Author: Soumya

The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People

The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven is a short read. The book is written in such a way that reading the chapter titles is enough. Each chapter covers one concept about how to be happy, followed by an example and a quote.⁠ ⁠ Among the 100 simple secrets, a few secrets that stuck with me are:⁠ 1. Have a purpose in your life⁠ 2. Have a hobby and also engage with people who share the same hobby⁠ 3. Have a community of friends and family and help each other out⁠ 4. Strive for progress, not for perfection ⁠ 5. Volunteer and exercise⁠ ⁠ For this new year, which of the above secrets will you make a resolution? For me, it will be exercise ;)⁠

La Princesa and the Pea

The classical story of The Princess and the Pea gets a Latino twist in the book, La Princesa and the Pea. What makes this book stand out is the bilingual text, which is in both Spanish and English. The warm illustrations inspired by the culture of Peru also make this book a winner. ⁠ ⁠ El Principe knows that this girl is the one for him but the Queen doesn’t agree. The Queen wants the perfect girl for his son and no woman on the land could match the Queen’s expectations. The Queen has a secret test in mind for the Princess. If the Princess wins the test she can marry the Prince. The Prince also has a plan that makes sure that the Princess will win the test. ⁠ ⁠ This classic tale injected with love is sure to make your heart melt and will make you smile in the end. In the illustrations, I loved the sly looks between the Princess and the Prince, as the Queen tries her best to quench their …

Love & Other Emotions

When was the last time you did an ’emotion’ check?⁠ ⁠ At least once a day, we do a weather check, to see if it snowing or raining or if the temperature has dipped a few degrees below the normal so that we can bundle up in extra layers. How often do you do an ’emotion’ check? Most of the days I am so busy that I forget to do an emotion check. Maybe if I did an ’emotion’ check, I would see that every day I experience at least 5 emotions. I am happy, disappointed, worried, calm or satisfied. ⁠ ⁠ The theme of this month will be Love & Other Emotions. This is no surprise because February 14 is Valentine’s day. Also, as human beings, we are capable of lot more emotions than just love. ⁠ ⁠ This month, I will be sharing books that highlight love, the traditional love between two human beings and also family love. I hope that the posts about love will make you feel warm and toasty inside. …

Wherever you go

What is the name of your most favorite road and why? We have traveled on roads since we can remember, to school, to home, to a grocery shop, to a friends place etc. We have probably walked or drove 1000s of times on various roads. When someone asks where do you live, we say the name of a road. Roads are an integral part of our life. Roads take us to places and also bring us home. In this book, an adventurous rabbit and his friends take a journey on roads to go through mountain peaks, cityscapes, to the stream and the sea. Roads take them past bridges, harbors and bays. After visiting many places and meeting new friends, the rabbit goes home. I loved the illustrations in this book which had winding roads on every page and cute animal characters. In this book, the author, Pat Zietlow Miller asks Which path should you choose? That’s easy to see. The one that will take you where you wish to be. This book was published in …

The Jungle Book

My first introduction to The Jungle Book was a cartoon show that came every weekend, in India. I was 6-8 years old when I saw it first time and it was my favorite TV show. In the Indian version, Mowgli, the protagonist, had a boomerang, and how I wished I had one. The Jungle Book was written by Rudyard Kipling and was first published in 1894. It is about a boy called Mowgli who gets lost in an Indian jungle and is adopted by a wolf family. Mowgli’s teacher is Baloo, the Bear and Bagheera, the panther is his mentor and friend. Mowgli’s enemy is Sher Khan who waits for a chance to pounce on Mowgli and have him for a meal. The original book is a bit hard to read because the English was a bit different in 1894, but the beautiful pictures by Nicola Bayley helped me to complete it. If not the book, I definitely recommend watching the movie.

Tales and Legends from India

Indian mythology is my favorite in world mythology. We have great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The epics are filled with brave princes, beautiful and capable princesses, ferocious demons and villains that make your heart skip a beat. I grew up reading Indian mythology and fables like Jataka tales and Panchatantra that taught principles of life in a fun way. In this book, Tales and Legends from India, Ruskin Bond collects the tales from various sources: the great Hindu religious epics, Buddhist fables and stories recorded by early travelers. This is a beautiful and entertaining book that introduces you to Indian fairy tales and mythology. While reading this book, I was transported to childhood and also came across new stories that I haven’t read before. In Ruskin Bond’s own words, “India is more than a land – it is an atmosphere – and this book is designed to give the reader the feel of India and recapture some of its old magic.”