Krishna enjoyed the book Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama where he speaks about his experiences with teachers like Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, and Ramana Maharshi.
Swami Rama throws up quite a few interesting results on google…on the one hand he is a pioneer of meditation and on the other he has had a controversial reputation.
Sreeraj found the title of this book by a Japanese author interesting and hence began to read. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa is speculative mystery fiction. The premise is interesting- disappearing things on an island lead to loss of memory of those things. The Memory Police ensures that not a shred of memory remains on the island; even calendars are removed as time is linked to memory. Even the island forgets that it exists. Ogawa creates a techless dystopia where memory itself is a crime and examines the irrationality posed by extreme surveillance. “I enjoyed the way there is a novel within a novel in this book and how Kafkaesque the premise is,” Sreeraj said.
Mention of Kafka led to discussion of the surrealist writer Murakami’s prose and as usual the BYOB Party readers were divided into two camps- one who were exasperated by Murakami and the other who saw merit in his work and saw benefit in reading in a certain chronology if Murakami was to be done justice too. I personally think Murakami’s short stories are a great introduction to his writing style and to see his true genius The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is a good place to start.
Another dystopia that made it to the discussion was The Wall by John Lancaster, a book that talks about post environmental apocalypse Britain. It was even nominated for the Booker Prize last year.
More books in Part 3.