“The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself” is written by Sean Carroll. I have been through an audio version of this book. I enjoyed the whole book. Its interesting because it deals with physics, cosmos, spirituality, human life, thinking. I understood Bayesian thinking in which one has some preconception about a fact, he tests the fact and then updates the understanding about the fact. Something what many may not like is the discussion in which the author supports on naturalism and almost may turn you into atheist.
Rating: 3/5. The discussion on lot of topics on physics and cosmology is good. The discussion on naturalism and thinking is stretched. At some point one could think that the author is only discussing of his interests and not connecting with reader.
“Abstract: The Art of Design” is a documentary on professional from the field of applied arts. Its a Netflix original and made of eight episode having one person and their art featured in each of them. It was very interesting and illuminating for me. Some of the episodes in the documentary itself seemed like a piece of art. My top 3 choice in them would be those featuring Christoph Niemann, Es Devlin and Bjarke Ingels. The series could be found on netflix here.
Rating: 4/5. Very inspiring to anyone who’s involved in art and would want to know what could be done in that field.
“Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength” is written by Jim Stoppani. Its truly a condensed encyclopedia of many exercise and nutrition tips. He starts with exercise plans, later covers description of different movements effective for different muscle groups and finally ends with nutrition discussion. Its comprehensive and seems quite up-to-date with inclusion of calisthenics and whole body exercises as well. I took long time to read, doubted if ever I could finish.
Rating: 3.5/5. Good sections would be on exercise plans and nutrition. No in-depth discussion on nutrition. Description of movements is very brief and lacks photos, beginners my not be able to follow.
“A History of India” is a series of lecture offered by The Great Courses company. This is a series of 36 lectures of 30 mins length each. The lecturer is professor is Michael H. Fisher, Ph.D. I found this course extremely interesting. Its more of a narrative and story telling type. Its refreshing for me, as in school I have learnt and forgot. He provides great amount of information on the Indian subcontinent too the present date, covering various topics listed here :- http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/a-history-of-india.html
Rating 4/5: Could have been made more visual, overall a very good course to understand about political, social, and economic Indian history.
“Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties” is written by Beth Kobliner. It has lot of tips on financial improvement. I am an Indian, but most of the book is about getting the finances right in the country of United States(US). I could still parallel some of the concepts to the economy in India. Mostly I read through the principles with seemed sound. I took almost a year to read mainly as I did not find it interesting in any one topic.
Rating: 2/5. Not interesting. More on tips rather than a treatment on any particular subject.
“The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” is written by Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. I have read through an audio version of this book. After going through this book I feel this should be on my shelf always. I would like to re-read it again and again. Douglas spins this book around conversations with Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu on various topic related to joy, their experience and stories. Douglas discusses with them on pillars of joy and views of each of them on it. At the end of the book there is also exercises to help get some joy. Topics like interdependence, humility, humor, etc are discussed elegantly. I think this gave lot of depth of humanness to my perception of the concept of joy.
Rating: 5/5. Simple, structured, thoughtful, elegant inquiry into being joyful and happy.
“Books for Living” is written by Will Schwalbe. I have listened to an audio version of this book. I liked the tone of the book in its narrative convention. The book is about books that the author is fond in relation to inspiring him at various stages in life, and also relating to his various events in his life. He weaves the books along with his own episodes of life. He also discusses about his gay orientation and its various aspects and episodes. Well, the list of books I don’t remember much but a person “Lin Yutang” appears in lot of places in the book and author is greatly influenced by his philosophies in life.
Rating: 3/5. The book on books is enjoyable to those who like reading, its not inspiring. It is fascinating to reading through though.