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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Books you should read

Ideally, I’d like to review books I read, particularly those I loved. However, I almost always don’t go beyond short excerpt at my online catalogue and hence here I take this opportunity to list all English books I really really loved so far and count among my top recommendations. You may, of course, go through whole catalogue of 116 books to pick other favourites and read more detailed review at librarything.

  • Fiction
    • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is one of the excellent collections of short stories with vivid narrative and appropriate tug of heart.
    • To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee is a classic which needs no introduction. Read it for deep dive into difference between good and evil and high dose of cathartic emotion.
    • Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino binds science with imaginative fiction to come up with most strangest set of science fiction stories.
  • Non-fiction
    • The Code Book by Simon Singh is a fascinating tale of evolution of coding and decoding interspersed with stories of people involved, incidents that changed the world and mysteries that still remain unsolved.
    • The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi is an autobiography everyone must read irrespective of whether you agree with him or not. Not because it tells you about one of the greatest man ever lived but because it tells you what makes greatness.
    • Logic of Life by Tim Harford is among my must read books for every person for it introduces one the most important subject of Economics which governs pretty much whole world and interactions within.
    • Surely, You are Joking Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman is book which completely changes the way you would want to live your life. Even though author is noble winning Physicist, book almost brushes past Physics to introduce a character you don’t want to forget.
    • Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps by Allan Pease is perhaps one book you may be surprised to find here among list of intellectual books. I, however, found this indispensible in understanding many things and living life a little less confused. Don’t take everything as gospel and you’d be fine.
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is one book you can give to a teenager and expect him want to become scientist. If all important scientific discoveries of the world since dawn of time are rolled into a paperback, you’d have this book.


Sid said...

nice list... has some of my favorites. will try to cover the rest soon.

Vikas Gupta said...

I have a few from here and had bookmarked Bill's book (and am buying it in the next few minutes). I have read very little in life and recently bought some 250 books from flipkart.com and keep ordering more. Thanks for the list and the LT link. I am always looking for recommendations.

santoshojha said...

I am amazed at our common picks. And you post has inspired me to select some of my own favourite books. Maybe I will post my selection on my blog sometime. Thanks for sharing these.

Ashish Gupta said...

via Facebook:

Vaibhav Goyal
can you also list the ones you did not like n why??

Ashish Gupta
Among those I read, I couldn't even finished "A house for Mr. Biswas" and "Midnight's Children" among popular ones. First because of excruiatingly slow story development and no sense of direction even in middle of book. Second because I just could not follow the complex and fantasy narration anymore and didn't see the point of subjecting myself to torture of trying to understand it.

There are many I liked less and you can see commentary on librarything link in the post.

Amit Virmani
Did you mean "..a Nobel prize-winning physicist.."? Though I'm sure Feynman was quite noble too. ;)

Looks like Feynman's books make it to the list of most IITians/engineering students. :)

Ashish Gupta
Heh, but trust me they are nothing about engineering. He is a just a god damn jolly good fellow!

Amit Virmani
I know. I read his books in college too, and loved them.

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