The Un-Book Shelf

Five of the worst books ever written that are displayed prominently in Indian bookstores:

5. Arindam Chaudhuri’s “Count your chickens before they hatch.” In a crowded field of snake oil salesmen, AC has a prominent position. Really prominent, as in full page ads in major newspapers.

4. Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people.”

3. Any number of “X for Y” books where X is a prominent religious text, Y is a way of being a snake oil salesman. For example: “Bhagavad Gita for Marketing.” Or, “Business according to the Bible.”

2. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” Fortunately, we are one of the few countries in the world where his ideas haven’t gained political power ever, but people are still trying.

1. Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” The worst book ever written. What makes me sad is that Tagore’s own translation of Geetanjali reads like the prophet on occasion. My Bengali friends assure me that the great man doesn’t read like KG in the original Bangla.

See the pattern?

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