Five books that should be on Mark Zuckerberg's reading list

06 January 2015

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the weekend that he's starting a book club. He, and anyone else who wants to join in, will read and discuss a book every two weeks. Only the first book has been chosen so far (The End of Power by Moises Naim), so we've compiled a list of Picador books that fit the book club's criteria of emphasizing learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. In no particular order...

Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

Rory Stewart

In September 2003, Rory Stewart, a young Biritish diplomat, was appointed as the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy governor of an Iraqi province of 850,000 people in the southern marshland region of the country. There, he and his colleagues confronted gangsters, Iranian-linked politicians, tribal vendettas and a full Islamist insurgency. Rory Stewart's inside account of the attempt to re-build a nation, the errors made, the misunderstandings and insumountable difficulties encountered, reveals an Iraq hidden from most foreign journalists and soldiers. 

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The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior

Maxine Hong Kingston

Throughout her childhood, Maxine Hong Kingston listened to her mother's mesmerizing tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upwards. Growing up in a changing America, she was surrounded by Chinese myth and memory. This is her story of two cultures and one trenchant, lyrical journey into womanhood

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An Unquiet Mind

An Unquiet Mind

Kay Redfield Jamison

Dr Kay Redfield Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic depression (bipolar disorder) – and has experienced its terrors and cruel allure first-hand. While pursuing her career in medicine, she was affected by the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic lows that afflicted many of her patients. From her jubilant childhood to the disquiet that has dominated her adult life, she charts a journey through her own mind, and those of others.

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Among the Believers

Among the Believers

V. S. Naipaul

Among the Believers is V. S. Naipaul’s classic account of his journeys through Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia; ‘the believers’ are the Muslims he met on those journeys, young men and women battling to regain the original purity of their faith in the hope of restoring order to a chaotic world. It is a uniquely valuable insight into modern Islam and the comforting simplifications of religious fanaticism.

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Burying the Typewriter

Burying the Typewriter

Carmen Bugan

On 10 March 1983, Carmen Bugan's father left their house in a small village in Eastern Romania and drove to Bucharest to stage a one-man protest against Ceausescu. That afternoon, Carmen returned from school to find secret police in her living room. Her father’s protest against the regime had changed her life for ever. This book tells the incredibly moving story of a family living through a political regime that is not as well-known as it should be.

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