My Favourite Books of 2018

“Spending on books is not an expense, but an investment”

How I picked my next book has always been a matter of impulse or accident.

Sometimes I’d find myself at an airport with time to kill, so I buy a book. At times I see a lady at a coffee shop deeply engrossed in a novel and her accidental smile while reading it compels me to read it.

Or sometimes, I’m in a conversation with a friend and he casually mentions a book to argue a point. If I buy his argument, I buy the book too. Or it can be a random Reddit post that instinctively forces me to pick up a book.

I believe that unless you are preparing for an exam or any particular assignment, your reading should not be caged by rules. A friend once put it succinctly: the best book you should read next, irrespective of genre, is the one you can’t put down.

When 2018 began, I had an ambitious target of reading at least three books a month.

I was doing fine with my goal in the initial months. But when UPSC declared the results in April, my reading routine got completely upended. The immediate price I had to pay was my privacy.

Since then, for reasons beyond my control or comprehension, I couldn’t find as much solitude or reading time as I’d have liked. I was burdened with tasks I didn’t like or was engaged in public settings I didn’t enjoy. My time wasn’t mine anymore.

Though the number of books I had read this year is few, I’m glad that the limited number of books I had read were of remarkable quality.

In 2019, I plan to guard my time more assiduously: less of social gatherings and more of solitude; less of social media and more of reading and writing; less of doing things I don’t like and more of saying ‘No’ to people.

Anyway, here’s the list of my favourite books of 2018.


10. The Entrepreneurial State – Mariana Mazzucato

Mariana challenges a widely held myth that holds government as an impediment to innovation. Through fascinating examples from history, she argues how the state held the mantle as a lead innovator in bringing out path-breaking technologies such as the internet, GPS and the touch screen— all of which make an iPhone for what it is. Apple rightfully gets the credit for building an innovative product, but the government rarely gets any recognition. This book seeks to correct that bias. It is an essential read for those who see government expenditure on risky technologies as a zero sum game in conflict with social welfare. If you believe India shouldn’t send space missions to Mars because we are a poor country, this book makes you rethink.

“Arguably, there is not a single key technology behind the iPhone that has not been State-funded.”

9. The Better Angels of Our Nature – Steven Pinker

I’ve had this intuition that the most violent period in human history must be the 20th century that saw unimaginable human suffering in two brutal world wars. Turns out I’m wrong.

Our ancestors lived amidst incomparable violence, barbarism, and bloodshed. As a percentage of population, the number of deaths in all of 20th century are fewer compared to previous eras. What accounts for this steady decline in violence and what can we learn from it?

This 800-page opus from Steven Pinker narrates the history of violence in humanity. Starting with hunter-gatherers to modern societies, through extensive data in page after page, Pinker forwards one core argument: There is a continuous decline in violence and this is not a coincidence.

Delving deep into human nature and combining research from genetics, criminology and psychology Pinker puts forth his thesis on what drives us to be violent, what caused its decline, why we turned empathetic over time, and how do we make our peace enduring. The book is a long read, but an essential one.

“As one becomes aware of the decline of violence, the world begins to look different. The past seems less innocent; the present less sinister.”

8. Billionaire Raj – James Crabtree

India witnessed searing growth rates during the mid-2000s, thanks to low interest rates, a generous inflow of foreign capital and huge private investment. Crabtree argues that this period also led to a rapid rise of a billionaire class, concentrating wealth and entrenching corporate power.

When the 2G and Coal scam unravelled, it was evident that some of this corporate wealth was built not because they added true value to the economy, but because some crony capitalists could bend the rules and strike dodgy deals. Crabtree writes eloquently on the rise of such crony capitalists, and their link to political corruption.

The book made me think that perhaps it’s the illegitimate funding that drives much of the political corruption and criminalisation. State funding of elections is an option we should seriously consider.

Crabtree’s writing is brilliant as he weaves interesting anecdotes seamlessly into the larger narrative. Especially the chapter on Ambani and his residence Antilia is incredibly fascinating.

“Measured relative to gross domestic product, India came second only to Russia for the proportion of national wealth held by its very richest people.”

7. Deep Work – Cal Newport

None of us can stand in a queue for 10 seconds without pulling out our phones from pockets. When we speak to the person in front of us, our peripheral vision is always on our mobiles, ruminating at the back of our mind about a random instagram notification.

In this book, Cal Newport argues that in such an ever-distracted world drowning in irrelevant information, what is becoming increasingly rare is deep work: the ability to focus on a mentally demanding task for a sustained period of time. Deep work’s benefits in a knowledge economy is priceless.

I loved the fact that he doesn’t preach cliches, but meticulously teaches concrete strategies to make deep work as part of our daily routine. Irrespective of our professions, I believe ability to work with focus is an important meta skill we can cultivate to improve our productivity and creativity.

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Scientist Csikszentmihalyi calls this mental state “flow”. Most people assume that relaxation makes them happy. We want to work less and spend more time in the hammock. But the results from scientific studies reveal that most people have this wrong. When measured empirically, people were happier at work and less happy relaxing than they suspected. The more the number of ‘flow’ experiences in a given week, the higher the subject’s life satisfaction. Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.”

6. Emperor of All Maladies – Siddhartha Mukherjee

Humans have long dreamt of conquering cancer, often declaring victory, only to see the disease rise again in more virulent forms. It’s only with recent advances in genetics and immunotherapy that we are coming to grips with its complexity. Siddhartha Mukherjee brilliantly documents this long journey of cancer from being a disease that perplexed humans to now, where we have a measure of control over it.

love when experts in a specific field explain complex topics in simple words, shorn of jargon, in a way accessible to the general public. Mukherjee does this job remarkably well. His writing is lucid, precise and punctuated with many moving, and harrowing real life stories.

Books like these kill my hunger for fiction. You get to savour great writing, and reap knowledge— both at once.

“If we seek immortality, then so, too, in a rather perverse sense, does the cancer cell.”

5. Enlightenment Now – Steven Pinker

For much of human history, our species has been afflicted with war, famine and pestilence. People routinely killed each other, died of hunger and the lives of masses were crushed under drudgery and tyranny.

But it’s only in the past four centuries that we see a remarkable improvement in the quality of life. Pinker attributes it to three factors— science, reason, and humanism. Science helped us discover our ignorance, the ability to reason made us question religious authority as the source of truth, and humanism filled us with empathy and respect toward other human beings (subsequently including other sentient species too).

He asserts that progress is not a vague concept as many social scientists have us believe. Progress is something we can measure objectively to prove that the world is getting better. 

Of course there is much suffering still, and much work yet to be done to build fair and just societies. But our incredible journey from primitives apes to civilisation builders and the attributes that helped us being here should serve as our guiding lights.

“What is progress? You might think that the question is so subjective and culturally relative as to be forever unanswerable. In fact, it’s one of the easier questions to answer. Most people agree that life is better than death. Health is better than sickness. Sustenance is better than hunger. Abundance is better than poverty. Peace is better than war. Freedom is better than tyranny. Equal rights are better than bigotry and discrimination. Knowledge is better than ignorance. Happiness is better than misery. Opportunities to enjoy family, friends, culture, and nature are better than drudgery and monotony. All these things can be measured. If they have increased over time, that is progress.”

4. The Origin of Species- Charles Darwin

Once I saw this video of David Attenborough describing Charles Darwin, I had to buy this book. As you read it, you see what an eloquent writer Darwin was. To put a discovery of such magnitude in clear language and familiar terms is no mean task.

And here’s my favourite passage from the book:

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

3. Bad Blood – John Carreyrou

Narrative nonfiction doesn’t get better than this. It’s a startup story, but reads like a thriller. Carreyrou documents the rise and fall of Theranos, a silicon valley startup founded to build portable blood testing machines. During its heyday, the company attracted venture capitalists in droves, valuing the company at $9B. The media covered its founder Elizabeth Holmes with adulation, calling her the female Steve Jobs.

But the truth was, for more than a decade, the company just lied— to the investors, government and the public. The company operated in a climate of secrecy and intimidation, its founder Elizabeth Holmes at the forefront of such fraud. All it took to expose this huge scandal was one journalist with integrity. The unraveling of Theranos  holds a larger lesson for us: To be skeptical about the rapid rise of startup unicorns, especially in tech.

Apart from the story, the best thing about the book is Carreyrou’s writing style. It’s sharp, precise and always racing at a breathless pace. A joy to read.

“The way Theranos is operating is like trying to build a bus while you’re driving the bus. Someone is going to get killed.”

2. The Blank Slate – Steven Pinker

Are we a product of our genes or environment? There’s little doubt that both play a part. But the question on which of these play a major role is fiercely contested in science. The nature – nurture debate has always been marked by rancour, misunderstanding and deep political bias.

In this astonishing work, Pinker takes on political hot buttons and discusses the role of nature in race and gender,  IQ and parenting, art and violence. Reasoned and persuasive, this book has changed many of my strong beliefs. The research he cites to support his arguments, especially the identical twin studies is absolutely riveting.

The book is humbling in the way it compels us to acknowledge our primal nature, and from that realisation that we are not blank slates, it pushes us to find solutions.

“Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.”

1. A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

This is the first book I read this year and also the best. It tells the story of an ill-tempered, grumpy old man. Ove is honest, likes rules and routines. He is generally unimpressed by people, because he thinks they are too lazy or plain stupid.

We are taken on Ove’s personal journey filled with love, loss, humor and grief. One of those books that makes you smile gleefully even when you are in a public setting. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Just read this wonderful description of Ove and his wife.

“Ove understood things he could see and touch. Cement and concrete. Glass and steel. Tools. Things one could figure out. He understood right angles and clear instruction manuals. Assembly models and drawings. Things one could draw on paper. He was a man of black and white. And she was colour. All the colour he had.”

What have been your favorite books? What books did you enjoy reading and what made you like them? List those books in the comments, and maybe I’ll pick up a couple of them.


128 thoughts on “My Favourite Books of 2018

  1. Xperiac

    Rightly said!!!
    Sir can u pls mention the chptrs to read for prelims economs from ramesh singh book.

  2. Anonymous

    Add these to your reading list as well
    21 lessons for 21st century – y.n.harari

    Globalization and it’s discontent – joseph stiglitz

    Educated by tara westover

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      21 lessons by Harari was a disappointment for me. Didn’t like it as much as his earlier books– Sapiens and Homo Deus.

      Thanks for suggesting ‘Educated.’ Bill Gates was all praise for it. Must be a great read.

      1. dileep

        “I am Malala”

  3. Yogesh Tompe

    Rightly sadisir. Solitude allows u to do the things which u luv. Public gatherings could give u fame but not inner satisfaction.
    N thanks for the book list sir.

  4. Sruthi

    This is a great list! I read A man called Ove last year and it was heartwarming, to say the least.
    These are some of the books that I enjoyed this year –
    Becoming by Michelle Obama
    The hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy
    Dear Ijeawele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions
    Lifting the veil- selected writings of Ismat Chughtai
    Twenty love poems and a song of despair
    Amrutam kurisina ratri by Deverakonda Balagangadhar Tilak (still reading, it’s blowing my mind)
    The essential Rumi.

    Let me know if you’ve read and enjoyed any of these. 🙂
    Here’s wishing you a quieter and more intellectually stimulating new year 🙂

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Hitchhiker is my all time favourite. The rest I haven’t read.

      Thank you for the recommendations!

  5. Anonymous

    Hello Sir, I am working professional and I wanted to check with you how to start of preparing UpSC exam. Please guide me.

  6. Anonymous

    When breath becomes air -Paul kalanithi

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Read it last year. A beautiful, moving read.

  7. Ramanan M

    The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
    Why because rather than stating principles alone, the freeflow thoughts of author was motivating factor.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’ve read it, thank you.

      1. Tejasvi

        Myself Tejasvi from hazaribag jharkhand. I’m big fan of you. I’m knowing you last 13 days.I want to contact you but I have no fb,insta,twitter etc . I’m not interested in that also I have no right for that. Please reply and say how I contact you. I think something wrong in me. So please replay me once in 8757453927.After 2 to 3 days erase that comment .
        Thank you

        1. Tejasvi

          I’m waiting for your reply. Please reply

  8. शुभम शर्मा (@Curiousbrahmin)

    Hello sir, really enjoyed reading your reviews. I am not a voracious reader like you but I try to read whenever i get time. I would recommend Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. It is about a guy named holden caulfeild who is living a very complex life and this book gives us message that we should never loose HOPE.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Man, I started reading it a couple of years ago, but couldn’t move past the first 10 pages.

      Maybe I’ll have to try again. Thanks!

  9. Anonymous

    Dis all fictional novels or non fictional novels plz reply

  10. Anonymous

    Thank you sir for giving us the list and the short summary why you like these books.

  11. Beenaveni sravanSra

    ‘The secret’ by rhonda byrne was one of the best best book to get control over mind and to improve the abilities and capabilities of our mind, if u’ve time just read this bro.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you.

    2. Anonymous

      This book is bullshit I think…focus on real stuff instead of having Hollow fantasy

  12. Ravi shankar

    Great expectations — charles dickens
    A breif history of time — Stephen Hawking
    All quiet on the western front–Erich marie remarque.
    War and peace — leo Tolstoy.

    These are some of the books that coincidentally turned out to be fruitful after making a novice choice.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Read the first two. Good books. Thank you for the suggestions.

  13. manoharreddymadaka

    I Think two books which I found interesting are Brain the story of You by David Eagleman and Justice By Michael Sandel

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Cool. Will check it out.

      1. manoharreddymadaka

        By the way thanks for the reply sir

  14. Anonymous

    The monk who sold his Ferrari – Robin Sharma

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Sure, thanks.

  15. Anonymous

    Thnk u sir for sharing this book list,and my favourite of 2018 was a simple and beautiful memoir Burried Thoughts

  16. Shriya Dasgupta

    Please read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I believe you’ll love it since you like A Man Called Ove. My favourite read from last year.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Umm, I think I’ll like this book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  17. Laharika

    THE ALCHEMIST by paulo Coelho and LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT by preeti shenoy… Not this year sir.. But they have been my favourite all time.. First one is fiction and second one is a semi fiction..

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author


    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Man, so many books! ?

  18. Soumya

    ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Brian L .Weiss.
    This book will take away all the fears of our life sir.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you ?

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’m too old to read it now.

      1. Anonymous

        Age is just a number. 😀

  19. Mohit Onkar Singh

    Books read 2018
    NCERT old and new
    Rajiv ahir
    Bipin chandra
    Shankar IAS environment
    nitin singhania
    Geography optional savinder singh etc
    #bookmarkered would read your list post my selection.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Great going. All the best, Mohit.


    the epistemological explanation of why u read is something i resonate with ABSOLUTELY. the writer —The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, NICHOLAS CARR,( ANY READ O HIS )
    -Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal
    Eugene Soltes
    -Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
    Robin Dunbar, Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar
    -Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
    Robert M. Sapolsky

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      From the list I can surmise that we have a similar reading taste. Wonderful recommendations, Bhavik.

      Thank you!


        thank you sir wish to see more articles on books & ideas will recommend one last writer
        The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t
        Book by Nate Silver happy reading
        thank you

  21. Shelley

    When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – Non fiction autobiography.
    The Zahir by Paulo Coelho – Fiction
    Animal Farm by George Orwell – Fiction

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Barring Coleho’s book, I read the remaining two. Fantastic books.

      I see that there are a lot of Coelho fans among the readers here.

      1. Shelley

        Give it a try once, you won’t regret.

  22. Sai Priya

    Well, Im not a great reader. But..
    • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho made me
    finish it within 3days. It’s quite motivating for
    those who want to acheive their dreams.
    • “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by
    Joseph Murphy.
    • On your suggestion I bought “Sapiens”.


    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Cool, thank you.

  23. subashini

    every year upsc toppers change,but anudeep sir is the one who create landmark by continually supporting people in all aspects of life…thank u sir …u r really inspirational, gud human by heart..keep on writing more things in different aspects…

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author


  24. Focus9

    One book that is very close to me – it was the only book that I could completely connect with-

    Quiet – the Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      From the title, I think I already like the book. Will surely pick it up.

      Thank you, Focus9.

  25. Jampani Sayyad

    అన్న reservations ippudu makundedi 40% e anna. Ma nana teacher Income thakkuve kani illu undi. Endhi anna maku e karma, India lo undatam kante chanipovatam melu anipisthundi. Jai Telangana ani kotladi thechukunnam. Samajam ante istam undatam valle kadanna kotladindi. Ippudu ade samajam thokkesthunte em cheyalanna memu.

  26. Anonymous

    Sir , where have you been posted in TS ? You havent mentioned in any if your social account

  27. Anonymous

    the power of now

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Good books there. Hope you best your 2018 record this year. Good luck!

  28. Learner

    Sir Your blogs always are always engaging.

    Right now I am reading “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. This short poetic book will surely draw your attention.

    On the same context with this book, There is commentary given by OSHO

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you.

  29. Learner

    That commentary is compiled in the book named “The Messiah”.

    Sir, Once go through The Prophet, Whenever you get time.


  30. prajna dwivedi

    The two i read in 2018 were 1.The monk who sold his ferrari by Robin Sharma, it explains how one well-off, heavy earning man in the US turns to find the real meaning of life in Himalyas of India.
    And 2nd was Varanasi-the city of lights, by Diana L. Eck, it has presented Varanasi in an altogether different perspective, unlike the usual ones written on the glory of the most ancient city of the world, it has some historic touch in it…

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Sounds interesting. Thanks!

      1. Prajna

        Don’t know how in my dreams I saw this reply from the genius himself, sorry for thanking late by more than a year, a reply from you always makes my day topper ?

  31. Anonymous

    Hi sir
    Please can I know if you study by reading aloud or in your mind ?

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      The latter.

  32. Ratika

    Hello sir ,

    First of all thankyou for starting this blog … You are such a great writer ..

    Sir .. i too love reading alot , like you do ..
    I am not here for suggesting a book or asking a doubt about upsc …

    I just want to ask you one thing that
    Have you read the book “secret”?

    Do you believe in law of attraction of this universe ? Does this really works ?
    Ila Tripathi ma’am and many more people suggested it !

    But I want to know about your views on this ?
    Have u ever felt it ?


    Hi Anudeep Brother. Should I read Lexicon or Vajiram & Ravi ethics printed material? Among the both which one is better. (This comment box is auto-correcting your name to DENUDE even after you’ve become a star**)

  34. Anonymous

    THE MAVERICKS OF MUSSOORIE Life in the corridors of power by M. RAMACHANDRAN

  35. Anonymous

    Hi, thanks for the valuable posts here, Check out the following if you haven’t already:

    The unbearable lightness of being- Milan Kundera (fascinating read about the invasion of czech republic told through fiction)

    Nudge- Richard Thaler (great book about How we make decisions and how we’re influenced in the modern age)

    Surely you’re joking, Mr feynman (Great insights on learning, teaching and life in the US during the second world war)

    Man’s search for meaning- Viktor Frankl

    Hope you find something of value here, Cheers!

  36. Anonymous


  37. Mohan Gowda (@mohangowda96)

    These are all Desi novels– THE BEST — translated to English.

    1. Jasmine Days – Novel by Benyamin —– Jasmine Days is set in a fictional Arab dictatorship, during the peak of the Arab Spring, and told from the perspective of a migrant worker (a radio jockey) from Kerala.

    2. Parva — SL Bhyrappa — is a brutal exploration of characters in the #Mahabharata — a deep, profound, gripping account that stays long after the book has seared through you.. Manbooker winner Arvind adiga has reviewed it here —

    3. Bara – U.R. Anantamurthy — Short – but excellent – novel set in a drought-hit village, featuring calculating politicians and a do-gooder IAS officer from the city. It was written during the Emergency, so that adds a bit of extra spice to proceedings.

    4. Aavarana: The veil — SL Bhyrappa –This is most sold out book in Kannada(now in English) It has a brilliant plot but often dubbed as ‘communal, this book raises important questions on how we read history—as also on identity and intellectual traditions, on appeasement politics, on civilizational conflict.

    5. Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaj — by Manu S Pillai (who is still 28 YO). It’s History but Manu makes a honest, lively attempt to tell the stories from deccan in a beautifulmanner. I suggest you to pick it up.

  38. purwarsaumya

    Sir ur posts r more motivating than any book for me…please keep writing…I m waiting for ur blogs eagerly

  39. saikrishna

    sir read mind power into the 21st century by john kehoe

  40. Anonymous

    Sir,Can you share your timetable which you have followed during your preparation..

  41. Anonymous

    I think I have some great read too…
    Essays by Montaigne
    Ordinary men by Christopher browning
    The beginning of infinity by David deutsch(lovely)
    Bad samaritans by ha joon Chang
    Collapse by Jared diamond
    Behave by Robert sapolsky
    Lord of flies by William Golding
    The rebel by Albert Camus
    The brothers karamazov by Dostoyevsky
    Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder (my favorite)

  42. Shewatabh Chatterjee

    1. The power of habits.
    2. Astrophysics for people in a hurry.
    3. Freakonomics.
    4. Kafka on the shore.
    5. The blind watchmaker.
    6. The elegant universe.
    7. Challenge and strategy- rethinking India’s foreifn policy.
    8. Thinking fast and slow.
    9. The last girl by Nadia Murad.
    10. 21 lessons for the 21st century.
    11. Crooked House.
    12. The unending game.
    13. The spy chronicles.
    14. India after Gandhi (reading)

    Can I get your goodreads account?

  43. Anonymous

    ” I am Malala”

  44. Chandana

    The sun does shine by Anthony ray Hinton. Real life story where Anthony ray was imprisoned for 30 years. It depicts the supreme power of choice.

  45. Anonymous

    add these books to your reading list as well
    1.the tangled tree – david quamenn.
    describes evolution,life history of humans.
    2.light of the stars by adam frank.
    explains how presence of life on other planets decides the fate of earth. democracies die by steven levitsky and daniel ziblatt.
    how elected leaders can gradually subvert the democratic processes to increase their power.

  46. Anonymous

    Today I feel so low because of I m preparing for govt job from past 9 years but I did not get good result…. I feel so low today…. I want to strt study again but my inner strength is so so so… Weak … I feel ab kuch nhi hoga ab ghrwalo k hisab se shadi kr lo…….. Its too late

  47. Anonymous

    I managed only 17 books last year. My goal was two a month, considering I am still studying for CSE. Is it foolhardy to continue leisure reading while preparing for the exam?
    PS: Born a crime – Trevor Noah was my favourite 🙂

  48. Anonymous

    Sir which books do you suggest for beginners who are just getting into the habit of book reading?

  49. Anonymous

    I am a New Reader, for Such Self Helping books, but I Read 3 Books in 2018, the Best one was “man search for meaning”, I think everybody must read this book to find a meaningful meaning of life.

  50. Hemant Kumar

    Sir, I have a request, can you please suggest all your follower books which is good in your eye and can help them in life, as a pure follower I expect it.

  51. kailash kemp sarswat

    Light from the many lamps. .by lillian eichler Watson is as a matter of fact worth reading book, has also been suggested by dr. kalam in his autobiography “wings of fire”
    and what about motivational books. ….
    Think and grow rich…
    the power of positive thinking….
    the secret..
    As a man thinketh…
    Everything Greatness …
    man the unknown…
    & many more sir, that have been gone through by you till now….?

  52. Sohana

    Born to run: A hidden tribe, superathletes and the greatest race the world has never seen – by Christopher Mc Dougall.

  53. Anonymous

    LAJJA – TASLIMA NASRIN yet i have read so far i recently started reading books and wanted to read one of you’rs fav book been in the state of regret reading books makes a person a bit changeable which i feel and appreciate sir.

  54. P Manish Rao

    Could you please provide us with your goodreads account details if you have one or else it would be of great help if you could create one.Thank you.Looking forward for your reply.

  55. Nitish Kumar

    Thanks for writing about your reading history.

    Here is my 2 suggestions. Hope you will like them.

    1. The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

    2. Mossad by Michael Bar Zohar and Nissim Mishal

  56. Munish Dogra

    Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

    Land of seven rivers: History of India’s Geography

    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

    Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins

    Gandhi is Gone, who Will Guide Us Now ?

    Thank you.

  57. BNS

    Hello Anudeep bro
    I am very much surprised that I found a person who studied books like Mindset, Sapiens, Homo Deus and I read them too. Please see my booklist at and you can get some book suggestions 🙂

  58. gaurav chauhan

    sir i have done only bsc and my age is 21 .i have not any experience of job and any certificate sir please tell me is it good time for prepare or i should take any good degree


    Please do share your 2019 collection of books which are focused on self improvisation!!
    I here your short but all in one speech (VisionIAS) every day.

    Thanking You
    A beginner.

  60. suman kasana

    2666 – Roberto Bolano
    History of the second world war – B Liddell hart

  61. Gunjan Koli

    Sir ,after reading the comments I want to know how many books have u read…since u have read every 2 nd book of recommendation..
    And I’m going to be 18 next month
    And I haven’t read even 18books out of my syllabus..u r inspiration sir….
    Would you please also tell me your pace at what you reading
    I’ve been searching on the upsc exam pattern and have watched the interview of many toppers..but you are someone who really have influenced my thoughts.
    And it making me avid to know about you more and more.
    Since I’m a kind of person who keep on reminiscing the past,most of time think of going back and fix my mistakes.even if they are not so big.
    But your hard work and perseverance made me to think that things happens in life…and we can live happily if we’ll accept them …nd will tie to make batter future tommorow

  62. Muhammad Akram

    Sir try to read My Name Is Red.. Orhan Pamuk

  63. Deepthi

    Dear Sir,
    I am writing this comment to just tell you how inspiring your posts are.. I am an aspirant and days get gloomy at times but just reading yours posts makes the day so much more better.. A lot of people must have already told you this but none the less.. I would say it once again.. Your writing style is so amazing.. And please write more..

    P.S : If I may suggest something.. Please read “Unposted Letters” by TT Rangarajan if you havent already..

  64. Suraj Tiwari

    Factfulness by Hans Rosling

  65. Suanlal Zou

    Some of the Books I read in 2018
    1. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.
    2. The Innovators by Walter Isaacson.
    3. Les Misérable (abridged) by Victor Hugo.
    4. Seven Decades of Independent India.
    5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

  66. Joy

    I do not know what kind of books you like – Fiction or non fiction. But i like story books, Novels and so on. The last novel i read was oedipus the king by Sophocles. Its a tragedy based story. hope u like it.

  67. Tejasvi

    Exactly I have no idea what I do.So now byyy

  68. Tejasvi

    Happy holi in advance and Good morning sir

  69. Hemanth

    The Life Of Mahatma Gandhi-Louis Fischer
    Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor

    Tilak kathalu- Devarakonda Bala Gangadhar Tilak (Telugu)
    Chivaraku Migiledi – Buchhi Babu.

  70. Rama Krishna

    Will surely read the book Deep work, as it looks like an answer for the most important question of my life….
    As you asked..
    The monk who sold his Ferrari—Robin Sharma
    This is a self help book.

  71. Anonymous


    Had Steven Pinker’s books in my to-read list. After reading this, I am definitely ordering at least two of his works asap. Thanks 🙂

  72. Ankur Goyal

    Sir, just want to know your way of reading and completing the above mentioned books- timewise distribution of chapters and how many hours a day or per week.

    Well a compliment: I have become a great fan of your english, how can you remember all these words… 😐 and had jotted down all the vocab of your whole blog in my diary

  73. SriHarsha Modukuri

    Before you Know it by John Bargh is a really great book. If you have to read one book that summarizes the modern findings on unconscious, read Before You Know it.
    A bit conservative and old time, Meditations and Letters from Stoic are excellent too.

  74. Khushi Singh

    Amish’s Shiva Trilogy and Ram Chandra Series. I would love to read a review of his books in your words.
    Apart, ‘The Book Thief’ — I feel you must have read it already but in case… cause this book is a must read.

    BTW you introduced me with Khaled Hosseini, thank you so much for that. Also for this list.

  75. Anu Sharma

    Good Collection! Thank you for sharing.

  76. Tejaswini singh

    Hii Sir,
    Good evening!!
    Sir your journy(falr to IAS) sch an insprtn 4 me but just want to know that hw can i strt preprtn with job…bcz i’m working..
    Specially- crrnt affr.
    N i don’t get any clarity from syllabut n prvus yrs papers..
    Plz suggest…


  77. Eeshu Saxena

    Inside the heart of hope – Rishabh Puri
    Flying without wings – Rishabh Puri
    They Both are about journey of protagonists from doubt and despair of a crippling disease to hope and happiness brought by faiths nd finding true love.

  78. karishmarawat1331

    I really liked your book suggestions.
    Sapiens and homo deus is my favourite till now.
    Will move ahead with these books also .

    Thank you mentor.

  79. Mrutunjay Hoskoti

    1 Fountainhead by Ayn Rand,
    If you already have read it ?
    Leave an opinion on it.

    2 who moved my cheese

    3 Mahashweta by Sudha Murthy, a heart breaking story of a woman.

  80. dhiraj singh

    The Blind Watch maker by Richard Dawkins.


    A breif history of time – “Stephen Hawking”
    The Alchamist – “Paulo Coelho”
    Dark Hourse” – Nilotpal Mrinal
    Kulee Line: – Jha
    “An Uncertain Glory” – Amritya Sen
    “StealFrame History of IAS: – Deepak Gupta
    “Godaan: – Munshi Premchand
    “Agani ki Udaan” – APJ Kalam
    Deep Work” Cal Newport
    Aughad” – Nilotpal Mrinal
    Monk who sold his Ferrari”

  82. Nobeline Thomas

    50 shades of Grey – E.L James

  83. snimavat

    It would be great if you share your goodread account… i am sure many of us would like to follow

  84. anonymous

    “Veronika decides to die” by paulo coelho

  85. Supraja

    Waiting for your favourite reads of 2019 🙂

  86. AJAY

    thanks for sharing,in next mail come up with the list of best books which you read last year.

  87. Tejesh

    As I have developed reading habbit durng lockdown, i have completed 5 books :-

    1.A thousand splendid suns by khaled hosseini [even though after completing this book your mind will revolve around this story and characters]

    2.and then there were none by agastha christe [crime and thriller book][semi fiction]

    3.tell me your dreams by sidney seldon [crime and thriller]

    4.A hound of baskervilles [as i missed this lesson in childhood, while teacher was explaining I was daydreaming??]

    5.Eternal silence of the gods by krishna jagan [pure fiction and the first novel i read]

    currently reading Ayn ryand – atlas shrugged.

  88. Kaleru Sai sadguru charanjee

    Book: It’s not you it’s biology


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