Just a quick mention of some of the great books I have loved, which have been of interest, growth, and pure fun. Will update more soon !
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
“Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That’s what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes? Right? And you know something? Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.”
Got this when I was 16 years old. Must have read more than 20 times. Find something new every single time I read it. Great insights on psychology. Great action. Great language. Gripping, interesting, power tale. Read it even if you have seen the movie.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
He had started to suspect that his venerable father and his other teachers, that the wise Brahmans had already revealed to him the most and best of their wisdom, that they had already filled his expecting vessel with their richness, and the vessel was not full, the spirit was not content, the soul was not calm, the heart was not satisfied.
Lovely language, penetrating insights. The story of a boy in search of truth, who gets tangled in the world of desires, and finally finds salvation near a river. I especially love the scene where our hero encounters and questions the great Buddha himself. A thin book, but very broad in its perspective, very satisfying.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
“What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can’t all be worth dying for.”
“Anything worth living for,” said Nately, “is worth dying for.”
“And everything worth dying for,” answered the sacrilegious old man, “is certainly worth living for.”
The craziest, funniest, wittiest, most irreverent book. Ever. I tried to come up with a quote which would give a flavor to someone who has not heard of it. I can’t select any one quote to do justice. It’s too brilliant. Not a book, an experience. Have it.
The Apology by Plato
When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing,—then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, both I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways—I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
Socrates, IMHO, was the coolest philosopher to walk the earth. Founded no schools of thought, wrote no books. Just tried to find out what was right, what was best for people, and yes, died for what he believed in.
The Twilight Series
Harry Potter fans, feel free to hate me. But I loved the series. High on creating expectation, and captures emotions well. Do try it.