Book of The Week

This section is just so I can pen in quick reviews of one book a week. Some of these, I’ve read earlier, some recently- but all of them have made an impact on me, positively or otherwise.

1. 27/09/09 – 03/10/09

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach

I suppose it’s only natural that I begin with a review of the book that’s impacted my life the most. I was twelve when I read Jonathan Seagull. A good friend back then, Chinnu Mathew, lent me her copy- a Christmas gift from her relatives- and it has remained one of my Bibles since then. I read, open-mouthed, as Jonathan simply decided he would have to break away from the flock, determined to move beyond boredom and fear and anger, and transformed from a seagull limited by his wingspan into a leader and a teacher, and in the end- the eternal spirit. It was like being gifted the power of imagination, and I can safely say I have never been the same again. That book deepened my thirst to read and changed my way of thinking forever.

For those of you who haven’t read ‘Seagull, this is a book that, on the surface, talks about one rebel seagull who believes he can fly high, while the rest of the flock refuses to look beyond the short flutter of their wings to capture the first fish it can find. Symbolically, however, Jonathan embodies the spirit in each one of us, that is limited only by our imagination, not by our physical attributes. This message, simple but powerful, is conveyed through a slim 70-80 page story complete with black and white photographs. Read at the age of twelve, and every single time afterwards, Jonathan has never failed to move me, to push me to the edge of my mental comfort zone, to force me into asking questions of myself and what I’m inherently capable of. The language used is simple and straightforward, so even a child can make sense of it, but the spirit of the book is impossible to capture in one review. Each time I go back to Jonathan Seagull, I have a new lesson to learn.

To me, this book will always represent childhood wonder, the infinity of the spirit and limitlessness.  Get hold of a copy, and transform yourself today.

Favourite quote:  “If our friendship depends on space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood. But overcome space, and all you have left is Here. Overcome time and all you have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?”


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