Waking Up by Sam Harris

Check it out on Goodreads A disappointing jumble of thoughts Disappointed. I am an atheist interested in the power of mindfulness and the whole world of so-called spirituality, so naturally, I am the ideal audience that Sam Harris is looking for. But it disappointed in almost every domain that I had expectations in. Using deep-sounding difficult words and wrapping them in an almost mythical aura of “Consciousness”, this one was a huge letdown....

April 15, 2020 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru

Check it out on Goodreads World history in a nutshell More than 1100 pages, this behemoth of a book still fails to capture the whole essence of world history - and rightly so. How can you combine over 2000 years of human history and still do justice to every element? But the unique manner in which this book - or more appropriately, collection of letters - has been written, it shines brightly amongst the plethora of history books you can find on this vast subject of world history....

March 12, 2020 · 2 min · Siddhartha

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Check it out on Goodreads Reasons you should read this book: If you’ve ever had a panic attack. If you’ve ever counted the number of times the ceiling fan rotates, just so you could avoid dealing with the endless voices in your head. If you’ve ever felt ashamed to admit that you might be suffering from the D-word. If reading about personal stories of how people overcame their mental illnesses soothes you....

January 28, 2020 · 1 min · Siddhartha

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music by Robert Greenberg

Check it out on Goodreads I have been a lover of music since my early childhood - runs in the family - and have imitated and performed songs (mostly inside my own head) on numerous occasions. Despite this lifelong love affair with music of all kinds, there was one particular genre of music that always baffled me. Mostly because of my own ignorance, but partially also because nobody else was talking about it....

January 16, 2020 · 2 min · Siddhartha

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky

Check it out on Goodreads There are few books which leave you in a mesmerizing state after having read them. You ponder about it for days to come, want to scream your head off about it to anyone who’d listen, and then dwell in this fear of picking up another book because how can something else ever come close to being this perfect! I have felt this way before - first when I’d finished The Complete Sherlock Holmes, later when I was left in a daze for multiple days after finishing the notorious and brilliant House of Leaves, and much more recently when I was unable to sleep after reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker....

September 12, 2019 · 6 min · Siddhartha

Range by David Epstein

Check it out on Goodreads Started with a tightly-knit structure, but faltered at the end. The last few chapters were a slog to get through - mostly because of numerous “business-class” style case studies. Main takeaway? Other than the central idea around which the book revolves (and succinctly mentioned as the book subtitle too), the idea of interleaving is what struck me the most. I had already read about this particular method in Michael Nielsen’s brilliant post on Anki (“Augmenting Long-term Memory”) and it was interesting to read about it formally in the book....

September 5, 2019 · 2 min · Siddhartha

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

Check it out on Goodreads The School of Life - a massively popular YouTube channel - used to be this source of solace in some turbulent times of my college life. It is not something that you’d think would be cheerful and uplifting - a quick glance at some of the most popular videos of the channel would include titles such as “Why we go cold on our partners”, “Why you will marry the wrong person” etc....

February 14, 2019 · 3 min · Siddhartha

The Stranger and The Plague by Albert Camus

Preamble Philosophy has always been one of those baffling things that entice you at first by its simplicity, but as you get sucked into it more and more, you find yourself searching for the end of this labyrinthine landscape. I had my first exposure to anything related to philosophy in my second year of college when I stumbled upon The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. At the time, it was one of the fascinating books I had ever read....

January 21, 2019 · 7 min · Siddhartha