Tag Archives: Rating: 7-8

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Some books follow you around online until you get curious enough to download them. Then you start to read, and it shakes you and you cannot put it down.

This is one such book. Simply written yet compelling. A girl commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes. Each tape is a reason why she committed suicide. Each reason is a person. Each of the 13 people have to listen to the tapes to know the real her, what they did that led her to the decision of wanting to take her own life. It could be a small reason, something they said, sometimes acting unknowingly but yet it contributed to her being unable to cope with life. You feel her life unravelling, you feel her joy and her sadness, her clarity and her confusion and at one point in the story, it breaks your heart. You want to reach out to this young girl.

The topic of suicide is really heavy and daunting, and the very thought of an entire book being on it can make you not want to pick up the book. Yet it forces you to think how your actions, your words, your behaviour can impact a life. Definitely get your teenager to read it.

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

Rating: 7/10

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The Tibetan Art of Serenity

The Tibetan Art of Serenity by Christopher Hansard

In the world we live in today, stressful, materialistic, we start to develop a lot of fears. This book deals with 12 types of fear of our everyday mind and of the material world: (1) Fear of being yourself, (2) Fear of other people, (3) Fear of power and control, (4) Fear of love, (5) Fear of loneliness,  (6) Fear of fear itself, (7) Fear of death and dying, (8) Fear of success and failure, (9) Fear of poverty and wealth, (10) Fear of the future and what it will bring, (11) Fear of achievement and self-esteem, (12) Fear of war and illness.

The author works to provide the reader with age-old techniques, exercises, meditations, inspiring stories and case studies to help think about the way we understand fear, what beliefs are blocking us from letting go of the fear, and how to overcome these fears.

This book is very simply written, very easy to understand, and it hits a nerve.  We all know that fear can be inhibiting, and if given a little leash, fear can take control of our day-to-day life. The author uses his deep knowledge of Tibetan teachings, and tries to demonstrate how easy it is to live in peace and serenity.

Rating: 7-8

The Path to Freedom

The Path to Freedom (Freedom in Exile & Ancient Wisdom, Modern World) by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

One of the first books I read on His Highness The Dalai Lama.   This book found me in a random bookstore in Beirut during a time of questioning and it was one of the first spiritual books I ever read. The Path to Freedom is actually 2 books combined in one.

Part 1 (Freedom in Exile) is an autobiography of Tenzin Gyatso, a person we all know as 14th The Dalai Lama. In his own words, he takes us through his life, from being recognized as an incarnation of the previous Dalai Lamas to being enthroned as the Supreme Spiritual Leader of Tibet. He describes the struggle of keeping Tibet free, to the invasion of China, to escaping and living in exile in India. He describes the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet’s continued struggle for independence, and the importance of living in peace in today’s world. Highly Inspiring.

Part 2 (Ancient Wisdom, Modern World) deals with our quest for happiness as humans in today’s world, and how certain ethics of restraint, virtue, compassion etc can play a role in our life.   He simply tries to define a few truths that have transcended time and space, science and technology, and how it can provide us with the tools to live a happy and compassionate life, full of love and meaning. It is not based on religious principles, but rather the universal principles of life.

Rating: 7 / 10