- A gentleman in Moscow (by Amor Towles)
Based during times of the Russian Revolution, this is a very poetic, refreshing and positive read. Taught me about the importance of freedom, friendships and little pleasures of life!
- Siddhartha (by Herman Hesse)
Story of a man who is in search of enlightenment. And his quest takes him to explore very different types of lives. Each life teaches him more about himself. Reading this was like an inner dialogue.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (by Gabriel Marquez)
This was a surprising read. I was really drawn to the world of Macondo and the Buendía family. This book really stirred my emotions and kept me depressed for a couple of days post its completion.
- To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee)
A story told from a perspective of a little kid and set in Southern State of America. I loved the dialogues, and idealism and struggle of the protagonist, Atticus.
This line by him going to stay with me forever — “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
- Hard things about Hard things (by Ben Horowitz)
What Atticus talked about Courage above, is displayed by Ben Horowitz. He has been through an amazing struggle building a startup and has poured his heart out in this book. I really loved the practical learnings about running a startup on a day to day basis.
- Trillion Dollar Coach (by Eric Schmidt)
This is the story of Bill Campbell, who was an advisor to legendary folks like — Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. Bill was known to bring human elements in his leadership and was loved and respected by everyone. This book talks about his life, practices, and philosophy of Bill Campbell. Reading it made me understand the importance to act as a coach, rather than a manager, and how to really bring care into leadership.
- The score takes care of itself (by Bill Walsh)
Bill Walsh was a legendary American football coach, who joined dismal performing 49ers, and turned it into NFL champions multiple times. His approach to leadership was tough, no non-sense and effective. There are some timeless principles that can be applied to business scenarios. I really loved the concept of — ‘standard of performances’ applicable to every member of the team. But at the same time, I found lots of things which were not conceptual, just motivational jargon. So after the first 30% of the book, I couldn’t learn more things.