I am rating these books on a scale of 1 to 10. Why a certain book has a higher rating than the other is subjective, depending on my assessment and the mood I am in at the time of writing this. I will keep updating this page.
- Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond (9.0)
A profoundly insightful book into the basic questions modern humans ask, ‘why do certain civilizations or cultures dominate while others get dominated’, ‘are some groups smarter than others?’ Jared Diamond answers why White Europeans wiped out Native Americans while maintaining that most humans are equally smart.
- Collapse – Jared Diamond (7.0)
This book talks about how humans are capable of destroying their own societies. Are humans smart enough to save themselves from extinction? Can some societies collapse though they have many smart people amongst them? Are we capable of making mistakes that will eventually wipe our societies?
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee – Jared Diamond (8.0)
The book describes the rise of humans (third chimpanzee). How humans became human? What makes humans different from most other animals? What changes did we undergo to have been able to become human, and not remain like chimps? What are the origins for art, language, different sexual behavior, genocide, drug use? Do they have origins in other animals?
- Cannibals and Kings - Marvin Harris (8.5)
Marvin Harris tells you why some of us don’t eat beef, why some of us don’t eat pigs, why certain cultures grew around rivers, why we had infanticide, why we had warfare, etc. A lot of it depends on availability and consumption of food by the populations. A must read for everyone who wants to understand how humans lived, and why we have certain practices even now.
- Don't Know Much About History - Kenneth C. Davis [6.0]
A great read on American history. It is written in the form of Questions and Answers making history fun to read.
- A History of God - Karen Armstrong (6.0)
God was never the same for all people and at all times. Definition of God changed with time and place. The monotheistic god of the three Abrahamic religions also evolved with time. It is a tedious but interesting book on origin of various gods and how they became popular. Describes how a personal and religious god has come into existence affecting our societies, our histories and our psyche.
- Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (6.0)
Malcolm Gladwell takes up ordinary topics and gives different insight into understanding them. Successful people don’t come out of nowhere. They have certain advantages and would have had extra opportunities that others don’t have. Also, success doesn’t come easy for anyone. For example, success comes in a field after putting a total of 10,000 hours in that field - either it is Bill Gates or Mozart.
- The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell (5.0)
- Blink - Malcolm Gladwell (2.0)
- Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (6.0)
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (7.0)
- The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order - Samuel P. Huntington (7.0)
- Science: A History: - John Gribbin (9.0)
- Good to Great - Jim Collins (7.0)
- Built to Last - Jim Collins (6.0)
- Competing for the Future - Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad (6.5)
- Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins (8.5)
- God Delusion - Richard Dawkins (9.0)
- The Blind Watchmaker - Richard Dawkins (6.5)
- Unweaving the Rainbow - Richard Dawkins (6.0)
- A Devil's Chaplain - Richard Dawkins (6.5)
- God Is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens (6.5)
- A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking (8.5)
- Argumentative Indian – Amartya Sen (5.0)
- The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan (9.5)
- Cosmos - Carl Sagan (8.0)
- The Dragons of Eden - Carl Sagan (4.5)
- Broca's Brain -Carl Sagan (4.5)
- Freedom at Midnight - Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins (9.0)
- Is Paris Burning - Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins (5.5)
- Mila 18 - Leon Uris (6.5)
- Exodus - Leon Uris (5.0)
- Fermat's Enigma - Simon Singh and John Lynch (6.5)
- Big Bang – Simon Singh (7.5)
- The Code Book – Simon Singh (4.5)
- The Emperor's New Mind - Roger Penrose (7.0)
- Prophets Facing Backward - Meera Nanda (6.0)
- The Rise of the West - William H. McNeill (4.5)
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - William L. Shirer (7.5)
- Hitler - Alan Bullock (3.5)
- Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler (3.0)
- A Passion for Excellence - Nancy Austin and Thomas J Peters (4.5)
- In Search of Excellence - Thomas J. Peters (4.5)
- Only the Paranoid Survive - Andrew S. Grove (5.0)
- iWoz - Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith (5.5)
- The Art of the Start - Guy Kawasaki (6.0)
- Reality Check - Guy Kawasaki (5.5)
- India Unbound - Gurcharan Das (5.5)
- The World Is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman (3.0)
- Lords of Finance - Liaquat Ahamed (5.5)
- The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior - Paul Strathern (4.5)
- The Ascent of Money - Niall Ferguson (6.5)
- Gödel, Escher, Bach - Douglas R. Hofstadter
- The Secret Life of Salvador Dali - Salvador Dali