Category Archives: books

[Book Review] The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Standard

It has been a while since I have read fiction.

This book has been loaned to me by a bookworm friend who insisted reading this was worth it.  I was hesitant at first, because I had other books on my “to-read” list. But after assessing that I have not been too varied and adventurous lately on books, I decided to read it. And true enough, it delivered the goods.

“The God of Small Things” tells the story of fraternal twins Estha and Rahel. The story revolves on what happened during their cousin’s visit to India.  This is not surprising since the author, Arundhati Roy, hails from India but is based in the UK. The twins’ cousin, Sophie Mol, is half-Indian and half-Brit, a fusion of the author’s roots.  The storytelling shifts from the past to the present, giving bits of pieces of a beautifully woven story.

The story draws a mix of emotions – from childhood dreams, love in all aspects (parental, unrequited, brokenhearted), it tells of the power of a mother’s love, of how in each family there is dysfunction, of respect, of the small things that truly matter.  It is a page-turner. Ms. Roy created a moving story from a simple plot that speaks profoundly.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Advertisements

One of the best books on establishing relationships: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Standard

I recently read this highly popular and highly-acclaimed book by Dale Carnegie.

This was written in the 1930s and further editions were published later on.  Despite of this, the content is still very relevant. I realized this because human nature never changes.  We want people to approach us in a nice way and not hot-tempered.

The book is divided in four parts: Part ONE is Fundamental Techniques in Handling People; Part TWO is Six Ways to Make People Like You; Part THREE is How To Win People Into Your Way of Thinking; Part FOUR is Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment.

I find Parts three and four most interesting. Part four is the most informative for me. I have tried some of his tips and to my delight, I received positive results so far. Of course, I know at times these won’t work because of different personalities I will encounter.

Mr. Carnegie uses humor and a lot of stories, mostly of leaders of his time, which makes this book quite dated. But aside from that, I can say that this book is a gem!

[Book Review] Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father

Standard

I just finished reading the book “Dreams from My Father” written by Barack Obama years ago, before he became president. It narrates his struggles as a black kid trying to find his place in the world, having a white mother and a black father. It traces his journey to Hawaii, Indonesia, back to Hawaii, Chicago then to Kenya, his father’s homeland.

Obama’s writing is visual, very in-depth which is both good and boring, depending on what he is describing.  It is also infused with introspection about the particular lessons and struggles he is faced with. Due to this, he has successfully combined non-fiction which poetry, creating that poetic moment with each chapter. He certainly has that rare ability of a writer who involves the reader and invites him to ponder, to remember and to cherish life.