This is a highlight of some ten books that are going to be released in November 2020. Some of these books are memoirs, others are biographies, some are fictional and others are non-fictional. You can carefully go through the list and find if any of these books can interest you and if you are willing to purchase any of them in order to improve your understanding of the world and gain insights that can help you become a better version of yourself as well as become a great decision maker.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama. This is a memoir by Barack Obama. the book is expected to be a highlight of Obama’s presidency. The book will highlight Obama’s experience during his reign as America’s first African American President. it will be a reflection on his decisions and decision making and the principles that guided his actions during his presidency.
The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography by Hilary Holladay. This is a biography of Adrienne Rich who was at the time of her demise in 2012 a prolific poet. She was also the face of feminism in the United States. The book explores her life journey and how she was a master of reinvention. It shows her wounds as well as her passions and determination to surpass odds.
Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat. This book by Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historical narration and a close up examination of dictators who have graced the world since twentieth century. It explores what drove them and why they were popular despite their misgivings. It also explores modern day dictators like Putin.
The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem. This is a fictional novel by Jonathan which is a story that imagines what could happen if technology suddenly stops working. It is story about Sandy a screen writer who is forced by technology failure across the globe to go back to her family farm where they find themselves in a nuclear tunnel for ten months. It is a thriller.
Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West by Lauren Redniss. This is a book about the Apache tribe in Arizona and the tribe’s fight to keep their copper rich land sacred. It explores the the tribe’s activism, art oral history and their determination to keep their land sacred and unexploited by copper miners baying for the land’s copper.
Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers. This book by Catherine Coleman narrates that there are many poor in poor American neighborhoods who live in filth. Many people do not have the right to flush and forget. These people lack basic human dignity due to unavailability of proper sanitary conditions. As an activist Coleman traces her journey in the fight to restore the basic dignity to poor communities in America.
The Sun Collective by Charles Baxter. This is a fictional novel about two parents who are searching for their lost son who is an actor and has left home to become homeless in order to achieve his dream of becoming an actor. This leads the parent to join an activist group which does not end up well.
V2: A Novel of World War II by Robert Harris. This is a thriller novel focused on war stories. It is a story about well-kept secret of World War II and how the German troops misfired a V2 missile which was a long range ballistic missile and how it was the last effort by Germany to win the war.
The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest by Ed Caesar. This is book based on a true story of Maurice Wilson who was a British War Veteran who decided to crash land at mount Everest and climb it solo even though he had no experience in mountain hiking. Caesars book attempts to put historical and political context of Maurice Wilson actions.
This is one of the most profound books that you can read. It is about principles of life and work. It shows the core principles that drive life and work. I read it mostly because I was very much interested in Raymond Dalio due to his immense success in money management through his firm Bridgewater Associates which manages assets worth over $100 billion. Ray Dalio has been immensely rewarded for managing such huge amounts of money with a net worth of $18 billion.
This book starts out by describing how Raymond Dalio started out in his business. He explains how he started out his business in a garage. He explains how the business almost failed and how he grew it slowly into the behemoth that it is today. The second part shares out the life principles that Raymond Dalio embodies. The third section shares the work principles that defines how he works, how he relates with coworkers, customers and employees. The good thing with this book by Raymond Dalio is that it is not just a highlight of principles. It is a book of reflection on his actions and how he formulated principles based on his actions and triangulating his knowledge with other people who were believable. He deeply explains why he applies those principles. He considers principles to be a way of examining how reality works. He presents two sets of principles which are principles of life and principles of work. The following were the life principles identified by Ray Dalio:
Embrace reality and deal with it. To deal with life effectively you must be a hyper realist. This does not mean that you should not dream but it implies that you have to embrace realism instead of idealism. Truth or the in-depth understanding of reality is the foundation of any good outcome. You have to be radically open minded. You have to understand how reality works. Don’t allow fear of other people prevent you from doing things that you should do. Observe nature carefully in order to understand how reality works. One law of nature relates to evolution: Everything is slowly but certainly evolving into something better. Please identify how to align yourself with evolution. You must evolve or die. Evolution is the greatest life force which also presents the most rewards. Nature optimizes for the whole not the individual. Do things that benefit the whole not you as the individual to get most of nature’s rewards. Embrace pain with full awareness that no pain no gain. Be aware of the second and third order consequences of your decisions and actions. Do not overweigh the first order consequences and ignore the second and third order consequences that nature optimizes for. Go above yourself and objectively evaluate things.
Use a 5 step process to get what you want. The five step which Ray Dalio considers to be the holy grail of succeeding in eandevours is made up of five processes which are: having clear goals, identifying barriers and challenges that stand in the way of attaining those goals, accurate diagnoses of problems to identify their root causes, designing a way around these obstacles then pushing the designs through in order to achieve the results.
Be radically open minded. This is another important life principle expounded by Raymond. It helps one to go through life alert, observant and ready for opportunities that come in life. In order to be radically open minded there are two barriers which you have to identify and deal with which are: Your ego and your blind spots. Open mindedness also does not come naturally so you have to consciously practice being open minded. Learn how to engage in thoughtful disagreement. Also find believable people who can thoughtfully disagree with your view. Learn how to plan for worst case scenarios. To become open minded, take time to engage in quality reflections.
Understand that people are wired differently. Understand your personality. Understand other people’s personalities. Take time to evaluate yourself and what motivates you. Understand that there are battles related to thinking and feeling and learn how to balance between them. Learn to use logic, reason, common sense to synthesize reality and work on it. Make calculations when making decisions. Evaluate probabilities of rewards if you are right and the weight of penalties if you are wrong.
The other set of principles discussed in the book are the work principles. These are principles related to organisations and work very well if you’re an entrepreneur. They tell you about how to go about work and make most of the work environment by building a meritocratic organisation using idea meritocracy. One of the work principles is to get the culture right by having set of values that should be held dearly by everyone in the organisation. The other work principle is to have believability weighted decision making. The specifics of believability weighted decision making and its applicability in organizational decision making can only be better explained by reading the book. You can find it here:
This is one of the books I read in 2019. I wanted to seriously go through it and learn why Jews were bent towards making more money than the average person. What is it that gave them a head start in business? This was one of the most interesting books that I read. This book was quite interesting especially for those who hold Christian belief because it dissects the place of belief in business and the religious rules that govern business. The book highlighted and explained why most of the people or a third of Forbes’ 100 rich list is made up of Jews, yet Jews are a small minority of the global population. It explored the factors and values that have made it possible for them to succeed. While the author acknowledges that there could be geographic and generational factors that make business success possible for different people. The author acknowledges that it is possible for everyone to succeed in business provided they adhere to several principles that guide business. Rabbi Daniel Lapin had condensed these principles into ten commandments that are similar to the commandments of Moses.
The following were the 10 commandments of business which were explored by Daniel Lapin:
Believe in the morality of business. Many people believe that business is bad. They believe that business people are greedy and that they are doing something to scam people in order to have money. There is no way you can succeed and prosper in business when having this kind of belief system. You can never succeed in business if you believe that making profit is doing something immoral. The Jewish belief system allows them to make profit and believes that making profit in one’s business is moral and ethical. This means going against the grain because the government and media tend to demonize business and Wall Street calling it greedy and immoral. Money is holy and is a legitimate component of divine redemption and prosperity. Jews possess a huge cultural reservoir that affirms the morality of business. The media has played a huge role in making many people believe that business is inherently bad and the effect of this belief is evident in the society. Many people believe that business prospers at the expense of customers. Be aware of the media’s tendency to make you feel immoral about profit making and engaging in business.
Extend the network of your connectedness. Business is highly dependent on people and networks. Befriend as many people as possible. Some should be way above your financial level. Others should be below your financial level. Seek ways in which you can help out each of them. Build as many genuine friendships and relationships with people without expecting any reward. While there are many books on how to form friendships and influence people, your intention to relate with people should be genuine and sincere without intention of influencing them or taking any form of advantage from them. Actively find opportunities to become friendly with many people. This can be done in environments that do not expose your self-interest such as churches or volunteer organizations. You are more likely to find genuine business partners in such encounters than in business networking meeting. According to Lapin the networking events tend to attract those with hungry and lean looks and mostly attracts people with an intention to advertise their businesses. Jews consider friendship as an ongoing obligation. They also view cities as better for wealth making than villages due to the huge network of people available in cities. Attend people’s events, if you are introverted make effort to go out and meet people.
Know yourself. This is the third commandment. You have to know yourself for you to succeed in business. Take time to evaluate yourself. Become your harshest critic. Make those close to yourself realize that you are human and have weakness and make them commit to watch your back and help you out of your weaknesses. Evaluate how you spend your time and money because time is money.
Do not pursue perfection. You should not neglect the imperfect but you should also not expend yourself in pursuit of perfection while ignoring less perfect circumstances. Life is not perfect, therefore always stay aware of the perfect but never allow it to sideline you. You must learn how to function in less ideal situations. People must learn to operate in less ideal situations because ideal perfection in unattainable by humans. The current economic systems are not perfect but there are no better alternatives at the moment. Individuals pursuing success in business have to learn how to exist in less perfect circumstances.
Lead consistently and constantly. Leadership is the fifth commandment in business. Leadership is not something that you become, it is something that you do and you must frequently do. To be a leader you must also learn how to follow. You must have a clear goal and vision that you want to attain. To be a leader you must also embrace confrontation. To be a leader you must master faith and facts.
Constantly change the changeable while steadfastly clinging on the unchangeable. Embrace innovation and change. Accept that innovation may bring pain to some people. Try to absorb change gradually, not instantly. Never embark on two changes simultaneously, as it may difficult for your mind and body to process. Keep in mind your core values. These are things that should never change.
Learn to foretell the future. Interpret events correctly. Ego is the enemy of forecasting. Learn to overcome it and you will be in a position where you can effectively foretell the future. To become successful in business and wealth creation you must have foresight concerning business. Learn to observe cues in the present that can tell you about the future. Learn to look backward in order to see future. Some future event is based on patterns that have already occurred in the past. Based on this you can easily predict the future. Recognize, identify, and scan external forces that may affect your business. In addition, Rabbi Lapin identified that you also need to block out noises when making forecasts. Dedicate time alone to forecast and analyze past events frequently.
Know your money. Your money is an aggregation of your time, knowledge, skills and experiences. You must therefore constantly evaluate and account for your money as it forces to account for your skills, knowledge, relationships and capabilities. Have some accounting knowledge that helps keep records that are acceptable to everyone. Know that money represents value. Make effort to keep your money in three parts. Some of the money should be in real estate, a third should be cash and the third should be stocks and other near cash equivalents.
Act Rich: Give 10% of your after tax income. Do not find a rational reason for giving out your money because none exists. Give for the sake of giving. Giving out money increasing your capability to invest because investing is much like giving away money to charity: it might never come back. With giving losses from investment may not have much impact on you and your mental health if you are giver.
Never retire. Integrate your vocation with your life. There is a lie that exists that people become less productive as they age. This is inherently wrong because as people age the more skilled they become and the more they have a large network of trust.
The book sums up with a major epilogue that life is business and business is life. Once you learn one you have learnt the other. This is a very interesting book that I would recommended anyone interested in business to read as it contain invaluable nuggets of wisdom based on rich Rabbinic and biblical wisdom concerning doing business.
You can get this book from Amazon based on this link:
I chose to read this book mostly as a continuation of my interest in reading Tina Seelig’s books. I am done with my twenties and I was reading to assess my regrets on what I could have done better in my twenties. Tina Seelig has written this book as a reflection of the elements that lead to success in one’s life. While the book seems like it was targeted for those who are in their twenties. She describes it as a small crash course on making your place in the world. It is a great book for everyone who feels like they missed out on success train. The book highlights how to go through life without having regrets by acting right and being fabulous at every moment.
The following were the key takeaways from the book:
Opportunities to earn are abundant. Always look for problems you can solve. Learn how to create value for others.
Problems are not bad. Always figure out how to repackage yourself. Seize the opportunities all around you.
Write a failure resume. Learn how to embrace failures. Learn when to keep on pushing on a problem and when to walk away from a problem and accept failure. Quitting is not a sign of weakness, in many instances it is just the opposite.
Make talents which do not have a huge market as hobbies. Treat talents with huge markets as jobs.
Luck is manufactured. There is nothing like luck, it is all hardwork disguised as luck. Lucky people take advantage of opportunities that come their way. They pay incredible attention to their environment to identify opportunities and chances in their environment. You can find my post on this HERE.
Learn how to negotiate by identifying how the other person’s interests. The interest may not be conflicting at all. Negotiating should not always be adversarial. Walk away if the deal is bad and the other side is not willing to negotiate. You can find my post on negotiation HERE.
Learn how to help others even those who cannot help you in future.
Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. You may not get a second chance to do your best.
See the world as full of opportunity and possibilities.
This is a nice books for students which could help them to face life with realism and not from an idealistic perspective. The books main premise is that being in twenties does not have to be confusing as it is for most people. You only need to open up to failure while at the same time seizing all available opportunities with a genuine intention to help others. You can purchase this book from Amazon using this link:
There are blog articles that every person should read. They are some of the best blog write ups that can motivate and make you a better person and enhance your capacity for making better choices.
Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards by Mark Manson. Mark Mason is the author of two bestselling books. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and Everything Is Fucked: A Book About Hope. This blog article does a wonderful job showing you should not put too much effort in some things. It demonstrates why trying too hard to get what you want in life—like love, respect, and happiness—often has the opposite effect: you end up lonely, dejected, and miserable. There are things in life which should not be highly pursued as they tend to become elusive the more you put much effort in pursuing them. The higher the effort you put in pursuit of love, respect, confidence, trust security or even control the more elusive they become as they operate under the law of diminishing returns. Having this understanding is crucial in making better choices in life because you tend to devote less energy to some of these mental pursuits whose rewards is mostly psychological. Understanding that some things have diminishing rewards helps you to consciously take a backwards outlook on everything. It helps you not to get carried away by love, need for security, or the need for happiness.
How to be successful by Sam Altman. Sam Altman is a successful investor and one of the founders of Y-Combinator. He discusses some of the factors that leads to success one of them being having power to compound oneself in order to benefit from the exponential advantages that come with self-compounding. He notes that the best way to compound oneself is by becoming great in self-learning. By becoming an ultra-learner, one accumulates the necessary knowledge and capabilities that compound. The other thing to do with being successful has to do with self-belief. Successful people tend to have high self-belief that can be mistaken as being delusional. They also enhance their sales and marketing capabilities by enhancing their capabilities to communicate. Success has something to do with communication and you have to enhance your communication capabilities. Success also demand focus and risk taking. You can read more about Sam Altman here.
3 Things The Most Resilient People Do Every Day by Eric Barker. Eric Barker is the author of Barking up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is Mostly Wrong. Success and happiness all have something to do with resilience. It is not given that every time you’ll be lucky and that every time you try something it will be successful. Sometimes misfortunes hit us hard thereby disorienting and making us disappointed and discouraged. You have to be resilient and persistent in order to succeed and attain happiness. Becoming resilient involves becoming hopeful. Hope can be a scientific concept in as much as it is considered to be something spiritual. Successful people have mostly mastered the art of resilience through three major hope strategies that Eric Barker has outlined in his blog. The first strategy involves having goals. Resilient people constantly focus on their goals. Goals instigate hope and resilience. The second strategy is having agency. Agency is the act of taking responsibility and accepting that you are the one responsible for change in your life. It involves abandoning blame game and self-pity in cases of failure and bad happenstances and accepting responsibility to make better choices and decisions. The third strategy outlined by Eric Barker is having pathways to the attainment of the goals you have set. The pathway is not just a written plan. It is a mental movie that shows you how you will attain the goals that you have set in a visual manner.
Reading these blog posts will certainly motivate you to become a better person. They will inspire you to make better decision and live a focused life by taking necessary action.
Disclosure: This blog post contains some Amazon Associate links which may prompt you to make book purchases. I will be rewarded in case you buy any of those books. Thank you. I love you all my readers.