My Year in Books - 2023

cover image Here’s what I read in 2022 - in order of what I liked most (highest rated first):

1. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

cover image Author: Jack Weatherford
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book feels a bit biased towards the Mongols but if you’re looking for an introduction to the Mongol empire and Genghis Khan, this gives a perfect breezy start. The secular ideals, introduction to paper currency, facilitating exchange of ideas & science between Europe and Asia, and their influence on Renaissance and the modern culture is fascinating to read.

A cool trivia for computer scientists - the origin of the word “algorithm” traces its roots to the Mongol empire.

2. Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology

cover image Author: Chris Miller
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A riveting page turner! Chip War offers a captivating and comprehensive history of the semiconductor industry, deftly intertwining technological innovations with geopolitical maneuvers. Beginning in the Cold War era, the book charts the journey through decades of innovation and rivalry, culminating in the recent intensification of US-China tensions over chip dominance.

3. Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

cover image Author: Geoffrey A. Moore
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you’re working on building High Tech Products & Organisations, this book will make you wonder why you didn’t read it five years ago.

4. Idgah (ईदगाह)

cover image Author: Munshi Premchand
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

5. The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes–and Its Implications

cover image Author: David Deutsch
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The book explores the common thread between the 4 theories of knowledge, evolution, computation & quantum physics. The similarities between their essence is fascinating.

It’s a great & dense read if concepts like multiverses & time travel intrigue you.

6. मानसरोवर 1: प्रेमचंद की मशहूर कहानियाँ

cover image Author: मुंशी प्रेमचंद
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

हर कहानी गाँव की सादगी और वहाँ की रोज़मर्रा के जीवन की कठिनाइयों से आपका परिचय कराती है। भाषा सरल है पर किरदार उतने ही गूढ़ और मार्मिक। प्रेमचंद की कहानियों में माटी की ख़ुशबू है।

7. VAJPAYEE: The Ascent of the Hindu Right, 1924–1977

cover image Author: Abhishek Choudhary
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A good, factual account of Vajpayee’s life and the rise of India’s right wing. It has fascinating details on how India’s first formidable opposition came together. The dilemma in Vajpayee’s belief systems and his/ his party’s reluctance to speak it out aloud is brought out well.

His transformation into a person who could bring different factions together during the 70s is interesting. The book ends with removal of Emergency - looking forward to the next part.

8. Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team

cover image Author: R. Sridhar, R. Kaushik
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book gives a good peak into decision making in the Indian cricket team over the last 10 years. Enjoyed reading about thought process behind things like Ashwin’s exclusion in overseas tests, no.4 position during 2019 world cup, the Australian summer during Covid 19, etc. Some of the anecdotes give great insights on how top athletes think.

The contrast between leadership styles of Dhoni, Virat, Rohit & Ajinkya was brought out well. It’s one of the better books on Indian cricket.

9. ट्वेल्थ फेल

cover image Author: Anurag Pathak
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

सीधे, सच्चे संघर्ष की कहानी। कुछ प्रसंग विश्वसनीय नहीं लगते, पर ये कहानी पढ़ने में काफ़ी आसान और रोचक है।

10. Health Design Thinking: Creating Products and Services for Better Health

cover image Author: Bon Ku, Ellen Lupton
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Good concepts & case studies. It helps in reimagining healthcare service delivery from patient’s perspective. The book could have been shorter though.

Written on January 29, 2024