I managed to read 35 books in 2013. Not as much as I had wanted but still more than I had read last year and the year before. Except for one or two, I found all of these books very interesting and knowledge-enhancing. And here are the top 17 of them. I found these books particularly interesting and recommend my readers not to miss them:
1.India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age by Gurcharan Das
I had heard so much about this book and yet had not been able to get my hands on it. Therefore, it was the first book I sought and read last year. Das, a brilliant businessman and a gifted writer, recounts India journey from its independence from British colonial masters in 1947 to independence from its internal elite masters in 1991 and its transformation from an impoverished centrally planned economy into a wildly growing vibrant free-market economy. Das has done a remarkable job of explaining how Nehru's socialist dreams and his daughter's actions ended up choking every entrepreneurial urges in India, what a businessman's life was like during the "license-permit raaj" and how the reforms of 1990s were initiated and what they have achieved so far. If only, half of the Nepalese who spend time blaming India for Nepal's woes read this book and learned about India own struggles, I guess Nepal would have been a different place.
2. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mouborgne
This book kinda challenges what you have learned about competition and strategies so far. The book discusses about a new strategy, 'Blue Ocean Strategy' which is in contrast to prevailing Red Ocean Strategy where competitors have turned the ocean red with each other's blood. In Blue Ocean Strategy, you disregard the prevailing assumption about your sector and industry and try to create an entirely new market for your products or services. If implemented properly Blue Ocean Strategy would turn the competition completely irrelevant. The book has included a few examples of what blue ocean strategy is like in practice and you can Google for more case studies. All of the case studies are very very interesting. I did have several aha moments. This is a must read book for any aspiring entrepreneur!
3. The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves by James Tooley
4. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood
5. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry