All posts tagged: non fiction

Many Lives, Many Masters

Whether or not you believe in science, this is one book that’s bound to give you food for thought. Penned by a psychiatrist, Dr Brian Weiss, Many masters, many lives is what he claims to be the true story of one of his patients. Catherine, a young girl troubled by inexplicable phobias, seeks his help, and when typical psychiatric treatments don’t bare results, he resorts to the rarely used practice of hypnosis. What follows is plain bizarre. In her hypnotic state, Catherine appears to visit her past lives, reincarnations of herself in varied geographical locations and time periods. Often, Catherine reaches an in-between stage, where she’s dead but not reincarnated yet, and she communicates to the doctor the messages of highly evolved spirits (called the Masters), including personal details from his own life. I know it sounds like the plot of some psychological thriller, and as I re-read it, even the highly predictable story-line of a horror Hindi movie. But that’s the beauty of it – what you believe is completely your choice. At one point, …

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt has given a new dimension to teaching in this non-fictional account. He writes about teaching and learning and teaching to learn and learning to teach. McCourt’s journey is rooted in Ireland, from where he seeks to rise in the minds and hearts of the students in New York’s public schools, through his unconventional, inspiring approach to teaching. As he explores his own identity, he accepts that teachers don’t have all the answers, and that is only human. His creative writing class reads and sings cooking recipes, his English class discusses Little Bo Peep! Even when we don’t relate to the Irish life or the NY adolescents, we end up becoming a part of the Teacher Man phenomenon. The racy, decryptable writing makes you belong in McCourt’s classes. His humble, inquisitive approach to teaching makes you want to learn, as though it comes from choice and not force. Great teaching, great writing and very inspirational. If you’re a student, it will give you a new perspective on learning. If you’re a teacher, you’ll want …

Life of Pi

Just when I thought I was growing out of fiction, Life of Pi crawled its way into my hands. I never thought so far-fetched a story could make for such a realistic read. Yann Martel is a very talented writer. The book is based on an Indian boy from Pondicherry, Pi, short for Piscine Patel, who is migrating to Canada with his family. His father, a zookeeper, has on board their cargo ship a bunch of his zoo animals. When the ship sinks unexpectedly, Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orang utan (called Orange Juice) and a royal Bengal tiger (called Richard Parker, funny story behind the name). The story then follows Pi and his struggle for survival in the middle of the Pacific, amid a mini zoo. Life of Pi is about endurance, solitude, hints of humor and a wild imagination, literally. A must, must read.