Krish Ashok

Krish Ashok

Techie (, Author of Masala Lab (, Musician (

10+ Book Recommendations by Krish Ashok

  • Caste

    Isabel Wilkerson

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. "[Caste] should be at the top of every American's reading list."--Chicago Tribune "As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not." In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

    @brijwhiz @Isabelwilkerson Yes. Caste is indeed the better term for this. Her book is fantastic!

  • Neurogastronomy

    Gordon Shepherd

    Challenging the belief that the sense of smell diminished during human evolution, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more powerful and essential than previously believed. --from publisher description

    What a fantastically insightful book (on the recommendation of @bhalomanush) PS: Not easy reading without a basic understanding of biology and chemistry

  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

    Professor Shoshana Zuboff

    THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Shortlisted for the FT Business Book of the Year Award 2019 'Easily the most important book to be published this century. I find it hard to take any young activist seriously who hasn't at least familarised themselves with Zuboff's central ideas.' - Zadie Smith, The GuardianThe challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us.The heady optimism of the Internet's early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future?Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism's impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.

    This interview with @shoshanazuboff is one of the most insightful things I’ve heard all year. If you haven’t read her book “Surveillance Capitalism”, you should.

  • The Food Lab

    J. Kenji López-Alt

    Whether he's boiling hundreds of eggs to figure out what really makes their shells stick or frying up dozens of steaks to debunk long-held myths, J. Kenji López- Alt shows that home cooks don't need a state-of-the-art kitchen to cook pitch-perfect meals. In a unique book centered on beloved American dishes such as prime rib roast, Caesar salad, and buttermilk biscuits, Kenji explores the science behind searing, baking, blanching, and roasting. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images illustrating step-by-step instructions, readers will find out how to make perfect roast turkey with crackling skin, how to make scrambled eggs extra fluffy or creamy, and much more. Combining the unrelenting curiosity of a cheerful science geek with the expert knowledge of a practiced chef, The Food Lab gives readers practical tools and new approaches that they can apply the next time they step into the kitchen.

    @CurryTR_ @ajit_bhaskar As tempted as I am to say "wait for my book", here's a quick list - Food lab by Kenji Lopez Alt, On food and cooking by Harold McGee

  • Ivory Throne

    Manu S. Pillai

    @thekarachikid @shakirhusain @mdeii No single book comes to mind, but @UnamPillai’s Ivory Throne is an excellent place to start when it comes to understanding why Kerala is what it is today from a historical standpoint.

  • Octopus's Garden

    Ringo Starr

    Come sing and dance around in an octupus’s garden in the shade! The classic Beatles song comes to life with colorful illustrations from bestselling illustrator Ben Cort and a CD with a new music recording and audio reading from stellar musician Ringo Starr. I’d like to be under the sea In an octopus’s garden in the shade He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been In his octopus’s garden in the shade Who wouldn’t like to visit an octopus’s garden? Well, now you can! This lively picture book, complete with a CD of the beloved song, brings Ringo Starr’s joyful underwater tale to life and is perfect for reading, sharing, and singing again and again.

    @fauxfleur Wow! Gorgeous. Reminds me of RIngo Starr's book for children "Octopus's Garden"

  • Midnight's Machines

    Arun Mohan Sukumar

    “Midnight’s Machines” by Arun Mohan Sukumar is a fantastic read! So many #TIL moments about India’s chequered history with technology.

  • Coromandel

    Charles Allen

    COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India. This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen's exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region - and how these have influenced contemporary politics. Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.

    @PhadkeTai Coromandel by Charles Allen

  • The Meritocracy Trap

    Daniel Markovits

    @sruthijith @GabbbarSingh Recommended reading: Daniel Markovits (Yale Law) suggests that while a lot of tech is obviously net-positive on all counts, some (like derivative trading, ride-hailing apps etc) only shift wealth to 1 side without a significant increase in utility for all

  • Matter

    Iain Banks

    My favourite kind of science fiction is the one where, after reading 100 pages, I go “there is no way this can be made into a high budget TV series, it’s the kind of writing that can evoke in the readers mind a universe of astonishing sophistication”

  • The decisions of a few industrial leaders shake the roots of capitalism and reawaken one man's awareness of himself as an heroic being. Reissue.

    @npueu Yep. Planning to get her Atlas Shrugged next