Oct 20, 2013 - Obsessions    4 Comments

5 Good Books I Read In 2013

I was obsessed with reading in high school. I have read every one of those Hardy Boys hard cover novels that was out there at that time.

I lost this obsession while I was in college. However, recently I have managed to bring it back to life. Biographies and Travelogues replaced Novels and Fiction.

This year, I have been reading quite a lot and here are 5 amazing book recommendations from the books that I have read so far this year.

What the Dog Saw – Malcolm Gladwell

What The Dog SawMalcolm Gladwell is one my favorite authors of all time. I have read almost all his books and have written about the Outliers before.

This book, What the Dog Saw, is a collection of articles he have written over a period of years. It looks at intriguing situations from a different vantage point. He will make you curious and make you go, ‘I never thought of that before’.

For instance, after a terrorist attack, or a bomb explosion, we often hear that the police had information about this before hand, but still they didn’t do anything about it. And we see politicians and the media trashing the intelligence agencies. In reality, these agencies receive a huge number of such information on a daily basis and their job is not to act on them, but to filter out the weed from the crops. Its easy to trash them in retrospect, but if they were to act on every lead they receive, they wouldn’t be able to do their job.

Mr Nice – Howard Marks

Mr NiceMr Nice is an autobiography of Britain’s most wanted criminal of his time. The back of his book says is best:

During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had forty three aliases, eighty nine phone lines and owned twenty five companies throughout the world. Whether bars, recording studios or offshore banks, all were money laundering vehicles for his main concern: dope dealing.

At the height of his career he was smuggling up to thirty tons of marijuana and had contact with organizations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. Following a worldwide operation by the Drugs Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years at a state penitentiary in Indiana. He was released in 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence. This is his story.

At some point in the book, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life, while this guy was doing it all. By the time he was 30, he was already a been-there-done-that kind of guy.

Its a good read if you can appreciate that kind of a guy.

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

BlinkBlink is a fascinating book, another of his finest work. This is an in depth exploration of the amazing power of our brain to make split second decisions based on instinct.

Have you seen that TV series, Lie To Me? There is a guy in this book who can read faces just like Dr. Cal Lightman. And this guy who can predict, with great precision, if a marriage would last just by listening to seemingly casual conversations between a couples.

Blink looks into many such fascinating people and explores how the human mind is capable of doing high speed calculations with very less data – in a blink!

Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho

Eleven MinutesEleven Minutes was my first Paulo Coelho novel which I read while I was at Davangere. And boy, what an experience that was! It is a very light read, but I enjoyed this one way more than an ordinary novel.

Its the story of a Brazilian girl who comes to Geneva to become a dancer and turns into a prostitute. This is not an erotic novel, but one that explores the deeper feelings of romance on an unorthodox level.

While reading this book, there were moments where I would stop reading and just think about the depth of what I just read. The thin margins between pain and pleasure.

I can tell you this, this book is not for everyone.

Human Instinct – Robert Winston

Human InstinctIf you can pick only one book from this list, pick this one. This is not an easy read. There is nothing light about this book, except for the humor sense of the author.

Do you know why men are attracted to big asses and chubby thighs? Why men want to sleep with every other girl, while most girls are very choosy at the men they want to be with? Why we do the things we do that consciously puts our life in danger?

Robert Winston, in this book, Human Instinct, will answer all those questions and much more. It will take you on a journey that starts with the origins of mankind in the Savannah and how our instincts came into existence and how these instincts help us survive in the modern day.

What am I reading now?

I have just started with, Common Sense Rules by Deborah Meaden. If you have seen the BBC TV series, Dragons Den, you will remember her; she was one of the multimillionaire investors.

I hope you enjoy these books. Money invested on good books is money well invested.

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