Albert Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus" can essentially be distilled into a single question - "Is suicide ethical?". This question has divided philosophers for centuries.
To answer the question, Camus builds upon the arguments of Kierkegaard and Nietzche and comes up with the philosophy of the "absurd". This philosophy states that all life is absurd because one hopes for a better tomorrow even though tomorrow brings us closer to death. It is this contradiction that provides direction to people's lives.
The last portion of the book explains the story of Sisyphus, who is punished by the Gods to eternally keep hauling a huge rock to the top of a mountain to only have it roll back down. Albert Camus wonders about the questions going through Sisyphus' head. Why is he up for a task knowing well that he can never complete it? Isn't it better for him to quit than to be part of this absurd?
Imagine you were on an year-long space mission to Mars and you got stranded. And your next chance of being rescued is a few years away. How would you survive?
"The Martian" by Andy Weir is based on that premise. Mark Watney gets blown away in a Martian storm while …read more
Nine Rupees an Hour
Disclaimer: I know the author personally and have read early drafts.
Why does a livelihood practised over generations disappear? Can "Nine Rupees an Hour" be considered a fair wage for the exquisite skill of the Pattamadai Pai weavers? Would society be richer by the loss of such livelihoods?
Aparna Karthikeyan …read more
The Day of the Jackal
Charles de Gaulle is the French President, loved by some but also hated by a few. The few feel he betrayed their cause and want him bumped off. They are hounded out of the country after a failed assassination attempt. Fearing a mole within their ranks, the rebels decide to …read more
A Brief History of Time
Science can be hard to write and harder to read. But once in a while a scientist comes along and explains science in an understandable manner. Stephen Hawking is one such scientist. A Brief History of Time is the biography of the universe. It starts with how our idea of …read more
One Hundred Years of Solitude
This is the first book in my life for which I had to build and constantly keep referring to a family tree. With so many characters (most with the same name!), the book gets confusing and inter-breeding and incest only adds to the disgust.
"One Hundred Years of Solitude" is …read more
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
"Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition" is Colin Campbell's book that advocates whole-foods and plant-based diet. A biochemist by profession, the author mostly quotes his own research to try to prove that any other diet has higher incidences of cancer.
There is a lot in the book that is agreeable …read more
Adulting is supposed to mean "behaving like an adult" but in the book by Neharika Gupta, there doesn't appear to be anyone that matches this meaning. Ruhi, Aisha and Tejas are the only characters in the book and they behave like immature teenagers.
Ruhi is a workaholic who runs a …read more
The Diary of a Young Girl
"The Diary of a Young Girl" is the diary of Anne Frank, a teen who was captured in 1944 along with her family by the Nazis as they were hiding in Amsterdam.
The diary starts a few weeks before her family's escape to a warehouse where they hide for 2 …read more
The Kite Runner
Generally, I don't pick up books after I have watched it's movie adaptation. I don't know what was going on in my head when I picked up "The Kite Runner". The movie moved me to tears and I wasn't sure if I was comfortable revisiting it.
"The Kite Runner" by …read more