Books that I read and recommend

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Read: October 2020

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The 80/20 Principle — The Secret of Achieving More with Less

by Richard Koch

80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.

More often than not, 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.

In a business, for example, some 20% of clients account for 80% of a company’s revenue.

This book, with its fascinating case studies, will assist you to prioritize on the 20 percent of efforts that generate 80 percent or more of the results.

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Read: April 2020

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Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott

This novel is amazingly written with several memorable characters that take us into a comfortable American home of the 19th Century. There are different character traits shown in every character of the novel like shyness, mischievousness, vanity, and temper. The book narrates a coming of age story of four March sisters during the Civil War times in America. The way they go through all the harsh realities of death, poverty, illness, love, and dreams. You will learn more about the importance of family and a comfortable home with your loved ones.

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Read: October 2020

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Smarter Faster Better — The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

Would an increase in your overall productivity improve your business, life or your skill set?

That’s the question author Charles Duhigg asks you. He highlights 8 key topics in the book, namely:

  • Motivation – You’ll learn how to motivate yourself to do anything by simply transforming your task into a choice.
  • Teams – You’ll discover, as a team leader (aka entrepreneur), the importance to give your staff control and why you need to give it to them. He uses Google to illustrate his point.
  • Focus – This chapter focuses on the power of mental models. Basically, you need to tell yourself stories in order to anticipate what’ll happen next. You do this to take charge of your attention, which as we all know, is limited in nature.
  • Goal Setting – Importance of coming up with Stretch goals and Smart goals
  • Managing Others – How to create a culture of trust within your organization.
  • Decision making – How to foresee the future through Bayesian Psychology.
  • Innovation – Why creativity is simply problem-solving and why you need to trust yourself to let your inner creativity flow freely.
  • Absorbing Data – Why you should be proactive to any new information you get and not just engage with it passively.

The book also comes with an appendix that shows you how to use the knowledge from the 8 chapters.

A handy book indeed.

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Read: October 2020

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Deep Work — Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

by Cal Newport

This book introduces the concept of deep work. This is the definition from the book:

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

To get to this state, there are 4 rules you should abide by:

a) You should work deeply

b) You should embrace freedom

c) No more social media for you

d) You have to drain the shallows

Wondering what the 4th point is all about?

Grab yourself a copy of the book to find out.

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Read: October 2020

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The Definitive Book of Body Language

by Allan and Barbara Pease

How to Read Others’ Attitudes by their Gestures

Your body language speaks louder than your words.

It’s a fact that is clearly elaborated in the book. Your facial expressions, arm gestures and even leg postures can reveal the emotions that you’re desperately trying to hide.

On the issue of productivity, the book reveals how an office set up impacts the relationship between clients, employees and employers.

And if you’re a public speaker, you’ll find tips and hacks that’ll help you spread your message coherently.

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Read: October 2020

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The Power of Habit — Why We Do What We Do and How to Change

by Charles Duhigg

Cue –> Routine –> Reward. This is the 3 step loop that governs the formation of habits. And it’s perfectly illustrated in the book.

You’ll find fascinating research-backed case-studies, from MIT research labs to how Starbucks fosters the habit of success.

This book also has a section called the reader’s guide, dedicated to helping you better understand the science of habits.

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Read: October 2020

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The Productivity Project

by Chris Bailey

Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention and Energy

Chris Bailey reveals 25 nifty hacks that will have the most profound effect on your work output on a daily basis.

As an extreme productivity enthusiast, he hand-picked those 25 tactics from the thousands he encountered as a researcher of productivity.

He also challenged himself for a year by conducting productivity experiments on himself.

He discloses his discoveries through 8 chapters in a thoroughly entertaining way.

You’ll admire the power of being productive after reading / listening to this book.

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Read: April 2020

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The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

This amazing novel narrates the story of a complicated and unbelievable friendship between the son of a wealthy merchant Amir and the son of his father’s servant Hassan. The story is told against a backdrop of varying political aspects of Afghanistan from 1970 to 9/11. We experience the lives of ordinary people in Afghanistan about how they die, eat, love and pray and you can witness a well-knit story that includes family secrets, friendships, and forgiveness.

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Read: April 2020

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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

This is a very popular book that has been told from the point of view of a six-year-old. Scout Finch. The story revolves around a crisis in Scout’s hometown Alabama, where an African American man Thom Robinson is accused of raping a white woman. The novel explores social issues of class, race, ironic injustice of American Legal system and sexual politics in a humorous yet brutally honest way. Jean Louise Finch’s father is a lawyer who is defending a falsely accused black man accused of raping a white woman. Lee received a Pulitzer prize for this book.

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Read: April 2020

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The Silkworm

by Robert Galbraith

If you’re a mystery novel enthusiast with a weakness for characters who are private detectives, then you’ll love “The Silkworm”. Written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the book is centered on Cormoran Strike, main-character and private eye who is approached by a woman named Leonora Quine. Leonora wants to hire Strike to find her husband, a notorious writer who’s gone rogue. If you want to know more, you’ll just have to read the book. As you might have guessed, “The Silkworm” is packed with mysterious, puzzling situations, murders and intrigue, so you won’t be sorry for buying it.

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Read: October 2020

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

by Amy Morin

Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

We all know how difficult life is. Some things go according to plan. Some go horribly wrong. And worse, some unforeseen events occur that change your life completely.

When these things happen, mental strength is of foremost importance. You need to continue with life. You need to soldier on.

Well, Amy Morin presents you with 13 things you shouldn’t do if you want to move on with your life.

It’s all about mindset.

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Read: October 2020

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

This book presents you with a handful of timeless techniques to win people into your way of thinking.

When dealing with people, it’s best to see things from their perspective.

How do you do that?

By practising Dale’s teachings and advice from the many years he spent influencing people.

I can assure you that it’s a marvelous book to read.

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Read: April 2020

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Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales

by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s “Nine Tales” is a beautiful collection of short fictional stories that will leave readers speechless. Full of turbulent relationships and psychological insight, the book is beautifully tied together by the author’s dark humor. From mental disorders to revenge to vampires, the wide range of interesting topics makes “Nine Tales” a must-read book. Vibrant and terrifying, funny and eclectic, the stories featured in the book give characters an opportunity to put their courageous and revenge spirit to the ultimate test; the methods used are both trivial and exceptional.

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Read: April 2020

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Harry Potter Series

by J. K. Rowling

This is a captivating series of books that both children, as well as adults, love to read. The story begins with an orphan boy who is mistreated by his uncle, aunt, and cousin but leaves us spellbound as we are taken into the world of magic, wizards, and spells. You will also experience great friendships, the pain of loss and fierce battles. This series is not to be missed as movies do not have even half the essence of books.

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Read: April 2020

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Song of the Shank

by Jefferey Renard Allen

Jefferey Renard Allen’s “Song of the Shank” is a contemporary work of art about an unforgettable man living in a fictional America throughout the Civil War era. The beautiful novel is centered on the life of a 19th-century slave known by the name of Thomas Greene Wiggings, who was a piano prodigy but also an autistic, blind slave. Incredibly alluring, and painfully beautiful, “Song of the Shank” explores themes of art and genius, religion and class, race and more. Leaving aside the fictional aspect, the author is also focused on realistic elements throughout the book; the portrayal of the main character and his ability to influence the lives of other people is what makes the book so special and brilliant in historical fiction.

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