Goal updates 2012 – 21 Books read this year

Books read in 2012 - saad bhamla


My goal was to read 12 books this year. I read 12 books in 2011, so I thought that would be an apt goal to have.

I’m happy that looking back, I did more than what I set out to. I read almost double the number of books I planned to read.

It would have been wonderful to write a review of each and every book that I read, but sometimes after I finish reading a book, I’m so exhausted and full, that I don’t have the urge to write. And sometimes I have nothing to say. It was a great book, and it generated a lot of interesting thoughts, but the problem is that thoughts occur while your reading and not when you finish, so for a person like me, it’s very difficult to remember what I encountered a couple of weeks ago in the book. If I can figure out a trick to write a review for every book I read, that would be super awesome. I’ll work on this in 2013.

This year, I read a lot of science books. Carl Djerassi has become one of my new favorite authors. I’ve read 3 of his books so far – Cantor’s Dilemma, Bourbaki Gambit and Marx Deceased.

I had always wanted to read about the historical development of science – that wish got granted by Bill Bryson’s amazing book – A Short History of Nearly Everything. It took me the longest time to get through the book but it was worth it. How I wish I could find a similar book which describes the history of civilizations through time. And another one for religions through time. I think science is the easiest to logically write about because of the availability of literature and publications. Other things (like religion) are dependent more on interpretations and hence, are more difficult to summarize in one book.

When I was about to come to the US, my mentor (AKL) had given me three books as a gift to read – Ramanujan’s biography, The Other Side of Everest and J.R.D. Tata’s biography. I finished reading all of them this year and the first two were the most interesting books in my list.

For some time now, I had thought that I had lost interest in reading. But I think it’s safe to say, I’ve revived that interest. If I could name two people who I think have inspired me the most to enjoy reading again, it would undoubtedly be V (an 8-year-old geek) and Vivek Sharma (a professor and friend).

I think I’m ready to increase my goal from 12  to 33 for next year.


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