Books I read in 2022
I read quite a few this year!
Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel Lieberman
Man did not evolve to exercise, but man was also not built to sit on a chair in an air-conditioned room for 16 hours a day.
Daniel Lieberman begins the book by diving into why we hate exercising and why it is normal to hate straining yourself unnecessarily. Then he takes apart our daily routines as compared to hunter-gatherers to show that our level of exercise has fallen abysmally compared to what it once used to be. He finally shares the advantages of exercise as well as the need to do it to keep maladies at bay.
It was an interesting book with some really new things that I learned. I would certainly recommend it.
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World by Charles C. Mann
The book is a contrast of approaches. Vogt, an ornithologist, who let out the war cry for the modern environmental movement which suggested that we cut down on our consumption to save the world; and Borlaug, an agriculturist who played a crucial role in the green revolution and made it possible for us to feed as many people as there are today.
The prophet predicts doom and suggests the action of cutting down and the wizard sees a problem and finds ways to overcome it. Which way will win out eventually? Will we engineer our way out of the population, food and energy crisis?
An incredible book!
Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy by Tim Harford
The book delves into things that changed the world into what it is today. To me, it felt like reading ‘Tell me why?’ from back when I was a kid. Each chapter is structured as a 3 to 4-page write-up about how the invention made a difference in our lives. The thing that I really appreciated about the book was the author’s willingness to talk about all the bad that has come out of those inventions as well.
Highly recommend this book.
48 laws of Power by Robert Greene
After reading this book, one thing becomes abundantly clear. Power and ethics do not reside together.
The author outlines 48 rules that one must follow in order to be able to secure power. Some of it is intuitive, like the flattery of those who are more powerful than you. Others are cautionary such as never taking a free lunch because the generous will eventually seek a favour. Still, others are completely Machiavellian, such as ensuring that those in power are always dependent on your insight/support to ensure that they can never turn against you.
I don’t know about good or bad but the book is positively mind-blowing.
If you can leave ethics in the waste paper basket, do read.
Silk Road by Peter Frankopan
There is a genre of books called Big History which tries to tell the story of the entire world in brief. Silk Road is a category-defining book that tells the story of the last 2000 years starting with the birth of Christianity. The book effortlessly weaves across what was then, the known world.
Starting from Persia, Jerusalem and Rome which was the centre of the world at the time, at least for the Europeans. The author traces the rise of Christianity which was a mere cult at the time. The fall of the Roman empire, the position of China, the rise of the Mongols, the rise of Islam, the Persian renaissance, the rise of Europe, the plunder of South America, the rise of Britain, the Empire and colonialism, through the world wars to this day. All of this is in the context of the Silk Road. The book is a true work of genius. Most importantly it is honest.
If you are not even interested in History, this is one book you should read.
Super Thinking by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann
Mental models are a great way of understanding the world around us and all that happens in it. The book starts with the mental model of Critical Mass. Although used specifically in nuclear physics this model is used to understand business viability, network effect and many other things. The authors take you through a journey of about 300 mental models in this book to help you form a framework for looking at the world.
I knew many of them already, so perhaps it was not as mind-blowing as it could have been.
The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find our Place in the Universe by Jeremy Lent
If there is one book you will read this year, read this one. Enough said.
Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever by Robbin Wigglesworth
While this book is about the rise of the Index fund industry that controls trillions of dollars in finance today, it could as well have been about the evolution of investment thought. The author artfully takes the reader through the various eras starting from the 1900s. He explains how investment philosophies evolved as simple questions such as - Is stock investing just the same as throwing darts? And how those who answered these questions often were wrong. The right answer in the 1990s seemed to be the Index fund. The book goes on to show the outsized influence that Index funds have today and how it is destroying competition.
I really enjoyed this book.
Ms Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life by Jess Pheonix
I have followed Jess on Twitter for a while now. She is a volcanologist. The book that she has written is about a set of geological research trips that she made. Unfortunately, the book has very little geology and a lot of narrative about the experiences in those places. The book seems to want to focus on the drama in the places where she was forced to stay rather than the actual science.
I was really disappointed with the book.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Although the book is quite dated and most of the data is from the 1990s, the laws mentioned within are quite true. It is just 100 pages long and totally worth it. Even more so, if you are working in the area of branding.
If brands and marketing interest you, definitely read it.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
A micro-organism is found to be eating the sun. Earth needs to find a solution or else the world would die due to cooling. The micro-organism is found to be a source of power and a team is concocted to study it and come up with a solution. Project Hail Mary is a rocket ship sent to another star system that does not seem to be affected by the micro-organism that is christened Astrophage. Does Project Hail Mary find the solution?
Made to Stick by Dan Heath and Chip Heath
There are so many things that we communicate to one another in life and there is a need to ensure that the message does not get lost. What makes certain messages stick and others not? Why are certain people able to pass their ideas on to others more effectively? This book attempts to answer the question through several illustrative examples and a clear framework.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it.
The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton
The author asks very early in the book - When you ask someone if the federal deficit should be brought down to zero? Almost everyone would say yes. But if you asked the same people should we dissolve the treasury bond market? They do not seem to agree but these are one and the same things. She goes on to describe the Modern Money Theory where money is not pegged against anything but is issued by fiat. The assumption of looking at the budget of a government the same way that a household budget is wrong because the household cannot issue currency but the government can.
While this is super interesting, it is also written under the assumption of the primacy of the US Dollar. If that reality changed, everything else would as well.
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
The Oxford English Dictionary was a lexicographical tour de force that almost never got created. Between the challenge of finding the right person to lead it, fund it and print it, the Oxford English Dictionary went through several challenges. A book that was to be put together in 3 years ended up taking 68 years and almost all the men who dedicated their entire lives to it were dead by the time the dictionary was finally finished.
An incredible true story.
Principles by Ray Dalio
I realised that the book was recommended by Bill Gates, only after I bought it. I would have saved the money if I had already known. While not in the same class of toilet paper as Naval Ravikant’s Almanac, it is somewhere on the spectrum.
To the unassuming reader, it might seem like it is conveying a lot of insights but if you were to write down what he was offering as principles on a piece of paper you would start to realise how much of it was just repetition and that there is precious little to take away.
Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World by Leslie Blume
In the aftermath of the two atomic explosions in Japan, the US government ran a tight ship and ensured that almost no details leaked out. The American public was made to believe there was no residual radiation and that America has successfully settled the score for Pearl Harbour.
A year later the government had become lax and thought the bombing was entirely justifiable. In that climate on 31 August 1946, a year and weeks after the bombing this article was released. This book is the story of how that article came to be.
I would have never thought that a book about someone writing an article could be so absorbing.
What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz
What are the various senses that plants have? Do they see, how? Do they hear, how? Do they smell, how? Do they feel, what? Do they remember, what?
Plants are aware of a lot more than we give them credit for. These characteristics vary based on the plant and the region where they are grown. This book will show you what plants sense.
Mind = Blown
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow
Most of the history that you read, states, that we went from hunters who were just living by foraging, to small tribes, to cities. As cities grew the need for organisation created polity and therefore inequality. David Graeber argues that this is nothing but trying to “science” the bible. Trying to paint, man’s fall from the Garden of Eden, as science.
This book essentially asks where did inequity arise. David takes us through the order of many of the American tribes and their customs and shows that organising around a king was always a choice. A choice that many cultures actively shunned because they knew the downsides of it.
An incredible book that questions everything that we know about history as written by the Europeans.
Outbreak!: 50 Tales of Epidemics that Terrorized the World by Beth Skwarecki
What were the top 50 pandemics that the world has seen? The author starts with Malaria in Egypt in 10000 B.C. and charts the path to Ebola in 2014. The book was written much before the COVID pandemic unleashed itself.
It is fascinating to see how the same diseases have been ravaging the human population across the planet over and over. There is much to learn from this book which is written like an encyclopaedia.
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber
David Graeber’s books have more questions than answers.
Bullshit jobs, asks the question, why do private organisations that are apparently pinnacles of efficiency create so many jobs that serve no purpose?
Why do we live in a society where people whose jobs matter to us and whose absence would hurt us; such as nurses - blue-collar workers, end up being paid the worst. While people whose absence would make absolutely no material difference to mankind such as wall street traders - white collar workers - end up getting paid so much more?
He takes aim at the capitalistic system and the need to offer either purpose or money. If you are too lazy to read, read this article.
Always 5-stars for David. So sad that he died so early.
The order of time by Carlo Rovelli
What is time? The book delved into the question from the Newtonian description of time as a finite entity to that of Einstein where it is a dimension that is intertwined with space, to the quantum interpretation of time. Is time in the past, the present or the future the same, if not what is the difference? Is that difference all in our minds? This book is a discourse that is part science and part philosophy.
Opium Inc by Thomas Manuel
The East India company was under tremendous financial pressure because they needed to import huge amounts of Tea from China. The trouble was that they did not have much to offer. Thus began the world’s largest Narco enterprise which turned India into a narco-state. Opium forcibly produced in India was sold in China and all of this was framed as free trade.
Opium Inc, is the story of how criminal the British have been over the years. I loved how well-researched the book was and coming from an Indian author possessed a lot of connection with the India of today. I would beseech every Indian to read it.
How life imitates Chess by Gary Kasparov
There are many aspects of chess that can be brought to bear on life and the decisions that we make in life. He talks about MQT - Material, Quality and Time and their role in Chess and how the same factors affect decision that we make in life.
The material is the chess pieces themselves; quality is the quality of their position on the board and time is the amount of time that you have to think through moves. Worth a read.
Whole Numbers and Half-Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India by Rukmini S
How Indians are shit and how we hide that fact in numbers is what this book is about.
Indians are ultra-conservative, even those who hide under the garb of liberalism, poll data and marriage data show.
A lot of the rural rape cases are a result of parents being unhappy with the man their daughters have chosen to marry. Court verdicts show.
A super interesting book, every Indian should read and then question their own choices.
Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick
When the Chinese soldiers first arrived in Tibet to occupy the land in 1936, they did not realise how poor the place was. They also had not realised how underprepared they themselves would be. Hunger and starvation set in soon. In desperation one of the soldiers licked the Buddha statue and found it to be sweet. It was made of dough. The soldiers proceeded to eat all of the Buddha statues. That inspires the title of the book.
Much like the article described in the book Fallout. The book is a journey through the eyes of a handful of people who lived in Tibet from 1930 to 2020. It is a painful tale of the appropriation of a country.
Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention-and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
There are books that you start reading and think I should have read this one earlier. This is one of those books. Johann Hari does an incredible job of telling his story while he weaves all of the various factors that are contributing to our inability to pay attention and how it is robbing our lives of so much value.
I truly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it.
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
Starting in the early 20th century with Ernest Rutherford, a series of nobel prize-winning discoveries and mind-blowing achievements in experimental physics led to the creation of the atomic bomb. This book is where history meets science.
The book takes us through the journey of a group of scientists from across the world, whose lives were disrupted by war and their own personal failings, added bricks to the wall of the Atomic Bomb. An incredibly fascinating book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Fair warning - it is a thousand one hundred pages long.
The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossip by Keith Devlin
This is a brilliant book by a mathematician that delves into the psychology of performing mathematics. He clearly differentiates arithmetic from mathematics and then goes on to offer an explanation of what makes mathematical thought difficult and how it evolved in humans. His underlying message is that language is the precursor to mathematics. Mathematics is also a language but deals with a higher level of abstraction.
A superb book which I highly recommend. Though it is a tedious read.
Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel
Capitalism is a system that more than anything else demands growth. At a 3% compounded growth rate, we get a world that is doubling its output every 23 years. Until when should we continue to grow? The naked pursuit of growth at all costs is creating an ecological catastrophe that is likely to kill those who are living in the poorest nations in the world. Therefore, the countries that are responsible for the catastrophe - the G7 nations - are least interested in solving the problem.
Genome by Matt Ridley
The genome has 23 chromosomes. This brilliant brilliant book takes us on a journey through those 23 chromosomes exploring the role of each and the nature of controls, that the DNA within, exacts on our body. A story that is so lucidly put forward as to be easy to understand for anyone. Although the book is a little dated, everything in it is very much true despite all the developments that have taken place over the years.
Totally enjoyed the book.
Innovation in Real Places by Dan Breznitz
Innovation is really not what we think it is and the beneficiaries of innovation are rarely those who are closest to it.
Research in Motion (RIM) was a Canadian company that grew with government money and debt. Shopify was another Canadian company that took the VC route. When RIM was listed on wall street, the Wall Street money went to Canada. When Shopify listed, since all their VC investors were from America, all the Wall Street money went to California.
If facts like these interest you, read the book.
Lords of the Deccan: Southern India from Chalukyas to Cholas: Southern India from the Chalukyas to the Cholas by Anirudh Kanisetti
India before the Mughals was a very different place. It was a land dominated by the kings of the south. This book chronicles the rise and fall of the Chalukyas, Cholas and the Rashtrakutas under whom at some point or the other almost the entire peninsular India was held. The region and people do not get the same treatment that some of the Mughal empires have received and it was refreshing to read it.
The Next Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy by Tim Harford
Some non-fiction writers should realise that writing a book is not a formula, you cannot keep on doing more of the same. It is not Harry Potter. I read Fifty things that shaped the modern economy earlier this year. This seems like a tortured attempt at finding 50 more things to complete the book. Thoroughly disappointed.
1491: The Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann
The story of the Americas is often told from the time that Columbus set foot on their soil. The narrative of poor and underdeveloped natives being shown the way to civilisation is the oft-told story. The truth is far more complex and made even more difficult to piece together because of the lack of written text. 1491 is about the Americas before the Europeans. A land that had a population greater than that of the fertile crescent.
Another fascinating book by Charles Mann.
A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined a Nation by Scott Nations
While the book does not cover all of the crashes in the United States, it does a pretty good job of giving the reader an under-the-hood look at how the five crashes changed the law and the way in which market participants engaged with the market.
This is a great book to read in concert with Trillions by Robbin Wigglesworth
Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Definitive History of Secret CIA Assassins, Armies and Operators by Annie Jacobsen
This is the third book that I am reading by the author. I had previously read Area 51 and Operation Paperclip. The latter is incredible.
The president has three tools at his disposal when it comes to dealing with foreign countries. When war is not a viable option and diplomacy fails; the hidden hand comes into play. The CIA is the hidden hand that conducts operations that provides the president plausible deniability. The book chronicles the creation of the CIA and the various crimes that they have committed under the ruse of protecting democracy. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Trick or Treatment - Alternative medicine on Trial by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst
I bought this book because of Simon Singh; whose Code Book and Fermat’s Last Theorem are phenomenal reads. This, is pure drivel.
All alternate medicine is garbage. Allopathy is holier than thou.
They need not have even bothered to write an essay, a tweet would have been sufficient, let alone an entire book.
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollen
What do psychedelics do to the human brain and why were they banned? This book answers the questions and the experiences that people have when they are on psychedelic drugs. An interesting book that is rich in the science of what happens to our minds. I really enjoyed reading it. It is a little repetitive in parts though.
The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Ben Steil
Even before the second world war was over, the Americans had started plotting to set the new world order. John Maynard Keyes, one of the pre-eminent economists of the times was intent on creating a global currency that intermediated between the national currencies but Harry Dexter White had other ideas. The book chronicles the duplicitous negotiations between the British and the Americans that culminated in the Bretton Woods Agreement and ended up claiming the lives of both men.
Tamed: Ten Species That Changed Our World by Alice Roberts
Humans have domesticated both plant and animal species across the planet which has made it possible for us to live better lives, feed ourselves, and protect ourselves. This book chronicles how these species entered our lives and how we changed them to better suit us. While the book is great what pissed me off was that she constantly plays the role of a “GMO apologist”.
China: A History by John Keay
China is an old and complex land. Its history is also old and complex. While this book makes an attempt to take apart the history of the land that we call China today, it does not do a good enough job of it. At 500 pages, it is too short to chronicle the 5000-year history of the country. In addition to that, the author busies himself with naming all of the empires/dynasties/rulers who were active at the time. This makes it an incredibly complex read. It is as if a single book was going to chronicle the history of India.
Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy
An incredible book that I would highly recommend. The authors attempt to address 7 emotions - Uncertainty, Comparison, Anger, Burnout, Perfection, Despair and Regret. This book does an incredible job of painting them in relatable terms and providing coping mechanisms to deal with them.
Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction by Jack Hart
This is a book written by a journalist on how to write. I found many of the things mentioned within the book very useful and he breaks it down in a manner that is extremely relatable with examples of great writing that draws the reader into the story rather than just providing facts. I enjoyed reading this book and had much to learn from it including the arc of a story, the voice, characters, scenes, and much more.
If you write, read it.
The Origin Story of India's States by Venkataraghavan and Subha Srinivasan
When India achieved independence, it was still a collection of kingdoms and provinces left behind by the British. The Indian government had to convince every kingdom and also deal with the local political force in all of the provinces that were being handed over by Britain. This book outlines how the states of India came to be what they are today.
An absolute must-read for every Indian.
The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel
Adultery is the hardest problem to overcome in a relationship. Esther Perel who has been counselling couples for decades shares her insights. She begins by questioning the expectations that we place on marriage today and how no relationship can provide mystery and familiarity, excitement and balance, we just ask too much off this institution.
Then she goes on to totally deconstruct the common diagnosis for adultery - either something is wrong with the relationship OR something is wrong with the person. Often the problem is the context and the situation, not the relationship or the person. This is an incredible book put together based on real-world experience.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
The land we live in gives us what we need for us to flourish. Imagine walking into the forest and plucking wild berries and having them. The land gave without question and the least we can do is engage in reciprocity towards that land. This feeling comes naturally to us when we live off the land. Our modern lives have increasingly disconnected us from the land we live on and this has fueled our greed and the evaporation of our reciprocity.
Braiding Sweetgrass is an incredible book that is part memoir, part science, part Indian lore and learnings. An incredible book that weaves these subjects together to deliver a poignant lesson.
The Vortex: A True Story of History's Deadliest Storm, an Unspeakable War, and Liberation by Scott Carney and Jason Miklian
When the British left India was broken up into three pieces - India, East Pakistan and West Pakistan. Although under the same government, the people of East Pakistan always felt discriminated against by the West. This book chronicles the upheaval that started with the arrival of Cyclone Bhola in East Pakistan that put into motion events that led to the creation of Bangladesh.
An incredibly well-written book, fictionalised at points tells the story of the ways in which the Nixon government supported Yahya Khan in his genocide.
Totally worth a read.
Tiananmen Square: The Making of a Protest by Vijay Gokhale
How did a protest by a few university students end up being something that shook the foundations of the Chinese communist party? This is a book that chronicles the steps, missteps, misunderstandings and miscommunications that eventually led to tanks rolling down Tiananmen Square. It is written from the point of view of the Indian Embassy in Beijing. A very short book at 140 pages and very engaging from beginning to end.
The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It: On Social Position and How We Use it by Will Storr
We are social animals and in societies, the only thing that matters is the status that a person holds. This is an incredible book that explains the need for status amongst humans and the way in which those games are played out in the real world. What having status does to a person and what it feels like to have it taken away.
6 stars for this book. Definitely read it.
Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffery West
Why is there not a 500-foot animal? Why do we stop growing after a point? Why do all animals stop growing after a point? Do animals scale the same way companies and cities do? Do their organs scale in the size the same way? What does that mean for our cities? Can they continue to scale ad-infinitum? What causes a company to stop scaling? Is there a mathematical relationship to all this?
An insanely interesting book about how everything in this world scales and what constrains them. Absolutely recommend it.
Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
Say you were packing a suitcase and there was all the space you needed, would you also toss in the jogging shoes, just in case? What if you did not have enough space, how would your approach to packing change?
There are many cases where scarcity makes us better but also in many ways, scarcity makes us poorer decision-makers. We are good at only solving for scarcity. In every other sphere of decisions, we lose mental abilities.
An incredible book that dives into the effects of scarcity on how people think. Definitely recommend it.
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom
The news was one thing till 1980 and then excel happened and now our news is filled with charts and graphs and whatnot. We are all fed copious amounts of bullshit by the media and advertisers. The danger of the world that we live in today is that bullshit comes with dollops of statistics accompanying it. This makes it harder for us to tell if what we are hearing is bullshit or not.
This book dives into all the bullshit that we are fed and the ways in which we can identify it. I highly recommend this book.
An Immense World by Ed Young
We have 5 senses and we assume that every other animal experiences the world through the same lens. Instead, they have abilities that was wondrously different. Some can see UV. Some can talk via infrasound and ultrasound. Some see the world through electricity. Some can feel the slightest tremors. Some can sense the magnetic field of the planet. The world as we know it is just a subset of all that it is.
An incredible book that everyone must read.
Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World by Matt Alt
Japan rebuilt its economy from scratch after the second world war. In a matter of four decades, they became a formidable economic power. This book looks at the cultural contributions of the country that made it possible for Japan to rise from the rubble to global dominance.
Starting from Tin toys to anime and manga, karaoke, video game characters, and kawaii, there are so many aspects of Japanese culture that have made it possible for their businesses to captivate the minds of people across the world.
A fascinating journey through all these cult creations.
Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past by Firas Alkhateeb
It is hard for many of us to talk about the Middle East without conjuring up images of an Islamic kingdom. Islam came into being only in the 7th century. Before that, the region was a smorgasbord of beliefs and religions. Islam rose from being a cult to the most dominant religion in the region. At its peak, the religion dominated areas from Andalusia (Portugal and Spain), all the way up to western India.
How this religion got started, how it rose, fell and was born again is covered in a very accessible manner in this book. I enjoyed reading it.
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
There are a lot of fungi around us and without them, our lives will not be what it is. Fungi are also one of the least well-understood branches of life because they are so hard to categorise. In this incredible book, the researcher and author give us a very high-level glimpse of all the Fungal families and the role they play in shaping our world and our lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Altruism: The Science and Psychology of Kindness by Matthieu Ricard
The author a monk, who also happens to be Dalai Llama’s French translator takes us through the science of altruism. He starts out explaining altruism and what it is and is not but soon delves into the way science and philosophy have been bastardised to fit the modern narrative of what drives a person’s motivation. He decimates the capitalistic view of the world, although kindly since he is a monk.
I would highly recommend reading this book although it is quite long and takes some time to grow on you.
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
The book is the story of a year of a first-grade girl who lives in Tokyo. A girl who is distracted by everything and cannot seem to adhere to rules is taken to a new school with a new methodology that changes her life. Totto Chan is the pet name of Tetsuko who write an autobiographical memoir of 2 years of her school life that changed her for life.
This is a delightful short read that was published in the 1980s which I highly recommend.
The Indian Contingent: The Forgotten Muslim Soldiers of Dunkirk by Ghee Bowman
The European battlefield of the second world war was populated by soldiers from Asia and Africa. Many of the stories of these soldiers transplanted to the European battlefields have been lost to time and also purposely whitewashed. This book gives us an insight into the lives of the men of RIASC and the K6 company who fought on behalf of the British.
Bright Green Lies by Derrick Jensen
The road to salvation from the current climate crisis leads through green energy, or so we are told. In this book, the author takes apart this narrative piece by piece, technology by technology. He shows how green technology is only about maintaining our current way of life so that we can absolve ourselves from the sins of using fossil fuel by outsourcing its use to other corners of the planet.
I highly recommend reading this book.
The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time by Jim McKelvey
Innovation is hard. Entrepreneurship is harder. This book written by the founder of square takes you through the journey of building an innovation stack that can fend off challenges even from the likes of Amazon. He explains what makes an innovation stack stand out and excel in a competitive marketplace. While he tells the story of Square, but also the stories of Bank of America, Southwest Airlines and Ikea.