What Matters to Me Most:
My Family, My Students, My Teachers, My Friends, Books, and Travelling form the foundational pilars that mold all aspects of my personal and professional life.
While I would love to read as many books as I can get hold of, time is the critical bottleneck. So I chose to read books that use fiction as a medium to tell stories about unfamiliar cultures, deeply disturbing (but age-old) social opression, familiar cultures but provide a new insight that popular media never seem to be interested. Even in this narrow list of topics the range of available books is immense. Over years I acquired a taste for prose that flows like a river on a bed of pebbles; smooth on the top but complex just below the surface.
Here are some of the Tour-De-Force books that fall in that category (in no particular order):
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Midnight's Children (I am lucky to have a copy of this book signed by Salman Rushdie)
- Oryx and Crake
- God of Small Things
- Half of a Yellow Sun
- Pablo Neruda, Memoirs (Strangely I have never read any of his poetry to-date but his Memoirs is a superb book)
- My Experiments With Truth (not really a fiction but some of Gandhi's ideals blur that distinction)
- Brave New World
- ...More as I remember/reevaluate
There are several other books that I truly enjoyed reading but do not necessarily consider as having significant impact in my own understanding. Someday I should put up the long list.
Here are some pictures from our recent trip to Cambodia.
Boston Trip Aug 2009