So this is what my book shelf looks like right now:
I’m devouring books with demoniacal intensity and surprisingly, there is so much more for me to understand and assimilate. I’m not a know-it-all after all.
Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto and Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, for instance, reminded me of my rookie days when I was a cub reporter assigned to any assignment or beat cast away by the primadonas and dons. I had this checklist pasted on my cubicle with a list of rules that went something like:
- Don’t ask people for their sun signs at a press conference
- Always check names, dates and numbers
- Do not get personal
- Trust your instinct on what makes a good story
Needless to say I became a good reporter but a working drone #7777, and if any of you have read the Linked In post you know what I mean, else just read it and the comments as well.
Blink especially kicks in at a more subliminal level. Strewn with great examples Gladwell makes a case for intuition or ‘thin slicing’. Remember the times when you met a stranger at a party and knew within a few minutes of conversation that you have a connection or found yourself in a situation and knew something was off, perhaps sensed danger lurking.
And much before all the DIY books on what’s makes a great leader the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan had already cracked the code, and quite literally too.
I’m not one for historical fiction or history either (my college grades testify this) but Conn Igulden has me hooked with his Conqueror series.
Genghis united his tribes with a sense of purpose and then diffused the decision making authority to his trusted generals with at times catastrophic results, to his enemies that is. Again, this strategy is reflected in Blink where Gladwell gives a terrific example of a US Military War game that had the leader of the winning side set goals and the end result but give subordinates with a free hand to define and implement strategems that took them to the end goal.
After the Devotion of Suspect X comes the Salvation of a Saint and though the climax is not as gripping as the first book Keigo Higashino does a bang-up job of showing how poetic crime fiction prose can be. Lucid, it has all the symphony of a Zen garden orchestra.
And the book that got me started with this binge reading is Amitav Ghosh‘s The Hungry Tide. My fascination with the Sunderbans is greater now and I just hope to make that trip early next year.
Moral: You can Stay Stronger and Climb Higher, just read a book a day!!
Credits: Bambubhai Batliwala and a 60% discount on Flipkart 😉