Enwil’s Recommended Books for Reading

Books I’ve read till date with short description of each.


June 2013

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime – by MJ DeMarco:
Has the “settle-for-less” financial plan become your plan for wealth? That plan sounds a little something like this:

“Graduate from college, get a good job, save 10% of your paycheck, buy a used car, cancel the movie channels, quit drinking expensive Starbucks mocha lattes, save and penny-pinch your life away, trust your life-savings to the stock market, and one day, when you are oh, say, 65 years old, you can retire rich.”

Since you were old enough to hold a job, you’ve been hoodwinked to believe that wealth can be created by blindly trusting in the uncontrollable and unpredictable markets: the housing market, the stock market, and the job market. I call this soul-sucking, dream-stealing dogma “The Slowlane” – an impotent FINANCIAL GAMBLE that dubiously promises wealth in a wheelchair.

Accept the Slowlane as your financial roadmap and your financial future will blow carelessly asunder on a sailboat of HOPE: HOPE you can get a job and keep it, HOPE the stock market doesn’t tank, HOPE the economy rebounds, HOPE, HOPE, and HOPE. Do you really want HOPE to be the centerpiece of your family’s financial plan?

Drive the Slowlane road and you will find your life deteriorate into a miserable exhibition about what you cannot do, versus what you can. For those who don’t want a lifetime subscription to “settle-for-less”, there is an alternative; an expressway to extraordinary wealth capable of burning a trail to financial independence faster than any road out there. And shockingly, this road has nothing to do with jobs, 401(k), mutual funds, or a lifestyle of mediocrity.

Demand more. Change lanes and find your explosive wealth accelerator. Hit the Fastlane, crack the code to wealth, and find out how to live rich for a lifetime.
The Breaking Point – by T.W. Anderson:
Perhaps it is conditioning. After all, from the time you are a young child you are told to trust in the system, to obey, to follow the rules, to go the “traditional route”. Go to preschool, then kindergarten, then grade school, then high school…and once you hit high school you are bombarded by the recruiters. Snake oil salesmen who earn a commission for every eager young little mind they twist to sign up for credit cards they don’t need and higher education that is largely pointless. Student loans are largely the only way for individuals to receive an education that they are told is required…yet when they graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt they are faced with a nonexistent job market.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro – by Ernest Hemingway:
“Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 fee high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Maisai ‘Ngaje Ngdi,’ the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dead and frozen carcuss of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.”

 There’s More to Life Than Being Happy – by Emily Esfahani Smith:
This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love. When the impossibility of replacing a person is realized, it allows the responsibility which a man has for his existence and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.”

May 2013

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen R. Covey:
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Aleph – by Paulo Coelho:
Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, Paulo initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.

Meditations – by Marcus Aurelius:
One measure, perhaps, of a book’s worth, is its intergenerational pliancy: do new readers acquire it and interpret it afresh down through the ages? The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, translated and introduced by Gregory Hays, by that standard, is very worthwhile, indeed. Hays suggests that its most recent incarnation–as a self-help book–is not only valid, but may be close to the author’s intent. The book, which Hays calls, fondly, a “haphazard set of notes,” is indicative of the role of philosophy among the ancients in that it is “expected to provide a ‘design for living.'” And it does, both aphoristically (“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.”) and rhetorically (“What is it in ourselves that we should prize?”). Whether these, and other entries (“Enough of this wretched, whining monkey life.”) sound life-changing or like entries in a teenager’s diary is up to the individual reader, as it should be. Hays’s introduction, which sketches the life of Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome A.D. 161-180) as well as the basic tenets of stoicism, is accessible and jaunty. –H. O’Billovich

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – by Robert M Pirsig:
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. This 25th Anniversary Quill Edition features a new introduction by the author; important typographical changes; and a Reader’s Guide that includes discussion topics, an interview with the author, and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator’s relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.

April 2013

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason – by Sam Harris:
This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today’s world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes-heinous crimes. He asserts that in the shadow of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer tolerate views that pit one true god against another. Most controversially, he argues that we cannot afford moderate lip service to religion; an accommodation that only blinds us to the real perils of fundamentalism. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris also draws on new evidence from neuroscience and insights from philosophy to explore spirituality as a biological, brain-based need. He calls on us to invoke that need in taking a secular humanistic approach to solving the problems of this world.

The Elements of Style – by E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr.:
A masterpiece in the art of clear and concise writing, and an exemplar of the principles it explains. No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume. It’s hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn’t need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It’s also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style.

The Old Man And The Sea (Scribner Classics) – by Ernest Hemingway:
One of Ernest Hemingway’s most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

The Present – Ultimate Truth “The Present”:
It is as matter of fact as the ground and as useful as food. It’s the kind of truth that can make hate and war as unnecessary as ignorance.

March 2013

The Avant-Garde Life – by Jamie:
If you have ever thought about quitting your job and running out into the world, read The Avant-Garde Life. Hopefully it will give you a kick up the bum.

The Art of Money Getting; Or, Golden Rules for Making Money – by P. T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum:
A superb book and absolutely essential reading for anyone serious about making a success in business, or indeed a success in life in general. There are indeed many books about self motivation and success on the market and some are very good indeed, but this one stands out and should be a tool in every serious minded entrepreneurs arsenal.

A Book Of Five Rings – by Miyamoto Musashi:
To learn a Japanese martial art is to learn Zen, and although you can’t do so simply by reading a book, it sure does help–especially if that book is The Book of Five Rings. One of Japan’s great samurai sword masters penned in decisive, unfaltering terms this certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War it is applicable not only on the battlefield but also in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities–these are some of the basic principles. Going deeper, we find suki, the interval of vulnerability, of indecisiveness, of rest, the briefest but most vital moment to strike. In succinct detail, Miyamoto records ideal postures, blows, and psychological tactics to put the enemy off guard and open the way for attack. Most important of all is Miyamoto’s concept of rhythm, how all things are in harmony, and that by working with the rhythm of a situation we can turn it to our advantage with little effort. But like Zen, this requires one task above all else, putting the book down and going out to practice.

Summer Love – by Subin Bhattarai:
This is Nepali Book about love. I read Nepali book after a very long period of time and I’ve to say I loved it. It’s a romantic novel. Atit and Saya are the main characters of this novel.

February 2013

Language Hacking Guide – by Benny Lewis:
The Language Hacking Guide explains exactly what you need to do to speak a language quickly.
Rather than read through the guide to find out my one major ‘secret’, I can tell you right now. You need to speak the language from day one.
No years of studying grammar, no expensive and complicated software, no “magic pill” to master a language while you sleep, you just need to speak it. Speak it regularly, speak it confidently, and speak it immediately. The more you speak, the quicker you will improve.
Even though this may be obvious, how you actually speak a language that you have just started to learn seems almost impossible to many people. So they’ll wait until they are “ready”. That wait may be years, or they may simply never even try.
But it’s not actually that hard! That’s what the Language Hacking Guide is about.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – by William B. Irvine :
This book has shaped my life and I highly recommend this to everybody. I’m practicing stealth stoicism at the moment because of this book. I take this book as my secret companion.
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.
In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life.
Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers.
Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune.
We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.
Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.
Here’s my highlight.

I Don’t Know – by Benjamin Spall:
IDK is a free book about recognizing the stigma attached to saying I Don’t Know in our day to day lives.
Once we learn how to overcome the stigma of admitting our ignorance when faced with new and complicated situations, we can use this new found ability to grow as we collect more information, learn new skills, and make new friends and contacts faster than ever before.

The Writer’s Manifesto – by Jeff Goins :
The Writer’s Manifesto is a small eBook about getting back to the heart of writing, intentionally written to be read in one sitting. It’s a call-to-arms for artists and authors alike to kick the addiction to accolades and write for the sake of writing. This succinct manifesto is a challenge to fall back in love with your passion, giving you permission and freedom to create not for the applause, but for a higher calling.
The Writer’s Manifesto will leave you feeling confident and affirmed not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are–a writer.

January 2013

The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield:
Have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is. This book is about that. Read it. Here’s my highlights.

The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho:
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”
The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
Here’s my highlight.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – by Timothy Ferris:
Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

Menthol Kisses – by Abby Stewart:
When Logan’s sister, and closest confidant, moves off to college, Logan must get used to her new life. A solitary high school student in a small town, Logan embarks on a journey to follow in her sister’s footsteps and do something that will allow her to escape, forever.
Logan’s new friends bring weekends of alcohol and drug fueled pasture parties — but friendship turns to betrayal when Logan is raped by a boy she trusts. Lost and desperate, she seeks comfort in drugs. Logan struggles with her faltering friendships, alcoholic father, and complicated feelings for an older guy who promises her the world. As Logan loses herself in a false reality, her escape from small town life becomes less and less likely.
Menthol Kisses’ sweepingly dramatic plot will remind us of the human capacity for redemption, forgiveness, and our persistent will to live.


Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy – by Jostein Gaarder:
Sophie’s World  follows the events of Sophie Amundsen, a teenage girl living in Norway and Alberto Knox, a middle aged philosopher who introduces her to philosophical thinking and the history of philosophy.A young girl, Sophie, becomes embroiled in a discussion of philosophy with a faceless correspondent. At the same time, she must unravel a mystery involving another young girl, Hilde, by using everything she’s learning. The truth is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined. It is a wonderful and readable history of philosophy and I recommend to anyone who is interested in philosophy.

Freedom From the Known – by Jiddu Krishnamurti:
In this classic work, Krishnamurti shows how you can free yourself from the tyranny of the expected. You are free to create your own future, and your departure from the confining expectations of “fate” can be radical and immediate—no matter what your age. By changing yourself, you can change your relationships with others, consequently improving the whole structure of society. The vital need for change and the recognition of its very possibility constitute the rich essence of Krishnamurti’s message in Freedom from the Known.

How to Live a Life of Travel – by Derek Earl Baron:
Nothing is stopping you from turning your love of travel into an actual lifestyle. If you’re not sure how to make it happen, everything you need to know can be found inside of this 200+ page guide. Get ready to discover how you can earn money all over the world, how to travel well without spending much at all and how to achieve the freedom that you deserve.
This guide is written by a traveler who took a 3-month trip to Asia after graduating from university in 1999 and has been successfully traveling, living, working and volunteering around the world ever since.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability – by Steve Krug:
Five years and more than 100,000 copies after it was first published, it’s hard to imagine anyone working in Web design who hasn’t read Steve Krug’s “instant classic” on Web usability, but people are still discovering it every day. Don’t be surprised if it completely changes the way you think about Web design.

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die – by John Izzo:
In a society where old age is often seen as weakness, The Five Secrets is a refreshing reminder that our elders have much to teach. Izzo writes, “Whenever I am going to take a trip, I choose hotels by using a website that taps into the experiences of hundreds of other travelers … It occurred to me that one could apply this same method to discovering the secrets to living well and dying happy.” How many pitfalls and heartaches could be avoided if we consulted with travelers who have taken the road before?

Disrupting the Rabblement – by Niall Doherty
Think for yourself, face your fears, and live your dreams. All while pissing off the occasional zombie.
The book aims to help readers break free of the status quo and live big, meaningful lives.
If you’ve ever felt stuck living a life you didn’t sign up for, Disrupting the Rabblement is sure to resonate. Whether you want to quit your 9-to-5 and travel the world or move back to your hometown and start a family, you’ll find comfort and inspiration in these pages. It’s not about living differently. It’s about discovering what you really want to get out of life and going after it full tilt.
“The world does not reward those who sit idly by. The spoils go to those few crazy heretics who dare to think for themselves. They dig deep and find the guts to chase their dreams. They abandon the safe, secure and ultimately forgettable route, opting instead to take that road less traveled, the one that’s a little more difficult and uncertain, but promises adventure and fulfillment.”

On Writing – by Steven King
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Here’s my highlights.

The Evernote Bible – The Guide to Everything Evernote, Including: Tips, Uses, and Evernote Essentials – by Brandon Collins :
Do you struggle to organize receipts, emails, ideas for that up-coming project, notes for your upcoming talk, business cards, or major corporate events? These are just a few of the ways Evernote helps you organize your life to make it easier and save you time and money!
Before Evernote you had only one option for organizing all of the information in your life: an expensive, heavy, hope-you-can-find-it, hope-you-didn’t-lose-it, make-sure-you-organize-those-notes filing system! Evernote is your digital-organizing, note-taking, in-your-pocket, syncing, ever-evolving strategy for getting rid of all of that paper and transforming it into a usable system.
The Evernote Bible is the book that tells you exactly how to use this amazing free service to organize your entire life. It is designed for both beginners and advanced Evernote users to give them strategies, tips, uses, and Evernote essentials to maximize your time and organize your digital life. It deals with the two major issues facing Evernote users: what is Evernote, and how do I use it effectively?

The Book of Tea – by Kakuzo Okakura:
That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony–more properly, “the way of tea”–with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions. The Book of Tea is something of a curiosity: written in English by a Japanese scholar (and issued here in bilingual form), it was first published in 1906, in the wake of the naval victory over Russia with which Japan asserted its rapidly acquired status as a world-class military power. It was a peak moment of Westernization within Japan. Clearly, behind the publication was an agenda, or at least a mission to explain. Around its account of the ceremony, The Book of Tea folds an explication of the philosophy, first Taoist, later Zen Buddhist, that informs its oblique celebration of simplicity and directness–what Okakura calls, in a telling phrase, “moral geometry.” And the ceremony itself? Its greatest practitioners have always been philosophers, but also artists, connoisseurs, collectors, gardeners, calligraphers, gourmets, flower arrangers.

Anything you’d like to recommend?

If there’s any book you think I’ll love then please write it in comments below. Thanks!

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