Connect the dots

“Then i looked at my hands in the flickering candlelight”

The prompt for today suggested i pick up the nearest book, open page 82 and make a post based on the 3rd line from the page. So i took this one from Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami.

I’m not a fiction buff. But most of my favorites from the genre have been written by Murakami. His tone centers around loneliness, great music and the 60s. The writing style has always had me glued on. Today when i read the line on top, i wondered if it could mean something in a different context. The only thing i can think of is to look through the darker uncertain times with sheer Pollyanna optimism. In the book the character is confused about visions pretty similar to the way we build notions and let them guide us. So let that flickering candle not dampen a moment’s enthusiasm. Believe. That’s what i really took away.

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[Book Review] 59 Seconds

I’ve been catching up on my reading & thought it would be good check out one on behavioral psychology. I love the recommendations from the Amazon store and it so much more intelligent & richer than Flipkart. The Kindle has driven up my reading by at least 5 times. Anyways, the book i’m reviewing this time is 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman. I’ve read one of his books called Quirkology before & i really like his style of explaining simple habits & events. Richard always puts forward a theory or a hypothesis and backs it with facts & research. Undeniably this puts the focus on implementation. His facts compel the person to try out little knick knacks towards becoming a better one.

Richard emphasizes on expressing gratitude & thinking about a perfect future by cataloging them in to a journal. Evidently, writing down clears up ones thought process and needs just 5 minutes a day. He explains what are the  key differentiating features when several candidates appear for an interview to how successful people set measurable goals which include spending time with loved ones. He sets up a plan at the end of nearly each chapter of the book to guide one in to making changes and in some cases he even throws in an exercise or two to help you understand yourself better. I got to know from one simple one that i’m right brained (that one didn’t even need me to fill a questionnaire or look at some fancy images). Some other insights are in to how people are receptive to new ideas when they are relaxed, that pop music / jazz have the same relaxing effect as total silence & classical music can help in lowering one’s blood pressure!

He touches on nearly all aspects of any person’s life from relationships, parenting, decision making to personality. All the chapters are interspersed with simple hacks that can help just about anyone. I think this is a good read for anyone looking to cut out procrastination / looking for making changes in behavior or habits / to simply improve their decision making. The takeaways make this one totally worth it!

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Library Love

Library_minutelyinfiniteLibraries offer a quite abode of peace for the wandering mind. I’ve always been drawn to the narrow alleys, seething in the smell of old books. It offers a certain kind of solace. Like the world may have changed over years gone by, but those words are still there to offer comfort.

I’ve always been an avid reader. The kind who would light up a torch under the blanket when the lights are turned out to continue reading. Don’t quiet remember what or who got me in to it, but reading has been one of my favorite things to do. The comfort of slipping away in a book is like having a conversation with the author or the characters one to one. Maybe that’s why movies made out of popular books don’t feel as good as the book you read. There is of course a limit to what movie makers may replicate.

When i was younger i drooled over classics. Talk about Jane Eyer, Dickens and the works. Fairy tale me not, i never found them worthy of my reading time. But as i grew older, my interest moved in to reading pure sciences. Being where i was brought up, there weren’t too many of those to read (this was the late 90’s & online bookstores hadn’t caught up). So i’d plead to my father to bring some over from his business trips to New York. Hail Borders (now Barnes & Noble) , the book store at the World Trade Center that eventually got destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. I still have the books from there. The interest then moved to philosophy, so i bought a bunch of books on the subject and read up all i could on how it came to be. I even dabbled in psychology for bit and tried reading Freud. I must say tried. By the time i got to my B-school, i was absolutely fascinated with the world of finance. I mean we were reeling under the 2008 financial crisis & i really wanted to know what’s a bubble. Off i went on a reading spree like a finance nerd. Though i didn’t major in it, i learnt a lot from the books i read.

As of now, i read just about anything i can get my hands on. But if i have to choose, then technology / biographies / behavioral psychology are the genres that appeal to me the most. Having something to read offers me a certainty, that i can slip in to without bothering anyone. The takeaway is always huge & i think books tell you a lot more about facts than what you will read in a 100 articles online. So take up a good read & slip away in to bliss. It will be a rewarding experience.

PS: The photo above is a view of the enormous library at Calcutta Club. It’s got 3 floors & one could just get lost in the good collection of books they have.

In the meanwhile i leave you with the 10 best songs on Libraries/Librarians.