10 Best Books of the Decade that I’ve Read

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As promised last week, to celebrate the new year and the new decade, I am doing a ‘Best of…’ series of topics close to my heart. My life revolves mostly around reading and writing, so I decided to start with the ten best books I’ve read in the past decade. This includes a mix of fiction and nonfiction, Indian and foreign authors, and is listed in the order in which I read them.

  1. Serious Men by Manu Joseph (2010)

One of the best books by an Indian author that I’ve read ever. Set in the world of science but with a healthy dash of casteism thrown in, it keeps the reader hooked. When certain characters turn out more devious than you expect, you find yourself surprisingly cheering them on.

  1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua (2011)

I don’t like some of the content of this book but I’ve blogged about it before and it clearly affected me more than I think. I see this book as a guide on how not to parent my children. My kids likely won’t turn out geniuses, but you know what? I’m ok with that. If you haven’t read this book, here’s an excerpt if you want to get your feet wet.

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (2015)

The best book for creative people that they can really relate to. I’d rate this as one for multiple readings, once a year every year, at a minimum for me. This Medium piece on lessons gleaned from the book might give you an impetus to spring for your own copy.

  1. The Circle by Dave Eggers (2013)

A novel based in the world of a company that mimics the setup of Google/Facebook/Amazon etc. I loved this more probably because its my field and I’m fascinated with everything tech, though the book has its fair share of flaws. I don’t usually love the movies sourced from books, but this one was not bad.

  1. Unbroken by Nadhika Nambi (2017)

I read the version of this book that’s published on the Juggernaut app. I have written about it and The Circle before in this post. Its one of the few books I’ve read that features a disabled protagonist, and I found it very moving the way she comes to terms with her condition.

  1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (2017)

What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? In addition to learning so much about Japanese–Korean culture, the story brought me to tears often. I have to read it again, but I need to mentally prepare myself before I do.

  1. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (2018)

I loved this book most because of its uniqueness. It’s a slim volume of fiction, and well-written also giving an insight into the lives of people in Lagos, Nigeria. The only flaw I can see is that some plot lines were quite convenient, and the main characters got away with a lot more than I expected them to. I also found the ending somewhat abrupt, but overall I enjoyed the humor in it more than most books I read recently.

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (2014)

I don’t read as much nonfiction as I’d like to, but I found this one particularly fascinating. I was a poor history student I’ll admit, so this book helped teach me a lot of the lessons I’d overlooked during my school years.

  1. Less by Andrew Sean Greer (2017)

This book won the Pulitzer and very deservedly so. I laughed throughout at this novel that is simultaneously about a gay male author wandering around the world and also a gentle spoof of novels of the same genre. I think this is the most highlighted book in my Kindle library – mainly because of the humorous passages!

  1. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (2018)

The latest book I’ve read that I can’t begin to describe. A young woman named Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford to set up her own company, that, she envisioned, would build a device to perform blood-testing and analysis small enough to be placed in people’s homes. Over the course of a decade and more, she apparently lied, manipulated and willfully defrauded investors by claiming her technology was ready when it really wasn’t. John Carreyrou is the journalist who unraveled this saga, and deserves kudos for it.

TL;DR: Brilliant book, crazy characters, ripe for a movie (coming up starring Jennifer Lawrence!). Watch out for the detailed review next week!

The above is based on my reading experiences only. And I’m sure there are ton of books out there that I’ve missed out on so your list may look quite different.

Which books would make your list? Any that you would recommend as must-reads?

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