Not too long ago, I was barely reading a book a year. Now, reading has become one of my favorite activities. In the last couple of years, I have finally discovered the joy of reading. To do better than last year, I started with a goal of 26 books this year (1 more than last year) but was able to surpass and read 36 books this year without much effort. I wanted to share my top five of the year. This is not by specific genre, so will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
1. The Gene by Siddhartha Muhkarjee
I received this book as a Christmas gift and was the book I started the year with. I was taken aback by Mukharjee's brilliant ability to write about science as an exciting and engaging story. I have a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Chemistry and as such many of the concepts were not new to me. What got me hooked from the beginning was the author's storytelling ability. I wish my teachers had been able to explain concepts in the way he did. It was beautiful how simply he could explain cell division, and DNA replication. Then with equal ease, he could tie how it fit with the history of gene.
2. The everything store by Brad Stone
The entrepreneur in me loves reading about history and biography of innovators. Brad stone gives a up close view of Jeff Bezos and Amazon in this easy to read book. The book surely was motivating. A good book to read especially when you feel stuck or you are not making much progress. A good reminder also of sacrifices you should be willing to make when you have a vision as large as Amazon's. While, I enjoyed the book, one thing was clear to me. I would never want to work at Amazon or create a company with similar culture. Of course, that also comes with the understanding that I am ok trading off some of the success for more time with friends and family.
3. Misbehaving, the making of behavioral economics by Richard Thaler
I love reading about decision science and this was a perfect book for anyone who enjoys the topic. If you have read, Thinking fast and slow or Predictably irrational, a lot of the concepts are similar. But the book is still filled with thought provoking experiments and really got me think. I found myself stopping to think and analyze every couple pages, which I loved. Thaler has countless examples of how we are supposed to think/act and how we actually do. I do not know if I got any better at some of those logics, but never the less, thoroughly enjoyed the book. On my list to read again!
4. Beartown Fredrik Backman
I like to read fiction and non-fiction book at the same time. Usually reading non-fiction during morning/day and fiction at night. I read Fredrik's first book, A man called Ove last year and he has quickly become my favorite writer. Beartown was another exceptional book by Backman. Set around a small town tied together by Hockey, this is an engaging read taking on love and culture. Backman brilliantly takes us on a tour of a this small town and humanity at the same time. Even though Backman's books are translated from Swedish, his beautiful expressions are still crystal clear. I found myself highlighting so many phrases that made an impact.
5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I first found out about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie couple years ago from her TED video titled a power of single story and have been following her writing since. This story of a Nigerian student settling in the US, hit close to home for me. I could relate to the lot experiences with those of mine when I first came to this country from Nepal.
My full 2017 reading list is on Goodreads