Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg picks Indian author for his book club

(Image courtesy: IANS)

Oprah Winfrey had better watch her back. There is a new pretender to the book club throne that the Queen of Chat has occupied all these years. And it is none other than Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg’s inspiration to declare 2015 “A Year of Books” was born when Cynthia Greco, Audience Development Manager for MediaOnePA/York Newspaper Company, suggested that he read a new book every month. Zuckerberg decided he would up the game and read a new book every two weeks.

He took it one step further and invited his 30 million followers to join him on this intellectual odyssey of books which “emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies”.

So far, he seems to favor non-fiction. We tell you more about his choices so far. Sneak Preview: An Indian-born author has also made it to the list.

Will you be joining ‘the Zuck’ on his journey?

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be: Moses Naim

(Image courtesy: moisesnaim.com)
(Image courtesy: moisesnaim.com)

1. Mark Zuckerberg shared this title with his followers on Friday January 2.

2. The book had sold out on Amazon by Sunday. Previously, the book was No. 44,369 on Amazon’s list of best-selling books. In two days after Zuckerberg’s ‘Like’, it had catapulted to No. 6 in the paperback section and No. 29 in the Kindle Store.

3. The book deals with the subject of the shift of power in the 21st century and how erstwhile megapowers are being challenged by emerging micropowers in every field and walk of life, be it politics, religion or finance.

4.  Others who have endorsed the book before include former US President Bill Clinton.

5. Moises Naim is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has served as Minister of Trade and Industry for Venezuela,  Director of its Central Bank and Executive Director of the World Bank.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined:  Stephen Pinker

(Image courtesy: stevenpinker.com)
(Image courtesy: stevenpinker.com)


1. Mark Zuckerberg shared his second pick on January 18.

2. Needless to say, his followers jumped on the bandwagon and within hours of his announcement, the book moved from No. 6,521 on Amazon to No. 20 in social sciences. The publisher announced that the book sold more ebooks in the two days after the announcement than it had sold in a year-and-a-half.

3. In the book Pinker he argues (backed by data and analysis), that contrary to what we may think violence in the world has declined over the millennia and we are living in the most peaceful time in the history of the human species.

4. Bill Gates has called it his ‘favorite book of the last decade’ and ‘a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time.’

5. Canadian-born  Steven Pinker, an alumnus of Mc Gill University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and teaches in the Psychology Department at Harvard University.

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets: Sudhir Venkatesh 

(Image courtesy: sudhirvenkatesh.org)
(Image courtesy: sudhirvenkatesh.org)


1. Mark Zuckerberg shared his third choice of book on February 2.

2. The book is currently listed as a #1 bestseller in African History and Biographies and Memoirs.

3. In his book, Sudhir Venkatesh vividly recounts the 7 years he spent following and befriending a Chicago crack-dealing gang and his life among the city’s urban poor in the ghettos.

4. Zuckerberg says he chose the book because it “explores what life is like for those who don’t live under effective governance”.

5. Chennai-born Venkatesh is an alumnus of The University of California, San Diego, and The University of Chicago. He has contributed to the Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner’s bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

(Watch this space as we bring you more of what might will find on Mark Zuckerberg’s nightstand)