June and July in books
Well well well, is it another book update? Yep, you heard (read) it right. Two thirds of the summer are already behind, which means that this year is slowly coming to an end. It also means that there are only a few more updates coming up. And, it also implies the purchase of some more books. Yay.
My June can be characterized as a month of finishing what I started (university) and starting the process of jobs applications. Quite a stressful time for a graduate, huh? To chill out a little bit, I grabbed my first book of this summer “The Da Vinci Code” by the well known Dan Brown. I completely agree with those saying it takes an open mind to read it and perceive it they way it is supposed to be perceived. One has to remember that this is a fiction, a thriller, a mystery that absorbs you entirely and does not let you live your life until you are done with it. This is exactly what happened to me.
What can be said about this book that has not yet been said? Not much. Holy Grail quest follows through the whole story and leaves a reader with a mind free to wonder. It is jam-packed with facts about church, Christianity and paganism, true meanings of faith and everything society has been questioning till this day. Were there just thirteen men on Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The last Supper” drawing? Or was there also a woman, sitting right beside Jesus, sharing his royal blood in her womb? Was women’s existence and divinity suppressed by many at the times and if so, then why? How many mysteries and hidden messages do Da Vinci’s works hide? Why the concept of sacred feminine was banned by churches and what path did Robert Langdon take to unveil the truth?
It takes one person passionate about a subject to reach the goal he did not imagine reaching in his wildest dreams. It also takes a mind open to controversial discoveries to understand and choose whether to believe it or not. A fiction like this could easily change your views on religion and faith in general. I am a believer in such events taking place, and with the huge amount of historical facts involved, do not exclude the possibility of them happening. As a first Dan Brown book read by me, I am excited to indulge in some more of his masterpieces in the nearest future.
A book with a huge media coverage “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss was the second book I read this summer. First off, I have to confess that my interest in self-help books has increased immensely during the past year. Whatever the reason for it is – the realization of adulting taking place or the fact that university is over and it is just about time to figure life out – it remains to be so. Rumors had it that this book results in people taking actions and changing their lives forever. Should there be any more justifications for picking it up? I do not think so.
To begin with, you should not expect to learn how to make money solely by lying on the beach and sipping pina colada (no matter how cool that sounds). The reality is that this is not how it works. In order to be able to generate income while chilling on the beach a lot of prior measures have to be taken. This book can help you with that by serving as a guide for your actions towards your goal.
Tim’s views on the automated income are quite peculiar yet straight forward. His step by step guide to a life you have probably dreamt of at some point gives you required directions in order to do so. The inclusion of case studies of those who succeeded with the help of this book makes you want to take actions. I am not going to lie by saying that I have never heard of some of the techniques before, but there are definitely several concepts worth taking notes.
To not give away too much and retain your interest, I will give you merely a few of the key covered ideas, after which you can decide whether it is ultimately worth your time. Tim points out the importance of applying 80/20 principle to your work & day-to-day life and the low-information diet strategy a successful, according to his opinion, person should implement. He also discusses in-depth the automation of one’s income with the help of digital resources, which brings a lot more time to focus on things he is passionate about. Another core notion he makes is regarding the importance of taking mini-retirements throughout life without having to wait 30 or 40 years until savings permit you to do so.
I believe I will have to reread the book once I settle in a bit more with my career journey. Since I still consider myself a fresh graduate, it is dangerous in a way to take too much out of this book, although the main ideas are definitely remembered. What self-help books do you feel like severely impacted your life and you could recommend?
To diversify this summer’s reading experience of mine, I decided to grab “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser. Since this book is a classic, why not give it a go? But boy, I honestly did not expect it to remind me of the Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky so much. The twists and consequences of one’s decision are reflected in both of them, although the plot differs.
Can I relate it to the time we are living in? Absolutely. The same scenario repeats in the twenty first century of ours with various modifications. In the book’s scenario, the main character comes from poor and highly religious family. Upon becoming a teenager he decides to take some jobs in order to not preach on the streets with his family. Not being able to identify himself with his family’s aspirations, he travels from one job to another while observing the lives and possibilities of rich and successful. In hopes to become a part of the wealthy and enjoy their luxurious way of living, the boy – Clyde – pursues things he cannot obtain. Mesmerized by the feminine beauty, his desires lead him to some morally unacceptable circumstances he finds himself in. Finding a person with a similar to his own background and falling in love with her, he then changes his mind when meeting someone from a rich society where his future seems to him more desirable. Not being able to deal with his own troubles and decisions as to how to proceed so that to join the prosperous community, he commits a crime. Clyde, being so young and blinded by the pictures in his head filled with constant lust for more, makes unwise decision, which leads him to the death house, and, consequently, to the electric chair.
Sad and foolish circumstances bring the attention to the protagonist’s false aspirations, which is often met in real life. The desire to reach unattainable tends to overcast the joy one already has in his life. It tends to put off the existing happiness and focus on the unrealistic expectations, which is how Clyde’s life became.
Image credit: Jeong Yuno