Remember Bacon’s famous words: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Here are the top 5, among the books that I chewed and digested.

The Magic of Thinking Big

Great self help book, if you are new to this genre – easy to read and apply. Even otherwise, it’s a great book to get some good ideas for yourself for self-development. If you are young, go buy it. If you are as young as me, gift it to younger guys around you!

Quotes from the book

The success combination in business is: Do what you do better and Do more of what you do.

The body is what the body is fed. By the same token, the mind is what the mind is fed… Mind food is your environment—all the countless things that influence your conscious and subconscious thought… The mind reflects what its environment feeds it just as surely as the body reflects the food you feed it.

The most important qualification for an executive is the sheer desire to get ahead

7 habits of Effective people

If you have outgrown The Magic of thinking book, go for this book. If you haven’t read this book, don’t delay it anymore, just buy it – it doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in.  If you have read it and don’t yet use superlatives for it, please re-read. It’s for people of every age and every vocation. This book will guide you through every situation. I have applied lessons from this book several times in my life and got rewarded.

Quote from the book

A man came up and said, “I’m really worried. My wife and I just don’t have  the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”

“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked. 

“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?” 

“Love her,” I replied. 

“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore. ” 

“Love her.” 

“You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there. ” 

“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her. ” 

“But how do you love when you don’t love?” 

“My friend, love is a verb. Love—the feeling—is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”


Getting Things Done

No surprises; you knew it was coming. My Orderly system is based on this. This book turned out to be life changing for me. The problem of personal productivity is like an elephant and all of us around it as blindfolded persons figuring out how the elephant looks like, just by touching one part of it. I would argue that David Allen is the one who removes the blindfolds finally to let us know what animal personal productivity is.

Quote from the book

Intellectually, the most appropriate way ought to be to work from the top down, first uncovering personal and corporate missions, then defining critical objectives, and finally focusing on the details of implementation. The trouble is, however, that most people are so embroiled in commitments on a day-to-day level that their ability to focus successfully on the larger horizon is seriously impaired. Consequently, a bottom-up approach is usually more effective.

The Intellectual Life

This should be a surprise to you being a less known book. I found this book cross-referenced in Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, which is also a great book in itself. I thanked Cal specifically to lead me to this book. We, the knowledge workers, lead an intellectual life and this book  makes us realize our duty to the mankind. It’s very practical book and more than anything, is proven to be timeless. Two advices: Do not get perturbed by the English that would sound anachronous. Substitute the “faith” references to whatever “superpower” that you believe in.

Quotes from the book

Pay still more attention to your sleep. Take neither too much nor too little. Too much will make you heavy, stupid, will slow up the blood and the power of thinking; too little will expose you to the risk of prolonging unduly the stimulation of work and dangerously superimposing strain upon strain

The world is in danger for lack of life-giving maxims. We are in a train rushing ahead at top speed, no signals visible. The planet is going it knows not where, its law has failed it: who will give it back its sun?

When evening comes, they lay down the reins and throw off thought, giving their minds up to the dissipation which is supposed to refresh them, dining, smoking, playing cards, talking noisily, frequenting the theatres or the music halls, gaping at the cinema, and going to bed with minds “relaxed.”  Yes, indeed, relaxed; but like a violin with all its strings completely slackened. What a labor next day to tune them all up again!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

This is the latest book that shook me up! We know that macro perspective could only answer some of the questions and we do use it while analyzing problems. But how about going macro to the level of how the mankind evolved. The book equips you with that. You will be surprised by its applicability, after reading the book.

Quotes from the book

Just 6 million years ago, a single female ape had two daughters. One became the ancestor of all chimpanzees,
the other is our own grandmother.

Sapiens by contrast is more like a banana-republic dictator. Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous. Many historical calamities, from deadly wars to ecological catastrophes, have resulted from this over-hasty jump.

Such myths give Sapiens the unprecedented ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. Ants and bees can also work together in huge numbers, but they do so in a very rigid manner and only with close relatives. Wolves and chimpanzees cooperate far more flexibly than ants, but they can do so only with small numbers of other individuals that they know intimately. Sapiens can cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers.