The best books that I read in 2016

Since this is a time of lists and more lists, I’m adding my list to the lists.

These are the best books that I read in 2016, not the books that were published in 2016. In the order that I remember them now.

  1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (my review): I read it twice and I’ll probably go back to it again.
  2. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald: About training a hawk (goshawk actually) to deal with the aftermath of her father’s death. Riveting book
  3. The Heretics by Will Storr: I need to review this book at some point but until that point suffice to say that this is a brilliant, thought-provoking, well-researched, fascinating book .
  4. Woodsmoke and Leaf Cups by Madhu Ramnath (my tweet about book): A masterpiece of anthropological reporting, which, sadly, according to the publisher did not do well.
  5. Nickel and Damned by Barbara Ehrenreich: Quite an old book actually buy but still relevant. A reporter goes undercover doing minimum-wage jobs and documents the hardships that she faces.
  6. Technopoly by Neil Postman: The sub-title of the book is “The Surrender of Culture to Technology”. Another one that I must review and another that is just brilliant.
  7. Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer: If you eat “non vegetarian” food, as we Indian’s call it, this is a book that you should read. Excellent book, thought-provoking, and disturbing to meat eaters everywhere, myself included.
  8. Cod by Mark Kurlansky: You would think the story of a fish being fished would not be that interesting and you would be wrong. Cod is a masterpiece.
  9. Liar’s Club* by Mary Carr: Breathtaking, heartbreaking memoir. Transports you to the world of Carr’s childhood. I could not put this book down.
  10. The Watcher by Charles Maclean: The first (and so far only) fiction book on this list. I bought this book because of a Guardian recommendation and I was not disappointed. The writing was phenomenal, the story and suspense simply gripping. I finished this in a day or so I think.
  11. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson: If you are on social media, this is a must read. If you aren’t, it is still a must read for knowing about the culture of shaming that exists online today.
  12. Essentialism by Greg McKeown: Essentialism is about the “disciplined pursuit of less”. Essential reading for our “I want it all” age.
  13. Give and Take by Adam Grant: Fascinating book about givers and takers.
  14. Things That Can and Cannot be Said by John Cusack, Arundathi Roy et al: Short, but super sweet (my tweet about book)

It’s late and this is all from memory, so I’m stopping now. If I missed something else that I read and found really good, I’ll update the list. Or not. Oh, the suspense.

* – [4-Jun-17] Corrected this based on a feedback via Twitter

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