Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Page: 288 pages

Plot: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Favorite Quote: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

Thoughts: I had heard a lot about this book by Elizabeth Gilbert and I wanted to read it ever since. I had loved ‘Eat Pray Love’ and I was expecting much more from this one. Well, this book is basically about keeping your creativity alive, growing and away from fears.

In this book the author has given creative ideas a life of their own. They pay a visit to an individual at any possible time and place, you grab it or they will visit someone else. There is never a “right time” for creativity. Procrastination leads do a missed opportunity when it comes to creativity. This is beautifully explained with examples from author’s personal life.

The other thing that I liked in the book was creativity’s relationship with fear. Creativity and fear co-exist the more attention given to fear, the more it expands. A lot of times an individual judges his creative output based on the success it will receive. The author advises to not fret about it and just do it. The most important thing is to give in your 100% and the work you produce should be perfect according to you. This particular thought is quite inspiring and comforting for anyone who needs to overcome the mental barrier of being measured by the success his creativity receives from the society.

The voice is narrative and it feels like the author is talking to the reader. There were few highs points for me in the book but I was expecting much more. Few ideas seemed impractical and not applicable universally. For e.g. the author states that getting a higher education in field of your interest is unworthy. Some people have innate talent to do things but other need to brush up their skills and that’s where education is required.

Overall, this book didn’t impress me completely but there are a few gems that can be taken away from this book.

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: Chanakya in Daily Life

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Title: Chanakya in Daily Life

Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai

Pages: 290 pages

Plot: Life is unpredictable and full of challenges. One wrong step and everything can come crashing down. In such a scenario, one often wishes for a roadmap of life, but how is that possible?

Bestselling author Radhakrishnan Pillai’s much-anticipated book, Chanakya in Daily Life, will help you navigate the rough seas of life and stay on course. Covering all aspects of life from the personal to the professional, it will tell you everything from how to begin your day to how to end it, how to choose the right job, stay financially secure, have a happy married life, raise your children the right way, achieve the perfect work-life balance and much more. Like always, Pillai decodes and simplifies the visionary king-maker Chanakya’s teachings from the Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti to provide solutions for any problem that might crop up in any aspect of your life.

Thus, Chanakya in Daily Life is the perfect guru who expects only one thing from the shishya—a willingness to learn.

Thoughts: ‘Chanakya in Daily Life’ is a non-fiction, self help book inspired by the teachings of the great Guru Chanakya’s book ‘Arthshastra’. Mr Pillai has simplified his teachings for a lay man to understand and incorporate in his life.

The book is sectioned into three parts: Personal Life, Professional Life and Family Life. These sections are further distributed in smaller chapters, explaining various aspects and activities one can undertake to improve his life.

The writing is simple and direct. The language is kept simple to be well understood by anyone. The matter is crisp and the book is not dragged with unwanted examples making it a quick read.

We know most of the things that are highlighted in the book but we never tend to incorporate these things thinking for it to be too trivial and petty.  What I liked the most about the book is the fact how small things can make a big difference in our productivity and overall craft our lives.

This book simplifies the knowledge derived from the king maker himself making it easy for a common man to discipline his life and achieve his overall goals.I would recommend this self help book to all those who are looking for a road map to better their personal, professional and family life in tandem.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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