My top five books of 2019

What’s your take? Read and share your views.

After turning the pages of twenty books in 2019, I’ve decided to list five titles that had the most impact.

My idea of an impactful book is one which transfers fear into prudence, pain into information, mistakes into initiation and desire into undertaking.

To be clear, most of these books weren’t all written in 2019 — I just happened to pick them up in this glorious year. The books are in the reverse order I read them.

Quantum Karma: Karma is what karma does – Amrish Shah

When the weather gets rough, the rough become the weather. Neurons that fire together wire together. Day after day, your mind is building your brain.

In Quantum Karma, Amrish through fictional novel covers the areas of the brain responsible for happiness, agitation, and peace. The wheel of Karma spins incessantly, each revolution brings with it the closure of unfinished business.

Aditya, a criminal lawyer is determined to learn the reasons behind his delusions, his hatred for his father, his uncanny knowledge of a vehicle collision that occurred even before he was born….

Amrish writes through his fictional story by which we can train our minds to respond positively to our experiences. By staying present and soaking up enjoyable experiences, we prime our brains to see the bright side of life.

Amrish Shah is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He is the screenwriter for Bollywood Blockbuster – DON 2, starring Shahrukh Khan, which grossed fifty million dollars worldwide.

Published by Notion Press, pages 236, 2019

Vipassana Meditation: The art of living as taught by SN Goenka – William Hart

Vipassana is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.

Acharya S N Goenka teaches in this book, a fascinating deep-dive into why we do vipassana, and how we can improve our life habits. Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. Some 2500 years ago, it was re-discovered by Gautam Buddha and taught by him as universal remedy for universal ills. Vipassana meditation today is taught by late Acharya SN Goenka’s tapes, through his assistant teachers. Regular courses are held in different parts of India and oversees – over 310 centres.

Vipassana Meditation by William Hart, has a healthy dose of neuroscience, covering topics like root of problems, moral conduct, concentration, wisdom, etc. with relevant stories from mythology.

Published by Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, pages 164, 1988

महाराणा प्रताप का युग – डा. श्रीकृष्ण जुगनू (हिंदी) (Maharana Pratap ka Yug – Dr. Shri Krishan Jugnu)

थामस कार्लाइल (Thomas Carlyle) की राजपुताना पर प्रसिद्ध उक्ति है – ‘’यहाँ कोई इतिहास नहीं है ये केवल नायकों की आत्मकथाएँ है।‘’

इस धारणा को और पुष्ट करती है कि महत्वपूर्ण और उल्लेखनीय घटनाएँ ही इतिहास का निर्माण करती है। भारतीय इतिहास के एक महत्वपुर्ण व्यक्तित्व होने के कारण प्रताप सदैव अध्ययन के केन्द्र बिंदु रहे है। श्रीकृष्ण जुगनू जी की महारणा प्रताप पर पुस्तक एक ऐतिहासिक अध्ययन की दृष्टि से प्रशंशिनिय हें ।

आखिर महाराणा प्रताप का युग कैसा था ? उस काल का समाज और संस्‍कृति कैसी थी ? बाबर के आक्रमण के दौरान देश की सबसे बड़ी ताकत मेवाड़ क्‍या हमेशा के लिए शांत हो गया ? शेरशाह के बाद, क्या बाबर  के पौत्र अकबर ने मेवाड़ के मान-मर्दन के लिए सारी मर्यादाएं लांघ दी ? मगर क्‍या वजह थी कि मेवाड़ के जख्‍मी हाथों में बलंदी के झंडे बने रहे ?

श्रीकृष्ण ‘जुगनू’ राजस्थान के युवा और जाने माने शिक्षक, साहित्यकार और भारतविद पुराविशेषज्ञ हैं। इतिहास-पुरातत्त्व, शिल्प-कला, स्थापत्य, शिक्षा, धर्म, ज्योतिष, वास्तुशास्त्र व संस्कृति जैसे विषयों के अनुवाद, अध्ययन-अध्यापन, अनुसंधान और लेखन में गहरी रुचि । उनकी जन्म एवं कर्म भूमि मेवाड़ हे ।

Published by Aryavart Sanskriti Sansthan, Delhi, pages 290, 2010

Rajasthani Stories Retold – Rima Hooja

Rajasthan is also famed for its rich oral and written traditions, drawn from mythology and religious tales as much as from the history of the area. The oral and written traditions are sometimes coloured by the blood of battles, sometimes romantic with the folk-remembered tales.

Dipping into this rich heritage, this book brings to its readers a collection of short stories from Rajasthan. These are based on real people and events but are somewhat fictionalised in the narration. The nine Rajasthani tales in this book are but a fraction of the amazing legacy of Rajasthan.

Rima Hooja, author, archaeologist and a historian is Consultant Director (Library and Archives) at Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur; Managing Trustee Jaipur Virasat Foundation.

Published by Niyogi Books, pages 179, 2017

Vedanta Treatise: The Eternities – Swami A Parthasarathy

For those seeking answers on the purpose and ultimate goal of human life, this is an intensive answer.

Vedanta Treatise: The Eternities is the seminal work by the author and forms the core of the findings of over 60 years of research and study into the ancient wisdom of the Himalayas. This book is recommended to develop the intellect. You don’t read but study this book.

Presently I am attending study classes based on Vedanta Treatise, conducted by Dr. Janki Santoke, ( at Santa Cruz, Mumbai. She is a senior disciple of Swami Parthasarathy and a scholar of Vedanta. She has been into full-time study and propagation of Vedanta since 1988.

The book expounds the ancient philosophy of Vedanta. It presents the eternal principles of life and living. Living is a technique that needs to be learnt and practised by one and all. The technique provides the formula for remaining active all through life while maintaining inner peace. It helps one develop a powerful intellect to meet the challenges of the world. Above all, the Treatise helps one evolve spiritually.

Author, Swami A. Parthasarathy, born 1927, is an internationally acclaimed philosopher and greatest living exponent of Vedanta, the ancient philosophy. He has a multi-disciplined academic base including post-graduation from London University. He has researched for over fifty years on the state of human beings. He is the founder of Vedanta Academy (1988) in Malavli Hills (near Lonavala), 108 km from Mumbai, India. It offers three-year residential courses designed to build intellectual ability and instil higher values of life in students from all over the world. Other avenues of Swamiji are public discourses, corporate discourses and writings.

Published by A Parthasarathy, pages 413, 1978 (first edition)

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