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Since my childhood, I wasn’t much into books. Though I’d spend hours reading newspapers and online articles, I was never really fond of books. But, it changed last year around mid-June because of Kavi’s (my wife) insistence.
She was searching for Tamil novels and casually remarked, “Why don’t you start reading too?”, and I thought, why not? So, I picked up Sapiens. I couldn’t have chosen a better book to start my reading spree.
In the last 12 months, I have read 24 books. My flexible work schedule and our unhurried lifestyle allowed me to ignite a reading habit that I am grateful for. I would shy away from trying to sell the benefits of reading. But, if I have to talk from my personal experience, books have drastically changed my life.
I realized rather quickly that self-help books excited me and I couldn’t garner the same interest in other genres. Of the 24 books, only six belong to fiction, biography, or spirituality.
For every 3-4 self-help books I read, I include a fiction because it gives me breathing space. It’s easy on my mind and lets me relax for a week before I pick-up another high-intensive book. I have shared the full list on my Google Drive.
Many of my friends have asked for book recommendations, and I have decided to pick 6 books that always come to my mind. These books are insightful and easy to implement. So, here’s my list in no particular order.
1. ATOMIC HABITS:
We tend to believe huge results come from huge actions. On the contrary, a minor unnoticeable change in our habits makes a huge difference. 1% betterment each day gives us astounding results over the long run.
James Clear provides an excellent step-by-step approach to form good habits and eliminate bad ones. Strategies like implementation intention, habit stacking, and environment design produce instant results.
While Atomic Habits is a practical guide, The Power of Habit is an encyclopedia of habit formation. Backed by countless research, Charles Duhigg gives an in-depth explanation of how habits are formed and why we do what we do in life.
The success story of Starbucks and the science of habits behind gambling addiction are fascinating. The book reached the bestseller list for The New York Times, Amazon.com, and USA Today.
This is my go-to relationship guide. Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, John Gray has quite beautifully laid out how men and women think differently.
Though this may sound like gender stereotyping at a high level, understanding our psychological differences has immensely helped us in our marriage. The contrasting ways men and women approach a problem, and how we deal with stress in different ways are well explained. I refer to this book quite often and it never ceases to amaze me.
This could well be your guide to finance-101. Robert Kiyosaki teaches the difference between working for money and having your money work for you. You don’t need to earn a high income to be rich. There are various other modes including investments and passive income methods.
Though you can’t consider this as an all-in-one book, it could be your first step towards financial literacy. The concepts like income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow are neatly defined with practical examples.
The book is just what its name suggests – a brief history of mankind. Yuval Noah Harari walks us through the whole human history. There are some mind-boggling revelations about why we gossip, why corporations were formed, and how religions, nations, or Gods were formed.
Read this book with an open mind; it would drastically change your world view. Yuval doesn’t sound preachy or pessimistic, and he touches a variety of topics in an engaging manner. I’d term this a MUST READ.
How about a cartoonist humorously rambling on and on about his failures and yet delivers an excellent self-help book that would propel you to success? Scott Adams has already become one of my favorite authors just for the way he presents his content.
No career guide can offer such advice for success that works for everyone. But you can study the ways of successful people and learn a few tricks that worked for many.
Diet, exercise, essential skills, happiness, goals vs systems – the book has useful tips on all fronts. You can’t rely on luck but with some smart habits you can make the odds work in your favor; Scott tells you how.
Minimalism is the art of decluttering so you can focus on the most important things in your life. Why do we accumulate a lot in the first place? How can we get rid of things that are holding us back? Fumio Sasaki shares his personal experience and gives around 70 tips to start your minimalism journey.
Tips like discarding junk, throwing away things you own in multiples, and adopting a one-in-one-out approach have successfully worked for me. If you are into decluttering and home organizing, you could also check out Marie Kondo’s books or Essential Essays by the Minimalists.
Here are two more, in case you are interested:
Only a month ago, I asked all my smart friends to suggest books they liked. Get the complete list here. So, what are you waiting for?
We hope you liked this post. What is your ONE takeaway?
– Kavi & Ninja
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