The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz

The story opens by exploring the life of a Oscar, a promising young Dominican child growing up in Jersey who morphs into an overweight, unpopular nerd who is desperate to lose his virginity.

The story then proceeds to explore the lives of Oscar, Oscar’s mother, sister and Mother’s family (persecuted by Dictator). The first half of the book is a little bit irritating as the author uses footnotes and many Spanish language phrases that are not translated. Besides these language issues and the jumping back and fourth in time and among characters the book beyond where the main characters develop very nicely. Awesome integration of the political, social and economic history of the Dominican Republic and how the environment shaped many of the lives of the generations who migrated to the U.S.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz

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Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

A truly poetic and timeless beauty.

Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his affluent family for a silent contemplative life and soon get restless and leaves the asthetic life for one of the flesh. He conceives a son and soon gets bored and disgusted by lust and greed, moves away from society again. At rock bottom, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a sole sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life – the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.

Siddhartha’s skepticism of dogma and doctrine (Buddha), of the world of business (Govinda) drives him to find his own way, only after he has experienced both the spiritual and the material world. Followed by the indifference of his offspring that he returns to the river and the boatman to find way and true peace – of the self and the Atman are united.

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse

On Ugliness – Umberto Eco

Beauty may be well attractive, but ugliness is much more fun…

Eco gives us an encyclopedic, vividly illustrated. With a collection of passages of historical and philosophical commentary among hundreds of examples of ugliness found in Western art and literature, starting from ancient Greece to the popular and avant-garde cultures of today.

Do not expect a theory about repulsion over here.