Book Review

Reading List for 2014

As the year draws to a close, I recount my first blog  of 2013 where I had listed a few books which I had intended to read.

  1.  A History of South India from Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar – KA Nilakanta Sastri
  2. India Grows at Night: A liberal case for a strong state – Gurcharan Das
  3. India Unbound
  4. India after Gandhi: The history of the world’s largest democracy Ramachandra Guha


The above listed books are four of the twenty books I had listed, which I had completed. Despite not reading the other 16, I in fact, managed read a decent number of many other books. It is my bad that I did not list them properly. May be I should I have done it. Rookie mistakes are so annoying! (Read that in Frank Underwood’s voice.)

I have made a list for 2014 – a mixed bag of books dominated by non-fictions . The list is pretty long and I intend finish reading them, because the topics are so interesting. I am going to list them here based on various genres.

2014 – Reading List

Self Development and Human Psychology

  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  2. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
  3. Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project (epub)
  4. The Irrational Bundle – Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty
  5. Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Daniel Pink -Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  7. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers – VS Ramachandran
  8. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Paperback) Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein


International Relations and World History

  1. The End of History and The Last Man by Francis Fukuyama
  2. The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman
  3. Why Nations Fail – The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty
  4. Forbidden Nation – A History of Taiwan Jonanthan Manthorpe
  5. Liberal Fascism The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning Jonah Goldberg
  6. Glimpses of World History Jawaharlal Nehru
  7. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – William L. Shirer
  8. The World Until Yesterday – What Can We Learn from Traditional Socities – Jared Diamond
  9. Currency Wars – The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards
  10. Mao’s Great Famine – The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958 – 62 – Frank Dikotter
  11. D- Day The Battle For Normany by Antony Beevor
  12. Lawrence in Arabia, War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East – Scott Anderson
  13. The Darker Nations A People’s History of the Third World- Vijay Prashad
  14. The Revenge of Geography Robert Kaplan
  15. On Liberty – John Stuart Mill
  16. Water for Sale: How Business and the Market Can Resolve the World’s Water Crisis by Fredrik Segerfeldt
  17. China A History (Paperback) by John Keay
  18. The Prabhakaran Saga by S. Murari
  19. Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple


Must Read Books on International Relations and World History

  1. Jared Diamond – Guns, Germs, and Steel–The Fates of Human Societies
  2. Karl Polanyi – The Great Transformation
  3. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics – John J. Mearsheimer
  4. Man, the State and War – A Theoretical Analysis – Kenneth N Walktz
  5. Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis
  6. Red Capitalism The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary by Carl E Walter and Fraser J T Howie
  7. Seeing Like a State How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed + James Scott
  8. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics John J Mearsheimer
  9. Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand


Specialised History

  1. The Age of Oil: The Mythology, History, and Future of the World’s Most Controversial Resource [Leonardo Maugeri]
  2. Plutonium A History of The World’s Most Dangerous Element
  3. Salt a World History
  4. Spice – Jack Turner
  5. The Prize – The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power by Daniel Yergin
  6. The Emporer of All Maladies – A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  7. The Nothing That Is – A Natural History Of Zero   Robert Kaplan


Military, Wars and Conflict

  1. On Killing – The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman
  2. Confronting Tyranny Ancient Lessons for Global Politics Edited by Toivo Koivukoski and David Edward Tabachnick
  3. The Origins of Violence Religion, History and Genocide by John Docker
  4. Dirty Dealing – The Untold Truth About Global Money Laundering, International Crime and Terrorism – Peter Lilley
  5. Terrorism and Global Disorder  Political Violence in the Contemporary World by Adrian Guelke
  6. Enemy Combatants, Terrorism, and Armed Conflicts A Guide to the Issues – Edited by David K. Linnan
  7. The Psychology of Terrorism – John Horgan
  8. The Mind of The Terrorist – The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to al-Qaeda


Books on Pakistan

  1. Pakistan: A New History Ian Talbot
  2. Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan – M J Akbar
  3. Magnificent Delusions Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding
  4. The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the Demand for Pakistan; by Ayesha Jalal
  5. Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan, by Hector Bolitho
  6. Jinnah of Pakistan, by Stanley Wolpert
  7. Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic identity: the Search for Saladin; by Akbar S. Ahmed
  8. The Idea of Pakistan, by Stephen P. Cohen
  9. The Oxford Companion to Pakistani History Edited by Ayesha Jalal
  10. The Murder of History: A Critique of History Textbooks Used in Pakistan by K.K. Aziz
  11. New Perspectives on Pakistan Visions for the Future Edited, by Saeed Shafqat
  12. The Enigma That is Pakistan : Travel Memoirs from the ‘Land of the Pure’  Shivendra Kumar Singh
  13. Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb  by Feroz Hassan Khan



  1. Conversations with Myself – Nelson Mandela
  2. Basic Writings of Nietzsche [trans. Kaufmann]
  3. Midnight’s Children
  4. Haruki Murakami – Hear the Wind Sing, Pinball, 1973, A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood




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