Reading Comprehension: Top 25 Book list for the CAT
Apr 18, 2017
With about 30 weeks to go for CAT
most of you would be looking for a long-term strategy to crack CAT. While Quant
and LR/DI are easier to tackle due to a well-defined syllabus, the VA/RC part
is quite a challenge for most students due to the lack of a reading habit since
childhood. This is where it becomes essential to develop a reading habit espeically if one
did not cultivate the same in childhood.
The following is a curated list I have
compiled, based on long years of reading and guiding students for the CAT. There
are about 25 books in the list, many of which are classics and the rest are
modern day classics. They have not been arranged in any order. Feel free to read in any order. Further I have
also included a brief description of each book.
- Call of the Wild, Jack London-A
classic set in Alaska, it is the story of a dog who becomes the leader of his
pack. It is a novella as much about the “call of the wild” for a half wolf dog,
as about man’s greed.
- Animal Farm, George Orwell- A
biting satire on the Russian Revolution, it is a fable which critiques the
ideals of Marxism.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee-
A tale of racial prejudice and the loss of childhood innocence told from the
point of view of children.
- Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe.
Have you seen the Hollywood movie “Castaway”? Robinson Crusoe predates it.
- King Solomon’s Mines, Rider
Haggard- A fantastic tale of magic, exploration and warfare set in Africa.
- To Sir with Love, E R Braithwaite-
A story of a teacher who wins the respect of his students in a post-colonial
world despite there being racial prejudice against him.
- Luka and the fire of life, Salman
Rushdie- A sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, it is not just a children’s
story, it is a beautifully imagined story of how a child saves his father in a
world like a fantasy set in a video game.
- How to fail at Almost everything
and Yet Win Big, Scott Adams- The ultimate self-help book, it talks to people
without talking down to them. It will transform the way you look at life.
- Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Lynne
Truss- The ultimate grammar guide which is people friendly and accessible and
- Blink, Malcolm Gladwell- A
journalistic account of Decision Making in real life, this book is quite insightful
and would help you understand how out mind works.
- Midnights Children, Salman Rushdie-
Arguably the greatest modern day classic, it has won three Bookers. Need I say
- Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen- A rigorous work by one of the greatest Indian
- Pax Indica, Shashi Tharoor- A
study of India’s foreign policy by one of the most eloquent defenders.
- Moby Dick, Herman Melville- An
American classic about the struggle of one man against an almost superhuman
- Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely
- An insightful study of Decision Making by one of the world’s top marketing
- Sapiens, Y N Harari- Perhaps
the most acclaimed history book in recent years, it is an incisive account of
the origin of human civilization.
- The God of Small Things, Arundhati
Roy- Forget Roy’s politics! This is THE defining book of India of the 1990’s
- The Blind Watchmaker, Richard
Dawkins-An argument against “intelligent design” and for evolution by one of
the world’s most famous science popularisers
- The Black Swan, N N Taleb- A
stinging critique of modern finance by a derivatives trader who also delves
into philosophy and decision science.
- Freakonomics, Steven Levitt &
Stiven Dabner- A “rogue economist” explains the application of economics to
- Fictions, J L Borges- The “greatest
writer to not win the Nobel prize”, Borges is perhaps the unrivalled master of
the modern short story.
- Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer-
Ever wanted to remember everything? Or become a memory champion? Foer was an
ordinary journalist who would forget his car keys and his wife’s birthday. Read
about his transformation into a world memory champion.
- The Ascent of Money, Niall
Fergusson- A history of finance by a Harvard- Oxford historian of economics.
- The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco-
A complex, labyrinthine work by the greatest Italian writer ever!
- Life of Pi, Yann Martel- A story which has been adapted into a movie by Ang Lee, it is a mix of the fantastic and the ordinary.
Feel free to ask any queries in the