May

  • Product Design for the Web

    by Randy J. Hunt

    This book encourages how to think holistically about a digital product, instead of just being a UI Designer or Visual Designer. From the inception of an idea to releasing the actual product and then iterating is a continuous cycle. The book won’t make you a rocking product designer overnight but is certainly useful in showing the way to it.

April

  • The Little Prince

    by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

    Apparently, this book is the most read and most translated book in French language. While reading the book, I realized the loss of inquisitiveness and strangeness in me as an adult. Though this book is a children’s book per se, I quite enjoyed it reading as an adult as well.

  • Impro

    by Keith Johnstone

    How do you encourage spontaneity and originality within yourself? According to the book, everyone is playing statuses — high or low. Low status playing people often shake their heads a lot while making conversation. The book, though sounds like catering to a niche audience — actors — teaches more about life than most of the books on life out there.

  • Surely you're Joking Mr Feynman

    by Richard P Feynman

    To be honest, I never heard of Richard Feynman before but this book was getting repeated in every recommendation list I went through. And it surely deserves to. It’s supposedly an autobiography, but it never feels like one. It’s funny, inspiring, wise and passionate, all at the same time.

  • My Gita

    by Devdutt Pattanaik

    Multiple authors have tried to interpret The Gita and this is just another attempt in that quest. What makes it different is the way it’s written — adhering to the background and surroundings of the modern time. I think, I left it halfway because for me it was not empowering right away, and knowledge that doesn’t empower you is just information. Maybe I’ll give it another try few years later.

March

  • Why do People Sing?

    by Alexander Jordania

    This was one of the best finds. The book is a deep dive into the evolutionary origins of human music. Did you know, the most archaic parts of the human brain, which are only activated by the critical survival needs, are activated when humans sing or listen to music?

  • The Rational Optimist

    by Matt Ridley

    If you love statistics and like to believe that human is making tremendous progress, this book is going to be a treat. For pessimists — like me — who believe true progress is in overcoming suffering, not so much.

  • Superhuman by Habit

    by Tynan

    Will power is not an infinite source. Even if we build willpower slowly over time, it’s never enough to reach all of our goals — the solution lies in habit creation. This book covers the principles and philosophies of habit building and practical approaches of implementing them.

  • The Outsider

    by Albert Camus

    Probably, this is the third fiction I picked up this year. The book is totally random yet captivating at the same time. It encapsulates the absurdity of the fundamental values of the society and how anyone breaking it is considered an outsider.

  • The Lessons of History

    by Will Durant

    Honestly, I skipped parts of it because I couldn’t comprehend the idea being communicated. However otherwise it’s a intense read about philosophy, social progress and limitations of humanity over time.

  • The Checklist Manifesto

    by Atul Gawande

    I read this book in one sitting which I think is an amazing tribute to the book. Atul convincingly makes the case for adopting checklists in medicine and in life in general.

  • Influence

    by Robert Cialdini

    Why do we say yes to something? What are the factors that are at play when someone makes us say yes? This book has given me a new perspective to look at people’s behavior. I’ve recommended it to multiple friends and I recommend it to you as well.

February

  • Born a Crime

    by Trevor Noah

    The book is about Trevor’s journey from his childhood where he was born a crime. The book has got its own darker edges and perilous turns but the warm, conversational tone of the book makes it a pleasurable read.

  • Jony Ive

    by Leander Kahney

    This book is less about Jony Ive himself and more about the transformation of the Industrial Design dept. at Apple during the course of time. The books make you realize how culture is something that can’t be developed overnight. Rather, real culture is patina.

  • Shoe Dog

    by Phil Knight

    I gained massive respect for Nike as a brand after reading this book. Growing a business with ethics takes massive effort and the worst part is it’s never done. This book is an amazing read overall. Don’t miss it.

  • Siddhartha

    by Hermann Hesse

    An extremely short read that didn’t necessarily make me wiser but for sure taught a thing or two. Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

  • Deep Work

    by Cal Newport

    This book makes a case of new IQ being the ability to focus. Focusing on one single thing at a time is getting harder everyday, thanks to the multitude of resources that take pride in enabling multitasking.

January

  • Tools of Titans

    by Tim Ferriss

    I became a fan of Tim after reading this book. This book is the crux of all the learnings he had in the past two years interviewing world class performers. If you don’t know him yet, check out his podcast — The Tim Ferris Show.

  • Thinking fast and slow

    by Daniel Kahneman

    If you had to read one book on Behavioral Economics, this is that book. For sure the book is lengthy and boring in parts (especially the second) but it does one job pretty well — explain why human beings behave the way they behave.

  • Letter from Peking

    by Pearl S. Buck

    It was a good detour from all the non-fiction I’ve been reading. The book is about a woman who is torn across two countries. It was heartbreaking in parts to see love being jeopardized by forces outside of human control.