Suggested Book Reads for a Beginner -II (Non Fiction)

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The second list of the Suggested Book Reads for a beginners focuses on non- fiction category. I must confess that the list by now way is exhaustive, as it is impossible to make a complete list. So, here is the list (in no particular order):

1. Built To Last by Jim Collins ( Business and Management): The book’s focus is on the fundamental differences between a great and an average company. Several examples from the real world are included to drive the differences.

2. Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch (Business and Management): The legendary Jack Welch talks about his career as the leader of GE. Simple language and simplified but valuable lessons.

3. Autobiography of Lee Iacocca (Business and Management): Lee Iacocca takes through his inspirational journey in Ford and Daimler Chrysler.

4. Made In America by Sam Walton (Business and Management): The autobiography of Sam Walton, the man who created the mammoth Wal-Mart.

5.  Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson (Business and Management):  Two Mice and Two humans, describes the commonly occurring challenges and issues in the workplace.

6. It happened Only in India by Kishor Biyani (Business and Management): Autobiography of the man behind Big Bazaar. The book is a simple read and it pertains to the Indian entrepreneur.

7. The Difficulty of Being Good by Gurcharan Das (Philosophy/Social): In a very unique fashion, Gurcharan Das – former CEO of P&G, analyses each character of Mahabharata in detail. He then draws the learnings from them and applies those learnings to answer the questions on moral and ethical dilemma existing in the contemporary world.

8. The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant (Philosophy): A concise overview on the great philosophers and their philosophy.

9. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda (Spirituality): A simple story which gives insight on the Indian way of spirituality and self realization. By the way, Steve Jobs was so mightily impressed with this book that he read it several times, and he gifted the copies of this book to friends and family. It is also considered to be his last gift to them.

10. Krishna: The Man and his Philosophy by Osho (Spirituality):  I am a Krishna Fan, and no better person to explain Krishna than Osho. In his book he has drawn comparisons between Krishna and other greats – Buddha and Mahavira.

11. It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong (Sports- Autobiography): Inspirational. I must say it is a bible of inspiration. Lance Armstrong talks about his fight with cancer and how he then went on to become the world champion in the most grueling sporting event of cycling.

12. Out of the Comfort Zone by Steve Waugh (Sports- Autobiography): The gritty Steve Waugh talks about his journey to greatness with several interesting anecdotes.

13. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (Finance): Through the life style of two people ‘rich dad’ and ‘poor dad’ Kiyosaki teaches the basic investing decisions and he management of the personal finances. The book is simple to understand.

14. Freakonomics by Dubner and Levitt (Economics): With very little technicalities the authors try to explore the hidden side of the common occurrences through the periscope of economics.

15.  Law for the Layman by M.J. Anthony (Legal): Overview of the laws to make a commoner aware about his rights and laws (India) affecting day to day life. One highly informative book.

16. Seven Habits of Highly Effective people by Stephen Covey (Self Help): One of the most recommended book of this genre. The chapters on Win-Win and First things First are my favorite.

17. The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma (Self Help):  A simple read. Read it long back but still remember the 21 day formula of doing a particular act to make it a habit and I still share it with others.

18. Glimpses of the World History by Jawaharlal Nehru (History): Collection of letters which Nehru sent from the prison to his daughter. In the letters he has, in a very simple manner, described the entire world history. The book is voluminous but the chapters are not very long and the language is simple.

19. Indian Unbound by Gurcharan Das (India/Economics): Gurcharan Das discusses the India’s economic journey post independence. It gives good insight on the Hindu Growth Rate period.

20.Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal (Entrepreneurship): A collection of the entrepreneurial journey of 25 IIM A pass outs. The book becomes monotonous after the first 5-6 chapters but it is insightful till then.


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