In my previous post, I discussed some thoughts and tips with regard to reading self-help or self-improvement books. In this post, I write about my top 6 favorite books under this genre that I have read this year with quick summaries to help you decide your next pick. Happy Reading!
1) How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Pushpak Publications
There is a reason why this book has been sold to millions worldwide and remains one of the best books on people skills. I read it the first time on Kindle and had to get a soft copy to re-read it again, and underline some universal tips on building better relationships with people. Remember this book was published in 1936—the language, the examples and the suggestions will look old-school, but I still like it. In case you want to skip the examples and just read the main highlights, click here to download my notes. (I still would recommend you to read the book first!)
Buy the book: How To Win Friends & Influence People
2) Atomic Habits by James Clear
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Random House Business Books
I love this book. Period.
If you are stuck in a rut trying to make or break habits, this has to be your Bible. Author James Clear in this book describes and informs how habits can be formed in a step by step manner without overwhelming you. I like how this book has been written—the structure, the summary at the end of each chapter and practical advice before and after forming habits is something you can implement in your daily life. In short, take one baby step at a time and keep improving on it consistently, track your progress, and read the book for more suggestions.
Buy the book: Atomic Habits
3) Deep Work by Cal Newport
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
I read Deep Work by Cal Newport first, and then followed it up with Atomic Habits. This book, like the name suggests, focuses on getting your daily productivity done in the most focused state or ‘flow’ of your mind, which lasts a maximum of 4 hours for a normal human being per day. The author does suggest chucking your phones and other distraction aside and provides guidance and success stories on how working almost in a meditative mode, and building a schedule around it can bring out the optimal results of your work. The book discusses various practices and theories that can be implemented, but then, I would suggest you read it before Atomic Habits, otherwise, it can feel quite long in comparison due to its written structure. Have I been able to reach that flow state of mind? Let’s say I am yet to reach my destination.
Buy the book: Deep Work
4) Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press
When the authors are ex-designers for a giant tech company like Google, and then they write a book called Make Time, I do question why. And this book does a good job at explaining how much work and efforts are put behind upgrading software, apps and websites to keep you hooked while your distracted mind and time makes them money. The book is conversational, and it talks you into making yourself aware of digital minimalism and how it can positively impact your work rather than hamper your energies throughout the day. I feel the book helped me emphasize on not just productivity but how I can improve on my energy throughout the day to carry out various tasks. And it talks about coffee – drink a maximum of two cups before 2 pm at most. Also, here is the website to the blog of this book. Would recommend you to watch ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix after reading this book. *evil smiley*
Buy the book: Make Time
5) Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Print Length: 304 pages
I picked this book purely based on rave reviews. I can’t say this book completely falls under the genre of self-help, but it discusses the various intrinsic working of the human mind while making decisions. Author Dan Ariely conducts various experiments and it is indeed quite an entertaining and thought-provoking read. For example— what is the difference between market and social relationship? Why does the word “FREE” make us excited? Why does our decision-making ability gets tampered when we are in an aroused or hot state? Do you know your choice or are you being manipulated unknowingly? What this book does is make you aware of many factors that get into play while making a decision, and you thought that scented candle was nicely placed with cosy coffee mugs and blankets in a shop because it looks cute. Nope!
Buy the book: Predictably Irrational
6) Let’s Talk Money
Print Length: 204 pages
Last but not the least, my recommendations for self-help cannot be complete without touch upon money matters. Let’s Talk Money by Monika Halan is an absolute must-read for anybody who wants to take improve their knowledge on managing their finances better, understand various saving methods, stocks, mutual funds etc. and in general, get comfortable with handling money. This is the book that I will keep reading again since it is packed with useful and practical information, and I wish it was a part of the school curriculum. Handy, easy to understand and practical, this book is what you wished you had read quite early. It is written mainly for people residing in India and talks about various governments policies, insurance and investment plans that are available as per your requirement. If you want to break the ice in understanding the jargon related to money, or like me, are a newbie employee trying to make the best of your savings, this book will undoubtedly be your financial guru.
Buy the book: Let’s Talk Money
I hope my book haul collection has sparked some curiosity for you to check out these books or if you have read any of the above, please feel free to tell me how was your experience reading it (without spoilers, of course!). Now off I go to clear my shelf.
Note: I read across various genres, and I am trying to expand my reading preferences. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to write to me in the comments section below.
Thank you so much for reading this post. Cheers!
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