Book Reviews & other random stuff

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Yes, I’ve moved again

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

So yes, I have moved my blog again:

drunkenmonkey.blogsite.org

Check it out 🙂

"Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends." – Dawn Adams

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2009 at 2:21 am

READ

“1984” by George Orwell
“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs
“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy
Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton
“Rides a Dread Legion” by Raymond E Feist
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller
“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
“Dune” by Frank Herbert
“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer
“The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Lucky Man” & “Always Looking Up” by Michael J Fox – I’ve always been a massive fan of MJF and the Back to the Future triology are some of my favourite movies.
When waiting for Dean to finish uni I wandered into Dymocks and picked up “Always Looking Up” and started reading. 40 something pages later I decided I had to buy both books and devour them straight away. So I did.
If he wasn’t an actor he’d be a writer. His style is so clear and engaging, and so personal. “Lucky Man” takes you from his childhood up until his decision to announce globally that he has Parkinson’s. You feel like you know this crazy, talented little boy, as if he is someone you went to school with, or lived down the road from.
But what got me most was the beginning chapter of “ALU” – he simply describes what he must to every morning to get out of bed. It’s fascinating, heartbreaking and inspiring – and it’s simply an explanation of such a rudimentary part of life; get out of bed, brush teeth, have a shower, put on clothes. But it brings to light the struggles and tribulations of the sufferers of Parkinson’s like nothing else.
“ALU” goes quite deeply in to the issue of Stem Cell Research and MJF’s efforts to campaign for greater funding in America. I’m glad I read this. Stem Cell Research was not something I’ve known a lot about – except that it had the potential to cure a lot of terrible diseases and that most people who were against it were because of the abortion links and the risks of cloning. But having learnt that the embryo’s used are actually discarded embryo’s from IVF it has made me even more for the issue. Why discard something that could create so much good? Of course, “ALU” is quite biased to the fact that MJF is pro- Stem Cell Research but he also looks at the other side as well and seems quite accepting of their views.

They are both fascinating reads and by the end you don’t feel sad and sympathetic for MJF (something that he never wanted) but you feel inspired that someone could do so much, with such a terrible disease. Lucky man, indeed.

STILL TO READ

“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche
“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta
“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson
“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy
“A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy
“Monet & The Impressionists” by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
“The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De
Botton
“The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer
“The Beatles and Philosophy”
“The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet” by Benjamin Hoff
“Derrida: writing and difference”

"Books are the carriers of civilization…They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print."

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 at 3:15 am

READ

“1984” by George Orwell
“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs
“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy
Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton
“Rides a Dread Legion” by Raymond E Feist
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller
“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
“Dune” by Frank Herbert

“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer read this in about an hour and cried for the last half. An amazing story about an amazing woman. Because it is written by her son you get a true feeling of what sort of person she really was. Has cemented her even more as one of my favourite people and also made me want to help UNICEF.

“The City of Falling Angels” by John BerendtI picked this off the shelf thinking it would just be a light, fun read. Another travel/romance story set in Venice. However, upon reading I found that this definitely wasn’t what it was. It’s a true story, based around the fire of the Fenice Opera House in 1996. It looks at the scandal surrounding the fire, the people that were involved or witnessed it, as well as other interesting people at the time. It also brings you in to the crazy private lives of the Venetians. Fantastic read which really makes me want to travel to Venice.

The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – wasn’t sure what I expected when I started reading this but I enjoyed it. It seemed very short and I read it in only a couple of hours but it was interesting and well told (once you got past the writing style – very, very descriptive). Makes me want to go to a party in the ’20’s.

STILL TO READ

“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche
“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta
“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson
“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy
“A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy
“Monet & The Impressionists” by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
“The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De
Botton

TO BUY

“The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer
“The Beatles and Philosophy”
“The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet” by Benjamin Hoff
“Derrida: writing and difference”

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 at 2:10 am

READ

“1984” by George Orwell

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs

“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton

“Rides a Dread Legion” by Raymond E Feist

“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

“Dune” by Frank Herbert – this was recommended on the Feistfans mailing list, and backed up Raymond E Feist himself so I thought I’d give it a go. Great read with a very original and interesting universe but I felt it lacked something. Still not sure what that thing was but it just seemed like it needed a bit more “oomph”. Also, not a book that stayed with me much after reading.

STILL TO READ

“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche

“The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt

“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta

“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson

“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer

“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

“A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy

“Monet & The Impressionists” by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon

“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De Botton


TO BUY

“The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer

“The Beatles and Philosophy”

“The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet” by Benjamin Hoff

“Derrida: writing and difference”

Only a ninja can sneak up on another ninja…

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

Sitting on the bus listening to Tim Minchin tonight I realised that I’m more in love with comedians than rock stars. If you were to ask me who my favourite band/musician is I’d be hard pressed to think of more than one or two. But ask me who my favourite comedian is and I’d immediately be able to rattle off a long list;
-Tim Minchin
– Ross Noble
– Carl Barron
– Adam Hills
– Wil Anderson
– Dave Hughes
– Robin Williams
– Jimoen
Etc etc etc

I would seriously consider leaving my husband if Tim Minchin told me he loved me. We’d be together until we were old & saggy. We’d have beautiful, ginger babies who’d be nerds, musically talented, geniuses, and would question everything (of course, most of that they’ll get from Tim and not me… But we’d be equally responsible for the gingerness).

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. ~ Mccosh ~

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 at 3:19 am

READ

“1984” by George Orwell

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs

“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton

“Rides a Dread Legion” by Raymond E Feist

“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess – wow! Great, great book. Another book with interesting writing style but that just added to it’s charm. I think the part that got to me most was the fact that his music was ruined for him! Don’t know if I could live without music…

STILL TO READ

“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche

“The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt

“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta

“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson

“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer

“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

“A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy

“Dune” by Frank Herbert

“Monet & The Impressionists” by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon

“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

TO BUY

“The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer

“The Beatles and Philosophy”

“The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet” by Benjamin Hoff

“Derrida: writing and difference”

"Storm" (A 9min Beat Poem) by Tim Minchin

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2009 at 11:52 pm
Saw him live last night and absolutely recommend you see him if you have a chance.

“STORM”
Inner North London, top floor flat
All white walls, white carpet, white cat,
Rice Paper partitions
Modern art and ambition
The host’s a physician,
Lovely bloke, has his own practice
His girlfriend’s an actress
An old mate from home
And they’re always great fun.
So to dinner we’ve come.

The 5th guest is an unknown,
The hosts have just thrown
Us together for a favour
because this girl’s just arrived from Australia
And has moved to North London
And she’s the sister of someone
Or has some connection.

As we make introductions
I’m struck by her beauty
She’s irrefutably fair
With dark eyes and dark hair
But as she sits
I admit I’m a little bit wary
because I notice the tip of the wing of a fairy
Tattooed on that popular area
Just above the derrière
And when she says “I’m Sagittarien”
I confess a pigeonhole starts to form
And is immediately filled with pigeon
When she says her name is Storm.

Chatter is initially bright and light hearted
But it’s not long before Storm gets started:
“You can’t know anything,
Knowledge is merely opinion”
She opines, over her Cabernet Sauvignon
Vis a vis
Some unhippily
Empirical comment by me

“Not a good start” I think
We’re only on pre-dinner drinks
And across the room, my wife
Widens her eyes
Silently begs me, Be Nice
A matrimonial warning
Not worth ignoring
So I resist the urge to ask Storm
Whether knowledge is so loose-weave
Of a morning
When deciding whether to leave
Her apartment by the front door
Or a window on the second floor.

The food is delicious and Storm,
Whilst avoiding all meat
Happily sits and eats
While the good doctor, slightly pissedly
Holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history
When Storm suddenly she insists
“But the human body is a mystery!
Science just falls in a hole
When it tries to explain the the nature of the soul.”

My hostess throws me a glance
She, like my wife, knows there’s a chance
That I’ll be off on one of my rants
But my lips are sealed.
I just want to enjoy my meal
And although Storm is starting to get my goat
I have no intention of rocking the boat,
Although it’s becoming a bit of a wrestle
Because – like her meteorological namesake –
Storm has no such concerns for our vessel:

“Pharmaceutical companies are the enemy
They promote drug dependency
At the cost of the natural remedies
That are all our bodies need
They are immoral and driven by greed.
Why take drugs
When herbs can solve it?
Why use chemicals
When homeopathic solvents
Can resolve it?
It’s time we all return-to-live
With natural medical alternatives.”

And try as hard as I like,
A small crack appears
In my diplomacy-dike.
“By definition”, I begin
“Alternative Medicine”, I continue
“Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
You know what they call “alternative medicine”
That’s been proved to work?
Medicine.”

“So you don’t believe
In ANY Natural remedies?”

“On the contrary actually:
Before we came to tea,
I took a natural remedy
Derived from the bark of a willow tree
A painkiller that’s virtually side-effect free
It’s got a weird name,
Darling, what was it again?
Masprin?
Basprin?
Asprin!
Which I paid about a buck for
Down at my local drugstore.

The debate briefly abates
As our hosts collects plates
but as they return with desserts
Storm pertly asserts,

“Shakespeare said it first:
There are more things in heaven and earth
Than exist in your philosophy…
Science is just how we’re trained to look at reality,
It can’t explain love or spirituality.
How does science explain psychics?
Auras; the afterlife; the power of prayer?”

I’m becoming aware
That I’m staring,
I’m like a rabbit suddenly trapped
In the blinding headlights of vacuous crap.
Maybe it’s the Hamlet she just misquothed
Or the eighth glass of wine I just quaffed
But my diplomacy dike groans
And the arsehole held back by its stones
Can be held back no more:

“Look , Storm, I don’t mean to bore you
But there’s no such thing as an aura!
Reading Auras is like reading minds
Or star-signs or tea-leaves or meridian lines
These people aren’t plying a skill,
They are either lying or mentally ill.
Same goes for those who claim to hear God’s demands
And Spiritual healers who think they have magic hands.

By the way,
Why is it OK
For people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
Is it not totally fucked in the head
Lying to some crying woman whose child has died
And telling her you’re in touch with the other side?
That’s just fundamentally sick
Do we need to clarify that there’s no such thing as a psychic?
What, are we fucking 2?
Do we actually think that Horton Heard a Who?
Do we still think that Santa brings us gifts?
That Michael Jackson hasn’t had facelifts?
Are we still so stunned by circus tricks
That we think that the dead would
Wanna talk to pricks
Like John Edwards?

Storm to her credit despite my derision
Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision
Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition

“You’re so sure of your position
But you’re just closed-minded
I think you’ll find
Your faith in Science and Tests
Is just as blind
As the faith of any fundamentalist”

“Hm that’s a good point, let me think for a bit
Oh wait, my mistake, it’s absolute bullshit.
Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.
If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I’ll spin on a fucking dime
I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!

You show me that it works and how it works
And when I’ve recovered from the shock
I will take a compass and carve Fancy That on the side of my cock.”

Everyones just staring at me now,
But I’m pretty pissed and I’ve dug this far down,
So I figure, in for penny, in for a pound:

“Life is full of mysteries, yeah
But there are answers out there
And they won’t be found
By people sitting around
Looking serious
And saying isn’t life mysterious?
Let’s sit here and hope
Let’s call up the fucking Pope
Let’s go watch Oprah
Interview Deepak Chopra

If you’re going to watch tele, you should watch Scooby Doo.
That show was so cool
because every time there’s a church with a ghoul
Or a ghost in a school
They looked beneath the mask and what was inside?
The fucking janitor or the dude who runs the waterslide.
Throughout history
Every mystery
EVER solved has turned out to be
Not Magic.

Does the idea that there might be truth
Frighten you?
Does the idea that one afternoon
On Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you
Frighten you?
Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural
So blow your hippy noodle
That you would rather just stand in the fog
Of your inability to Google?

Isn’t this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?
If you’re so into Shakespeare
Lend me your ear:
“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet… is just fucking silly”
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?!
I see trees of Green,
Red roses too,
And fine, if you wish to
Glorify Krishna and Vishnu
In a post-colonial, condescending
Bottled-up and labeled kind of way
That’s ok.
But here’s what gives me a hard-on:
I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon.
I have one life, and it is short
And unimportant…
But thanks to recent scientific advances
I get to live twice as long as my great great great great uncles and auntses.
Twice as long to live this life of mine
Twice as long to love this wife of mine
Twice as many years of friends and wine
Of sharing curries and getting shitty
With good-looking hippies
With fairies on their spines
And butterflies on their titties.

And if perchance I have offended
Think but this and all is mended:
We’d as well be 10 minutes back in time,
For all the chance you’ll change your mind

UPDATE:"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." Jorge Luis Borges

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm

READ

“1984” by George Orwell
“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult -so sad! Will write a review when I have a chance
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling – read it in about an hour. Great fairy tales!
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Leeso good. Will also write a review when I have a chance
“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs – another good book by her. Same formula but always a great read.
“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy – the writing style takes a bit of getting used to but is absolutly fantastic! The way Roy describes things is amazing – in one of the reviews I read it says that she writes from the view of a child.
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – great book! Interesting writing style but a fantastic storyline. Definitely one to read.
“Rides a Dread Legion” by Raymond E Feist – the newest book from this fantastic author. Fantastic as always but do not read unless you’ve read the 18 books in the series beforehand….

STILL TO READ

“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche
“The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt
“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta
“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson
“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer
“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy
“A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy
“Dune” by Frank Herbert
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller – halfway through. Lots of fun so far
“Monet & The Impressionists” by George T M Shackelford & Terence Maloon
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins

WE ARE THE DEAD…

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2009 at 12:04 am

A review of “Nineteen Eighty Four” by George Orwell.

I’m still unsure as to whether or not I actually enjoyed this book. Whilst the ideas and concepts spoke to me on an intellectual level, I found that I simply could not enjoy a book that was written almost in the form of a textbook. Indeed, part of it is actually a textbook – “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” by Emmanuel Goldstein. Nevertheless, the plot seemed to fill approximately a third of the book, whilst the rest was full of lectures about Ingsoc, the society of Oceania, socialism etc.

However, by the end of the book I still didn’t feel like I had learnt much more than what I already knew. The narrator says at one point, when Winston is reading “The Book”, that “the best books…are those that tell you what you what you know already.” I agree to a point; it is always great to see your thoughts written in a way that is “…more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden.” But I like to come away from a book with the feeling that I have learnt something. Even if it is just a piece of fiction that you read for fun, I normally feel like I’ve gained even a tiny piece of information that I didn’t know when I started reading.

Maybe I’m not as smart as I think I am, and most of the information went over my head. (I’m starting to think this more and more likely). Perhaps I just don’t know enough about socialism and totalitarianism to fully grasp the concepts, also very likely. However, I sometimes found it very hard to keep reading. At times I only did simply because I felt I should read this book.

When I first started reading “Nineteen Eighty Four” a few people around me started pondering how relevant or impactful it could be in today’s times, seeing as 1984 is already 25 years in the past. When the book was first released it was perceived in some circles as a prediction of what was to come. On the other hand, I feel it was meant more as a warning. As mentioned in the essay by Ben Pimlott at the start of my edition;

“… it is more than just a satirical attack, and much more than the product of febrile imagination. Though it contains a kind of warning, it is not prophecy… Neither is it much concerned with contemporary events. It is a book about the continuing present: an update on the human condition. What matters most is that it reminds us of so many things we usually avoid.”

And in this sense it is relevant to today. Simply ignore the date and focus on the society. Sure, if it was set in the 21st Century the technology may be different and Orwell may have focused on different aspects of the pre-Revolution society (note the significance of the top hats in the novel). But in all, the comments on the human condition will remain relevant as long as the human condition stays the same. A well known ideology is that of the end justifying the means. However, Orwell abolishes the end. The Party is revealed to have no end in mind; simply that “the object of power is power.” This philosophy will only ever work to demoralise society and keep the public in a state of suffering, which only serves the Party’s purpose further.

Also, it is evident in current times that aspects of “Nineteen Eighty Four” can be seen in modern society. Not only are some words in semi-regular use, such as Big Brother and Doublethink, but whilst reading you start to look around you with opened eyes. Would it be possible for “Big Brother” to be watching us now? Is the media merely propaganda that has no genuine basis in reality? Is it possible for records to be altered, so that we begin to doubt our own memory and begin to believe the altered record, simply because the majority does?

It is this last point that I am drawn to; it ties in with the concepts of postmodernism and absolute truth. If the “truth” only lies in the written and recorded accounts and in the memory, what happens when one, or both, is altered? If all records are altered and you must rely on your own memory, would you not begin to doubt the accuracy of your recollections? Then, this doubting would be multiplied if all of those around you believed the altered record. But then, on a small note this is already evident in society, and most likely has been since the start of any kind of recording of events.

Take, for example, a car crash; a red car and a blue car are involved in a t-bone accident. There are two witnesses and they both record their perceptions of the accident immediately after it occurred. Witness One writes that the red car ran a red light and was t-boned by the blue car as the blue car did not have the opportunity to serve and miss. Witness Two states that the blue car ran the red light and t-boned the red car, as the red car was unaware that the other car was approaching. Obviously, there are two “truths”. Yes, they may seem to be only perceptions; however to each witness they are definite memories and therefore truths in their minds. Now, imagine that Witness Two reads Witness One’s report. He begins to doubt and question his own memory of the accident – was the blue car really the one that ran the red light? Had he seen it wrong? Now, imagine that a separate entity wrote a report of the accident based on no genuine facts, which claims that the traffic lights failed and therefore neither car was at fault. This report is released to the general public and therefore assumed to be the factual account of the crash. The two witnesses will then be forced to further question their own reports, and may even become to believe the “general consensus” if particularly persuaded to.

Basically, if there was enough “evidence” to contradict your memories, who’s to say you wouldn’t believe them? Who couldn’t read this book without thinking, “wow, I wonder if I would believe it?”

In conclusion, I think I have managed to use a bit of Doublethink in my own life (the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs); I believe that “Nineteen Eighty Four” is a great concept & a classic book, but at the same time I found it be very boring to read.

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." Jorge Luis Borges

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2009 at 4:08 am


THE PILE OF BOOKS I HAVE TO READ:

“1984” by George Orwell (currently halfway through)
“Cloudstreet” by Tim Winton
“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy
“The Tales of Beedle the Bart” by J.K. Rowling
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“Bones to Ashes” by Kathy Reichs
“The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche
“The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt
“Tokyo Cancelled” by Rana Dasgupta
“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson
“The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Audrey Hepburn, an Elegant Spirit” by Sean Hepburn Ferrer

I will let you know how they all go.