Feb 05

COMMERCIALISM IN A CONVEYANCE

It took an operational anomaly in the unseen workings of the Light Railway Transport (“LRT”) system in Malaysia for the full impact of rampant consumerism to sink into me. On a sunny Thursday morning, I wound my way up a crowded escalator onto an even crowded platform for what was supposed to be my routine …

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Jan 22

Status Anxiety – Alain De Botton

In a world obsessed with hoarding material wealth and acquiring symbolic societal status, how we judge the value of our existence is to a great extent dependent upon how worthy or unworthy others perceive us to be – whether fairly or unfairly. While a favourable verdict imbues us with a vainglorious vanity, an adverse judgment …

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Jan 22

The Story of Philosophy – James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom

Using simple language and a dash of contextual wit, James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom take the reader on a whirlwind tour of the evolution, development and future of Western philosophy. It sure is an arduous endeavour to traverse back 2000 years in time to flesh out the origins, premise and causes that triggered the thinking …

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Jan 16

The Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq, Frank Wynne (Translator)

Michel Dzerjinski is a highly acclaimed molecular biologist with impeccable credentials. His personal life however is a prosaic void bereft of love, empathy and relationships. Cocooning himself into a world of Double Helices, chromosomes and Hilbert spaces, Michel leads an existence that is both spartan and dreary. Microwave dinners, research entries and teaching aspiring students …

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Jan 16

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (TED 2) – Dan Ariely

One of the most engaging and innovative behavioural economists practicing the subject today, Dan Ariely has demonstrated through his personal trauma that there is no hurdle which motivation cannot overcome, however insurmountable the vexing obstacle might seem at the outset. Now in this book – a part of the TED publications initiative – Ariely provides …

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Jan 16

Hot Milk – Deborah Levy

An opaque tale of grappling with identities, coming to grips with involuntary sacrifices and jousting with a simmering and confused sexuality, “Hot Milk” by Deborah Levy is Sophie Papastergiadis’ predicament with life, lust and a listless state of mind. Sophie’s mother Rose suffers from a strange malady which results in an intermittent loss of lower …

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Jan 16

Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors: Against the Double Blackmail – Slavoj Žižek

In this acerbic, polemical work, the controversial philosopher Slavoj Zizek attempts to tackle the problems posed by a growing influx of refugees from the Middle East into Europe. Combining a complicated narrative style with complex metaphysical analogies, Zizek compares the reaction of both authorities and the public in Western Europe to the flow of refugees …

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Jan 03

Books v Cigarettes – George Orwell

The genius of George Orwell lies in the economy of his words. The language employed by Orwell is so sparse and yet so incredibly rich. There is not a single sentence that is irrelevant nor a single passage that is not contextual. “Books v Cigarettes” is a collection of a handful of essays by George …

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Jan 03

Even Dogs In The Wild – Ian Rankin

Undoubtedly the best Rebus book till date! Don’t we keep repeating this every time Ian Rankin comes up with a John Rebus thriller? But “Even Dogs In The Wild” has an allure about it which lends an unshakeable credence to a conviction that denies the fact that the existence of this intrepid detective from Edinburgh …

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Dec 28

The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton

Often times when we plan what we hope will be a fun filled, exciting and fulfilling travel, we tend to portray images of such bliss in our minds. The layered images are invariably optimistic, lending a hallowed credence to the ensuing journey. However there is an extraordinarily explicit dichotomy between what we perceive to be …

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