Book Recommendations in the social media age should be taken with a grain of salt. One could be forgiven for thinking that all book recommendations are made with the altruistic purpose of sharing a good book. However, I am told that there are other factors in play: view count, likes, social approval. In other words, people recommend books that serve their purpose that don’t necessarily provide a good recommendation to the reader.

Not a problem! Enter The most truthful corner of the internet. Here, it goes without saying that if people recommend a book, it is a book that they enjoyed or benefited from. A book recommendation on therefore positively influences my chances of reading them. 

Here are five book recommendations from members that I greatly enjoyed:

  1. Book 1: Wonder R J Palacio

    This book was recommended to me by Hemanya Vashishtha. This book is about a boy Auggie Pullman whose face is deformed from birth, whose parents home-schooled him. His parents decide that he would receive a better education if he goes to a school, and they enroll him in a school. Most children don’t know how to be sensitive around a child who is different – and this leads to a lot of heartburns for Auggie. This book is unique in that it tells stories from the perspectives of various characters – including his elder sister, whose life is affected as a result of Auggie’s situation, but nobody pays attention to her troubles. 

    This is a truly poignant and heartwarming story, a must-read. I also watched the movie based on this book starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, and I greatly enjoyed the movie as well.

  2. Book 2: In Love With the World — Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

    This book was recommended to me via a WhatsApp Group by Ravi Trivedi Om. This book was first recommended to him by Lina in a comment in this article

    Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is the head of a monastery. He decides to take a three-year hiatus and live as a wandering monk. This book chronicles his initial days.

    An event as uneventful as a five-hour train ride to Varanasi was filled with remarkable and interesting thoughts. For starters, even after noticing his monk robes, not a single person bowed to him during the third class train ride! Which is a marked difference from life in the monastery, where everyone would treat him with the highest respect.

    He writes about his experiences living in the dormitory in Varanasi railway station before traveling to Kushinagar and staying in a guest house. One fine day he ran out of money and started begging for food. He got food poisoned and was close to dying. He chronicles his thoughts during his near-death experience in detail.

    In Love with the World is one of the finest books I’ve read, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

  3. Almanack of Naval Ravikant — Eric Jorgenson

    No one directly recommended this book, but Hetal Sonpal mentioned it in passing here. Aditya Shahi mentioned Naval Ravikant’s podcast in a comment. I had read about Naval Ravikant in Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans. Enough said. 

    This book is available for free at as a public service endeavour. This book is filled with one nugget after another. Naval Ravikant has come up with remarkable and groundbreaking thoughts, which he posted on Twitter, and Eric Jorgenson decided to compile them into this book.

    One point I took away from the book was the difference between wealth, money and status. Wealth is available for everyone, Naval says. Money is a currency to denote wealth and is also available for everyone. Status, however, comes at the downfall of others and is a zero-sum game (where for one person to win, another person has to lose). And he prefers not to engage in zero-sum games. 

    Another book that I can’t stop raving about, one I will undoubtedly revisit.

  4. No Rules Rules — Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

    Swamiji mentioned this book in the Walk the Dragon program, but this was explicitly recommended to me in a comment by Akshay Om. This book is about the principles upon which Netflix operates. Check out my review of this book here. Rishi Sridhar has written an excellent review of the book here

  5. The Journey Home — Radhanath Swami 

    Shalini Pandey mentioned The Journey Home in this article. Reading this book was a unique experience, which I have chronicled in detail here

If you’d like more recommendations from members, check out posts by Hetal Sonpal and Rishi Sridhar, who frequently write reviews of books they enjoyed. Check out this thread in the Q and A section that talks about the one book that changed people’s lives. Oh, and I write book reviews from time to time, do check out my earlier posts as well. 

Image Credit: Susan Q Yin from Unsplash