### by Tara Westover

Ratings: 10/10

It’s strange how you give the people you love so much power over you.

Probably the best book I read in 2020.

I was spoon-fed, like most Indian kids, until I went off to college. Before I started college, almost everything was prepared and given to me, including food, academics, basically everything. Tara talks about the crucial skill of learning things on our own. We should be patient while trying to learn new things since some material can take weeks and even years to learn. It is better to rely on oneself for getting things done or for understanding new material; the odds are much better that way than to rely on others.

I think everyone should be allowed to dress and act however they like, so long as it is legal. What is right or wrong is up to oneself and not for someone else to decide. So many of us mock others for the way they dress and look. Some even go to the extent of calling terrible names, especially to women. It is a sad reality but a reality nonetheless. Tara recalls being told that only ‘other’ women put on tight clothing and not the ‘righteous’ ones. The book had many moments like this, and by the end of the book, I got really teary.

We must retain our voices amid the noise around us. We cannot let the voice of others drown our own and dictate our lives. We should realize that our voices are as powerful as anyone else’s and stand up whenever we feel something wrong has been done. This is tricky water to tread in. Sometimes, the people you love might have all sorts of biases and prejudices against other people. It’s strange, the kind of power that people you love have over you.

When you are poor, you continuously think about survival. You hear a lot of people saying that money does not matter. That’s some pure non-sense. Sure, you don’t need money after a certain point, but money is essential today. The advantage of cash is that it can free your mind to think about other things about money.

Of the nature of women, nothing final can be known.

“The past was a ghost, insubstantial, unaffecting. Only the future had weight.” Do I need to elaborate on anything on this?

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?
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