My favourite books and authors. Top 45 non-law reads.

Many of you have reached out to me – over the years – seeking book recommendations, or asking me – who my favourite authors are.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve simply read enough in life to be equipped to suggest/recommend but, for what its worth, here are a few that I absolutely love.

These are the books and authors that have shaped my world-view and have had a lasting and transformative influence on me. (So, my friends and family, you know who to blame!)

Books/Authors arranged genre-wise.


  1. Walter Isaacson – Especially, Leonardo Da Vinci, Steve Jobs, and The Code Breakers.
  2. Andrew Roberts – Napoleon and Churchill.
  3. Ramachandra Guha – Gandhi 
  4. Barack Obama – his Autobiography. 
  5. Roy Jenkins – Churchill.  
  6. Ron Chernow – Alexander Hamilton. 
  7. Trevor Noah (Born a Crime!)  (Autobiography)

History (Particularly, narrative history!)

  1. Erik Larson (Splendid and the Vile (WW II), and Devil in the White City. I am reading the rest. I’ll read everything he’s ever written. Even his to-do list!) 
  2. Ben Macintyre (War History, primarily. Some of his best works: Spy and the Traitor, and Agent Sonya). 
  3. Yuval Noah Harari  (Sapiens, 21 Lessons. Desperately waiting for the next one!) 
  4. Will Durant (for everything he ever wrote!) 
  5. William Dalrymple (for his writings on the Mughals in India).


  1. Salman Rushdie  
  2. Arundhati Roy 
  3. Vikram Seth 
  4. George Orwell
  5. Julian Barnes
  6. Manu Joseph 
  7. Margaret Atwood.
  8. Shrilal Shukla
  9. Khalil Gibran
  10. Albert Camus
  11. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. Kazuo Ishiguro
  13. Amor Towles
  14. Ian McEwan
  15. Shashi Tharoor (The Great Indian Novel)
  16. Neil Gaiman


  1. David Sedaris (Funniest man alive!)
  2. PG Wodehouse. 
  3. Stephen Fry (there’s no one wittier!. Also – the best narrator of audio books, EVER!)
  4. Douglas Adams
  5. Allie Brosh (For the writing, and the illustrations!)
  6. Bill Bryson (Best story teller ever!)
  7. Oscar Wilde.
  8. Thomas Hathcart and Daniel Klein (for their outrageously funny- Plato and Platypus Walk into a Bar : Understanding Philosophy through Jokes)


  1. Sam Harris (Atheism, Spirituality, Thinking, and on Meditation) 
  2. Christopher Hitchens.
  3. Rolf Dobelli  (On better thinking!)
  4. Daniel Kahnemann (On better thinking!)
  5. Benjamin Dreyer (On English) 
  6. Siddhartha Mukherji
  7. Josy Joseph
  8. Malcolm Gladwell

And, last but not the least:

  1. Billy Collins
  2. Vikram Seth 
  3. David Whyte
  4. Gulzar

*In no particular order

PS : I’m mindful that my readings may not be diverse enough. Beginning this year, I’m making a conscious attempt to read outside my comfort zone and gather varying perspectives. Reality, after all, is often multi-sided.

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  1. S R Agarwal

    Respected Sir,

    “I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul in the modern world,” he said. “I’m saying it helps.”–Walter Mosley.

    Sir,I do know your reading habits and the abstract list is so well selected that if one Only Reads a Few Books in 2022,he should Read These.

    SIR,I request you to start writing books yourself and share yr condensed wisdom of years of thinking.

    Kind Regards/SR

    Liked by 1 person

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