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This is a Living List of books I recommend, so expect it to get updated every few weeks. I have read every single book listed below
Foundation Series: Issac Asimov’s classic, this series is considered one of the best works in science fiction. It is an intricate multi generational plot that shows the birth, death, and rebirth of a civilisation with science and tech being the background of the story rather than the center piece
Remembrance of Earth’s Past: I was introduced to the works of Cixin Liu recently and have become an enormous fan. He is like a living legend and no one has grabbed my attention like his work except the work of great Asimov. His works pushes the boundary of what’s possible. Super heavy on tech and science. It consists of three books
Three body Problem, The dark Forest, Deaths End
The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy: Smart and funny. Who knew science fiction can be this funny.
Cracking the PM interview : I recommend this book even if you are not interviewing. I find this a good primer to what a product management role looks like
Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth : This was recommended by the CEO of a previous company and I have found it super helpful to think about interesting ideas and strategies to grow your startup
Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love: Pretty good commentary on how large product companies build products and also the role of product manager.
Tip:The hardcopy seems pretty expensive, but its available on audible, if you signup on audible you essentially get it for FREE
HBR’s 10 Must reads on Communication : Product Managers need to be great communicators. This collection of essays by HBR is a great read and can be referenced periodically
The Hard Thing about Hard Thing: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers : A fascinating read on how building a company is not an easy thing. I particularly loved the “Peace time CEO” and “War time CEO” analogy. Since Product managers are in centre of the storm many times, I think this book gives a great perspective which can be handy in your professional life
Also this is written by Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz. I am planning to read his new book What you do is who you are soon
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction: A great guide on how to write well. Written communication is super important for product managers and it pays to hone this craft
Elements of Style: Another book on writing. This book is fairly technical
Design of everyday things : A classic on basics of design. As product managers it is important to understand and appreciate the design process and this book is a good primer to help you understand what is design.
Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future: A book on startups and creating value by none other than Peter Thiel. Its interesting to see his take on “Monopoly can be good”
Brain : How our experiences shape the brain, and how the brain shapes us
Sapiens: A brief history of humankind : A thrilling read about how humanity evolved. My big takeaways were about how our society functions on multiple figments of imaginations and social constructs. Money, bank, government, and even morality don’t really exist, except in the shared imagination of all of humanity
A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes : When one of the most brilliant minds of our times, Stephen Hawking, explains science to common folks, you listen.
Elon Musk Biography: I mean of course.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Kindle Edition: This is a part memoir, part writing instruction by none other than Stephen King. I added this to inspirational section because it will inspire you to pick up a pen and start writing your own story
Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of Abdul Kalam: A very relatable book on how Ex President, and the Rocket man of India Dr Kalam rose from humble beginnings to international acclaim
The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.
Become better : Self help etc
Checklist manifesto: The power of a simple checklist. Post this book you would have new found respect for something so simple
Dale Carnegie:Art of public speaking: I was incredibly lucky to have come across Dale’s work early in my career . Becoming a better speaker will serve you well irrespective of what work you do.
Others – Fiction, Manga, Psychology, etc
The Little Prince: I really do not know how to describe this book. It is also one of the best selling books in history. This short book can be read by pretty much anyone of any age. You see a new meaning every time you pick this up, and I urge you to read this classic. Also this is my MOST gifted book, we gifted a copy of this book to every kid in my son’s day care on his birthday. Read this every few years
The Fault in our stars : It is considered “Young Fiction” and it brought me to tears, literally(No , I do not mean figuratively). They even made a movie of this book. I had written a book review on this many years ago
One Hundred Years of Solitude: Considered one of the finest works of literature ever, this book falls under the category of magical realism. It traces the journey of a family across many generations. An absolutely gripping story. I am not a big fan of fiction (except science), but this book kept me hooked till the very end.
Death Note: This is one of the most well known Japanese manga and is absolutely riveting
Complete Adventures of Feluda: Feluda is a detective series written by the great Satyajit Ray. Every story is an extremely gripping read and is in the same league as Sherlock Holmes, someone Satyajit ray was inspired by
The Google story: I swear I read this many years before I joined them :). Its a fascinating read on the birth of one of the most disruptive tech company of our times.
Surely you’re Joking Mr Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character: A biography of one of the most well knows physicist. This book is super fun to read
Short stories by Rabindranath Tagore: They say if there is an emotion, Tagore has a story on it. Tagore’s stories can seem simple, and his characters too real