Besides my love for photography and many other frivolous hobbies. I like to read. Reading is the cheapest therapy, and when you find a good book to get lost in, there's no feeling quite like it.
Here's the book I am currently working through, The Power of Habits, by Charles Duhigg, I saw it on my amazon's "recommendation" page and was somehow drawn to the book cover, skimmed through the reviews and without thinking much, I ordered it to take along with me to my Taiwan trip. For the most part, it was a good read that raised a few stand-out points for me, if you are someone who is interested in the psychological links between the three steps of the habit loop, and maybe, making/breaking habits, I would say give the first few chapters a chance, I found the overall pace slowed down pass chapter 4, Duhigg focused on examples of famous people and big corporations, while interesting to read about, but lacked a bit of an "action plan" of self-help books. 7.5/10, for me.
Now onto my top five picks, I was gifted a couple of these during my teenage years and I am beyond grateful to have crossed paths with them at an early age. They have made a huge impact in my life, they have decidedly shaped my views and actions, motivated me when I saw my passions fade, and pointed me in the right directions when I felt lost and aimless. I recommend these to anyone at any age/stage of life, most of these have audiobook versions, give them a read, or a listen.
1. The Missing Piece & 2. The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, Shel Silverstein (the author of the Giving Tree)
If I were to choose only two books (besides the Bible) to give to my children, these would be them. Such simplistic and beautiful stories, on one's path of quest and fulfillment, if you haven't read them before, go buy them and you won't regret it. Flip through the pages here: The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
And you can watch The Missing Piece below.
3. The Godfather, Mario Puzo, 1969
I know, a big leap from the first two, this is the first novel in English I finished without skipping a page, (If you don't know yet, I immigrated to the States at age 15, with English as my second language, long novels like these were definitely challenging to say the least). And this book, grabbed me by the eyeballs, for a few sleepless nights during finals week, all 400+ pages, by the time I finished the last sentence, the urge to re-read almost immediately took over the dread of getting to the end of an epic story.
And if you ask me, YES, the book is way better than the movie, but if you don't have the hours to spare, watch the movie, at least the first one.
4. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand, 1943
The book that made me question everything I had ever been told, taught, influenced, a stunning piece on self sufficiency, human pursuit, and "objectivism". The first hundred pages or so was somewhat hard to get through for me, but once you fully step foot into the story and the character, what's a few more hundred pages?
5. The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran, 1923
Saving the best for last, this book was given to me by my best friend over 10 years ago, and I have re-read this book at least 10 times, it's the one book I make a point to revisit each year, and each time, I take away more than the year before. The author touches on 26 topics like, "self-knowledge", "time", "friendship", "freedom", "joy and sorrow" etc in the form of short essays, I took a few snaps of the pages below:
Next on my list, is Quiet, by Susan Cain, a book about the power of introverts, that should be an interesting one.. ;)
Have you seen this Ted Talk by her yet?