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

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

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

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