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Finished reading "THE GREAT DERANGEMENT: Climate Change and the Unthinkable" by Amitav Ghosh. It's an assessment of the state of global warming caused chiefly by unrelenting human polluting activities. The steady increase and devastating power of cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes etc. The failure of governments and environmental movements alike to curb the trend. A thought-provoking read. This book was published in 2016. Amitav Ghosh is an award-winning Indian writer and academic.

9780226526812

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Finished reading GERMINAL by Emile Zola, a prolific 19th century French writer. This novel is Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French language. First published in 1885, GERMINAL is a harsh and realistic portrayal of coalminers' appalling working and living conditions in northern France in the 1860s. The miners' struggles against their exploiting bosses climaxed with a protracted strike and destruction of one mine through sabotage. The rebellion was suppressed violently.

Zola

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Finished reading CHESS, a novella by Stefan Zweig. The author was born in Austria. In the late 1930s, after Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Zweig fled from his homeland, lived briefly in the United Kingdom and United States, and finally settled in Brazil where he died in 1942 at age 60. CHESS was published later that year in Argentina. The action takes place in a passenger steamship sailing from New York to Buenos Aires with a stop in Rio de Janeiro. Reigning world chess champion is travelling. Some passengers request a chess match with him. He agrees condescendingly and demands a fee. He wins easily. His opponents request another match during which they get unexpected help from a stranger who happens to be passing by. The stranger helps them to win against the champion. It turns out that the stranger, Dr B, has left his native Austria after being severely persecuted by pro-Nazi forces and is on the verge of mental insanity.

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Finished reading "WORDS TO LIVE BY: Daily Inspiration for Spiritual Living", compiled by Eknath Easwaran. It consists of 365 passages from various religions traditions and from the writings of literary and scientific figures, with commentary by Easwaran.

Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna, the Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Saint Augustine, Saint Teresa of Avila, Thomas Γ‘ Kempis, Jalaluddin Rumi, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Albert Einstein etc.

For the past year I've started my day reading and meditating on a passage in this book.

eknath

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Finished reading "BOOK ROW" by Marvin Mondlin and Roy Meador. Book Row refers to a stretch of Fourth Avenue and intersecting streets in Manhattan NY USA. From the 1890s to the 1980s there was a proliferation of used bookshops in Book Row, from 14th Street in the north to Astor Place in the south and from Third Avenue in the east to Broadway in the west. Those bookshops sold secondhand books, rare first edition books, antiquarian books, manuscripts etc. Their customers consisted of book lovers and collectors, students and teachers and college professors, researchers, general readers etc. The booksellers also built and replenished university libraries, public libraries, as well as the personal libraries of millionaires and influential people like JP Morgan, Franklin D Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy and Steven Spielberg. From the 1950s to the 1980s Book Row shrank one shop at a time until only one giant was left standing, the Strand Bookshop. Rising rent, aging booksellers, higher operating costs and redevelopment caused the demise of Book Row.

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