The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter

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): A Review

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: A Review

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: A Review

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: A Review

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: A Review

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: A Review

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: A Review

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

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst - A Review

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: A Review

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