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Books

Books I’ve read

73 Books

Messy: How to be creative and resilient in tidy-minded world

Among my favourite non-fiction books this year. Tim gives an interesting account of how messiness helps through variety, improvisation, flexibility, speed, and more. He covers a variety of areas and discusses the impact and understanding of messiness in them—from the current trend towards AI and automation to the humanity-old question of children and their play areas.

Combined with Range by David Epstein, this book has provided to me one set of perspectives and inputs. Another set is from Make Time by Jake and Jack, and Deep Work & Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Combining these—focus in the moment, and variety, improv and range in the themes—are a great direction for improvement.

The challenge though, as ever, is in the doing :)

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The Miracle Of Mindfulness: The Classic Guide to Meditation by the World's Most Revered Master

The deal of a lifetime

Short story, with some illustrations. Typical good-hearted emotional Backman, though with a small twist near the end.

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Beyond Impossible

Decent book by a great athlete. Better/stronger editor (or author) would’ve massively improved the book. 10* for her achievements, struggled to give 5 for the book.

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After Mandela

A really good assessment of South Africa during years of Mbeki’s presidency (starts with transition from Mandela, ends with rise of Zuma). Uses a wealth of interviews, anecdotes, and historical perspective to cover all key areas of the society - the party, the violence, failure to deliver, Afrikaners, AIDS, BEE, Zimbabwe and more.
It had its slow moments, specially in the beginning, and a tiny bit of (Western?) proselytising, but they are rare.

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The fifth risk

An assessment of a fundamental execution and institutional capability that’s under attack. By Trump and allies in the US, but also broadly across the world, and not just by the politicians. Good awakening book about the boring truths.

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Into thin air

I really enjoyed the book. I had seen the movie, so knew what was coming. Yet, the Jon has written beautifully to bring out the experience of an Everest expedition. If only he hadn’t spent sections of the book defending his actions and articles. Recommended.

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Digital Minimalism

A good book about managing the overwhelming digital impact on our lives. Full of tips and tricks. I like Cal’s writing style. I enjoyed this book despite already reading Deep Work and Make Time in the last 6 months.

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Sprint

Full of tools and …

North

Really enjoyed this book. The descriptions of the trails, the people, the personal relationships and the injuries were all great. My favourite bit tough was the mental battle in the last quarter. We all hit the wall. Some like me hit it at 20 miles. Some like Scott hit it at 1800 miles. Reading his and JLu’s thoughts around that was a huge learning and sobering experience. It’s been a huge inspiration reading the book after following Scott’s movements on social media during the actual event.

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The Barcelona Legacy: Guardiola, Mourinho and the Fight For Football's Soul

A State of Freedom

Ghachar Ghochar

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises

Do the work

Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5)

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Amongst my favourite books of all time but, written by a researcher, it’s quite hard to read :)

Embroideries

How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

Make Time

Jake and JZ mix personal experience, academic studies and humour to deliver an excellent list of tactics to help focus, and improve energy and productivity.
Personally, it was good to see the changes I’ve made in my life in the last two years listed in the book. More comforting was that their reasoning was similar to mine in deciding at those changes.
The best bit was the list of more changes I can now experiment with to further improve focus, productivity and calmness.

Loved this book. This should be required reading for.. everyone.

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Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World