1) “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, by Mark Twain: Reading Tom Sawyer was the most exciting experience of my childhood. By the time I was 10 I had read it dozens of times, and one particular section hundreds of times. Unfortunately, my copy of the book got destroyed accidentally. I haven’t read it since then. I would really like to read it once again, and see how it feels.
2) “A collection of Russian short stories”: I especially liked the story of Alyosha, a school boy who was gifted a magical red seed which would help him master all school material without even going through them.
3) “In the Land of Bull Fight” by Ramavarma: I had loved this travelogue of a researcher in Spain.
4) “For Your Own Good” by Alice Miller: I read it in my late teens. It was the most passionate attack on parental propaganda which I have ever read.
5) “48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene: Brilliantly researched and perfect in its immorality.
6) “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Green: Another brilliantly researched book by the same author which is as immoral as it can get.
7) “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” by Ayn Rand: I picked it up from a road side book stall because the title appealed to me. I was studying Economics at that time, and made it a point to read everything on Capitalism. First I found the book dull, but soon I realized I was reading one of the greatest minds ever lived. Later I came to disagree with many flawed arguments, and was repulsed by the poor scholarship. But, this will always remain one of my favorites.
8 )“Economic Sophisms” by Frederic Bastiat: I found his Candle Makers petition quoted in Paul A Samuelson’s “Economics”, and I was excited like never before. It has the best arguments against protectionism which anyone has ever written and shall ever write.
9)“Human Action” by Ludwig Von Mises: I heard of Mises through the Liberty Fund website, which de0cribed him as an economist who thought all sorts of Government intervention causes unintended consequences. I was hooked for life. A classic, by my all time hero. If I had ever met him, I would have said what Howard Roark said to Henry Cameron: “If at the end of my life, I’ll be what you are today here, I shall consider it an honor that I could not have deserved.”
10)“The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand:The best novel I have ever read. It teaches one how to approach his career, with the highest integrity. I really loved the parts on Gail Wynand’s childhood and youth. I break down when Cameron ends his conversation with Roark. I also loved the way Howard Roark ended his court room speech. I felt sick when Dominique tells Wynand: “Gail, what a great journalist you could have been.” And I was never touched by anything more than what Mallory told Roark: “Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you–except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them, nothing, not even a sound they can recognize.”
11)“Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand:I absolutely loved the brilliant speeches and conversations. Especially, the way Francisco D’Anconia ended his speech on money: “Madame, when we’ll see men dying of starvation around us, your heart won’t be of any earthly use to save them. And I’m heartless enough to say that when you’ll scream, ‘But I didn’t know it!’—you will not be forgiven.”
12)“Man, Economy and State” by Murray Rothbard:Written with great clarity. It was my first proper introduction to anarchy, as a political philosophy. It has some of the best arguments against power.
13)“Education: Free and Compulsory” By Murray Rothbard: It strengthened my position on Homeschooling, and my contempt for formal education.
14)“The Market for Liberty” by Morris and Linda Tannehill: It made me a full fledged anarchist. It is one of the best introductory books written on anarchy.
15)“A Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” by Etienne de La Boetie:Who else could have written this?: “Tyrants would distribute largesse, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King!” The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.”
16)“The Failure of New Economics” by Henry Hazlitt: The best book ever written on Keynesian Economics. Brilliantly argued. I was speechless by the depth of Hazlitt’s scholarship, and the power of his arguments.
17)“Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics” by George Reisman:Written in simple prose, and actively pushes the case for Capitalism.
18)“Notes on Democracy” By H L Mencken: Wonderfully written. I have never enjoyed anything in the recent past as much as Mencken’s elitist views. I wonder why I had never read him before. He had a deep contempt for the unthinking masses, which I happen to share. He writes, (on the common man): “A politician by instinct and a statesman by divine right, he has never heard of “The Republic” or “Leviathan.” A Feinschmecker of pornography, he is unaware of Freud.”