Books I’ve read.
READ: 2018-05-01, RATING: 8⁄10
This is one man’s journey about finding what’s the big deal about meditation. If you haven’t yet started meditation or don’t know what’s the point of mindfulness meditation, this book is for you. It doesn’t get deeper into the esoterics, ethics and religious aspect of the vipassana meditation. It’s practical and explained with an occasional dose of dry humor. It also details Dan’s experience of the retreat and how he was able to buy the concept of “Loving Kindness” meditation.
ISBN: 978-1522632733, READ: 2017-01-31, RATING: 4⁄10
A very difficult book to agree on terms with. Most disturbing thing from reading this book: I realised I’m already 50% stoic by this book’s definition as I hardly react with emotions to any kind of life’s happenings. If only I knew how to feel those stoical feelings while I’m being stone-cold. Perhaps this is not the right book for me. I need a book that teaches me to surrender fully to the circumstances of life, a book that teaches me to laugh a lot, cry a lot, and love a lot. Maybe one day I’ll read it again to really get the most out of this book, as apparently, this book is about joy.
(The notes are very few. I will read this book once more, and update in future.)
ISBN: 978-0486245935, READ: 2017-02-03, RATING: 10⁄10
An amazing book about how Gandhi formulated and practised “rules” with the single goal of seeking the ultimate Truth. All the world sees about this man is his big Aura tightly coupled with indian freedom struggle. But this books shows who Gandhi truly was. He was just a man who was keen on self-development, and used the knowledge he had access to, to pursue that goal. His whole life is actually just a series of many experiments he tried on himself. Reading this book makes me emotional, and that’s why I want to read this again and again. I want to experiment with my own life like this.
ISBN: 978-0349413686, READ: 2017-03-20, RATING: 7⁄10
Cal Newport’s other book - So Good They Can’t Ignore You - is his Authority piece. This book explores in depth a particular part of that book - Deep work. He argues how ‘Deep Work’ is essentially the key to success in this era of great distractions. The ideas are nothing new and most of us won’t even need any convincing that deep work is important. But it is good to be reminded about every once in a while.
ISBN: 978-0141048680, READ: 2017-02-09, RATING: 10⁄10
Eating the right food is so hard! This book lists them all the rules in an easily rememberable way.
ISBN: 978-0349410159, READ: 2017-02-10, RATING: 8⁄10
This book deserves a rating of only 1. It’s so hard to read, and Allen asks us to do things that really impossible to do on a regular basis. He also repeats the main ideas so many times. I wanted to start this year by finishing this book asap and get on with getting things done. But the fluffy nature of the book made me to gloss over and not really pay attention.
But! the ideas in this book will change your life. Without this I don’t know how you’ll get things done and achieve your goals. You shouldn’t buy a book about how to stop procrastinating, or how to develop habits or how to get rich. Instead, you should learn GTD, and get shit done. You’ll attain enlightenment. Reality will become your best friend. You’ll love life.
READ: 2017-03-16, RATING: 10⁄10
This is a Harry Potter fanfiction written by an AI scientist who is also a practising Rationalist. In this world, Harry is an extremely intelligent kid parented by smart and kind humans. This is the real Harry Potter that JK Rowling should’ve created. This is the Harry Potter the world should’ve read. And Eliezer should’ve been a Billionaire just like Rowling for creating this. I can say with certainty that all the people who’ve read nad liked the canon will like hpmor even more.
ISBN: 978-0241003701, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 10⁄10
This is the only book I’ve ever recommended to my juniors seeking career advice. Have made about 7 people buy and read it. So much value from Scott in this book. Have read it twice so far, and will read it more in the future to capture and practice 1 idea at a time.
ISBN: NA, READ: 2018-03-11, RATING: 7⁄10
If your life’s summary is: “my lizard brain chasing dopamine inducing sugar shots 24⁄7”, then you need to be a bit more mindful.
ISBN: 978-1401922764, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 8⁄10
A great book with a very unique approach to self-improvement. The details of the holistic approach that he discusses in the book can’t be found in his blog. I need to reread this again some day.
ISBN: 978-0553208849, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 5⁄10
Who was it who suggested this? Tim Ferris, Kamal Ravikant? “Ugh?” is what my brain can think of now about this book.
ISBN: 978-0349415864, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 8⁄10
A great book chastising the common “Follow Your Heart”. Scott Adams too has a similar argument (Passion is Bullshit) in his How to Fail book. Both of these books should be read by everyone in their teens and twenties.
ISBN: 978-0399168123, READ: 2017-12-09, RATING: 8⁄10
This man dedicated his life to researching procrastination. And he has some neat strategies to overcome it. Unfortunately I don’t remember any of those. I’ll have to re-read the notes.
A companion book in this topic is The Road Travelled. The chapter on self-discipline is the best I’ve read ever about the topic.
ISBN: 978-1503295599, READ: 2017-02-17, RATING: 7⁄10
A great little book about habits. Full of impactful, punch-lines. I’d recommend it, but I’d also suggest reading Getting Things Done. While this books offers motivation, GTD offers techniques. You don’t need to be motivated or inspired in this life. You only need to get shit done.
ISBN: 978-0345391803, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 9⁄10
So. Much. Fun! Sharp, witty lines from Douglas Adams will quickly make you fall in love with his writing. Imagine if every form of communication came to you like this!
ISBN: 978-0091955106, READ: 2017-02-14, RATING: 8⁄10
All my life I thought tidying my space in my house and office a waste of time and an energy-sucking dull job. But Marie Kondo changed that! She has studied this topic so thoroughly that she’s made a unique occupation out of it: removing house clutter. This approach to having an organized surrounding resembles a lot like David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Both of these books are about organizing your life. Both might be a turn-off during the first read. But then both are indispensable if you want to live a happy and successful life that you control. Don’t buy it? Watch Marie’s talk at Google.
ISBN: 9780316548182, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 6⁄10
Having read Gandhi’s Autobiography, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”, I also wanted to read about Mandela. I was curious about 3 things in particular: how he could spend 27 years in life, what he learnt from Gandhi’s freedom struggle approach, and why he was so revered. Took me a while to finish this very long Autobiography. But I felt it paid off! I’m humbled to know about this selfless man.
ISBN: 978-0984358106, READ: 2018-01-31, RATING: 9⁄10
If you had dreams of becoming an Entrepreneur during your college days, and some how life made you live a mediocrity, then you should read this book to stir your passion back.
ISBN: 978-1568491585, READ: 2017-06-26, RATING: 6⁄10
A serious book written by a Psychotherapist. A very well-written and thorough book that attempts to answer broad existential questions about the meaning of life, religion, god, love, grace and spiritual growth.
The first chapter about “Self Discipline” is itself worth the money. It links many aspects like delayed gratification, assuming responsibility, accepting and understanding reality, and neurosis and character disorder. Just read the highlights below on these topics to get the author’s profound insights.
But the book began to drag in later chapters, especially religion and grace. It got tiresome. But I’m glad I finished the book and have all of the important highlights here.
ISBN: NA, READ: 2017-12-09, RATING: 1⁄10
The internet raves about this webfiction. Eliezer Yudkowsky raved about this. It is a cult classic.
ISBN: 978-0143115762, READ: 2017-02-25, RATING: 6⁄10
Everyone should read at least 1 book about finance in their life. It doesn’t matter which book. It could be this one, or Ramit Sethi’s “I will teach you to be Rich”, or something else. These books will make you aware of the importance of saving, frugality, financial independence and life itself.