Books to read during lockdown

10 days into the country-wide lock-down and I’m driving crazy already. The weirdest thoughts have start to cross my head. This morning I wondered if it qualifies for a house arrest and if it does, has there been a moment in history when governments of all the countries in the entire world conspired together to put the people on the planet in a house-arrest (Wouldn’t it be a great plot for a novel?). Should the criminals sentenced to house arrest be given an additional 21 days of sentence (It’s not fair if everyone is on a house arrest)?

But, what keeps me sane during such insane times is my books. So, I opened my Goodreads account, went through the list of all the books I’ve read so far and listed the ones I enjoyed the most. I thought it’d be a good idea to share these books with everyone as all of us seem to have all the time in the world to read one. The list below is not in any order of priority. I loved reading them all!

So, without any further ado, I present you my most cherished collection of books…

Cryptonomicon


 

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Almost 1200 pages long, this colossal novel jumps back and forth between two timelines. The first revolves around Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, a mathematical genius and young Captain in the United States Navy, assigned to detachment 2702 alongside Alan Turing. The detachment, commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe, is so secretive that only a handful of people like Churchill and Roosevelt know it exists. Their mission is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that allied intelligence has cracked the German Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the Shaftoe and his forces.

The second fast-forwards to the present, where Waterhouse’s crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a “data haven” in Southeast Asia – a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe’s tough-as-nails granddaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But, soon their scheme brings a massive conspiracy to light with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code.

 

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood


 

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

From the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, “Born a Crime” is hilarious, heartbreaking and a memoir told through a sympathetic lens. Moving from comedy to tragedy seamlessly, it’s a book of fascinating tales from Trevor Noah’s youth. He was born and raised in South Africa and being born half white and half black, the birth of an “illegal” union at the time of apartheid, he is “born a crime”.

I’ve been Trevor’s fan ever since I started watching his shows and after reading this book, I’m an even bigger fan.

 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind


 

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Why did apes start socialising? Why did our ancestors settle to farm fields and form villages? How did the entire human species collectively adopted a common understanding of how the money works? Did God create humans or did humans create the concept of the supreme one? Is happiness only a simple surge in the level of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin or is there more to it? How did we end up creating hatred for different genders, religions, races, castes and colours? How did we shift from living under the shades of forest trees to hierarchic and bureaucratic governments?

How did the insignificant apes turn themselves into dangerous, irresponsible and dissatisfied Gods capable of creating, manipulating and destroying life in ‘unnatural’ ways?

If you’re craving for knowledge, this book has some astonishing answers to some intriguing questions!

 

The Godfather


 

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

In a world where laws are broken, where the government is only a puppet, where murder is routine and safety a rare thing, Don Corleone holds all the strings. He is the avenging angel, the thief in the night, the protector of the poor, the warrior of the wops, the ultimate puppeteer. He is the loving father, the faithful husband. He is the Godfather.

“..for Justice, we must go to Don Corleone.”

This one is such a famous classic novel that it does not even need an introduction. I’ll leave you with that!

 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking


 

Quiet by Susan Cain

This book is a little special for me in a very special way. It is a fascinating book about the unwarranted prejudice that the society faces against introverts, how you can overcome that as an introvert and most importantly – get to know yourself better. This book helped me rediscover myself, re-evaluate my abilities and have a confidence that I always lacked. I cannot thank you enough, Susan, for this remarkable book. 

If you are reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up liking this book.

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