Reading Non-fiction Books Can Be Very Helpful – here are a few reasons you must read nonfiction genre

Reading is helpful in various ways. To learn something new, understand something important, get an idea about an entirely new concept, and many other purposes meet results by reading books. While fictional works may satisfy our entertainment craving, reading non-fiction books can be an extremely helpful and enriching activity for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will explore how reading non-fiction books can help us. 

First of all, unlike fiction, non-fiction books provide a wealth of knowledge and information on a wide range of subjects. Whether you are interested in history, science, business, or any other topic, non-fiction books can help you learn more about it in a structured and comprehensive way. By reading non-fiction books, you can gain a deeper understanding of the world around you and expand your horizons. And mind it, we are not counting the academic books we study during school, college and university education. 




In addition to providing knowledge, non-fiction books can also help you develop various skills and abilities. For example, reading non-fiction books about history can help you enhance your critical thinking and analysis skills as you consider different perspectives and evaluate the accuracy and reliability of different sources. For instance, reading non-fiction books about science or technology can help you learn about the latest research and developments in these fields, which can be useful for your personal or professional growth. You can discuss the same with your friends and further your knowledge. 

Moreover, non-fiction books can also be a great source of inspiration and motivation. Many non-fiction books are written by individuals who have achieved great things in their lives, and reading about their experiences and insights can be a powerful way to motivate you to pursue your goals and dreams. Non-fiction books can also provide practical advice and tips on how to achieve success in various areas of life, whether it be in your career, relationships, or personal development. Yes, now you can think about a few bestselling titles in the self-help genre – Rich Dad, Poor Dad, 7 Habits, Think and Grow Rich, Freedom from the Known, and many others. 

And finally, non-fiction books can be a great way to broaden your perspective and understanding of different cultures and viewpoints. By reading non-fiction books written by authors from diverse backgrounds, you can gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the world and the people around you. You can read about the culture of the continents you have never explored – sitting in India, you can read something about the people of Australia or Japan. You can read about the ancient Greeks and Romans. And so on. 

To conclude, reading non-fiction books can be a very beneficial and enriching activity that can benefit you in numerous ways. Whether you are looking to learn something new, develop innovative skills, find inspiration, or simply broaden your perspective, non-fiction books can be a valuable resource that can help you achieve your goals. You can find some amazing non-fiction books by Indian authors here – best non-fiction books by Indian authors.

By Priya for The Book Blog




Literature student? You can be a good book critic (if you want)

I have been a book critic for more than 10 years now. In these long years of experience, I came across many authors, many kinds of books and many types of criticism from those authors. The experiences have always been varied. It did never feel like an easy task! However, it has been fun, fabulous, and always an addition to learning a new intellectual exercise. I love what I do. And I have a suggestion, if you have studied literature in college, you are an ideal candidate to be a measured book critic compared to those who read literature for fun. It is because you have the ability to study literature… do you get the catch?

I believe studying literature is different from reading it (for pleasure). Studying a work of literature allows us to learn many things by reading the work. However, reading for recreation or pleasure helps us regain our concentration and get ready for the job at hand. Reading is for weekends. Studying is for weekdays. If that helps you understand things in a better context.

In the beginning, students of literature in any language might find it difficult. Once they understand how to cope with the pressure, a whole new world opens up to them. Well, if you are still beginning and want to learn the best ways to sail across your syllabus, you can read this wonderful article to help you understand the nature of the course and also the best ways to deal with it. It is for English literature students only. (Anyone can take help and plan his or her journey.)

How to Study English Literature?

Now, coming back to the business of criticism. It is always wise to use one’s abilities to make a living. Literature students can understand the work in a smaller as well as a broader context. That also helps understand the significance of work for the time being and assume its place in the future when the taste for the time changes. For example, critics like Dr Jonson and Matthew Arnold often had it right when they appreciated or fixated on the works of their time (and also from the past). Arnold praises the works that have timelessness. Jonson does the same. In modern literature, nothing like timeless exists. Be it Hindi literature or English literature. Nevertheless, there are books that defy the current trends and try to settle for a while.

The job of a book critic is to identify the qualities in a book and bring them out to the readers who want to understand the same. Also, at the same time, a critic is supposed to highlight the shortcomings and put them in front of the readers (and authors). Having the positives and negatives about literary works may help a reader make an informed choice, and also help the authors understand the areas they need to improve. Ideally, this is what a book critic must do. However, having a literary background makes things easier. Noting down the prose and cons, understanding the aesthetic set-up, identifying the qualities in characters, comprehending the motifs, and simply understanding the works of literature as a whole helps a person with a literature background (academically) to bring out the best possible critical essay (known as a book review). Others might hit a few and miss many.

I align my thoughts in this direction. What do you think? Is book criticism open to all? Or it is for those who are serious about it and understand literature a little better than those who casually read literature and suggest others the same? Tell me your thoughts in the comments, and I will surely respond.

By Chitra for The Book Blog

Before you start writing your English literature paper – keep these points in mind

Writing answers in examinations is an important aspect of anyone’s career. One has to impress the examiner in such a way that maximum marks are awarded for the answers attempted by the examinee. Failing to do so may result in lesser than expected marks or anything else other than what the examinee might be expecting. Well, this article is for those students who are studying English literature as their major. And this is a kind of heart-to-heart talk because I have also been a student of English literature for many years. So, what are the points that you can consider while attempting an answer in your English literature examination? Keep reading this article.

Plan the answer: An answer has, generally, three parts to it – it begins; it continues; it ends. That means, it should have a beginning, a development and a conclusion. All the parts should be connected and logically flowing in a direction, a direction that points to a convincing conclusion where the examiner must see what you began, explained and concluded.

Take care of the word limits: When you plan your answer, you should keep a note of the word limit that your question paper suggests. While a few always want to go beyond the specified limit of words, it does not bode well with the examiners any day. They want to see the answers well within the specified word limit and that also shows an examinee knows how to put his or her opinion within the rules of engagement. So, always keep your answers within the limit.

Keep quotes and references handy: If you are a versatile reader, it should be easy for you. Always remember the key points in a drama, a novel or a short story. For poems, do try and remember a few lines, important ones, that you can use in the answers when the time comes. Answers decorated with references and text from the specified work of literature always impress the examiners more than an answer written dry and plain. So, this part becomes important. Your memory should be supercharged with lines from the texts you have read.

If you want to understand the ideas to make your answers in English literature appropriate, subtle and mark-fetching, you should read opinions from the experts themselves. You can follow this link to understand the ways you can enhance your answer writing practices. Here it is: How to write answers in English literature

 

Always remember one thing, no expert can make you what you are. You can only read and learn from the opinions of others. At the end of the day, it is you who is going to attempt those answers in the examination hall. So, always read the primary text to understand it the best way. And then make sure you read the secondary texts to understand what other literary personalities think about a particular work or idea. That will help a lot and you can utilise it when it comes to validating your opinions and perspectives. All the best!

 

Chitra for The Book Blog

Before you criticise Chetan Bhagat (again) for his writing style or lack of literary qualities, think – the thought

Slandering Chetan Bhagat is one thing everyone loves to do. This act does not come out of merit. Criticising someone on facts is an ideal thing to do. Many do it. However, slandering someone without knowing the work is a job that tells how frustrated some people are!

I am not defending Chetan Bhagat. I am not defending his poor writings. I am not telling people should read him. This article intends to hold a mirror to those ready with daggers without knowing the hole to dig. Yes, Chetan Bhagat is a novelist who works on the same framework. However, have you read any of his works? Have you ever tried to discover why does he do so?

Traditional readers and book reviewers in India, in general, are always against anything that Chetan writes. They do have the right to do it. However, what is the reason behind Chetan Bhagat working on the same themes time and again? Many research scholars have tried to bring different aspects behind Chetan’s fictional craft. Some papers explore the wide range of social issues that the author fuses with local themes in his novels. Why do research scholars bother to work on an author whom the world belittles?

Chetan Bhagat rose to fame on the horizon of Indian English literature unexpectedly. While there may be debates on this phenomenon, no one can deny it happened. His novels are shallow, without literary richness, and one-time-read. However, if you get into the depths of the themes of Chetan’s novels, it will be a surprising discovery. This author has tried to portray the issues that the population of the time faces day in and day out. Relationships, love, friendship, job, frustration, dreams, heartbreak, break-up, hook-up, one-night stand, sex, movies, politics and governments – things that synchronise with the thoughts of today’s generation feature in the works of Chetan Bhagat. Traditional authors, conventional critics, and intelligent book reviewers may dislike these things. However, readers do love reading Bhagat’s novels. And that is why he is immensely successful today!

Yes, you can find faults in his style. He writes with an intention to keep his works bereaved of literary riches. He brings drops language to a level that we can call sordid. His novels are dry and singular. And there are other things that we can hold against the novelist. However, one has to substantiate these arguments with evidence. If you do that, you are a critic of repute. If you do that because others did so, you are not a critic in good faith!

We should not forget one more point about the novels of Chetan Bhagat. His writing style (simple, otherwise) has created the space for authors who write anything they like. Writers like Nikita Singh, Durjoy Datta, Ravinder Singh, and many others have followed the tracks made by Chetan Bhagat on his way to success. No one can deny it!

At last, before we tend to criticise someone, we should ideally look for all the possible ways to substantiate the criticism. Otherwise, we become a part of the gathering, knowing nothing about anything and pretending to know everything!

All the best!

 

by Alka for The Book Blog

Find your book’s critics wisely – advice for first-time self-published authors

Many authors are often confused about many things at the beginning of their writing career. It is like a journey that sadly begins with a note of confusion. Am I going the right way? This is the question that keeps ringing in the ears of anyone who begins the writing journey with self-publishing as the stepping stone. It is natural. Self-publishing sounds promising at the beginning of the career when no traditional publisher is ready to bet big on a newcomer. Although, once an author realises that there is hardly a thing like traditional publishing in today’s market unless someone is a celebrity, famous or notorious. Nevertheless, we can agree on one fact that there is confusion for newly self-published authors. A number of the concerns are related to reviews as well. And, in a hurry to look solid, many authors tend to come down heavily on critical feedback. To begin with, this is a career-suicide move. Don’t argue with your critic just to prove a point that ‘you think’.

Arguing unnecessarily with the critics or book reviewers writing for various book review websites might decrease your chances of getting future books reviewed by them. Yes, if you believe that replying to someone is absolutely essential and your case demands attention, you can use proper channels such as email or comment section to put forth your ideas in a constructive and nice way. Going overboard might ruin the conversation. And since a beginner is a beginner, at the end of the day, your loss is way more compared to the loss of a book by one author for the critics or the book reviewers.

Yes, there are critics who take the word ‘critic’ in a very contracting sense and they tend to criticise anything they find to read. For those critics, staying away from them might be a very good strategy you can think to employ. Getting a very bad review is worse than getting no review and leaving your readers an option to look it up themselves. Be careful when you choose critics for your debut book. There are very balanced, neutral and fine book reviewers out there on many literary blogs who are very good at reviewing books. Yes, you might be charged a reading fee and that’s totally worth it if you get nice, honest and constructive feedback for your writing.

Criticism is something that an author cannot avoid. Moreover, one always learns from criticism. Critical feedbacks are the motivation that keeps an author running for the idea called improvement. You don’t have to be too touchy about feedback on your writing. Learn to accept things and use them constructively for the betterment of your writing. However, you do need to be careful when you choose book bloggers for the review of your debut book. This is a make or break situation because you are just starting. At times, therefore, be safe than sorry actually works. Hope you have learnt something from this poet. All the best!

 

By Alka for The Book Blog

Sri Aurobindo – a master in prose writing, Hinduism and Spiritual works by him

Sri Aurobindo’s literary works made him immortal. His thoughts don’t only get carried by his Ashram but also by his words. He was a poet, a prose writer, a master speaker, a great person and a great Indian who strived not only for political gains (like many did during the freedom movement) but for the general wellbeing of Indians and anyone who wanted freedom from the slavery of mind as well. However, Sri Aurobindo’s poetry does not come as close as his prose writing’s excellence. Aurobindo’s prose mostly encircles Indian ethos, Hindu philosophy, Sanatan spirituality, Upnishads, Vedas, Hindu epics and well-being in general terms. And, mark it, his prose is excellent!

The Life Divine forms the core of his works of greatness. It thrives along with the works of the great Hindu religious body of works, inspires people to achieve greatness offered to them, contemplates the core ideals of spiritual evolution and suggests many ways to evolve and develop. However, don’t let this giant work dwarf your perception of other great prose works that Sri Aurobindo has produced. His work on Upnishads, Vedas, Mahabharata and Gita, Hindu spiritual schools and other subjects have been magnificent. For example, his work on Upnishads makes life easy for many readers who want to dive deep into the world of the Upnishads but cannot comprehend the grandeur of the language. They can easily take advantage of the commentary offered by Sri Aurobindo.

The Renaissance in India with A Defence of Indian Culture is equally important and a must-read for all those who want to understand the ideas that Aurobindo extends in order to teach the world the lessons that India can offer. And the most interesting thing about the works by Aurobindo is that you can read all of those for free on the official website of Sri Aurobindo Ashram… isn’t that great, readers?

The importance of his works, prose or poetry, his valuable contribution to the Indian conscious post and pre-independence, his rich interpretations of the Indian philosophy and his role in bringing the best of the Hindu spirituality to the world will always be up for appreciation by his readers and admirers as well as the general people who want to understand these concepts by the virtue of the great body of works explaining the same. Aurobindo will always be known as a prolific writer and those who possess the prowess to evaluate literature critically will know how great a prose writer he was.

 

By Guddu for The Book Blog