Noir et blanc Bibliothèque

READINGS

Here are the books I have been reading lately that I have liked, updated on a monthly basis. For each book you’ll find a short comment explaining why I included it here. If you want to recommend a book you think I should read and review, you can do so via the Get In Touch page.

THINK LIKE A MONK
By Jay Shetti

EBook | 350 pp. | Thorsons | Sept. 8, 2020 

This book is about learning to leave the world outside, connecting with yourself, and finding out what you’re meant for (‘dharma’). While the book is imbued with Eastern culture, it outlines a process that resembles Socrates’ maieutics, the Greek philosopher’s technique to “extract” his students’ inner truths (and after all, isn’t Greek culture technically Eastern too?). It’s also and perhaps especially about the irresistible story of Jay Shetty going from being an introverted monk to becoming a global phenomenon; influencing millions of people while (reportedly) preserving humility and down-to-earthiness. 

NORWEGIAN WOOD 
By Haruki Murakami

Paperback | 389 pp. | Vintage | Jan, 1, 2003

In a world characterized by the fear of feelings Murakami’s books are a warming island of description of the finest nuances of human emotions. Norwegian Wood is a walk in the forest of tact in addressing even the darkest lines of the mind. Toru Watanabe’s character is one of the most delicate, vibrant, complex male characters I’ve ever come across.

THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA 
By Hanif Kureishi

Paperback | 304 pp. | Faber & Faber | May 4, 2017

Throughout reading this book I kept wondering how my life would be if I had a father like Karim’s – a mesmerizing, inventive and ironic “Buddha” of south London – rather than my solid, reliable and structured dad. I’ve immensely enjoyed this unconventional East meets West novel.

SOIF
By Amelie Nothomb

Paperback | 151 pp. | Michel Albin | Aug. 21, 2019

Amelie Nothomb’s stories of encounters with Japanese corporate and general societal hierarchy are the main reason why I deeply enjoy reading this author, but I chose to flag this book because it shows the courage of Nothimb to choose a touchy subject – Jesus and the Christian religion – and to give it a modern interpretation. Always a risky undertaking. In this case, very well accomplished.

WHAT THE DOG SAW
By Malcolm Gladwell

Paperback | 432 pp. | Penguin | May 6, , 2010

A collection of stories, this book is bound to offer more or less interesting passages but what the best part of the book is his introduction: Gladwell says that he only became a writer when he found out that you can make a living out of a passion. A banality one might say but one worth living for.