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10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

Letting you in on an amazing booklist

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner
Photo by Vladimir Visotsky on Unsplash

You are missing out!

…if you haven’t read these awesome books.

Each of them will leave you in a state of deep reflection. You wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about what they taught you.

What are you waiting for? Let’s start reading.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

A book of hope when you are hopeless.

Frankl was a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. When he was released, he wrote this book.

Published in 1946, this book recounts Frankl’s experiences and reflections.

“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment.”

The author shares what he and his fellow prisoners endured. He offers us a non-black-and-white worldview. He tells us there were good and bad prisoners just like there were good and bad Nazi guards.

Frankl shares how a level of indifference was needed in order to survive the worst ordeals.

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day.”

The author teaches us to find our life’s meaning regardless of the circumstances we are in. He also shares the concept of logotherapy which focuses on the same.

I consider this book an important one. Everyone should read this because of the wisdom it offers.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

How can psychopaths be spotted and treated?

Jon Ronson is the writer of ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’, which I talked about in detail here.

Just like that book, this one also touches on a cerebral topic.

Jon Ronson researches psychopathy. He achieves this by talking to mental health professionals who have studied psychopaths. He also visits alleged psychopaths.

“I’ve always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn’t? What if it is built on insanity?”

Ronson discusses why psychopaths are the way they are. Most explanations hinge on something being innately off or childhood experiences that didn’t allow them to develop their social skills and empathy.

The author also tells us about the Hare checklist for diagnosing psychopaths.

“We don’t want obvious exploitation. We want smoke-and-mirrors exploitation.”

He discusses possible treatments including unconventional ones.

While discussing the media’s obsession with psychopaths, the author suggests that such an obsession is itself sociopathic.

“I would also say you can never reduce any person to a diagnostic label.”

Throughout the book, Ronson raises very interesting points. His question on the legitimacy of ‘experts’ who determine if someone is a psychopath is one of them.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

We need to reinvent our relationship with Earth.

We know how urgent it is that we stop hurting the earth through our unnatural and selfish ways.

This book reminds us of that. It tells us how the Earth keeps on giving to us, even when we are making it sick.

“The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know.”

The author is a botanist. Through her work and expertise, she makes us understand plants and trees.

She inspires us to build a reciprocal relationship with the land. To live in harmony with our surroundings. To respect and love the nature that surrounds us, regardless of where we are.

“What happens to nationalism, to political boundaries, when allegiance lies with winds and waters that know no boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold?”

The author also shares the indigenous rituals and practices of the Potawatomi tribe. She suggests combining them with science to live a sustainable lifestyle.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

The silent strength that introverts behold.

This book explores the introverted personality type.

The author herself was an introvert who struggled in the school’s loud environment.

“The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.”

She argues that the world is designed for extroverts. There is stimulation all around.

She tells us about an experiment done in 1967. A psychologist by the name of Hans Eysenck measured how much people salivated when lemon drops were put on their tongues. The results indicated that introverts generated more saliva than extroverts.

It means that introverts’ senses get stimulated more in response to the same stimuli.

While extroverts seek more outside stimulation, introverts prefer less of it.

“If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain.”

The author discusses many amazing skills and abilities that introverts bring to the table. Most of these are generally overlooked.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

Is science advanced by dead humans?

The author leads us on a long and winding road of history. She explores how human cadavers have been used and are still being used in research, scientific advancements, and more.

“The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken.”

Each chapter discusses a different way the cadavers serve the living. Some of the topics include dissection, plastic surgery practice, and use in crash tests.

The author also discusses moral and ethical dilemmas in these scenarios.

Roach also touches on organ donation and how it saves lives.

“We are all nature, all made of the same basic materials, with the same basic needs.”

We are similar to all the living things around us. We are made of the same materials.

The author says that it is best that we give ourselves back to Earth after we are dead.

This book is full of interesting information written in a light and humorous way.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

The lust for money gave birth to the opioid crisis.

This book discusses a sad part of history.

I am sure you are aware of big pharma issues, where industry profits hurt the public. Well, this is one of those cases.

This book explores the opioid crisis. According to the CDC, nearly 645,000 people have died between 1999 to 2021 due to opioid overdose.

“I would submit, sir, that you and your family are addicted to money.”

The Sackler family owned a pharmaceutical company. They invested in opioid research.

The company created an opioid painkiller, OxyContin. It was launched in 1996.

The company used aggressive marketing techniques ignoring the illegal use and the side effects of the drug on patients. The Sackler family also had a good relationship with the FDA. Wink wink!

“Often, companies will wait until the original patent has nearly run its course and then introduce some minor tweak to the product, thereby obtaining a new patent and effectively restarting the clock.”

The family was eventually sued but they evaded financial fines partly by filing for bankruptcy.

The Netflix documentary ‘Painkiller’ also discusses the same subject as this book.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

What happened on Mount Everest in May of 1996?

Krakauer was a journalist.

He got an assignment for the adventure magazine Outside. For this, he had to climb to the Everest base camp and report on the commercialization of Mount Everest.

But he changed his plans, trained hard, and joined the expedition to the summit.

“It was titillating to brush up against the enigma of mortality, to steal a glimpse across its forbidden frontier.”

The climbers were caught in a storm from 10 to 11 May 1996. 8 people died including the author’s guide Rob Hall.

The author constructs a detailed timeline of all the events. In the author’s view, the competition between various guide agencies sometimes leads to important security protocols being ignored.

“Once Everest was determined to be the highest summit on earth, it was only a matter of time before people decided that Everest needed to be climbed.”

The book discusses how this experience changed the author. He also discusses his feelings of survivor’s guilt.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

The story of America’s first serial killer.

This book tells us two intertwined stories.

One is that of Daniel Hudson Burnham who is chosen as the architect for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The festival took place from 5 May to 31 October 1893.

Burnham was selected alongside his partner who unfortunately died. Burnham continued to work hard to make the fair a unique and unparalleled spectacle.

“Beside his own person and his own interests, nothing is sacred to the psychopath.”

He also accepts a proposal for the world’s first Ferris wheel. The fair became successful.

The success is overshadowed by the unfortunate assassination of the mayor.

Alongside the fair, another story is being unfolded. Herman Mudgett, known as Dr. H.

H. Holmes owns a pharmacy near the fair site. Opposite it, he makes his hotel of horrors.

He rents out rooms in this hotel to many different people including women who come to work at the fair.

“For now, the tension was subtle, a vibration, like the inaudible cry of overstressed steel.”

But… What the victims don’t know is that the doctor wants to kill them. Many people are killed by H. H. Holmes but he goes unnoticed.

Holmes was finally arrested for fraud and that led to the discovery of murders. He was hanged on 7 May 1896 for his crimes.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

A neurosurgeon’s fight with cancer.

Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

In the face of his inevitable young death, Kalanithi wrote his memoir.

“Severe illness wasn’t life-altering, it was life-shattering. It felt less like an epiphany — a piercing burst of light, illuminating What Really Matters — and more like someone had just firebombed the path forward.”

He starts from his childhood. His mother was an exceptional lady who didn’t compromise on her children’s academic success.

Kalanithi studied biology and English. After that, he enrolled in medical school where he met and married his wife Lucy.

After his diagnosis, they decide to have a child. They have a daughter whom they name Cady.

“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”

At the time of Cady’s birth, Paul was rushed to ER but he was able to be by his wife’s side.

This book is full of reflections of a man who was staring death in the face.

10 Books So Good, I Would Travel Back in Time to Read Them Sooner

She’s dead but her cells live on.

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951.

She was undergoing treatment at Johns Hopkins. Unfortunately, she died

A sample of her tumor cells was collected and sent to the lab before her death. It was discovered that her cell sample didn’t die. Instead, the cells multiplied very quickly. They were immortal. They were named HeLa cells.

This book tells the story of HeLa cells.

“I’ve tried to imagine how she’d feel knowing that her cells went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity, or that they helped with some of the most important advances in medicine: the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization.”

Johns Hopkins shared samples of her cells (not sold) with other researchers. Soon these incredible cells were being multiplied in many labs. They were even sold.

Since then HeLa cells have been used in a wide range of scientific experiments and research. But the Lacks family was never informed. The family only came to know of this in 1973.

“Like I’m always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can’t do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times was different.”

The author explores the ethical and racial issues surrounding this incident.

The official statement by Johns Hopkins says that nothing illegal was done and samples were collected from other patients as well regardless of race and socioeconomic status.

This book tells a jaw-dropping story of a woman whose cells are helping the world even after 70 years.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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