#RoadTo2021: A&M Professionals share a Must-Read Books list for 2021

Books 2021

Encompassing fiction & non-fiction worlds, Social Samosa collates a list of books you should add to your 2021 reading list, with reasons. Happy Reading!

Irrespective of whether you hold them in your arms, add and click to your virtual carts or borrow the best from your friend’s personal library, each pick for a new year’s reading list is selected basis a multitude of reasons and usually go in sync with the kind of mood you wish to set for the year. So, after collating books on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Indian Social Media, we thought of opening up the stage to A&M Professionals, seeking suggestions of books one must read in 2021. Read on!


With each argument grounded in research and data, Invisible Women discusses varied issues and nudges people to think beyond the obvious and question their lives, environments and systems for true inclusion of women. Amit Misra, CEO, MSL South Asia feels it’s a must-read for 2021!


If you are someone who loves the lyrical combination of nights and music, you are bound to love Nocturnes. Anushka Maitra, Executive, 20:20 MSL shares her reason, “A quintet of short stories on love, music and nightfall, it is the perfect collection, where the author takes his readers on a journey into the passage of time, longing and nostalgia, reminding them of the bittersweet, simple struggles of life in a musically-structured fashion.”


Exploring themes of fantasy and adventure, Battle Mage is a story of Falco Dante. He is a young boy who tackles obstacles to get over his lack of confidence. Sharing her experience of reading the book, Chaittali Dave, Manager (Mumbai), Nucleus PR tells us, “This novel takes you through how love and faith play an important role in building confidence and strength in an individual.”


Stepping up into the shoes of a leader and making appropriate decisions is a task that takes skill-building on various levels, coupled with meticulous planning and acquiring of domain knowledge. Premkumar Iyer, Vice President- National Operations, Gozoop finds Art of War to be a book full of intriguing writing that must be read by marketing professionals. “It’s full of priceless wisdom for leadership and marketing,” he reasons.


Everybody Lies is a book about big data, new data and the internet. To Unmisha Bhatt, Chief Strategy Officer, Tonic Worldwide, it’s a book meant for anyone who seriously doubts the efficacy of big data. She explains, “I have always been more interested in finding out if people’s actions actually match their words. Everybody Lies ended up being the perfect proof that more often than not, it doesn’t.”


Manan Bhatt, Sr. Business Development Manager, Zero Gravity Communications calls Remote an eye-opener to the benefits of remote work. “In a work-from-home situation, this book comes as a very handy guide. It talks about the rising trend of employees working from home and describes the challenges and the perks that you can or cannot expect to work in a remote culture,” he tells us.


Rajeesh Rajagopalan, National Client Servicing Head at Grapes Digital loves to re-read Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He feels it gives him a new perspective every time. “Over the years I have gained immense motivation and inspiration from the flight of dreams and love how poignantly the tale has been told. This is my annual go-to travel!”


Think Like A Monk inspires one to overcome negativity, conquer emotions, draw learnings from individuals we come across and find a purpose in life. “The book draws on his experiences like a monk and motivates readers to take charge of their lives,” says Mousufa Mukadam, Founder of Brand Houze.

Making choices and decisions can be tough. There are always multiple what-ifs involved, irrespective of the impact or scale of the topic at hand. The Midnight Library, SoCheer’s Director Rajni Daswani feels is a beautifully weaved book that makes you realise that no matter the decision if you live by the choices you’ve made, you’ll have a life worth remembering. “It’s a book that showcases the endless possibilities we have in our lives and how every small or big decision changes the course of our life,” she says, describing her recommendation.


First published in 1961, Travels with Charley is based on a month-long road trip that the author took around America in 1960 with his poodle, Charley. To Narayan Devanathan, CEO, dentsu Solutions, India, Chairperson, Creative Line of Business India, dentsu, Group Executive & Strategy Officer, dentsu – South Asia, it is a genre-defying brilliance. “The book is genre-defying—travel, literary non-fiction, philosophy, ethnography, but what it does most brilliantly is, capture some truths about the human condition and the human experience that are relevant across time and geography,” he explains.


Founder of Media Illusions, Shivangi Jain lists Ikigai as a book that has greatly influenced her. “In this book, the authors — Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralle decode the secret behind the longevity of Okinawa islanders in Japan. The book suggests a multi-pronged approach including food, exercise and a positive mindset to live a long life. The book is a must-read for those who are leading a fast-paced lifestyle that leaves little time for themselves,” she tells us. Expressing his liking for the book, Mehul Gupta, Co-founder – SoCheers adds, “Ikigai urges individuals to simplify their lives by pursuing what sparks joy for them. It’s a quick read that aligns you back to your core in life.”


Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!, according to Ankita Chawla, Creative Director, Organic by MSL is an old but trusted guide to the good, bad and ugly of the history of advertising. It’s a must-read for those hoping to create an impact with great ad campaigns that actually work, she says. “Creating great ads isn’t just supposed to be hard science and numbers-driven. It is meant to be fun! And I think the neophyte marketers have forgotten that. That’s what this book is about, the art and fun in creating amazing ads,” adds Chetan Asher, Co-founder & CEO, Tonic Worldwide.


As Siddharth Devnani, Co-founder – SoCheers puts it, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a book that gives readers a glimpse into the perspective of where we are and where are we coming from. He tells us, “It satiates a lot of existential curiosity and at the same time helps us understand why we do what we do in our daily lives.” Sharing his experience of enjoying the book, Rajiv Sharma, Director, Zero Gravity Communications adds, “The book gives an amusing and ironic view about certain myths that we believe in the contemporary world. If you are curious about why human beings turned out the way we are today, this is a good book to quickly gain useful insights.”


Thinking, Fast and Slow explains the science behind that act of human decision making and gives a quick course on how to train your mind (or influence other’s) to make certain decisions. “If you are a digital marketer, this book is particularly helpful in understanding the split-second decision that a customer will take about your brand/product in the 0.3 seconds that your ads whizz past them in their newsfeed,” Sudish Balan, Chief Business Officer, Tonic Worldwide tells us about why he feels everyone in the A&M world can benefit from it.


Kintsugi is named after the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. “As a philosophy, kintsugi can be seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect,” Khushboo Sharma Solanki, Founder, Zero Gravity Communications shares her reason for loving the book.


Planning to read any of these? Do tell us in the comments or write to us at [email protected]!


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