Good Books Lift You!

Good Books Lift You!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation by Shanida Nataraja
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meditators do not really look for proof that meditation is actually good for them. Practice makes that very apparent, really.

And yet, it is undeniable that the working of the brain is fascinating. This book does an excellent job of explaining what meditation does to our brain. It covers active and passive types and how various regions of the brain respond. As the author notes though - there are various ways people meditate and individual responses and results vary. Hence, the explanations given are somewhat generic - though they do fall into certain broad patterns.

While our knowledge of the brain is improving, it is still far from adequate. The observations in the book are hence somewhat early and limited.

Overall, however, this book is a great read and provides a scientific basis for the benefits of meditation.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: The First Trillionaire

The First Trillionaire The First Trillionaire by Sapna Jha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title grabs your curiosity, doesn't it?

The story centres around Shail, a simple girl who makes it to a bank job with a lot of hard work. Her mother Vanashree goes through very tough times to bring her up.

Shail quips during her initial training that she wants to be the world's first trillionaire. This is however a story of her life and those around her and very little about her long term ambitions. The story breaks to the past after the introduction – the lives of her mother, the circumstances of her birth, her father, brother and her benefactor Olivia. As part of her job at the bank, Shail does very well – also helping the branch come out of tough circumstances. Shail has a well wisher in Olivia, who is a billionaire in UK, and also a business partner in Kran who is a scientist. The story develops well to reveal the interest Olivia has in Shail.

As part of her job, circumstances put Shail in conflict with the local goon Bachcha Singh, who has powerful connections. The enmity takes a serious twist when Shail is kidnapped and moved to a secret locations. At this point, more criminals including those with links to global terrorists get involved.

The first half of the book is an easy and engrossing read and the characters develop very well. Shail's humble background, her mother's struggles and her rising professional reputation all make for very good reading. The later part of the book introduces too many new characters and unnecessary complexity with many sub-plots. As a result the plot significantly deviates leaving loose ends in the original circumstance involving Bachcha Singh.

I got this book in a Goodreads giveaway. A book worth a read, especially for the story and key characters.

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