The seven books challenge—my list

“Accepted challenge to post covers of 7 books I love: no explanations, no reviews – just the cover”

You might have run into tweets of the above kind in the recent past. Here, I would like to accept that challenge. [Unlike those tweets, there is no “from” clause in the above sentence because no one actually challenged me to it! I just noticed this challenge in Ash Joglekar’s twitter feed, and decided to pick it up on my own!]

A few notes:

No reviews or explanations regarding the choices of books, but still, a few notes are due—e.g., why I supply only a list and not the snaps of the covers.

1. Many of my books still remain packed up in the movers-and-packers’ boxes. These boxes are kept tightly sticking to each other and right in front of the wall-cupboard that is full of even more books (stacked up several layers deep). Since there is no place elsewhere in the house, the boxes stay there—they cannot be opened because if they are, I don’t have the space to keep those books at some other place. Further, since the boxes are heavy, I cannot easily move them aside and reach into the cupboard either. In short, these days, most of my books happen to be physically inaccessible to me. (The apartment where we currently live is too small for us.) Unless there is a strong reason for reference, the books don’t get out; they just stay where they are.

Further, I don’t have paper copies for all the books that struck me when I took up this challenge, because a couple of them I only read in the university library (i.e. the Hill library of UAB), or later on, as PDF documents (not paper copies).

For all such reasons, instead of posting the covers, here, I will supply only the titles.

2. There were other books that had struck me even more preferentially, but I decided not to include them in this list here because they were in Marathi. Drop me a line if you wish to know which ones those were.

3. All in all, I spent roughly less than 2 minutes (possibly less than 1 minute) in getting to the following list. However, later on, I decided to re-arrange it in the chronological order in which I first ran into these books. The year of my first acquaintance with the book is given in the square brackets.

The list:

  • Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 1e, by Ayn Rand [1981]
  • Physics (the old paperback Indian ed. with yellow-and-black cover, in 2 volumes), by Resnick and Halliday [1984]
  • In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat, 1e, by John Gribbin (i.e., the cat book, not the kitten one) [1987 or 1988]
  • Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times (3 volumes), by Morris Kline [1992]
  • Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, by Ian Stevenson [1993]
  • Computational Physics: Problem Solving with Python, by Landau, Paez and Bordeianu [2010 or so]
  • Quantum Chemistry, by Donald McQuarrie [2011]


  • Since the initial posting, there is a change in one of the books. Now I list the 20 cases book by Ian Stevenson instead of his 4 volumes, because I now remember that the former was what I had completely read through; the latter I had only browsed through. … Hey, others get an entire day per book, OK?
  • On second thoughts, I wanted to have Quantum Chemistry by Donald McQuarrie [17 February 2011] in there. … So I have removed a CS book which used to appear on the list (viz., Structured Computer Organization, by Andrew Tanenbaum [1995]). In fact, since McQuarrie’s book is easily accessible to me right now, I am right away posting its cover here; see below.
  • … Guess I will have to post a second list some time later on! … I mean to say, there is no book of solid or fluid mechanics in there, none on CFD or FEM… And, none on so many other topics / other authors…


I guess the songs section is not really necessary for this post. So I will drop it for this time round.


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