NonTriviaLab Blog

The Unexpected Bookshelf: Our Team's Favorite Reads

The Unexpected Bookshelf: Our Team's Favorite Reads

Books are essential in the age of cerebral games and quizzes, where information is our money and curiosity is what propels advancement. They serve as catalysts for innovation, inspiration, and nonconformist thought, in addition to being informational sources. For this reason, we made the decision to see what novels our staff members thought were their favorites by taking a peek inside their personal libraries. In fact, the outcome was... nonTRIVIAL! I came to the realization that this is a question I have to ask prospective hires. I will tell you who you are if you tell me what you read. If you are seeking a new book recommendation, enjoy this selection.
1. "The Samurai Without a Sword" by Kitami Masao
Masao's writing goes beyond the conventional biographical story by emphasizing the nexus between life strategy and martial philosophy. By examining Miyamoto Musashi's biography, the writer unearths ageless concepts of self-control and strategic reasoning. This book is a fascinating read for anyone looking to improve their strategic thinking in any sector because it pushes readers to apply samurai wisdom to contemporary issues rather than just recounting past occurrences.
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2. "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami
Murakami's masterpiece delves deeply into the concepts of identity, memory, and reality. The novel, which is set in a subtly changed version of Tokyo in 1984, interweaves parallel stories that make it difficult to distinguish between the real and the fantastical. Murakami's writing, which is both precise and poetic, conjures up a surreal mood that endures long beyond the last page. This is a philosophical investigation of the nature of perception and the malleability of truth, not just fiction.
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3. "Airport" by Arthur Hailey
Hailey's painstakingly researched book is much more than just an airport thriller. It is a deconstruction of bureaucratic institutions, a microcosmic study of human nature under duress, and an insightful commentary on the intricacies of contemporary life. Hailey tackles issues of personal morality, professional ethics, and the frequently incompatible needs of individual liberty and public safety through his wide range of characters. In this masterwork of the catastrophe genre, the author's attention to technical detail not only heightens the tension but also educates the reader.
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4. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
A brilliant examination of aestheticism, morality, and the nature of the soul may be found in Wilde's lone book. Wilde creates a story that is both a timeless reflection on the corrupting power of unbridled hedonism and a cutting parody of Victorian society through the Faustian bargain of the title character. This work is as provocative today as it was when it was first published, and its wit and aphoristic style bely the depth of philosophical research at its core.
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5. "Mother Night" by Kurt Vonnegut
In this ominously humorous piece, Vonnegut addresses the murky waters of morality during armed conflict. The book examines the essence of identity, the implications of our actions regardless of our intentions, and the hazy boundaries between patriotism and treason through the tale of American spy Howard W. Campbell Jr. This is an extremely satisfying book that is challenging because of Vonnegut's signature macabre humor and narrative innovation, which force us to face difficult truths about moral responsibility and complicity.
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6. "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
Concealing as a novel, Rand's contentious masterwork is a philosophical essay. Rand challenges prevailing ideas of benevolence and collectivism by examining her concept of Objectivism via the life of uncompromising architect Howard Roark. The book challenges social conventions and the definition of true selflessness by vehemently defending independence and artistic integrity. Regardless of one's stance on philosophy, the novel's examination of the conflict between originality and conformity is still relevant in today's more homogenized society.
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7. "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
More than just a whodunit, Doyle's renowned detective stories honor logic and deductive reasoning. Holmes became the prototype of the contemporary detective thanks to his astute observational abilities and analytical thinking. Beyond their complex narratives, these tales tackle ageless subjects like justice, morality, and the nature of intelligence while providing a realistic picture of Victorian London. The fact that Holmes is still so popular shows how fascinated we are by the human mind's capacity to explain the seemingly unexplained.
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8. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
Frankl's seminal work is a profound exploration of the human capacity to find purpose in the face of unimaginable suffering. Part memoir of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and part exposition of his theory of logotherapy, this book challenges readers to consider that life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones. Frankl's insights into the psychology of survival and the importance of purpose-driven existence continue to resonate, offering a beacon of hope and a call to personal responsibility in our often chaotic world.
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9. "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
Frankl's groundbreaking research delves deeply into the human potential to discover meaning even in the midst of unspeakable adversity. This book invites readers to think that life has significance in all situations, even the most terrible ones. It is part narrative of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and half explanation of his idea of logotherapy. Frankl's observations on the psychology of survival and the significance of living with a purpose are still relevant today, providing a glimmer of hope and a call to personal accountability in our frequently chaotic society.
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10. "The Best of Roald Dahl" by Roald Dahl
Though Dahl is best recognized for his works for children, there is a darker, more rebellious side to his talent that can be seen in his adult short stories. Dahl's skill with the twist ending and his perceptive understanding of human nature are on full display in this anthology. These tales, which range from the horrific to the darkly funny, subvert our assumptions and expectations, leaving us frequently both uneasy and strangely satisfied. These stories are a masterclass in the craft of the short story because to Dahl's razor-sharp style and psychological sensitivity, demonstrating how the most profound truths can arrive in the most unexpected packaging.
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11. Irving Stone's Historical Novels
Stone's collection of work demonstrates a skillful combination of dramatic storytelling and in-depth historical research. His biographical books give readers an intensely immersive experience that transcends simple facts and dates by bringing to life some of the most fascinating historical personalities.

The works "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Michelangelo, "Lust for Life" by Van Gogh, "The Origin" by Charles Darwin, "The Passions of the Mind" by Sigmund Freud, and "Love is Eternal" by Mary Todd Lincoln paint a comprehensive picture of human brilliance and passion across a variety of disciplines and eras. Because of Stone's acute psychological insight and painstaking attention to historical detail, readers are able to fully enter the brains of these remarkable people and comprehend their struggles, victories, and the social forces that created them.

In "The Agony and the Ecstasy," Stone explores the turbulent interplay between art, politics, and religion through Michelangelo's life, painting a vivid picture of Renaissance Italy. "Lust for Life" explores Van Gogh's troubled mind and provides a moving analysis of the connection between creativity and mental health. "The Origin" chronicles Darwin's educational path, emphasizing the social and personal obstacles he had to overcome to arrive at his groundbreaking idea.

"Love is Eternal" presents a distinctive viewpoint on American history through the eyes of Mary Todd Lincoln, while "The Passions of the Mind" offers a gripping examination of Freud's life and the beginnings of psychoanalysis. Not only do these artistic creations vividly depict historical personalities, but they also function as a prism to explore timeless inquiries regarding human nature, inventiveness, and the desire for understanding and veracity.

Stone's books are profoundly affecting and enlightening because he humanizes these powerful historical characters, showing their flaws as well as their accomplishments. They remind us that even the most well-known people in history were, at their heart, flawed people battling social pressures and personal demons.
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12. "Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo
Hugo's greatest work is much more than just a historical fiction; it is a thorough investigation of moral philosophy, justice, and the law set in post-Revolutionary France. Hugo explores themes such as societal injustice, atonement, and the nature of good and evil via the interwoven tales of Jean Valjean, Javert, and a host of other memorable characters. Hugo's meticulous attention to detail and deep love for his characters give the epic work a deeply personal touch, despite its vast scope. Les Misérables encourages readers to consider the subtleties of morality and the potential for human decency in the face of institutionalized injustice.
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13. "The First Law Trilogy" by Joe Abercrombie
Abercrombie's fantasy trilogy is a gritty, subversive interpretation of the genre. Abercrombie breaks down classic fantasy clichés with a cast of morally dubious characters that includes the sour, crippled inquisitor Glokta and the barbarian Logen Ninefingers, providing a more complex and perhaps realistic portrait of human nature. The author emphasizes deeper themes of power, corruption, and the cyclical nature of history with a sharp sense of humor and an unwavering depiction of brutality. This series challenges readers to reevaluate their perceptions of heroism and villainy in both fantasy literature and the real world.
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14. "The Passengers" by John Marrs
The technological thriller by Marrs delves deeply into the themes of ethics, human nature, and artificial intelligence. The novel takes place in a dystopian future where autonomous vehicles are commonplace. A hacker seizes control of many vehicles and forces their occupants to engage in a lethal game of survival. Marrs explores difficult moral conundrums, looking at how people decide between life and death and the influence of public opinion in the social media era, all through the lens of this high-concept idea. The book issues a strong caution regarding the possible risks of relying too much on technology as well as the moral ramifications of AI decision-making.
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15. "Ring" by Koji Suzuki
Although Suzuki's original work is a brilliant fusion of mystery and horror, its film adaptations frequently outshine it. The book explores topics including technology, urban legends, and the nature of evil, in addition to scares. The otherworldly aspects have a disturbing realism thanks to Suzuki's careful plotting and journalistic approach, which leaves readers feeling uneasy long after the last page. In addition to being a horror novel, "Ring" is also a commentary on how media and information are used in modern society, asking readers to think critically about the influence and potential risks of the stories we hear and read.
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16. "Captain Blood" by Rafael Sabatini
A timeless work of historical fiction, Sabatini's daring quest transcends its genre. Through the tale of a doctor who turned pirate, Dr. Peter Blood, Sabatini delves into themes of injustice, atonement, and the essence of honor. The book is more than just an adventure story because of its intricate historical details and nuanced characterizations. It provides a thoughtful analysis of morality in a world of shifting allegiances and political scheming. Thanks to Sabatini's sharp prose and astute understanding of human nature, "Captain Blood" is a timeless examination of what it means to uphold one's beliefs in a corrupt world.
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17. "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley
Bradley's first book is an endearing and clever mystery that defies simple classification. It centers on the bright 11-year-old chemist and sleuth Flavia de Luce. The story, which takes place in 1950s England, blends aspects of traditional detective fiction with a coming-of-age theme. Bradley examines themes of family dynamics, the loss of innocence, and the power of knowledge through Flavia's astute observations and methodical approach to solving mysteries. The novel challenges readers to view the world through the eyes of an exceptionally intelligent child with its clever wording and distinctive protagonist, offering a novel take on the mystery genre.
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18. "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera
A profound discussion on the nature of existence, love, and political freedom may be found in Kundera's philosophical novel. With the Prague Spring as a backdrop, the novel explores the idea of "eternal return" and whether life is ultimately heavy or light by tying the lives of four characters together. Kundera invites readers to reflect on the significance of their own decisions and the influence of historical events on their lives through his distinctive narrative style, which combines philosophy with fiction. With its timeless insights into the human condition, the novel is still regarded as a classic of 20th-century literature. It was first published in 1939.
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19. "1984" by George Orwell
One of the most important works of the 20th century is still George Orwell's dystopian masterwork. The book is a terrifying cautionary tale about the perils of authoritarianism and the distortion of truth, set in a totalitarian society where free thought is forbidden. The phrases "doublethink," "Newspeak," and "Big Brother" from George Orwell have entered popular culture and offer a framework for comprehending contemporary problems with state control, propaganda, and monitoring. "1984" is a very human tale about the fight to preserve individuality and love in a society that seeks to destroy both, despite its political commentary. It is still relevant now, given the prevalence of "alternative truths" and digital surveillance, just as it was when it was originally written.
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20. "Seven Years in Tibet" by Heinrich Harrer
An Austrian mountaineer wrote an autobiographical book titled "Seven Years in Tibet." It describes his adventures in Tibet from 1944 to 1951, when he befriended and tutored the young Dalai Lama. The book offers a singular window into Tibetan society and culture prior to the 1950 Chinese invasion. Harrer's story is one of adventure, cultural discovery, and introspective growth as he goes from being an escaped POW to a well-respected member of Lhasa society.
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This collection, which spans a number of genres and historical periods, provides an insight into the creative brains behind your most beloved nonTRIVIAl games and experiences.

We are really interested in hearing your opinions if any of these books have caught your attention and motivated you to read them. Have you found a new fave? Did it make you rethink your assumptions or provide some surprising insights? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us; your input is very helpful to us in better understanding our community.

Tell us the name of your favorite book if it was not on our list. Our upcoming piece, "Favorite Books of Our Beloved Clients," may be built around your suggestions. After all, the foundation of the literary world is shared knowledge and a diversity of viewpoints, just like our nonTRIVIAl games.

We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts at info@nontrivial.games!
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