Top of the Shelf

Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister

This year, I read Monsoon by Robert Kaplan, First Draft by BG Verghese, historian Tapan Raychaudhuri's autobiography The World in Our Time and the draft of the 12th Five Year Plan. The last has taken most of my reading time.

Pranab Mukherjee, President of india

I have just finished reading My Tryst with Justice by PN Bhagwati and am now reading Return of a King by William Dalrymple.

Akhilesh Yadav, UP chief minister

I am reading The Sword of Tipu Sultan by Bhagwan S Gidwani and it is the best book I have read this year, about the inspirational king with whom I share a nickname.

Jeet Thayil, author

Dom Moraes: Selected Poems edited by Ranjit Hoskote. A beautifully produced book, with a 77-page introduction, notes on each poem, and information that will delight the scholar as well as the lay reader. This book is a rarity: a serious appreciation of an Indian poet in his native country.

Taj Mahal Foxtrot by Naresh Fernandes.

Winner of the 2012 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, Fernandes took eight years to complete this book. With rare photos, a CD and a brisk encapsulation of the history of American jazz in Bombay, Taj Mahal Foxtrot is an archive and a museum disguised as a book.

Righteous Republic: The Political Foundation of Modern India by Ananya Vajpeyi. An unexpected look at how modern India was shaped by the imagination and reading of five pivotal figures: Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, Nehru and Ambedkar. An accomplished first book.

Ruchir Sharma, author

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The author is able to come up with some great concepts and after Black Swan I find the notion of "antifragile" very fascinating. He makes the point that it is quite possible to strengthen and grow under unforeseen and unwelcome circumstances.

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