Shilalekh

What Life Teaches Me Everyday

Category: Books

Adultery by Paulo Coelho: Story of How to Find True Happiness

adultery

I just finished reading Adultery by Paulo Coelho. I have merely one word for the book: Incredible. It is only the third book that I have read by him, but as usual it has left me craving for more.

The first half of the booked dragged a bit, like the protagonist. As she delved deep into her mind and moved in a perpetual rigmarole, the book seemed to take the same circuitous approach. Sprinkled of course with Coelho’s insights about human mind, body and soul.

Half-way through, the book picked up pace as the leading lady found the fog around her mind clearing up. But the best was saved for the last 40-odd pages when she delves into her soul and tries to find meaning behind her existence.

I find Coelho’s writing to be abstract and unwieldy at times but the clarity with which he presents the abstractedness of human minds is brilliant. I have read The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes too. With those books as well I found the first half a bit drawn out unnecessarily but at the end the narration left you with a desire to continue.

Adultery is the story of a woman in her thirties, who has been married ten years, has everything that she could want but still is unhappy.

Adultery is the story of that woman in pursuit of happiness. Which translates into a quest to discover oneself and try to understand the reason behind one’s existence.

The book tells you that you must keep testing your limits to understand yourself. You must keep learning from whatever you do. For that is how you will find true love and love is everything to live for.

The love you find need not be, and rather should not be, the carnal love. It should be a love for yourself, for God, for humanity and for everything that you do. If you do something not out of love but obligation or compulsions, you will lose meaning of life and drown deep into the abyss of meaningless existence.

One of the characters in the book says:

We aren’t what we want to be. We are what society demands. We are what our parents choose. We don’t want to disappoint anyone; we have a great need to be loved. So we smother the best in us. Gradually, the light of our dreams turns into the monster of our nightmares. They become things not done, possibilities not lived.

And that is not what God planned for you. God wants you to live your every dream. God wants you to be happy and satisfied.

God wants you to learn to love till you are one with the Universe around you and find true happiness.

Book Review: 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know

10 ultimate truths girls should know

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis is a book written for the teens and tweens as well as their mothers. The book claims to be a Christian way of bringing up daughters but is for anyone who is interested in bringing up her daughter the correct way.

The seeds of the book were sown when Kari wrote a speech when she was invited by a counselor friend of hers to speak to a group of girls. The talk struck a chord with the girls and she was invited again the next year. Sometime later, she wrote a blog 10 Truths Young Girls Should Know that has been shared on Facebook over 75,000 times and pinned on Pinterest over 28,000 times. The popularity led Thomas Nelson to come out with the book titled 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know.

The book expands her basic 10 guidelines for young girls from the blog post in form of 10 commandments like

  • Kindness is more important than popularity
  • You were born to fly
  • Trust God’s plan for you

I especially liked the chapters on confidence and perseverance because I could instantly connect with the ideas. The chapters tend to get preachy and longish at times but after finishing a chapter it’s just the messages that remain with you. I also liked the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and the small quizzes interspersing the content. These can be good starting points for initiating discussions with your own daughters.

If you are a teenaged girl getting confused by your own as well as your peers’ behavior, this book is for you. If you are a young girl who wants to chart out the correct future path for yourself, this book is for you.

If you are a mother who wants to bring up good, caring and loving daughters, this book is for you. If you are a mother who feels your daughter has a problem but you don’t know how to broach the subject with her, this book is for you.

I call this book a great resource and handbook for every mother who has to raise daughters.

Year 2015: 3 Books in First 10 Days

#BrunchBookChallenge

The first Sunday of 2015 was a special one for me. My maid decided to take an unannounced leave. Our plan of a sumptuous lunch of fish curry and rice went down the drain. As I washed the utensils, I tried to think of something simpler to cook for lunch, which would not be too much of a letdown for my daughter. Suddenly my husband came rushing to the kitchen, waving the newspaper excitedly in his hand. He insisted I wipe my hands and read it immediately. Though reluctantly, I did so. It was the #BrunchBookChallenge Part 2 announcement. I read the ad through and resumed my work, my brain already working at a feverish pace.

30 books to be read in a year, 2and ½ books per month, as they put it. Could I manage it? Will I have the time? How many books had I read in the past year? Five, ten or fifteen? I couldn’t be sure. Moreover, most of the books I read were repeats, books like Prizes, Doctors or As the Crow Flies that I read often because they are my favourites and I pick them up when I am feeling especially happy or sad. I hardly read five or six new books last year. So buying and reading 30 books would be a daunting task.

Then I realized that it was a voluntary challenge for me to accept. It was an opportunity for me to resume my avid reading habit. If I could not complete the challenge, there was no penalty for it. Moreover, I was already reading a book I had started two days ago. So may be that was the good omen. So I decided to take up the challenge and plunge in it head on. Till now I have already completed three books and here is a lowdown on all of them.

Revolution 2020

2nd January was the first working day of the year. After a late lunch I felt like reading a book. A book that I had not read till now. On souring my bookshelves I came across Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat. I had tried reading it way back in 2011 when my husband had bought it but could not go beyond 10 pages. Anyway, for lack of anything better, I started reading it and managed to complete it. The writing style was simple to the point of being not called any style at all. It seemed to be written for being developed into a film. It was more of a plot outline rather than a complete book. The only thing that kept me going was I wanted to know what happened in the end. And not by straight away reading the last 2 pages!!

Half Girlfriend has also found its way into my bookshelf. Let’s see when I will be able to complete it.

The Omen

The Omen by David Seltzer was the second book I have read this year. You might be surprised that I haven’t read this thriller masterpiece till now. Well, I knew the book by reputation but as I was prone to bad dreams till my college days, I chose not to read it. However, as they say, all is well that ends well. I finally read the book, in one sitting, so engrossed I was in it. Robert Thorn’s search for Bugenhagen was especially gripping.

Be Careful What You Wish For

This Part 4 of Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer was true Archer from cover to cover. I had not read it till now thinking that I would read parts 4 & 5 together, but that was not to be. When I went to order books from Flipkart to start on my 30-books odyssey, this was the first book I ordered. And now I can’t wait for the next one, which is claimed to be the final book of the series.

The book had me in its grips from page one, when I started by hoping that Sebastian was not killed. And the last page has left me craving for more. Kudos to Lord Archer for not letting his fans down ever!!

 I will keep you posted on the books that I read. Meanwhile, you can let me know the book you are reading now. Or better still, why not join the HT BrunchBookChallenge Part2.

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