Sapiens opened my mind beyond self-created biases: Amol Parashar

An early start

My father had a good collection of books at home so I used to pick something from his shelf to read. In my childhood days, I used to enjoy reading a lot, so much so that some of the books I was reading at that age were beyond my comprehension. I just enjoyed the process of reading.

Changing perspective

I have a long list of favourite books. Many of them entered my life at a certain point and made a huge impact me. One of the recent books that I remember made me feel that way was Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. His thoughts and ideas are clear, concise and insightful. It has changed the way I look at the human experience and opened my mind beyond self-created biases. I have read his book and have been listening to many of his talks and interviews. I like the way he thinks and looks at the world.

Authors & genres

That’s again a very long list. Since Sapiens is recent, Yuval Noah Harari comes to mind. In fiction, some of my favourites are Patrick Suskind (Perfume), DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little), Marlon James (Brief History of Seven Killings), J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have enjoyed books of all genres. Earlier, I wasn’t too much into non-fiction, but I have been reading a lot of non-fiction books in recent times and have been enjoying them a lot. Some of the books that I loved reading from the genre are are Sapiens (again!), Into Thin Air, Thinking Fast and Slow, A Brief History of the World.

Reading in phases

I am not able to read regularly; it comes in phases. Sometimes I don’t read anything for two-three months and then suddenly I will devour two-three books in a month. I find reading on a set while shooting a great habit. There are a lot of breaks during shooting where you have to keep yourself occupied and alert in a productive manner and there’s nothing better than reading. Since, I travel a lot for my work, I like reading when I am flying. That’s a lot of fun because then there are not many distractions, especially your phone.

Getting recommendations

I look through bookshops at airports and pick up a book that I find interesting. Sometimes, I hear about a book (from people whose reading I trust) and I order it in a shot.

Staying put

I have not made the shift to e-books, yet. I have nothing against it, just that it is a new habit and I have not gotten used to it, so it’s physical books for me now.

Currently reading

My ‘next to finish’ book is Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbag.

Special memory

Reading old dusty books at my grandma’s place in the summer vacations.

Book adaptations I loved

I loved Revolutionary Road (the film). Then I read the book and loved it even more. It is so difficult to capture the whole essence of the book in limited screen time, but in this case both the book and the film broke my heart in equal measures.

Wishful thinking

I would love to see an adaptation of Vernon God Little and be a part of it. It is funny and tragic and builds up the curiosity beautifully till the end. I had heard there was going to be a Hollywood film…still waiting for it.

No tall claims

If I haven’t read something, I am not ashamed to admit it.

Must reads…

There are so many…it changes everyday! Today’s recommendation is Sapiens. Tomorrow will be a different one…

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