Sunday, January 06, 2013

2012 Books Roundup

I do this yearly look back of books I have read. [ Here is the 2011 list and 2010 list ]

Following is my 2012 list of books I read or came in touch with

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 

Love this man or hate him - do read this book. The phone, tablet or laptop you are reading this post right now has Steve Job's hand in it somehow. [ Oh Steve Jobs! ]

Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

If you are responsible for a toddler, at times does it send a chill down your spine - gosh I am responsible for this kid now and how am I ever going to bring up to be a good citizen of the world - wish there was a manual! - Well there is - highly recommend this! [ Nurtureshock ]

4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

I am a productivity hacker. I keep looking for new ways of doing more with the limited time I have. 2012 has been very demanding. I tried pomodoro, 3 focus areas a week, even GTD - but will drift off to my bad habits.

However this book made me rethink how I look at the chores I am doing - and how I can effectively blaze through my work day. It gave me new ideas to prioritise tasks on 80/20 rule and also helped me cut off all work distractions - news, twitter,fb.

Highly recommend this one [ 4Hour Work Week! ]

Paulo Coelho - A Warrior's Life

Biography of my favourite writer - Paulo Coelho. If you don't know him - dont read this book - instead read his books - Life changing! You will fall in love with his books and then you can read his biography [ Paulo Coelho - A Warrior's life ]

Isn't it Obvious - Eliyahu Goldratt

Another favorite author of mine - Author of Goal 1 and Goal 2. I was stuck in a train with this book - so had to finish it. Avoid this.

Necessary but not sufficient - Eliyahu Goldratt

This was good. I recommend this for all Project Managers - has similar out of box thinking present in Goal 1 and Goal 2

Wind up Bird Chronicle - by Haruki Murakami

What a fertile brain this man has. What a story teller. This was one weird ride. Highly recommend this.

Open - An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

Even if you don't read this book - just read the first chapter. It is the best part of the book and will transport you into Agassi's mind and body for that duration. I love Tennis - and enjoyed this book thoroughly ( even though I am not a fan of Agassi and rooted for Pete Sampras )

Special Mention : Autobiography of an Yogi

I have started reading an interesting spiritual book - Autobiography of an Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda - it is available for free on Kindle. It is very funny in the beginning where he will keep running away from home to Himalayas to become an Yogi - and also has interesting stories on miracles and stories on various Yogis. Then it gets very deep and explains even christianity, the science findings ( book was written in mid-20th century ), his own spiritual experiences etc. In fact I am planning to visit Serampore when I go to Kolkatta next month - where this Yogi lived in an ashram.

Now I follow a little bit of Tim Ferris's very bad philosophy when it comes to reading books -  he recommends scanning stuff and not diving deep into something in order to do more. I scanned a few books based on this philosophy.

Here is the list of half eaten apples! 

What to do when there's too much to do - Laura Stack : Avoidable
Business Stripped Bare - Richard Branson - lot of expectation but a dud
Work Less, Achieve More - Fergus O'Connell - 4HWW is much much better.  Nothing of significance
80/20 principle by Richard Koch - If already know about the title you can avoid the book.

I gave up on these

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Started reading this and saw the trailer. Also the book was going on and on about a sloth. So gave up. After seeing the movie I realized it has got a spiritual bent to it - now I regret not having read this book.

Hermit in Himalayas by Paul Brunton : It was interesting - but I have kept it aside for now.

Dark Tower - Gunslinger - 1st book in the mega series and The Green Mile by Stephen King : I don't seem to have a taste for Stephen King. Had read a few of his short stories but could not sustain interest and dropped both these books

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama - It was a nice book but lost interest mid way.

Tibetan Book of Living and Death - Very good book. I started reading this in beginning of 2012 but gave up. Now when I look back I wish I had not given up - would have helped me later when I had to console myself and my family. Will pick this up again sometime.


I am planning to embark on a 52 books goal this year - 1  per week. [ Inspired by this guy who finished 366 books last year - one per day ]

Wish me luck!