First of all, a very Happy New Year!!!

Starting this year(I hope I can continue :giggles:) I would be putting up a year in books post every year. Both for me to personally reflect back on my readings and to share with the world, my recommendations.

Here’s a snap from Goodreads of how it looks like. Ohh and yes, I completed my reading challenge :hurray:. To be honest, it has been one of my biggest achievements of the year to be able to even being closer to my reading challenge on Goodreads for almost 4 years now.

Coming back to what I want to share here, I want to summarize my reviews for all these books and maybe share some stories of readings (If there are any). I might be recommending some books as well but this post is not a what you should read in 2021 or any sort. Purely about what I read and how I felt.

First things first, here are my Five Stars of the year:

Apart from these, following are the ones I really want you to read if you haven’t already:


Let’s start in order of reading:

I. AN UNQUITE MIND (Kay Redfield Jamison)

I loved this book. This I started when I myself was struggling with my own mind. I don’t remember now that how did I got to this book (I should really find a way and start logging references now).

This is what the title already summarises, a Memoir of the author’s own struggle through her Manic Depression. I could feel her pain and since it was an audiobook, it really came through as a conversation with her, though in monologue, but even in reality if she was sitting in front of me and telling this, I wouldn’t really have a word to tell her back. I could only sit, listen and hug her with compassion. At some points, I must have cried too. You can only imagine how much courage would it have required on her end to even write this. Given she herself is a clinical psychologist, it poses a threat to her own practice, which she also mentions. I have become a fan of the author’s candor, the honesty she writes this with.

Here’s what I wrote on Goodreads:

Such a heartfelt memoir. It feels like she’s sitting in front and talking to you live. Midway the book it feels like you can witness her episodes that she mentions. I deeply felt the pain she might be going through, and equally the reliefs, hope that she gets in the good turns of life. Despite all the trauma and sadness the book doesn’t leave me with tears, because the end note is that of gratitude, even for the illness. I’m more happy because not for a second I had the feeling of sympathy, it was more of compassion, strength and gratitude.

If you want to be deeply touched by something this year, Go Read this!


II. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (Lori Gottlieb)

Too much mental therapy this year :-P. This book was recommended by my friend and forever support, who has had my back ever since we know each other. Now I recommend this to those I have backs of.

So, this one is on a lighter mood from the previous. There are a lot of individuals to feel. The author is a psychotherapist, who herself found her in the midst of some mental crisis and seeked help. She writes about her patients, her own therapist, her crisis and all the complications of the therapy world. If you are somewhere on the crossroads to decide whether you need therapy or there’s still the right day to come, just give it a read. If nothing, you’ll find some good stories and a lot of inspirations.

Review on Goodreads:

Definitely worth reading once. I enjoyed the different stories and the different perspectives, life scenarios they brought. Somewhere it felt too much mundane but other times also quite intriguing to know about some psychological methods. I somehow didn’t feel the emotional connect the author was attempting to evoke, but the insights were worth a round of thoughts day in and day out.


III. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)

Book of the Year *_* or maybe the forever book. Recommended from? do I really need to know, this is something I guess the world is recommending.

A lot of wisdom in there. Almost all the areas of study someone would be interested in are there. I never thought so high of historians. This book tells you how history and cultures should be studied. I can’t write enough in praise of the book. I used to click screenshots (it was a kindle version) and put up on social media almost every day of reading. It was to the extent that a friend of mine quipped of me pirating the book :-D.

Though no such thing intended, I really want you to buy and read this book, because you would want to keep it forever and would want to keep coming back.

from Goodreads:

Beginning with a record of history, there’s almost nothing the book does not touch upon, biology, philosophy, economics, anthropology, sociology, theism, psychology, and one of the biggest questions of the future: where are we heading. An amazing account of thought provoking records of these various domains, this book is for everyone who is willing to take a stab at existence and ideologies of humans currently as they are, who they were and what they might become.

I particularly liked the way the author isn’t taking any side, the way he is trying to stay on the edge while giving you an opportunity to take a dive. There are concepts we might already be aware of, for them we have opportunity to either question the text or find an affirmation to strengthen some ideas. Then there are concepts we might not be familiar with, it also gives us the opportunity to explore them without biases. But the basic idea is to provoke you to think. It doesn’t even ask you to decide or take a stand at last. Just leaves you with open questions that we as a collective can and should think about as to where we want to take our species and how we want to shape the world.

Can we without a doubt say that we are that special species, this earth is going round about for? Can we easily ignore other creatures in the name of intelligence or no intelligence. What humanity is, what human rights are for and whom do they benefit other than us and if they are limited to us then how long do we think the natural ecosystem could favour them and let us enjoy the self proclaimed upper class status that we do.

While talking about all the so called objective domains, it doesn’t leave behind the subjective domain called “Happiness”.

There’s something for almost everyone. But yeah definitely limited overall to the domain of philosophy (atleast as I felt). The tools are factual but the method is philosophical and the output, well is very subjective. But surely makes a case for the uninitiated to atleast get introduced to this vast world of questions that are essential to ask.

can’t emphasize more, “Must Read!!”

Ohh, here are my kindle notes and highlights.


IV. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

OMG. How much can a night’s or an hour’s sleep cost you. Don’t know? Read This!! As ususal I forgot where did I got this book.

I have become so concerned and in some way obsessed with my sleep cycle after this book that sometimes I can’t sleep thinking why can’t I sleep and how much am I gonna payback for this loss :-D.

But seriously, this was one of the best science I read this year. I surely have discovered a secret science that I can leverage for a better life and so should you too :-).

Goodreads:

Quite an insightful text filled with numerous experiments for almost every point the author brought forward. You might never have imagined how much of a loss can one night’s lack or insufficient sleep can cause. Though a lot of places, book becomes redundant as well. At some places it also seems like the author is just obsessed with sleep and want to attribute almost everything to it, though he tries to justify those instances and doesn’t forget to mention but you can still clearly feel the bias. The book seem to be following the common recipe for science books, by concluding with giving focus to technology and it’s intervention, though taking a quite contrary approach to the general, “save yourself from technology’s fetter, go back to older times”, he advices to use technology to our benefit in aiding improvement in sleep. Although there also he goes to the extent where completely ignoring the privacy concerns it brings. Covering a large spectrum of themes, the author goes into exploring how sleep time varies with age, how they causes or alleviate various illnesses, how different stages of sleep contribute to different aspects of our lives and personalities and then eventually making some recommendations for the benefit of both individuals and the society.


V. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Pére

This book was recommended by one of my colleagues and friend at CivicDataLab. The one liner he had given (from the book) was, “Well behaved women seldom make history”. We were sitting in the hall discussing some world topics during one of our CivicDays. Then it somehow came to some personality aspect of mine, and if you know me, you know I am also that sweet well behaved girl. Although we went on to argue that one liner. That’s a controversial topic you see.

Well, I’d say, content wise, this is really important to read for almost everyone. I hear some of my male friends complaining how women are given so special treatment, how they conviniently use their woman card and all similar stuff. My answer to them is going to be this book from now on. Most of us are not (even I wasn’t) aware of how much difficult life is made owing to the Default Male. Every sphere of life, women are mostly ignored, even in making things for specifically them. Why? simpally because there is not enough representation of women.

Women’s fault? Societal structure, I’d say.

Goodreads:

I guess the major take away was what exactly the review title reflects. When we say person, it is more likely to be assumed a man than a woman. which the author highlights with various examples. There is a dire need to sex disaggregate because the gender neutral in practicality doesn’t exist as it is assumed. I would really want to call out all my male friends who think and also bluntly complain about the so called special treatment/preference women are being given these days and how it makes their(men’s) life difficult, that it is not how you like to call it. The situation is highly biased towards the exact opposite. Please read to understand how much previlege you still have and why it is needed to uplift the women by giving that so called “preference”. The author has covered almost every aspect of life and world. She doesn’t try to sugarcoat and turn words around. She isn’t acting psuedo feminism. She calls it all black and white in the tone that is required at the same time she’s not a man hater and doesn’t slightly try to instill that. She talks facts. The book although sometimes sounded too much numbers. Though she tries to combine facts and philosophies and the agony women are facing but the numbers just take over (which seems required, as the title itself emphasise) but for me personally it was too much to stay connected to.


VI. Ikigai (Hector Garcia Puigcerver)

This book certainly was not what I was expecting it to be. If you are aware of the Ikigai concept, I was looking to deep dive into that philosophy specifically the technique itself. What this book was? Well something on how to live longer from Japanese way of living.

Though I did end up making a dream of spending my later years in some village (mentioned in book, which I forgot the name for) in Japan.

Goodreads:

Just a good checklist of things to keep in mind if you want to live long or perhaps just want to live life in peace and harmony. Not a book about how to find your ikigai though. Atleast not what I expected while starting.


VII. Principles: Life and Work (Ray Dalio)

This was one of the best birthday gift a friend like him could gift me. Akshay Verma gifted me this book and this is a book for a lifetime I can say. I remember how he and one other friend called me at 12AM asking me to pick books to be gifted. Although at last he only decided the books and sent on kindle.

It took me a year to read this (ofcourse in parts). I would say that actually is the way to read this book. Read and absorb piece by piece. Information wise there’s a lot to let in. Perhaps this is also a reason to take it slow.

I already wrote a lot on goodreads:

The author has done a good job of capturing almost everything that he seems to have encountered and penned down in quite an articulate way. The takeout for me was, “find and follow your own principles, not what others have set forward without even understanding why and what of them”. This book has been a year long journey for me and I’ve quite tried to incorporate this thought and it seemed to have helped resolve a lot of internal conflicts. I guess that is the first step in having a clear mind which can lay down a foundation of meaningful life. Similarly the key point from the work principles was, radical truthfulness and radical transparency. Tried and tested, it seems THE way to be, and have meaningful relationships. As the author also points out, once you get into this, you don’t feel like being in any other way.

Some places the book became too much of a formula kind or say calculated, I personally don’t like to live that way. But the author also is mindful of pointing out that that is not the only way to go about it hence being open minded, that’s a million dollar suggestion. Be open minded and assertive at the same time. There’s so much treasure in this book that I’d want to keep coming back and savour it.

The tone is very much humble hence earning the trust, at the same time it also is a bit too programmatic where it looses the connection.

overall, a great reading experience (since I got to also try it out in life practically while reading, the value is more). Perhaps this is a better way of using this book for good, given it’s quite long(not in terms of number of pages but the information it provides), it won’t make sense if you just read, learnt the principles, got inspired and forgot unless you put them too use.

My kindle highlights can be found here.


VIII. Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert T. Kiyosaki)

Recommended to me by multiple people, this one is a book for those who think they are going to earn their living by only doing a job for a whole lifetime. In author’s words, they work for money and what they need to learn is to make their money work for them. I was no different. After reading this, one little change that has come to my life is that I now read more on finances and I do it seriously and with interest. It won’t be an overstatement if I say, this book has urged me to go in the grey area of capitalism.

Before this, I would recommend reading Let’s Talk Money by Monika Halan. For me, it’s a primer on personal finance.

Summary points on goodreads:

Much needed life advices #2

I read this book in parallel with Principles by Ray dalio. These two seems to be giving a perfect contrast for much needed life advices. The take aways:

  1. Mind your own business: I guess this was the highlight, since this is the major imprint left at the end.
  2. Let your money work for you: quite an inspiration to study more on the subject.
  3. Pay yourself first: Can’t exactly go by what the author suggests (yes fear still has it’s place) but definitely worth trying with alternative ways to prioritise the growth of assets.
  4. Invest on learning: a no brainer and no counter advice.
  5. Know what you’re doing and the fear will go: something that has opened the doors for learning more on the subject wide.
  6. Have a strong reason: I guess, this is the most important of all, because even if you get inspired, get a will to learn, do and all but unless you have a strong reason, you can’t keep going. The road is tough and it will test you hard, so going without a reason is empty coming back.
  7. Give first what you want to have: this is the horizon of the capitalism and socialism.

Even though not a hardcore capitalist(perhaps not even close), I still found a lot to take away from here. Because this is not simply an advice to become rich but also to sustain in this fast paced world.

Still lacking that one star because I haven’t been able to completely come on page with the subject matter.


IX. The Shape of Design (Frank Chimero)

I found it on the internet while searching for a book on design fundamentals. This is that little pocket book I would want to proudly own.

Goodreads:

A short read full of fundamental design philosophies. I’m no designer, but the book opens up the mind to very basic ideas that makes me feel like changing the world by becoming a designer. Not sure if it’s a beginner appropriate text, but certainly an important one for a designer who really wants to create meaningful work. I would want to come back to it once I dive in the field and have tried hands on the work, to polish myself.

The tone seemed very basic and straight forward with few stories acting as examples. There are clear takeaways in each chapter. The structure of the book made it more interesting to read. Even though the chapters are short and concise, the messages conveyed opens up a line of thoughts, those in turn contribute back to the concept itself. Seemed like the book itself was a work of design based on the same philosophies that the content presents.


X. Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service (Michael Bar-Zohar)

This one too I found on the internet. But the story goes beyond just a random search.

I was talking to a friend the other day and he told me how Israel’s secret services went on a kill spree behind those who harmed their people. (This was about the infamous Wrath of God operation against the Black September).

They searched the people around the world, found and brutely killed them. I was in awe of this (I don’t have the right word, but this we call having your people’s back). Since then I have been intrigued of the Israeli secret service, Mossad. I wanted to know all other such stories because with time, I had come to know of the history of Israel and in essence the Jewish people.

This book is a record of what role Mossad has played in the foundation of Israel. It is structured in the form of operations carried out by various Mossad Directors. Almost all the stories seem plots of some crime thrillers. Although I later got to know of all the movies that are already made on them.


XI. Women Who Run With the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estés)

Recommended by a former colleague and eventually a close friend, this book is love.

The book is arranged in form of folktales from which the Author has drawn out pearls of wisdom for women. Yes, not all women are wolves, they could have been well placed in the places they were born. But all those who are not, who feel out of place, this book is an assurance that whatever they are and whereever they belong, they must not suppress themselves just to fit in.

Beautiful, just beautiful. The stories she tells and the messages she draws out of them are inspiring. A dear friend recommended this to me and after reading I’m sure how much she loves me that she wanted me to read it and so will I do for all others I love too. It’s one of the soul searching endeavours I would want all women that I know of, do. It seems to be containing the whole idea of womenhood from a woman’s lense. Yes, we’ve heard all this time, how a woman should be, how should she behave, what she can desire, what she can ask for, what she can get, all from this men’s world perspective. This is one of those scarce times when we hear a woman telling what a woman should really be. Nothing but herself!! The best thing is this whole stuff is so real and connectible. No fairy tales, no “You’re the best, you’re so awesome, go girl” type speeches or pseudo motivation. It’s a Wolf’s tale instead. All raw, believable and embressable sides of your own self. This version of the book seems to be a concised one since the paperback or ebook versions seems to be lengthier. I’m so going to get one of those and continue the journey ahead.


XII. Sita: Warrior of Mithila (Amish Tripathi)

Ohh, I don’t need a recommendation to read Amish.

I came across few reviews, saying how it is wrong to twist the stories of our mythology and present as such. I would suggest you (If you haven’t already read Amish) to go with an open mind and treat it as a work of fiction.

A delight to the mind as usual. Amish never fails to surprise with his imagination and stun with the precision in every single line.

This one brought me back to the “Secret of Nagas”, the second in the Shiva Trilogy, I had started the trilogy with that one only and this time too, started with the middle one. Hence the connect, but beyond that, the element of curiosity and unorthodox treatment of the subject is what makes the actual connect.

I’ve been always interested in imagining an alternate Sita, the one who you won’t find in our mythological texts, the one I wish, would have had made it to the texts, to the mythology, to the history. The one I would be more inspired from. Amish’s Sita is exactly that, a warrior princess. Moreover it is the whole alternate idea of Ramayan that took me away and not only Sita, because if you were to only reimagine Sita while keeping the epic intact, you can’t do justice to the character. The way he has made a place for her in the epic and in turn made the whole thing turn around has made this work a forever favourite. Cherry on the cake is, he still keeps the major events, certain tales, ideas and incidents intact and yet flips the whole storyline. There is a magic in his writing. You can imagine the whole infrastructures of the cities of his stories to the last bric when he talks about the magnificent places across the country, the palaces, the forests and rivers. Be it the techniques of combat, the weapons, the royal rides, the attires and what not, he will bring it all to your eyes. When it comes to sentiments, that is not left behind either. The way he has described the whole Swamyamvar and the incidents preceding and following it, are just captivating, I could really see Rama blushing in front of me in his first encounter with Sita. There is sheer beauty in the whole Rama Sita chemistry that I have not even seen in the epic’s picturization on Television either. Just magical, I believe only Amish could do it. I would really prefer the Ramayana to be what Amish has made me imagine with this book.


XIII. Birbal Tenali and Investment Sutras (Vinayak Sapre)

Found in a book store and the reason I bought is mentioned in the review below. I have never been more dissapointed.

One of the most disappointing reads ever. I seem to have fallen for the cover and design of the book and maybe a bit of trust nostalgia of “Akbar and Birbal” and Tenali Rama (I revered them for the wit and cleverness from the stories). If you want to read few tales of them, go ahead and read, if you’re looking for investment advice, perhaps not this one. If you are into personal finance and have been reading and listening around a bit, then you know everything this book has to tell, at least what I felt while reading. The major fallback is, the book even fails to deliver on it’s title even for namesake, the stories and the morales and lessons that follow the story most of the time don’t seem to connect, most of the lessons are repititive in nature. The 1 star is just for the benefit of the doubt that maybe if I was a complete beginner in personal finance and it was my first book, the advices(not exactly) or the lessons would have taught me something.


XIV. Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta (Amish Tripathi)

It is the 3rd book of the Ramchandra series by Amish, Sita being the second.

The story as usual is full of twists and turns and the narration is great as well. The flow really captivates you. As far as the plot is concerned, it seems that the antagonist is being tried to portray as a result of misfortune happened to him but parallely the way his character is presented is not able to completely justify that. Perhaps this is author’s unique way of hanging you in the grey area. I was more interested in a closure by this book so the overdetailing of the character of the protagonist (of the book)/antagonist (of the series) to show his side of the story and create a grey area was too much for me to stick around to. Perhaps I came with a wrong expectation of a 3 book series and ended up a little bit disappointed.


XV. The Women Who Ruled India (Archana Garodia Gupta)

I bought it from Bahri and Sons book store in Saket, New Delhi. Ohh, that place is love. I can’t tell exactly why but I feel like going back again and again. It is that little hangout place where you could just sit and read in lazy summer days, with a hot coffee in chilled winters and looking out through the windows raining outside ofcourse in monsoon.

So, the reason I bought was the title and the table of content :shrugging:.

Not completely a disappointment but not the perfect as expected as well(actually nowhere close).

Quick thoughts first, in order to cover as many possible (or maybe all of them, I hadn’t heard or read about more than 4 perhaps) she seems to have dwelled on the surface only. Most of the stories are mere historical accounts of the kingdoms, rather than emphasizing on the woma(e)n ruler (which I guess was the main purpose of the book, as it acclaims). The writing could use some flow.

Towards the end, the book actually started to seem to justify the title a bit. Some stories were actually well written, the Begums of Bhopal being the last one has the most impression.

Having said that, this books certainly told the untold tales, and that is worth it. The history I have read since childhood, hardly recognised 3 or 4 female rulers. I get reminded of a recent read, “The invisible women”, where the author pointed out, how conveniently histories(or for that matter sciences or any other field) forget females when it comes to giving credits or giving examples. This one surely is an attempt to change that.


XVI. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (Dr. Seuss)

Ohh, this little cute book. The same friend who recommended the second book in the list here sent me this. Ohh, they certainly love me to the moon and back :smiling:.

Some books are a way of people telling you (when they recommend or gift them to you) that how much they love you and want to see you climbing your mountains. Maybe they are also the author’s way too for their readers to show the same love. This is one such little delightful poetic book summarising perhaps almost everyone’s graph of life and encouraging to draw it up.


XVII. Azadi mera brand (Anuradha Beniwal)

You know sometimes you steal your siblings’ clothes and they look so good on you that you won’t return. This book is one such borrowing. This was actually a gift to one of my sister’s friends from another of her friend and my sister had brought it home. I saw it lying by the side of my bed and it kept pulling me towards itself. So one day, I picked it and then couldn’t put it off until finished.

Sorry for bad analogy (I know it is) but this is such effect of Anu(radha)’s authentic writing that I feel like writing whatever comes to my mind.

Loved the book and “Anu” even more! Feels like she’s inviting you to join her through this book and her journeys. She writes her heart out, it seems. Not only she shares her travel stories but her learnings, her introspections on different situations or conversations. I think it comes with travelling places, you see different cultures and then you draw parallels or differences or nothing sometimes. Her short stories of her hosts, cities are captivating, I almost always went in my head in the situation at page and thought about how would I react, what would I do. It feels like I was there and not her. I don’t know how does she do it but she takes you with her every place she goes. Her writing is so friendly, honest, straight, in the words of her bern’s host’s door sticker, “she comes as she is.” Perhaps travel writing is about this transparency, this authenticity. This was my first read although! I am even more eager to pack my bag and go. This book leaves your head full and your heart open to embrace the world out there.

There are places she generalizes the thought process of an “Indian girl” by justifying her cautious attitude or anything conservative labeling it as that of an “Indian girl”. I differ from that. She doesn’t know, I don’t know, perhaps no one knows, so why generalise?

For some Indian female readers, आज़ादी मेरा ब्रांड आपके लिए एक life changing experience भी हो सकता है (यदि आपके पास भी अनु का चश्मा है), जब आप बाहर की वो दुनिया देखेंगे जो हमारी इस दुनिया से कितनी अलग, कितनी सुरक्षित, कितनी आत्मीय और कितनी अपनी है। आप लालच मेे पड़ते हैं, एक ऐसी जगह के जहां आप उस आज़ादी से घूम सकते हैं, रह सकते हैं। अनु आपको चस्का लगा देगी, फिर आप उससे कम मेे adjust नहीं कर पायेंगे। यह इस बारे मेे नहीं है कि वो दुनिया भारत के बाहर है, ना ही भारत को अस्वीकार करने की बात है, यह तो बस भारत से अपना भी बनने की इच्छा रखने की बात है। ऐसा ही कुछ करने वाली “चीज़” ढूंढने गई है अनु। खैर ऐसा नहीं है के भारत में वो आज़ादी है ही नहीं, है, मैंने चखी है, पर वो ऐसी है जैसे खीर मेे किशमिश। हमें तो वो चावल जितनी चाहिए।


XVIII. How to Change Your Mind (Michael Pollan)

This was my first introduction to psychedelics, even as a term (I actually was not aware, before I started reading this book, that it was about these drugs). This book has opened gates to a whole new world in which drugs are not evil. Earlier me telling myself will be like: “Shh, never ever let that substance in your close vicinity”, the current one definitely is curious, more than ever, about these chemicals. Maybe it was the author’s almost implicitly convincing (maybe he himself is very much curious and optimistic towards the positive uses of these substances) storytelling, but I am more ready to be affirmative about the similarity of effects between psychedelics and meditation.

Few important questions that I felt being led to ask are, what difference does it make if it is an external substance or some patterns of breathing that brings chemical changes in your brain leading you to explore the spectrum of consciousness. Is the default consciousness the only right mode of consciousness? What roles do the alternate modes of consciousness play in the theory of evolution? If they don’t any, then why do they exist? I got introduced to many interesting concepts such as the Default Mode Network, Posterior Cingulate Cortex, a completely different aspect of Spirituality (I have described the incidence below).

All that said, somewhere somehow a flow was missing that will captivate you (at least for me). I mostly was skimming through paying as little attention. Parts that actually grabbed and kept my attention were where there was a trip being described, especially the author’s own Magic mushroom trip and one volunteer’s trip after they discovered their cancer. Other than that there was a lot of unnecessary caricaturing of the people in the story.

One random listening day:

’’’ I was going to wrap this book up today after reading 2 chapters. Since it seemed more about the history of psychedelics till now and I was losing connection because I didn’t come with this expectation from the title of the book. That’s when I am reconsidering, the end of chapter 2 where the author described his own magic mushroom experience unfolds an important aspect of how we perceive spirituality. He has all these visuals and feelings of being comforted by nature, the plants and little creatures in his garden are all so warm and caring to him as if they are his own people. He finds his parents in the two trees there. I’m emotionally overwhelmed by this description of his experience. Quoting him (rather summarising), “One doesn’t necessarily need to believe in some supernatural to believe or pursue spirituality, it could actually be felt in the very nature around us. Maybe the purpose of the mushroom is to make us realize that our nature is calling upon us, trying to connect.” ‘’’


XIX. Gunahon Ka Devta (Dharmvir Bharati)

Coming across this book is a similar incident as that of Azaadi Mera Brand. Although I had heard of the book’s name in my high school when we used to memorize the works of the Hindi Authors. I knew Dharmvir Bharati was a magnificent writer, from whatever I had read about him back then. I never thought I would come across this book one so random day and it was going to stay engraved in my mind forever after.

I didn’t have the courage or thoughts to write a word in review. This book had taken me off by a storm. I cried my heart out on every page towards the end.

Yes, I am that old school.


XX. The Design of Everyday Things (Donald Norman)

Another book that didn’t need any specific recommendation. It is THE DESIGN BOOK.

Profound ideas are always obvious once they are understood! - from the book.

What’s in there?

All about how to design for humans. What are the challenges in doing so? How to deal with them? Few principals on the same. The author has also talked about how different it is to design in the real world than it seems in principals.

Why read?

Because all things need design and for them to be used, the design needs to be useful. You should read to understand how human psychology and psychopathology play an important role in why products succeed or fail. The author has widely covered design as a process from an angle of perception. Both from the implementor and the user/consumer.

What I liked?

Overall I am intrigued by seeing how much impact does design has on everyday things. The interplay between how things work and how it affects our behaviors and in turn how those behaviors affect our experiences of those things. This is super amazing. I finally got a crisp introduction to design thinking from this book. That section is really useful for anyone who wants to design and want to do it efficiently. There are quite good lessons to learn about how to balance design activities with other activities of product development and in general how there are gaps in how designers/makers see things and how users see them and how there is a third player who is most important sometimes (the buyer) will decide on what to buy.