Category: Books

This is how civilisations heal

I couldn’t decide whether to get Pachinko or A Gentleman in Moscow at the bookstore today, so I got both. Honestly, such a good problem to have. I started to read A Gentleman in Moscow the moment I got home, clutching my prized bounty. I’m only on page 49 so far, and it has been […]

Lists lists lists

Today that I learned that someone wrote a book specifically on my favourite thing ever: lists. The book is called The Checklist Manifesto, written by surgeon Atul Gawande. I believe he wrote the book after he helped develop WHO’s surgical safety checklist — a 19-item list over the course of three stages of surgery — […]

Give up the shit that weighs you down

Toni Morrison passed away today. Like many works of literary geniuses, I began to read her work fairly late in life. I began with Song of Solomon, where I stumbled upon my most ever favourite quote of hers: “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” It has always […]

Whale of a time

It was Herman Melville’s 200th birthday yesterday. It transported me back to my teen days, when my school hours would last from morning till about 2 pm. My mother taught in another school next to mine, and her session did not finish till 4 pm as she had to stay back to do some administration […]

The point of writing

I guess I have come across this before but I was recently made aware (or reminded) of from Stranger Things 3 of what is called the Baader-Meinhof effect, or ‘frequency illusion’— the effect that happens when you start seeing the same things in succession after being mentioned to you, or encountered upon it the first […]

This is for the unwanted

I just finished reading the new book from Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World, possibly my fifth Shafak’s book I have read. The title lends itself to a finding of a research, however unproven, that whenever one dies their mind will stay alert for another exactly 10 minutes 38 seconds. I […]

On libraries and flight shame

I haven’t flown since November last year, and while I look forward to flying again soon-ish, I might want to reconsider the option. It was said that a flight across the Atlantic, say specifically New York to London, puts an extra 1.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the air, and costs $60 in environmental […]


Currently rereading my own copy of Teju Cole’s collection of essays, Known and Strange Things — whose title is a reference to a passage from Seamus Heaney, “a hurry through which known and strange things pass”. I like finding out things like this, just when people would ask why Two Kinds of Intelligence? Of which […]