Some time ago, there was a facebook meme about 10 books:

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the great works of literature, just the ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends and me so I can see your list.

Over the fold, for archival purposes, are two lists — one general, the other economics related.


1. চাঁদের পাহাড় – বিভূতিভূষণ বন্দোপাধ্যায়

I read it when I was seven, and still get goosebumps reading it.  I should really finish this.

2. সোনার কেল্লা – সত্যজিত রায়

I think I read it when I was eight or nine.  It’s easily the best Feluda story, both in terms of adventure and mystery.  The movie is great too.

3. The Sign of the Four – Arthur Conan Doyle

Read when I was 12 or 13.  I prefer this over the other Holmes novel not only because of the adventure and mystery, but also the great Victorian London atmosphere.  Strangely, none of the screen adaptations have done justice.  Note to self: do a post on Holmes.

4. The Dogs of War – Frederick Forsyth

Read it at high school.  See here.  May have inspired this.

5. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond

First came across it while working at the university library.  This is arguably the most acclaimed ‘big book’ of the past quarter century, and justifiably so.  It’s as close to a ‘general theory of humanity’ you can get.

6. The Sacred and the Secular: Bengal Muslim Discourses, 1871-1977 – Tazeen M Murshed

Also came across while working at the university library.  It’s surprisingly little known, but it’s the book to read about the evolution of Bengali Muslims over the period between the mutiny and advent of Bangladesh.

7. Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám as translated by Edward FitzGerald

There are many versions, but my hard copy, found in a second hand bookshop in Sydney just after 9/11, is the one that has stayed with me.

8. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760 – Richard M Eaton

Came across it in Dhaka in 2001.  Should be read in conjunction with number six above.  Inspiration for this.

9. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Alan Moore

While Watchmen is the crowd favourite, and From Hell has London, this is the most intelligent mash up I’ve ever come across.

10. Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim – Ziauddin Sardar

Randomly came across it in a Border in 2005.  Felt as if I was reading about myself.


1. Macroeconomics – Rudiger Dornbusch and Stanley Fischer

Standard undergraduate textbook.  If you understand this and number three well, you’d have done a good job navigating the Great Recession.

2. Advanced Macroeconomics – David Romer

Standard graduate textbook.  Compulsory for passing PhD coursework in any good university.

3. International Economics: theory and policy – Paul Krugman and Maurice Obstfeld

Standard undergraduate textbook that should be studied with number one.  If you understand this and number one well, you’d have done a good job navigating the Great Recession.

4. Foundations of International Macroeconomics – Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff

Graduate version of one and three.

5. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: why some are so rich and some so poor – David Landes

The first of many such books on ‘why west and not the rest’, and still one of the best read.

6. The Commanding Heights: the battle for the world economy – Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw

A comprehensive global macroeconomic history to the early 2000s.

7. The Elusive Quest for Growth: economists’ adventures and misadventures in the tropics – William Easterly

An informed practioner’s account of development economics in practice.

8. Development, Geography, and Economic Theory – Paul Krugman

Best explanation of why economics is done the way it is.

9. Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: a story of economic discovery – David Warsh

History of economic growth.

10. World Bank World Development Report, 2009

Economic geography in practice.

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