Music Nook: California Dreamin’

You must have heard the classic and the best known version of this song by The Mamas And The Papas, it’s called the California Dreamin’ written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips. But recently I heard this new interpretation of this song and I loved it. So, I thought that I should share it with you and I hope you love it too.

Source: Qeta Dgebuadze’s Youtube Channel

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Book Review: The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

“Death is finished,” he said to himself.  “It is no more!”

18386My Rating: *4 Stars*

I read this book few days back before going to sleep and I must say that this book made me think a lot.

The only reason I don’t pick up Russian books is because they are fully loaded with Russian names and in the end, I end up calling people whatever name I want to. So, the only name I remember is Ivan Ilych.(I know you don’t have to know this, but it literally sucks.)

So as the title suggests and you can totally make this out that it’s about death of a person named Ivan Ilych.

The theme of this book is Death and just so you know I love reading books that deals with death.

This book makes you think inward and ponder upon the subject of life and death, sure it does. When I started reading it, the tone of the writing was really cold and it does suit the setting that was of a funeral with some slap on the face humor which I wonder was there or it was just an effort made my Tolstoy to bring the readers out of the depressive setting that he created in his book.

Tolstoy did talk about morality and there were few situation where even I gave out a chuckle or two and then I thought how inappropriate it was. He starts with how when someone dies people for a very brief time show their sympathy, they feel a bit sad for the person who died, but they feel more happy for they didn’t, for they are alive and it’s not their time, yet.

I want to quote few lines from the funeral part of the story…

His acquaintance…

“Schwartz was waiting for him in the adjoining room with legs spread wide apart and both hands toying with his top-hat behind his back.  The mere sight of that playful, well-groomed, and elegant figure refreshed Peter Ivanovich.  He felt that Schwartz was above all these happenings and would not surrender to any depressing influences.”

Schwartz didn’t give a hoot. He was there just to mark his presence.


His wife…

“Oh, terribly!  He screamed unceasingly, not for minutes but for hours.  for the last three days he screamed incessantly.  It was unendurable.  I cannot understand how I bore it; you could hear him three rooms off.  Oh, what I have suffered!”

And then his wife said that she suffered. I ask from what? The screams of her husband that she couldn’t tolerate? OH MY GOD! Reading those lines made me feel worse.


His friend…

“The service began:  candles, groans, incense, tears, and sobs.  Peter Ivanovich stood looking gloomily down at his feet. He did not look once at the dead man, did not yield to any depressing influence, and was one of the first to leave the room…

…Peter Ivanovich found the fresh air particularly pleasant after the smell of incense, the dead body, and carbolic acid.”

He just wanted to get out of the awkward situation that he was in, the funeral. So, that at least he can feel happy about his life and that he was alive.


I suffered from all insensitivity these characters showed, made me think for once that how people really do that kind of shit all the time. Some of them feel sad when other people suffer but they feel more happy for themselves because they are all well and fine, then there are few people who don’t give a hoot about anyone, they only think about what they can get out of others suffering, how others suffering can benefit them. And some of them feel relieved that at least it’s all over so that they can move on in life.

Ivan was a nice man, he lived a well to do life, he owned a good house, had a good career, money, a good position in the society and a family. If you look at the surface he had it all. But one day when death announced itself to him, everything came crashing down.

“Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.”

When pain and agony made him question his life, when he looked back in time, he realized he lost all the joy with time and he started questioning life. All that he had was what the society was expecting from him, not necessarily what he wanted out of life.

“False. Everything by which you have lived and live now is all a deception, a lie, concealing both life and death from you.”

“And in imagination he began to recall the best moments of his pleasant life.  But strange to say none of those best moments of his pleasant life now seemed at all what they had then seemed—none of them except the first recollections of childhood.  There, in childhood, there had been something really pleasant with which it would be possible to live if it could return.  But the child who had experienced that happiness existed no longer, it was like a reminiscence of somebody else.

 As soon as the period began which had produced the present Ivan Ilych, all that had then seemed joys now melted before his sight and turned into something trivial and often nasty.”

Alone while suffering and waiting for his death he questioned himself and his soul. He saw his life in a different light. He suffered his destruction all alone and died everyday a little thinking that no one really cared to understand his sufferings.

“It can’t be that life is so senseless and horrible. But if it really has been so horrible and senseless, why must I die and die in agony? There is something wrong!”

And then he died and we came to an end.

“Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more!”

And there it was “The Death of Ivan Ilych”.

It’s a short book but I believe one should read this book, it can be a heavy read for some people but worth reading. Once you’ll start reading it, I’m sure you won’t be able to put it down.

7 Inspirational Books that You should Read: Do You Really Need Them? This Will Help You Decide!

quotescover-PNG-41 Yesterday I wrote an answer to a question on Quora.

Then today I thought why not write a post similar to it. So, here it is.

There are few inspiration novels that I love and today I’m sharing with you 7 books out of many wonderful books that I love and adore.

Few of them are just brilliant and are must read books and you I’m telling you that you really need to read them(well you can decide for yourself, I was just kidding).

I consider each one of them worthy of anyone’s time.


“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

“If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!”

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Why?The Giver had made me shed a tear more than a few times.

Think of life as black and white. The world of “sameness” and “uniformity”, where there is no love, no happiness, no sadness, no warmth, no color, no death, and no anger. This book depicts the world of dullness and monotony. Now think of a world where you assigned everything, maybe your future occupation, your life partner and whatever you can think of.

I’m not very crazy about the ending. But this book did teach me, that we need change in our world and not just the change but also the courage to make that change. This book tell you that you can do everything you set your mind to. It also make us realize that when we allow people to choose for themselves, you instill hope in them.

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach

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When I was in 10th standard my English teacher suggested this book to us students and she told, that one of the person she met read this book and, he told her that, this book changed him, changed the way he think and the way he lives his life.

So,that time I decided, that I should also read this book and in 2011, I actually gave this book a read, with one another book from Richard Bach called “Illusion”.

This book is a fable and a short read, BUT a good read indeed!

Yes, as few readers complained, there is nothing new in this book. All the same stuff about will power and self imagination of limitlessness. But you know, This fable had quite a different way of defining heaven..in “perfection”, in “realization of limitless self”. Listening to your heart, and that true determination and hard practice can give you mastery in whatever field you want, the sense of effortlessness..not only to produce the results each time but to understand & conquer the principles underlying the ways which produce these results.

“..Jonathan asked to Chiang,” Well, what happens from here? Where are we going? Is there no place as heaven?” and Chiang replied, ” No, Jon, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not even time. Heaven is being perfect. You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour or at speed of light. Because any number is limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there, instantly…anywhere anytime anyplace.”

“The Time Keeper”by Mitch Albom

“It is never to late or too soon, it is when it is supposed to be.”

13624688Add to Goodreads

why? Book Review

This book basically tells you that don’t take time for granted, don’t wish it away, don’t take it in your hands. Love it or hate it, time keeps moving forward.

 

 

 

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

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Why?If you ask me to make a list of 10 must read book, this book will be on the top. When I read it this book gave me a Mind Orgasm.

After reading this book, now every time I take up anything that take up a whole lot of time. I always ask myself, “Will this be meaningful to me?” and if the answer is a big “No”. I don’t do it. Save a lot of time.

The writer show us the capacity of hope. This book for me is a perspective changer.

“Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

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Why?This book is more of a influential book but let me add it to this list because perhaps it was also inspirational for me.

You do need to read this book!

I call this book, “Outliers don’t exist” because Outliers may not be Outliers after all. You’ll get to know this after reading this book.

“Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

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Why?For me this book was inspiring. Since in 21st century people are living life in a rut. The opportunity to dig your way out of it and to get away so as to get in touch with nature, to discover, to really think about life sounds to me like a really good thing to do.

“Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand

“I love you so much that nothing can matter to me – not even you…Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference”

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Why?Whether you agree with this woman or not(please say you don’t). This book is certainly enticing and enchanting. I’m not really fan of this woman, but this is one of my favorite book and it is entertaining too.

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”

This book is remarkable.

I liked Howard’s struggle to resist society’s way and remain true to himself . To maintain his individuality. And I liked how the book argues that individuals, not society, makes history.

It’s a tale of triumph and defeat.


So these are the 7 inspirational novels that I wanted to share with you. Some other day I’ll add more books to this list. Till then enjoy these!

Happy Reading!

 

5 Brilliant Short Books That You Can Read in One Sitting

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Image Source: Favim.com

Oh! So you don’t read books because you don’t get time?

You might be a really busy person, I believe.

Or you don’t like big fat books? Because time consuming and not worth the effort,eh?

Or you just find books intimidating?

Well what is it?

Okay what if I say, size really doesn’t matter and you can consider reading brilliant short novels. Books that you can read in one sitting, and then after reading them you won’t feel disappointed, and they will also give you this immense satisfaction of finishing a book in a single day!

Now how wonderful is that? A lot, I know! (now please don’t come up with short stories and novellas are not books, you’re kidding me, right?)

If you are person who think reading is boring, difficult and intimidating. You just need to find a right book because reading can be for everyone, believe it.

And children what is the matter? Summer vacations are up! Now catch up on some reading.(If you want some fun stuff to read, you can always ask me.)

“Short fiction seems more targeted – hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it’s a lot smokier and less defined.”

– Paolo Bacigalupi

So, here are few of my favorite short novels that are quick reads, brilliant and worth reading! In this post I’m adding just 5 novels and I’ll add more book in another post(because there are many), for the time being enjoy these.

1. The Stranger by Albert Camus

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You can read full review here: The Stranger 

Here are the opening lines: “Mother died today Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY.” A telegram, not a personal phone call or someone on staff from the old-people’s home actually making the hour trip in person to inform her only son, but a terse three line businesslike telegram – cold, insensitive, almost callous; a telling sign of the mechanized times.

You want something socking? Go read this! And wait, wait! Truth to be told you’ll be surprised. Now, carry on…


2. The Loser by Thomas Bernhard

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The Genius, the Philosopher, the Loser.

Bernhard is amazing, he’s what I call a twisted brilliant guy.

This book will make you think twice. Whether you consider yourself a genius or maybe if you want to be one.

“Every person is a unique and autonomous person and actually, considered independently, the greatest artwork of all time…”


3. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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“They all saw him come out, and they all understood that now he knew they were going to kill him”

This is my favorite book. Like when people ask what books you like the most, this book always tops the list. I still have few questions that are unanswered and I don’t know why I haven’t yet wrote a review(because I don’t know how to write it and where to start, but I’ll write soon…it’s in the draft, ya.)

This is one of that book, that I just force-feed on people. I have brought a whole lot of copies of this book and I seriously giveaway to people when they ask me this question, “Can you suggest me a good book?

Story of a potentially innocent man who is murdered for the honor of a woman who lost her virginity. (Yes, seriously.)


4.Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

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“You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

You can read full review here: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Goodreads book description: In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

“It’s better to look at the sky than live there”

 


5. Animal Farm by George Orwell

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As I said I’m only adding 5 books in this post out of many wonderful books, but I can’t afford to miss this book.

“His answer to every problem, every setback was “I will work harder!” —which he had adopted as his personal motto.”

This book may change your perspective and may open your eyes.

The people in power change the rules as they want and the Common people are made to believe that is better for them.

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”


This is it for now, I’m done with my list and I hope you’ll enjoy these books. As I said I’ll add other books later in a different post that will come up next month.

Happy Reading!

 

 

Book Review : Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

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My Rating : *4 Stars*

Reading Oscar Wilde book means life is perfect. He’s my favorite  and guess what he never disappoint, I mean never!

I enjoyed this play, Oscar Wilde’s plays are worth reading, they are thought provoking , witty and have well crafted characters and wonderfully written dialogues, which I think everyone can enjoy.

Oscar Wilde is a genius and his wit’s never bore me and every time I read his books I enjoy them very profoundly. My favorite being “The Importance of Being Earnest ” and “The Picture of Dorian Grey “. However every book that I read written by him becomes my favorite. I’m not kidding!

Reading Oscar Wilde is always amazing. That being said, I suggest you to read his books, if you haven’t and let me tell you’re missing something brilliant here.

This play is about a good woman(ya) and is a social comedy. This play pokes fun of the social expectations. Hypocrisy in this play is an important component and lies an important tool to avoid conflicts. It’s a moral play about immoral people.

4 stars because I could not connect to all the characters, as they were so many and I don’t like too many characters in a book, but that is my problem.

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Some quotes from the book:

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

“I talk so trivially about life because I think that life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.”

“What is a cynic?…A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they’re better.”

And I loved this one:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

By the way you can watch the play here:

5 Must Read Books for Science Lovers! Yay!

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Hi there! I was thinking a lot about the title of this post and turned out I’m not very good in forming attractive titles, meh. However, there is nothing wrong with this title, it’s just that I don’t find this one very creative. So, keeping that aside, here is a post for you.

No no I’m not suggesting any book that will teach you about friction or about toppling effect and maybe you know that too. So, considering you are a curious person and you love to know things here are few suggestions for you. Chances are you might have already read these book that I’m discussing here, wonderful(I understand the geek that resides inside of you!), but there are also chances that you might have not read them yet. So, Now you should read them!Really.

There are whole lot of brilliant people out there, but there is one thing that separate one brilliant person from another. Like we always have that one professor who know everything but he can’t make you understand a shit (you getting me? I hope, or maybe I’m a fool). Likewise there are writers who know how to communicate with people, when you read their books you can literally feel the excitement with which they explain things with such simplicity. I love them, these people enjoy their work and are passionate (Now, you may be thinking when will she stop talking, okay I understand!).

“If I finish a book a week, I will read only a few thousand books in my lifetime, about a tenth of a percent of the contents of the greatest libraries of our time. The trick is to know which books to read.”

-Cosmos, Carl Sagan

Here is a list of those 5 books that I think you should read!


 

1. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

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“There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.”

Description:

In Bryson’s biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand and, if possible, answer the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the worlds most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

why? This book will hold you in a tight grip and I’m telling you, you’ll get to know about a whole lot of things and then you may also find yourself talking about this book with people around you. And on top of that Bill Bryson is funny.


2. Pale Blue Dot : A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

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“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.”

Description:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan traces our exploration of space and suggests that our very survival may depend on the wise use of other worlds. This stirring book reveals how scientific discovery has altered our perception of who we are and where we stand, and challenges us to weigh what we will do with that knowledge.

Now you may ask why? Book Review


3. Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku

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“Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.”

Description:

In this thrilling journey into the mysteries of our cosmos, bestselling author Michio Kaku takes us on a dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines, multidimensional space and, most tantalizing of all, the possibility that parallel universes may lay alongside our own. Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest iteration, M-theory, which posits that our universe may be just one in an endless multiverse, a singular bubble floating in a sea of infinite bubble universes. If M-theory is proven correct, we may perhaps finally find answer to the question, “What happened before the big bang?” This is an exciting and unforgettable introduction into the new cutting-edge theories of physics and cosmology from one of the pre-eminent voices in the field.

why? If you are into time travel and again do I need to say? Parallel Universe! To tell you the truth I’m currently reading this book and I’m enjoying it and no it’s not a light read(you can guess that). However, a fun read.


 

4. Einstein’s Dream by Alan Lightman

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“The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.”

Description:

A modern classic, Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a patent office in Switzerland. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.

why? Book Review


5. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

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“we make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers”

Description:

Cosmos has 13 heavily illustrated chapters, corresponding to the 13 episodes of the Cosmos television series. In the book, Sagan explores 15 billion years of cosmic evolution and the development of science and civilization. Cosmos traces the origins of knowledge and the scientific method, mixing science and philosophy, and speculates to the future of science. The book also discusses the underlying premises of science by providing biographical anecdotes about many prominent scientists throughout history, placing their contributions into the broader context of the development of modern science.

The book covers a broad range of topics, comprising Sagan’s reflections on anthropological, cosmological, biological, historical, and astronomical matters from antiquity to contemporary times. Sagan reiterates his position on extraterrestrial life—that the magnitude of the universe permits the existence of thousands of alien civilizations, but no credible evidence exists to demonstrate that such life has ever visited earth.

why? Okay, I know I’m bit biased with Sagan, what can I do? He is my darling(yes yes). Well, let me tell you something if you are living on this planet then you need to read this book. There is no why to it. It is what it is!(I’ll write the review soon)


 

Now you may carry on with your day. Have a good day! 🙂

 

 

Book Review : The Stranger by Albert Camus

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My Rating : *4.5 Stars*

I’m not gonna talk about this book in terms of existentialism or any other philosophical terminology. Do I even bother to know what these terms even mean? No

Will I ever try to know what all these philosophical terms mean? Yes, someday.

And if you also want to know what they mean, you can read them,here.

“The Stranger”, about this book, I can say one thing that I really cherished the time I spent reading it. And also it raised a whole lot of questions for me to ponder over and I think they are questions without answers and that is disturbing for me.

I remember when I read this book called “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Marquez, after I finished reading that book, the question that who actually took her virginity messed up with my mind, and I was asking everyone, did I miss something? and nobody gave me an answer to that question, I re-read it and still no answer (well if you know the answer please let me know, even though I have considered few possibilities to satisfy myself). Similarly after reading this book, I’m feeling the same way.

Camus in this book brings out the absurdity of human existence.

I don’t know what I should learn from this book, and I don’t know what he was trying to tell us and I really don’t know if I’ve got this right or not…

However I liked it very much and this book is not just about meaning of life, there is so much more to it.

The main character of this book, Meursault, Do I not like him? No, I liked him.

Did he do a senseless act of committing a murder? Yes, he did, it was total senseless.

Do I hate him for that? Yes, I do.

But is there anything wrong with him other than that? No, not really, I don’t think so.

What he did was not moral, but on the other hand the way Camus portrayed him as a person, people may call him hard-hearted, cold, inhuman or whatever they wish, but I don’t think of him that way.

I totally disagree with the interpretation that he was inhuman or amoral.

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Do we really have to follow what society think is right or wrong, who the hell make that decision. I guess this is what our society is doing, people want you to behave in a certain way, they expect you to cry when someone dies, they expect you to show sympathy when thing are going wrong in their life, they want you to make them feel worthy, they want you to make them feel important, they also want you to keep up with their crap and when you don’t they call you cold, insensitive and inhuman or these days most preferably a douchepig (well I do agree some of us are douchepig, but some of us are not).

Why is it that society will call us human only when we’ll live unto their expectations, isn’t everyone different, isn’t things in life work in different ways for different people, don’t everyone have a different personality.

Why is it when we don’t show certain emotions in certain situations, people think there is something wrong with us.

I don’t see a point, why someone should be asked to behave in a certain way, and why we have to impose on others what we think is right or wrong.

Isn’t there a saying, live and let live?

I hated how he was being told that he should behave or act or live in a certain way.

Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known to laugh, History would have been different.”- Oscar Wilde

I’m not saying what he did was right, but calling a person criminal because he don’t make you feel good about yourself, or follow your steps is downright wrong. Only that in this case he was actually a criminal, but for his crime and not for his human behavior.

Meursault never lied through out the book, he never pretend to have faith in god not even to save his life. He valued honesty and I do consider that he cared for people close to him.

Sometimes the book even turned out to be funny, I really liked the writing and now I’m gonna read all the books written by this writer.

Even though in a way I agree with this book, there is something I totally disagree with…

“But”, I reminded myself, “it’s common knowledge life isn’t worth living,anyhow.”

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”-Ernest Hemingway

I would say life is totally worth living…

The last part of the book for me was really depressing… I think the crime he committed made his thoughts and belief more visible to people, this is when he was considered as different or a stranger.“The Stranger”.