Books which have had lasting impact on me

1. Fools Die (1978) by Mario Puzo
I am an X in an indeterminate equation, the X that will terrify mankind as it voyages through a million galaxies. But no matter. That X is the rock upon which I stand.

2. Jnana Yoga (1899) by Swami Vivekananda
Read this when I was 12 year old non-believer and it made me realize that there could be a God even for me – not the so-called angry father God of Christian or Jews, not the so-called violent God of Muslims, nor the ever-blessing Hindu deities, but a God above all this, a God who could appeal to the very core of the intellect and spirit.

3. The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran (2009) by Robert Spencer
On why Ram is peaceful, philosophical and open-minded, while Rahim is violent, ruthless and a  close-minded, terrorizing bigot. And why he shaves his moustache but keeps a beard.

4. The Road to Serfdom (1940) by Friedrich Von Hayek
On the bullshit that is communism and socialism.

5. Easy way to Stop Smoking (1985) by Allen Carr
No gyan, no lecture on health (all smokers are aware of the health risks) – in simple term it explains how smoking affects the mind, the chemical process and all, and how it makes all smokers a slave. By the time I finished reading, I was a non-smoker (after 8 years of pack-a-day) and have remianed so for more than 2 years  I don’t want to be a slave.

6. The Intelligent Investor (1949) by Ben Graham
Explains investing in simple common sense terms. No hi-fi funda, no higher mathematics. It was relevant then, relevant today and shall continue to be relevant in the future.

7. Hindu Philosophy (1947) by Theos Bernard
A brief but very lucid exposition of the 6 systems of Hindu philosophy and also Kashmiri Shavism (Trika). I find it ironical that an American finally managed to explain in 100 pages, what traditional scholars have not managed with their volumes and volumes of commentaries.

8. Fooled by Randomness – The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (2005) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
While his tone may be grating and he may have grandiose ideas about himself, none can deny the importace of this book. Everything in world is random – we can work, results we cannot control. But we have to be prepared for the worst nonetheless. This book at one shot dispels myths like stock market predictions, economic forecasts, astrology, usefulness of normal distributions etc.

9. The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World (2012) by Daniel Yergin
On energy situation in the world, its history, current scenrio and future, and how the world is slowly moving away from dependence on middle-east and its ramifications.

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