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

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the weekend that he's starting a book club. We've compiled a list of Picador books that fit the book club's criteria of learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.

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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

by Rory Stewart

Book cover for Occupational Hazards

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. 

The Woman Warrior

by Maxine Hong Kingston

Book cover for The Woman Warrior

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, surrounded by Chinese myth and memory, this is her story of two cultures and one trenchant, lyrical journey into womanhood.

Complex and beautiful, angry and adoring, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is a seminal piece of writing about emigration and identity. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 and is widely hailed as a feminist classic.

An Unquiet Mind

by Kay Redfield Jamison

Book cover for An Unquiet Mind

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.

An Unquiet Mind is a definitive examination of manic depression from both sides: doctor and patient, the healer and the healed. A classic memoir of enormous candour and courage, it teems with the wit and wisdom of its creator.

Among the Believers

by V. S. Naipaul

Book cover for Among the Believers

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.

Burying the Typewriter

by Carmen Bugan

Book cover for Burying the Typewriter

At 2 a.m. on 10 March 1983, Carmen Bugan’s father left the family home, alone. 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 forever. This is her story.