The Reading Room

Each month a member of the team reviews a book of their choosing, irrelevant of genre or publishing date.

Slowly Down the Ganges

Eric Newby

Published: 1966, Hodder and Stoughton

On his forty-forth birthday, Eric Newby sets out to travel the 1,200-mile length of India’s holy river. In a misguided attempt to keep him out of trouble, Wanda, his wife, is to be his fellow boatwoman. Their plan is to begin in the great plain of Hardwar and finish in the Bay of Bengal, but the journey almost immediately becomes markedly slower and more treacherous than either had imagined.

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Ethical Dilemmas of a Civil Servant

Anil Swarup

Published: 2020, Unique Publishers

What are the challenges that hinders an officer’s pursuit of ethical conduct? Does it pay to remain ethical while the unethical, seemingly, rules the roost? These questions plague the thought process of every civil servant. This book is contextualises a framework that will help civil servants make a learned decision. It is an aid to help them find their moral compass.

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The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins

Published: 1868, reprinted by Penguin Classics (1998)

The Moonstone is one of the first true works of detective fiction, in which Wilkie Collins established the groundwork for the genre itself. The intricate plot and modern technique of multiple narrators made Wilkie Collins’s 1868 work a huge success in the Victorian sensation genre.

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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Published: 2010, Penguin

This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they’re impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalise them.

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Only the paranoid survive

Andrew S. Grove

Published: 1997, HarperCollins Business

How to exploit crisis points that challenge every company and career. The President and CEO of Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success.

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Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein

Published: 2019, Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House)

This book explores how to cultivate that broad range of knowledge, how to get diverse and inter-disciplinary experience in a world which is getting hyper-specialised.

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Atomic Habits

James Clear

Published: 2018, Penguin Random House

Atomic habits tries to explain how even tiny changes (as small as 1%) if done consistently can have a huge impact on eventual outcomes. Tiny habits performed everyday amplify your success. They help you grow into a person you wish to become.

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The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli

Published: 2018 (English edition), Penguin Books

Over the last 150 years, our understanding about time and space has undergone a radical transformation.In ‘The Order of Time’, the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, explores the illusion of time, calling it the “greatest mystery”.

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Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans

Melanie Mitchell

Published: 2019, Pelican

Questions such as will AI take over the world, cause mass unemployment, make humans obsolete or create a Marxist utopia feel like they are in abundance today.

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Investing – The last liberal art

Robert G. Hagstrom

Published: 2013, Columbia University Press

Liberal arts is a study of history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, psychology, creative arts and more. The objective of this book is to encourage investors to increase their knowledge of other disciplines in order to facilitate better decision…

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Merger Masters –Tales of Arbitrage

Kate Welling and Mario Gabelli

Published: 2018, Columbia Business School Publishing

Rather than being a technical tome, this book articulates the rewards and challenges of risk arbitrage through stories. Divided into two parts, the first runs through seventeen leading practitioners with a chapter allocated to each.

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Sea of Poppies

Amitav Ghosh

Published: 2008, Viking Press India

Sea of Poppies, a complex and magnificent tale, is an historical drama novel and part of the Ibis’ trilogy, novels written by Ghosh covering the opium trade between India and China during the first half of the 19th century.

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The Made-in-India Manager

R. Gopalakrishnan, Ranjan Banerjee

Published: 2018, Hachette India

With some of the world’s leading companies boasting Indian management, Gopalakrishnan and Banerjee’s book explores what it is that makes Indian born and bred managers so successful on a global scale.

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