Monthly Reads Series – August 2020 Recommendations

It is 1st September today. Another month of staying indoors and working from home is successfully completed. One good habit that I picked up during the COVID times is reading a few pages of a book regularly. Magazines or random internet articles do not count. So I decided to write a monthly series on the books I have read and what I felt about them. This will motivate me to keep the momentum going.Initially my aim was to complete at least 4 books in a month but I could read only 3 but all 3 of them were pretty good in their own ways. Let me give you a mini review of my reading list in August.

Reading list August 2020:

All the books that I mentioned above belong to completely different genre.Let’s start with the review.

My take on the books:

Nudge by Thaler & Sunstein

Review of Nudge: Nudge is a book on fundamentals of behavioral science and belongs to non-fiction category. I read my first book on a similar subject – ‘Thinking Fast & Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman long time back and recommended that book to everyone interested in behavioral psychology/Economics. Nudge is written by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. Thaler is a very prominent name in Behavioral Science and Kahneman and him were friends as well as colleagues.I could see a conspicuous similarity in the examples provided in both the books but Nudge is a quicker and easier read than Thinking Fast & Slow in my opinion and ideally I should have read Nudge first and then Thinking Fast & Slow. Nudge is around 250 pages read excluding appendix etc. and is divided into 4 chapters – Humans and Econs, Money, Society, Extensions and Objections. Although I am a student of Economics this book is written for all and the language is pretty lucid. They have used a lot of daily life examples of people across different walks of life to make things more relatable. It talks about effective choice architecture to improve a person’s decision making ability.These kind of books actually make anybody be it politicians, Bureaucrats, students or just any human more aware about every smallest decision we are making about our health, money, food or even at a bigger level like national policies. For me personally it just made me to stop for a moment and reflect and then there was this moment like ‘Ahh right; this is what I do and I actually should do this in this way to make it a daily habit.’ These books on behavioral sciences are not just another self help book.These are well researched and written by credible authors to make us think and make important changes on the ways we think or we choose our words or make our financial decisions.

Now let’s move on to my next book.

Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair : Review

Review of Ladies Coupe: Ladies Coupe is a fictional novel by Indian Author Anita Nair. The story starts with a 45 year old income tax officer, Akhila who is the sole bread earner of her family and had to ignore her own happiness and desires to make her family survive the difficult financial times. Akhila’s father’s sudden demise pushed her to be responsible to provide for her and to put up a strong face in front of the world so that nobody can understand her vulnerability.Her sacrifices were not acknowledged by her siblings and they continued to use her for their own benefits. Getting really tired of their behavior Akhila could not tolerate anymore and bought a one way train ticket to Kanyakumari (the southernmost point of India). She met another 5 women of different age groups(all from southern India) and societal structures in the ladies coupe and tried to seek answers of many questions she had from these women.They opened their heart to her and let pour all their vices, longings, insecurities and vulnerabilities. For the first time in her life Akhila found a sense of camaraderie in that overnight journey with these five unknown women and gathered her courage to live her life in her own terms. All the 5 stories are very different from each other and very intricately woven and it showed a gradual transition in Indian women’s thought processes and their willingness to have equal say in decision making of their families. I also liked Anita’s attention to details about clothes, Indian household designs and every little emotions.Her love for food (I stalked her insta account) is also very visible in her writing. The only complaint is that the ending was little predictable.

Suheldev by Amish :Review

Review of Suheldev : Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy was something that I absolutely loved and treasured during my college days. I used to warn my friends whoever borrowed them to take care of them properly. I did not get a chance to read the Ramchandra series but bought the legend of Suheldev quickly as it was just a single book and will be easy to complete. Coming straight to the point it did not leave that mark on my mind.I really adore Amish’s knack for writing on mythological or historical protagonists and then weaving an enthralling fictional tale around those characters but Suheldev was a miss.If his aim was to make his readers be familiar with Suheldev’s bravery which was not really highlighted in the history we read; then definitely he did a great job but this book lacked his exceptional storytelling ability.It felt like a formula book which first fixed a few concepts and characters and then just linked them somehow.I noted that this was not his work entirely and actually a writer’s block assisted him and I guess this is why I did not feel attached to the character or his story as much as I did for Shiva trilogy.

Hope you liked these mini reviews of the books. Of course these reviews do not have any literary value and not crafted with carefully chosen words.This is just a series that I am starting to keep my reading habit on.

Thanks for reading this.Have a nice day 🙂

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