Hey there! It’s been quite tardy. Thanks to my own revolt with coronavirus, busy commitments in life, and a litany of other stuff, have been late in writing the next set of reviews. However, that doesn’t mean I had stopped reading. From e-books to audiobooks but mostly clinging on to my favorite, paperback ones, I had continued spending time doing one of my most favorite things. Here are some amongst the ones I had an opportunity to read:
All The Light We Cannot See-Anthony Doerr
Fiction or real-life-based stories set in wartime or various propitious timelines of history is always fun to read. It gives us glimpses of all the happenings and what were the lives of the common plebian in those times. This poignant fiction set in the backdrop of the Second World War revolves around the lives of Marie-Laurie, a blind young girl living in Paris with her father, working in the Museum of Natural History, and Werner, an orphan living in a small town of Nazi Germany with his only sister. With the onset of the war, twelve-year-old Marie is forced to flee Paris with her father when the Nazis occupy Paris. They seek refuge in the remote seaside citadel of Saint-Malo in the house of their great-uncle.
On the other hand, Werner develops a propensity for communication equipment and instruments which lands him in the infamous Hitler Youth. There his expertise is adeptly exploited. He is sent all over to various places in the concourse of the war and finally to Saint-Malo where his path crosses with Marie-Laure's. Touching, evocative, realistic, and heart-warming, this piece is one of its kind. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 2015, this is one of the best works of Anthony Doerr.
Many Lives Many Masters- Brian Weiss
I had been meaning to read this for a long. One of the all-time bestsellers on non-fiction, this book acutely encapsulates the existence of our past lives and our psychic connection to them. Dr. Weiss, like many of us, had been skeptical about the existence of past life. But in the later course of his career, this becomes one of his key techniques in the form of past-life regressions in treating his patients. Numerous instances from the encounters between the prominent psychiatrist and his patients with vivid incredible descriptions makes this an informative read. Especially for those interested in the innate relationships between the mind and soul. Enduing vicarious manifestations of past life upon his patients has helped several of them successfully overcome a plethora of problems like trauma, anxiety, depression, insomnia etc.
Arms and The Man-George Bernard Shaw
A play is often fun to read. This play indited by the famous George Bernard Shaw is set against the backdrop of the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885. The Bulgarians are finally successful in overpowering the Serbs in this tooth and nail war. One of the main characters of the play, a young Bulgarian woman named Raina is engaged to his fiancée, who is an army officer for the victorious Bulgarians. However, one night, her bedroom is encroached upon by an escapee Serb soldier, who is hungry, intimidated, helpless, and without much hope. However, instead of handing the knackered soul over to the Bulgarians, including her fiancée, Raina, with the help of her mother Catherine and their domestic help Louka helps in giving him all the succour he needs and allows him to furtively stay at the refuge of their house. With antidotes and serious turns of human character, war-time events, and conflicts of emotions, this drama is more than a one-time read if one seriously pleases to analyze all the characters and the plot from various angles.
A Simple Scale-David Llewelyn
I was fortunate enough to get hands on the digital form of this incredible masterpiece. The plot revolves around three crucial timelines binding the plot in its own accord: 1930s Leningrad, 1950s California, and post-9/11 New York. It chiefly involves two queer music composers from USSR and the USA respectively: Sol and Sergey. The plot unravels when Sergey’s grandson, Pavel comes to modern-day post-9/11 New York and accuses now-acclaimed composer Sol of plagiarising one of his grandfather’s pieces. Sol’s personal secretary Natalie has an untold world of her own trying to cope up after the 9/11 attacks and that collides with Pavel. In tandem flashbacks, most of the story centers itself around the lives of Sol and Sergey, the latter’s early life of survival in one of Stalin’s adverse labor camps ensuing in the 1930s USSR, and the former’s conflict with the ideals of anti-queer and intimidating McCarthyistic America and struggle in pursuing his career as an artist in a competitive, lopsided and stereotype-torn California rife with powerplays, social stigma, exploitation and oppression against the liberal-minded or queer community.
However, amid all the inferno in their personal fronts throughout their youth, they find a piece of heaven within themselves. But this heavenly spell is short-lived. The only thing that again remains between them was that piece of music. A magnificent tale of love, aversion, struggle, suspense and separation, this is one of the best pieces I have read in recent times, hands-on.
When it comes to Robin Cook, we expect only one thing: a nail-biting medical thriller. However, this is not about any pernicious virus or some bioweapon that has to be subdued in a race against time to save countless lives. This is about three friends, our very known Jack Stapleton, a New York City medical examiner, and two of his college mates, archaeologist Shawn Daughtry and now New York Archbishop, Kevin Murray. The first leg of this gripping thriller describes Jack fighting against his own demons both in professional and personal life, tormented by his terminally ill infant from his second marriage and a post-mortem on a young woman, dead under mysterious medical circumstances.
However, the crux of the novel is based on Shawn Daughtry’s tenacious and indefatigable quest in unearthing a startling discovery nestled at Saint Peter’s Rome despite all risks of religious sacrilege and resistance from his friend, the orthodox Archbishop. This phenomenal discovery has paramount medical and historical implications. Kevin is desperate to conceal this secret from the public to prevent religious fracas and also to safeguard his image within the annals of the church, which had been his turf in galloping towards the zenith of success. Who succeeds? Who fails? Does this explosive discovery emanate in broad daylight? Or does it furtively retreat back to the darkness in accord with Kevin’s desperate motives?
Why We Sleep? -Matthew Walker
Though did not have an opportunity to read through the pages of this modern non-fiction bestseller, even the audiobook was a captivating treat! Prof. Matthew Walker, neuroscience and psychology expert at the University of California, Berkeley, takes us through an enlightening journey about the most crucial yet neglected facet in each and every one of our lives-Sleep. How many of us have an accurate expatiation of sleep? We don’t feel the need to do so, honestly. But it is far more circuitous than envisioned. Sleep itself is a complex labyrinth of various components and stages, along with the interplay of multifarious physical, physiological, psychological, habitual, and various other minutiae. The more is said about the book, the less. From the brilliant description of the process of sleep itself, its various nuances, pressing issue of insomnia amongst millions to the practices and lifestyle which can endow us to bolster this beautiful and indispensable thing in life, this bestseller is a must-try! Centered completely about rational and scientific data and a plethora of evidence, this book divulges intriguing facts which most of us were oblivious to to date. It is hard to review non-fiction always. But this masterpiece deserves at least a 4 on 5 from my en!.