Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review: December 2009

I close the year with two books that have a lot to do with the way I am living my life right now and I would call it a good close. So much for getting over self-doubt.

So I finished the book The Bridge Across Forever this month along with Hope For The Flowers…wanted to squeeze in White Mughals as well but a sickness prevented that. And the combination of the two and half books that I read seemed almost symbolic anyway. And I am a big believer in symbols and signs and messages from the Universe : )

Hope For The Flowers by Trina Paulus was an allegory that uses the befitting analogy of caterpillars and butterflies to get a simple and strong message across: we are all capable of being much more and very different from who we are but that also sometimes means letting go of who we are now and pulling out from the rat race.

At a time when I am discovering all that I am capable of as a person, this book came as a rejoinder that it is ok to not belong to the race…to not want to run…because maybe we are meant to fly over fragrant flowers and not step on each other’s shoes. Thanks a whole big lot for this recommendation Push, you’re the best.

The Bridge Across Forever is a love story by Richard Bach. But it is strictly not mushy. It is not tear-jerking. It is far from love stories as we know them, ones that narrate what happens between two people, how they meet and end up in a happily-ever-after. The Bridge Across Forever is an intellectual love story. But then one can’t expect anything less from Richard Bach. Illusions had wowed my mind while Jonathan Livingstone Seagull had touched the seat of inspiration in my head. The Bridge Across Forever stimulates both the mind and the heart without being mushy or sleazy and that is it’s beauty. It is a story that makes you think and re-evaluate your own beliefs about love and marriage. And it is certainly a story of hope and faith in the fact that there is that one perfect person for you who will fit into your life as well as you will fit into his and the rest will be magic for ever after.

The book details out the thoughts of someone who loves his life as it is and does not want to lose his freedom and independence because of love or marriage; love is meant to be a beautiful thing, not something that cripples you. And so he decides to not get married…ever. He doesn’t want to kill something that is so beautiful. How he undergoes a change of heart and what goes through his head at all those points are detailed out very well in the book. How love makes you change and do something you thought you would never do, how it changes how you interact with people and how it makes you start accommodating another person in your life without it feeling like intrusion…all these and more have been laid out in thoughts – fears, joys, triumphs, anger…all of it put together. And that made it a great read for me.

There are many bits that I like from the book but I will quote one that comes towards the end and might end up being a defining thought for 2010 for me (as will the book itself) along with Hope For The Flowers:

She looked at me, curious. “Did you know you were trying to kill yourself?”

“Not consciously, I don’t think. But neither do I think my close calls were accidental. Loneliness was such a problem back then, I wouldn’t have minded dying, it would have been a new adventure.”

“What would it have felt like,” she said, “to have killed yourself and then found that your soulmate was still on earth, waiting for you?”

This book was as reassuring as intellectually stimulating and it’s a recommended read like most other books of Bach.

With that, the year’s list reads as follows…not bad I would say, each one has taught me something or the other:

  1. The Bridge Across Forever - Richard Bach
  2. Hope For The Flowers - Trina Paulus
  3. The Art Of Travel - Alain de Botton
  4. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  5. The Catcher In The Rye - J. D. Salinger
  6. God Explained In A Taxi Ride - Paul Arden
  7. Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite - Paul Arden
  8. It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be - Paul Arden
  9. Desi Dream Merchants - A. G. Krishnamurthy
  10. In An Antique Land - Amitav Ghosh
  11. The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind - Dr. Joseph Murphy
  12. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  13. The Gift - Cecelia Ahern
  14. Message In A Bottle - Nicholas Sparks
  15. Discover Your Destiny - Robin S. Sharma
  16. The Game Of Life - Florence Shinn
  17. The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
  18. As A Man Thinketh - James Allen
  19. Stuff White People Like - Christian Lander
  20. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend
  21. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Robin S. Sharma
  22. The Critical Chain - Eliyahu Goldratt

Happy New Year people and wish you many more explorations, discoveries and insights through the pages of paper delights that we lovingly call books. Happy Reading!

1 Thinkers Pondered:

Eveline said...

I love reading your reviews and always note that I really must get around to adding to my huge pile of must-reads. And usually I then go into a corner and start rocking myself rapidly, remembering the good old days when I used to devour books at least 2 books a day. Nowadays if I make it through one book a month, it's a victory. And you know, I don't have kids so I can't blame it on that either. I'm not sure whether it's the stress of work or the wild fun that led to my inability to focus very long on a book. For several years in there I read only the newspaper and a few magazines, and no books whatsoever, so it's been a big deal to get back to reading novels again, period. I miss being a voracious reader, though, and I'm completely envious and admire people like you who are. I'll forgive you your lapse in updates, but please don't ever stop your reviews. :)