the book monster

In the world we live in today, stressful, materialistic, we start to develop a lot of fears. This book deals with 12 types of fear of our everyday mind and of the material world: (1) Fear of being yourself, (2) Fear of other people, (3) Fear of power and control, (4) Fear of love, (5) Fear of loneliness,  (6) Fear of fear itself, (7) Fear of death and dying, (8) Fear of success and failure, (9) Fear of poverty and wealth, (10) Fear of the future and what it will bring, (11) Fear of achievement and self-esteem, (12) Fear of war and illness.

The author works to provide the reader with age-old techniques, exercises, meditations, inspiring stories and case studies to help think about the way we understand fear, what beliefs are blocking us from letting go of the fear, and how to overcome these fears.

This book is very simply written, very easy to understand, and it hits a nerve.  We all know that fear can be inhibiting, and if given a little leash, fear can take control of our day-to-day life. The author uses his deep knowledge of Tibetan teachings, and tries to demonstrate how easy it is to live in peace and serenity.

Rating: 7-8



A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

Across the world we have all heard about Jaycee Dugard.  A little girl abducted in 1991 and made a prisoner for 18 years.  She suffered unspeakable abuse, forced to take on another name and identity by her captors, giving birth to her babies in captivity, and losing her innocence.

This book is written by Jaycee herself (and not a ghost writer), and it is brutally honest. It is powerful, heart wrenching, and it makes you squirm, cry and want to punch people like her abuser. Jaycee navigates through the confusion, deciphering the mental, emotional and physical damage done to her and her family.  The book is an attempt to understand how her life was stolen from her, to accept and to move on. This is not a book about “look I am a victim!”  This is an inspirational book about hope, courage, will power and survival. Yet the book will move you to tears.

I usually read books very quickly but this book I had to keep putting it down.  Not because it was boring.  But because it overwhelmed me, it got to me. Jaycee writes from her soul, she pours her emotions and heart out so honestly that it shakes you to the core.  Her compassion shines through the book, her strength, and what I loved is she doesn’t indulge in self-pity.  And she is now doing things she dreamed of. An incredible woman. I am simply humbled.  Life can definitely start over.

Rating: 9/10 



Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin

This is a saga not to be missed.  Comprising of 5 books, it is a tale of kings, queens, dragons, soldiers, magic, war, love, honor, treachery, sorcerers, assassins, bastards…

In a time long long ago, there are 7 kingdoms ruled by King Robert. Trouble is brewing within the kingdom, and evil and supernatural forces are amassing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.  At the center of the story lie the Starks of  Winterfell, a harsh, unyielding, brave and honorable family.  Amid plots, sub plots, tragedy, romance, battles and betrayals, we are introduced to characters, enemies and allies, each one fighting to win the deadliest conflict – Game of Thrones. You are introduced to a lord who stands by his honor, a bastard son trying to prove himself, a young she-wolf surviving on sheer will and wits, a dragon prince who is capable of bartering his sister to gain an army, wildlings who carry men into madness, a queen who will do anything for power, an imp (dwarf man) who manipulates situations with his shrewdness and intelligence and many more!  Each character is so well-defined.  Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, the plot turns and you are just shocked.

Finally, here’s a book who will go down in history to be an epic similar to Lord of the Rings. This is a genuine masterpiece, a story of modern fantasy that carries us into a magical world, keeping the reader glued chapter after chapter, book after book.  HBO airs the TV series, and for the first time here is a TV series that has done justice to magic of the book.

If you liked Lord of the Rings, these 5 books are not to be missed.

To watch the video of the book, click here -> Game of Thrones

Rating: 10/10



Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Each one of us has had a wise mentor, someone who has helped us through our phases of life, giving us solid advice, guidance, teaching us little tips and tricks.  Tuesdays with Morrie is about Mitch’s mentor, his college professor, someone he lost touch with for nearly 20 years. Very simply written yet very powerful, Mitch translates Morrie’s wisdom, teachings, enlightenment, honesty, and most importantly – how to live your life fully when your days are numbered. Morrie gives a crash course on living with love and compassion, and how not to be daunted by the prospect of death.

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Morrie Schwartz

A phenomenal, courageous book full of wisdom, a true story told with a true soul.

Rating: 8.5/10 



The Immortals of Meluha by Amish

A fantastic novel. I just finished reading it for the third time. The author Amish has done a phenomenal job to take Lord Shiva‘s story and weave it into an amazing fictional story. The Gods and Goddesses, the Gunas, his followers, his trishul, the blue throat – all have been intricately placed into the story, without ever losing the actual real symbolism of the Shiva Purana. Even if you have never read the Shiva Purana or have no clue about who the God Shiva is, you will still enjoy the story that he has crafted.

His imaginative writing simply transports you into a different world. His story is written with the premise of what if Shiva was just a human being – like you and me – but destined for greater things. Being a Shiv Bhakt who has read the Shiva Purana, I was very hesitant when I came across this book at the time of release in Mumbai Airport. I kept thinking I hope the author doesn’t end up making Shiva look like any other normal character authors write about. But Amish has done sheer justice to Shiva!

His Shiva is a battle-scarred warrior fighting to protect what belongs to his tribe. A quick thinking leader with a kick ass attitude. When offered by the Meluhans a chance of a better war free life, he decides to leave and move to Meluha – the perfect law-abiding city created by the most righteous Suryavanshi king Lord Ram. By drinking the elixir Somras, he is revealed to be the blue throated saviour that the Meluhans have spent centuries looking for – The Neelkanth (blue throated one) – who legends say will help the Suryavanshi Meluhans defeat their Chandravanshi enemies. It’s the story of Shiva fighting his inner demons, his yearning and love for the Princess Sati, his friendship with Nandi, his inner battle of accepting his destiny as the Neelkanth, his fight for what’s right and trying to break down absurd rules of Vikarma (untouchables). Its a story that makes you think what is evil, what is good and who actually defines these ‘rules’. At any point in the story, Amish doesn’t lose out on the simplicity that makes Shiva who he is.

Shiva – as a God – is known for his simplicity, for his ability to speak his mind, for his honesty, for not playing games or having hidden agendas, for being a Destroyer of Evil and a Protector of the good and the kind. Amish never loses the actual purity in relation to the Puranas. Infact, I sincerely hope Peter Jackson gets his hands on the book because it deserves to be made into a movie like Lord of the Rings!

The Immortals of Meluha is the first book in his Shiva trilogy. The second book is already out (I have to still get around to reading it). Would highly recommend you pick it this book up!

Rating: 9/10



The Path to Freedom (Freedom in Exile & Ancient Wisdom, Modern World) by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

One of the first books I read on His Highness The Dalai Lama.   This book found me is what I believe (during a time of questioning, it found me in a random bookstore in Beirut) and it was one of the first spiritual books I read. The Path to Freedom is actually 2 books combined in one.

Part 1 (Freedom in Exile) is an autobiography of Tenzin Gyatso, a person we all know as 14th The Dalai Lama. In his own words, he takes us through his life, from being recognized as an incarnation of the previous Dalai Lamas to being enthroned as the Supreme Spiritual Leader of Tibet. He describes the struggle of keeping Tibet free, to the invasion of China, to escaping and living in exile in India. He describes the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet’s continued struggle for independence, and the importance of living in peace in today’s world.

Part 2 (Ancient Wisdom, Modern World) deals with our quest for happiness as humans in today’s world, and how certain ethics of restraint, virtue, compassion etc can play a role in our life.   He simply tries to define a few truths that have transcended time and space, science and technology, and how it can provide us with the tools to live a happy and compassionate life, full of love and meaning. It is not based on religious principles, but rather the universal principles of life.

Rating: 7 / 10



Room by Emma Donoghue

Room is a chilling tale of an imprisoned mother and her son born in captivity.  The story revolves around 5-year-old Jack and his Ma, living in a 11 foot x 11 foot Room.  It shows how Ma has made the best out of the worst scenario, how she creates a world for Jack in this captive room, trying to bring a bit of normalcy for Jack by singing him songs she remembers, and telling him stories she knows. Ma creates things for Jack from absolutely nothing, giving his imagination space to grow and filling his days with things to do.

But this little prison cannot contain them further as Jack’s curiosity and questions build up, along with the captive mom’s desperation to escape from their terrifying night-time visitor – Old Nick.  And when the walls expand, it shakes up everything Jack has ever known and understood.

Room is an amazing book. The whole story is told from the perspective of Jack. It is a story of a little boy’s safe world that is turned upside down, and the courage and desperation of a mother. It is disturbing and heart breaking, but at the same time, it is a story of hope, courage, beauty, and determination to live and survive.

Rating: 9 / 10



Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Luke Warren’s life has revolved around wolves.  He practically ignored his family and lived for years in wolf packs to understand them better – the way packs are formed, how they live, how alphas and betas are chosen etc.  As years go by, the only thing that makes sense to him are wolf dynamics and not human relationships.

The story starts with Luke gravely injured in a car accident with his daughter Cara, and lies in the hospital battling for his life.  His accident brings back his divorced wife and her new family along with his estranged son Edward, who walked out on Luke and Cara six years ago. Edward and Cara have to make the most important and heart wrenching decision – should they pull the plug or keep him on the ventilator?

As they fight over the decision, deeper hidden secrets emerge.  How can a family make such a crucial decision with questions of guilt, hidden agendas and what does each person truly want?

The story is weaved brilliantly with the lives of wolves, how wolf packs function, what is the meaning of family, sacrifice, acceptance, forgiveness, letting go and of love.

Definitely a book worth picking up!

Rating: 8.5 / 10 



Aleph by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s books are very special to me.  Somehow, I find answers to questions I have regarding life, things and situations happening in that particular moment of time.

This book is about Paulo’s personal journey of self-discovery, as he travels through Africa, Europe, Asia, Trans-Siberia rail, trying to understand his lack of faith and get answers in order to grow spiritually.  His travel leads him to connect to different types of people, as he tries to grasp the meaning love, courage, forgiveness, letting go and true happiness.

“In magic – and in life – there is only the present moment, the now. You can’t measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. ‘Time’ doesn’t pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.” – Aleph

Aleph is a book for people trying to understand their personal journeys, and what matters most in life and death, and it touches you to the soul.  It is such a powerful book that you can easily relate his experiences to your personal experiences – does time matter between soul mates, the courage of following our dreams, the strength of letting go of the past and embracing the future, understanding what we need for true happiness, and most importantly, appreciating love.

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” – Aleph

His book is aptly described:  Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny. 

Rating: 8 / 10


The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

This is by far one of the best books I have read. The title of the book is very daunting but don’t let that scare you off!

It is so simply written, explaining the workings of the mind, the way we think and process information into emotions, how we store it those emotional charges into the sub-conscious mind, and how ultimately – without us realizing – our sub-conscious mind literally turns things into reality.

So for example, consciously you want your business to work out, consciously you are doing everything possible to make it happen, but no matter what you do, something ‘blocks’ that abundance from coming into your life. Something is blocking your business from flourishing. Now you could blame the neighboring shop, the economy, the consumers not understanding what you have to offer etc. But have you ever thought that the root cause could be sitting in your sub-conscious? The fear of making money might be sitting there, blocking the abundance from coming into your life. Solution – release the deep rooted sub-conscious thinking, change the sub-conscious beliefs, and business starts to flourish. :)

This book is fantastic in explaining to people different scenarios of how the sub-conscious works. It explains how one could manifest using positive thinking.

Read it …enjoy … and discover the power of your sub-conscious mind … and know it is in your power to change it!

Rating: 8.5 / 10

“the best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.” – the history boys

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