Book Review : The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson

My favourite lines from the book :

My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius…..Instead measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator.

Unlike any self help book, this guide puts forward a ‘counterintuitive approach to living a good life’. Now what would you expect from a self help book : assurances like ‘you are special and born to extraordinary things’, ‘ whatever you think is or isn’t, you are right’, ‘keep trying’, ‘don’t doubt yourself’ and the like. But not this book. This book tells you that you are not special. ( And after reading the book, I agree with Mark! )

Mark Manson has very adeptly laid down his counter-intuitive thoughts well- illustrated using anecdotes from his life and those of his acquaintances. Throughout the book, you will get to read lines like : ‘Don’t try’ ( the first chapter) , ‘You are not special’, ‘Doubt your own thoughts’ and the best part : his reasoning and rationale is not flawed. In fact this is what make this book worth reading – because of Mark’s candid and uninhibited way of laying down secrets of living a happy life, secrets which are not in accordance with the generally- accepted philosophy, yet holds water. He has also laced his writing with profane humour & unbridled expressions. ( The title of the book is proof itself ! )

All in all, this groundbreaking book will definitely help you in re-evaluating your mantras of life. And according to Mark,once you do that you will realise that living a contented and happy life isn’t that difficult after all.

Highly recommended.

Book review – I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Malala

‘I come from a country, which was born at midnight, when I almost died, it was just after midday.’

–   Malala Yousafzai

Also known as ‘The girl shot by the Taliban’, and now the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize ( a Nobel Laureate at an  age of 17) for her inspirational battle against the dreaded terror group and for her contributions in the field of promoting female education, Malala has become  a household name. She has rightly become the face of international activism for education for girls which is a right that many of us take for granted. But it takes stories like that of Malala to make us realize that even a right as basic as education is a privilege, as there are people in some parts of the world who are fighting the good fight simply to be able to go to school.

This autobiography penned by Malala in association with Christina Lamb is an account of an ordinary girl and her ordinary life in her beloved ‘Swat valley’ with her family comprising of her parents, two younger brothers and two pet chicken. She talks about her parents, how her father named  her ‘Malala’ after the Afghan warrior princess ‘Malalai’, the beauty of her ‘Swat Valley’, her Pashtun ancestry, her school friends, her everyday struggle from going to school to studying to competing with her best friend in school, her desires and wishes for a bright future,  her father’s educational activism, the gory capture of her town  by Taliban, atrocities inflicted on people under the seize, moving out of her town with her family for safety, living in a constant fear yet advocating girl’s educational rights, her father receiving death threats from Taliban over radio, getting shot and her miraculous recovery, her new life in Birmingham – it is an extraordinary account of a girl who has seen far enough for a teenage girl. It is evident from the book that Malala’s father has greatly influenced her daughter’s mindset making her fearless and instilling in her extreme sense of regard and pride for her motherland. She has grown up watching her father struggling to build a school and convincing girls to attend it – something that is condemned in their valley, hence it is not surprising that Malala values her  education and is ready to fight for it. She dreams of becoming a politician and alleviating the political situation in Pakistan.

The poignant recount of the ill-fated day when she was shot keeps the reader on the edge of the seat right up to the day when she wakes up in a London hospital –showing the world how a miraculous escape from the bullet can turn the table on terrorism. The bullet that was meant to silence the voice made it even louder and now she has evolved as the face of an international campaign for female education.

The book does not give a detailed account of the initiatives taken by her to promote female education worldwide, neither does it explore further on the subject of female education and its current status in the world. But what it provides is the story of a brave, teenage girl written with great simplicity and innocence who has become a role model  for every girl in the world. The book is replete with pictures from her past, her post recovery days and her new life in Birmingham.

All in all, a great book that will leave you with a sense of deep regard for the education you have received, and a compelling desire to do your bit for educating the less – privileged ones  around you .

To buy this book, plz visit : http://fkrt.it/IvVOn!NNNN

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Dear Sherlock

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To

Mr. Sherlock Holmes
Consulting Detective
221-B Baker Street, London

Dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes,

For a girl who has spent her childhood lost in the world created by Sir Doyle, reading about your prowess in criminal investigation, your theory of meticulous and precise deductions, the innocuous arrogance and supremacy towards Scotland Yard, the faithful friendship with confidant Dr. John Watson, the subtle but witty sense of humor and amusement at flattery, the frivolous fights with Mrs. Hudson (the landlady) over shooting the wall to fight boredom, – Sherlock, you are an idol. The youngest of the Holmes family and preceded by elder brother Mycroft Holmes whose intelligence exceeded yours, yet you were the crime solver.

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I cannot thank Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enough for introducing you and your stories to the world. A genius who is so accurate in reasoning and deductions, yet unaware of the fact that earth revolves around the sun – what goes in your mind palace is a mystery to me. Detached from emotions and sentiments you are a cold Consulting Detective, yet your friendship with John is most celebrated; Untouched by love – yet there is an enigma surrounding your admiration for Irene Adler – The Woman who outwitted you ( that makes her even more special ! ) and whose intelligence left an indelible impression on your mind; you are a paradox to me.

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You, along with your doctor friend, – Dr. John Watson for whom I have immense respect, have solved unsolvable mysteries and brought nefarious criminals to book. No matter what it took, you risked your own life and faked your own death to doom your archenemy and criminal mastermind, Professor Moriarty. The world is indebted to you both for you bravery and valor. Oh! Your death! , How deeply it would have pained John! But your miraculous return after three years left both of us reveling. But you never insisted on becoming a hero.

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To you, Sherlock, I would like to confess my deepest love and admiration.

With a heavy heart I say, you are my favorite FICTIONAL character.

 How earnestly I wish you were for real!

– A proud Sherlock fan

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