Recommendations: List of Things to Read, Listen and Watch

Posted on Jul 4, 2024

All the ones marked * are freely available at the link.

This will be updated over time.

The following is the grand list of recommendations from me. Currently, it has reading, listening, and watching recommendations. It may be updated with other recs, but I can’t promise. The last time I posted a Rec-List was three years ago on my father’s birthday.

Read 📑

Short Reads

Short Stories Collections

  1. Axiomatic by Greg Egan (Well-thought-out Sci-Fi stories)
  2. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang1 (Anything written by Ted Chiang must be read)
  3. Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang
  4. Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen
  5. The Very Best of R.K. Narayan by R.K. Narayan

Short Stories

  1. The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich*
  2. The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
  3. प्रेमचंद के फटे जूते by हरिशंकर परसाई

Thoughtful Non-fiction

  1. Meditations on Moloch by Scott Alexander*
  2. Travelling at the Speed of the Soul by Nick Hunt*
  3. The Art of Chicken Sexing by Richard Horsey*

Hindi / Urdu / Hindustani2

  1. बकर पुराण by अजीत भारती
  2. Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto*


  1. If by Rudyard Kipling*
  2. Geetanjali by Rabindranath Tagore*
  3. Howl by Allen Ginsberg* (Especially this part.)
  4. I’ve an channel for this.

Long Reads

Story Books (Fiction/Historical Fiction)

  1. Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar
  2. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  3. The Humans by Matt Haig
  4. Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami


  1. City of Djinns by William Dalrymple


  1. Panchatantra by Vishnusharma (Translated by Nilanjana S. Roy)
  2. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  3. Dhammapada (Buddha’s Poems, Translated by Gil Fronsdal) Audio-version
  4. The Art of Living (on Vipassana) by William Hart*
  5. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson*
  6. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Listen 🎧


The Empire podcast covers the British Empire, Roman Empire, Ashoka’s Empire, etc., and their impact on India and Asia. The episodes are phenomenal, detailed, and cover aspects of history that I had no clue about! I’ve written about Warren Hastings and Robert Clive based on what I listened to here. I’d recommend the first seven episodes in a row about the East India Company, 1857 rebellion, Gandhi3, Jinnah (Founding Father of Pakistan), Mountbatten (Last Viceroy of India), and Partition of India and birth of Pakistan.


Gilgamesh’s Audiobook translated by Stephen Mitchell (an excellent translator by the way4) and recited by George Guidall is so good.

Watch 📽️


Apple TV+

  1. Severance (What if you separated your work half from the other half?)
  2. Prehistoric Planet (An unreal documentary on dinosaurs)
  3. Extrapolations (What if we breach the 1.5 °C temperature goal, imagined from NYC, SF, Mumbai, and more)


  1. Three Body Problem (A very good Sci-Fi series based on a Chinese novel)
  2. Thermae Romae Novae (A Roman bath architect time-travels to modern Japan for inspiration, an anime)

Link to this list:

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  1. The movie “Arrival” was based on his short story “Story of Your Life”. You might be able to find individual stories if you’d like. “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”, “Hell Is the Absence of God”, “Tower of Babylon”, and “Understand” are great starts. “Understand” is my favorite.↩︎

  2. I started collecting some Hindustani vocabulary that might interest you:↩︎

  3. On a sidenote, I’ve never respected anyone more than Mahatma Gandhi. No one has valued truth and the personal search for it through experiments like him. No one before him, and no one since him.↩︎

  4. Someone says “all translations are opinionated”. Then I guess what I’m saying is our opinions match.↩︎