Here’s the list of the books I have been consuming and mini reviews in no particular order.
Cyropaedia; The Education of Cyrus by Xenophon
One of my favorite books of 2019. If you are looking for a good leadership/management book then this is a must read. The teachings of Cyrus can be applied to any time period because they illuminate the universal knowledge that every human should embrace which is being kind to each other while maintaining enough discipline in oneself to lead others by example. It reminds us that we should not expect of other people what we would not do ourselves. By remembering to be generous to one’s friends and ruthless to one’s enemies, Cyrus has grown to be undefeated as an opponent; he acts as the ideal leader figure and does in fact, lead through example by embodying his own teachings and always being a couple steps ahead of his opponents. Fairness and justice are also emphasized in the Persian customs of the time as well as equality, all traits we often more than not fail to accomplish in modern society. The war strategy is a bonus, you know, in case WWIII comes up again.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Frankl is a genius and his humble attitude despite what he has accomplished and the hardships he has experienced is truly inspiring. If you ever feel like you’re going through a rough patch, reading about the Nazi concentration camps and what people had to survive will change your mindset. Despite being treated less than a human being, Frankl’s persistence and optimism brought tears to my eyes as I was reading this book; he has contributed so much to society even though it took everything away from him. That is the definition of a strong person. The first half of the book speaks of his personal experience in the concentration camp and the conditions are worse than you could ever expect. The second half goes into logotherapy and how it can help people overcome mental health challenges.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Covey
In this book, Coven gives you the tools to become the best version of yourself you can be; it is broken down into 7 parts and is easily digestible due to the simple and concise writing style. He uses personal examples from his life to convey the message of the importance of having good character by not taking shortcuts and to instead change how you look at things. This is pretty much a guidebook to being a decent human being and I cannot recommend it enough as it is one of my favorite self help books.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Bronte writes in a way where it allows the reader to feel like he or she is the main character and is walking in Jane’s shoes as well as experiencing things as her. This book is a nice escape from reality for a while and the compelling storyline could replace reality television(a positive since you won’t be losing brain cells). It is deeper than that, of course, since Bronte’s literary style is way ahead of her time and her way of thinking far exceeds that of her fellow writers of that time period. She is the perfect example of feminism done the right way, but I won’t give too much away.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
I fucking love this man. He knows what’s up, and dare I say he’s #woke…in today’s society we are too consumed with what we own and want to have that we often forget the truly important things in life. Walden reminds us that we are all the same underneath the masquerading, dress up games and roles we play in our communities everyday.
The Enneagram by Jeef Reed
I recommend this book if you are looking to figure yourself and other people out. Learning about oneself will help facilitate empathy and by understanding yourself you also learn how to understand other people’s behaviors since it is impossible to know someone else when you don’t even know yourself.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
This book taught me that without struggle and challenges, people will ultimately become weak and lose their ambition. The lack of need in the future has caused a backwards effect on human societies and have made people less intelligent and has halted creativity since necessity fosters innovation. Lack of want/need has caused evolution to create a being that lacks the grit and sharp mindedness that is associated with humans. Definitely worth a read.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
This will always be my favorite book of all time because of the message that it teaches. Rand calls out the individuals in a society that only talk about the greater good of citizens without actually contributing anything tangible to the cause. Although the author is known for her stance on supporting selfishness, the idea that one should focus on his or her own achievements and well-being is commendable. You can’t pour from an empty cup and this is emphasized through the two types of people in this book.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
This is a tribute to Trevor Noah’s mom and it was hilarious. If you love a good laugh as well as life lessons then this is the book for you. Noah speaks of his childhood and dealing with apartheid–which usually is not a humorous topic–but somehow he manages to lighten up the mood by offering us a view into his mind.
Why Nation’s Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
This book might be the key to decreasing the inequality in regards to the standard of living between first world countries and developing nations. Education is the first step in solving the wealth disparity issue that the world is currently facing and the main solution is changing the way people handle politics in their country.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Fun and easy read but warning you will not want to put it down. If you like greek and roman mythology then this book is the one. It revolves around the life of Circe and puts into perspective the role of strong women in a culture that always tries to trample an outspoken and independent female.
De Anima by Aristotle
So this book is just Aristotle trying to figure out what the human soul is all about. Most often it sounds like he is attempting to explain the concept to himself as he is writing but it is worth a read if you are curious about the soul. Tbh I just want you to read this so you can explain it to me, thanks lol.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I lost a lot of sleep because of this book. It is a story that spans across multiple generations of a family and left a deep impression on me. I won’t ruin the plot for you.
How to Day Trade for a Living by Andrew Aziz
I honestly did not know any trading terms when I first got introduced to stocks so this book saved me. It is pretty informative even if you are not planning on quitting your job and becoming a day trader.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My opinion will probably be so controversial but I did not find this book to be as good as other people have said it to be. I have gotten into a couple arguments because I said the book was overhyped but it is basically just a timeline of the evolution of homo sapiens, nothing special in my opinion. I put it on this list because of the argument that my friends have made against this, people have claimed that this is one of the most influential books they have ever read do you should read it and judge for yourself.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
I mean, it’s Mark Cubans favorite book for a reason. The book altered the way I look at architecture and the buildings I see everyday, it conveys the message to break away from the crowd and tradition because that is the only way to advance and improve the world. Inspirational.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
Just fucking read it and stop giving fucks about irrelevant stuff so you have enough fucks leftover for the important things. IDGAF vibes.