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Mentza Booker List 2021: Top 15

On the Book Club, in the course of over 30 weeks, we’ve listened to Mentza folks on the joys of reading, their favourite genres and most importantly having conversations on the books they had just finished reading and were keen to share. 

I think having a conversation about the book one has just finished reading is a sure shot way to internalise it. And on the Book Club, there are others who always add fresh perspectives and provide a new lens with their curiosities. Everyone who has ever been part of the Book Club echoes these feelings and you will find many of us just waiting to listen in or share. 

So at the end of December 2021, we requested our Mentza creators to share their favourite reads for the year. In a flash, we were presented with an expansive & eclectic list of 50 great books which we further worked on to chisel out to the top 15 and this is what we have for you here. The Mentza Booker List for 2021 (listen to the conversation here). What’s more awesome is that each of the 15 books will be up for a conversation in Jan 2022 by the Mentza Creator who had recommended it. January is the book lovers bonanza on Mentza!

Book Club proudly presents the top 15 Mentza Booker List 2021

“Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.”

2. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz

“Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.”

3. Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why it Matters by Steven Pinker 

“Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”

4. Yesterday’s Train to Nowhere by Krishna Rau

“This is a compilation of seventeen unique ‘feel good’ short stories inspired by real-life incidents that reflect the inimitable yet enchanting adventures of a young doctor newly commissioned into the medical corps of the Indian Army and posted to a remote military cantonment in the Northeast of the country four decades ago.”    

5. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant 

“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

6. The Right Choice: Resolving 10 Career Dilemmas for Extraordinary Success by Shiv Shivkumar 

“A successful career is not a straight line; it has many twists and turns where you are faced with difficult choices. Practical and inspiring, The Right Choice will help you navigate these difficult situations and win in your career.”

7. Wanderers, Kings and Merchants: The Story of India Through Its Languages by Peggy Noonan

“Languages are like those canaries that go with miners into dark paths that are full of danger. Like those canaries, they die first, long before we humans can sense that the air has begun to go bad. When languages die, it is an omen, of things to come that are still beyond our range of vision.”

8. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World by David Epstein

“The challenge we all face is how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience, interdisciplinary thinking, and delayed concentration in a world that increasingly incentivizes, even demands, hyperspecialization”

9. The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield 

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

10. India Moving: A History of Migration by Chinmay Tumbe 

“From adventure to indenture, martyrs to merchants, partition to plantations, from Kashmir to Kerala, Japan to Jamaica and beyond, the many facets of the great migrations of India and the world are mapped in India Moving, the first book of its kind. To understand how millions of people have moved from, to and within India.”

11. The Heretics: Adventures With The Enemies of Science by Will Storr 

“We go through our social lives convinced that everything we are saying, doing and feeling, is being closely examined by those around us even though, in reality, they are all preoccupied with themselves, equally convinced the spotlight is on them.”

12. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez 

“There is no such thing as a woman who doesn’t work. There is only a woman who isn’t paid for her work.”

13. Last Chance to See: In the footsteps of Douglas Adams by Mark Cawardine & Stephen Fry

“Nature admits no hierarchy of beauty or usefulness or importance.”

14. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai 

“In the world of his large family, affluent Tamils living in Colombo, Arjie is an oddity, a funny boy who prefers dressing as a girl to playing cricket with his brother. In ‘Funny Boy’ we follow the life of the family through Arjie’s eyes, as he comes to terms both with his own homosexuality and with the racism of the society in which he lives.” 

15. When Everybody Designs by Ezio Manzini 

“Design, in the most generic sense of the word, began over 2.5 million years ago when Homo Habilis manufactured the first tools. Human beings were designing well before we began to walk upright. Four hundred thousand years ago, we began to manufacture spears. By forty thousand years, we had moved up to specialized tools.”

Here is also the link to the Book Club Conversation on the Mentza Booker List 2021.

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