I was posed the #10book challenge by my friend Swathi Prabhu and here is my attempt at listing 10 of the most wonderful books that I have cherished reading (coupled with some associated memories). It was so much fun going down memory lane and trying to decide the favourites to put in here (actually feeling guilty for some of the ones I had to cut – from Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman to Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes!)). I ended up selecting not more than 1 entry from each author just to force more diversity into the list (hard for me to do since I tend to read authors more than books). Thanks Swathi!

  1. Douglas HofstadterGEB (holds the record for the longest reading time of any book for me – took me 6 years to finish the darn thing. Can’t say “you won’t be able to put it down” for sure! But it’s poetry meets Theory of Computation, which I almost listed here as an entry by itself!)
  2. Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion (it was heart wrenching to not put The Ancestors Tale instead of this, but this one resonated too much with my thinking. But there you go, I have included it in the apology at least!)
  3. Kahlil GibranThe Prophet (yeah, yeah, I know…what’s this doing alongside “the god delusion”?…well technically this is just “spiritual” mumbo-jumbo and not “religious” so it’s OK by me. Love reading it every few years as a refresher)
  4. Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunnHalf the Sky (for opening my eyes with stark data to the terrifying state of women in the 21st century. After reading it you will start believing that gender equality will likely be a defining trend of the whole of the 21st century. It sends a shiver down your back when it first hits you.)
  5. Richard BachOne (just because too many folks put down Jonathan Livingston Seagull…well not really…this one really is a special book for me since for the time in my life when I read it, it was perfect…the memory of this book is like the dreaming of a dream!).
  6. Oliver SacksThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (it’s a classic collection of case studies by a doctor and yup – the title is accurate, so read it!)
  7. Ayn RandThe Fountainhead (Howard Roark – need I say more?)
  8. George OrwellAnimal Farm (a novel which was a revelation to me, on how political and artistic purpose can fuse together. I liked it more than even 1984 which itself is amazing)
  9. Roald DahlThe Collected Short Stories (for such magnificent short story writing – he’s the dark chocolate among my books and very inspirational to try and emulate)
  10. Assorted Urdu Poetry by Ghalib, Faiz, Sahir, Gulzaar, Javed Akhtar, Nida Fazli, Kaifi Azmi, Sheheryaar and Zakhmi (my dad’s takhallus)
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