Neither a borrower nor a lender be

I recall getting one of my first autographed books in 2013. It was from Yasmeen Premji, the wife of billionaire Azim Premji. It was at the book launch event of her ‘Days of Gold and Sepia.’ That year, I would also get the autographed copy of ‘I’ll do it my way’ by Christina Daniels and ‘Men on my Mind’ by Radha Thomas. But I would foolishly (a few months later) lend these autographed copies to someone and never get them back.

After this incident, which still rankles, and several others where people I know have borrowed books, only to never return them or returned them in a damaged condition, I’ve become absolutely blunt (if necessary) with them that my books aren’t for lending. On rare occasions, I have deviated from this principle, but in general, I realize that people don’t value my books the way I do. And drawing boundaries with people is the only way I can have any kind of satisfactory friendship with someone.

Speaking of boundaries, I recently bought a copy of ‘Set boundaries, Find Peace’ by Nedra Glover Tawwab. I got this book recommendation from Melody Wilding’s newsletter. I have spoken about Melody Wilding before on my Instagram here. Nowadays, there is more awareness about HSPs or highly sensitive people. About 20% of the world’s population consists of HSPs. Coach Melody Wilding’s work will resonate strongly with you if you belong to this section of people. So do let me know via comments if any of what I said struck a chord. Ciao.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The books I have been reading

  1. I’m 71% through with ‘The Murder at Lemon Tree Grove: Iqra Investigates ( Aunty Millennial Book 1) by Andaleeb Wajid. I’ve been taking my time with this one ‘coz I’m simultaneously reading other books. I love the romance between Iqra and her husband Saad. Also, I find the book a light read so far.
  2. Out of the blue the other day, I received a copy of ‘Inferno’ by Dante Alighieri, so I read 25 pages of it.
  3. I bought and read my first ‘Hole’ book by Lesley Denise Biswas with illustrations by Anupama Ajinkya Apte. The story is about a grandma who has Alzheimer’s, and this serious topic is explained in such a way that little children can understand what it is. The book also shows us how in villages, sometimes people are labeled “mad” due to a poor understanding of mental health matters.
  4. I also read ‘A Christmas tail’ by Sudesna Ghosh on Kindle Unlimited. Engaging writing, cats, and nice people make for a short story that puts a smile on one’s face. I recommend it to cat lovers! Check out my interview with the author.
  5. I have a number of new books I’ve bought recently. Will get to them in due time and post about them after reading.

There’s so much to read; so little time! What have you been reading these days?

Photo by Praveen Gupta on Unsplash

Some of the stories and videos I consumed recently

  1. Lizzo’s episode of carpool Karaoke – You can view it here.
  2. About 30 minutes of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – movie
  3. The image of the lost soul- a short story by Saki
  4. I also read several articles online.
  5. I watched the first short story ‘Forget me not’ from the Ray anthology on Netflix

Pic from Unsplash

What did you consume today? Have you read/ viewed any of the above? Do leave and comment and let me know.

Bookish Indulgences

Bought two books yesterday.

I read ‘Second Time Around’ by Ranjani Rao from ‘Desi Modern Love’ – An anthology of true stories, which I had bought a while back.

Got back to reading ‘Andaleeb Wajid’s’ The Murder at Lemon Tree Grove. I’m 43% done with the book and it’s available on Kindle Unlimited. Liking what I’ve read so far.

Will be dipping into ‘The Penguin Book of Indian Poets’ now. Glad I own it. I treasure the copy.

What are you reading?

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you’re supposed to let your readers know what you’re currently reading, what you recently finished, and what you think you’ll read next.  

I’m currently reading – The Murder at Lemon Tree Grove: Iqra Investigates( Aunty Millennial Book 1) by Andaleeb Wajid

What I recently finished – Paati Vs. Uncle by Meera Ganapathy and the audiobook of ‘The Werewolf’s 15 Minutes’ by Jonathan Maberry.

What I think I’ll read next – Atonement by Ian Mc Ewan

Book Blogger Hop

So just a couple of days ago, I shared a Bookish Blog Tag that I saw posted by @booksare42 on Twitter. Today, she posted a great question for a book blogger hop that I’m answering.

Photo by Joyce Busola on Unsplash

If you are listening to an audiobook, do you follow along with the print version?

I haven’t had much success with audiobooks. My mind drifts when I listen to an audiobook. But your idea of following along with the print version is pretty good and maybe I should try it.

Drawing on my instructional design knowledge, I can give some gyan that we are all different types of learners. Some of us need to see words on a page, while others do better when they listen. ( auditory learners). I belong to the former category, but my eyes are being overstrained.

So maybe I will try it out a bit later:)

What about you, dear reader?

There are no foreign lands

Jeffrey Sheehan served as Associate Dean for International Relations at the Wharton School for 30 years. He has lived, studied, worked, and volunteered in 85 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He has amassed 13,464 visiting cards and out of them, he has extracted 17 who had nothing in common other than the author’s respect and affection. Were there characteristics these individuals shared, despite being from different countries?

The author’s hypothesis “is that there are humans today, representing a variety of cultures, civilizations, ethnicities, and spiritual traditions; speaking multiple languages; and following vastly different pursuits, who share what I believe are some common dispositions.” He believes that these characteristics can help interconnectedness.  

He disputes the concept of the clash of civilizations advanced by Samuel Huntington and concludes that fundamental similarities in human disposition make communication and resolution of differences possible. The book is an inquiry into intercultural communication.

Book Cover

The 17 individuals selected for the book include:

  1. Luis Fernando Andrade Moreno- Colombia
  2. Boediono- Indonesia
  3. Chanthol Sun-Cambodia
  4. Dawn Hines-US
  5. Eric Kacou-Cote ‘d Ivoire
  6. Rosanna Ramos Velita-Peru
  7. Durreen Shahnaz- Bangladesh
  8. Shiv Khemka-India
  9. Jacob Wallenberg-Sweden
  10. Anthony Hamilton Russel-South Africa
  11. Keisuke Muratsu- Japan
  12. Arantxa Ochoa-Spain
  13. Leslie C. Koo- Taiwan
  14. Vassily Sidorov-Russia
  15. Roberto Canessa-Uruguay
  16. James Joo-Jin Kim- Korea
  17. Yu Minhong – China

The author creates a snapshot of these 17 individuals, with their unique cultural, educational, family backgrounds and the shaping of their attitudes to philanthropy, materialism, micro-finance, spiritualism etc. He concludes that everything is a spiritual problem and that spirituality is the solution to every problem. If we are true to our authentic selves, we can exercise control over our own spirituality. Intercultural communication is facilitated when one is free and spiritual.

The book was first published in Chinese for Shanghai University Press and enjoyed a two-month run on the best-seller list in China. It includes a glossary, maps, and uses Arno typeface, which is named after the Arno River. It is available for free on Kindle Unlimited. This is a book for everyone who has an interest in how people can work together more collaboratively and productively.

The book is available on Amazon.

My Book Review of ‘Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India’

Rising – 30 women who changed India – a non-fiction title by Kiran Manral and published by Rupa covers the inspiring journeys of 30 Indian women from various fields who blazed a trail for others to follow. Manral has allocated a chapter for each achiever, and she has meticulously listed all her references from secondary research at the end of each chapter. A few of the achievers have been interviewed as well.

In the Introduction, Manral says, “The aim of this book is not to eulogize these powerful women or to put them on a pedestal. They probably wouldn’t care for something as pedestrian as pedestals anyway; they shine wherever they are, regardless of spotlights. The aim rather is to tell their stories, through what we know of them, from information available in the public domain or from first-hand accounts given by those who were gracious enough to spare some time to tell us about their journey.”

Book Cover

The women featured include Sushma Swaraj, Sheila Dikshit, M. Fathima Beevi, Mahasweta Devi, Amrita Sher-Gil, Amrita Pritam, Sonal Mansingh, Lata Mangeshkar, Anita Desai, M.S.Subbulakshmi, Harita Kaur Deol, Madhuri Dixit, Bachendri Pal, Rekha, Chhavi Rajawat, Karnam Malleswari, Shailaja Teacher, Hima Das, Naina Lal Kidwai, Shakuntala Devi, P.T.Usha, P.V.Sindhu, Ekta Kapoor, Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom, Menaka Guruswamy, Tessy Thomas, Aparna Sen, Kiran-Mazumdar Shaw and Maharani Gayatri Devi.

The first woman to be featured in the book was Sushma Swaraj – the former minister of External Affairs in the Narendra Modi-led government. She was also the former CM of Delhi and former Lok Sabha Speaker.

I was particularly inspired by the chapters on Mahasweta Devi, Amrita Pritam and Anita Desai, literary luminaries who have won major national and international awards for their pathbreaking work.  Of Mahasweta Devi at the Jaipur Literary Festival, Manral says, “The speaker was Mahasweta Devi – author, iconoclast, social activist; the labels didn’t really matter.”

Of Amrita Pritam, Manral writes, “In her writings and her life, she leaves behind a legacy for women writers in India which urges them to defy social constructs and constraints, challenge them and to live and write as she did – unfettered.”

About Anita Desai, Manral writes, “With her immense body of work, she remains firmly one of the most powerful voices in post-colonial Indian writing in English.”

“Every story is replete with takeaways, lessons to be learnt, not just professionally but otherwise, too. These women have lived life on their own terms, becoming a beacon of hope to many others, women and men alike. If after learning about these inspirational women, a young girl, anywhere in the country thinks to herself, ‘That could be me! If she can do it, so can I, this book would have served its purpose,” says Manral towards the end of her Introduction.  

I recommend this book to young women who aspire to follow the pathbreaking women before them who have earned a place in India’s history in the fields of politics, sports, acting, art, writing, painting etc.  

You can buy the book here.

This review is powered by the Blogchatter Book Review Program.

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