5 Books to Read to Impress Anyone
Updated: Sep 27, 2020
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” ― Haruki Murakami
Murakami implores us to read widely and differently. We believe that these books will help you follow his calling:
This is How You Lose the Time War - Amal El-Mohtar
This poetic book is a story of two time-travelling agents representing their warring factions, who eventually fall in love. Although not expected in the genre of sci-fi, the prose is expressive and lyrical which beautifully brings out the trials and tribulations of our two lead characters and everything they do (engage in espionage, mess with timelines) to save their factions and their love.
Early Indians - by Tony Joseph
With groundbreaking results from the latest research on ancient DNA, this book attempts to finally answer questions such as, ‘what happened to the Harappans’, ‘what is the genetic lineage of Indians’, ‘where did our cultures come from’ and even some politically provocative ones like ‘is the Aryan invasion theory correct’, ‘were there repeated migrations into India’ and ‘the origins of Vedic culture’. Apart from ancient DNA, evidence from archaeology, anthropology and linguistics all point to similar answers.
Prisoners of Geography - by Tim Marshall
Putin, Xi Jinping, Middle East, the US and the NATO are playing a game of chess on a global chessboard. However, the rules in this game are mostly dictated by geography, the author argues. Countries are sometimes constrained by the length of their coastlines or by their belligerent, instable neighbours, and sometimes they get a boost by having lots of navigable rivers, fertile land, hubs in trade routes. This book is a tidy explainer of modern geopolitics.
Yuganta: The End of an Epoch -
An anthropologist’s take on the Mahabharata. Using a scientific, historical lens, the authors analyses this great epic’s characters, their motivations and whether the situations described in the story could have actually taken place. She discusses the role of Krishna, how we came to see him as a God, how the Pandavas could have been born of the gods, and how does ancient India’s caste structure ties into the kind of life Karna had to live and many other intriguing facets.
Kafka on the shore - by Haruki Murakami
Murakami has a distinct style of storytelling and is not liked by everyone. A novel about a teenage boy, Kafka who’s on a journey to escape an oedipal prophecy and a simpleton named Nakata who can talk to cats. Set in Japan, filled with elements of magical realism, where fish fall from the sky and rocks changing their weights, the story follows these two as their paths are intertwined across space and time. Honestly, not everything makes sense by the end, and there are windingly long descriptions of mundane activities, but loads of metaphors allow us to create our meanings within the story.