prose&const logo Code and musings by Darshak Parikh


These are some of the books I’ve read and liked, grouped by category and sorted in no particular order. Excluded are the ones I’ve read but don’t recommend.



  • Harry Potter
    Hands down my favourite in the genre, this is a world like none other. I’ve even reread (or relistened to in audio form) some of the books, including the Spanish translation of the first book.
    • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    • Quidditch Through the Ages
    • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
    I don’t do fan fiction, but this one kills it. It challenges the way you see problems, scientific or otherwise. (To be honest, it is less fantasy and more sci-fi or psychological thriller.) Full of slapstick humour, anime references and playful stabs at the original, this doesn’t disappoint in the storyline either.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
    This is for an audience younger than that of Harry Potter. I like the saga, with my favourites being The Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair. My least favourite is the finale: I wasn’t nearly as disappointed in Game of Thrones as I was in The Last Battle.


  • By Agatha Christie:
    • And Then There Were None
      Masterpiece. Highly recommended.
    • Black Coffee
    • They Do It with Mirrors
    • N or M?
    • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling
    Rowling doesn’t do detective fiction as well as Christie, but if you like her elaborate writing style, this is a good book. I might read the other books in the series some day.


  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer + Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    I was maybe 10 when I read these, so I don’t remember much except that I liked them. Will probably revisit some time.
  • The Casual Vacancy
    There’s no protagonist: everybody is good and bad in their own way.
  • The Old Man and the Sea
    I read this less for the story and more to study Hemingway’s writing. And indeed, the writing is crisp and the story linear.
  • Digital Fortress
  • 1984
    This book deserves all the praise it receives.



Self-help and Philosophy

  • By Mark Manson:
    • Models
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
    • Everything Is Fucked
      The most profound thing I have ever read. It digs down the evolution of the human brain and presents a framework that explains all historical events from a psychological perspective.
  • Atomic Habits
    Explains the science of habit-forming, so that you can use this understanding to build better habits and quit bad ones.
  • Indistractable
    If you read Atomic Habits, read this next.
  • Barking Up the Wrong Tree
  • The Obstacle Is the Way
    A modern approach to Stoicism. Not very practical, but offers solid, time-tested wisdom on how to make the best of any situation.
  • By Cal Newport:
    • Digital Minimalism
      The first half is useful, actionable advice. The second half is a meandering stream of anecdotes and how they relate to the reader’s newfound leisure.
    • So Good They Can’t Ignore You