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16 Best Books I Read in 2018

In 2018, I finished reading a total of 37 books. 37 Only. This is a lower figure than the reading progress of my past two years.

In 2017, I read 60 books, and in 2016, I read a total of 59 books. 

Noticed that drop?

A few reasons for this drastic drop-

  1. I learnt how to leave a book unfinished. There were multiple books that I didn’t like, or that wasn’t my cup of tea at the particular time of reading – so instead of torturing my brain to finish the book, I skipped it.
  2. I picked up better books. I realized that for the past two years, I have read a lot of shitty books too. Oh, and crappy books sometimes are easier to finish early. But it had to be changed sooner or later. So I focussed on quality this time.
  3. I had increased my online reading time for blogs and content via Medium.com and Quora.com

So anyway,

Because I had increased the quality of books I read, I have a long list of Top 16 books that I read in 2018. I have given a three to five line summary of the book along with the title.

Superhuman by Habit by Tynan

Superhuman by habit book cover

Top lessons from the book –

  • “Twice, then quit.” The first time you want to quit your habit, do not. Push it through and do it anyway. The second time you want to quit, again don’t. Push it through once more. The third time you want to quit, you can stop.
  • Plan for a variance. If you have a habit of going to the gym daily. But you can’t go to the gym while travelling. So, you need to plan for a variance. Instead, you can plan on doing push-ups or crunches during the day.
  • Take pride in the process, not in the results. Everybody seems to be planning for a definite goal; instead, try planning for a smooth start. Remember, well begun is half done.

Full summary: Superhuman by Habit (Full Summary)

Click Here to Buy the Book

Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog! book cover

Full summary: Eat That Frog! (Book Summary)

Top lessons from the book-

  • Do the most difficult task first.
  • Plan every day in advance. 10 minutes spent on planning can save 1 hour of your time.
  • Always think on paper. Whenever you are making a plan, write it down. I personally tried it, and it worked like charm!
  • Prioritize everything. Make a list. Label your problems/tasks as ABCDE or 1,2,3,4,5 as per the priority.
  • Be result oriented.

Click Here to Buy the Book

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

essentialism book cover
essentialism book cover

Top lessons from the book-

  • The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.
  • If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.
  • If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
  • Multi-tasking itself is not the enemy of Essentialism; pretending we can ‘multi-focus’ is.
  • As you evaluate an option, think about the single most important criterion for that decision, and then simply give the option a score between 0 and 100. If you rate it any lower than 90%, then automatically change the rating to 0 and simply reject it.”

Full summary: Essentialism: Book Summary

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100$ Startup

100$ Startup - Book Cover
100$ Startup – Book Cover

Top lessons from the book-

  • What people want and what they say they want are not always the same thing; your job is to figure out the difference.
  • When you focus on providing value above all else, your business will be successful.
  • Most people want more of some things (money, love, time) and less other things (stress, pain, debt). Always focus on what you can add or take away to improve their life.
  • To start a business, you need three things: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid.
  • Convergence represents the overlapping space (intersection) between what you care about and what other people are willing to spend money on.

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Factotum by Charles Bukowski

Factotum
Factotum

The book is about the lead character Henry Chinaski (yeah, you can guess the traits of the book’s protagonist), and his drunken journey from one job to another, whilst not leaving his tag of ‘womaniser’ in between.

This book is about survival; survival of an asshole amidst his life’s existential crisis.

Henry Chinaski keeps changing jobs from time to time, working overtime while being underpaid; and showing the reader how a dull job can suck your life out.

The book is not about a sad/happy beginning or a sad/happy ending; it’s about the journey: the journey of Henry Chinaski.

Complete Review: Factotum (Charles Bukowski): Book Review

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You Can Sell by Shiv Khera

You can sell by Shiv Khera
You can sell by Shiv Khera

About the book:

Anyone who sells a product, service or an idea is a salesperson.
Who is not selling?
# candidate at a job interview
# a boy and girl proposing to get married
# a politician making speeches to get votes
# a lawyer arguing his client’s case in court.
AREN’T WE ALL SELLING?”You can sell” addresses time-tested principles which make a successful sales professional. The word used is ‘principles’ and not ‘tactics’. Because tactics are manipulative whereas principles are based on the foundation of integrity.
Many times you hear people saying that to succeed you need to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’. This is not true. This book is different! Good professionals learn the trade, and that’s what “You can sell” is all about! Become Unstoppable and Sell Your Way to success.

Click Here to Buy the Book

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love - Book Cover
Eat Pray Love – Book Cover

About the Book:

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.

To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best way—unexpectedly.

An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.

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Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Growth Hacker Marketing - Book Cover
Growth Hacker Marketing – Book Cover

Top lessons from the book-

  • First step. Figuring out what people really want from your product. Because, even if your prototypes are bug-free and flawless, they’ll fail if there’s no actual demand for them.
  • Don’t target everybody. Target early adopters or those eager to try new things. Since most people won’t become customers, it would be a massive waste of time and resources to try to reach them.
  • Retain your customers. Be oriented toward customer retention. Centre your marketing efforts around it. You’ll have to find the right metric to measure performance.
  • Reward adoption. Reward your users for learning how to use your product.
    If your product is not easy to use or easy to adopt, you’ll frustrate your customers and eventually lose them.
  • Activate your audience. Find ways to make your product worth sharing. And don’t forget to encourage sharing.

Click Here to Buy the Book

Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das

Life's Amazing Secrets - Book Cover
Life’s Amazing Secrets – Book Cover

About the book:
Stop going through life, Start growing through life!

While navigating their way through Mumbai’s horrendous traffic, Gaur Gopal Das and his wealthy young friend Harry get talking, delving into concepts ranging from the human condition to finding one’s purpose in life and the key to lasting happiness.

Whether you are looking at strengthening your relationships, discovering your true potential, understanding how to do well at work or even how you can give back to the world, Gaur Gopal Das takes us on an unforgettable journey with his precious insights on these areas of life.

Das is one of the most popular and sought-after monks and life coaches in the world, having shared his wisdom with millions. His debut book, Life’s Amazing Secrets, distils his experiences and lessons about life into a light-hearted, thought-provoking book that will help you align yourself with the life you want to live.

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The 80/20 Principle

80 by 20 Principle by Richard Koch- book cover
80 by 20 Principle by Richard Koch – book cover

Top lessons from the book-

  • What is 80/20? The minority, 20% of causes, inputs, or effort usually leads to a majority, 80% of the results.20% of choices. The ones that have a massive impact.
    Eg. You probably can recall a few critical turning points in your life that brought you to your current self.
  • 20% of efforts. Find the critical efforts that lead to the majority of results. Eg. Many ventures often times rely on a few key missions to succeed.
  • Conduct an 80/20 analysis. Find out what you can optimise. To maximise your effectiveness, focus only on what matters most. So, what you can do about it? “Eliminate or reduce the 80% of efforts that produce poor results, there are many ways to waste your time and resources.”
  • 20% of People cause 80% of problems in our lives. And, 20% of people are the reason for 80% of our happiness.

Detailed Summary: 80/20 Principle: Book Summary

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Deep Work

Deep Work - book cover
Deep Work – Book cover

Top lessons from the book-

  • Focusing on one important task at a time- that’ll advance your position is true and pure deep work.
  • Deep work is a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.
  • You lose the sense of time when you’re working on engaging things.
  • Deep work leads to quick happiness and advances.
  • If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive- no matter how skilled or talented you are.

Click Here to Buy the Book

The First 20 Hours

The First 20 Hours- Book Cover
The First 20 Hours- Book Cover

About the Book –

Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What’s on your list? What’s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skills—time you don’t have and effort you can’t spare?

Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours to develop a new skill. In this nonstop world when will you ever find that much time and energy? To make matters worse, the early hours of prac­ticing something new are always the most frustrating. That’s why it’s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It’s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web . . .

In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition— how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you’ll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.

Click Here to Buy the Book

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why - Book Cover
Thirteen Reasons Why – Book Cover

Five Reasons to read this book –

1. Engaging plot.
2. Wonderful narration. (Budding writers must read this book to learn a thing or two about narration)
3. Pushing depression and harassment in daylight.
4. The reader will realize how impactful even the small actions can be!
5. Netflix has shot a beautiful TV series around this book.

Click Here to Buy the Book

The Joy of Less

The Joy of Less book cover
The Joy of Less

Top lessons from the book-

  • Having less stuff equals less stress and more freedom.
  • We use 20% of our stuff 80% of the times.
  • Storing books doesn’t make you any smarter; it just makes your life more cluttered.
  • Always categorize your belongings whether they are trash or treasure.
  • Make sure each item has a good reason for being a part of your household.

Click Here to Buy the Book

Attitude is Everything

Attitude Is Everything
Attitude Is Everything

Top 5 lessons from the book-

1. You can’t ignore negative thoughts altogether. Instead, you can try indulging more positive thoughts.
2. Heaven helps those who act. Be a man of action.
3. Even in the worst cases, you have an option to choose how’d you respond to that problem.
4. Your words carry more importance than you realize.
5. Patience and perseverance are the keys to longer run.

Click Here to Buy the Book

The 4-Hour WorkWeek

4-hour workweek book cover
4-hour workweek book cover

Full Summary: The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris (Book Summary)

Book summary in 5 points-

1. Doing something unimportant well won’t make it important.
2. Earning 65,000$ by working 60 hours a week is better than earning 1,00,000$ by working 95 hours a week. (Relative Income)
3. If you really love your work, why’d you retire? And if you never liked what you do for a living, why were you even working your whole life? The idea is to have mini-retirements throughout your life, where you can go for vacations for 3/4/5 months, without being worried about your work.
4. 20% of your problems cause 80% of stress in your life. Cut out that crap. (Pareto’s Principle)
5. Force yourself to work in a hard deadline, and you’d see your productivity increasing manifolds. (Parkinson’s Principle)

Click Here to Buy the Book


 

Disclaimer:

Bear in mind that the links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I’ll totally blow on buying and reading more books.

Gracious!

 

10 thoughts on “16 Best Books I Read in 2018”

  1. Pingback: 8 Ways to Read More Books in 2019 | Dipanshu Rawal

  2. Pingback: Meet Shreya Badonia: The Self Love Coach and The Author of Silver Lining Journal | Dipanshu Rawal

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