Rabbi Harold Kushner dedicated this book in loving memory of his son Aaron who died in 1977 at the age of 14 of the incurable genetic disease progeria.

 

The question Kushner addresses in the book:

 

"If the universe was created by God and is governed by god---who is loving and kind---then why is there so much pain and suffering in it ?"

 

Rev

Finished reading "The Flour Convoy" by Chaitram Singh.

Singh's award-winning first novel is a political thriller of sorts, set in Guyana around 1980-81. That era was characterized by growing authoritarianism, food and commodity shortages, repression of dissent, rigged elections, etc.

Within this scenario "The Flour Convoy" places the Guyana army, the central character being a West Point-trained captain named Allan Conrad Moore.

While Moore and some other army officers carry out their duties with professionalism, other officers including the Chief of Staff engage in various hustling activities, abusing army equipment and other assets in the process.

The novel explores the inevitable conflict between professional and corrupt soldiers. It runs along a riveting plot and is enriched by the real-life experience of the author as a GDF officer.

Captain Moore is a composite character, but the reader who knows the author's background can detect similarities between Moore and Chaitram Singh's real-life army buddy and fellow West Pointer Conrad Taylor.

For a first novel, Chaitram Singh has excelled as a fiction writer.

I must thank Mrs G for buying this book for me.

Originally Posted by Rev:

 

Rabbi Harold Kushner dedicated this book in loving memory of his son Aaron who died in 1977 at the age of 14 of the incurable genetic disease progeria.

 

The question Kushner addresses in the book:

 

"If the universe was created by God and is governed by god---who is loving and kind---then why is there so much pain and suffering in it ?"

 

Rev

The answers is in the words of Christ. Mahammad and Buddha contemplated the same things. Form no attachments to the material world for in the end we will leave it all behind. Illnesses of the body we cannot control, sickness of the mind we cannot control. But Freedom we have-to choose. And most of mankind chooses the devil's ways-whose aim is to destroy. For God did not make man to suffer death. 

 

"More than simple principles and platitudes, the POWER OF NOW takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and to reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality."

 

Rev

Finished reading "THE MURDER OF MAXIM GORKY: A Secret Execution" by Arkady Vaksberg.

Maxim Gorky was a famous Russian writer. His novel "Mother" has been read worldwide.

Gorky died under questionable circumstances in 1936 at age 68.

In this book, Vaksberg provides an impressive body of documented material and anecdotal information from people connected with Gorky to show that the writer had outlived his usefulness to Stalin and had to be put out of circulation.

 

"The self taught Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan had a flair for strange and beautiful formulas, so unusual that mathematicians are still coming to grips with their true meaning. He was born in a poor Brahmin family in 1887 and was pursuing original research in his teens. In 1912 he was brought to work at Cambridge. He died of malnutrition and other unknown causes in 1920, leaving a rich legacy that is still not fully understood. There has never been another mathematical life story like it: RIVETTING."

 

 

Rev

Rev, my boss has this book in his office.  He's intrigued by Ramanujan.  He visits India frequently and a few times Ramanujan's home in Tamil Nadu.  He said it's like a tourist attraction and all the taxi drivers know the address.   I've read bits and pieces but will try to read it in its entirety.

Originally Posted by Observer:

Rev, my boss has this book in his office.  He's intrigued by Ramanujan.  He visits India frequently and a few times Ramanujan's home in Tamil Nadu.  He said it's like a tourist attraction and all the taxi drivers know the address.   I've read bits and pieces but will try to read it in its entirety.


Observer:

 

When you get some free time---check out this video on Ramanujan---you may want to share it with your boss----go ahead and read the book.

 

RAMANUJAN: Letters From An Indian Clerk

 

 

Rev

 

Finished reading "Cursed Days: A Diary of Revolution" by Ivan Bunin (1870-1953).

In 1933 Bunin became the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

This diary, which he kept in Moscow and Odessa in 1918 and 1919, reflects events in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Not being a supporter of revolutionary leader Lenin and his Bolshevik cause, Bunin was forced to flee his homeland. He settled in France until his death.

Without question, Bunin was a master fiction writer in the realist tradition.

Finished reading "The God of Small Things" by Indian woman writer Arundhati Roy.

Ms Roy wrote this novel 17 years ago and it won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997.

Although she wrote a few more books afterwards, "The God of Small Things" remains her only novel.

The book is set in the south Indian state of Kerala with a three-decade time period starting from the late 1960s. It focuses on extended-family relations, caste and class relations, love, jealousy, intrigue, spite, incest, tragedy.

I'm impressed with the quality of Ms Roy's writing, considering it is her first published book.

Product Details

 

Originally Posted by chameli:

Sir Gilly i read that book  and Rohinton Mitry's such a fine balance when i was preggy in 1998...so many times my stomach got sick and made me vomit...so many times i was in tears and had to put it down

i kept saying i would read it again but never got around to it

I don't doubt you, Chameli. The story is powerful enough to bring out the emotions you experienced. It underscores Ms Roy's exceptional skill as a writer.

I was also shocked at the brother-sister sex at the end. I didn't expect it although I know twins are very close and almost inseparable.

Originally Posted by Gilbakka:

Finished reading "The God of Small Things" by Indian woman writer Arundhati Roy.

Ms Roy wrote this novel 17 years ago and it won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997.

Although she wrote a few more books afterwards, "The God of Small Things" remains her only novel.

The book is set in the south Indian state of Kerala with a three-decade time period starting from the late 1960s. It focuses on extended-family relations, caste and class relations, love, jealousy, intrigue, spite, incest, tragedy.

I'm impressed with the quality of Ms Roy's writing, considering it is her first published book.

Product Details

 

Read that many moons ago, Bookman.

Originally Posted by IGH:
Originally Posted by Gilbakka:

Finished reading "The God of Small Things" by Indian woman writer Arundhati Roy.

Ms Roy wrote this novel 17 years ago and it won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997.

Although she wrote a few more books afterwards, "The God of Small Things" remains her only novel.

The book is set in the south Indian state of Kerala with a three-decade time period starting from the late 1960s. It focuses on extended-family relations, caste and class relations, love, jealousy, intrigue, spite, incest, tragedy.

I'm impressed with the quality of Ms Roy's writing, considering it is her first published book.

Product Details

 

Read that many moons ago, Bookman.

You beat me to it by many moons, IGH.

What amazes me is that Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect, but her first novel shows she has a strong literary sense.

I particularly like her description of village and river scenes in Kerala---the trees, insects, river behaviour, etc. She has an observant eye.

Many moons from now, I shall remember "The God of Small Things."

For the past four or five years I've been following Ms Roy's political activism. She is a leftist like me.

 

This book is next on my list---will peruse it this weekend.

 

Nice write up:

 

In this emotional and heart-warming book Hellen Keller describes her life as a deaf and blind woman. The Story of My Life is a beautifully written memoir that appears fresh to a modern audience.

 

Keller is a vibrant young girl who appears trapped in a body that is discordant with her wild nature and frustrates and angers the author. Her world is truly moving as she describes the dedication of one teacher, Anne Sullivan, who managed to work with the young Keller to break down the difficulties posed by her disabilities.

 

Sullivan taught Keller how to spell words out on the palm of her hand, until she had a wonderful grasp of language. This is clear in the beautiful, sensory imagery that Keller conjures in her text. Smell and touch seem to jump from the page, as she describes her home and the surrounding garden, as you follow this young girl’s journey through adversity.

 

One of the truly most inspirational stories you could ever read and a must in any best autobiography books list!

 

Rev

 

 

Originally Posted by Rev:

 

This book is next on my list---will peruse it this weekend.

 

Nice write up:

 

In this emotional and heart-warming book Hellen Keller describes her life as a deaf and blind woman. The Story of My Life is a beautifully written memoir that appears fresh to a modern audience.

 

Keller is a vibrant young girl who appears trapped in a body that is discordant with her wild nature and frustrates and angers the author. Her world is truly moving as she describes the dedication of one teacher, Anne Sullivan, who managed to work with the young Keller to break down the difficulties posed by her disabilities.

 

Sullivan taught Keller how to spell words out on the palm of her hand, until she had a wonderful grasp of language. This is clear in the beautiful, sensory imagery that Keller conjures in her text. Smell and touch seem to jump from the page, as she describes her home and the surrounding garden, as you follow this young girl’s journey through adversity.

 

One of the truly most inspirational stories you could ever read and a must in any best autobiography books list!

 

Rev

 

 

Rev, you've made an excellent choice here.

I read this wonderful and inspiring book 45 years ago, while attending Zeeburg Secondary School. I had borrowed it from the school's library.

I recall reading aloud portions of it to the girls in my class, parts counseling young women how to conduct themselves.

Originally Posted by Gilbakka:
Originally Posted by IGH:
Originally Posted by Gilbakka:

Finished reading "The God of Small Things" by Indian woman writer Arundhati Roy.

Ms Roy wrote this novel 17 years ago and it won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997.

Although she wrote a few more books afterwards, "The God of Small Things" remains her only novel.

The book is set in the south Indian state of Kerala with a three-decade time period starting from the late 1960s. It focuses on extended-family relations, caste and class relations, love, jealousy, intrigue, spite, incest, tragedy.

I'm impressed with the quality of Ms Roy's writing, considering it is her first published book.

Product Details

 

Read that many moons ago, Bookman.

You beat me to it by many moons, IGH.

What amazes me is that Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect, but her first novel shows she has a strong literary sense.

I particularly like her description of village and river scenes in Kerala---the trees, insects, river behaviour, etc. She has an observant eye.

Many moons from now, I shall remember "The God of Small Things."

For the past four or five years I've been following Ms Roy's political activism. She is a leftist like me.


Bookman, the book was gifted to me by my daughter as a birthday present...

 

 

My sister recently read this book and passed in onto me last week---will read it over the weekend.

 

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." Randy Pausch

 

* Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon

 

* He learned he had pancreatic cancer in Sept 2006

 

* In August 2007 he was given 3-6 months to live

 

* He gave an upbeat lecture titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller.

 

Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

 

This should be a good read---will peruse it this coming weekend.

 

Rev

Finished reading "The Seashell Anthology of Great Poetry", edited by Christopher Burns.

This collection includes poems from the USA, UK, Ireland, Russia and China.

Some of the poets featured are Carl Sandberg, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Seamus Heaney, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, Anna Akhmatova and Joseph Brodsky.

I had lunch with Ms Roy and a girl colleague from Kerala in 1997 or 1998.  She came to NY to do a book reading on that book, and sorted of hinted that the work was part autobiography.  She was a tiny good looking girl and into fitness. I think she did aerobics classes or was a runner. She gave me a signed copy of the book and I loaned it out and never got it back. Last time I lending out a book! 

Finished reading "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome.

This novel, first published 124 years ago, centres around a two-week rowing trip by three friends and a dog on the Thames river in England.

When I started reading I did not expect to be entertained with so much rib-tickling humour that I encountered chapter after chapter. And I learned a few things about English history too.

This is a great weekend read after a hard-working week.

 

Originally Posted by Gilbakka:

Finished reading "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome.

This novel, first published 124 years ago, centres around a two-week rowing trip by three friends and a dog on the Thames river in England.

When I started reading I did not expect to be entertained with so much rib-tickling humour that I encountered chapter after chapter. And I learned a few things about English history too.

This is a great weekend read after a hard-working week.

 

"This is a great weekend read after a hard-working week."

 

 

Is how much pages so this book got? Sounds like my typea book.

I won't mind readin a lil bit so I figure if it takes a weekend to done it, it must got at least 10 pages.

 

Oi man Gilly, I clicked to look inside an not a rass happen, is wuh goin on?

 

 

* In this thought-provoking book, the acclaimed author Frans De Waal
examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans.

 

* By studying social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution, Frans de Waal demonstrates that animals–and humans–are "preprogrammed to reach out." He has found that chimpanzees care for mates that are wounded by leopards, elephants offer "reassuring rumbles" to youngsters in  distress, and dolphins support sick companions near the water's surface to prevent them from drowning. From day one humans have innate sensitivities to  faces, bodies, and voices; we've been designed to feel for one another.

 

* De Waal's theory runs counter to the assumption that humans are inherently  selfish, which can be seen in the fields of politics, law, and finance, and which seems to be evidenced by the current greed-driven stock market collapse.  But he cites the public's outrage at the U.S. government's lack of empathy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a significant shift in perspective–one that helped Barack Obama become elected and ushered in what may well become an Age of Empathy. Through a better understanding of empathy's survival value in evolution, de Waal suggests, we can work together toward a more just society based on a more generous and accurate view of human nature.

 

This book looks like it will be an interesting read---it's next up on my list.

 

Rev

I might add this one to my reading list.

 

Rev, I used to think that all humans are born with the innate ability to show empathy. I've adjusted my thinking. I strongly feel that empathy is learned. If children don't have experiences with empathy, they grow up not knowing how to show it. As adults, they have to take deliberate steps to learn empathy. What are your thoughts?

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