Updated: Jan 27, 2019
I update this entry from time to time, to reflect my current bookshelf.
List of books for 2017-18 (and beyond) which I have already read, (re-)reading currently or plan to read eventually. Many of these works deserve their own review article. Maybe I'll get to doing that someday!
Nothing beats the feel and smell of a good ol' paperback sourced from Blossoms bookstore, Church Street. I have, however, traded that romanticism for the convenience of Kindle and iBooks.
My rating system in a nutshell :
5/5 - Unputdownable. Quotable. Rereadable.
4/5 - Excellent. But, occasional loo breaks are permitted.
3/5 - Good. Read it when you have nothing better to read.
2/5 - Meh. Why do you have nothing better to read?
I can see why this is Bill Gate's favourite book of all time. The inconsolable optimist in me hungrily devoured the case Pinker makes for reason, humanism, science and progress. With chapters ranging from health, poverty and terrorism to democracy, happiness and existentialism, there is something in it to assuage everyone's fears.
Despite the deceiving title, this is not a self-help book. It is brimming with interesting case studies of people and businesses. If you enjoy Malcolm Gladwell books, you will surely enjoy this (or is it the other way round?).
A lucid, non-textbooky read about a field which has always intrigued me. Picked it up from where I had left off 3 years ago. Also recommended is Day to Day Economics, a more easy going introduction to the subject.
Is this my favourite book of all time? An amalgamation of various disciplines of science, history, economics, philosophy and so much more. I read and re-read this book like a cow ruminating cud. The decent sequel fails to match up to the standards set by the predecessor, but then again, very few books can.
The thing I love about 'A Short History...' is that Bill talks about the neglected history behind scientific achievements rather than the science itself. The book does slump towards the middle, but I enjoy re-reading the first chapter once in a while, to remind myself why I love popular science books so much!
The magnum opus of the world's most famous evolutionary biologist and atheist, is a difficult read - no two ways about it, but it is just as rewarding. I remember staying up in bed late night, feeling feverish and full with the mind blowing postulation I had just gulped down but equally ravenous and greedy to devour another chapter.
I'll be honest. I had high expectations from the Nobel laureate's book and I was let down. It was a dry read about psychological biases I already was aware of. I gave up midway as I did not want to fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy.
The book is a nice-ish introduction to the world of philosophy (Socrates, Epicurus, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and the like) but it does not do justice to the talents of Mr. Alain de Botton. I would highly recommend you to visit his YouTube channel. Fair warning - you are going to fall in love with him. He is a total stud.
This is how history should be taught in school - not with dry dates but with anecdotes! I can only imagine how painstaking it must have been for Guha to cover decades of Indian history in an engaging and impartial (okay, he was slightly left-leaning) fashion. A highly rewarding 1000 page journey.
I had been looking for a book like this for a long time - a detailed character analysis of the figures present in Mahabharata, dissecting their deeds, observing it under Dharma's microscope and comparing them to their contemporary counterparts. Thank you Mr. Gurcharan Das for this unique joyride.
Biography and memoirs
This book deserves it own review article. Heck, it deserves its own blog.
A gut wrenching account of a psychiatrist's survival in Nazi concentration camps.
The book's wisdom and philosophy will get you through tough times.
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” - Frankl
I began reading this book out of politeness for the birthday gift that it was.
Knowing very little about Mr. Knight, Nike or even shoes for that matter, I was pleasantly surprised. The book reads like a novel - it is effortless, it is funny, it is thrilling and most of all it is inspiring. Really, really liked it!
This is an anthology of Q&A from an advice column. But, don't let that fool you. Strayed writes beautifully, a heart-touching-beautiful kind of way. Bookmarked quite a few sentences.
New age 'poems' that people read on the toilet seat and write as Instagram captions. Whom am I kidding? I actually enjoyed quite a few of them!
“The thing about writing is I can't tell if it's healing or destroying.” - Rupi Kaur
The Martian by Andy Weir (4/5)
Like in most cases, the book was better than the film. Nicely paced, scientifically accurate and uncomfortably facetious. If Mark Watney can survive Mars, you and me can survive our 9 to 5 jobs. (In case my manager reads this - I really do like my job!).
Not really my first choice of genre, but Rosie Project ended up being an unputdownable. A feel-good, funny and romantic tale of socially awkward Don's search for the perfect wife. Note to self : Read chick-lit more often.