVLLI7GYA4TG/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1QVLLI7GYA4TG

This is not a book of formal philosophy; more of introspection. Of course Russel introspected with the same brilliant and critical mind that he used to contribute to mathematics and philosophy. But this is not rigorous, apologetic or systematic. Actually, it’s more like gentle advice. And quite reasonable.

I’d like to quote a few passages that I found thought-provoking, to give a reader a sense of what to expect if you purchase and read this book:

p. 27, “[T]o be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”

p. 29, “The habit of looking to the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.”

p. 43, “I do not deny that the feeling of success makes it easier to enjoy life…. Nor do I deny that money, up to a certain point, is very capable of increasing happiness. What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient in happiness, and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain it.”

p. 74, “The essentials of human happiness are simple, so simple that sophisticated people cannot bring themselves to what it is that they really lack.”

p. 94, “[R]emember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself… don’t overestimate your own merits… don’t expect others to take as much interest in you as you do in yourself.”

p. 99, “No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid, and however unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once and for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it.”

p. 107, “One should respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.”

p. 109, “Happiness is promoted by associations of persons with similar tastes and similar opinions.”

p. 123, “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”

p. 142, “In the best kind of affection a man hopes for a new happiness rather than for an escape from an old unhappiness.”

p. 175, “To ignore our opportunities for knowledge, imperfect as they are, is like going to the theater and and not listening to the play.”

Well, that’s a reasonable sample. It’s not a philosophical masterpiece, but it is mature, wise and edifying. I think most people who read books would do well to read this one too, so I give it a hearty endorsement.

http://www.gurus.org/dougdeb/Courses/Happy/Conquest/outline.html

The Causes of Unhappiness

1. What Makes People Unhappy?

“My purpose is to suggest a cure for the ordinary day-to-day unhappiness from which most people in civilized countries suffer, and which is all the more unbearable because, having no obvious external cause, it appears inescapable. I believe this unhappiness to be largely due to mistaken views of the world, mistaken ethics, mistaken habits of life, leading to the destruction of that natural zest and appetite for possible things upon which all happiness, whether of men or of animals, ultimately depends.” [page 17]

2. Byronic Unhappiness

“It is common in our day, as it has been in so many other periods of the world’s history, to suppose that those among us who are wise enough have seen through all the enthusiasms of earlier times and have become aware that there is nothing left to live for. … I do not myself believe that there is any superior rationality in being unhappy. The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds the contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead. … I wish to persuade the reader that, whatever the arguments may be, reason lays no embargo upon happiness.” [page 24]

3. Competition

Russell paints a bleak picture of the businessman so obsessed by competing with other businessmen for success that the rest of life passes him by. “Success can only be one ingredient in happiness, and is too dearly purchased if all other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain it.” [page 43]

4. Boredom and Excitement

We have come to associate boredom with unhappiness and excitement with happiness, but Russell argues that boredom and excitement form a separate axis entirely, having little relationship with happiness. “Running away from enemies who are trying to take one’s life is, I imagine, unpleasant, but certainly not boring. … The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement.” [pages 48-49] The confusion of excitement and happiness, and the flight from boredom that it entails, is a chief cause of unhappiness. The cure is to teach oneself to endure boredom without running from it.

5. Fatigue

This chapter is actually about worry. Russell believes that such physical fatigue as people feel in the industrialized world is mostly healthy, and that only “nervous fatigue”, caused largely by worry, is really destructive to happiness. Russell believes most worry could be avoided by learning good thinking habits, by refusing to over-estimate the significance of possible failures, by taking a larger perspective, and by facing fears squarely.

6. Envy

“If you desire glory, you may envy Napoleon. But Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I dare say, envied Hercules, who never existed. You cannot therefore get away from envy by means of success alone. … You can get away from envy by enjoying the pleasures that come your way, by doing the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself.” [pages 71-72]

7. The Sense of Sin

Traditional religion, in Russell’s view, has saddled us with an ascetic moral code that will make us unhappy if we keep it (by denying us joy in life) and also if we break it (by causing us guilt). The only solution is to root this moral code out of our unconscious, and replace it with a code less inimical to human happiness.

8. Persecution Mania

This is probably the most amusing chapter of the book, as Russell uses his droll wit to puncture human self-importance. “My purpose in this chapter is to suggest some general reflections by means of which each individual can detect in himself the elements of persecution mania (from which almost everybody suffers in a greater or less degree), and having detected them, can eliminate them. This is an important part of the conquest of happiness, since it is quite impossible to be happy if we feel that everybody ill-treats us.” [page 90]

9. Fear of Public Opinion

“Very few people can be happy unless on the whole their way of life and their outlook on the world is approved by those with whom they have social relations, and more especially by those with whom they live.” [page 100] Fortunately the modern world gives us some choice about where we live and who our friends will be.

The Causes of Happiness

In general, the second half of Conquest is not as impressive as the first. Not only is this section shorter than the first, but Russell has more of a tendency to ramble. These rambles can be entertaining, but they are usually not very informative. I am left with the impression that the causes of happiness remain mysterious to Russell. Once the obstacles to happiness are removed, happiness just happens — somehow.

10. Is Happiness Still Possible?

“Fundamental happiness depends more than anything else upon what may be called a friendly interest in persons and things. … The kind [of interest in persons] that makes for happiness is the kind that likes to observe people and finds pleasure in their individual traits, that wishes to afford scope for the interests and pleasures of those with whom it is brought into contact without desiring to acquire power over them or to secure their enthusiastic admiration. The person whose attitude towards others is genuinely of this kind will be a source of happiness and a recipient of reciprocal kindness. … To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.” [pages 121-122]

11. Zest

Zest is the x-factor that causes us to be interested in life. Russell has little to say about what zest is or how to obtain it. He does argue against those who would devalue zest by claiming that it is a mark of superior taste not to be interested in vulgar or lowbrow subjects. “All disenchantment is to me a malady which … is to be cured as soon as possible, not to be regarded as a higher form of wisdom. Suppose one man likes strawberries and another does not; in what respect is the latter superior? There is no abstract and impersonal proof that strawberries are good or that they are not good. To the man who likes them they are good, to the man who dislikes them they are not. But the man who likes them has a pleasure which the other does not have; to that extent his life is more enjoyable and he is better adapted to the world in which both must live.” [page 125]

12. Affection

“One of the chief causes of lack of zest is the feeling that one is unloved, whereas conversely the feeling of being loved promotes zest more than anything else does.” [page 137] Unfortunately, considering the importance of affection to happiness, this chapter is almost completely descriptive rather than prescriptive. Russell describes the types of affection and evaluates their effects, but gives little advice about how to either give or get higher quality affection.

13. The Family

“Of all the institutions that have come down to us from the past none is in the present day so disorganized and derailed as the family. Affection of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the relations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both parties, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred a source of unhappiness to at least one of the two parties. This failure of the family to provide the fundamental satisfactions which in principle it is capable of yielding is one of the most deep-seated causes of the discontent which is prevalent in our age.” [page 145]

14. Work

“Whether work should be placed among the causes of happiness or the causes of unhappiness may perhaps be regarded as a doubtful question.” [page 162] Russell places it among the causes of happiness for a number of reasons:
1. It passes time.
2. It provides an opportunity for success.
3. The work itself may be interesting.

15. Impersonal Interests

Certain interests are central to a person’s conception of his/her life: career, family, and so forth. In this chapter Russell asserts the value of having interests that are not central, that have no effect on the major issues of life. Such hobbies and pastimes serve two purposes: (1) They provide an escape from larger worries, and distract the conscious mind so that the unconscious can work productively toward a solution. (2) They provide a reserve pool of interest in life, so that if disaster or a series of disasters destroy the pillars that support our central interests, we will have the possibility of growing new central interests.

This chapter contains an important tangential discussion of “greatness of soul” which I discuss under the Transcending Personal Hopes and Interests theme.

16. Effort and Resignation

What Russell calls resignation is more popularly referred to these days as acceptance. The question discussed in this chapter is basically: Should we try to change the world or accept it the way it is? Russell takes a middle position, roughly equivalent to the Serenity Prayer.

17. The Happy Man

In the final chapter Russell comes back to his main point: attention should be focused outward, not inward. “It is not the nature of most men to be happy in a prison, and the passions which shut us up in ourselves constitute one of the worst kinds of prisons. Among such passions some of the commonest are fear, envy, the sense of sin, self-pity and self-admiration. In all these our desires are centered upon ourselves: there is no genuine interest in the outer world, but only a concern lest it should in some way injure us or fail to feed our ego.” [page 187]

out of africa – 5

The Native mind works in strange ways, and is related to the mind of bygone people, who naturally imagined
that Odin, so as to see through the whole world, gave away one of his eyes; and who figured the God of love as a
child, ignorant of love. It is likely that the Kikuyu of the farm saw my greatness as a judge in the fact that I knew
nothing whatever of the laws according to which I judged.

Because of their gift for myths, the Natives can also do things to you against which you cannot guard yourself
and from which you cannot escape. They can turn you into a symbol. I was well aware of the process, and for my
own use I had a word for it,–in my mind I called it that they were brass serpenting me. Europeans who have lived
for a long time with Natives, will understand what I mean, even if the word is not quite correctly used according
to the Bible. I believe that in spite of all our activities in the land, of the scientific and mechanical progress there,
and of Pax Britannica itself, this is the only practical use that the Natives have ever had out of us.

 The Somali town lay exposed to all winds and   was shadeless and dusty, it must have recalled to the Somali their native deserts. Europeans, who live for a long
time, even for several generations, in the same place, cannot reconcile themselves to the complete indifference to the surroundings of their homes, of the nomadic races. The Somali’s houses were irregularly strewn on the bare ground, and looked as if they had been nailed together with a bushel of four inch nails, to last for a week. It was a
surprising thing, when you entered one of them, to find it inside so neat and fresh, scented with Arab incenses, with fine carpets and hangings, vessels of brass and silver, and swords with ivory hilts and noble blades. The Somali women themselves had dignified, gentle ways, and were hospitable and gay, with a laughter like silver bells. I was much at home in the Somali village through my Somali servant Farah Aden, who was with me all the
time that I was in Africa, and I went to many of their feasts. A big Somali wedding is a magnificent, traditional festivity. As a guest of honour I was taken into the bridal chamber, where the walls and the bridal bed were hung with old gently glowing weavings and embroideries, and the dark eyed young bride herself was stiff, like a marshal’s baton with heavy silks, gold and amber.

The Indians of Nairobi dominated the big Native business quarter of the Bazaar, and the great Indian merchants
had their little Villas just outside the town; Jevanjee, Suleiman Virjee, Allidina Visram. They all had a taste for
stonework stairs, balusters, and vases, rather badly cut out of the soft stone of the country,–like the structures
which children build of pink ornamental bricks. They gave tea parties in their gardens, with Indian pastry in the
style of the Villas, and were clever, travelled, highly polite people. But the Indians in Africa are such grasping
tradesmen that with them you would never know if you were face to face with a human individual or with the
head of a firm.

An African Native Forest is a mysterious region. You ride into the depths of an old tapestry, in places faded and
in others darkened with age, but marvellously rich in green shades. You cannot see the sky at all in there, but the  sunlight plays in many strange ways, falling through the foliage. The grey fungus, like long drooping beards, on
the trees, and the creepers hanging down everywhere, give a secretive, recondite air to the Native forest. I used to ride here with Farah on Sundays, when there was nothing to do on the farm, up and down the slopes, and across the little winding forest streams. The air in the forest was cool like water, and filled with the scent of plants, and in the beginning of the long rains when the creepers flowered, you rode through sphere after sphere of fragrance.
One kind of African Daphne of the woods, which flowers with a small cream coloured sticky blossom, had an
overwhelming sweet perfume, like lilac, and wild lily of the valley. Here and there, hollow tree stems were hung
up in ropes of hide on a branch; the Kikuyu hung them there to make the bees build in them, and to get honey.
Once as we turned a corner in the forest, we saw a leopard sitting on the road, a tapestry animal.

Here, high above the ground, lived a garrulous restless nation, the little grey monkeys. Where a pack of monkeys
had travelled over the road, the smell of them lingered for a long time in the air, a dry and stale, mousy smell. As
you rode on you would suddenly hear the rush and whizz over your head, as the colony passed along on its own
ways. If you kept still in the same place for some time you might catch sight of one of the monkeys sitting
immovable in a tree, and, a little after, discover that the whole forest round you was alive with his family, placed
like fruits on the branches, grey or dark figures according to how the sunlight fell on them, all with their long
tails hanging down behind them. They gave out a peculiar sound, like a smacking kiss with a little cough to
follow it; if from the ground you imitated it, you saw the monkeys turn their heads from one side to the other in
an affected manner, but if you made a sudden movement they were all off in a second, and you could follow the
decreasing swash as they clove the treetops, and disappeared in the wood like a shoal of fishes in the waves.

A few miles out, in the Masai Reserve, the Zebra are now changing their pasture, the flocks wander over the grey

plain like lighter stripes upon it, theBuffaloare out grazing on the long slopes of the Hills. My young men of the

farm would come by, two or three together, walking one after the other like narrow dark shadows on the lawn,

they were afoot and aiming straight at their own object, they were not working for me, and it was none of my

concern. They themselves accentuated the position by just slackening their pace as they caught sight of my

burning cigarette end outside the house, and saluting without stopping.

There is something strangely determinate and fatal about a single shot in the night. It is as if someone had cried a

message to you in one word, and would not repeat it. I stood for some time wondering what it had meant.

Nobody could aim at anything at this hour, and, to scare away something, a person would fire two shots or more.

Outside was my mill manager, wild eyed and sweating in the lamplight. His name

was Belknap, he was an American and an exceptionally capable, inspired mechanic, but of an uneven mind. With

him things were either nearing the Millennium, or dark without a glimpse of hope. When he first came into my

employ he had upset me by his varying views of life, and of prospects and conditions of the farm, as if he had

had me up in an enormous mental swing; later I had got used to them. These ups and downs were no more than a

kind of emotional daily gymnastics to a lively temperament, much in need of exercise, and to which too little was

happening; it is a common phenomenon with energetic young white men inAfrica, particularly with those who

have spent their early life in towns. But here he came out of the hands of a tragedy, and was as yet undecided as

to whether he should satiate his hungry soul by making the most of it, or

escape from its grimness by making as little of it as possible, and in this dilemma he looked like a very young

boy running for his life to announce a catastrophe; he stuttered as he spoke. In the end he made very little of it,

for it held no part in it for him to play, and fate had let him down once more.

At that time I had an oldOverlandcar. I shall never write anything against her, for she served me well through

many years. But it was rare that she could be induced to run on more than two cylinders. Her lights were out of

order too, so that I used to drive in to dances at the Muthaiga Club with a hurricane lamp swaddled in a red silk

handkerchief, for a back light.

A Kyama is an assembly of the Elders of a farm, which is authorized by the Government to settle the local

differences amongst the Squatters. The members of the Kyama gather round a crime, or an accident, and will sit

over it for many weeks, battening upon mutton, talk, and disaster. I knew that now the old men would want to

talk the whole matter over with me, and also that they would, if they could, in the end make me come into their

court to give the final judgment in the case. I did not want to take up an endless discussion of the tragedy of the

night, at this moment, and sent for my horse to get out and away from them.

I rode into the Masai Reserve. I had to cross the river to get there; riding on, I got into the Game Reserve in a

quarter of an hour. It had taken me some time, while I had lived on the farm, to find a place where I could get

over the river on horseback: the descent was stony, and the slope up the other side very steep, but “once in,–how

the delighted spirit pants for joy.”Here lay before you a hundred miles’ gallop over grass and open undulating land; there was not a fence nor a ditch, and no road. There was no human habitation except the Masai villages, and those were deserted half the  year, when the great wanderers took themselves and their herds off to other pastures. There were low thorn trees regularly spread over the plain, and long deep valleys with dry riverbeds of big flat stones, where you had to find a deer path here and there to take you across. After a little while you became aware of how still it was out here.

Now, looking back on my life inAfrica, I feel that it might altogether be described as the existence of a person  who had come from a rushed and noisy world, into a still country.

A little before the rains, the Masai burn off the old dry grass, and while the plains are thus lying black and waste  they are unpleasant to travel on: you will get the black charred dust, which the hoofs of your horse raise, all over  you and into your eyes, and the burnt grass stalks are sharp as glass; your dogs get their feet cut on them. But  when the rains come, and the young green grass is fresh on the plains, you feel as if riding upon springs, and the  horse gets a little mad with the pleasantness. The various kinds of gazelles come to the green places to graze, and  there look like toy animals stood upon a billiard table. You may ride into a herd of Eland; the mighty peaceful  beasts will let you get close to them before they start trotting off, their long horns streaming backwards over their  raised necks, the large loose flaps of breastskin, that make them look square, swaying as they jog. They seem to  have come out of an old Egyptian epitaph, but there they have been ploughing the fields, which gives them a  familiar and domesticated air. The Giraffe keep farther away in the Reserve.

At times, in the first month of the rains, a sort of wild white fragrant Pink flowers so richly all over the Reserve  that at a distance the plains look patched with snow.    

As I knew nothing of their laws the figure that I cut at these great courts of justice would often be that of a Prima  donna who does not remember a word of her part and has to be prompted through it by the rest of the cast. This  task my old men took upon themselves with tact and patience. It would also at times be the figure of an affronted   Prima donna who is shocked by her role and, refusing to go on with it, walks off the stage. When this happened,  my audience took it as a hard blow from the hand of destiny, an act of God outside their understanding; they  looked on it in silence and spat. The ideas of justice of Europe andAfricaare not the same and those of the one world are unbearable to the other.

To the African there is but one way of counterbalancing the catastrophes of existence, it shall be done by replacement; he does not look for the motive of an action. Whether you lie in wait for your enemy and cut his throat in the dark; or you fell a tree, and a thoughtless stranger passes by and is killed: so far as punishment goes,  to the Native mind, it is the same thing. A loss has been brought upon the community and must be made up for,  somewhere, by somebody. The Native will not give time or thought to the weighing up of guilt or desert: either  he fears that this may lead him too far, or he reasons that such things are no concern of his. But he will devote

himself, in endless speculations, to the method by which crime or disaster shall be weighed up in sheep and  goats,–time does not count to him; he leads you solemnly into a sacred maze of sophistry. In those days this went against my ideas of justice. All Africans are the same in these rites. The Somali have a very different mentality from the Kikuyu and a deep contempt for them, but they will sit down in identical manner to weigh up murder, rape, or fraud against their  stock at home in Somaliland,–dearly beloved she camels, and horses, the names and pedigree of which are  written in their hearts.

People who  dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control. Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of. Strangers appear and are friends or enemies, although the person who dreams has never done anything about them. The ideas of flight and pursuit are recurrent in dreams and are equally enrapturing. Excellent witty things are said by everybody. It is true that if remembered in the daytime they will fade and lose their sense, because they belong to a different plane, but as soon as the one eams lies down at night, the current is again closed and he remembers their excellency. All the  time the feeling of immense freedom is surrounding him and running through him like air and light, an unearthly bliss. He is a privileged person, the one who has got nothing to do, but for whose enrichment and pleasure all things are brought together; the Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts. He takes part in a great battle or ball, and wonders the while that he should be, in the midst of those events, so far privileged as to be lying down. It is when one begins to lose the consciousness of freedom, and when the idea of necessity enters the world at all,
when there is any hurry or strain anywhere, a letter to be written or a train to catch, when you have got to work, to make the horses of the dream gallop, or to make the rifles go off, that the dream is declining, and turning into the nightmare, which belongs to the poorest and most vulgar class of dreams.

The thing which in the waking world comes nearest to a dream is night in a big town, where nobody knows one,  or the African night. There too is infinite freedom: it is there that things are going on, destinies are made round you, there is activity to all sides, and it is none of your concern.

books

Want to read – lovely bones, who am I , eat pray love , me talk pretty one day , poisonwood bible , on the road-kerouac , secret life bees , veronica decides to die , whr the sidewalk ends, shopaholic , 5 pplheaven , curious incident of dog in ,p and p

 

books read thus far :Bridges   of mc, misalliance , memory box , sher ,and then there were   , autobio yogi , parallel lies ,far from,razor’s,   geisha ,   alchemist , oliver twist ,fountainhead ,  atlas shrugged  ,to kill mock.,  100 yrs -solitude  , anna Karenina , pic dorian,         jane eyre,   scarlet letter,   tale of 2 cit ,   alchemist , david copper , gr8 expect ,  wuthering hts  etc.         etc…………..

Autobiography of a Yogi.- one of the many books given by Thatha , my beloved grandpa  – read this book if you want to know the real india – yes they exist the yogis – the ones transcending beyond life and death ; joys and miseries , the ONES.

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The razor’s edge by somerset maugham — love this book , my compass / inspo for spiritual exploration – reading razor’s edge always makes me happy …………….feel light………some new insight everytime i read it  – the courage of the protagonist to discard all that is superficial , in search of the truth…………….it is neither self-indulgent nor a mark of laziness to pursue the soul……..nor is it a reason to feel one is an advanced being – the simple reason is that people are different – – driven   by an unknown passion in life and one can only be satisfied if she or he (yes she or he…..why always he or she ) is free enough to pursue it , it is not laziness or failure to do so . and i particularly like the last line which is non-judgemental – Maugham ends his narrative by suggesting that all the characters got what they wanted in the end: “Elliott social eminence;  Isabel an assured position; … Sophie death;  and Larry happiness.” . author is not propounding a philosophy – we all are struggling through various stages of spiritual evolution and need to cultivate compassion with each other . Pleasantly surprised when i came to know that maugham was inspired by our very own sri ramana maharishi

 

far from the madding crowd : The one word that comes to my mind while reading hardy…….. is his “rich ” use of language…….that makes reading  almost like luxury…………and  a self- indulgent pleasure- I felt the way he writes is like ” poetry in prose ” , i mean , especially the way he describes nature and natures (of individuals) so subtly yet so effectively .

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Totally mesmerised when you read it the first time – especially when one is young -( you roam around with a  self-important attitude thinking you are the embodiment of roark- high brow- don’t care -attitude and oh so very antisocial thinking it’s the new  cool – realising after many years –  after u get over ur obsession of rand and roark) ….. but don’t agree with the author trying to to propound this philosophy as a way of life…… an individual even though he is antisocial, is nurtured , supported by and bound to his family in a very deep way ; and so i opine that you can’t only follow the work philosophy in isolation…….also applies to atlas shrugged. the bhavadgita is a much superior alternative. but then again , can’t really undermine the importance of this masterpiece ………….,  roark still towers above others – in his solitude and few , but true friends……………especially   in contemporary  culture  …..aptly representative of objectivst+ minimalistic attittude……………..towards life -with minimalism all the rage now ??  roark – anti-social/ anti-social networking then ????…………………the argument inside my head continues but putting an end to this unending monologue………………..NOW.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

the book has sooooooooo many characters , but is never confusing to the reader , and well written.

Crime and Punishment , Fyodor Dostoyevsky-  it’s been quite sometime since i read it……..deals with the the theme of repentence and starting over.

Les miserables – one of the first recommended by Thatha

PnP , persuasion -Austen – the original chicklit author – well ,  all romances till date are just well-disguised austen spoofs  (Ehle’s the best elizabeth ……hands down )

Jane Eyre– Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights –  bronte haunting  and intense…………read only an abridged version.

the professor– bronte ….      amazing  how   the bronte sisters’  works are sooooo different from each other……

silas marner – George Eliot

few sheldons and the prodigal daughter by archer

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own this exact paperback of mocking bird -loved her style of writing – narration , describes the world through a child’s eyes perfectly , explaining integrity and equality through the simple yet strong atticus finch……..played to perfection by gregory peck.  love the film too – peck  …….amazing as usual – one of the few films which does justice to the book

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used to own it, lost it .one of the most well written characters……….can’t say whether it is due to the author’s style of writing , but the characters seem so real and alive,  u  feel u know them ……

  • The Mother by Maxim Gorky – communist , marxism – but still a worthwhile read – human relations – Pavel and his   mother
  • J.Krishnamurti: A Biography [Pupul Jayakar] – read- reread only a few chaps in med school but which helped me a lot
  • bridges of madison county
  • far from the madding crowd -from dad –  OAK !!!!!!!!!
  • memoirs of a geisha
  • conquest of happiness – russell
  • all the books in this blog………..have  blogged and will blog  excerpts from –  https://excerptsandm.wordpress.com/category/e-from-fiction/
  • most of  agatha christie and  sherlock holmes and a few chicklits , mary higgins clark etc. – some chicklits – by weiner , jane green ………..etc……….- really witty – about the single woman in contemporary times – while others are so dumb and cliched ..i have to read a christie as rebound to get the crap out of my head
  • Roots –  suggested by shekhar mama !
  • alchemist -Paulo coelho  , burden – a different christie

and……….many i can’t recollect as of now……..