Normal People by Sally Rooney – Book Review

“If people appeared to behave pointlessly in grief, it was only because human life was pointless, and this was the truth that grief revealed.”

Sally Rooney’s Normal People is exhausting and brilliant. To see these two people, Marianne and Connell, struggle to circumvent their fate and keep looking at the other for life support, almost, was so frustrating and yet, from the lens of my own life it felt so normal. And to know, through them, that our failures and shame are normal and binding to the rest of us is comforting.

That’s what a great book does. It lets you talk to yourself while you’re reading it. This book triggered many memories of my time in school and college. It made me peek into my inadequacies and loneliness and think about my choices in trickier times. The friends you choose, the peer group you try and impress, the validation you need – Normal People made me ask those questions, again, after all these years.

And may be that’s the thing. Our lives aren’t covered in one protective layer. We shield our innermost with an endless draping and this book, like a few rare others, lets you un-layer a little bit by the end of it.

This one is for the ages.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou – Book Review

“Those who the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

Bad Blood makes you pause and reflect on the nature of ambition. Is wanting to do good a true, selfless motivation or a function of the ego and a twisted kind of narcissism? 

Elizabeth Holmes’ relentless pursuit to change the world with Theranos, inspired by the legendary Steve Jobs is both cautionary and illuminating. Sitting in India, Silicon Valley represents the hallowed ecosystem of the world’s most influential startups and yet, within that supposedly bright and agile universe, two people were able to pull off this multi billion dollar fraud makes for a fascinating and often unbelievable read. 

As a reader, the book was a page-turner, riveting and all consuming. It’s great storytelling with the plot constantly driven by facts and action.

Truth is scarier than fiction, and this book, you so wish were a writer’s imagination but sadly it isn’t. 

Nonetheless, I highly recommend it.