I have read several books over the years but few have had the kind of impact that these three book have had on my life and thinking. They have permeated my conscious so well that I vouch for their readability and the incredibility all the time. They should definitely be read by any serious reader/bibliophile.
The Emperor of All Maladies
By Siddhartha Mukherjee
I chanced upon this book about 6 years back based on a recommendation by a friend. I was also curious given that it had also won the 2011 Pulitzer prize. Written by an Indian born American oncologist and physician, I picked it up to kill some time at an airport shop.
The author, a cancer doctor himself, draws upon the numerous cases he has dealt with in his career. He talks of the oscillation of cancer-ridden patients between hope and hopelessness. The book projects hundreds of questions that pop up in the mind of a patient diagnosed with cancer, the helplessness experienced by families and the struggle to come to terms with the malady.
The book however swept me off my feet. It was a lucid and gripping biography of one of the most feared, mysterious and as yet unconquered enemy of the human body – CANCER.
Weaved into these individual stories, Siddharth traces the possible origins of this ravaging disease in history, the numerous futile attempts made by humans to tame the disease and how we may never be able to find a cure for this malady.
- The writing style is simple, captivating and never boring for even a minute
- The author speaks of past efforts and the advanced of modern medicine in trying to crush cancer.
- He gives the biography a personal touch by sprinkling his writing with real life cases.
- You will end the book with a real appreciation of why cancer has proved to be so difficult to tame and a heap of knowledge on this ravaging malady.
- It is just so amazingly written that you will wonder why did you not chance upon it before.
By Yuval Noah Harari
Sapiens is one of the most recent books I completed. My gaze fell on this book at Sapna Book Store, Bengaluru 4 months back. Never heard of it till then. Out of curiosity, I picked up the book and read the inner flaps. That prompted me to start Chapter 1 of the book and within 10 minutes, I had decided to purchase the book.
Fast forward 3 months, I was recommending the book to every person I met. It is a must read for any person who is innately curious about man’s rise to fame on this planet. It talks of his rise in the food chain to become the most dominant species on the planet. The writing style is extremely captivating and the author does not bore you with unnecessary statistics to prove a point. However, the line of argument is based on solid evidence that is presented in an easy to grasp manner.
- It answers some fundamental questions on man’s journey from the moment he first landed on the scene about 1.5 million year ago to the modern day.
- It talks of 3 big revolutions along the way. The author goes on to state that while we are tempted to think that it was pure luck and fate that we evolved the way we have, it is not really true. He argues that every action of ours set us up to go in a particular direction and it was almost inevitable we could have gone any other way.
- The book gives a vast spectrum of valuable insights and new perspectives that will leave you with – “Why didn’t this occur to me?”
- It enhances your general appreciation of everyday life as we live it.
By Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
A book that has not lost its ability to wow you even 80 years after its publication. Written by the man known to the world for the two incredible weapons that he used to wrest India away from British control, this book is his autobiography. It is a chronicle of life experienced by him in first person reporting.
- The book makes for easy reading and it will leave you wondering as quoted by Einstein, “Generations will wonder if a man like Gandhi really walked on Earth in flesh and blood”.
- It gives some rare insights into moments of Indian history.
- A lot of debates on the relevance of Gandhi in today’s age can be thrown into the dustbin as you discover the man first hand.
- Why he did what he did when he did it – Answers from the horse’s mouth.