I haven’t done much reading this last year. I have completed most of these books on the list by June. Have I quit reading? No! As I have said many times before that, reading & writing are the two most rewarding habits of my entire life. For quite some time, been living in my self-created bubble. What I mean by that is, I was only dealing with people I was choosing to deal with, I was only dealing with issues I wanted to deal with, and so on. Been very selective with how I spend my time & energy. However, outside world started to play hide and seek with me. This led me onto focusing on the outside world for the past few months, beyond my self-preserved bubble.
I do think that time is our most precious resource & I am grateful for having the luxury to invest so much time into reading and writing. Personally, always enjoyed seeing books that I love, circulating on social media. Not because it boosts my ego, but because whenever I see it, I know that someone else got a chance to extract the value it gave me.
Before I move on with the list of books, I am going to advise you a movie. Which is quite irregular for such articles. The movie is called “Stutz”. We have heard the statement that “books are far better than movies”. However, sometimes a movie is worth a thousand books. That’s how I think “Stutz” was like.
The pandemic & overall last 4 years were very tough on humanity, psychologically. Therefore, we have all observed a spike in interest towards mental health & topics around it. I am a victim of it myself. My curiosity to better understand myself & people erupted in the same timeframe.
Stutz is an interesting and thought provoking art-house documentary that shines a spotlight on therapy and mental health. The latter is something that needs to be explored in more detail and it’s tragic that in this era, the attitude and thoughts behind mental health aren’t more serious – especially when it comes to men.
Stutz shouldn’t be viewed as a personal therapy session to change our own behaviour, but it is a project designed to show the fragility of our minds, and works as a refreshing change of pace, seeing two men opening up and expressing love for one another in a platonic way. The film also shines a light on a very specific style of therapy and some of the techniques that come with it, helping to shift anxiety and negative feelings onto something much more digestible and manageable. But deeper than that, this is a film about a very personal relationship between a therapist and his client. Specifically, that of Jonah Hill and Phil Stutz.
If you’ve never heard of him before, Phil Stutz is one of the world’s leading psychiatrists. He’s helped countless patients over 40 years, including world-class creatives, business leaders, and more, with some even coming to him as therapy sceptics and being changed to believers!
And overall the idea of an actor shooting a movie with his therapist(who has Parkinson’s disease) is so unique. I loved how Phil was explaining complex theories in a simple way.
Now that I have referred you to a movie, we can go back to the books.
11 Managing psychic abilities – Mary Mueller Shutan
I was curious about how people manage to predict what is going to happen & how people sometimes make crazy unrealistic guesses to hit the bullseye. Wanted to understand if psychic abilities could be developed, because apparently to some extent, everyone has some. I wouldnt say that this book answered all my questions. What it did was, it gave a nice introduction to the topic.
10 The end of history and last man – Francis Fukuyama
One of the hardest reads of my life, in fact did not even finish it. It felt like a textbook and did not have a good flow of thoughts and ideas. It was strict, serious & disciplined. Feels like the author did not have any kind of fun in-between when he wasn’t writing the book. Will Durant or even Yuval Harrari are far better in delivering their messages.
9 The Company – John Micklethwait
It provides a conscience and readable history of corporations from the renaissance to the present. If you want a conscience and highly readable history, this is a good book for you. All the way from Medici family to the Rockerfellers. It is quite decent & somewhat interesting.
8 Moonwalking with Einstein – Joshua Foer
It was an “airport book”, which means you pick something up 10 minutes before boarding your plane and it turned out to be good. It tells stories about memory championships & how to enhance your memory. It has insights & quite a decent flow. I liked it more than expected.
7 Influence: Science and Practice/psychology of persuasion – Robert Cialdini
It is an eye-opening read that dives into the power of persuasion. With research-backed examples, Cialdini explains the six key principles of persuasion, enabling readers to understand how to change minds and successfully negotiate in business and everyday life. An essential read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the dynamics of influence.
6 The hero with the thousand faces – Joseph Campbel
Orkhan Mahammadi, a friend of mine who always contributes to my reading materials successfully, advised me this book. It has been hugely influential since its publication in 1949. It offers an insightful ‘hero’s journey’, exploring the idea of the archetypal hero—the same figure that appears in myths, stories, and epics around the world. Campbell examines this universal hero archetype to discover both its psychological and spiritual significance and its relevance to our modern lives.
The book draws upon Campbell’s impressive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of mythology, folklore, psychology and literature. He presents his findings in an easy-to-understand style, turning complex ideas into accessible sections to pave the way for readers to use and apply Campbell’s teachings in their own lives.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces is an inspirational, unique and thought-provoking read that has inspired generations of readers to embrace their own heroic potential. Finally, If you are a sci-fi fan you should definitely read this book, because it inspired such movies like Star Wars, Lion King & Matrix.
5 The book of life – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Jiddu is probably among top 20 historic figures I would want to meet. Jiddu was an Indian spiritual leader. He was educated in theosophy by the British social reformer Annie Besant, who proclaimed him the coming “World Teacher,” a messianic figure who would bring about world enlightenment. He was a great thinker. I would rather watch his speeches, podcasts, read his books, rather than any other spiritual leaders’ alive today. He is a must know personality.
This book of life by Jiddu Krishnamurti is an amazing insight into the mind and its workings. He masterfully intertwines philosophy, psychology and spirituality to bring his audience closer to a total understanding of living a life filled with honesty, integrity and joy. He starts with exploring the basics of life, its purpose and its meaning, to ultimately arriving at a broader sense of understanding. This book of life teaches us to question our beliefs, be open minded and engage in constructive dialogue with ourselves and others. It encourages an internal journey, one where growth, insight and understanding are rewarded by living a meaningful life. The format of the book also makes it easy to read and understand with its clear structure, logical progression and thought provoking analysis. This book of life is definitely a must read for anyone seeking clarity and peace within.
4 Clarity & Connection – Pueblo Yung
Discovered by me via instagram, Pueblo is a gem who sounds like a poet. It is mostly about relationships between you vs you & you vs others.
Clarity and Connection by Pueblo Yung is a wonderfully written book about cultivating understanding and achieving clarity in relationships. Through straightforward and thought-provoking lessons, it helps readers to understand the nuances of relationships. The author speaks from experience, giving insight into her own struggles and triumphs on her journey to find the elusive balance between clarity and connection.
Throughout the book, Yung explores the power of clarity in relationships and how establishing clear boundaries and communication can help heal our lives and relationships. He encourages readers to use their authentic voice in communicating their needs and wants, while also being aware that clarity and connection are interdependent and cannot exist in a vacuum.
The book is full of practical advice, such as how to recognize toxic behaviors and how to engage in healthy discussions with family, friends, and partners. Yung also provides readers with tools to help manage emotions, such as understanding and managing anger, fear, and sadness.
Every page is filled with just one paragraph, the author did not aspire to build big text-blocks around simple ideas.
I thoroughly enjoyed.
3 Total Freedom – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Yet another one from Jiddu. Total Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti is an enlightening and inspirational book that provides an in-depth look into the true meaning of freedom. This book covers topics such as mind, thought, awareness and freedom in a very eloquent and poetic way. Through Krishnamurti’s words and teachings, readers can gain a greater understanding of freedom, which is often taken for granted in day to day life.
This book has a collection of Jiddu’s speeches that he made across the world. It has questions from the audience & his answers. It felt like I was there. Totally mind altering book.
2 Ride of a lifetime – Robert Iger
Rober Iger is CEO of Disney and thats enough.
Probably one of the best books written by an executive ever! I mean how many people have stories about acquisitions of companies like Pixar, Marvel & Lucas films. Moreover Bob, is an amazing writer. He describes encounters and situations so well. I cannot stress enough how good this book was. If not for the next book, which is more of a “mass reader” book, it would definately be on number 1 spot. Must-must read no matter on what I write on here. Thank me later.
1 The power of now – Eckart Tolle
It is one of those “clichè” books that every shelf must have. This book has broken a lot of records. This book is simple yet deep. It flows very fast yet makes you pause and think.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is an incredibly moving and powerful book that speaks to us on a deep spiritual level. In it, Tolle shares his profound wisdom and teaches us how to live our lives in the present moment, free of suffering and mindless distractions. He speaks in a very clear and direct language and provides both theoretical understanding and practical advice to help us become more mindful and able to let go of the past and the future.
Hope this all was valuable to you!