BR 54: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: I’m not sure if I missed something here but I didn’t find this all time classic all that impressive. I wonder if one of the reasons it was ground breaking was because it was ahead of it’s time but most of the concepts didn’t seem new. The only novel idea I remember at the moment is Hill’s emphasis on control in personal (i.e. love and sex) spheres of life and how it can often make the difference between success and failure.

The book had a lot of stories about the richest men in US at the time told by a very patriotic American. Lots of simple ideas and concepts made it easy to get through.

This is an all time classic. So, I’m sure you will not regret buying it and reading it. I just didn’t find it as fabulous as I thought it would be.

BR 53: The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: An okay book. I don’t think you’ll miss much if you didn’t read it. At the same time, that’s not to say it doesn’t have solid concepts. While this book is a continuation of the 7 Habits, it is less effective (in my opinion) and it felt like the start of a sequel series that wasn’t going to live up to the original (The 7 Habits…)

The 8th habit is about using your leadership to inspire others. A collection of many implementable ideas, stories and anecdotes make it a pleasant read.

BR 52: The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: A very very very good book. I rate it very high on inspiration, a tad lower on impact. But, it throws out tons of simple and actionable ideas that make it a fun read. In some ways, it is an eclectic collection of thoughts that form Robin Sharma’s recipes for greatness with lots of little nuggets that are actionable. Little nuggets that I acted upon were to start my day with reflections from yesterday and to ask for an upgrade to Business class every time I traveled. 🙂

Add on Mar 16, 2016: 5 years after reading this book, I have to say there’s something about this book that just worked like magic. Perhaps it was the timing (I vividly remember the flight on which I read it) but I took collection of ideas from the book to heart – e.g. waking up at 5am, meditating regularly and treating my body well.

BR 51: You don’t have to be born brilliant by John Mcgrath

Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Fantastic book. It is extremely high on impact and inspired me to no end to get disciplined and start designing systems to manage myself. This is the story of an Australian real estate entrepreneur who had the  lowest scores  in the Australian school system but ‘made it’ thanks to enormous amounts of self discipline.

It is, to me, the tale of a millionaire (not an obscenely rich one) who manages to focus on family and business thanks to tremendous amounts of focus and, of course, self discipline. I love the systems he’s got in place to manage himself.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: It was my first “systems thinking” book and had a huge impact on the way I approach life.

BR 50: The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: A typical Malcolm Gladwell book – a mish mash of well presented facts that lead to a whole number of well organized conclusions – laced with engaging stories that makes the book just a very good read.

What to expect: Bits of research that success comes from a combination of factors – luck, background and the presence of an opportunity to work very very hard (read 10,000 hours).  There were lots of memorable stories – like those of Gates, Jobs as well as a whole host of interesting insights like the connection between the success of sports people and their birth months as well as the investigation of the reasons behind frequent ‘Korean Air’ plane crashes . The book presents many little nuggets to remember.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: I realized over the years that there was one large flaw in the 10,000 hour rule. It isn’t just about the hours. It is about “deliberate practice” during the hours. As I learnt about the original research by Anders Ericsson, I think I felt Outliers over sold it a bit. Still a really good read and likely his most popular work.

BR 49: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: The Alchemist is one of the best selling books of all time and it isn’t without reason. Very touching, very metaphorical yet, very real. The book tells the journey of a Spanish sheperd who decides to follow his dream of finding a treasure. This is fraught with complications, of course, as it requires him to go to the pyramids and as a result, cross the Sahara desert. And that journey is one that changes his life..
(Saying any more would spoil the plot if you haven’t read it)

This is one of those books that deserves to be right on top of your priority list. I remember being SO excited to finish listening to this book (especially thanks to the fascinating narrative) that I finished the book in 2 sittings  – the 2nd of which involved forsaking sleep so I could get to the end of the story.

My favorite quote – “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”