Great Books For Great Thoughts is an intellectual gift by the Author, who is a teacher by profession and probably by heart as well. This is because, his book talks about some of the great books and guides the reader’s mind to pick up the best among the trash that is highlighted in today’s commercialized world. That’s what a true teacher does . He not only introduces you to wisdom but also guides you to use them in proper way. It is a fantastic effort by one of the greatest minds, for only such minds can think of above average and revolutionize their readers to adapt to a new change in their perspective.
This particular book is beyond my reviewing capabilities. Hence ,I would like to share my learning lessons from the same. I had the honor and privilege to interview the Author which can be found below. Please scroll down for the same.
- Book Title– Great Books For Great Thoughts
- Author’s Name- Tomichan Matheikal
- Published by – Self Published on Blog- chatter platform during Blog -chatter E book Carnival 2020
- About the Author– The Author is a teacher by profession and writer by choice. He adores Literature and passionately blogs at https://matheikal.blogspot.com/
- Title and Book Cover- The title of the very well complements the content in the book. The book cover is very minimalist in its looks.
- Narration: The narration is very reader-friendly. It gives a transparent picture of each book that is being discussed.
- Content: Great Books For Great Thoughts is a book which collates some of the the best classics, twenty six to be exact and tries to summarize them. Timeless Classics like Arms and the Men, The Browning version, Freedom at Midnight, The Hungry Tide, Illusions, To kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights and many more such books have been discussed. The Author has tactfully delved into the great minds of G.B. Shaw,William Golding,Earnest Hemingway,Franz Kafka,Henrik Ibsen and many more. What fascinated me the most was his opening paragraph of each chapter where he beautifully introduces the readers to the concept of the book, then gives a brief narration about the book, its author, the protagonists and few important supporting characters. He then goes on to give a brief summary of the plot and ends with a conclusion about what the book talks about or why it is essential to be read or poses a question. He has incorporated his thoughts and view points in doing so.These aspects surely make a captivating read and I was personally inspired to read all the books though I have read only a few. Be it the analogy between love and war in ‘Arms and the Men’, or the vulnerability of human life in ‘The Castle’, or the rebellious protagonist in ‘A Doll’s House’, the meaning of real happiness in ‘The Hungry Tide’, the concept of Hell in ‘No Exit’, all the chapters are unique just like the Classics and immediately incites the readers to pick up such great works of art. This is a must read. Also if one reads all the classics and then re-reads this book , readers can probably ponder upon and develop more insights. Some of the points made by the author had a deep impact on me and I would like to highlight few of them-
- 1–All of us can be healers if we dare, if we wish. That’s real religion.
- 2–Let the rebel rise within you. Say a resounding No to the evils you see around Say a louder Yes to the profound values that struggle to emerge from within you. It is only the rebels who can create a better world.
- 3– It is a funny world. It is tragic world. Sometimes we don’t know where the comedy ends and tragedy begins or vice versa.
- What I missed? I missed more chapters of course! I request the Author to help us in knowing more such works that can enlighten us in future.
- Hurry up Guys… This is free to download in the below link! Click below:
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My Interview with the Seasoned Author
Q- Please tell us something about yourself.
I have been a teacher by profession throughout. Being with young students fills my being with youthfulness. Reading and writing are my other passions. When I’m not in the classroom, I’m with my books reading or the laptop, writing.
Q-Please tell us how you started writing or what made you think that you can pursue writing.
I was never good at socialising or making friends. So I guess I started writing in order to express myself in my relative solitude. For some time in my youth I hoped to make a career out of writing. But I learnt soon enough that life wasn’t going to be quite easy for an aspiring writer unless one is outstanding.
Q-How has been your writing journey so far?
I have written half a dozen books and I blog with religious regularity. I love writing precisely because I don’t have any other means of communicating my ideas to the world. My blog attracts a good number of readers. I wish my books did too.
Q-How do you keep yourself motivated to create and deliver?
My sheer love for reading and writing and also the urge to tell the world what I really feel like without mincing words are my motivators. I have a Faustian hunger for knowledge and a Quixotic urge to tilt at certain windmills! Seriously, I’d love to see a better world around me, a world with more compassion and wisdom. I do my bit to contribute towards making the world a better place.
Q-What has been the inspiration to write the current book & what are your expectations from it?
In the last two months I published two books: Great Books for Great Thoughts, written for The Blogchatter A2Z challenge, and Coping with Suffering, available at Amazon as an e-book. The former was motivated by an urge to bring some classics to the present generation of writers. I feel that the classics give us more insights into life than anything else and any aspiring writer must cultivate a decent familiarity with them. The present pandemic motivated the other book, on suffering.
Q-Who do you think are your target audience and what can readers expect from your book?
Great Books for Great Thoughts was written with young writers in mind. The need to stick to the A2Z sequence forced me to choose some books over better ones. Nevertheless, the book has received good reviews so far and I’m sure every reader will be delighted to get the summary of these classics in brief and also get a critical look at their major themes.
Q-Please share your favorite part of the book that you enjoyed penning down. You may also share any experience that you came across while penning down the book.
Dostoevsky and Kazantzakis hold a special place in the pantheon of my favourite writers. So writing about The Karamazov Brothers and Zorba delighted me more than the others.
“Evil is one of the dominant themes of the novel. Evil is a theme that has baffled philosophers and theologians for long. Ivan rejects God because of evil. If God is good, how come there is so much evil in his creation? If God is omnipotent, why doesn’t he eradicate evil from His world? Logically God is an impossibility. And if there is no God, everything is permitted and morality makes no sense.” That’s a quote from my chapter on Karamazov. I love writing such lines, I love to discuss the problem of evil. Evil is something that continues to baffle me to this day.
Q-How do you envision your writing journey in future?
I started writing a novel over five years ago. It is titled Black Hole. I got stuck towards the end. My next venture is to resume it and complete in the coming few months.
Q-Name your favorite authors/poets. Please share any favorite excerpt from your favorite book.
There are quite many writers whom I admire. The most unforgettable among them are Dostoevsky, Kazantzakis, Albert Camus, and Franz Kafka.
An excerpt from The Karamazov Brothers: This craving for community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time. For the sake of common worship they’ve slain each other with the sword. They have set up gods and challenged one another, ‘Put away your gods and come and worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods!’ And so it will be to the end of the world, even when gods disappear from the earth; they will fall down before idols just the same.
Q-What is one strong philosophy that you live by?
Do whatever you can to add a little more goodness to the world around you. Even small gestures can make big differences. Even the gentlest flicker of light towers far superior to the mounting darkness.
Q-Failure is inevitable in life. Have you ever faced it? If yes, how did you overcome it? What has been your learning lesson that you can share with us?
Far too often, so much so I have described my life as a series of blunders. I committed too many errors in my youth and was an utter failure by the world’s standards. But these failures taught me the most profound lessons of life. They taught me humility and compassion most of all.
Q-How has recent pandemic affected your thought process and what is one message that you would want to advocate during these stressful times?
Covid-19 underscores yet again the essential human frailty. A microscopic virus or bacterium can bring us down mercilessly. We are such feeble creatures. The most fundamental lesson we should learn is our helplessness and littleness which in turn should bring in humility and humaneness. But that is not happening. See how countries attack each other even in these dire times! The depth of human folly rattles me. We fail to learn the essential lessons. The most important message for me then is that this pandemic should lead us to the threshold of wisdom, of profound thinking.
Q-What needs to be done to inculcate the habit of reading and writing among today’s young generation?
There is a lot of writing happening. What is missing is serious reading that leads one to serious thinking. There should be programmes organised at schools for promoting the habit of reading among students. Reading weeks, literary quizzes, group projects, and so on.
Q-Please give review links to your book so far.
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