100 Books To Make Us Wise

“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested…”
– Francis Bacon

Prof. Rajeev Srivastava, Former Dean at IIM Lucknow, initiated us into the habit of reading. When we entered IIML, he introduced to us a list of 30 must-read books: outside the regular curriculum, but very helpful in the eternal quest to be ‘wise’.

Impressed with his advice, I have tried to read at least one or two books every week. Naturally, over the last 15 years, this has added up to more than a thousand books.

Some of my friends, thoroughly bored with my constant discussion on books, suggested I should compile a list of Top 100 books ever written… So here is a humble first attempt.

To make sure my readers do not suffer due to my ignorance, I have referred to other Top book lists (Time magazine, Guardian, greatestbooks.org, goodreads, esquire etc.) and made sure I have read the missing ones there to form a personal opinion.

But the list below is entirely mine, with all my biases and limitations. These cover wide ranging subjects like Management, Philosophy, High Science, Literature, History etc. Classics like Odyssey are here (one of my father’s friends gifted us a 24 volume collection when I was 11). Controversial ones like Lolita or Economic Hit Men are here too. There are a lot on management, influenced of course by my business education. But there are a lot on spirituality, happiness and God… aren’t those the ultimate question? Recently, I have also picked up a deep interest in High Science: Working of the brain and working of the universe… probably the last frontiers for our species.

So here are my favorites. [Over 2017, I will try and add my own brief review of each book: basic plot, what appealed to me and why read it. Have completed about 25 of them, and have added my small picture  before the link. Other links (in grey) take you to goodreads.com]

They say ‘a Reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once!’ So let’s go on and explore the different shades this little life has to offer…