One of the big points I try to make to my business partners and clients is the importance of reading. Just by being literate and living in a place with access to books and the internet, you are incredibly lucky, because most of the world doesn’t have that privilege. You have the ability to learn from some of the greatest minds in the world and become more knowledgable, and I find it such a shame that some many people take this for granted.
I try to set aside an hour each night to read a book, and I never read more than two books at once. Two gives me the ability to choose which book to read based on how I am feeling, but also not get the material I’m reading mixed up. I try to make sure at least half of the books I read are nonfiction, and I try to pick books that intrigue me.
With all that said, here are my favorite reads of this January and February, in no particular order.
The Productivity Project
I kicked the new year off by reading this excellent book which dives into pretty much every thinkable method of productivity. This book was a summary of sorts of all of the best studies of productivity, put all into about 300 pages. It was incredibly thorough as the author, Chris Bailey, talked through his personal experiment, A Year of Productivity. Often times when reading self-help books you can never tell if the contents will end up benefiting you in your life, but I know for a fact that my productivity has risen to a degree I didn’t even imagine before. Any person interest in increasing their productivity, quitting procrastination, or living a better life should definitely pick up this book.
A Passage To India
Even if you’ve already seen the movie, A Passage To India is a very good read, as it is different from most every piece of class literature. The only fiction book on this list also does a lot to educate the reader on British occupied India, something overlooked by many history classes. Throughout the book, you learn the relations between many of the imperial rulers and the Indians in the town of Chandrapore. Having many similarities to a later work, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Passage To India leaves the reader wanting to show more compassion and less judgment to those around them, having learned of the tale of Aziz, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Quested, and Mr. Fielding.
Steal The Show
Told by the perspective of a former actor, Steal The Show teaches the reader how to own your own stages in your life through a theatre perspective. Michael Port teaches tools including improv, warming up, and creating thorough outlines to kill the stage, and actually get a standing ovation every time (although the strategy for that last one may be a slight stretch!). Highly recommended for anyone who does any sort of public speaking, presenting, or anything relating to sales.
Anatomy of A Song
Anatomy of A Song goes through 45 of the most influential songs of the past 70 years, giving backstories, and perspective, while including interview segments from the people who were behind the writing process. Anyone who is a musician or just enjoys listening to music will really enjoy this book, and begin an entirely new thought process when they next listen to a song.
The Solution To Social Anxiety
Although I haven’t had social anxiety since I was a kid, I still found this book very interesting through learning what causes social anxiety and how to cure it. Even though I thought of myself as a very outgoing person, I still learned a lot of information that I hadn’t used before to increase my confidence levels and to take more risks. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Anyone can write a self-help book with good information, but creating a self help book that has information that will actually be absorbed into your day-to-day life is a rarity. This book does the latter, and it does it well!