Reading List 2021
Everything that I read during the year. Some of these are absolute gems and some horse-dung.
I read over 50 books this year. I think 52, I got tired of counting. There were several that I really enjoyed and highly recommend. I have provided short takes on each of the books that I read. I have also put star marks next to the books that I liked if you are not too much into reading.
I had published the half-year list earlier in the year. Put the holidays to good use!
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner *
Bell Labs was one of a kind organisation that launched the information age. Developed as an organisation that was meant to help solve problems that AT&T faced such as: how do we keep telephone poles from rotting, what kind of insulation would ensure that the telephone wires don’t need a constant replacement; they focused on the science rather than just the engineering. The focus on basics divorced from the need to think about commercial viability ultimately delivered. Radar, Transistor, Unix, C, Laser, fibre optics and many more innovations came out of the labs. This book chronicles the rise and fall of the organisation. An incredible read.
Hear your body whisper by Otakara Klettke *
The book is a series of short essays about various topics such as diet, exercise, mediation, etc. While the book is very easy to read and some of the advice is very coherent and simple to follow, not all of it is backed by scientific explanations. Some of it is there just because it worked well for the author. One needs to be quite careful when talking about the experience because it may be heavily influenced by several variables that might not be the same for all. An interesting read, it is short 150 pages.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikanth by Eric Jorgensen
This book is a clusterfuck of philosophies that often contradict themselves. He starts out talking about capitalism and the step to wealth creation, ostensibly the steps that he followed to create wealth and moves purely into the realms of philosophy. He talks about happiness, life and many other things. The second part of the book out and out contradicts the first part. This book is filled with a series of insights, some borrowed and some perhaps his own. Either way, it never becomes a coherent whole.
Beginners Pluck: Build your life of purpose and impact now by Liz Forkin Bohannon
This book is the story of a company called Seeko Designs masquerading as a book filled with life lessons. She tries to relate each lesson with incidents in her life which taught her those lessons. The first half of the book is indeed interesting and insightful. Many of the lessons are rather useful and a great template for any individual to follow, not just for business. Having said that, the second half of the book is more storytelling and few insights. Also, it feels quite forced, along with the non-chronological timeline, which takes a lot away from the book. Overall, worth a read.
Promised Land by Barack Obama
The book chronicles the journey of Barack Obama from his childhood till the end of his first term. It was convenient that his first term concluded right around the time that they killed Osama Bin Laden which is the point at which the book ends. A second part might arrive towards the end of 2021. The book touches upon specific policy initiatives that Obama championed and the actual politics that he had to deal with both in the USA as well as on the global stage to get things done. It was interesting in parts but rather dry in others. At almost 800 pages, it is also a very long book. Unless you are extremely interested in US politics, I would certainly not recommend it.
Hear your brain whisper by Otakara Klettke
Subsequent to her success with Hear your body whisper which I had read last year I decided to buy this book. In her previous book, science was lacking but at least the suggestions provided were common sense and related to real life. Trying to explain how the brain works in 100 pages is a joke. There are tons of books that explain the functioning of the brain in an accessible manner. This book was an attempt to dumb it down to a whole new low. I would certainly not advise reading this book.
The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous by Joseph Henrich *
WEIRD - People who are born in Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic countries have a psychology that is different from the rest of the world which enables them to have the institutions that they have.
Psychologists tend to see psychology as hardware delivered by genetics on which the software of culture is loaded. The author makes a case for culture driving psychology more than genetics. For example, genetics would not prefer large cities because germs can spread easily and devastate populations. I think none of us needs to be schooled in that after 2020. But it was the culture that led to the rise of cities.
An interesting book, which is definitely worth a read. Having said that, there are many other aspects of history that are ignored due to which I consider the analysis incomplete. Nevertheless an interesting read.
Auto Pilot by Andrew Smart
The book delves into the need for humans to have idle time in order to be able to process what they have learnt and be creative. He uses a mix of scientific data that is available along with philosophical arguments to make the case for more idle time. The book ends with a rant on capitalism and the destruction that it has wrought on the planet.
Very short and interesting book!
The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel *
We consider returns on money based on principle and interest but there is another key ingredient that we forget. Feelings. Whether we stay invested in an investment or not is dependent on how we feel about it, the story that people are telling us and so on. The author argues that while we would like to look at finance like Physics, it is not because it is driven by how people think and feel rather than just the formulae.
An incredible book and a must-read.
Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff
Trailblazers starts with Marc Benioff sharing his personal story of what drove him towards business and how he got started with SalesForce. But once we get past that story, there are a lot of stories that are cherry-picked to fit the theme of the chapter. Not all of them are flattering but nevertheless, they seem crafted to make Salesforce and all the people within look holier than thou. Also, after reading the book, I think Salesforce is a glorified services company.
Personally, I found the book too preachy.
Unworthy Republic – The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt *
I often asked the question - Most Americans are some of the stupidest people to have walked the planet, how did that nation get so rich? This book does a great job chronicling the robbery of an entire continent from its indigenous people. It covers the dispossession of lands by Americans under the garb of bringing civilisation to the south. Indians were tracked, hunted and exterminated systematically. To add insult to injury they were asked to compensate for the deployment of the American army. A painful and necessary read.
Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven Strogatz *
I am really glad that I was about to find this book on a reading list and despite having read several books on mathematics in general decided to read it. Steven chronicles the stories of those who created calculus and what caused them to discover it. We weave through the stories of Archimedes, Lagrange, Newton, Fourier and several others who made their lasting contributions to the field. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was as much about history as about mathematics. I would definitely recommend it - except for the one chapter in the middle where he dives into Logarithms and teaches it.
How to Astronaut: An Insider's Guide to Leaving Planet Earth by Terry Virts
I would not call this book a must-read but if questions like what are the pre-checks that a person must undergo before taking a flight to space and how you poop in space rouse your curiosity, this is a book that answers them quite humorously. He shares a lot of stories of his time on the International Space Station and how it made him see our place in the universe differently. If there is one thing I take away from this book it was his argument for creation - Every system moves from a state of order to disorder thanks to entropy. In such a system if millions, perhaps billions of atoms, molecules had to organise into a being, this could not have just happened by chance.
That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph *
Marc was the founder of Netflix who had his company taken away from him by Reed Hastings. This book chronicles the founding of the company right until the IPO in the early 2000s. So the pivot to online and the company that we all know today is not really covered in great detail. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read about the birth and evolution of a company that endured the dot-com bust and came through several pivots to be the company that it eventually became. I would certainly recommend this one if you are into startups.
Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine by Steven Hatch *
Snowball in a blizzard is a euphemism used by doctors to describe what finding a tumour in a mammogram could seem like. If medicine is a science, it is far from perfect and in many cases testing excessively might render doctors prescribing unnecessary medications rather than just letting things be. I loved the way in which Dr Hatch takes apart several misconceptions and also illustrates how uncertain a doctor could be when providing diagnosis or prognosis. I enjoyed reading the book.
Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India by K. S. Komireddi *
This book is a short political history of India. While the large part of this book is dedicated to chronicling how Modi has systematically shredded the secular fabric of the nation, the book also chronicles the excesses of Congress which brought us to this place. He also talks briefly about the emergence of the Kashmiri separatist movement and the role that Indian politics played in fuelling the anger. It is a pretty depressing read but a necessary one as well.
Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner*
Dr Gildener shares 5 stories of people who were in therapy with her. She calls them Psychological Superheroes because of the odds that they had to overcome to sort themselves out psychologically. I enjoyed reading the book and learnt a lot about therapy as I was reading it. The beauty is that it is the same whether you are rich or poor, the mind is a hard puzzle to solve. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it.
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova *
Maria is a writer who decides to learn Poker in a year. The things she learns through the process and insights she gleaned about human nature through this journey spanning continents and several poker tournaments is what this is about. I enjoyed reading this book, which in parts get very technical. Definitely worth a read.
Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman *
If you watched the movie Independence Day, you would have noticed when the aliens arrive, the people just lose focus. All of them are busy running, I don't know where, or looting shops. It's total anarchy.
When Hitler attacked London he expected something similar would happen. London was bombed and thereafter the people showed resilience like ever seen before. Bars had signs which said, "We may not have any window but our spirits are still as good!"
Rutger Bregman builds an argument against the notion that humans are always likely to be reduced to animals and that there is more good and generosity in humans and what we are led to believe by the cynics and pessimists.
I would highly recommend this book! 6 Stars.
Early Indians by Tony Joseph
Where did the people of India arrive from? How did the human species arrive here? Are we one race or intermingling of many races? This book dives into genetic data to map the arrival of the first people in India and charts out how the different waves of arrivals took place in India and how we the Indian people came to be. A thoroughly fascinating book that I enjoyed reading.
Inferior: The true power of women and the science that shows it by Angela Saini *
Science has for the most part been written and influenced by men. This in turn has been used to describe women as the fairer sex, read weaker. From the size of her brain to her sexual appetite to the aggression; women are routinely shown to be less able. Study after study shows this not because this is in fact true but because this is how science has chosen to see women.
Angela Saini constructs an argument for why women are not in fact inferior and that centuries of patriarchal conditioning has resulted in even science being skewed against women.
Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber *
An anthropologist writes about finance and decimates it. I loved this book. I have another 7 months to go but I am already certain that if there is one book I am definitely going to recommend this year, it is going to be this one.
Debt came before money. Money was a consequence of raising armies and even the entire banking and financial system today hinges on debt.
The author dives into many facets of debt - From the fact that it is assumed that one must pay their debts - but then is the interest not an admission of the fact that there is a risk that it may not get paid?
Debt is universal but the assumption that one should be able to earn a return just because they have money is a false assumption, is it not?
An incredibly fascinating book that veers between history, philosophy, government, finance and anthropology. I highly recommend this.
The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857 by William Dalrymple *
Growing up in Delhi, my entire childhood was spent hearing about a road called Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, where my mother used to work. I did not pay much attention to the name or who it signified.
The Last Mughal is the story of Bahadur Shah Zafar who was the last Mughal king to occupy the throne in Delhi. When the army from Meerut killed the British officers and decided to rise up against the British, they went to Zafar looking for his leadership to take on the British and rid the land of them.
A well-researched book put together with details from the correspondences of the normal citizenry and the throne from the National Archives in India (soon to be destroyed) provides an intimate look at the uprising of 1857 from the perspective of the people and Bahadur Shah Zafar. A blow by blow account, this should be a prescribed textbook.
Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger Jr.
The book chronicles the rise of the aviation industry in the United States. From the time of the first flight to transporting the first passengers on chairs placed in the back of mail planes to the rise of the modern airline industry.
Winding its way across almost a century, the book shows how fragile the airline industry has always been and how the giants of one era fell in another. The book makes for a fascinating read although a huge portion of it seems to be dedicated to Frank Lorenzo who was running 4 airlines simultaneously at one point in the US, only to see all of them struggle and disappear.
If the aviation business is of great interest, I would recommend this book to you.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson
I have read every book that Walter has written except the biography of Henry Kissinger. He has a way of taking apart a topic that is incredibly interesting.
This book is the story of the discovery of Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats or CRISPR for short. The story goes that researchers discovered segments of the DNA of bacteria seemed to contain short segments of repeated code. The question arose what was the purpose and it was discovered that those segments got created each time a bacteria fought off a virus. The Bacteria took a snippet of the gene of the virus and incorporated it between CRISPRs to give itself the memory of how to attack the viral DNA.
Today, research on this technology has enabled the COVID test and mRNA vaccines. Unlike Walter's usual biographies, CRISPR is the result of incredible scientific collaboration spanning continents, patent wars and much more. While he is honest that this book is written from the perspective of Jennifer Doudna, he also tries (unsuccessfully) to provide the other side of the story.
An incredible page-turner, fitting for the times.
The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't by Julia Galef *
We are taught to take sides and defend our positions. It is something we do almost unconsciously. Julia argues that there are just too many people with the soldier mindset who are stuck to their beliefs and thoughts and unwilling to accept new ideas or beliefs that conflict with their position. The scout mindset is about being willing to accept new ideas and reconsidering your beliefs. The book outlines all of the thought processes that cause us to err and then also offers techniques for us to improve ourselves and develop a scouts mindset.
An interesting book with much to take away. Would certainly recommend it.
Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert
I picked up this book because I loved her previous book the Sixth Extinction, which is the extinction event we are a part of.
Under a White Sky, refers to the way the sky would look if we were to seed it with SO2 in order to create the effect that a large volcano would blot the sun. This book is a series of essays on various things including extinction, genetic mutation and geo-engineering. The essays are not interconnected and the book also seems rushed to meet a deadline in the midst of the pandemic.
I was deeply disappointed with it after having read the Sixth Extinction.
Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John D Clark
Elon Musk had suggested this book. I should have steered clear but I did not.
It turned out to be a textbook that was dense with organic chemistry. There is just one general-purpose fact that I learnt from this book. A hypergolic substance is a fuel that takes hundredths of a second to ignite. This is the kind of substance you require to serve as rocket fuel.
While the book is not written as most textbooks are. It is funny. And it almost sounds like someone took their lab notes and published them. Replete with all of the attempts that worked and all those that did not. It chronicles how the modern rocket fuel combination was arrived at.
Even so, it is scientifically dense and makes for very hard reading. If you are really looking to build a rocket read it, otherwise, safely give it a pass.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L Evans *
In 1940 if you had used the word computer, you would have probably been referring to a woman sitting in a building making calculations on the trajectory of ballistics during World War 2. It was in this context that machines like the Mark 1 and ENIAC were introduced and the burden of programming these machines almost exclusively fell on women.
The book traced the role of women in computing from Ada Lovelace to Grace Hopper in a beautiful narrative in the first third. It was written so well, it was hard to put down. But meanders thereafter.
There are several disjointed stories thereafter which highlight women and their efforts to create the next paradigm as computing rose and then the internet. You often wonder if those women had been able to raise capital much like their male counterparts, would they have been more successful?
It is an interesting book well worth the time though the brilliance of the first part overshadows the rest.
You're not Listening by Kate Murphy *
Kate Murphy is a reporter. Therefore her job involves listening to others. This book takes you through a journey of the importance of listening and some techniques that one can use to improve their listening skills. Kate does a great job of illustrating the advantages and also shares several stories of those who listen and the factors that contribute to their capability.
Gossip is important for humans to try and make sense of other people's actions. Selling often involves being able to endure the silence when the customer is making up their mind. This and several other nuggets of wisdom are strewn all over this book.
Highly recommend reading it.
UFOs by Leslie Kean *
The best way to hide something is to hide it in plain sight. Make the idea sound so ridiculous that nobody would believe it.
Leslie Kean, a reporter dives into the UFO phenomenon starting with the COMETA report published in Europe that acknowledges their existence. This book is a collation of testimony by expert eye-witnesses; air-force pilots, FAA officers, commercial airline pilots, Defence staffers and the likes. The one thing that becomes obvious is that UFOs are for real.
The book ends with an analysis of why the government, especially in the USA would refuse to acknowledge UFOs. One reason could be the anthropocentrism that dictates that humans are in control of whatever happens, which is what even makes democracy possible. The knowledge of the existence of another more powerful being could undermine that.
My feeling is that, wherever the white man has gone, only 2 things have followed. Extermination or Subjugation. It is normal for Americans to assume that intelligence from another planet or place would ONLY seek to do that. This fuels the need to refuse and deny existence because the next intuitive question for an American is - Will they exterminate us or subjugate us?
Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui *
Humans are land animals. Most mammals that swim except for monkeys and humans use the dog paddle and swim from birth. Humans need to learn to swim and just like the primates we need to use the frog kick to swim. But why do we swim?
The author starts with the benefits of swimming and what it does to your body. She goes on to explore some of the greatest swimming feats and how those people got around to doing it. An incredibly interesting book that leaves you asking the question why do I not swim every day?
Definitely recommend reading this book.
The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World by Virginia Postrel *
If you look back at any picture from 5 centuries ago, an industrious woman would be shown spinning yarn. There was a reason for this. It took a lot of time. To spin enough thread to make a sail would have taken a person 2 years back in the day. It is not without reason that the industrial revolution started with cloth. It was the hardest and the most time-consuming thing to make. Also, getting the designs right was even more difficult.
Virginia takes the reader on a journey through time and the process of turning fibre into cloth. A fascinating book that puts history in the context of clothing ourselves. Societies are structured in a way and taxes used to be levied in a way because of cloth.
I highly recommend reading this book. 6 stars.
Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Rivalry That Unravelled the Middle East by Kim Ghattas *
The Middle East stretching from Egypt to Pakistan has had a very tumultuous history. It was this region that was the cradle of civilisation, how did it all go so wrong? Kim writes an absorbing history of the region starting with the year 1979. The two decades surrounding this year produced almost all of the uncertainty that is part of the region today.
Artfully weaving back and forth through the entire 20th century, this book paints the most complete picture of the religious, political and geopolitical forces that shaped the region and the conflicts therein. Written like a story, this is a magnificent book to learn about the dynamics of the middle east.
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch *
To a person who lived 500 years ago, a meteor strike on earth would have meant certain death. Today we have the science as well as the capability to detect and defend, or at least attempt to if we wished to.
This book is an argument about thinking as well as an exploration into explanations, problems and solutions.
The author makes a case for the fact that every solution to a problem only leads to more problems, to which we find solutions. This continuous sequence of finding solutions is called progress.
While I might not agree with everything written in the book, it is certainly thought-provoking and worth a read.
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz, Dori Jones Yang
As the title describes it, the book is about the early days of Starbucks. It starts with a brief background of Howard Shultz and his journey into the coffee business. How he went from starting a coffee shop of his own to acquiring Starbucks which at the time specialised in selling coffee.
The book ends in the 1990s at a time when Starbucks was many times smaller than what it is today. I found the book to be very shallow. Either scaling the company was too easy or he chose not to speak about it, either way, it seems like a very superficial story of the company.
No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier *
Most Silicon Valley stories are very closely intertwined with one another. Instagram is also one such story that weaves across characters from several other companies like Facebook, Quora, Twitter and many others. A deeply researched and beautifully written book about the founding and the growth of Instagram and the challenges that the founders had to deal with as they ran their business.
The book is quite honest about the nature of high octane startups and the ego rides of the venture capitalists involved in them. Definitely worth a read if you love to learn about startups.
Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple *
This is my fourth William Dalrymple book. This one covers the exploits of the British and their attempt at taking over Afghanistan in the early 19th Century. Their interest in Afghanistan was more from the point of view of keeping the Russians out and keeping Napoleon and Russians from attacking British interests in India. Napoleon knew that without India, the British Empire would crumble very quickly.
The British tried to put a deposed Shah Shuja back on the throne and the entire enterprise was doomed from the outset. This book is about the follies that resulted in the disaster. As always an interesting book from William Dalrymple.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappé *
The state of Israel was created by the political push made by the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state. As the state of Palestine was being given up by the British, they decided through a UN mandate to create Israel more as a way to right the wrongs done during the Holocaust.
What follows is a holocaust of a Jewish creation where the Arabs, who represented 90% of the population of Palestine, were systematically murdered and removed from their lands through any means possible. This is an eye-opening book for those who do not understand the dynamics of the Israel - Palestine conflict.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol *
A book written by a rocket scientist, the book is more about the thought fallacies that plague all of us. While he does use a lot of rocketry related examples, there are a lot of other examples that he uses as well which are often borrowed. He does not bring anything new on the subject, which you would not have already read in a book such as The art of thinking clearly.
I would recommend the book if you have never read a book about thought fallacies.
The Premonition by Michael Lewis *
Writing non-fiction like a story is an art. Michael Lewis does a great job of piecing together the American pandemic response plan which was devised over 20 years, piecing the several threads together to illustrate how that response ultimately failed when the need arose. Starting from the Anthrax scares following 9/11 to the COVID 19 response and the subsequent disaster, the book reads like an inevitable story.
I highly recommend reading the book.
The body keeps the score: Mind, Brain and Body in the transformation of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk *
Trauma is ofter hard to live with. Whether it is abuse in childhood; domestic violence; War survivors; or those subjected to crime. The mind does its best to forget what happened and bury it in some corner. But the body likes to keep the score. When presented with the same situation, the body triggers all of those same feelings and causes the person to relive the trauma.
An incredibly difficult book to read from a gifted therapist who does an incredible job of taking apart trauma and helps you relate and understand it better. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, because the subject is so difficult; but I highly recommend it, if you are interested in the subject.
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson
If books by Niall Ferguson are toilet paper, this book is probably kitchen wipes. It does not sink to lows of empire apology, but at the same time does not do justice to the question either. For the most part, the book tries to explain this phenomenon in the context of the last 400 years without acknowledging the role that colonialism and the associated loot played in them NOT failing.
If you are from England and want to feel good about yourself, do read.
Wanderers, Kings, Merchants by Peggy Mohan *
This book to me felt like the language equivalent of Early Indians by Tony Joseph. Tony tracks the movement of people from Africa to India and the first Indian settlements using genetic Haplogroups. Peggy goes about it using language and the evolution of it. An incredibly interesting book that describes the rise of Indian languages and the metamorphosis that they have undergone over the millennia and the factors that have caused it.
I highly recommend this book if you are into history and evolution.
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher by Richard Feynman
This is an incomplete physics textbook with a 100-page preamble. The book is 130 pages long. Neither was the Physics complete nor was the preamble of any use. Very disappointed.
Body of Work by Pamela Slim
You are more than just the profession that you pursue. Often when people ask what you do or who you are, the tendency is often to answer with just your profession. How many of you say - Hi I am Vivek, Engineer, Management Consultant, fitness nut, blogger, podcaster, curious, community builder, startup enthusiast, technology freak, speaker, trainer, a doer.
Pamela tells you to look at your entire self and find the things that will be the legacy you leave behind. And you guessed, it may not be your professional pursuit.
23 things they don't tell you about capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang *
The libertarians are those who argue for free markets. They claim that the market will figure out what is best. There is no need for the government to interfere in business. Markets are wise. Chang argues that a lot of what capitalists would like you to believe are not true at all. The government picks winners all the time, there is nothing called free markets, shareholder value is always about the short term and never about the long term and often the stakeholders (employees) are hurt in the pursuit of shareholder value maximisation.
This book is a real gem. I would highly recommend it. I am also writing a short summary of the points discussed.
In Control: Dangerous relationships and how they end in murder by Jane Monkton Smith *
Jane is a former cop turned researcher who looks into relationship dynamics that lead to intimate partner murder. The biggest cause of homicide in the US and UK, and quite possibly across the world is intimate partner murder. Often the man kills the woman. Almost always it is because they tend to have a need to control their partners and when they see this control slipping away they take matters into their own hands. Jane has broken down the process that goes from control to murder into 8 steps and using case studies illustrates what goes on in the mind of such a person.
I think everyone should read this book.
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis *
This is the second Michael Lewis book that I am reading this year. This book focuses on the collaboration between Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. Their backgrounds, how they came together and how their research in psychology redefined everything we knew about economics. It is a story that spans decades and provides an intimate look at their thinking and writings. I totally enjoyed reading this book.
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl *
The book is divided into two parts. In the first part, the author recounts his experiences at the concentration camps as well as the psychological changes that people underwent at the concentration camps. The second part of the book talks about a therapy that he as a psychologist uses called Logo Therapy. The focus of logotherapy is on facing the things that are bad in life and overcoming them.
I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.
Big Billion Startup - The Untold Flipkart Story by Mihir Dalal *
The book chronicles the rise and fall of the Flipkart founders along with the company. A blow by blow account narrated like a fly on the wall it is hard to tell how much of it is fact and how much of it is fiction. Written like a novel it is hard to put down and extremely absorbing. I totally enjoyed reading it.
The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad
I am just happy that I got this book for free on Audible Plus.
The author starts out by describing his life as a freeing jew from Lebanon and his immigration to America. Saad is a student of management that got into economics and psychology. He starts out by saying that the ‘woke’ movement is killing logic. There is a need to discuss differences that are being culled by the cult of equality. I thought it was an interesting and important conversation.
Then the book takes a turn towards defending ideas that I frankly found revolting. A theme that he often returns to is the inferiority of women. He talks about being unbiased but the writing is replete with examples of how his immigration from Lebanon left an indelible bias within. I could not finish this book. The more I read, the more it got me angry.