- Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman: Do you know those books that affect you in a way that you can never look at the world the same way again? This book was in that category.
- Foundation - Isaac Asimov: Now I know what the fuss about Asimov is all about.
- Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut: I've not had a list in the last three years that didn't feature Vonnegut.
- The Meadow - Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark: I already blogged about this one.
- The Longest Day - Cornelius Ryan: I'm not sure if it's the quality of the work or the momentousness of its subject - Normandy Landings - that elevates this book. We were driving through the Normandy coast visiting the beaches, coincidentally during the anniversary of the landings, while I was reading this book and that probably left a strong impression.
- The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach: I went from being an obsessive sports fan in my teens to one who came to view it as a big waste. This novel about a prodigal baseball player reminded me once again why sports viewing, in its chasing of the fleeting moments of magic and beauty, is so compelling. I almost forgave myself for all the wasted hours in front of the TV.
- Born to Run- Christopher McDougall: This one's a witty read even if you are not addicted to running. Reading about ultra runners made my pursuits of middle distances and half marathons look trivial. Meanwhile it also articulated why it's ok to surrender to the highs of long distance running. I shaved 4 minutes off my 10km timing just days after finishing the book.
- The Shining - Stephen King.
The second tier of recommendations
- Nudge - Richard Thaler
- Poor Economics - Abhijit Bannerjee and Esther Duflo
- American Pastoral - Philip Roth
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
- Magic of Reality - Richard Dawkins
- My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
There was only one book this year that I started but didn't finish: 'Change by Design' by Tim Brown. Another blog post on why I gave up on it.