Ten books that might be worth your time.
Since January I’ve had lots of time to read. Now that I have to travel a lot, books have become my constant companions. Everyday I spend four hours travelling, during which, ninety percent of the time I spend reading. And hence I’ve managed to read some ten books which includes fiction and few non fiction. These books are very enjoyable and few of these, I am sure many of you have already read.
So here is the list of books I have managed to read and of course they might not be in favour of your tastes, however they have managed to entertain, educate and teach me. Also not to mention they have made me think, think a lot! Here’s the list….
1.Time Travel by James Gleick
This book is basically one long essay on time travel. The author begins by exploring the origins of the concept of time travel i.e in H.G.Wells ‘The Time Machine’, he then goes on to explore time travel in pop culture, history and philosophy. What he doesn’t explore is the pragmatic aspect of time travel, he doesn’t discuss the science,the physics or the mathematics of it. But he does address the paradoxes involved in time travel, like the grandfather paradox. What happens if you could travel back in time and kill your grandfather? Would it change the present? Your present? Or what if you could kill Adolf Hitler before he rose to power? It’s food for thought. He also talks about time capsules, and perfecting of clocks. To sum it up, I think the book gives a brief view of ‘Science inspiring Art and Art inspiring Science’.
Pick this book up if you ever wondered about time travel and want to understand the concept leaving all the science and maths behind.
2. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
This book is one of the earlier works of Dan Brown, before he wrote the Robert Langdon series. It’s not his best work but it’s a good read. This book is a cyber- thriller, it deals with data security, data encryption, hacking, computer virus, code breaking etc. If you are ever bored and want something to do, pick this book up. Its an easy read with short chapters and the story breezes so quick that before you know it you are at the end of the book.
3. Sai Baba’s Mahavakya on Leadership by Lt. Gen.(Retd) Dr. M.L. Chibber
“Leadership is idealism in action” — Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
There are many books on leadership but this book is one of the rare books on the subject, packed with wisdom and nuggets of information. It’s so well written that this book is accepted as a textbook on leadership by Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi for its M.B.A. program. It is written by a retired Lieutenant General of Indian Army, who was involved in the Siachen conflict of 1986 and he is also a Padma-bhushan awardee, the third highest civilian award given by the Indian Government. So you can be assured that its been written by a person who’s been there and done that. As for the book itself, it talks about Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba’s view on Leadership. And also addresses the questions like who can be a good leader, the qualities a good leader must posses and in general what leadership is. It is available on Amazon, but you could purchase it from Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust for much lower price.
4. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Okay! I was bored, I was looking at some book recommendations and found this book, it had good reviews so I picked it up. It was not the most original ideas ever, it contained all the usual stuff that a story should have. However I enjoyed the world in which it was created. The story is set in a small town called Bone gap and it’s about what happens to the town and its people when a person is kidnapped. Pick it up if you want something fun to read without stressing a lot.
5. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
I’ve already mentioned about this book in my previous post. It’s a book about how to beat procrastination and get stuff done. I read this book in less than two hours in one sitting, and in the book the author talks about something called as ‘Resistance’, which he says is the root cause for your procrastination and this thing can originate form anywhere, your friends, family and finally you yourself could be that source of resistance. The book has some obscure opinions and ideas but if you can look past that, as I have already mentioned in the previous post, there is something to learn, especially if you are undertaking some projects and procrastinating with it a lot.
6. Lord of The Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien
THIS! I believe is the one of the greatest fantasy fiction ever written. Three books spread over three months is what it took me to finish this epic series. These books need no introduction,I am sure everyone knows it. In my opinion ‘LOTR’ along with ‘Harry Potter’ and everyone’s darling the ‘Game of Thrones’ make up the holy trinity of fantasy fiction. They are not just great pieces of art,they are great businesses too, running into millions of dollars, selling millions of copies and made into blockbuster movies and TV show. So if you ever get your hands on a copy of this series don’t think twice.
7. Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson
First of all this book is written by my favourite astrophysicist. So it was for him that I picked this up. And nope, he doesn’t disappoint. He makes science almost seem sexy and he can do that with ease. In this book he talks about the origin of the universe, particle physics, black hol….
Ugh… this book is pure gold! Just go buy it. Period.
8. Immortal by Krishna Udaysankar
I had heard of the author long time ago through the reviews for her trilogy, Aryavarta Chronicles, a retelling of Mahabharata where she demystifies the great epic by making all the characters human. For this book, she picks one interesting character from the epic, which is Aswhathama, an immortal and writes a story where it feels like Robert Langdon meets Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes. The premise of the book is that, after being cursed with immortality some five thousand years ago the protagonist, Aswhathama is now living midst of us as Prof. Baradwaj, a historian for hire and he is seeking something but what is that an immortal could be seeking?
But for some reason I did not find the book very believable, maybe because I read it soon after reading The Death of Black Holes, I cannot tell. I had too many questions, like how was he made immortal? or in his observation how humans have developed culturally or scientifically from last five thousand years? none of which gets addressed. An Indie movie ‘Man from Earth’ did a better job I think on the topic of immortality. Anyway this is a good book if you can forget all scientific facts and read it like a fairy tale and just for entertainment.
9. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
After reading this book I think I have found a new sense of respect and admiration for the iconic brand. The book shows how difficult it is to start something, build it and sustain it for years. Now every time I see the famous ‘Swoosh’ I cannot help but wonder about the show of indomitable will to go on even after all the near death experiences it has faced and yet managed to win.
“Somebody may beat me, I told myself, some banker or creditor or competitor may stop me, but by God they’re going to have to bleed to do it” — Phil Knight
And this one line did it for me, the book became a winner with this line. I read it and reread it multiple times and each time I read, it got all the more inspiring. I cannot say enough of this book so pick it up if you want a dose of inspiration and motivation.
10. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
I have a confession to make. I could not finish this book. I was reading it as an e-book and soon I found out that this book is too technical and requires lots of note taking. All I could crack was some sixty pages of the five hundred pages it contains. Nevertheless it is one of the best books you can read if you want to understand the human brain, its behaviour and its characteristics also humans in general. I have planned to buy the physical book soon just so that I can take notes :)