London, Mar 15, 2017: Two Indian-American authors Siddhartha Mukherjee for his book “The Gene” and Paul Kalanithi for his book “When Breath Becomes Air” have been shortlisted under the non-fiction category for the 30,000 pound Wellcome Book Prize. The Wellcome Book Prize is themed on works of fiction and non-fiction on health and medicine.
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New York born Kalanithi was a Standford neurosurgeon, his ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ chronicles his life from being a medical student to a neurosurgeon, a patient and a father, till before his death at the age of 37 from lung cancer while still working on his book. It is the first posthumously published title to be shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize, mentioned PTI report.
Delhi-born Mukherji, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and assistant professor of medicine at New York’s Columbia University, in ‘The Gene’ writes about his family and the recurring pattern of mental illness in his own family. The book highlights the importance of genetics in everyday life and question our advancement which has led to our ability to alter human genome. Mukherji’s ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ was nominated in 2011 for the Wellcome Book Prize.
The 2017 winner of the Wellcome Book Prize will be announced at an evening ceremony on April 24.
Life in the lockdown has not been easy for most of us. Were isolated and theres no sign of things changing anytime soon.
Well books can come to your rescue and what better way to spend the last two weeks in home-sheltering than by reading. Reading is not only a great form of escapism, but it also helps to stimulate creativity and enrich language skills, making it a great idea for all ages.
Here is a list of must read books which can transport you to another time and place:
‘The Hunger Games Series-The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
A new Hunger Games book is on its way, the first since 2010; it’s not only for teens but also for all sci-fi lovers. A prequel to the “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, “A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was first announced in June last year, and – as revealed in an extract published by Entertainment Weekly – ‘will focus on Coriolanus Snow.’
‘Hunted by the Sky’ by Tanaz Bhatena (Penguin Random House India)
From the author of ‘A Girl Like That’, the YA fantasy explores identity, class inequality, alongside a high-stakes romance story, ‘Hunted by the Sky’ is set in the Kingdom of Ambar – a world inspired by medieval India– a world of deadly, dark secrets and adventures.
‘A Thousand Cranes for India: Reclaiming Plurality Amid Hatred’ edited by Pallavi Aiyar (Seagull Books)
This anthology – comprising 23 pieces of reportage, stories, poems, memoir and polemic – uses the mythology, history, and symbolism of Japanese Origami paper cranes as a pathway for some of India’s best-known writers, poets and artists to pave a “shared, civic space for a conversation about the fault lines in India at a time of darkness”.
‘Shameless’ by Taslima Nasreen, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (HarperCollins India)
‘Shameless’, the sequel to the controversial and best-selling ‘Lajja’, had never been published in Bengali, or any other language, until very recently, when a Hindi translation was printed. This “timely, topical and outspoken novel about communal tensions in India” is, according to its author, “not a political novel – and instead about what the politics of religion does to human beings and their relationships: a ruthless, uncompromising, heartbreaking tale of ordinary people’s lives in our times”.
‘A Burning’ by Megha Majumdar (Knopf; Penguin Random House India)
“For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri” (!), Majumdar’s debut, a thriller-like epic, centres around three characters who find their lives criss-crossing in the aftermath of a catastrophe. ‘Of A Burning’, Amitav Ghosh has said: it’s “the best debut novel I have come across in a long timee In telling the story of a young Muslim girl whose life is undone by a single social media post, it creates a kaleidoscope of contemporary urban India, with its internet-driven hysteria, religious fanaticism, rampant corruption, poisoned air, random violence, enraged mobs and pervasive misogyny.”(IANS)
With a week to go before the lockdown is lifted and one resumes life anew, there’s only so much you can do with the time left on your hands?
We suggest you invest it in some thought-provoking content and self-help books to improve your skills, thought process and generally, improve yourself.
Landmark Bookstore lists down some e-versions of bestsellers you can buy online and delve into immediately.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
Author: Charlie Mackeay
Named as New York Times Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller and US Today Bestseller, the book itself is an object of art.
From the revered British illustrator, the book is a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons. Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters who explore an unlikely friendship and poignant, universal lessons they learn together.
Author: Hector Garcia
Ikigai is a Japanese word for ea reason to live’ or ea reason to jump out of bed in the morning’. It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. A place of balance.
Finding your Ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own Ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. The book gently unlocks simple secrets we can all use to live long, meaningful, happy lives.
Science-based studies weave beautifully into honest, straight-talking conversation you won’t be able to put down.
Love in the time of Cholera
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The book is a romantic novel written with a powerful narrative. The story revolves around two people who fall in love and then suffer the harsh realities which love brings with it. It not only narrates different traits of human nature but also depicts a careful sketch of the Latin American culture of the early 20th century. The book is an engaging saga of two individuals and their quest to find eternal love.
Death, An inside story
Death is a taboo in most societies in the world. But what if we have got this completely wrong? What if death was not the catastrophe it is made out to be but an essential aspect of life, rife with spiritual possibilities for transcendence? For the first time, someone is saying just that.
In this unique treatise-like exposition, Sadhguru dwells extensively upon his inner experience as he expounds on the more profound aspects of death that are rarely spoken about. From a practical standpoint, he elaborates on what preparations one can make for one’s death, how best we can assist someone who is dying and how we can continue to support their journey even after death.
Life’s Amazing Secrets
Author: Swami Gaur Gopal Das
“Life’s Amazing Secrets” is an engaging philosophical book that deals with deep and meaningful conversations on life between Gaur Gopal Das himself and his wealthy friend Harry. Whether you are looking at strengthening your relationships, discovering your true potential, understanding how to do well at work or even how you can give back to the world, Gaur Gopal Das takes us on an unforgettable journey with his precious insights on these areas of life.
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in God, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism?
In ‘Sapiens’, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical breakthrough of cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolution.
What got you here, won’t get you there
Author: Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith is an expert at helping global leaders overcome their sometimes unconscious annoying habits and attain a higher level of success. His one-on-one coaching comes with a six-figure price tag. But, in this book, you get Marshall’s great advice without the hefty fee. America’s most sought after executive coach shows you how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder.
Simple, clear and always surprising, this indispensable book will change the way you thing and transform your decision- making- work, at home, every day. It reveals, in 99 short chapters the most common errors of judgement, and how to avoid them. (IANS)
What makes evil characters like the Joker or Lord Voldemort more interesting and likeable? Researchers have found that people may find fictional villains surprisingly likeable when they share similarities with the viewer or reader.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, indicated one reason for this shift is that fiction acts as a cognitive safety net, allowing us to identify with villainous characters without tainting our self-image.
“Our research suggests that stories and fictional worlds can offer a ‘safe haven’ for comparison to our darker selves. When people feel safe, they are more interested in comparisons to negative characters that are similar to themselves in other respects,” said study lead author Rebecca Krause from Northwestern University in the US.
“For example, people who see themselves as tricky and chaotic may feel especially drawn to the character of The Joker in the Batman movies, while a person who shares Lord Voldemort’s intellect and ambition may feel more drawn to that character in the Harry Potter series,” Krause added.
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To test this idea, the researchers analysed data from the website CharacTour, an online, character-focused entertainment platform that had approximately 232,500 registered users at the time of analysis.
One of the site’s features allows users to take a personality quiz and see their similarity to different characters who had been coded as either villainous or not.
Villains included characters such as Maleficent, The Joker, and Darth Vader. Nonvillains included Sherlock Holmes, Joey Tribbiani, and Yoda.
The anonymous data from these quizzes allowed the researchers to test whether people were attracted toward or repulsed by similar villains, using nonvillains as a baseline.
Not surprisingly, people were drawn to nonvillains as their similarity increased. However, the results further suggested that users were most drawn to villains who share similarities with them.
The researchers believe that similarities to story villains do not threaten the self in the way real-life villains would.
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“Given the common finding that people are uncomfortable with and tend to avoid people who are similar to them and bad in some way, the fact that people actually prefer similar villains over dissimilar villains was surprising to us,” said study co-author Derek Rucker.
The current data do not identify which behaviours or characteristics the participants found attractive.
Further research is needed to explore the psychological pull of villains and whether people are drawn toward similar villains in fiction because people look for chances to explore their own personal dark side.
“Perhaps fiction provides a way to engage with the dark aspects of your personality without making you question whether you are a good person in general,” concluded Krause. (IANS)