Thursday, 5 January 2017

Books I read in 2016

This book list of what I read in 2016 in inspired by a similar list by Kishore Mahadevan (after prompts in earlier years by Ramanan Jagannathan and Jeyannathann Karunanithi )
First I list English books, by category. The Tamil books are listed at the end - a very short list, sadly.
I have blogged, recently, or in the past, about things i have learnt or enjoyed from these books. The web links marked in this essay are for such essays in my blogs NOT the books themselves.


  • The Age of Tirugnanasambanda by Sundaram Pillai
  • Ten Tamil Idylls by Sundaram Pillai
  • History of the Tamils by PT Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Pre Aryan Tamil Culture by PT Srinivasa Iyengar
  • Augustan Age of Tamils by S Krishnaswamy Iyengar
  • Origin of the Tamil Vellalas by Tamby Pillai
  • 2000 Years of Mamallapuram by NS Ramaswami
  • Pallava Art by Michael Lockwood
  • Seven pagodas on the Coromandel Coast by Captain MW Carr
  • Pattadakkal by ASI
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern world by Jack Weatherford
  • Kanchi - The City of temples by Narayanswami
  • Mamallapuram THT Site Seminar Source Book by S Swaminathan

History - (read parts)

  • Madras Literary Society by NS Ramaswami
  • South Indian Inscriptions Vol I
  • The Ancient Art of Writing (Selections from History of Chinese Calligraphy)
  • The Art and Aesthetics of Form (Selections from History of Chinese Painting)
  • The Penguin Book of Modern Indian speeches
  • The Story of the Stupa by AH Longhurst
  • Ancient history of the Deccan by Jouveau Dubreuil
  • The history of Tinnevelly by Robert Caldwell
  • Madras Journal of Literature and Science
  • A Short History of Russia by Mary Platt Parmele

Grammar (read parts)



  • Around the Moon by Jules Verne
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne
  • Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
  • Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Tales from Kathasarit sagara (Amar Chitra Katha)
  • Great Sanskrit plays (Amar Chitra Katha)
  • Jataka Tales (Amar Chitra Katha)
  • Calvin and Hobbes (several books)

  • Panchatantra by Arthur Ryder (partly)
  • The Four Million by O Henry (partly)


  • Benjamin Franklin by Edmund Morgan
  • My Life and Work by Henry Ford
  • Edison, His Life and Inventions by Frank Lewis Dyer & Thomas Commerford Martin
  • James Watt by Andrew Carnegie
  • The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
  • Tubes by Andrew Blum
  • The Cavendish Laboratory by Egon Larsen
  • Creating the Twentieth Century by Vaclav Smil


  • The Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould
  • The Demon under the Microscope by Thomas Hager
  • Oxygen by Nick Lane
  • The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling

Biology (read partly)

  • Contributions to the theory of Natural Selection by Alfred Russel Wallace
  • On the study of Zoology by Thomas Henry Huxley
  • The Naturalist on the River Amazons by Henry Bates
  • Life's Engines: How Microbes made earth habitable by Paul Falkowski


  • How to Fail at almost everything and still win Big by Scott Adams
  • What I saw at the Revolution - My years in the Reagan era by Peggy Noonan

General (read partly)

  • Lives of the Ancient Grecians and Romans by Plutarch
  • The Spirit of Japan by Rabindranath Tagore
  • Dreams to Automobiles by Len Larson
  • The Early History of the Airplane by Orville and Wilbur Wright

Chemistry (all read partly)

  • Vital Forces by Graeme Hunter
  • Familiar Letters on Chemistry by Frieherr von Justus Leibig
  • Experiments and Observations on Different kinds of Air by Joseph Priestley
  • Elements of chemistry by Antoine Lavoisier

Tamil (all read partly)

  • Purananooru commentary by UVe Swaminatha Iyer
  • Silappadikaram commentary by UVe Swaminatha Iyer
  • Madrasapatnam by KRA Narasiah
  • Paalarril oru Pagarkanavu - essays by Kalki
  • Magaraajanai Iru - essays by Kalki
  • Mamallapuram 2010 by R Nagaswamy
  • Thillaiyil oru Kolllaikkaaran by Anusha Venkatesh
  • Payana Katturai - Mamallapuram - by Kalki
  • Pullamangai by S Vasanthi

I read quite a number of things online (several in Wikipedia), including long essays. Scott Adams' blog was perhaps the most mind-altering.

No comments:

Post a Comment