Where did Necktie came from?

The neckties, also known as decorative noose are a narrow piece of fabric designed to be worn around the neck and tied at the throat. They can be made from many materials but commonly constructed from silk or cotton.

Varieties

Today there are many different kinds of neckties:-

  • Ascot tie
  • The zipper tie
  • Clip on tie
  • The tie dye tie

So when did wrapping a piece of fabric around your neck become a formal style necessity. The length of World War to blame can partially be placed on the French Military. While humans have been tying fabric around their neck since they could sew.

History

The neckties is been known as it didn’t start crowding collars until the 17th century. King Louis XIII of France had hired Croatian mercenaries to fight for him during the 30-year war and the king was impressed by the length of cloth the Croatian used to keep their jackets together.

Croatian

Louis liked it so much that he required his entire royal court to wear them a tradition that his son will continue in his court. The trend soon spread across the French aristocracy and it wasn’t long before all of the Europe had converted to the curve at.

Tying a Necktie

There are four main ways to tie a neckties;

  1. The Four-in-hand knot
  2. The Pratt knot aka The Shelby knot
  3. Half-windsor knot
  4. The Windsor knot

According to researchers from Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory, there are 85 ways to tie a tie. Thomas Fink and Yong Mao actually use Mathematical modeling to figure this out and publish a book on their finding.

Towards the end of tie fashion

The necktie is losing its grip around the throat of male fashion. Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and eBay actually encourage their employees to dress casually with some going as far as banning traditional office wear entirely and other companies are following suits.

Its fast become a power move to dress drown to the office in the 21st century as a statement of fellow workers, you can wear what ever you want.

Californian companies have led the charge in disrupting many common business practices, by rejecting aspects of corporate life that once seemed to given such as

  • Traditional working hours
  • Corporate hierarchies
  • Paying employees a living wage

Now politicians and even royalty are leaving tie in their dresses so it many not be long before neckties joins the history books of pointless male neck fashion.

To Read List (Romance)-2

 “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Nat King Cole, ‘Nature Boy’ lyrics

Today, we continue to meander through the spectral world of love.

1. I Owe You One

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Sophie Kinsella’s, ‘I Owe You One’ is a tale of self discovery, empowerment and love.

Fixie Farr’s father has always taught her to value family, above all else and that is what Fixie endeavours to upkeep after he passes away, leaving his business of housewares store to his wife and children. Since all her other siblings are out there doing something on their own, Fixie has no choice but seize the reins of her father’s store.

When one fateful day, a charming stranger asks her to watch his laptop for sometime, Fixie, being the person she is, not only watches it for a while but also manages to save it from some impending disaster. The computer’s owner, Sebastian turns out to be an investment manager and leaves an IOU with a business card for Fixie.

In a series of events, Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan enters into the scene and his lack of work, compels Fixie to take up Sebastian’s, IOU to ask a job for Ryan. Sebastian agrees. What ensues is a tale filled with more IOUs, life altering favours and Fixie torn between her family and her life choices.

2. This Lullaby

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Sarah Dessen’s, ‘This Lullaby’, revolves around Remy, scared of commitments and known for breaking it off just as things start getting a bit serious after the initial romantic scurry. Remy seems to have inherited her dating skills from her mother who’s at husband number five at present. Remy has had a number of liaisons in the past and dumped her boyfriends with acute precision. This time, Remy just cannot bring herself to dump Dexter. She goes into wild speculations to ascertain why. This might just be the beginning of an epic love for Remy, granted she opens up her heart to an honest relationship without any inhibitions.

3. Catching Jordan

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Miranda Kenneally’s, ‘Catching Jordan’, revolves around Jordan Woods, the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. Jordan hangs around with the hot jocks of the team as one of them. She puts all her elbow grease into football and bears anything and anyone, as long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

When Ty Green, stunning and an amazing QB moves to Jordan’s school, all that Jordan has ever strived for is somehow put on the line. Her emotions are a wreck as she tries to give her all to her game without distraction from the heart.

4. The Edge of Never

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J.A. Redmerski’s’, ‘The Edge of Never’, tells the tale of  Camryn Bennett, a Twenty year old girl with an unmatched and out-of-the-box imagination. Following a series of setbacks, Camryn decides to push forth and not give up. After an unforgettable night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, Camryn decides to leave everything behind and pursue what she always wanted.

With a will of steel, a phone and a small bag and no sense of destination and direction, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus where she finds a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone she can relate to and who has several guarded secrets.

Although sworn to never fall in love, Camryn finds herself in the midst of a whirlwind called Andrew. Together, they do things that Camryn never thought she’d ever do. Their chemistry is fierce, the pull undeniable but the secrets threaten it all.

“your hand touching mine,

this is how galaxies collide.”

-Sanober Khan

To Read List (Romance)

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

Maya Angelou

Introduction

Romance is a widely celebrated literary genre that primarily revolves around the romantic aspects of relationship between two individuals. Romantic books are very popular among people of all ages. Romance is a genre that can be amalgamated with any other genre to add some spice to the tale. Romance genre incorporates everything from historical to contemporary love equations. Romance novels may be driven driven by cliché and far fetched tropes such as ‘love at first sight’ etc.

The romance industry is a big shot economically,  worth almost $1.08 billion dollars a year in the U.S alone.

Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, and Robyn Carr are among some of the romance genre popular authors.

Today, we look at some of the romance must reads.

1. See Me

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Nicholas Spark is one of the most prolific authors of the romance genre. His novel ‘See Me’ tells the story of two people in constant battle with the demons of their past and trying against al odds to come together as one.

Colin Hancock has a history of violence and an ever looming threat of prison. Haven been given a second chance, he’s trying to make the most of it, putting everything he has in his teaching degree. With constant reminders of his past shortcomings, the last thing on Colin’s mi d is love.

Maria Sanchez, a hardworking professional at a prestigious firm in Wilmington. A dark-haired natural beauty with an impeccable work record, Maria has a dark past that forced her back home.

A chance encounter between these two lost souls leaves in its wake thousands of unanswered questions and a deep yearning to be together. As love takes root, the demons from their past threaten to surface, destroying almost about everything.

2. The Bride Test

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Helen Hoang’s, ‘The Bride Test’, tells the story of Khai Diep, an autistic person who thinks that he cannot ever feel anything. As he stays miles away from any potential relationship, his mother decides to take matters in her own hands and travels to Vietnam to find a perfect bride for him.

Esme Tran is a mixed- race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City. When she gets the opportunity to go to America for a potential marriage, she’s more than ready to do it to get out of her penury.

Esme had her mind made up about seducing Khai but ends up falling hopelessly in love with him, while Khai remain unfeeling and hard-hearted. As Esme gets close to leaving States, Khai gets closer to the answers he had always been seeking.

3. The Soulmate Equation

The Soulmate Equation

Christina Lauren’s, ‘The Soulmate Equation’, is a story of Jess Davis, a single mother and a statistics wiz who is trying hard to make ends meet while her grandparents, who raised her, help her raise her seven year old daughter, Juno.

Having been let down too many times in her past relationships- by her father, mother and her ex, Jess is extremely sceptical and absolutely unwilling to traipse back into the dating world.

Then, one fateful day, Jess comes across a matchmaking company, GeneticAlly that offers DNA-based matchmaking. When Jess’s tests show 98% compatibility with another person, Jess is astounded and the person is none other than Dr River Pena, GeneticAlly’s founder. Having known him earlier, Jess is certain about him not being he soulmate. But as the company offers to pay her for going out with Pena, Jess cannot refuse anymore.
As these two get swept in the genetic dating league, they discover things about each other that might just change their perspective about everything.

To Read List (Sci-fi)

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all gravities of terrestrial life.”

-H.g Wells
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Introduction

Sci-fi is perhaps one of the coolest literary genre, that is widely read. Scientific fiction encompasses the vast abyss of human imagination that manifests itself in an astounding blend of creativity and literature. Sci-fi stories have a wide variety of themes, they can be based on absolute facts or be a figment of someone’s imagination as well. Fictitious sci-fi stories can include aliens, a world based in space, time travel, strange inventions and weird creatures as well.

Sci-fi might be hard or soft. Hard sci-fi is based on the real world with less novel elements. Soft sci-fi, however, includes far fetched scientific technology.

Sci-fi requires ingenuity on part of writers and proper assimilation of the readers part. Sci-fi is probably one of the most interesting of the genera of the great literary canyon.

Curated below is a list of 4 interesting Sci-fi books that you can check out.

1. The Time Machine

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H.G Wells, renowned as ‘The Father of Sci-fi’, wrote ‘The Time Machine’, in 1895. In this extremely enthralling book, the protagonist goes on a time safari 800,000 years beyond his time. He is transported to an era of devastation and utter destruction of Earth, there he discovers two strange races ,the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks that manifest the terrifying future occupants of the planet and describe the dying humane in humanity.

An absolutely enthralling read, that has gripped readers throughout years.

2. Snow Crash

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Neal Stephenson’s, ‘Snow Crash’, is a riveting book that describes the parallel life of Hiro Protagonist in the real world and the Metaverse. Delivering pizzas for  Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc. in the ordinary world, a warrior prince in the Metaverse. The story takes pace as he crusades through a volley of mysterious computer viruses. He strives to prevent utter destruction by bringing down the ultimate virtual villains.

The story meanders through technical know how of computers and is an absolutely thrilling read.

3. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

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Christopher Paolini’s, ‘ To Sleep in a Sea of Stars ‘, revolves around Kira Navárez, who dreams of life beyond the scape of Earth, in new unchartered worlds. When during a survey mission on a planet, Kira stumbles across an alien relic, although thrilled at first, Kira soon comes to dread her discovery as the ancient relic begins to move around her.

With Earth in great jeopardy and a war brimming amongst the stars, Kira experiences a life altering journey. With her being the ultimate hope, Kira must brave against all odds and delve into the expanse of the universe to bring about order.

4. Cinder

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Marissa Meyer’s, ‘Cinder’, is a riveting tale of a girl Lihn Cinder, a mechanic in New Beijing, the capital of the Eastern Commonwealth, s, who is a cyborg i.e. she is half mechanical, has prosthetic limbs and a complex wiring of internal organs. New Beijing is a place that faces consistent scourge of plagues. In this retelling of Cinderella, humans and androids coexist. When the heir to the throne of the Commonwealth, Prince Kai requires Kai’s help to fix his android, their lives take a thrilling turn. With her mysterious past and a strange Lunar people waiting for ambush from the space, Cinder must traverse through several trials to save the fate of her people and perhaps even the entire world.

A sci-fi twist to the classic Cinderella.

Must Reads (General Fiction)

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Introduction

According to the dictionary, fiction refers to a type of literature in the form of prose that describes imaginary events and people. Fiction is the genre, in which the author whips up imaginary characters and plot and weaves a tale around them. Though untrue and fabricated fiction might be used to relay information and express thoughts on a number of issues that are realistic and often worth highlighting.

Fiction is a very diverse genre of the equally diverse literary canyon. Fiction writing often requires ingenuity and thinking out of the box. Fiction is easily one of the highly read genera in the world. There is such incredible work in the fiction genre that it leaves a reader to browse through a plethora of amazing plots and characters. Several fictitious characters such as Jane Austen’s, ‘Mr. Darcy’ and ‘Elizabeth Bennet‘ or Bam Stoker’s, ‘Dracula‘ have gone down in history as some of the most cherished and timeless characters

Below is a list of four must read fiction books.

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife

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‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, is American author Audrey Niffengger’s debut novel. This story revolves around Clare, an artist by profession, who meets her husband Henry under strange circumstances. Henry, afflicted by a genetic disorder is a time traveler of sorts with no control over it. Struggling to control his impromptu trips to strange places and times, naked as the day he was born, Henry finds acceptance and love in Clare. What follows is an enthralling journey full of time spins, confusions , heart-breaks, beginnings and endings.

Time Traveler’s Wife is an absolute must read, with its gripping plot and engaging romance. Full of love and longing, this book is bound to make you burst into guffaws and ugly cry.

2.The Silent Patient

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‘The Silent Patient’, by Alex Michaelides is a psychological thriller that tells the tale of Alicia Berenson, a successful painter, who leads a lavish life with her husband ,Gabriel, an extremely sought after fashion photographer. One evening Gabriel returns home only to be met with five bullets to the face by his wife. What follows is a tale filled with gripping mystery as Alicia refuses to utter even a word or offer something in order of explanation. Now, enshrouded in disrepute, Alicia initiates a cycle of speculations by the public that transmutes her into a public mystery.

Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist is obsessed with Alicia’s case and wants to get her talking. The quest to solve this mystery leads him down a risky path…

3.Beautiful Disaster

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Jamie McGuire’s, ‘ Beautiful Disaster’, is a new adult book sporting the cliched, good girl- bad boy plot. Abby Abernathy, the good girl. Travis Maddox, the absolute bad boy. As these two collide in college and interact over a bet that can make Maddox go abstinent for a month or can get Abby stuck in Maddox’s apartment for that equal period of time.

Abby might end up winning more than just the bet!

4. In an Instant

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Suzanne Redfearn’s, ‘In an Instant’, is a tale of hard life or death decisions made about in an instant. sixteen-year-old Finn Miller meets with a horrible car accident that causes her and ten others to fall off a mountain. It is a tale of love, family and guilt that makes us introspect over the humane in us and accentuates the ramifications of decisions.

To Read Fantasy List

Fantasy is hardly as escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.

-Lloyd Alexander
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According to the dictionary, fantasy refers to the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. It is often inspired by ancient mythology, real life myths and folklore, often passed down orally.

Fantasy is one of the core genera of today’s literary canyon and has more than just a few admirers.

Curated below is a list of fantasy fictions (in no particular order) to help to sift through the diverse literary spectrum.

1. The Bridge Kingdom

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A slow burn fantasy romance with the “enemies-to-lovers” trope, this book tells the tale of a marriage by convenience.

Lara, a fierce princess, trained to be a spy vows to bring down the kingdom of bridge for her people. As she settles in her new home with her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question everything in her being and the evil that lurks.

With the intense attraction towards Aren, Lara must choose between being a saviour or the impending doom for her people.

An engaging read with a simmering romance.

“Alive isn’t living.”

 Danielle L. Jensen, The Bridge Kingdom

2. Six of Crows

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American author Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows is a fantasy novel that revolves round a band of six thieves.

 Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest imaginations. Together with a convict, a sharpshooter, a runaway, a spy , a Heart render & a thief, an unusual lot, they set out for the single biggest heist between the world and utter chaos.

“She wouldn’t wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn’t be rid of.”

Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Reference: https://thegrishaverse.fandom.com/wiki/Six_of_Crows

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses

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This story revolves around mortal Feyre Archeron after she is brought into the faerie lands of Prythian for murdering a faerie. Over the course of proceedings, as she lives with the person who abducted her into Prythian, Tamlin, who is also a High Fae, she gets to know things about the Fae kingdom she had never known before.

“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”

Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

4. The Grace Of Kings

Grace of Kings is an epic fantasy revolving around an outlaw  Kumigaru, who, along with Maya Zyndu, a blue blood, plans to overthrow an oppressive king. The story is richly crafted with an engaging plot and knife sharp twists and turns that are bound to make your hackles rise.

“There’s never going to be an end to suffering if ‘he deserves it’ is all the justification people need for inflicting pain.”

 Ken Liu, The Grace of Kings

5.  Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

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Susannah Clarke’s novel paints lucid alternate history of Napoleonic England combing it with Gothic literary fiction. The novel explores the existence of magic in England sand Centres on the relationship between two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange with bouts of witty humour, traipsing into the territory marked beyond cognitive excuses or reason.

“There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure – it is, after all, what everybody does all the time.”

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Greatest Hindi Novels – You Must Read!

Literature has never failed to amaze us and to top it Hindi literature goes way beyond our imagination and there are many Hindi novels you must read. If you are bored of watching digital content in this lockdown and are planning to read books, and if you haven’t read Hindi literature, this is the time you should totally give it a try. Hindi language has all kinds of stories and has a very rich literary heritage. From the classic literature by Munshi Premchand to the heart-touching poems of Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, many amazing Hindi novels touched the core of Indian culture and development. Here is a list of such amazing Hindi novels that will not fail to touch your hearts.

It is a difficult task to put together the best Hindi novels of all times, but somehow I manage to provide you the list of Best Hindi Novels by Indian Authors that everyone should read with our best of knowledge.

Godaan (Munshi Premchand)

Godaan is a beautifully described novel by Munshi Premchand that touches the subject of rural communities of India. It was published in 1936. It has been revered as one of the greatest Hindi novels of the Indian literature. The main theme of the novel was based on Indian peasantry. The theme includes: Socio-economic deprivation, Exploitation of rural people, Caste segregation, varied concept of dharma as held by different people. Impact of industrialization on the various sections of Indian community.vi condition of women in society child marriage and dowry. Godan is an epic of Indian peasant Hari and his wife Dhania who were cheated by the landlords money lenders priests and colonial bureaucrats. They formed a network of oppression robbed their land and converted them to landless Labourers. In the end the couple died with dignity.

Madhushala (Harivansh Rai Bachchan)

Madhushala is a beautifully written novel by Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan. It is a series of poems that describe the complexity of life with comparisons to four Instruments which come almost in every verse: Madhu (wine), saaki (server), pyaala (cup) and madhushala (bar). It is applicable even in today’s life as we are experiencing religious discord. This book inspires brotherhood and harmony and gives hope to people who are trapped in religious disputes. A very famous and one other to the list of Hindi novels you must read.

Gunaho Ka Devta (Dharamvir Bharati)

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Gunaho Ka Devta is a love story that revolves around a student, Chander, who falls in love with Sudha, the daughter of his college professor Dr. Shukla. This story also talks about caste discrimination in our society. The beautiful description of love, angst and confusion makes the book amazing.There is a television adaptation of the novel titled Ek Tha Chander Ek Thi Sudha which aired on Life OK.

Chandrakanta (Devki Nandan Khatri)

चंद्रकान्ता - देवकीनन्दन खत्री Chandrakanta - Hindi book by - Devkinandan  Khatri

This book written by Devaki Nandan Khatri is a romantic fantasy that tells the story of two lovers from rival kingdoms. There is a TV serial based on this novel as well. The princess Chandrakanta of Vijaygarh and the prince Virendra Singh of Naugarh go through a series of obstacles to be together and fulfil their love lives. The writing style of the book takes you in the world of “aiyars” and “tilism”. This is one of the best Hindi novels you must read if you like love stories with various challenges.

Rashmirathi (Ramdhari Singh Dinkar)

रश्मिरथी by Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'

This book is written by the well known Hindi Novelist, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’.

It lies in the top 10 in the list of best Hindi novels that one must-read. This book is about Kunti’s firstborn child, Karna and his life as he grows up to become a violent soldier although being raised in a very humble family. This book has various emotions including pride, courage, power, and honour. It is a beautifully written poem that explores various parts of Karna’s life.

Gaban (Mushi Premchand)

Gaban is also one of Munshi Premchand’s best Hindi novels. It is a typical middle-class love story with big desires and dreams. It is about a charming guy named Ramanath. He is not financially sound but he loves his wife too much and gifts her precious things which he cannot afford. Things hit the rock when he is bound with debts and the story gets interesting. Let’s see if he will make it through this crisis morally or will he commit any crime to cover his debts.

Maila Aanchal (Phanishwar Nath Renu)

मैला आंचल -फणीश्वरनाथ रेणु - भारतकोश, ज्ञान का हिन्दी महासागर

This book by Phanishwar Renu lies next in line with Munshi Premchand’s Godan. It is a very well-appreciated and touching story. It is set in the 90s during the Quit India Movement as the states experience a series of trails and rituals in the villages of North-East Bihar. It was the first novel by Phanishwar Nath Renu after which he gained popularity which gave rise to a series of other such books. It is quite often found in the Hindi curriculum of schools.

Volga Se Ganga (Rahul Sankrityayan)

Best Hindi Novels That Everyone Should Read : Volga Se Ganga

This book by Rahul Sankrityayan is a historical fiction that marks the entry of Aryans into the Volga from the steppes of Eurasia. A journey from the Volga to the Ganges contains 20 different short stories that are part fiction and explains the migration of Aryans to River Volga. The author’s influence from Marxist ideas is visible in his last three stories. If you like reading about history then you must add this book to your library.

Kamayani (Jaishankar Prasad)

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Kamayani is considered to be one of the greatest written Hindi literature by Jaishankar Prasad. It is an epic poem that perceives the effects of human emotions, thoughts, and actions with the help of relevant metaphors. It was quite popular in the eighteenth century. It takes reference from mythology to try and explain human behaviour concerning human emotions. Another gem to the list of hindi novels you must read.

Need Ka Nirman Phir (Harivansh Rai Bachchan)

नीड़ का निर्माण फिर - हरिवंशराय बच्चन Neer Ka Nirman Phir - Hindi book by -  Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Need Ka Nirman Phir is a beautifully written poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. It is about his life and how he overcomes the challenges in his life. The book is full of examples that depict hope. No one should give up because, after every night, the sun comes and brings light into lives. It also has a part where his wife died but he still hoping for a better tomorrow.

If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.

J.K. Rowling

Easy Reads: Summer Edition

Here is a list of breezy reads, that you can leaf through this summer.

a list of my masterposts | Dark aesthetic, Dark academia aesthetic, Girl  reading

“if you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

—J.K Rowling, Author

Books high on the emotional quotient that are thrilling and fiery and make you bite your nails each step of the way are everyone’s favourite. But it might get really monotonous and wearying getting down from that roller coaster of emotions perpetually, especially if you aren’t exactly an avid reader.

Why Is Reading Important? The 11 Benefits Of Books - Best Practice in HR

Below is a thoughtfully curated list of 5 books that are soundly wholesome and light reads.

1. Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

Wishful Thinking (Wish, #2) by Alexandra Bullen

Wishful thinking is a young adult novel by author and playwright Alexandra Bullen. The story follows Hazel Snow, a young girl who had been adopted and passed from home to home as a baby. Driven by the wish to know her parents, Hazel goes all out in an effort to known her mother. With a lot of determination and three wish granting enchanted dresses, Hazel finds herself in the past. With a chance to know her mother and a sweeping romance, Hazel might just fulfil her wishes, or will she?

This book is a very sweet read and has a very lucid plot for a book that navigates past and present.

2. Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger

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Lauren Weisberger is the renowned author of the bestseller ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.  Everyone worth knowing is the story of a single woman living in NYC who gets a public relations job and subsequently gets sucked up in the city’s most affluent event management circuit. Life altering revelations and scandals mar the course of her job and love might just follow through.

Everyone worth knowing is a super fun read for people who love chick-lit.  It’s literally like watching a movie and perfect to curl up with on a lazy day.

3. Tommy Sullivan Is a Freak by Meg Cabot

Tommy Sullivan is a Freak eBook : Cabot, Meg: Amazon.in: Kindle Store

Meg Cabot’s Tommy Sullivan is a freak is set in a typical school setting wherein Katie Ellison just cannot tell the truth. Tangled in an absolute mess of lies, making out with a hot guy from drama club while dating her football boyfriend, dying to get out the truth of the night ‘Tommy Sullivan is a freak’ was written on the gymnasium wall that drove him out of town. Just when things couldn’t take a turn for worse, Tommy Sullivan is back in town and Katie fears that he might just be out for revenge.

4. Prom Nights from Hell

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 Prom Nights from Hell is a collection of five short, horror-romance stories by authors Kim Harrison, Stephanie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Michelle Jaffe and Lauren Myracle.

 It is an exciting collection of dark themed stories.

Circle of Pearls by Rosalind Laker

Circle of Pearls by Rosalind Laker

This Reader’s Digest Condensed Book selection is set in the 15th century and tells the ambrosial tale of romance between a Puritan lord Adam Warrender and a staunch Royalist Julia Pallister. It follows the English civil war, the Great plague, the Fire of London and the rebuilding of St. Paul’s by Sir Christopher Wren. It is a sweet historical fiction with riveting facts and details.

Enid Blyton’s Best Series

When English children’s literature is discussed, the name Enid Blyton is bound to be brought up sooner or later. Enid Blyton was a British author who is known worldwide for her books targeted towards children. Even today, decades after her death, her books can still be found in the children’s section of libraries across the world even today. Out of the numerous books she’s written, she is most famed for her series. They span various genres like fantasy, boarding school slice of life as well as mysteries.

Out of Enid Blyton’s book series, these are her most popular five ones:

The Famous Five series

The Famous Five series

The Famous Five is centered around siblings Julian, Dick, Anne and their cousin Georgina and her dog Timothy. The series is set during their school vacations and follows various adventures the Five experience in the English countryside.

The St. Clare’s series

The St. Clare’s series

The St. Clare’s series is the second school boarding school-based series written by Enid Blyton after the Naughtiest Girl series. The story follows two twin girls- Patricia and Isabel O’Sullivan and their journey as well as the journey of their friends and schoolmates at the boarding school of St. Clare’s. The series sees their growth from conceited and arrogant girls to dignified and kind young women. While the original series contained only 6 books, author Pamela Cox, who was responsible for continuing Enid Blyton’s unfinished works after her death, added 3 more titles to the series.

The Secret Seven series

The Secret Seven series

The Secret Seven series follows the adventures of a group of seven children- Peter, his sister Janet, and their friends Pam, Barbara, Jack, Colin and George. The friends form a secret group, which they call the Secret Seven and solve mysteries together. The Secret Seven is one of Enid Blyton’s rare series in which the characters do not attend boarding school; all seven of the children are shown to be attending day school. Coincidentally, the Secret Seven group is based on a real group of friends. Enid Blyton’s publisher’s son Peter and his friends had a ‘secret’ group of their own; they even possessed badges with the inscription of ‘SS’ on them. Enid Blyton exchanged correspondence with this Peter and through his help laid the foundation of the Secret Seven. In 2018 and 2019, two new books, written by author Pamela Butchart were officially added to the Secret Seven series.

The Malory Towers series

The Malory Towers series

The Malory Towers series is Enid Blyton’s third school boarding school series. It follows the story of Darrell Rivers over her years spent at the boarding school of Malory Towers. The original series written by Enid Blyton consists of 6 books. In the year 2009, there was an official continuation to the series. Written by Pamela Cox, the books were a continuation of Darrell’s younger sister, Felicity’s life at Malory Towers.

The Five Find-Outers series

The Five Find-Outers series

The Five Find-Outers series is another children-based detective series by Enid Blyton. It follows the adventures of Fatty, Larry, Pip, Daisy, Bets and Fatty’s dog Buster and the various mysteries they get entangled in and trying to solve it before the local policeman Mr. Goon.

Why is Reading so important?

When we can watch the movie, listen to the audiobook, or watch a YouTube video synopsis instead, it can be difficult to convince ourselves to read a 382-page book.

Am I correct?

You’re missing out if the majority of your daily reading consists of social media posts, text messages, and news headlines.So, what are some of the advantages of reading books?

Boosts your imagination and creativity.

Reading can help you extend your creative muscles if you’re ever stuck. Reading a book, particularly fiction, enhances your creativity. You become an active participant in the activity when your mind creates a picture of what you’re reading. At least one study backs up this claim. A questionnaire was given to 100 people after they read either a fictitious story or a nonfiction piece. The fiction readers’ responses were more imaginative than the essay readers’.

Enhances concentration

If you’re still not convinced or convinced that reading is necessary, or that it isn’t beneficial to you, it’s crucial to remember that reading actually improves focus. Reading may teach our minds to focus correctly, which is beneficial in practically everything we do on a daily basis from studying to working and maintaining personal relationships. We may all benefit from improving our ability to concentrate.

Reading helps us to break free from the constant state of ‘multitasking.’ It permits us to concentrate entirely on one task at a time and be fully present in it.

Improve vocabulary

Stanovich discovered that passionate readers have a 50 percent bigger vocabulary in the same studies. This is due to the fact that the more you read, the more unfamiliar words you encounter. You can learn the meanings through context or by looking them up, and your vocabulary will grow over time. Learning new phrases is beneficial to your mental health.

Increases your empathy

Empathy is the ability to comprehend and sympathize with others, even if we disagree with them on a particular issue. While some people are born with a lot of empathy, the majority of us could use a little more. Reading can be beneficial. Members of a group read a variety of genres in 2013, including literary fiction, popular fiction, and nonfiction. A control group did not get any information. Researchers discovered that participants who read literary fiction were better at recognizing facial expressions and estimating how the characters in their books would respond during the experiment. This is due to the fact that characters in literary literature are often multifaceted. Readers must be more attentive and empathic.

Create a Feeling of Belonging

A book might also be your best buddy if you are ever feeling lonely or lost. It may sound stupid, but it is absolutely true, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. We’ve all been there, and we could all use some comfort and a nice book.Reading can give us a sense of belonging, give us hope through difficult times, and remind us that we are not alone. Reading about people who have faced similar difficulties and overcame them may be a real source of motivation. If they can do it, you can do it, too! A good book can sometimes be just what we need to keep going.

Is a great Conversation starter

Reading is beneficial not only to the soul and mind, but it also serves as an excellent conversation starter. Reading exposes you to a wealth of new information and allows you to connect with people from all over the world.If two people have read the same book, it will always bring them together, regardless of where they are from. You never know when a book you’ve just finished will come in helpful in a conversation. Perhaps it will help you land the job in an interview, or perhaps it will help you get closer to a romantic partner you’ve been eyeing.

Enhances emotional well-being

Emotions abound in books. With each page turn, they will make you cry at times, and at other moments, they will make you smile. It can make you angry when the story’s opponent succeeds in his terrible scheme, but it can also make you happy when your hero accomplishes his aim. Books have the power to make us happy, sad, envious, loved, betrayed, and many other emotions! Books are thus a mash-up of various conflicting feelings that, in the end, help us grow emotionally!

Improves Communication Capabilities

A key life skill is the capacity to communicate effectively.According to one research, 69 percent of companies prefer to hire persons who have “soft” talents like excellent communication.What’s the good news? One of the most important advantages of reading is that it improves our communication skills.How? Reading every day can help us communicate better in a variety of ways. Reading, for example, can improve your writing skills and expand your vocabulary.

Assist You in De-Stressing

In our busy and chaotic lives, many of us have a lot of things that stress us out, and we’re often seeking for fresh, concrete ways to deal with these worries. Reading, believe it or not, can genuinely help you relax. It’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money on professionals and programs to create a sense of peace; sometimes a simple book can suffice. Reading is an excellent method to unwind and soothe those tense nerves that plague you at work.

In fact, a recent study indicated that just six minutes of reading was enough to reduce muscular tension and bring down readers’ heart rates.Overall, it resulted in a 68 percent reduction in stress levels.

Enhances your writing abilities

If you’re at all interested in the craft of writing, you’re aware that some of the best authors advise extensive reading. You grow more familiar with structure, character development, and literary styles as you read more. This is true for both fiction and nonfiction. Even if you don’t need to write much in your daily life, reading prepares you for any eventuality, whether it’s a Christmas card, an email, a personal blog, or a diary post.

Overall, reading every day increases your chances of retaining your mental faculties and living longer!

Hope for the best, but expect less

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. -Bruce Lee

A friend’s status update on a social media site: ‘Who hurt you? My own expectations.’

Yes, we all have expectations in our lives: what we want out of life and who we want to become. I believe one of the keys to happiness lies within the management of your expectations of people and circumstances. If you do not have expectations, you can never be disappointed. Often we tend to believe that the way we treat others will be the way we are treated in return. But, unfortunately, this does not always happen.

The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations. This is especially true when it comes to our relationships and interactions with others. You need to make sure you enter into relationship with someone who has as big of a heart as you do. If you do not, you may feel as if you are being taken advantage of. You need to find people who appreciate what you do for them and who will reciprocate those actions.

There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations. Having realistic expectations will allow you to accept the flaws each person has. We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives and our own decisions before we can expect others to do the same.

One of the biggest challenges we face in life is learning to accept people for who they truly are. Once you realize that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be. Give without expectation, accept without reservation, and love with hesitation. Unrealistic expectations most often do lead to disappointment. Too many people are obsessed with finding the perfect career or the perfect spouse, and as a result become increasingly frustrated when this does not happen in reality.

Expectation is the root of all heartache. Try to remain confident while maintaining positive aspirations; just remember not to make the aspirations so high that they are impractical or unreachable.

Acceptance is an amazing trait that needs to be actively worked toward. When things do not work out the way we had planned, it is much more beneficial to realize that is how life works rather than becoming frustrated at the situation. Have hope rather than expectations and you will tend not to be as disappointed.

People rarely behave exactly the way you want them to. Hope for the best, but expect less. And remember, the magnitude of your happiness will be directly proportional to your thoughts and how you choose to think about things. Even if a situation or relationship doesn’t work out at all, it’s still worth it, if it made you feel something new, taught you something afresh.

Top Five must read Ray Bradbury books.

To open the pages of a Ray Bradbury novel is to enter an imagination that has travelled far beyond the bounds of our rocky globe, into the most fascinating and perplexing realms of human life.

Bradbury had a productive career as one of America’s most successful novelists, short storey writers, playwrights, and screenwriters, best known for his works Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury, in a strange blend of the futuristic, the spooky, the bizarre, and the nostalgic, could be considered a genre unto himself. Bradbury was a Renaissance writer if there ever was one.

It’s hard to think this isn’t a scenario from one of Bradbury’s books because his writing career began in such a magical way. When he met Mr Electrico at a carnival when he was twelve years old, he was taken around a tent of misfits that would later stalk the pages of his most morbid books. Mr Electrico touched Ray with an electrified sword later that day and whispered to him, “Live forever.”

And Bradbury took Mr. Electro’s vow to heart, writing every day for more than seventy years, establishing a literary legacy that will live on in perpetuity, employing his prodigious storytelling abilities to craft tales that have enthralled millions of readers and inspired a slew of imitators.

He said that he was neither a science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism author, but rather a word magician who was written by his books.

It’s impossible to choose a Top Five list from Bradbury’s seemingly endless works, therefore this will be a list of my favourites and recommended must-reads.

A Ray Bradbury Top Five must-read list must include the following, in no particular order. 

1. The Illustrated Man (1951)

The Illustrated Man — a former carnival worker whose crawling tattoos spun stories of dread and delight — weaves together a series of short stories in this dark and wonderful novel.

Several stories are connected to The Martian Chronicles, and many of them resemble Bradbury’s early futuristic work, such as “The Veldt,” a cautionary storey set in a children’s nursery that conjures up the contents of the imagination. When the children’s parents consider shutting off the nursery, they discover that virtual reality has become all too real, and “Kaleidoscope,” in which an accident rips open a starship and spews its space-suited crew into space, where they meet a variety of ends. This narrative is so amazing that I read it at least twice a year to see how a master works.

Exploring this live canvas with Bradbury as your guide becomes a riveting investigation of the human condition, putting The Illustrated Man among the best Ray Bradbury books.

2. Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Guy Montag, a fireman in a dystopian society where books are forbidden and most people spend their days in front of television screens, doesn’t put out fires; he causes them. Montag is assigned by the authorities to burn forbidden publications that promote free and complex thought, and he works diligently to complete his task. That is, until he meets Clarisse, a lone late-night pedestrian who reawakens Montag’s awareness of his surroundings. Montag begins to have doubts about his technology-dependent civilization and attempts to save the secret realm of printed knowledge that still exists.

Bradbury was inspired to create this grim essay on a post-literature future by the Red Scare of the 1940s, which saw America seized by anti-communist hysteria. While Fahrenheit 451 may be a parable about McCarthyism and Stalinism, Bradbury’s warnings about the pitfalls of political correctness and technological advancements appear to be becoming increasingly prescient.

This short novel, based on his short tale “The Fireman,” is perhaps most recognised for the Francois Truffaut film starring Oscar Werner and Julie Christie. And if that’s the case, people are missing out on a classic science fiction storey with a chilling Orwellian theme. Read the book and watch the movie. Fahrenheit 451 serves as a admonitory tale.

3.  The Martian Chronicles (1950)

The heat from the rocket burns blazes through an Ohio winter in January 1999, as pioneers depart Earth for Mars. In this superb epic about the colonisation of a new frontier in space, waves of settlement missions land on Mars until the planet’s cities are nearly destroyed. Things take a turn when humankind is on the verge of extinction on Earth, and the survivors seek refuge on the planet they once exploited, now a barren wasteland. 

Mars and the ethereal Martians are fanciful imagination in Bradbury’s hands. Despite the fact that he eschewed the hard scientific truths of regulated science fiction writers and preferred old technology to modern — bicycles over cars, typewriters over computers – he possessed a remarkable foresight into the future. Bradbury utilises the unusual light of an alien world to question humanity’s constant avarice in The Martian Chronicles, which might be interpreted as a mirror of postwar life in the Midwest. He reminds us that technical growth is only worthwhile if it improves our lives.

Rather than sticking to science fiction conventions, each chapter is an experiment in style and atmosphere. It does, however, take place on Mars, but it is the Mars of Edgar Rice Burrows and Barsoom, not the world we know from various landers and orbital photographic surveys. In Bradbury’s universe, Martians exist, and when Earthlings come, all hell breaks loose, albeit in a calm, retrospective, and masterfully portrayed manner

The text alone in The Martian Chronicles is worth reading; from “The Off Season”: “The wind threw the sand ship keening across the empty sea floor, past upturned pillars, past derelict marble and brass docks, past dead white chess cities, past purple slopes, into the distant…”

4. The October Country (1955)

Despite his fame as the author of the book-burning apocalyptic classic Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was first and foremost a short-story writer. Dark Carnival, a collection of weird and melancholy stories published in 1947, was his first book. He trimmed, altered, and expanded to this collection eight years later to create The October Country, his ultimate tome of the macabre and bizarre.

Such classics as The Small Assassin, Skeleton, and The Wind, among its lovely bits of autumnal sweets, upend the familiar, creating a world where the mundane is exotic and terrifying. Bradbury’s horror stories aren’t surprising or exciting. It’s the terror of realising that something inside you is out to get you, whether it’s an unborn child or a pile of bones. It’s the terror of living in a world where the winds are conspiring to bring you down. But, though Bradbury avoids gore and the stock creatures of spooky literature, I defy you not to feel a shiver running down your spine as you read The October Country on a dark and stormy night.

5. The Golden Apples of the Sun(1953)

Bradbury abandoned frame narratives for his fourth ‘fix-up’ of short stories and simply juxtaposed tales from a variety of genres. The result is a stunning fusion of his familiar, wistful fantasy, such as “The April Witch,” a haunting tale about a teenage dream-traveler yearning to fall in love, and visionary science fiction, such as the title storey, a terrifying yet beautiful description of a spaceship’s flight into the Sun’s atmosphere.

A seemingly uninteresting storey is tucked within amidst these treats. The film “The Pedestrian” is about a man who enjoys getting out of the house and going for a walk. In a nod to Fahrenheit 451, this society is one in which individuals are cooped up in their homes, engrossed in television — and going for a walk results in arrest. Bradbury warns that technology progress can steal people of their humanity and enforce adherence to the current quo by depicting neighbourhoods as graveyards and people as mindless insects.

A fascinating account of a spaceship’s journey into the Sun’s atmosphere in order to sample some of its composition. Scientifically improbable, but a masterwork of heat, terror, and beauty in Bradbury’s hands. It’s also the title storey in a wonderful anthology of 22 pieces, including “The Fog Horn” and “A Sound of Thunder,” which are both classics.

Happy reading guys.

GDP CREATES NEW RECORDS!

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted 7.3% in 2020-21, as per provisional National Income estimates released by the National Statistical Office on Monday, marginally better than the 8% contraction in the economy projected earlier. GDP growth in 2019-20, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was 4%.

 

The fourth quarter of 2020-21 recorded a growth of 1.6% in GDP, the second quarter of positive growth, after the country had entered a technical recession in the first half of the year. The Gross Value Added recorded 3.7% growth in Q4, compared to 1% in Q3. GVA had contracted 22.4% and 7.3% in the first and second quarters of 2020-21.

 

The GVA in India’s economy shrank 6.2% in 2020-21, compared to a 4.1% rise in the previous year. Only two sectors bucked the trend of negative GVA growth – Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (which rose 3.6%) and Electricity, Gas, Water Supply and other Utility Services (up 1.9%).

Books : escape to utopia

Reading to your rescue

Most of the times, on daily basis, we repeat the phrase “I’m bored,’ multiple times like some mantra. We all need a hobby or something to keep us occupied especially during the lockdown. Since the pandemic our activity has been bounded to electronics. Nearly everything is done through virtual means without a stop to it.

What could we do prevent ourselves from becoming a slave to our phone screens?

In difficult times like these, a little euphoric escape is it. Books.

Whenever we pick up our phones or laptop our first instinct is to either open Instagram or WhatsApp, the itching of checking our companions texts winning over. And that’s how the plan of spending few minutes on social media extends for hours without a break, with no work done whatsoever.

Why not do the same thing with books which can actually do some good for you?

Reading isn’t something that only certain people with talent can develop. Its a universal habit which even a kid adapt from a very young age, if desired.

Many people say that they just don’t get the time to read them or that they get bored easily. Its because they don’t put effort in finding the books that will suit their taste or they’re just too lazy to stop scrolling through their Instagram feed.

Sometimes people pick up reading only to refine their English speaking or writing skills, which is a good initiative since a lot of them don’t really pay heed to importance of knowing the primary language.

Books are often seen as a coping mechanism, an escape from this reality as we call it. The fiction world is mesmerizingly shocking, slowly becoming an addiction to most of us.

Personally I am a multi-genre reader, always looking forward to a new approach but it surely differs for every individual. Every person varies from another, falling into a particular category of genre that would surely spark their interest.

Reading books is not just a matter of pleasure but also for the sake of benefits beyond enjoyment. It soothes you and is effective, both mentally and physically, the benefits lasting for lifetime.

It is scientifically proven how reading effects your brain networks making it more stronger and sophisticated. It builds your vocabulary which will help you in college exams and further job opportunities. Reading is the best way to increase your exposure to new words.

 

What should you be reading?

Now that leaves us with one main last question. What should you read?

As earlier discussed everyone has their own preferences and a genre that offers them the rush and excitement. The first thing you need to do is discover what genre or storyline can make your chest bubble with excitement and without a single thought, get your hands on that book. Or if you need to go with something short and easy assessible then maybe blogs can fill that requirement for you.

The effects of reading are cumulative and that is why its never too late to start reading and take many psychological and physical benefits as possible.

5 INDIAN MYTHOLOGICAL FICTIONS ONE MUST READ

India has a very rich and diverse cultural heritage. If you study India’s history, you will see the lavish lifestyle of the people back in the days. But it is not limited to recent few centuries only. This richness goes way back to the times of gods and goddesses. All this is recorded in the books of literature of the Indian heritage. 

India also has a wide range of books and scriptures one can read if they are into Indian mythological genre or simply mythological genre.

It is a country famous for its wars and folklores and hundreds of things that make Indian history quite an interesting subject. Most of us have grown up listening to these stories by our grandparents. 

Some of the authors have revamped these stories in their creative imagination. Some characters are taken from the most famous stories of Indian history and represent a different aspect of those stories. These have been widely appreciated and loved. Here’s a list of top 5 Indian Mythological fictions one must read at least once:

  1. The Pandavas series by Roshan Chokshi:

An amazing book for the youngsters that tells the story of a young 12-year-old girl named Aru Shah. Her family runs the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in America. Things turn around for Aru when her friends force her to rub an ancient lamp which releases a sleeping demon. Next thing you see is Aru on an unexpected adventure to set thighs straight by finding the reincarnations of the Pandavas and her journey through the kingdom of death. The series has not yet been completed. But is humorous and full of adventure. The author subtlety and cleverly connects the ancient world to the modern world. 

  1. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni:

You might have heard the epic of Mahabharata many times. But have you heard it from the perspective of the one major cause behind the war, Draupadi? The Palace of Illusions tells this epic from the perspective of Draupadi, her feelings, how she struggled to find a loving home all her life and how she felt when she might have felt when she was gambled away in a game of chess by her five husbands. The book sums the story in 360 pages and tells her side of the story.

  1. Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi:

One of the most beloved books of people, the Shiva trilogy is a must on this list. Amish Tripathi is known for his storytelling and lucid writing. He intertwines the story of Lord Shiva with a fictional background. He beautifully narrates how a common man because of deeds and karma become a God for people. The first part is The Immortals of Meluha, the second The Secret of  Nagas and the third is The Oath of Vayuputras. This is a must-read for all the Shiva as well as mythological lovers. 

  1. The Ramchandra series by Amis Tripathi:

Another brilliantly written series by the author Amish Tripathi is his second expression into the world of mythic-fiction. Like his previous work, The Shiva Trilogy, The Ramchandra series is also a bestseller. This time Amish explores the epic of Ramayana, each book from the perspective of the three main characters the epic revolved around. The series consists of two books Scion of Ikshavaku and Sita: Warrior of Mithila. This series is much better than the Shiva Trilogy in terms of storytelling and plot. The first part, i.e., Scion of Ikshavaku is from the perspective of Lord Ram, the second part, Sita: Warrior of Mithila is from the perspective of Sita, Lord Ram’s wife. Now the third book of the series is awaited which will be from the perspective of Ravana. 

  1. Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan:

Anand Neelakantan is famous for his books on the two most famous epics of Indian history, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The story follows the original storyline of the original Ramayana but what is different about this book is that it tells you the story from the perspective of Ravana. It gives you the story of the other side, the side which is never told while telling the Ramayana. It is a fresh approach towards the epic of Ramayana and is a page-turner.

There are several other books which are worth giving a read. The list could go on and on. These Indian authors have brought a different perspective of the stories we have heard like a hundred times before.

These books are worth your time. After all who wouldn’t love to divide into the royal, fantasy land even if you only get to experience it through a book and your imagination.

Books on Indian History which You Must Read

Indian History has been the theme for many books. Whether its fiction or non-fiction, there are plenty of books which deserve to be on the list of must-read books written on the topic of history. These books give one a detailed understanding of India’s history.

Be it comprehensive historical books or fictional accounts of a historical incident, there are many options for you to choose from. If you are a person who loves both reading and history then the following 5 books are just the right choice for you.

The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is an Indian Economist and writer who had won the Nobel Prize in 1998. This book is a collection of essays and it will help one understand the Indian polity. It focusses on the importance of public debate, argument and intellectual diversity in the Indian civilization of the past. Sen writes about his view on how and what will lead to the success of democracy in India.

India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is an Indian writer and researcher whose areas of interest include society, politics and history. India After Gandhi is a book describing the journey of modern India, from post-independence from the British in 1947 until the 1990s. The book will provide one with a thorough understanding of India’s social and economic spheres. It covers the country’s political history over the later part of the 20th century.

The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian, writer, critic, art historian and curator. He has won several awards and prizes for his writings. The book is a comprehensive description of the time period when the Mughal empire started declining in India. It will be a treat for people who love reading history. It is about the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar II, and it provides an account of 19th century India with the tale of the emergence of the British Raj.

Another famous book by him is White Mughals which is his fifth major book, it tells the story of the love affair between James Achilles Kirkpatrick and Khair-un-Nissa Begum at the backdrop of nineteenth century Hyderabad.

The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first prime minister and he wrote this from 1942 – 1946. This book was written by Nehru when he was imprisoned by the British. It is a tribute to the rich cultural heritage and legacy of the country. It provides an account of all major developments in the subcontinent from the period of Indus Valley Civilization to the last years of the British rule.

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning writer, novelist and poet. The book is about the tale of the epic Mahabharata, written from the perspective of Draupadi (Panchaali). It tells the story of the woman who fights, endures a lot living in a patriarchal world. It is a historical fiction which traces the historical tale and the life of Panchaali.

The Kite Runner – A Book Review

Author – Khaled Hosseini

Publisher – Riverhead Books

Country – United States

Language – English

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a historical fiction which is set in Afghanistan and America at the times of the Soviet Afghan War. It is one of the most loved books by readers across the world. The Times describe the book as “Heartbreaking”. It was a number one New York Times bestseller for over two years, with over seven million copies sold in the United States. It has also been made into a motion picture after being a best selling novel.

The book is a beautiful and endearing tale of two friends, Amir and Hassan who grew up together in ”a peaceful but prejudiced Kabul”. They share a beautiful bond of friendship but the surrounding social prejudice intervenes in it. During their childhood years, they spend their days flying kites along the streets of Wazir Akbar Khan district. Amir occupies a special place in Hassan’s heart and he expresses his love for Amir in a few words, ”for you, a thousand times over”. These words happen to be the book’s most iconic lines. Hassan who was the servant’s son was a Hazara and suffered tremendous social and cultural discrimination for that. During a kite flying event, an incident changes their relationship forever. Eventually Hassan and his father move out of their house.

Their lives change dramatically when the Taliban arrives in Kabul and the Soviet Afghan War changes the entire atmosphere of the country. After 5 years, Amir and his father escape the country and move to America to start a new life. Amir continues to suffer with guilt for the past. It is after he grows up to be a successful writer that he receives a call from a familiar voice of the past and goes back to Kabul. The story takes a different turn at the end when Amir discovers the truth that his relationship with Hassan was deeper than he realised.

Born in Kabul, the author draws inspiration from his own life as well but the plot and characters of the book however are fictional. The characters of the book are beautifully woven and the story is unforgettable. Several conflicts within the plot makes the readers fall in love with the characters. The book created some controversy within Afghan readers as it portrayed Pashtuns as prejudiced towards Hazara people. The racial and religious extremism is deeply saddening and the violence is frightening. The kite has been portrayed as an important symbol which represents Amir’s guilt for his betrayal towards Hassan and thus he does not fly a kite after that incident until the very end.

The book encourages its readers to look at the world in a new way and provides a different perspective for a country which has long been stigmatised. The message conveyed by the book towards the ending offers some hope for its characters and also for war torn Afghanistan as well. The book is highly recommended and it is sure to make a lasting impression on readers.

Reading Habit

One of the many goals which we want to achieve in life, developing a reading habit should be one. It may seem tough at first but with time and practice, everyone can achieve it. While some have mastered it, others might be struggling to be consistent with it. Many of us have tried reading at some point of time and failed to keep at it consistently. This may happen because of a number of reasons but none of them mean that we can’t start with it again and give it a try. One of the most common ways in which people start reading is starting with a list of “Good books to start reading with”. The internet is flooded with such lists and many people have shared their suggestions. A book which has some literary value, is easy and engaging is a great choice to start with. According to many bloggers and writers the following list of books can help someone who has been trying to start reading for a long time.  

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

While it may work for some, others may not find it helpful. One of the common things which we fail to notice is the fact that most of us can’t bring ourselves to sit down with a book. This may be due to lack of time. In the middle of a busy day we fail to make time for reading. External factors like a proper surrounding can also be the reason for us getting distracted and impatient. So for people who can relate with these, a few suggestions can work. First of all, set a separate time for reading. Look at your schedule and take out a time which may be ideal for starting a new activity. Setting aside a specific time of the day for reading will help you focus more and be attentive.

Second, create a good reading atmosphere. Clean your surroundings and de-clutter everything around you. Attention depends a lot on external factors and an unkept background can often make you inattentive and disturbed.

Third, make a reading list. Write down all the books which you want to read next and keep ticking them off once you’re done. This will be like a to-do list and will motivate you to read. You can also take up reading challenges like ‘Ten books in a year’ or ‘One book a month’. Remember to start small and go one step at a time.

Fourth, start reading with a friend. Select a book and make a plan to discuss with your friend once you complete it. You can also start talking about it among yourselves and discuss about what may happen next. This will make you definitely finish the book and also speed up your pace.

Fifth, be consistent. Make it a point to read everyday. Even a small 15 minute would do. Once you skip a day it will become a habit and you’ll start repeating it. The same goes for the opposite. Once reading everyday becomes a habit you have developed the habit of reading quite well. So happy reading!

Bibliotherapy

This is the art of reading books, as a part of therapy. Therapy is actually a treatment for those who are going through mental pressure or anxiety, and heals them from tensions. Doctors prescribe different therapies according to the needs of patients. Therapy can be performed on a clinic as well as also at home. As we all know, books are a man’s best friend. A friend like a book won’t be leaving you in your worst times, as because it will remain by your side no matter what, you can take during a Journey, or at Afternoons, you can gift it to you close ones etc. Earlier times when there was no form of modern entertainments or gadgets, people used to read a lot to enrich their knowledge. Reading used to be an excellent method for time pass back then, as many were housewives and weren’t allowed to go out or get socialized that much. Reading is an ancient practice which are becoming rare, almost obsolete as days pass by. Now those people only read who is having a fascination towards it. Reading distracts your mind from everything around you, and sometimes it even feels like you are the part of a character. Reading actually needs a lot of focus or one won’t understand the topics properly. When you read you start imagining the whole thing in your mind . You somehow tend to connect with the stories as if it was happening with you. Reading books is a very good habit which needs absolutely no companion and stimulates your thinking and beliefs. This helps you to think more and more which is a good exercise for your brain. You can spend hours and hours reading an interesting book but still won’t get bored of its twists and turns. During childhood the kids are given books like fairy tales which took them to a fantasy world. We all have read Snow White and the seven Dwarfs, Little Mermaid but unfortunately kids nowadays prefer the cartoons over books. Books provides us with an abundance of knowledge. Reading makes you feel more self sufficient and complete by yourself. Books can be of different languages also having variety of classifications like Detective, Horror, Humorous, Romantic. You can choose your favorite Genre and spend time reading, this is definitely going to cure you from any kind of stress or depression by taking you to another word. We do not get enough time to read books due to the busy schedule, but it is okay to take a break sometimes and spend your leisure time reading new stories. Reading is often the best remedy for a lonely mind. It seems like someone is there with you and supporting you throughout. There are several autobiographies and biographies on eminent and renowned personalities i.e., Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and many others. You get to know a lot about their lives and this inspires you indeed. Reading helps you to become a much better person. You get involved in the book within no time because you are a creator then as you create the scenarios and visualize them all by your own. Hence this is an efficient way to divert your mind from any kind of traumas or depressions.

Reading has almost no disadvantages, you need not have to be a bookworm, if you genuinely love books you will take care of those. Many of the children from this generations do not go for buying books because of its costs rather they download it from the online book platforms directly for free, where the essence is somewhere lost. Library is an abode of books which is an organization stocking ample of books together. These libraries are becoming a matter of past due to the shortage of readers, it is unable to run anymore and mostly getting shut down. No one visits Libraries nowadays to read Story books. Many films are being made adopting the storylines and mostly everyone prefers to watch them over reading the books where the incidents and situations are manipulated according to whims and fancies of the directors. It is good to read to at least pay tribute towards the writers who put their heart and souls it in and spends months on their work. Books can be of various types like Novels, Short Stories, Fiction etc.

Print vs Digital: Reading in the Modern Era

Much has changed with the advent of technology and globalization in our societies. This change comes in all kinds of forms, from how we dress and eat to how we study and engage. Reading is an arena where this is very evident. Our reading habits have changed drastically with the inflow of gadgets and technologies that transform the reading experience. It has also affected how we engage with what we are reading, our attention span, and the ability to grasp and recollect the things we read. While many prefer older ways of reading like directly from a book or newspaper, more people are turning to the digitalized spaces to read what they are interested in.

The print versus the digital media has always been an ongoing tug of war. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but as time moves on, one is bound to see a shift in reading habits, when a generation that grew up with technology starts becoming the main consumers of the market. Reading printed copies of books and newspapers are many a time described as a wholesome activity with no ‘modern’ interruptions. It allows the individual to engage with something tactile, a book with pages they can feel, touch, and turn. It also allows one to mark passages with pencil and scribble down notes on the sides. And how can one let go of the sensory experience, the smell of old books, and the satisfaction of putting it down after finishing it or running your hands through the worn pages? Researches also opine that one is prone to remember better when one reads something in print rather than from a screen.

person reading on book
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

However, with the evolving ways of being and living in a technological era, change is inevitable. Today it is not uncommon to read entire books online or as a pdf on a computer. Books are available in these formats for sale as well as for free on some sites. Gadgets like the Amazon Kindle have furthered this field by offering a digital device that can store a large amount of information and books which you can access at all times. It is like carrying around thousands of books in your pocket and very efficient in that sense. It is also a very convenient and cost-effective investment. Books online tend to be much cheaper than paperbacks or hard copies. So, investing in a kindle and buying and reading books online turn out to be much more economical than spending on printed material. As a betterment from the app, kindle as a device also does not have any screen glare which makes the experience of sight exactly how it is as that of a book.  It also allows you to highlight, bookmark, and add notes. However, the aesthetic experience that paperbacks afford is almost non-existent here.

In the end, it comes down to what you and your preferences are. Older generations tend to prefer reading print, but also a huge part of the current generations lean towards print as well when given a choice between the two because of the experience of holding a book in your hand and reading. However, we should never discount the conveniences that digital reading affords, especially in such a fast-paced world. Understanding the limitations of both while embracing what is best suited to your situation in life, without discounting either completely, is the only way to go about it. Mixing both as and when required in order to gain the most out of it and learn better should be our goal. And one can keep wondering if reading as a phenomenon refers to only the act of reading or if it denotes the entire sensory experience.

Daily habits of self-made billionaires that can improve life

There are billions of people in the world but only a few are billionaires. Not everyone has created phenomenal businesses and changed the world in a significant manner. What makes them different from others? What gives them the energy to pursue their goals and what others can learn from them?

Despite billionaires being different in their approach, expertise, and come from different corners of the world, they have one thing in common- habits. Almost all of them share a certain set of habits that make them successful. These don’t come from one’s DNA but have been adapted with time to achieve massive success and wealth.

  • Rise early: Each and every billionaire’s success mantra has been to wake up on time. Most of them said that their day starts around 5:30 AM. It gives a person more time to think in silence, work without disturbance, and can plan the day well. Now waking up early doesn’t mean getting less sleep. It is always recommended to sleep for 6 to 8 hours to function properly.

 

  • Maintain health: Without good health, life can be terrible. No amount of success or money would able to make the difference. Whether billionaires are 40 or 80, all make sure to maintain their health by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. Some follow a strict workout regime, some also involve themselves in games. These sports help you teach about success and failure, which are essential skills for business and life.

 

  • Read: Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway reads 500 pages a day as he believes reading is the most valuable source of knowledge. Read books about how to do the right things, about how to behave well, how to be a good person, etc. To be updated on what’s going on in the world, read newspapers regularly.

 

  • Contemplate: Sit around and think! Daily at least for an hour give yourself alone time. In that either meditate or do some relaxing activity. Develop new ideas, organize your thoughts, and gain more clarity. It is best when done in the mornings.

 

  • Be disciplined: Set extremely high standards for yourself and the people around you. If you take an example of sports, you can’t win a game if you don’t have enough discipline to train yourself daily. Be a quick learner and don’t procrastinate. Limit all sorts of distractions that prevent you from attaining your goals. Always be eager to grow your skills.

 

  • Commit to routine: Whatever the routine you have set up, commit to it thoroughly. Typical elements of a billionaire’s routine include: waking up early, reading a lot, healthy diet, exercising regularly. Also doesn’t matter when you do your routine in a day, the most essential is that yes it is completed.

 

  • Do things differently: Many people simply follow the crowd. No matter how hard of truth this is, one can’t be a billionaire by copying others- doing what everyone else is doing. Go against the tide and make a path for your own self. If you find yourself stuck in the rat race, it may take time to get out of it but do so. Nothing comes easy and being a billionaire definitely doesn’t. Think about what you can do that will truly revolutionize your life.

 

 

 

4 Productive Things To Do During Quarantine

REMINDER: IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE PRODUCTIVE EVERYDAY. YOUR WORTH IS INDEPENDENT OF YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

PART 1

Here are 4 productive things to do during quarantine:

1. Learn to play an instrument

Playing an instrument is a great skill, you could start with an instrument that you have always thought of playing- a guitar, a ukulele, a tabla or an instrument that is fascinating to you. Though it will take some time to get used to the habit of following YouTube tutorials or online lessons, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll realise just how rewarding it is. With so much time on your hands you’ll not be under any pressure to reschedule your day and make time out of you busy schedule, instead you’ll be able to take it at your pace and pay more attention to details. 

Here’s a list of easy to learn instruments: Top 15 musical instruments you can easily learn & play

2. Read more books

There are hundreds of thousands of authors and an even bigger amount of books you could read. Books are an essential item for improving your language as well as your vocabulary. They develop your knowledge – and like instruments, they help sharpen your memory. If you don’t want to shell out money from your pocket and/or are sceptical to order paperbacks online from stores like Amazon or Flipkart, the easier way out is free e-book websites. 

You can try and give EPDF or PDF Drive a shot. 

3. Bake

Baking is incredible and extremely fulfilling: mix a few ingredients, put it in the oven – and bingo! You have a tasty treat for yourself. Baking can also be advantageous for mental health as it is very therapeutic and calming for the brain. Research show that it is a great stress reliever and can leave you feeling happier and more positive.  

Here are some YouTube channels that will make you want to run to you kitchen to get your supplies

  1. Bake With Shivesh
  2. The Terrace Kitchen
  3. Spice Bangla

4. Learn a new language

If you want to level up and attempt a more challenging activity, which will benefit you exceedingly- learn a new language. It is scientifically proven that learning a new language makes you smarter and helps in developing cognitive abilities. Learning a new language help strengthen your listening and multitasking skills. Research also suggests that it helps prevent the onset of Alzheimers. 

There are plenty apps and e-learning wesbites that can help you learn a language. These include: Affordable yet excellent language courses on Udemy and Coursera also offers such free and paid courses by prestigious universities from all over the globe.