17 Feb 2012

5 Awesome Books for Reading!

I’ve blanked out! I’m neglecting my blog! I’m woefully short of ideas & topics, feeling quite blue and appear to finally have HIT the phenomenon called ‘Writers’ Bloc’.

To keep my blog going, I’ve compiled a list of my 5 top favourite books. These books have pretty much moulded my thought patterns and outlook towards life (in & around me).

1.) India Unbound: Arguably the BEST book depicting the India story. The author, Gurcharan Das, analyzes India since the days of Alexander and brings us to speed with the current scenario. Historic, economic, political, social and cultural aspects are looked into to give us an in depth idea as to how India has developed through the ages. The New York Times sums it up best as "Something tremendous is happening in India, and Das, with his keen eye and often elegant prose, has his finger firmly on the pulse of the transformation.” Truly an amazing book which I can (and do) read over & over again.

2.) Predictably Irrational: This book shot author Dan Ariely to fame, and quite deservedly so! We humans are endowed with brains which differentiates us from animals. Hence, we must take rational decisions. However, we humans defy logic and take a lot of irrational decisions. That irrationality, however, has a pattern to it; that irrationality can be predicted! Dan Ariely shows us how through witty experiments and case studies. A must read for someone who wishes to understand human psychology better.
5 of my all time favourites. What about yours?

3.) Chanakya Neeti: Many self help and personality development books are sold worldwide. However, there are some books which drive wisdom and composure. These lessons are more valuable towards leading a peaceful and stable life than all the self help books cumulatively. Contrary to the common belief, Chanakya and his lessons existed long before Niccolò Machiavelli, which makes the former the pioneer of such lessons. These lessons are not on how to handle people and win friends, but how to live a fulfilling life.

4.) Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Robert Kiyosaki, in this best seller, talks about something which supplements EQ & IQ to aid us in finance management – FQ (Financial Quotient). He points out (again, through examples) how we can construct and maintain a financial portfolio to lead a better and more financially secure life. The pointers he provides in the book are not difficult to implement; they simply demand a certain level of innovation and intelligence to handle finances. That innovation and intelligence is present in all of us… we simply have to use it to our benefit.

5.) Linchpin: My sister hates self help books, and frankly speaking, so do I. Let’s face it – most of us hate these Achieve Your Dreams books. The name and the tagline of this Seth Godin book sound very similar to one of those and the book starts off slowly. However, as the chapters progress, we get a glimpse into Godin’s lateral thinking mind. He focuses on the well known fact that there is little to differentiate amongst us. How can we really be different? By adopting a lot of principles which the world refrains from using. He leads us onto a mindset which we can adopt; a mindset which does not have to be filled with positivity. His book further substantiates the proverb “To be seen, be different.” And his idea of being different is being logical, which 90% of the herd does not adhere to.

Apart from these, there are awesome novels like The Immortals of Meluha series, The Animal Farm, Paths of Glory, etc. Do share your favourite books with me. It’ll be fun to get to know and read new stuff.



  1. Sounds good! I picked up rich dad, poor dad, left it halfway, and never got back to it somehow... yet to read the others...
    im currently reading Chanakya's Chant - (a fast-paced read) & Mortals of Melluha...

    1. Thanks for your comment, Manasi. Yes, Chanakya's Chant is awesome and so is the Meluha series. I finished the latter in a marathon 7 hours without moving from my place.

      Enjoy :)

  2. Awesome. Your post title as well as your post too. I now made order for Chankya Neeti. Thanks. I added your link in to my blog. Kindly add mine too. Thanks in advance

    1. Thanks Latha! Loved your blogs too! I will add your link in the exchange as soon as I figure out how to do it :P

  3. Fabulous choice of books. I luv 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices in this. Thanks for leaving a delicious comment at my space.

    1. Glad you liked them. Wish I would've written those books. That way you would like something of mine the way I love your recipes :)

  4. I haven't read any of the books on your list, Vishal. I largely read fiction, and like you stay away from self-help books. Among my all time favourites are "A tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith, "How Green was My Valley" by Richard Llewyllen, "Hiedi" by Johanna Spyri, "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, ... The list can go on and on. I also love short stories and translations in English from various languages, particularly Indian languages. Some of my most prized books in my collection is the Katha Short stories spread over 13 volumes.

    I have recently started reading biographies and the last one I read was on the legendary dancer, Balasaraswati (I even reviewed it on my blog) and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1. True, Sudha! "To Kill A Mocking Bird" and "David Copperfield" are legendary! What's awesome about the former is the slow pace with which it starts and then zooms onto a different storyline and keeps us captivated.

      Even "Cat-O-Nine-Tails' by Jeff Archer is a great book when it comes to short stories. I'm gonna go onto your site to read your review on Balasaraswati's biography! :)

  5. Have to confess never read or even heard of some of these books. Thanks for the list

  6. Fantastic list of books, Vishal.. I personally prefer India Unbound as it is a real eye opener!!

  7. Now my shelf is going to be filled with more books ! Do give a visit to my blog, cuz you really are a Notable newbie!

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