Recommendations

The Essentials: Books

A few people told me their 2019 new year resolution is to read more books. When my youngest sister Shan said she wanted to pick up the habit, I almost teared up. Finally she wants to pick up a book and not Facebook!

Here’s some of the books that I’d recommend you to read at least once in your lifetime. I choose these books because they are

  1. timeless and universal – you can learn something at every stage of your life.
  2. easy to read – nothing too technical or boring here.
  3. easy to find in bookstores or your friend’s bookshelf.
  4. sectional. You can read them by chapters without feeling overwhelmed.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

-Who should read this book?

People who want to achieve goals and dreams, think more positively, or need a boost in confidence.

-What is it about?

A shepherd boy dreamed of going to the Pyramids. He embarked on the journey and almost gave up, but he learned to listen to his heart. In the end, he made it to the Pyramids and fulfilled his Personal Legend. This is a simple story with many metaphorical philosophies.

-Why do I recommend?

I’ve recommended this book to numerous people. One quote from the book, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” is my mantra. I’ve experienced it many times.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

-Who should read this book?

People who want to be more effective in managing time, relationship and life in general.

-What is it about?

Our personal and professional problems can be solved by shifting our paradigms and habits. How you react emotionally, interact with other people or manage expectations come from your habits. We can slowly adjust our habits and be more effective.

-Why do I recommend?

This is a classic that stays on my desk. Every time I feel like slacking and binge-watching cooking videos for hours, I’d reach for this book and read a short paragraph. I’ll always learn something new to improve how I work. You’ll likely learn something from this book too.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

-Who should read this book?

People who feel like they’re salted fish (meaning, unmotivated and uninspired), like me.

-What is it about?

The book talks about the habit of thinking shapes our job, relationships and personal happiness. It guides you step-by-step on how you can shift your mindset to be more creative and open. Don’t let traditions paralyze your mind.

-Why do I recommend?

I grew up thinking that it’s impossible to think out of the box. So reading this book was eye-opening and refreshing to me. If you feel like you’re stuck in your current stage of life, you might want to check out this book.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

-Who should read this book?

People who feel frustrated and want to be reminded about the little good things in life. You might want to read this before bed, or in a quiet afternoon.

-What is it about?

Morrie Schwartz is a terminally-ill professor who’s positive, cheerful and wise. He shares his wisdom with the author through warm and heart-wrenching conversations.

-Why do I recommend?

This is an extraordinary book about death. It makes me feel grateful for every little thing that I take for granted. For example, I can move around. I can eat. The story puts our petty worries into perspective.

The 4-hour Work Week – Escape 9 – 5 by Timothy Ferriss

-Who should read this book?

People who always feel they don’t have enough time to work. People want to be a freelancer, digital nomad or have more freedom in general.

-What is it about?

It shows you how to think critically about your workload and how to manage it. Is it possible to change the way you work? Can you outsource the tasks? How do you filter the important information from the noise? How do you prioritise?

-Why do I recommend?

This book will redefine what you think about working 9 to 5. Tim Ferriss is my favourite podcast host. He’s simply brilliant.

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These books are mainly for personal growth. My friends who set their goals to read more books want to “expand their knowledge and develop good qualities”.

You could read Fifty Shades of Grey too…but will it make you a better person in 2019? I want to know…

What book would you recommend to your friends?