Cookbooks for Vegetarians : For Healthy and Easy Cooking

Vegetarian Cooking

Being vegetarian is not new for many, some do it for health reason, some do it for ethical reason. One of my friend has gone vegetarian for saving money and being healthy. Even if you are meat eater, having vegetarian meal along with your meat and potatoes will balance your diet.

Many think Vegetarian diet means eating salads and Raw fruits, it is not the case. There are so many great vegetarian choices that are not only healthy, quick and delicious. If you are like me and sometimes need an inspiration from a cookbook, look no further. These 5 books in my cookbook collection is perfect for any cook who wants to make great tasting vegetarian meal. All you need is simple cookware pot, a few kitchen gadgets and vegetarian cooking recipe to start off making a vegetarian meal. When you cook at home, food is not only healthy but you will save money on eating out as well.

Top 5 Cookbooks for Vegetarian Eating

There are many of us eating more vegetarian diet for various reasons. One of the main reason for is that in general vegetarian diet is more healthier, unless your diet consist of soda and french fries only. One of our friend would like to try more healthier food, but he think that vegetarian diet is boring. In reality vegetarian diet can be full of variety food and you will not need to eat salads everyday. For those who might be in same boat as our friend or fully vegetarian, you will love our top 5 vegetarian cookbooks choices. These top rated and best selling vegetarian cookbooks have easy, fast, healthy and delicious vegetarian recipes to whip by anyone at home.

1. Quick Fix Vegetarian: Healthy home cooked meals in 30 minutes of less

This book is written by Robin Robertson, and great for anyone who are short on time and wants to eat healthy home cooked meals. Who is not busy now a days? Not many. Quick Fix book also has dairy free recipes for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. Quick fix book offers easy, simple recipes for new cooks to seasoned cook. The book has many recipes from salad, main meals, appetizer and more. It also has slow cooker recipes and shows us how to use pre-made food to create a quick meal. With these tips and recipe idea, cooking for yourself or party can be fun and stress free. It is not for purest who wants to cook everything from scratch, still offers fast healthy alternative to eating at fast food joint. Our favorite recipe are, Spinach and sun dried tomatoes quesedilla, Mediterranean Orzo Salad,and No-Bake Oatmeal Almond Cookies.

2. How-Cook-Everything-Vegetarian

‘How to cook everything vegetarian’ is written Mark Bittman who has written and published numerous successful cookbooks. This cookbook has over 2000 recipes with illustrations. Book offer simple and delicious recipes for new cook to follow, there are no complex recipes or instructions which makes it lot easier for many of us cooking at home. A few of our favorite recipes from the book are Fava Bean and Mint Salad with Asparagus and Red Lentils with Chaat Masala.

3. American Vegetarian Cookbook : Fit for the Life Kitchen

This popular cookbook is written by Marilyn Diamond, who also has published many successful books in cooking and getting fit for life with focus on eating to stay fit and healthy. This cookbook has over 500 fit and healthy vegetarian recipes. It also shows why fitness and health matters and reasons we should eat certain way. The book makes it simple explanation making us want to be better at taking care of ourselves while eating good and diverse healthy food at home.

4. Students Vegetarian cookbook Revised

This paperback cookbook by Carole Raymond is perfect for students or those of us, who wants to cook frugal vegetarian meals. Make sure you get the revised copy, as new version is more updated with new and updated recipes. This cookbook has a few tofu and Nori recipes but most of the recipes are simple and easy to make and ingredients that you can find in most grocery stores.One thing we like about this cookbook is it offers lot of healthy alternative for everyone’s favorite food such as pizza, burritos and burgers and pasta. Our favorite recipes are Orange Rice and Black beans salad and Broiled Tofu with lemon vinaigrette.

5. Everything Vegetarian cookbook

This paperback cook book is authored by Jay Weinstein and has over 300 recipes inside. The book has simple ingredients that you will find in most groceries store, without hunting for those hard to find spices. Jay explains everything listed with recipe such as what is that? where to find it? and other possible questions. His writing has humorous tone with tons of fun stories about food and family. Our favorite recipes inside are, baked Ziti lasagna.

Conclusion:

I have many cookbooks as I love cooking, but these top 5 picks will be great for any home chefs from a beginner cook to expert cook. Enjoy Cooking.

How to Make Vegetarian Food at Home:

In addition to these vegetarian cookbooks, please check out Videos of: How to Make Vegetarian Pizza by Vah Chef, he is very funny, energetic and shows great way to make many vegetarian and non-veg recipes.

Top 10 Must See Romantic Movies

Great Romantic Movies

I love watching entertaining and educational movies in my spare time when I am not in busy with kids or cooking. I like to combine my interest so, I make healthy snacks at home just I can sit down and have entertaining friends and family by watching DVDs at home. It is not only cheaper to watch a movie from my own collection or rented from movie rental store. Also check classic uplifting holidays movies for family that will sure to bring cheer and inspiration to anyone. Valentine day is just around the corner and it is a great to do something special for your loved ones.

I love romantic reading as any other woman out there, and I cry at sappy movies and laugh and get happy when there is a happy ending to people’s love.There is something about two people destined to be together come over great obstacles and misunderstanding to come together in the end, which is so inspirational and hopeful for anyone in love out there. Many of are made for women no wonder some are call chick-movies. Another romantic things to for your loved one is get them flowers for valentine, chocolate or cook dinner for them. Hopefully guy who is truly in love will watch these movies with his girlfriend, wife, sister or mother. There are many romantic comedies out there which are great. I want to share my top romantic movies list.

Top Romantic Movies

1. Titanic

Language: English
Genre: Romance/Drama
MPAA rating: PG-13
Director: James CameronActors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
Based on part non-fiction and part fictional story takes place in voyage over the ocean and tells a story of unlikely pair in love. Young rich girl and poor boy’s doomed love story. Whole story is told in flash back by old lady who comes with her grand daughter to retell what really happened. I love Leo’s character in this movie and made him a star.

2. An Affair to Remember

Genres: Drama, Romance, Rating: NR,Language:English
Director: Leo McCarey
Actors: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning,Neva Patterson, Cathleen Nesbitt,Robert Q. Lewis

I did not see this movie until recently and I loved it and wonder why I had not seen it. It stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. This another love story in ocean liner and fall deeply in love. Deborah’s character is engaged to somebody but they agree to meet after six month at Empire State’s Building if they still felt the love after six month’s time. A tragic accident keep their love apart but in end all ends well.

3. Casablanca

Language: English
Genre: Drama/Romance
MPAA rating: NR
Director: Michael Curtiz
Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

This movie is set in Casablaca, Africa during 1940s. Bogart’s character has past which he wants to forget and avoid. He meets his past love, Ingrid again in a bar he owns. Things get complicated as has a husband now and to watch happens next you have to watch this movie.

4. Roman Holiday

Language: English
Genre: Drama/Romance
MPAA rating: NR
Director: William Wyler
Actors: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

I love Audery Hepburn and this was her first ever movie for which she won an academy award. It also stars Gerogory Peck as news paper reporter. He meets a princess played by Audrey who has escaped her boring family life. Will he spill the beans in new paper story? Watch this movie to find out.

5. City of Angels

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Rating: PG-13,Language:English
Director: Brad Silberling
Actors:Nicolas Cage,Meg Ryan,Andre Braugher,Dennis Franz,Colm Feore,Sarah Dampf

This movie is remade or inspired by a German movie called Wings of Desire. Meg Ryan plays a heart surgeon and has just lost a patient. An angel name Seth played by Nicholas Cage comes for this patient and falls in love with doctor. She can feel him and Angel chooses to be normal human and losing his immortality to be with woman he loves. Touching romantic story is gripping to watch.

6. When Harry Met Sally

Director: Rob Reiner
Actors:Meg Ryan,Billy Crystal,Lisa Jane Persky,Carrie Fisher,Steven Ford,Bruno Kirby
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R Language: English

This movie asks eternal question, can man and woman can be ever true friend or sex will have come between them. This movie spans two people’s life from a college to twenty years, starting with friendship and more to see they truly care and loved each other.

7. Gone With the Wind

Language: English
Genre: Drama/Romance
MPAA rating: PG
Director: Victor Fleming
Actors: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, George Reeves

An epic movie tells civil war tale of a strong woman, Scarlett, who loves the man she didn’t marry. When she truly realize that man she married is the person she truly love, it is too late.

8. Pretty Woman

Director: Garry Marshall
Actors: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere,Jason Alexander, Alex Hyde-White, Hector Elizondo
Genres: Romance, Comedy Rating:R
Language: English

Richard Gere plays a rich lawyer, whose girl friend has left him. He meets a prostitue to give him a direction and he uses her services to take her to special events and get to know each other to realize they there is more to the relation and that is love.

9. It Happened One Night

Language: English
Genre: Comedy/Romance
MPAA rating: NR
Director: Frank Capra
Actors: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Roscoe Karns

A rich and spoiled daughter of rich father, runs away from home to meet the guy she think she in love with. She meet up Clark’s character who is newspaper reporter and they take journey together to realize at the end that they are in love with each other.

10. Romancing the Stone

Genres: Action, Adventure
Director:Robert Zemeckis
Actors:Michael Douglas,Kathleen Turner,Danny DeVito,Zack Norman,Alfonso Arau,Manuel Ojeda

A romance writer played by Kathleen Turner, receives a treasure map in the mail. She is soon headed to Columbia and have an adventure to save her sister from kidnappers, and maybe fall in love with a rogue soldier-of-fortune played by Kirk Douglas.

Non movies way to Celebrate Love, Romance and Valentine Day:

Two Dozen Red Roses (with FREE glass vase) - Flowers

 

Classic Romance Gifts

Valentine Amore Romantic Gift Set - Bed of Roses Scented floating silk rose petals and tealight candles Valentine Amore Romantic Gift Set – Bed of Roses Scented floating silk rose petals and tealight candles

BoldLoft "Say I Love You" Couple Pillowcases-Romantic Valentines Gifts for Couples, Cute Valentines Day Gift Ideas, Good Couple Gifts for Valentines, Romantic Anniversary Gifts BoldLoft “Say I Love You” Couple Pillowcases-Romantic Valentines Gifts for Couples, Cute Valentines Day Gift Ideas, Good Couple Gifts for Valentines, Romantic Anniversary Gifts


Reasons I love you stones Pack
My Heart Will... Pocket Compass My Heart Will… Pocket Compass


Top Uplifting Holiday Movies To Watch

Christmas Tradition

I am sure many of you celebrating Christmas or any holidays have some type of tradition to share with family and friends. These beautiful traditions are wonderful as they pass from generation to generation and hold family like a glue. I like reading books and watching movies, specially romantic movies, comedy movies and science fiction movies.

Top Christmas Movies to Watch With Family (Everyone)

I love watching “It is a Wonderful Life” Movie by James Stewart and Donna Reed anytime but during Christmas time it is a perfect for making a tradition.. It is such a uplifting movie that brings more holiday cheer and positive feelings around.

That got me thinking what other Christmas movies are great to watch and thought of sharing some of my favorite movies here. Here are my pick of top great movies to watch together for Christmas Season in random order: Hope you enjoy it.

1. Miracle on 34th Street

This black and white movie came out in 1947 and it is one of my favorite. It is simple story of Santa Claus us trying to prove that he is “Real” in court case. It has romance and also little girl played by Natalie Wood, who believes in Santa Claus so much. The actor Edmund Gwenn, who played Santa Claus did amazing job of looking and acting like Santa Claus would have.

The new color version of this movie was made a while ago, while it is great, I still like the original black and white movie and I am sure you will too.

2. It is a Wonderful Life

It is Wonderful Movie !

As I said, this is our tradition movie that we watch every year, This is not second best Christmas movie, it is just that list is random. I love James Stewart in every movie, even where he played villain in one of the thin man movie. This movie is in our movie gem collection and never loaned to people, as I have lost one copy already, I am that much in love with this movie and it brings so much hope and inspiration when I am feeling down.

if you ever wished or thought, what if you were not born, life would be better for those around you? Most likely not. George Baily is tired of life’s hardship and money problem, as he is about to commit suicide on Christmas eve, his guardian angel make him see how important his life truly is. You can watch on DVD or instantly on you tube or here.

3. Home Alone

This first in series of Home Alone movies, I like this is the best. The McCallister family sleeps in late as few of us do, on the day they plan to travel. They hurry and rush to the airport to barely make for the flight. They sense, something they have forgotten, which turns out to be their youngest son, Kevin. Now, this seems pretty unrealistic as it is hard to forget your child, but I suppose it could happen to any of us when we are stressed out.

Now this little Kevin wakes up to find that he is all alone at home, and somehow he come up brave enough unlike many kids who are lost from their parents. When two thieves try to break in and steal stuff as they assume the house is empty, Kevin foils their attempt with traps and funny physical comedy. Leave your logic aside and simply enjoy this movie.

4. Love Actually

Love actually has six or more stories intermingled in life of various characters. There is an English child who has fallen in love with little American girl, A father who has lost a wife, A married man who has an affair with his secretary, a girl looking for love is bound by family, A Prime minister in love with on of office aids, aging rock star and guy who has been in love with his best friend’s love.

Some stories have happy endings and some do not go anywhere, just like in real life. The best part I like about is, Hugh Grant dancing scene! I have a huge crush on him so I am bit biased. Lovely.

Hugh Grant Dancing Scene

5. Scrooged.

Scrooged is a modern version of Charles Dickens classic book, A Christmas Carol in modern setting. Bill Murry’s character Frank is bitter, cynical and selfish TV executive, who is visited by three ghosts from past, present and future to show him his life in flashbacks and future. It is funny, inspirational movie to make you do right thing in your life. You will love this modern update on old Charles Dickens’ classic novel.

Top Classic Christmas Movies For Children:

Kids are amazingly believe in Santa and they love Christmas time and magic of it all. It is no wonder that there are some great cartoon movies made for children and that we adults also love to watch. Here are some the classics I like.

1. Charlie Brown Christmas

This is simple and cute movie that children and adults will like watching. There is sick little Christmas tree that takes center stage. Charlie brown is told by Lucy that he needs to get a Christmas tree for helping the school Christmas Pageant. Charlie does not want to buy a fake tree, so he goes with Linus and end up buying little, sickly tree. They use and keep this tree despite everyone making a fun of it. Cute and charming story.

2. How Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another great holiday classic cartoon that any kids will love. There is a new version of Jim Carrey movie by the same name and while it is excellent, it might be too scary for little kids. If you have little ones, you may try watching this cute movie. Grinch is mean old thing that wants all the attention and we are supposed to hate him for it, but we end up feeling sorry for him, knowing how lonely he is! Great message and happy ending at the end keeps everyone happy.

3. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

When I was young, I loved watching this movie so this has a special place in my mind. This movie has a little Rudolph who is little different from other reindeer is made fun of and he goes to a misfit island where all misfit toys are there. He makes friends and helps Santa in foggy night and comes back as a hero. The story has good message and happy ending and lovely song called “Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer”, which I know by heart even now 🙂 I guess I am still child at heart. There are many wonderful classic Christmas cartoon movies that I can watch again with my two little ones.

Rudolph The Red Nose Song:

4. Frosty the Snow man

I remember singing and watching Frosty the snow man, as he was so fun snowman who could talk and was kind. This has voice done by Burl Ives, and made in 1969. This is one of the classic movie that you can watch and enjoy with your kids or nieces and nephews. I like when Frosty says “Happy Birthday” at wrong time, so innocent, so cute.

5. Mickey’s Christmas Carol

This is cartoon and simplified version of Charles Dicken’s classic story A Christmas Carol. Much suitable for young kids as the original story can be pretty scary and harsh for little mind. That is one of the reason I like remake Scrooged as it is not as harsh and we still get the message from the story. Tiny Tim’s character always breaks for heart, as I want him to get better and be happy and root for him and his family.

6. Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is one of the original movie and some of us may have forgotten about it. This is simple cartoon story of mice and Santa who saves Christmas in small town. There is original poem with same name that is classic read everywhere which has memorable song. If you have not seen it, you can put it in your list and share it with kids and family to uplift the mood and bring holiday spirit.

Top Holidays Macho Movies for Guys:

There are some macho, funny and manly Christmas movies to watch if you are more in to action and comedy type of mood. Here are some that men will like;

1. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

No list would be complete without this classic Chevy Chase’s movie called Christmas Vacation. National Lampoon series has many funny, crazy movies and this one is no exception.

The Griswold family plans a family Christmas is anything but smooth, there are lot of funny and silly moments to enjoy. Chevy Chase’s character Clark has so much bad luck and his clumsy nature makes the holidays go from bad to worse . If that was not enough, he has crazy family house guests makes things even worse. It is holiday with fun and hilarity that will make your own family look lot saner. It stars, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, and Randy Quaid.

2. A Christmas Story

This movie did not do well in theater when it was first released but now it has become a cult classic. I am not sure if I like this as much but I put in here as guys or gals may like it. This movie is an adaptation of the book In “God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.” Everyone remembers little boy in glasses in this movie. You may enjoy and like it, decide it for yourself. The story is set at some indefinite time around 1940 in an Indiana town approaching the holidays. Young Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants only one thing for Christmas, the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Lightning Loader Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock.  The actors were and are not well known and it is certainly not kid friendly even though kid plays main role in the film. Great for adults who can not agree on what to watch maybe?

3. Die Hard

How come this action movie is a Christmas movie? Because the event folds during Christmas holiday season. It was released in 1988 and made a successful Die hard movie series for Bruce Willis to follow up with. It stars Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, and Bonnie Bedelia.

Bruce’s character, John is a New York cop in Los Angeles for the holidays to be with his family. They go to office party held by his wife’s company for a Christmas party and get trapped by terrorists played by genius Allan Rickman (Listen to his American Accent). John armed and barefoot tries to get help from police and fight terrorists to save his family and other innocent people. Real action pack movie and fun to watch! It Christmasy movie without the Santa and snow but still fun to watch.

4. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

This movie is amazing master piece if you look at the artistic way this stop and motion section was filmed and it took long time to shoot each sequence. Tim Burton’s this classic is Halloween and Christmas rolled into one.

When Jack, the Halloween king, comes upon a entryway to a Christmas Town, then Jack becomes obsessed with Christmas and decides to do Christmas his way and take over the whole plan. He decides to kidnap Santa so there are no interference to his plan. Jack and his Halloween friends from Halloween town prepare their version of Christmas which is scary and eerie to say the least. The plot is very unique and story has a heart. This movie is not suitable for younger kids, despite having kiddish look of the movie, however, adults will enjoy watching this movie.

5. Elf

Will Ferrell is regular human boy who is raised by an Elf father, played by Bob Newheart. They live in north pole and Will grow up, he is taller than rest of elves and accidentally he becomes more nuisance and destruction around Santa’s workshop. One day he finds out that his biological father lives in New York and sets out to find him. The movie has funny part, touching story and fun to watch! It is not classic Christmas movie, nevertheless entertaining to watch.

 Your turn: What are you favorite Christmas Movies to Watch?

Top 5 Must Read Books On Peace: How To Find Peace

Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.
– Lao Tse

For all of our lives, we feel something is missing and we chase our dream to make money, fall in love, get a college education, get married, buy house, have kids and so on and yet something remains unfulfilled in many people. That something is peace or we can say mental peace that comes with time.

What Does Peace Mean to You?

Peace is kind of inner sense calm where nothing from outwardly bothers you and you are at peace with your self and world. Peaceful heart should be free from worries, jealousy and boosting. It is inner calm and balance where nothing is overly sad or overly happy. That is what it means to me, while I am long way from achieving this feat, I am trying.

When I gave up my six figure job over 7 years ago, I had thought it was a beginning of my journey to find meaningful purpose and peace within myself. I have read many books, visited websites, attended a few talks and I found some great gems and some that were not worth my time.

I want to share top peace related books for those you might be interested, as not all books are created equally and some books can change your life and belief system in good way and some you wished you can get your wasted time back.

Here are my top peace related books, so you do not have to do trial and error to find motivational reading.

Top 5 Must Read Books on Peace:

This list is based on what I have read out of thousands of books that I have read. I am book worm and love reading in my spare time. I happen to be very fast reader too, so sometimes I have to and like to re-read books that are truly inspiring. This list is in random order;

1. 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace

This book has written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who has written many books on self development, and has appeared in many television and radio shows such as The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and Oprah. I usually stay away from trendy things so I had not read any of his books, until a friend of gave me her copy to read it. It is simply great and shares 10 (not so much) secrets to have inner peace.

The book is about 158 pages, that reveals 10 basic steps or principles of changing the perception or outlook in our life. It is simple, although it is about peace, happiness comes along with it. Some of the secret focuses on having an open mind, avoiding weak thoughts, attach to nothing and gaining wisdom to forget your own history, treat yourself as you like to be and so on. I like how the each chapter he starts with simple yet profound quotes that makes a perfect sense.

This book is easy read in one lazy afternoon and shows many ways to bring peace, positivity and happiness all in rolled in one. One issue I have with this book is that Dr. Dyer does not show how to change certain behavior, I think he assumes that reader already knows how to do it. Being happy or bringing peaceful mind is certainly long journey that can not be achieved in one day. This book sure bring one step closer to finding inner peace.

2. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (Revised Edition)

This is amazing book by my favorite author Dale Carnegie. I had first read it in teen years but easily forgotten in my busy teen life. It was not until, I took a Dale Carnegie leadership Workshop early in my career and then I begin co-teaching the workshop as an assistant, I truly realize how powerful this book and its message is.

You may think this is worry book, why it is in peace section? Without letting go of worry, we can not be at peace and believe me after reading and re-reading this book again, you will find peace as you let go of some of silly concerns and worries that we all tend to have.

Book begins with  “Those who don’t know how to fight worry, die young.” If you have read How to Win friends by Dale you will know, this book has same good old common sense, interviews with famous people, heartfelt advice and solutions. He does not teach you, he makes you feel like we are learning together, without making you feel guilty and silly over our worries and concern. This book is must for many home library, it is in mine.(Amzn.)

3. Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

This is written by Thich Nhat Hanh, whom I had not known much about until I started reading Zen Habits. He recommended this book, so I had to go get and read it. This book really spoke to my inner calm and encouraged mental inner peace. We are looking for peace and happiness outward, no wonder we do not find it. Peace and happiness comes from within us, once we remove the clutter from our life, and mind.

Modern living has made us lose touch with our true self and peace within us. Thich Nhat Hanh is Zen Master, author and spiritual master who shows us how every moment can be turned in positive instead of annoying one. For him a ringing phone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. According to him even dirty dishes, traffic lights are process to keep our conscious to stay alive to present reality. So, next time, you are stuck at red light, sit back and smile….One thing I like about this book’s method is, that process starts where-ever you might be, if I am with a toddler in kitchen, I can still get deep meditative presence and I like that. He also shows, how to increase awareness through conscious breathing which is huge step towards inner joy. World around has its beauty and its horrors but we can still find stillness and peace, this book makes me optimistic and it will do similar thing to you. (Amzn.)

4. World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony

Why food book in peace section? It is because it is true that we are what we eat, really! Food is our most intimate and telling connection both with the living natural order, being compassionate with earth and with our living cultural heritage . By eating the plants and animals of our earth, we literally incorporate these principles.

Doctor Will Tuttle’s World Peace Diet is unlike any other “diet book” that you will ever read. Diet Books such as Dr. Atkins, The South Beach Diet attempt to give the reader guidance on how to lose weight. However, they fail to spell out the psychological health, ethical, environmental, and spiritual implications of their guidance. The World Peace Diet suggests how we as a species might move our consciousness forward so that we can be more free, more intelligent, more loving, and happier in the choices we make.  Make peace with earth and our body and eat diet that is good for us, earth and other living beings so that we can be in harmony and at peace.

5. Peace of Mind: Healing of Broken Lives

This book was strongly recommended by elderly uncle about 2 years ago, when we were without any income and little P was having lot of health and breathing issues. Trying to find silver lining between unemployment and sick child was tough to say the least. At the moment, I could not see how any reading will help someone in my situation and I sure did. I wished I had read it sooner.

Peace of Mind spiritual healing is based on the premise that no one can be truly healthy unless their mind, body and psyche are indeed operating in one sympathetic unit. This book promotes that it is not enough to alleviate physical symptoms of illness or injury; to be completely healed one must also address the mental and spiritual symptoms as well. This is great book for depression, mental well being. Even though I do not believe in black magic, spiritual attacks, evil eyes, and curses, this book also touches upon these topics as well.

I have tackled depression and anxiety both and now I know that to live a healthy life, stress free, we need to keep the body and spirit in sync. This book  offers a simple guide to achieving peace and tranquility for the soul in a step by step guide: Signs – Diagnosis, Healing – Treatment, Protection and Purification.

May Peace Be With You!

Also Check out Peace Quotes 

Various Peace Symbols:


8 Kids Books That Everyone Should Read

Out of many passions of mine, one of the strong love I have is for reading. I love classics, new best sellers, fiction and non fiction types of books to keep learning and be entertained at the same time. Over 2600 words to share my passion on reading, that too kid’s books but I am sure you will find something fun and educational in the process! Check out great classic books to read, and benefits of reading posts.

When I was younger (ahem, in college years),  I did not wanted to read certain books that I felt were kiddish or for teens only and I felt similar way for certain cartoon movies for me. Since then I have learned to enjoy and be educated by some of the “kiddish” books that many adults will like too. Here are some great example that kids(teens) and adults will love to read!

 

1. Tintin

 

Tintin was written by Georges R]émi a Belgian, who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in more than 80 languages and more than 350 million copies of the books sold to date. It is more well known in Europe and some Asian country compared to America.

The series is Set during a largely realistic 20th century, the hero of the series is Tintin, a young teenager Belgian reporter with faithful white terrier dog name Snowy, who helps him in his adventure. There are series of colorful characters such as cynical, often drunk and angry Captain Haddock, Classic forgetful and smart Professor Calculus, and two silly and goofy detectives Thomson and Thompson. (One is with P).

I loved reading Tintin comics when I was younger, but I recently picked up and read it again much to my amazement, I still enjoyed it and saw a few things that I had not noticed when I was teen such as;

  • Tintin comics books are all 62 pages, all 23 published ones. How amazing is to have story 62 pages long no matter which subject they chose? It somehow always looked natural.
  • Tintin was ahead of times, have moon landing in “Explorers on the Moon”, was written and published in 1954, much before real moon landing ever happened in 1969 first time. There are a few inaccuracy, but amazing thing is there many more accuracy in the comics (fictional and for kids) such as shape of rocket,rocket has two propulsion systems including neclear powered engine, imagination of how moon land and surface will look (no one had seen it in 1950s), water and knowledge of astronomy is very much close to what we know now. This is just one example, this was true for other comics subject as well.
  • Tintin travels around the world and many adventures in well known and some not so known places! Pretty cool thing in 1950s when people probably did not get much chance to travel and see the world.
  • Tintin might be young, but he is brave, smart and resourceful, almost like Indiana Jones but more realistic.
  • Dianasari (Dina) informs that Tintin is the first comic character that has been honored by Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader honored Tintin and Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the same time (2006) according to this Source.
  • Tintin series have been made in to cartoon dvd, and maybe live action movie in US is soon to be released.

If you have never read Tintin comics, pick one up from your friend’s place, library, bookstore or amazon and read it. (Amzn.)

 

2. Asterix

 

Unlike Tintin comics, I had never heard of Asterix when I was younger. I first heard it when I was Senior in my college year but I was skeptical if I would like at ripe age of 20, so ignored it. Until I kept hearing from various different people around me, including someone who had bought whole series at crazy price! I thought he was nuts, until I read one Asterix comics myself.

So, what is Asterix is about? Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix  is a series of French comic books written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo and shows fun and adventure with pun! The comic series follows the life and adventure of Asterix and his larger then life sidekick and friend Obliex in ancient Gaul as they are pitted against Roman occupation and regime. There are magic, world travel, humor and much more packed in to this comics.

  • The series have 34 comics total, starting from 1959 first comic book being published.
  • Even number of Asterix books have story set in Gaul and odd number of comics had story set in various countries in the world.
  • The both hero and friend have name ending with “ix”.
  • The series can be classified in fantasy and science fiction both.
  • This series has been translated in to 100 different languages and 325 millions copies sold.
  • There has been 11 movies have been made, 8 cartoon and 3 with live action with people. There have been games based on the comics book as well.
  • Same as Tintin, this series is more popular in Europe and some Asian Countries, not many here in America know about this series (yet). (Amzn)

 

3. The Series of Unfortunate Events

 

The Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of children’s novels (13 in series) by Lemony Snicket (pen name of American author Daniel Handler) which follows the crazy lives of three orphaned kids named Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Their parents die in house fire under mysterious circumstances, and their cousin Count Olaf is shadowy figure who is after the kids inheritance and other relatives lives. Only thing the kids have is their intellect and each other to outsmart Count Olaf.

Violet is smart and great inventor, Klaus is great reader of books and baby sunny develops biting and cooking ability as story progresses starting with “Bad Beginning”. Yes that is the title of first book and it has 13 total, each book start with dreadful “do not read” type of sentences yet fun to read. As the books continue, the three children uncover more and more of the mystery surrounding their parents’ deaths and soon find that their parents were in a secret organization, V.F.D., along with several of their guardians.

There has been one movie made with Jim Carrey which covered first 3 book stories. Movie itself was not bad but other in series never materialized. Read these 13 “dreadful” books for fun adventure, smart invention, murder and mystery secret organization’s involvement in it.

  • The entire series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice.
  • Books have been translated in to 41 languages and 60 millions copies have been sold.
  • The siblings are followed by misfortune wherever they go, but occasionally something good happens and they survive by their intelligence.
  • It is hard to tell which timeline the book is set in, it seems it alternate earth in 1930s era but seems timeless and modern.
  • There are 13 books in series, and each book have 13 chapters. Only exception is the last book in the series, which has 14 chapters.
  • Count Olaf is master of disguise, smart and wicked.
  • While the books are marketed primarily to children, they are written with adult readers also in mind; the series features references more likely to make sense to adults. Many of the characters’ names allude to other fictional works or real people with macabre connections. (Amzn.)

 

4. Harry Potter Series:

 

Now, Harry Potter is much more well known series that everyone knows and movies have been made and which had made Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in to stars! I would say movies are not bad but books are much more superior to read and understand from it. There are 7 books in the series and some books are big with over 800 pages but I am sure many people will love the story of boy wizard who was lonely, orphaned into great hero and friend against battle of good versus evil. Each year Harry learns and goes through various problems such as social, emotional and self doubting issues to overcome his greatest task that lies ahead, some we learn though flashbacks of his parents and his birth.

  • Harry Potter Book has been translated in to 67 languages so far, 8 movies have been made about it (last book with 2 part movies)
  • Harry potter books are also loved by adults that publisher have published books with 2 covers, one of younger readers and one of adult readers (with same content inside)
  • Many blogs, support books, and supplemental books on understanding game of quidditch have been written.
  • These book can belong to Fantasy, Magic, Coming of age, Death, Mystery, Thriller, adventure genre.
  • Harry potter introduced new word in to British dictionary such as Muggle and Quidditch. (Amzn.)

 

5. Amar Chitra Katha Series

 

Every Indian will know this comic series which tells storie of many Gods, Goddess, Famous Real People lives in form of comics. I always loved reading Amar Chitra Katha but I recently found that many non Indians seems to enjoy these comics series. If you had not read it or know about it, here is some tidbit about it;

  • Amar Chitra Katha, loosely translates in to Immortal Picture Stories and in a way they are!
  • It is translated in to 20 Indian languages, including English and have sold over 90 million copies.
  • It was created by Anant Pai for India Book House Publishing in 1967.
  • Very first Amar Chitra Katha was published in “Kannada” Language in 1965.
  • Amar Chitra Katha have been written by many notable and creative Indian Author team!
  • There have been over 400 different titles in Amar Chitra Katha Series, for every age, every taste (mythical, historical to real heros of India) Cartoon network also showing now Amar Chitra Katha cartoon.
  • Most famous of mythology of Gods, Fables (moral stories), Panchatantra (Moral stories with animal characters), Humor and wit (Birbal etc), Epics, Biographies of Indian and other famous people.
  • Stories are told in comics without degrading the morals and values of it and generally loved by kids and adult alike. The interesting thing I was told by local Indian bookstore owner, that many non Indian buyers are buying these series and seems to enjoy it. (Amzn.)

 

6.  Lord Of the Ring

 

I admit it, I had not read Lord of the Ring Trilogy Until the First Movie Came out in US. I had read hobbit which was prequel to Lord of the ring but I had not thought of reading further in the series. Hobbit is fun story where Bilbo gets the Ring which he does not know is evil. It is more fun and light-hearted story compared to Lord of the ring, which has some dark shades and appeal more to teen or adult.

  • According to wikipedia source, Lord of the ring is 2nd best selling novel ever in the world.
  • It was written around 1937-1949, time of second world war, and published around 1954, 1955 in 3 volume series, called the fellowship of the ring, Two tower, and Return of the King.
  • Story has dark wizard Sauron, good wizard Gandlaf, small and happy Hobbits, Elves, Human, Dwarfs, Giant, Talking and walking trees, Ring Slave creature Gollum, and many mythical animals and creatures. Story is supposed to set in fictional middle earth.
  • Tolkien not only wrote the large three volume story, but also created details maps of the fictional middle earth and other elves language that goes with the story, which is quite impressive.
  • When book first released, critics were divided and had mixed feelings about it unlike it now, as it is considered to be classic and loved by many and is influence for many new writers and film makers.
  • The book has been on radio, theater and movies. Generally movie made from book is inferior to the original book for many cases, however, the recent trilogy movie made by Peter Jackson, is decent presentation of the book and I think it does fairly well job of conveying book’s message. (Amzn.)

 

7. Mrs. Frisby and Rats of NIMH

 

I read this book after someone recommending me to check it out, otherwise, I might not have found this gem of book. Mrs. Frisby and Rats and Of NIMH is a 1971 children’s book by Robert C. O’Brien. Robert O’ Brian was inspired by real research by John Colhoun’s Research on Rats at National Institute of Mental Health AKA (NIMH). (Personal Note:  Modern Technology have shown online simulations and other non evasive method can achieve medical advancement without hurting lives), this story shows the fear, real emotion and horror of Rats and Mice and how they triumph over it little and lose a little, just like us humans. Maybe, just maybe it show us that small animals such as mice and rats also get hurt, happy and have feelings just like us. The novel relates the plight of a widowed field mouse, Mrs. Frisby, who seeks the aid of a group of former laboratory rats in rescuing her home from destruction by a farmer’s plow, and of the history of the rats’ escape from the laboratory and development of a literate and technological society.

  • This book was followed up with Roscoe and Rats and NIMH novel.
  • This book won Newbery medal in 1972.
  • Cartoon movie Secret of NIMH was released in 1982, which made a few changes to original story. The movie is entertaining for those who might have read the book. However, book is much more superior in telling the story with feelings in details.
  • It is based on real research on RATS.
  • NIMH stands for National Institute of Mental Health
  • Movie has few changes: such as added mystical element, Jenner is made in to villain unlike in the book, Mrs, Frisby’s name was changed to Mrs. Brisby to avoid trademark issue with Frisbee. (Amzn.)

 

8. Encyclopedia Brown

 

Everyone knows about Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, so I am not writing much about those here.  You may or may not have heard of Encyclopedia Brown is the same Genre as Hardy Boys and Nancy drew and great read about solving mystery, crime by kid Sleuth called Encyclopedia Brown. I certainly did not know about this lesser known series when I was child.

There have been 28 Encyclopedia Brown Series books and other additional related works. One great thing about this book series is that you do not have to read books in series or have read previous series to enjoy and understand the story. Each book stands on its own as basic things are told in the beginning of the each book. (Amzn.)

  • Each Book actually divided in 10 or more short stories and intended to be solved by reader. I will be honest and idiot enough to admit it, that even though I think of myself fairly intelligent, I did not always found the right clue as an adult while kid Encyclopedia Brown outsmarted me and few other adults. That makes it fun and challenging read for teen or even adult.
  • I have learned to think with my eyes closed like Encyclopedia brown does before solving case, thinking deeply.
  • Encyclopedia Brown has its own kids detective agency which charges 25 cents plus expenses for neighbor hood children.
  • Encyclopedia Brown’s father is Police chief in town of Idaville (fictional). He helps his father some times.
  • There is mean and bully gang, led by Bug Meany in most stories, who will look for revenge and foiled by E. Brown.
  • E. Brown has friend name Sally, who he might have crush on, although book never elaborates on it.
  • This book series and author received Edgar Award in 1976 by Mystery Writers of America Society.
  • There was a TV series based on the books on HBO around 1989, which aired 30 minutes episodes. I have not seen any episodes so can not tell how it was. Has anyone seen it?

Conclusion:

When reading a book, do not go by labels such as kids book, or children Novella, read based on interest and not based on age or race. You may find great gem of books that way, if we start looking out of box thinking. Have you read these books? What are your thoughts on it?

Do you have other books to share, add to the list? Keep reading, Keep Learning and Have fun.

Image source: Wikipedia, Amazon,Self

Meaningful Celebration: Free eBook download

Heart and Mind: Free eBook download

I have been blogging slowly and steady for at Heart and Mind for awhile, I have learned a lot about myself while sharing what I know with others. I am into creating a life that does not need any escape from, by balancing our heart and mind and enjoying the life in slow lane.

Reasons behind Meaningful Celebration eBook

I recently wrote about how holidays have taken over by shopping and we have lost the true meaning of holidays and celebrations and we should stop this stressful vicious circle and not shop un-necessary stuff that can increase our credit card debts. It is all about feeding our soul and not credit card balance.

There are many simple ways we can be truly happy and spending money is not always necessary to actually show sincere appreciation to loved ones.

Why this eBook is Free?

Today am releasing my first ebook for you to download for FREE and NO email or subscribing is required. I want this to be available for free to everyone who wants to get it, as a simple thank you to all of you for your support here!

This is my small gift to all of you for reading my posts, leaving comments and being part of my journey to make life bit better. This book is from my heart and something I follow in my real life and have written about it on this blog. It has 18 pages, so small enough to not overwhelm you but hopefully right size for making a impact on your future celebrations, be it birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, thanksgiving or new year celebrations.

Click here to download instantly: Meaningful elebration eBook for Free!

It is available instantly and as I said, you do not need to give me your name of email to get this free copy. If you like to subscribe to my blog on your own will, you can do it via RSS or email here.

Share the knowledge

You can download it even if you are first time visitor or 1000th time visitor. Please share and email your friends and family members if you think they can benefit from it.

You can tweet or write about it on your blog as you are all my marketing department as you know I am not on any social media or do any marketing for my blog.

This is my first attempt at creating eBook, so let me know your input! Hope you enjoy it.

Thank you!

Zengirl AKA Preeti

————————————————————————————
There are few ebooks from other Blogger I like and recommend, they are not free but reasonably priced and great value for anyone. There are many ebooks out there but I only recommend only these few by bloggers I admire and read.

eBooks from Great Bloggers and Experts

I love everything Leo Baubuta of Zen Habits does and has created. Here are some of his ebooks that I like?

Simple Guide to Minimalist life : Its sells for $9.95 only and believe me it has great many information that is worth lot more.

ZenHabits Handbook for Life : $6.95 only for handbook for life.

Zen to done Guide: This is best of “getting things done” by David Allen with Zen habits view point, one of the best guide I have seen in productivity: $9.50 only.

If you want to buy all thress ebooks for one low price, click here: Buy Now $19.99 only.

—————————————————————————————————————-
Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt has 2 great ebooks that tells you how to get out of debt and make money selling your stuff.

Sells your Crap: Clutter Crusher Edition: This edition has extra videos and details on how to sell on craigslist, ebay and more. Sells for $47 but promises that you will make $100 or more following his methods, and we agree.

Unautomate your Finance: Adam knows his debt and money and this guide sure it helpful to get your finances in order, sells for $17.

—————————————————————————————————————-

I am a big fan of Rachel from Simple Notebook and she has released a ebook about simple blogging.

Click here to visit Simple Blogging.: Only sells for $8 and it is perfect for people like me who blog part time between kids and life.

Great Classic Books that Everyone should Read (At least once)

Reading is one of my passion and I am a bookworm since I was a child. You could always find me nook or any corner immersed in a book, forgetting to eat, play or be social. Now, I do not get a chance to indulge reading hours like I used to, I still read books every free chance I get. I have written and talked about my love book reading and benefits of reading in 101 changes series, before but this time I sharing my favorite books that I love and I hope you like it too. There are several benefits to reading and there are many fun kids books that we should read once.

Here are some of my favorite books that I have read at least once, and a few others books, again and again. There are so many wonderful writers, so little time. 🙂 I have written mini review about the book without giving too much away about the story, hope you get to read some of it.

Note: There are still many more great books I have read and loved but article’s length is over 4700 words there, I guess there have to be part 2! Let me know, books you loved or any that I might have missed here.

1. Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen is master of romance and her era, she knew people and their psychology very well. If you love classic and hopeless romantic, this story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett will have a hold on you. One of my favorite book by my favorite author. (Amazon)

2. Leave It to Psmith

Leave it to Psmith By P. G. Wodehouse is classic about a debononair young Englishman, Psmith (P is silent), who wants to quit his fish business and decide to support himself by being hired by anyone as long it is nothing to do with fish. The story has romance, suspense, humor and witty dialogue. Lesser known than Jeeves but this story is one of the best. (Amzn.)

3. Mr. Darcy’s Diary: A Novel

If you ever wondered how Jane Austen favorite character felt during Pride and Prejudice, look no further and check out Amanda Grange’s novel: Mr Darcy’s diary. After reading many Austen related books, this one is worth checking out, specially for Mr. Darcy’s fans like me. (Amzn.)

4. Emma

Emma by Jane Austen is great where you will find romance, successful and unsuccessful match making, wild and dashing Frank Churchill and Wise and Kind Mr. Knightly. Emma is one of the rare, unlike other Austen heroine who is rich and does not care about marrying until the end, for love. (Amzn.)

5. Persuasion

Jane Austen wrote and completed six novels, and a few unfinished novels. I love persuasion as it is story about second chances in love. Rich and young Anne Elliot breaks the engagement to young Wentworth after being persuaded by her godmother, only to realize that she could never love anyone else. Now her father is poor and Captain Wentworth has become rich and loved by ladies, does she have a chance for love? I have read one of the best love letter ever written in this book, check it out the best love letter ever written here. (Amzn.)

5. Captain Wentworth’s Diary

Just like Austen write about one sided story from heroine’s point of view, so we can see what is going on her mind and what changes her attitude or feeling towards people but we do not read much about hero’s struggle and triumph’s until the end. If you want to know what Captain Wentworth goes through, check out Captain Wentworth’s diary: Novel.

6. North and South

This is not the TV series in popular in US. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is story about love, second chances, differences in rich and working classes. It is very similar to bit modern and industrial Darcy and Elizabeth story. Mrs. Gaskell wrote as an series and she writes both Mr. Thronton and Ms. Hale’s feelings and struggles so we can see both sides of the story, which makes it very interesting read. (Amzn.). There has been a BBC miniseries north and south based on the story, which has created many female fans of Richard Armitage as a new, industrial Mr. Darcy like figure that any romantic couple will love.

7. Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’ is romantic, Gothic novel. Poor orphan Jane is hired by rich, older and mysterious Mr Rochester to teach young girl with questionable past. Mr. Rochester becomes friend and eventually falls for plane Jane and want to marry her. But he is already has a dark past, can they overcome it? Not without many sacrifices. (Amzn.)

8. Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is one of best book written by Tolstoy. Anna is a tragic heroine in loveless marriage, a charming lover Vronsky, and love of son from the marriage, she loses everything she cared and loved for including her social standing because of that is how it is in 19th century Russian society. Gripping and tragic masterpiece of Anna Karenina.

9. Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte’ tells a story about Heathcliff and Catherine are soul mates, but destiny keeps them apart, destroying them with deep and unresolved passion between them. This Gothic story is told in flashback in this great classic. (Amzn.)

10. Love Story

Love story by Erich Segal is story of 2 college graduates, from opposite sides falling in love despite all odds. Oliver, a rich guy and Jennifer with not much money but love of life, marries each other only to face tragedy and finding solace in each other. The movie made the famous quote “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” (Amzn.)

11. The Princess Bride

Princess Bride
by William Goldman is classic fantasy story that mixed with romance and an adventure based on S. Morgenstern’s “Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure” with a few changes.There are bad men, good men, pirates, snakes, giants, revenge, love and miracles all rolled in to one. Great read. There is also a classic cult movie based on book which is entertaining to watch as well.

12. Sense And Sensibility

Jane Austen was master of romance story, even though she never married her self. Sense and sensibility is no exception as story of 2 sisters romance unfolds. Elinor is restrained while Marianne is passionate and outspoken. It is their journey of finding true love in the end while going through life and its struggles. (Amzn.)

13. Possession

Possession by A. S. Byatt is a winner of the 1990 Booker Prize, the U.K.’s highest literary award mixes love affair with suspense. Roland Ash was supposed to be faithful husband and poet, and had a secret love affair with lesser known poetess as Maud and Michelle discover more about the poet and themselves in the end, comparing love now and over 100 years ago. (Amzn.)

14. The Last of the Mohicans

Last of Mohicans by James Cooper is 2nd of 5 leatherstocking tale about a scout’s friendship with a mohican warrior as they escort two sisters through the jungle, an adventure story set during a French and Indian wars and non stop thriller ride all the way. Read a classic and if you get a chance watch a movie with Daniel Day Lewis based on the story.

15. The Count of Monte Cristo

Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is complex but engaging tale of Edmund Dante’s adventure from naive young man in to being a count. The story has romance, betrayal, revenge and finally redemption. It has lot of characters and complex hence many people read abridged (or shorter version) but that makes the complex story very confusing, read the unbridged original version to have better understanding. There is The Count of Monte Cristo movie that made everything simplified version is also worth watching. (Amzn.)

16. The Three Musketeers

Another adventure tale from Alexandre Dumas, of 3 (story has actual 4) musketeers who are friends, hero, and savior of kingdom and queen. It is fictional historical book. Dumas write usually complex and long story, so do not buy abridged or shorter version as you will lose lot of content. I find that 3 musketeer is less darker than count of Monte Cristo but still very engaging.

17. The Man in the Iron Mask

Man in iron mask continues its story and takes place 20 years after 3 musketeers time . Those four musketeers are now getting older but still adventures and working for the queen. This involves the fictional twin of Louise XIV, who is better suited for the role of king and how musketeers play part in it. Without giving it away too much, I will share one thing, book is not similar to the movie by Leonardo DiCaprio, which also entertaining to watch.(Amzn.)

18. Don Quixote

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was written somewhere around in 1500, over 500 years ago. This classic seems light and high on imagination side and has over 1000 pages to read. It is story of Alonzo who loves reading romantic stories decides to become a knight called Don Quixote with his faithful neighbor Sancho Panza as a his squire to join. They seem fool and day dreamers but when right moment they are wise and sane. Join them in their refreshing adventure in this classic (Amzn.)

19. Crime and Punishment

The very first time I remember reading this book, I was barely 12 and it went over my head but as I got older I came to appreciate this classic by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It is about a man who commits the murder on principal, gets away with it in the beginning, his struggles with his own self, his family and his love, also there is trying to escape the authorities from being caught. Russia has given many great stories and writers, this is one of the classic Russian story. (Amzn.)

20. Carry On, Jeeves (A Jeeves and Bertie Novel)

Carry on Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse is collection of 10 Jeeves stories. Jeeves is ultimate butler and smartest man around and how he saves himself and his master Bertie and essence of stories. P. G. Wodehouse’s most famous character Jeeves is ultimate, if you have not read any Jeeves stories, this book is a great to start with, you will laugh aloud and actually have fun reading this funny and witty stories on smartest Butler Jeeves. Actually, you can not go wrong with most of Wodehouse short stories and novels (Amzn.)

21. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring

I had read Hobbit when I was younger and it is fantasy children tale about a magic ring that Bilbo Baggins finds and his adventure. I read the lord of the ring trilogy much later when I older. The same ring, he did not know was evil until he was much older and he gave this ring to Frodo much later in Lord of the Ring trilogy. Lord of the ring has an adventure of fellowship, Gandalf and Sauron the villain and their journey to destroy the ring in original fire that created it. Lord of the ring movies are great and I enjoyed it, one of the few instances where they have tried to stay true to the book mostly. What I find fascinating about the stories that J. R Tolkien created maps of middle earth and actually languages that various people spoke during that fictional era. Impressive. (Amzn.)

22. Harry Potter Books 1-7

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, started young kids back to reading when the first book came out. It is an fantasy story of an orphan Harry Potter who lived under the stairs and had no friends to realize on his 11th birthday that he is actually a Wizard and goes to Hogward school where makes friends and plays Quidditch and fight with evil Voldemort with support from his friends. These 7 books story is very engaging and must read. Harry Potter movies do not come close to the original stories, so read the books. (Amzn.)

23. The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown starts with murder and follows a journey of Robert Langton to uncover a secret that has been kept since days of Christ. Sophie Neveu and Robert Langton untangles the codes, mysteries through France, England as they travel along learning history. The story is similar to 1980’s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, almost identical. There was a lawsuit by these authors but nothing came out it. Check out both books and compare it yourself. (Amzn.)

24. Othello

Shakespeare has written many comedies and tragedies, this is one of sad but powerful tale of Iago, the person with extreme jealousy destroy Othello and his love Desdemona. Othello is black man and moor (Muslim), and his promotion in white society is not liked by Iago who wanted it the promotion for himself. Othello’s trust on Iago makes him easier to control emotions of everyone he is around and manipulates as he chooses. (Amzn.)

25. Macbeth

No other books in my mind, takes readers to journey of raw ambition, deceit, murder, passion, and madness. Following to create a self made prophecy and lust for power, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth shows and proceed to trails of blood, murder and pure evil to get what they want. In the end, they falls in to guilt, fear and mental madness. Actually many people believe to never mention its full name, and they believe, the dark superstitions that hover around this play really show its power. (Amzn.)

26. Hamlet

One of most famous quote ” To be or not to be, that is the question”, comes from this play by William Shakespeare. The story is about Prince of Denmark, whose father is killed by his evil uncle Claudius to gain control of the throne. After this event, Hamlet goes through inner conflicts and validity of his father’s ghost around him, making him look insane by others of his his bizarre actions. One of the finest work by Shakespeare. Many of Shakespeare’s writing are complex to understand, If you find getting lost in early English, please read simplified version of story as the stories are very powerful and shows deep human emotions. (Amzn.)

27. Around the World in 80 Days

Jules Verne is one of my favorite author, as he writes many science fiction and adventure stories and this book is no exception. Now, the concept of traveling around the world in 80 days much easier, it was not so during the times the book was written. Philleas Fogg, and his faithful servant goes on traveling across the England, Paris, Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Japan, America, and Ireland. In India they rescue a lady who joins the rest of their journey and a love interest grows between her and Fogg. There is also another subplot involving a bank robbery in England where 55 thousand pounds have been stolen. Fun read and ending is surprisingly uplifting.(Amzn.)

28. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

The book written around 1869, when submarines were not yet invented but Jules Verne, some how knew how future would be and created this story of Captain Nemo and his marvelous Nautilus, the vast submarine. Jules Verne obviously has taken thoughts in to care such as air pressure, water pressure and giant sea creatures. Captain Nemo is also one of the fascinating characters who is kind in a way but yet like under sea pirate all in to one. (Amzn.)

29. Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Jules Verne, way ahead of his time wrote many science fiction books in his native language French. Story starts with Professor Hardwigg and his nephew Harry discover an ancient parchment showing how to travel to center of the earth. They travel to Iceland and climb an extinct volcano called Sneffels. They journey into the center of the earth having wonderful adventure as they travel inside the inner core of the earth. Wonderful and very unique concept story. (Amzn.)

30. The Mysterious Island

This lessor known Jules Verne classic has 5 prisoners escaping by hot air balloon ride and not knowing where they will end up and if they ever see civilization again. They drop off at uncharted island. It has hints of Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson adventures. (Amzn.)

31. Foundation

Foundation series by Issac Asimov are one of the best science fiction literature as per some of the experts. He was an accomplished scientist and capable author. The story is complex with part science fiction and part political spanning many years of events. The hero and leader Hari Seldon predicted a 10,000 year Empire is about to crash to its knees and herald in a new Dark Ages. Hari can’t stop the Dark Ages but he can shorten it. The book centers around several characters who, through inside and cleverness, make things happen to keep the Foundation and create an insidious society that keeps it going. If you get a chance read the trilogy or whole 7 books series. (Amzn.)

32. I, Robot

Another great book from Asimov from his Robots series is a collection of 9 short stories. Title of book will make sense after you read the story called “Evidence”. Each story is entertaining and contains some aspect of robotics. Their human characters are diverse as well such as Susan Calvin has calculating ad tender side, Mike Donavon and Gregory Powell has funny side to them. Some stories are more engaging than others but sure worth reading it once. I believe, there is a movie out based on the book as well by Will Smith. (Amzn.)

33. Tom Jones

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding is full of wit, humor, romance and adventure of Tom. It was published around the Jane Austen time and she had read this book and liked it. This book is divided in 18 small stories or books. It is rather surprising modern in its outlook for that era, with Sophia the heroine going out alone in search of his beloved Tom and Tom flirting his ways around when he is in love with Sophia. There is lot of comedy and fun in this story, a great read indeed. (Amzn.)

34. The Scarlet Pimpernel

Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy was originally written as play that is set around the french revolution. “We seek him here, we seek him there, that damned, elusive Pimpernel.” and “Sink Me” are made famous by sir Percy who at first glance looks almost idiotic but behind that persona hides brave and ingenious Scarlet Pimpernel who rescues the innocent royal and aristocrats from the revolution. There is romance, spy, adventure, disguise, secret identity and much more packed in this one book. If you like this one, sure to check out other Scarlet Pimpernel Series of books. There has been movie and Television series of the scarlet pimpernel which is fun and entertaining to watch.

35. Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of short stories that are touching and heart warming. It shows stories about Indian people without the fuss and can be understood by anyone, regardless of their origin. Jhumpa’s writing is engaging and holds you, every story is beautifully written about Indian immigrants living abroad and binds all of us with emotion of love, death, loss and happiness. You will love it, even if you do not know Indian culture as it is more about being human culture. (Amzn.)

35. The Namesake: A Novel

Namesake is novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, I had to get this as I loved her short stories Interpreter of Maladies very much so. This novel did not disappoint me as well, although it has a few awkward chapters are there but story itself about a boy name Gogol who is feeling awkward about his unusual name. Not knowing the reason behind why his father has chosen a Russian name for him, he resents it until the end where he finds the truth. Story has its up and down but great overall and it made me aware of another great Russian author Nicolai Gogol. (Amzn.)

36. The Overcoat

Overcoat by Nicolai Gogol is realistic story of simple no-body poor clerk name Akaky Akakievich, he works hard and lives hard and poor life in Petersburg. He has been ridiculed and laughed at his poor attire, he gets obsessed to scrape little money to get a new overcoat which becomes is obsession and goal. He finally gets overcoat and bit of appreciation from his co-worker only to face a huge tragedy of his life and and more. Without giving away too much, if you get a chance read this realistic and gripping and tragic story with heart. (Amzn.)

37. Dead Souls

Another classic novel by Nicolai Gogol, is part poem, part prose, novel in verse!. Although novel ends in mid sentence, it is generally claimed to be a complete work by Gogol. In Russia around that time, an idea was that landowners can own serf/souls, sell and pay taxes on it. The main character comes to Chichikov comes with proposition to people for buying the serf/souls scheme is more than its meets the eye. This complex story has lot to offer in understanding human nature. (Amzn.)

38. Fahrenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four

I mentioned both of these books here in one place as they share many similarities, both written around the same time, 1950s, both books have theme on Utopian future where citizens have less freedom and choice, both are excellent science fiction books. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury has fire fighters not putting fires but actually burning books and citizens are watching mindless trivia games shows, and 1984 by George Orwell shows future where big bother keeps eye on everyone, and everything. If you think about it, it is so possible reality that is scary! (Amzn Fahrenheit 451, 1984)

39. A Suitable Boy: A Novel

A suitable boy by Vikram Seth is amazingly detailed novel, that I fell in love with it the very first time I read it. It has a several stories intermingled and rather large novel with over 1400 pages, the book time is set just around post independence of India from England. One story cover’s Lata’s love life and finding a suitable boy for her by her parents and others. Mann Kapoor is another rich boy who has an obsession with Saeeda Bai, there is political issues also mentioned with other diverse characters. (Amzn.)

40. The Phantom of the Opera:

I read phantom of the opera by Gaston Leroux, before I knew there were plays and movies about it. Gaston actually wrote this novel based on a few real life incident that happen in real opera house around 1911. Phantom is a disfigured soul who helps Christine to get a lead role and shape her career, while Christine appreciates help from her ghost, but can not love after seeing his disfigured face. Phantom himself is scary villain who is terrifying but also a tortured soul who want love more than anything. It is dark but entertaining story that many people would love. (Amzn.)

41. The Mystery of the Yellow Room

This is a shame that this is lesser known book by Gaston Leroux, does not get the credit it deserves. If you love mystery and detective novel, you will love this book’s premise that how can anyone commit a crime in a sealed room and vanish without any trace? Gaston shares his secrets slowly and let the reader guess while revealing it all at the end. Interesting thing about is that this is the book that inspired Agatha Christie to write her first mystery. Check it out yourself. (Amzn.)

42. Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)

When I first read this book, I was so intrigued and read it in one sitting. I kept guessing who the culprit was, getting it wrong in next pages until the end. The end surprised me the most as I would have never guessed it. I will not reveal it here for those you have not read it. Murder on orient express has been made in to movies and TV plays so many time, but I think book is superior than any well made movie. This book made me a fan of Agatha Christie and my fictional french detective Poirot. (Amzn.)

42. Ten Little Indians

10 little Indians also known as ” and there were none“, is another gem by Agatha Christie and considered by many readers to be the best mystery novel. Premise is simple enough, which has been copied in to many books and movies since then, 10 strangers are invited and lured to an Indian island by mysterious host. One by one all people are being killed and no one can leave the island, plot really thickens! Who is killing them and why? To find out, you must read 10 little Indians. (Amzn.)

43. A Walk to Remember

Nicholas sparks writes wonderful and heartwarming stories that first makes you smile and then you cry! Out of many his wonderful books I love walk to remember very much. Story is about Jamie, preacher’s simpleton and goodies two shoes daughter and Landon a hotshot jock, and how the unlikely pair becomes friends and ups and downs of their lives gets intermingled and how it changes both of them. If you like this book, check out other Nicholas Sparks Books.

44. Planet of the Apes

Unlike other times, I saw the movie 1960s movie first and I was intrigued when I found out it was based on a book. I had to find the original planet of the ape book by French author Pierre Boulle, who also wrote another classic novel, The Bridge Over the River Kwai: A Novel. The original book is much better and differs from the movie a bit. First of all, the planet that ape live is not earth but planet in different galaxy, also apes there live in big city, drive cars and wear modern clothes, they also have done space flight as a human inside (like we did it with monkeys). The book also looks in to a deeper moral meaning and philosophical tone. Worth a read! (Amzn.)

45. The Shape of Things to Come

H. G. Wells was well ahead of his time and has written many great books, some are popular being The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The Island of Doctor Moreau. What makes this a unique book is that written as a history of future. It is a story of Prophetic dreams recording of Philip Raven, who died in 1933, channeling a history book from future in 2106. It does not read like a novel, it feels more like many true predictions of what is about to come. (Amzn. H G Wells)

46. The Time Machine

H. G. Wells’s classic story of time machine was written around 1894 in form of series. Narrator shares a story of a person known only as a Time Traveler (No name), where he shares his recent adventure in to a future, when human have race has evolved in to Eoli who live above the ground and Marlocks who live the below, do work and eat Eoli people and his adventures in that future. There are many version of movies, TV and radio shows based on the story, however the real gem is to read the original story as always. (Amzn.)

47. The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights:

This is collection of 1001 stories of south Asian and middle eastern folk tales in three volumes. These are the stories told by Scheherazade to her husband Shahryar starting from their first night after the marriage. It includes some of the famous stories of “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor” and many more. A wonderful collection for your kids and your self, as you will love magic, adventure and fantasy aspects of these wonderful stories for years to come. Also comes in Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 for easy reading.

48. The Hound of the Baskerville

This list would not be complete without my favorite fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes., part detective, part musician, part scientist and overall genius man. Created by Arthur Conan Doyle so real that many visitor still asks where is 221B Baker Street is when they are visiting England. Out of four novels, hounds of Baskerville is one of my favorite, as novel starts with death of Sir Charles Baskerville and everything points to supernatural killer, Holmes have ways to finds the right killer before any other death. Very captivating and ingenious tale. (Amzn.)

49. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13

These are the funniest, amazing book series that aimed at young adults but I too enjoyed it as mature adult too. There are 13 books in series, starting with a book titled, bad beginning!!. Author Lemony Snicket claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He is the author of several other unpleasant stories, including those in the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Lump of Coal.

These stories has humor, irony, murder, mystery and intelligent kids and funny villain and moral wisdom if that was possible! You will laugh and smile and enjoy this tremendously. There is a Movie made from first three novels with Jim Carrey, which is worth watching! (Amzn.)

50. The Chronicles of Narnia

Chronicle of Narnia is first in series of 7 children book series. This book and other in series are also great for teenagers and adults who are kids at heart (like me). Story takes place around world war II, and adventure of 4 brothers and sisters in a magical world where animal that can talk, brave lion and ice queen witch, what is not to love? Othere books are series are also a great read for everyone the the family. Check out Narnia- a Movie which is a great visual master piece. (Amzn. Narnia Movie)

What are your favorite books?, Have you read any of these books? What is your opinion of it?

Image source: Books

101 changes: Change 6 – Read a book (Benefits of reading)

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative
——————————————————————————————————-

Many of us are readers without us knowing it, we read emails, news, blogs, other information sites, magazines, work related and school related books and magazines, novels and other type of reading activities such as reading to your child and so on. Reading a book enhances our imagination and our mind.

With the popularity of internet, video games, movies, TV and other online social, media has put traditional reading in the back seat. There are so many benefits to reading the traditional way and I will show why you should read more books, both fictional and non-fictional, technical and for fun.

Click here to know about my list of classic books that everyone should read at least once and 8 kids books that everyone should read in our life.

Some of the top bestselling books are great way to start reading, exploring and learning at the same time.

I have been a book worm since I was a kid and love reading all types of books. There are many aspects of reading that provide many benefits to us. It does not matter what type of a book you read, there is a book for all of our interests. From

  • comic books,
  • picture books,
  • drama,
  • humorous books,
  • romance novels,
  • historical books,
  • cook books,
  • how to books,
  • self improvement books,
  • technical books,
  • science fictions books,
  • famous biographies,
  • poems,
  • haiku,
  • Joke books,
  • ebooks,
  • travel books and much more. There is something for every stage of readers;

A few of benefits for reading:

  1. It improves your thinking: By reading in general, people tend to improve their analytical thinking and exercise the muscles in their mind. There have been studies done to show that reading improves your mind.
  2. Improves your speech and vocabulary: There is no doubt, the more diverse and varied books that you read, you will improve your vocabulary with words that we may not generally use or hear in our daily life.
  3. It improves your writing: It may seem like a surprise to hear that reading can improve your writing but it is true. If it can improve your mind by thinking more analytically, and improve your vocabulary, it is bound to improve your writing as well.  That maybe why most Language classes made us read books. Great writers are amazing, they can show moving pictures to words that are floating around, making us visualize the characters, feel their feelings and emotions and all that will pass on to you, the reader, especially when you write after reading a master piece book.
  4. Glimpse in to Past: By reading great classic, we can go back in to the past. For example, when we read Pride and Prejudice we can see Austen’s world and culture around that time, how people lived and talked and what was normal, while living in the present.
  5. Glimpse in to a possible future: When we read books like Nineteen Eighty-Four we can foresee a possible future and hopefully we can take steps to avoid some of the worse situations by correcting the way we do things now.
  6. It improves focus and memory: I am very bad with people’s name and driving directions and yet, I find I remember things from my favorite books, the characters all so well. One of the reason being is that unlike the small fragments of issues, a book gives a COMPLETE story which makes focusing easy and improve your memory, especially if the book is engaging.
  7. You can travel around the world from your couch: No need to pack or get a plane ticket, by reading books that are set in different countries, cities, we can learn and virtually visit other places we may not otherwise get a chance to.
  8. Learning is portable: You can take your book or e-reader anywhere as it is portable, be it doctor or dentist’s office, beach or in plane ride. Learning continues.
  9. Can change your life: Have you ever read a book, that completely change the way you look at the world and those who are around you? It can make you a better person, learn a new skill, or give you hope. Not all books are created equal, but there are a few gems that just might change your life for better.
  10. Most time books are better than Movies: As an avid reader and an avid movie watcher, I know 99% of the times books are always better than the movies. Take the example of the Harry Potter book series, movies leave so many things out as it is hard to put everything in 3 hours. Sometimes so much is omitted that it makes it confusing to watch a movie based on a book. Some movies are well made though such as North & South TV series by Elizabeth Gaskell So, next time if you find some free time, pick up a good book to read and go on a time travel journey and learn something you always wanted to.

Some great books to start reading this year, if you have not already done it:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Outliers: The Story of Success

The Help : Novel

Do you love reading? What benefits do you think book reading gives you? Please share. Image source: Guardian.co.uk