BOOKS I READ IN APRIL

This post is truly delayed. I have scheduled this post around 20th May but the worst cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal claiming almost 86 lives and affecting over 10 million people in the eastern Indian state. This storm in West Bengal caused massive damage to standing crops, thousands of trees were uprooted, power and water supply was interrupted in Kolkata. We stayed 2 nights without electricity and water. Many in the state have lost their entire homes as well. Believe me, I cried for hours when I read the newspaper on the next morning. It was scary, devastating and woeful.

Internet connection has affected so badly. We didn’t get proper internet connection for around 7 days. So I had to reschedule this post. Situation is improving everyday and our state government and central government has been working nonstop to make everything normal. Let’s hope for the best. Here’s a pic just to let you see the situation of the very next day of Amphan (21.5.20).

 

 

Coming back to the post, I read so many books in April and I can’t wait to share these. 🙂

1.  Love Lettering – This book is by Kate Clayborn. I didn’t like this book too much although initially in the starting I liked it. Although the love behind the story is not just for the romance but for New York. And the author crafted it as an art which gives me joy to some extent.

Rating – 3

 

 

2. Living Candida-Free: 100 Recipes and a 3-Stage Program to Restore Your Health and Vitality – You guys already know how much I love to do research on food habits and lifestyle. Just to know more about Candida, I read this book and learnt so many things. Still as the title of the book shows it is more of a recipe book, so at some point you will find nothing exploring. But I learnt so many new things on this matter. You should definitely give it a try if you’re searching for lifestyle improvement.

Rating – 3

 

 

3. Alik Manush – This is a Bengali book and hands down I just fell in love with it. For me the book is author Sayed Mustafa Siraj’s one of the finest works. The characters are so passionately portrayed and not a single point you could find monotony. The book is so informative and a tightly knitted epic saga which draws a unique illustration of society, people, philosophy,history religion (mainly based on Islam, Hinduism and Brahmo ). Believe me, one of the finest book that I ever read.

Rating – 5

 

 

4. The Broken Bridge – I might complete this book in one sitting if this lockdown episode was not the ‘Hero’ as I was into endless works (still now 🙁  ). It took 2 days to complete the book. The story is about a teacher, Dorothy and her two students, Aparna and Preetam. The story is an exploration of relationship challenges. A bit of sadness but quite real. The best part about this book is it’s very intriguing and entertaining read. Love Aparna’s character.

Rating – 4

 

 

5. Secrets at Sea – I read this as an audio book. The story centres on a family of mice which consists of 3 sisters and a brother. They live with their human companions and the story continues with this. Author Richard Peck weaves a tale that keeps you interested to the end. But unfortunately this book is not as good as some of his books but the ending makes it worth reading. Good book for children, fun read.

Rating – 3

 

 

6. Zen: The Art of Simple Living – I loved this book. A must read book if you want to know Zen philosophy and improve your lifestyle. This book helps you to simplify your life with Zen and relax your body and mind as well. Author Shunmyo Masuno himself is a renowned Buddhist monk and designer of Zen gardens who lead you to the path of wisdom and show you how to apply the essence of Zen into modern life. This book has some simple life practices that are just good to be reminded of. 

Rating – 4

 

 

7. The Little Book of Stoicism: Timeless Wisdom to Gain Resilience, Confidence, and Calmness – I have been introduced to Stoicism when I started reading ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. Although I stopped reading that in mid way. But now after reading this The Little Book of Stoicism, I need to complete that book. This book has a nice and simple introduction to Stoicism which refers a good balance of theory and practical advice. Stoicism has very truthful and powerful wisdom. This book motivates you to start examining your character and your life. It literally changed the way to see the world.

Rating – 5

 

 

8. Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage – This book is truly incredible. Well-conveyed and written. An inspirational synthesis of Nelson Mandela’s amazing approach to life. I learned so much about this influential man. This provides an intimate look into the life of a husband, father, activist, humanitarian of this great man! It makes you reflect on your own life challenges and outlook. A must read!

Rating – 5

 

 

9. Where the Crawdads Sing – I heard this as an audio book. It’s a beautiful book. This book made me angry sometimes, happy sometimes and again it made me laugh, it broke my heart. The scene setting in this book was amazing. I loved the nature of this book and we could learn a lot from Kya, the Marsh girl. She lives on the outskirts of town, in the Marsh, and the locals look down their noses at her, she was judged, ridiculed and bullied and that’s where the story starts. It is a story of resiliency, survival, hope, love, loss, loneliness, desperation, prejudice, determination and strength. Loved it.

Rating – 4

 

 

10. The Richest Man In Babylon – Love love love this book. This was an unusual yet engaging multi-layered tale about finance, business and human accomplishments. Initially I started it differently and thought could have been less simplistic but I admit that was smart enough to make me think about my own financial situation and offered advice worth considering. A fantastic book. One of the biggest things this book teaches is that no matter what size your income is, 10% of it is yours to keep. Another one is that debt is an enemy to conquer, not a necessary evil. 

Rating – 5

 

 

11. The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People – This book started with “If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime- help someone else.” and ended seamlessly into my life. An an interesting read. There was so much information about happiness and what can make people happy. Although I didn’t love this one as much as his first book but I still quite enjoyed this one.

Rating – 4

 

 

12. Arjun O Char Kanya (অর্জুন ও চারকন্যা) – A novel by one of the finest writer of Bengal, Tilottama Majumder. A modernist book with spiritual and philosophical aspect. Author portrayed the character of Arjun in a new essence and it came out perfectly. Contemporary mythological writing are always been into my favourites and this quenched my thirst so skilfully.

Rating – 4

 

 

13. Siddhartha – Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. My love for Hesse has grown with this book. I fell completely helpless while reading it and kept thinking about Siddhartha’s life. This is spiritual, honest, beautiful, balanced, unique in every way. This is a book about a boy trying to find out who he is, this awakening book is about sins and regrets and sacred thoughts and sacred acts of love, kindness and hatred. I loved this, adored this, felt along with this.

Rating – 5

 

 

14. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: Guidance on the Path to Mindfulness from a Spiritual Leader – This is a fascinating book created by a Buddhist Monk who is also a college professor. The majority of this book was very balanced, interesting and inclusive.  He deliberately urged compassion, thoughtfulness, and religious beliefs in a simple manner. Loved to read it.

Rating – 5

 

 

15. Kohinoor – One of my best reads in April. ‘Kohinoor’ is always a sentimental matter for Indians. And so this book indulged me in every words. This book mix of myth, history, religion, and culture which provides a wealth of information. A well researched book and absolutely worth reading. 

Rating – 5

 

 

16. Mayabonobiharini – Read this book in just one day. A fast reading light book. This book is from one of my favourite Bengali authors. Although this book didn’t impressed me well. One thing which I liked the most is the description of the place (somewhere in North Bengal ) where the story occurred. 

Rating – 4

 

 

Photographs courtesy: Swarnendu Ghosh
I hope you enjoyed the post. Write me at rudrita.chatterjee@gmail.com

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