Only if I could wander the streets shouting the names of books I'd want everyone to read or if I’d have an unlimited supply of these books to press feverishly into your hands, trust me I'll do it in a breath.
So until the book lords respond to my whims, here is a list of books I’d like to shout about.
Hola bibliomaniacs! If you are reading this I am assuming you are into reading and if you are not, you can definitely start with some of these books and I am sure you won't be disappointed. Ready to dive in?!
FUN FACT: You know initially I used to title my book notes as 'Book Reviews' until I listened to this Tim Ferriss's podcast with Maria Popova. Here's the transcript:
I realized later that there is always something or the other to learn from every book and hence a review sounds mechanical so here are my 'BOOK ANNOTATIONS'.
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”
1. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
A writer's guide that is bound to teach and inspire.
If you harbor no aspirations to writing, Bird by Bird offers a warm, illuminating and entertaining look at some of the things writers go through, provides some insight into the process of writing, and some of the challenges writers confront.
If, however, you are a writer, aspire to be a writer, or indulge in analysis of writing, Bird by Bird will feel like a kindly mentor, an older, wiser sibling maybe, who can take you by the hand and offer a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Lamott sees in writing not a selfish act of personal gratification but an act of warm generosity.
Paragraph by paragraph, this humorous, insightful, no-nonsense approach will remind novices why they are writing: to tell the truth, to live from the heart, and to share their gift with others.
2. Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik
Never knew I'd ever enjoy a science non-fiction book but this book has changed it for me and it seems chemistry is not what I thought about it.
In the book Mark delves into our material world in an attempt to show that although the materials around us might seem like blobs of differently colored matter, they are in fact much more than that: they are complex expressions of human needs and desires and this way of understanding the world is called materials science.
“In a very real way, then, materials are a reflection of who we are, a multi-scale expression of our human need and desires.
He answers questions such as:
-Why chocolate tastes the way it does?
- Why we don't taste the metal of our cutlery?
- Why razors become dull and paper clips bend? and much more
I found the book utterly fascinating & BTW this book was recommended by Bill Gates.
3. The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
I was drawn to this book simply because it had the unfortunate luck of sharing an almost identical title to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell but it turns out it wasn’t that unfortunate.
Ever heard about Fu-Go balloon bomb? A Fu-Go or fire balloon is a hydrogen-filled balloon made of rice paper carrying a bomb was a weapon launched by Japan during World War II.
You will be immersed in the ephemeral description of Alaska in the mid-1940s, the last outpost for an inexperienced bomb defuser and his sadistic, crazy superior officer. There is a love triangle, a confession, betrayals, all shrouded in mysticism.
Like his subject matter (Fu-Go), Callanan's words drift whisper-quiet across the page, carried along by thermal air currents, until, every so often, there comes a scene of shattering, explosive impact.
4. Atmamun: The Path to Achieving the Bliss of the Himalayan Swamis. and the Freedom of a Living God by Kapil Gupta
Got the recommendation for this book from Naval Ravikant's podcast with Kapil Gupta.
Dr. Kapil Gupta is a personal advisor to CEO’s, Professional Athletes, Celebrities, and Performing Artists around the world.
The whole premise of Atmamum is to be able to fully experience everything around you without thinking about it.
Basically "the doer must disappear for the masterpiece to appear".
A book I highly recommend, but be warned, the ideas are so deep, you'll have to come back to it over and over again to get the full benefit. Either it will resonate with you profoundly or not at all.
“We are slaves to ourselves. And we think that we are free. The greatest freedom that we have is the freedom to walk away from ourselves.”
This book will make you uncomfortable. You will read things that your mind doesn’t want to hear. Not that I agree with the author on everything, nevertheless, it’s a jolting experience!
This is an extraordinary book- one that definitely falls into my "read again" pile.
“And understand this: life’s nectar lies in experience, rather than reward. Rewards fade from memory. Experiences remain forever.”
5. This is Water by David Foster Wallace (MUST READ)
If there's one profound piece that I'd want everyone to read then it is this.
Also, it is just a 15 page read. No more spoilers.
I am sucker for commencement and valedictorian speeches and this speech was originally delivered by David Foster Wallace as the 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College.
Wallace hits on our need to manage rather than remove our core hard-wired human instincts.
Got the recommendation from Tim Ferriss's podcast with Hugh Jackman.
“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."