I started this year with my mind set on reading at least 25 non-fiction books. I couldn’t quite reach that figure, but I did manage to read some awesome books on the way.
I have always believed that the hallmark of a good book lies in its power to pull you back into its pages from time to time. If you are an avid reader like me, there is no way you won’t have a bunch of such books in your library.
To name a few of my own: Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘The Black Swan’ and ‘Antifragile‘, Umberto Eco’s ‘Turning back the clock‘ and ‘Inventing the Enemy‘, Leonard Mlodinow’s ‘The Drunkard’s Walk‘, John Allen Paulos’ ‘Innumeracy‘, Vincent Poscente’s ‘The Ant and the Elephant‘, and so on.
I can’t seem to have enough of these books. Like an inveterate drug addict, I somehow gravitate to them. These books ooze with the pure effervescence and electrocution of joy.
This year, too, I had the pleasure of indulging in a few stellar books. Of all the books I read, I have selected the five titles which totally held my imagination. These books both awe-inspired and enlightened me. If you are looking for a solid, non-fiction book, pick up one of the following, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. These were honest, arresting and challenging pieces of work:
1. From Rock Bottom to Rock Star
From being a gang member to running a million-dollar business, Ryan Blair has a major turn-around story to tell. A story that is both motivating and engaging.
Add to that his blunt, no-nonsense candour, and you have on your hands a book that leaves with you a lingering sense of inspiration.
2. Makers and Takers
This book is a powerhouse. In her first book, Rana Foroohar tracks the whole nine yards of financial greed, she puts the spotlight on how financialization has wedged the real economy away from the Wall Street economy.
If you love to read an in-depth, striking book on the Wall Street antics, then you must have ‘Makers and Takers’ on your shelf.
Sub-genre: High finance
3. Chaos Monkeys
Antonio Garcia Martinez rains on the Silicon Valley cheerleading parade in his blistering memoir ‘Chaos Monkeys’. The haloed money-making apparatus of the Valley, apparently, has an obverse side. A side only insiders are privy to.
Thanks to Martinez, you get a guided tour into Silicon Valley’s dark secrets.
Sub-genres: Entrepreneurship, Memoir
4. No Place to Hide
It’s a nerve-wracking one. Glenn Greenwald’s audacious journalism gets us a commentary on Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s malpractices
‘No Place to Hide’ shines an ugly spotlight on the devastating consequences of a state’s paranoid obsession with its security apparatus.
A must read if you love hardcore investigative reporting.
Sub-genre: Civil rights
5. This is Not the End of the Book
Grab a cup of hot coffee and indulge in this freewheeling chat between two bibliophiles: Umberto Eco, the late Italian literary maestro and Jean-Claude Carrière, the legendary French writer and academy award honoree.
If you are a book-lover and have a penchant for interesting stories, get this book right now.
I would love to hear from you, what books totally fueled your imagination in the year 2017? Do share the names, I look forward to the conversation.