BR 62: The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto

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Comments: Very good book if you are interested in being/are a consultant. This is an ex-Mckinsey consultant taking you through her approach to structuring thinking and writing. It is universal, easy to apply and definitely helps putting frames around all sorts of content and problems.

BR 61: The 4 hour work-week by Tim Ferris

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Comments: This is about Tim Ferriss’ formula for an ideal life. Quit your job/do as much as possible away from home, travel to places that are kind on your wallet, live the ‘ideal life’ and outsource most parts e.g.: saying sorry to your wife, to an Indian virtual assistant.

This book has many many fans who will not agree with this rating. I know of somebody who is, in a way, living this book as well! He loves it THAT much!

Make no mistake, this book is fantastic if you are entrepreneur. It has some great tips like thinking about outsourcing certain parts of your life that take up lots of energy.

The issue I had with the book is that I just didn’t connect with Tim Ferriss’ value system. Ferriss proudly talks about winning the world kickboxing championship by exploiting a rule that is frowned upon for instance. It just didn’t work for me.

Additionally, the primary premise the book is based on an assumption that a wanderer’s life is an ideal goal because it is ‘perceived’ to be so. I didn’t agree with that either. Neither did I agree with his whole premise that work is just means to an end – the end being sunbathing on the beach. I actually love the concept of a work as a way to make a difference in the world and connect with people.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy the book. I still read it all the way through despite many urges to put it down to fully understand Ferriss (as much as I could gather from the book atleast) and try and see where he’s coming from. It just didn’t work for me.

BR 60: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

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Comments: A very interesting book. If you have an interest in the mystical, this is definitely a good book. This the real life story of Paulo Coelho going on a pilgrimage (on the Camino trail) along with a ‘guide’. Along the way, Coelho faces many a test, fights many a force and learns lessons for life. It was a tad too mystical for my taste but it had some good learnings. But, I had a few very interesting learnings from it –
1. A quote that said something to the nature – ‘Why do we try to convince people – do we do it because we feel convincing more will make it true?’
2. And a lovely line about the importance of dreaming – “We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body.”
3. The idea of “fighting the good fight” that has stuck with me.

BR 59: Made in America by Sam Walton

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Comments: This book was a fun read from start to finish. Sam Walton is insightful, humorous and entertaining all at once. He takes us through the entire Wal-Mart story with great pride and passion. I could almost feel him talking me through the story despite the fact that I read the book.

BR 58: The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Stephen Covey

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4 useful disciplines. The irony is that I don’t remember 3.

I do remember hearing the ‘Don’t Multi task’ discipline and feeling like hearing the book was worth it right and there for the reminder.

I wasn’t all that impressed with the book though – I remember not liking the audio experience. Maybe the paperback experience would be better.

BR 57: The Knack by Norm Brodsky

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Comments: Norm Brodsky shares some very profound insights of his thinking as a serial entrepreneur that (in my opinion) is a realistic approach to looking at things. This isn’t one for tech entrepreneurs who want to change the world – more for someone who wants to start a small business. Norm has a few simple ideas – go for a business idea that’s atleast a 100 years old. Don’t bother trying to create anything novel as it’ll cost too much to educate the market. Essentially, go into a business with tons of competitors who have lost the connection with the market in one way or the other, ensure high profit margins and go for success.

It’s not necessarily the ‘right’ way as there is no real ‘right’ way.. it’s honest, straightforward and from my limited experience, he’s definitely got a point.

BR 56: 360 Degree Leader by John C Maxwell

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Comments: Good, without being great. John Maxwell communicates simple concepts through good stories and makes his point. John Maxwell shares his philosophy on why leadership is necessary at every level, and how you can ensure you are being a leader, whether or not you possess a title. He articulates this with several examples and stories. Another one of those management books would be the simplest way to describe ‘what to expect’.

BR 55: A Splendid Exchange by William J Bernstein

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Comments: There are many different kinds of books. Some, like the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective people’, can change the way you think about life and yourself. Those are very impactful, of course. But, if you are looking for a book that would change the way you looked at the world, it’s history and how it ended up in it’s current state, there are probably few books that can match ‘The Splendid Exchange’. This is a classic!

The book is a story of the world from the eyes of trade, and traders. In essence, it is a history of the world presented from a different (and you might argue, more balanced) lens.

If I had to mentally think of a list of the best books I’ve read, this book would be right up there – regardless of genre or type.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: Thoughts of reading this book still gives me goosebumps. I feel like I should go back and re-read this at some point.