Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books in 2013

2013 was a poor year from a "number of books read" standpoint. Since I rarely read books which aren't well-recommended by people whose opinions I respect or those written by authors or on topics I am interested in, that usually means I didn't have as much pleasure from reading as I usually have in a typical year :(

Am hoping 2014 is a better year.

The Sports Gene by David Epstein is easily the best book I read in the year and I even dedicated a blog post to it. Let me know if you read it and like it. Also reading recommendations are welcome.
  1. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
  2. Bounce by Matthew Syed
  3. Leaders on Leadership (AIMA book)
  4. Lets Talk
  5. A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington
  6. The Dinner by Herman Koch
  7. Lucknow Boy by Vinod Mehta#
  8. The Olympic Marathon by Roger Martin and David Gynn
  9. Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens#
  10. Arguably by Christopher Hitchens#
  11. Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath
  12. Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  13. Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane
  14. The Sports Gene by David Epstein
  15. The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
  16. Follow Every Rainbow by Rashmi Bansal
  17. The Hansons Training Method by Luke Humphrey with Keith & Kevin Hanson
  18. Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson
  19. Adapt by Tim Harford#
  20. Soccernomics by Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski#
  21. The Man of Numbers by Keith Devlin (I had forgotten to log this)

# Unfinished. Although I can’t say I am unhappy about not finishing the Vinod Mehta book, I am certainly disappointed at leaving the Hitchens’ books unread. In fact I stopped reading Mehta's book since I was tired of his style which involves frequent name-dropping/some form of braggadocio which somewhat negates his self-deprecation. The Kahneman book suffered since I just didn’t have the time to finish it while I started really late in the year on Soccernomics. The Dobelli book was yet another quick & lovely read while the MacFarlane book was akin to a gentle journey. Admittedly the list is heavy on sports, but that is partially dictated by my current line of work.

Rolf Dobelli's book and his interview with the Guardian was instrumental in influencing me to stop reading the daily papers in 2013 and I am happier for it.

Inverting the Pyramid is clearly a labour of love and Jonathan Wilson's love for football shines through brilliantly. I mention this since I am lazy to not write a full post on it, despite making notes while reading. As I tweeted to a friend, it moves you to tears by parts and delights you, by turns. I began reading a paperback version more than 2.5 years ago and then lent it to someone who didn't return it/misplaced it. I started on an ebook version of the revised book, a few weeks ago and finally finished it. Whatever the reason, finishing the book has been an emotional moment since it celebrates so many things dear to me - idealists, romanticists, Argentinian football, Barcelona and volatile and charming characters across the world - Russia, South America and even England. I don't think I have felt this much pleasure in reading a book in a while (I know I designated The Sports Gene as my book of the year and I stand by that choice, but I started this book more than 2 years ago - so I will hide under that ambiguity). I would urge you to read it if you like football.

Actually, just go ahead and read any book which makes you happy and feel free to recommend it to me. I am looking forward to a much more productive 2014 and we shall meet then.

Overall 2013 has been as much a fun year in reading as any and a reminder of the pleasures of reading to the extent that I regretted not doing more of it. Special thanks to V and V, both of whom were my "billionaire benefactors" thereby helping me further my reading habit.

Happy New Year

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Blogger manoj said...

Thanks for this D. I now look forward for your year end book recommendation list. That's one more reason you should read a lot more this year... Cheers!

1/03/2014 12:18 AM  

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