Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

Check it out on Goodreads Nothing extra-ordinary in terms of content, but special when you think of the book as a compilation of useful frameworks to think about time. Alas, I stumbled upon Four Thousand Weeks at such a point in my life where I’ve already been a productivity addict for so long that it’s impossible for me to make a fresh start. The central theme of the book - that you won’t ever get to do all the things you’ve set out to do so you should consciously choose and be happy about your choice - is such an aphoristic statement that no matter how you spin it, it always feels bland....

September 21, 2022 · 2 min · Siddhartha

Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl

Check it out on Goodreads One of the principal joys of reading is to discover the magic hidden in the seemingly banal things in life. I would’ve never cared to think twice about the intricacies of designing buildings and urban spaces, had it not been for this book. This serves as a gentle introduction to the fascinating study of how subtle differences in design of public spaces affect interactions on a much more broader scale....

April 21, 2022 · 1 min · Siddhartha

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer

Check it out on Goodreads Ethics is hard. If I’ve learnt something all these years, it is this universal maxim. Everybody wishes they’d make ethically sound choices in their lives, but more often than not, ethical choices are in contrast with cost and convenience. Nowhere is this more apparent than the way we consume food. There are a lot of similarities between food and religion. Both are deeply personal choices which are erroneously thought of as having a clear, set winning answer....

September 1, 2021 · 4 min · Siddhartha

Shame by Salman Rushdie

Check it out on Goodreads Now that I’ve moved away from reading fiction, I find that I face a lot of inertia to pick up something purely for pleasure. Maybe this is a nasty by-product of wanting to be as “productive” as possible. But the more I have drifted away from reading for pleasure, more mechanical the whole process has become for me. Partly to avoid this feeling, and partly because of my shame at seeing my bookshelf filled with dusty unread books, I picked up this one to assuage my feelings of guilt....

August 17, 2021 · 2 min · Siddhartha

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Check it out on Goodreads Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. I have no affinity for running, even for short jogs, and much less for wanting to run long distances. Although this is not because I hate exercises - one of those rare things that I figured out early in life was my desire to remain healthy as long as possible and that of course means I need to keep myself fit - but probably my distaste for running stems from the monotonous nature of the activity....

August 14, 2021 · 4 min · Siddhartha

Annihilation of Caste(Annotated Edition) by Arundhati Roy

Check it out on Goodreads I find India really fascinating sometimes, even though I’ve lived my whole life here. What the cultural multitudes and colorful festivals hide underneath is an ugly facade which threatens to break everything that has been built over the years. What I find most fascinating is how we’ve conditioned ourselves to ignore the blatant reality and move ahead with an oblivious calm, living in shit and aspiring for the gold....

July 23, 2021 · 3 min · Siddhartha

Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan

Check it out on Goodreads I have had a very curious relationship with religion, although now that I talk to others, it was a much more normal experience than what I led myself to believe. I followed the typical path of receiving a particular religion from my parents (born a “Hindu child”), which had a supporting role in my life up until my late-teenage/early-adolescent years. As is the norm for every child brought up in religion, I used to consider myself special believing that I had a “personal relationship” with God....

March 18, 2021 · 4 min · Siddhartha

Azadi by Arundhati Roy

Check it out on Goodreads I don’t have a lot of friends who are supporters of the ruling BJP (well at least the ones who have disclosed it publicly), and consequently whenever the conversation shifts towards the ongoings in India, more often than not, we find ourselves agreeing with each other. Although this is perfectly alright for me on most days, on few ocaasions, I find a shadow of a doubt slowly creeping up inside - what if I’m living inside a bubble, an echo-chamber where I only get exposed to the ideas which I already hold to be true, especially relevant now that everything in our lives are getting regulated by algorithms....

September 30, 2020 · 4 min · Siddhartha

Stoner by John Williams

Check it out on Goodreads Reading fiction has always been a double-edged sword for me. Some of the most intimate moments I’ve spent alone is while reading fictional stories, while at the same time, feeling a pang of disappointment for myself because I wasn’t doing anything “productive.” Is this mere entertainment? Am I just escaping my real-life responsibilities and reading stories of make-believe? While I still haven’t found sincere answers to these questions, I’ve grown more confident of what I enjoy and what I don’t, which has consequently helped me find peace with this conflict....

June 28, 2020 · 5 min · Siddhartha

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Check it out on Goodreads How to fool the world and become a Billionaire I remember hearing about Elizabeth Holmes when I was in my late teens, at that impressionable age when you get hyper-inspired by reading about icons that are going to change the world. There was a profile of her in Wired, with an eye-catching image of her wearing a turtleneck black sweater holding what looked like a test-tube with a tiny amount of blood with a science-y background....

May 1, 2020 · 2 min · Siddhartha