99 Books To Make Us Wise


They say “a Reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once!”

My B-school dean at IIM Lucknow, Rocky, introduced us to a list of ‘must-read’ books: not part of the regular curriculum, but very helpful in our eternal quest to be ‘wise’. Impressed with his advice, I have tried to read at least one book every week for two decades now. Some friends started asking for a compilation and recommendation, so here is a humble attempt. 99 Books To Make Us Wise

To make sure the 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 read the missing ones to form a personal opinion. The list below (with all the biases and limitations of an individual) covers wide-ranging genres like Management, Philosophy, Popular Science, Fiction, and History. Classics like Animal Farm are here and so are controversial ones like Lolita too. There are Spanish ones (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and Russian Ones (War & Peace). There is fiction (God of Small Things) and there are books raising ultimate questions on God (The God Delusion), the Universe (Physics of the Impossible), and the Human mind (Incognito).

Choosing few must-reads is not easy (±130 million books have been written!), so let’s decide how we will choose:

  • Life-changing: Will make us wiser. That can bring fundamental changes in our thinking and attitude, and answers the big Why questions.
  • Engaging and FunWe want to grow, but also enjoy the journey. We may not have the patience (yet!) to go through deep but boring books.

There will hardly be a universal set of Must-read books, since part of what makes a book memorable is our own life experiences that can relate to it. So, choose your chalice! A short summary/review, generally done by yours truly, is included too.

The younger audience may want to start with the ones marked Easy and then go to the Heavy ones at your own pace.

PS: Like Wikipedia, we are very proud of our no charge, no advertisement policy. Just a desire to help more people read. You may subscribe free of cost to get monthly curated reviews.

  • Curator (NS)

The contents of  ’99 Books To Make Us Wise’ are being moved to a more professional webpage: 99reads.org

You may choose to bookmark and visit it!