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Cusk has a piercing intellect but demonstrates it through perspicacity, not by showing off on the page. I came to the graphic memoir Persepolis Pantheon by Marjane Satrapi via my year-old daughter. It is set in Iran around the Islamic revolution when the author is We accompany her through her gradual awakening to politics, love, oppression and the complexity of families — and her drawings are enchanting.

Ponti Picador by Sharlene Teo is a sultry, hilarious dissection of mother-daughter relationships, and the effect of time and teenagehood on friendships, against the backdrop of Singapore B-movies. It oozes confidence.

Best summer books , as picked by writers and cultural figures – part two | Books | The Guardian

Not so much about how to be a poet as how to be in a poem, or even be a poem, it also works as a great book about music. The book gives you an insight into the intelligent, passionate woman that Angelou undoubtedly is. I have a really old library copy. As a Jamaican woman, that was really exciting. It follows three women: two sisters and their mum. The older sister is navigating sexuality and being a queer woman, the younger is battling identity, being a darker-skinned girl, bleaching.

Both are wonderful in so many ways. I came away laden with books and have already finished three of them. Holidays may be about escapism, but this fly-on-the-wall unravelling of the election is car-crash exhilarating. Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi Oneworld is a great, big, roaring Ugandan epic that follows the trials and tribulations of the Kintu clan from the s to today. It is a glorious evocation of the rhythm and dynamism of an English woodland, connecting us to a much longer timeframe: a needed balance to the working, urban lives most of us have.

It is a book of our times, not least because it reminds us that current issues of gender, race and power have been being contested, here in incandescent and penetrating prose and poetry, since the s. I will be spending my summer break being very quiet indeed in the Kent countryside. It maps a secret world, and made me want to live outdoors, at least for a summer. A new complete collection will be published later this month translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson. Visit guardianbookshop.

What books are you reading this summer? From Pulitzer prize-winners to Penguin classics, poetry anthologies to the latest page-turners, here are the books to take to the beach this summer Illustrations by Leon Edler If you only read one book this summer … make it this one Part one: Hilary Mantel, Yuval Noah Harari, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and more share their summer reads. Main image: Illustration by Leon Edler. Society may be clamoring for more scientists, engineers, doctors and other skilled professionals to provide solutions to its everyday problems.

Our political leaders also seem quite powerless in allaying or eliminating them. The author thinks that if this state of affair is allowed to go on uncontrollably indefinetely life is going to be more and more difficult and not that worth living. He hopes that the world would be blessed with world peace, harmony and happiness. He feels that there should be more social reformers to write articles and books about our social problems, proposing solutions at the same time, to give talks about all this, and to lead a movement towards a really harmonious, peacful, cooperative and humane society.

As the author has jokingly decried in the third chapter of this book that men are becoming more and more like animals and animals are becoming more and more like men, man hopefully could become less and less like animals so that animals have no chance to be like him at all. Who could imagine that such innocent babes born into this world could have developed into such monstrosities? Kerwin Mathew has published about 20 books, two of which have been adopted as reference texts and commended by professional bodies.

He was also the editor of a book of essays. He has taught many professional and management subjects for years.

He has received publicity from the press for some intellectual achievement. Conflicts, wars, violence, terrorism and what-not are the apparent order of the day.


People are apparently smarter but the way they lead their lives or conduct their affairs seems to contradict this. What we need today are social thinkers and doers who can bring about peace and harmony in society. To be able to achieve thus it is necessary to analyze and understand the root causes of our societal problems. This treatise attempts thus and is a bold attempt at tackling this very important problem.

A dose of humor is added as a further stimulus. Sometimes it is better to have dogs and cats as friends than human beings.

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They will not play a person out or harm him unlike his so-called friends of a human kind. We are all the time surrounded by a sea of bad news - violence, protests, boycotts, divorces, law suits, terrorism, genocide, wars, bombings, betrayals, abandonment of pets, cruelty to humans and animals alike, slanders, sabotages, bullying, oppression, poisoning, suicides, counterfeiting, torturing, thefts, robberies, kidnappings, cheatings, greed, the list goes on and on.

It appears that it is not necessary to go to Hell to meet Satan. He can be seen all around us. Rather than wallow in depressing helplessness, the author has finally decided to do something about all this. The author has written this book to tackle this issue head-on instead of just complaining about it, which he knows is not going to help much.

This book not only points out the foibles and foolishness of human beings in general but offers constructive solutions as well. The book may ridicule and belittle human beings but this is done tastefully, humorously and entertainingly so that we human beings can enjoy laughing at ourselves, feel silly about our antics and actions, change for the better so that even the animals who may have a sense of humor may stop laughing at or despising us.

But the social problems, the problems involving human inter-action, are still plentiful and appear to be getting more complex and intractable. The author thinks that if this state of affairs is allowed to go on uncontrollably indefinitely life is going to be more and more difficult and not that worth living.

As a fellow human being, he feels compelled to persuade or coerce his fellow beings to be less self-centered, more considerate, more empathetic, more cooperative and more peace-loving. He feels that there should be more social reformers to write articles and books about our social problems, proposing solutions at the same time, to give talks about all this, and to lead a movement towards a really harmonious, peaceful, cooperative and humane society.

As is also stated in the book, some men are so cruel and wild that their associates might be better off living in the real jungle with wild animals. Even if a man were not cruel or wild, he could be self-centered, conceited, superstitious, avaricious, hot tempered, snobbish, duplicitous, in short, having some character defects. All this reflects some shortcoming in our environment, such as the undesirable effect of films, mixing with the wrong company and even the imperfection of the education system. In this book, the author daringly brings up the shortcomings of our society and suggests possible solutions for them.

In doing so, he brings up the processes of the law, the education system, the political systems, human relations, the utilization of logical reasoning, competition, co-operation, team-work, harmony, et al. The author also speaks from personal experiences, which could not be said to be that good, having been working on the ideas in the book since his younger days. Sixty carefully selected sayings of Confucius are also included in the first appendix of the book as a form of code of conduct for society as a whole.

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This is a very important book written by the author, which has a noble, lofty objective. The author stresses that more such books should be written by like-minded people and read by people who are concerned about the development of our society. He hopes that the dear readers, after reading this important book, would carefully think about the ideas, which have taken him many years to develop, and implement them.

The Confucian teachings in the book are simple and logical; they have made China the great nation it has always been. The author also hopes that the dear readers would imbibe, and also help to spread, these Confucian principles, so that our world would eventually become Utopia. May all of us be blessed with world peace, harmony and happiness, and may all fellow beings work together as one towards Utopia.


Best summer books 2018, as picked by writers and cultural figures – part two

No news is indeed good news. This place Earth is thus evidently no Heaven, more like Hell wherein victims of the evil acts suffer or die and third parties or witnesses live in fright and fear. Man prides himself on being civilized as compared to animals, comparing evil acts to the acts of animals. Is this justifiable? But animals do not spy with hidden cameras, kill the innocent with bombs, rob or cheat.

It would not be a surprise that animals living in close proximity to us are aware of these hellish human conditions and inwardly, if not outwardly, laughing at or mocking us. It would also not be a surprise that animals think they are more civilized than the laughable human beings who tend to think too highly of themselves. On top of their potentiality for evil acts, human beings tend to be ambitious, jealous, envious, duplicitous, avaricious, suspicious, freedom-loving and fond of comparing with others, which animals apparently are not. Human beings are of course much more intelligent than animals, which implies that their evil acts are also executed with a higher order of intelligence.

Police officials today also need to be very intelligent in order to tackle criminals some of who might even have first-rate minds or minds of genius. Human beings have apparently developed, evolved, into beings capable of acts of high intelligence, cunning, cruelty and evil.

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There is a scientific solution to this. Through the science of genetics involving genes sequencing, it would be possible to engineer the birth of a new breed of human beings who are more capable, intellectually and physically, and whose personality is good and free from evil motives. This is the manipulation of nature. Then there is nurture, i. There is keen competition in everything in life: work, study, sports, games, et al..

The competition apparently gets keener all the time. Some people are apparently even prepared to murder or kill for money, power and revenge. Or are people becoming too clever and too complicated to live in simple terms instead of searching all the time for that ever illusive ideal condition of wealth, power and esteem? What is the point of striving so hard for power and the trappings of power?

People could often be heard grumbling that if a person dies he cannot bring down with him to the after-life his power and wealth.

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But yet problems had made life so interesting for some people that they had to commit suicide. The author prefers life to be a smooth path. He prefers to choose or create his own problems to solve rather than to have the problems forced upon him, e.