“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” - Anna Quindlen
Books are also the way the way in which we learn and grow. Yes, you can find information anywhere with a click of the mouse, but sit down with a book and you’ll have a first row seat to a story, a view into the author’s mind, a perspective on life moments that are not yours.
Over the past years, i’ve been captivated by many books, grown my physical and digital libraries to the brim, but have never adequately shared what I’ve read or the insights I’ve gathered. There’s no good in reading and keeping all the knowledge pent up inside.
On this page, you’ll find only three sentence summaries of books I’ve finished, because if I can’t finish it, it wasn’t worth reading. My hope from this list is that I inspire you to pick up a book and learn the joys of reading.
Summary: Life in Annawadi, a makeshift slum in the shadow of the Mumbai International Airport, is told through the eyes of three residents, Abdul, an enterprising teenager, Asha, a woman full of ambition with the hopes of making it to the middle class, and Kalu, the young thief. But when Abdul is falsely accused of a shocking tragedy, the slum is put into further chaos. Through these three storylines, you get an inside look into the suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy that are just below the surface in India.
Summary: To answer the question, "What should we have for dinner?" Michael Pollan follows three different food chains: the industrialized, the organic and the hunter-gather. At the heart of his discovery, lies the American monoculture of corn in the industrialized food chain, the slow-food movement that small farms are experimenting as an alternative food economy and the reality or unsustainability of hunting, foraging and cooking your food. Never has a seemingly simple question been so complicated to answer.
Summary: Becoming original is not the easiest path to make change, move the world or being happy, but through years of research and case studies, Adam Grant distills what make people originals. The book takes you through generating and recognizing novel ideas, voicing and champion original ideas, how to manage emotions throughout the process and as a leader, sparking others to come up with original ideas.
Summary: How will you measure your life to ensure you have a fulfilling career, choose the right spouse and stay out of jail? Coming out of chemotherapy, Clay Christensen gave a commencement speech at Harvard Business School about the discussions he had with his students over the years that answers these questions using business theory. Life is about understanding your capabilities, how resources flow and prioritization, which in turn motivates you to find that balance between work and family, and ultimately finding your purpose.
Summary: An unlikely, inseparable friendship between Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, two former Israeli soldiers, turns the worlds of both economics and psychology on its head with their theories about judgement and decision making. Through the years, their findings on cognitive biases, prospect theory and loss aversion has had great impact on clinical judgement, entrepreneurship, finance and sports (i.e. Moneyball) and lead to the creation of behavioral economics. Although their relationship deteriorated near the end because Amos was perceived to be the smarter of the two geniuses (and his ego lead him to believe that), their work together led Daniel Kahneman to win a Nobel Prize in 2002 after Amos's death.
Bonus: Read it for free through Amazon Prime on Kindle.