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  • Writer's pictureAkumu Fiona

5 Books I've Read That Were Totally Worth It (and 5 Others I'll Be Picking Up Soon)

I've tried.

I've tried really hard not to make any over-the-top resolutions that I might struggle with. So that means no crazy fitness goals or hilarious personal pursuits that are created just because the clock told us it's a new year.

I think it's better to focus on useful habits all year round in the form of little experiments that you can carry out as your life unfolds. No need for it to be January for you to go cold turkey on processed sugar or for it to be the top of year for you to ditch those unhealthy eating habits.

Any time is a good time to make a change. It's certainly much better than the proverbial "someday".

Anyway, my little experiment over the next few months will be to read more books. Something to the tune of 3-4 books a week - be it a fully fledged publication or a useful e-book.

So why do this? Well, books make you smarter (who doesn't want to get smarter?) and I want to be a better writer so, read, I must.

How will I do it? On the go or during work/commuting/doing-nothing hours with the help of my good friends: Kindle and Audible.

As I share my excitement with you about this new experiment, I want to share some of the books that I've picked up or some that I'll pick up soon so that you too can join in on the fun.

It's all non-fiction because that's just what I do. You might have figured this out from the list of books that changed my life.

This is how my head works: when it comes to fiction, I would much rather watch it than read it.

Here are five books I was lucky enough to pick up in the past couple of months that you might want to check out:

1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I knew I had to read this book from the moment I heard about it (because it's Malcolm Gladwell) but I kept it on the back burner for some reason I now can't remember.

But when I got to reading it, I was hooked.

Reading about how things catch on, be it products, ideas or infections, from Gladwell's point of view, is truly fascinating. There were so many times I paused while reading simply because my mind was blown.

If you want to be entertained and educated at the same time, pick this one up.

2. We Are Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

I don't normally read biographies or memoirs as much as I should, but this one was a no brainer. I'm an absolute fan of Gabrielle Union so I had to get it.

I had seen it on her Instagram stories (yes, I stalk her) and Amazon was quite adamant about putting it right in front of my face when I was looking for the next book to get. Mostly because I had been googling it days before.

And the best decision I made? Getting it on Audible - because her awesomeness herself is doing the narration.

It's basically a collection of stories from her life where you get to understand her complex childhood and her challenging adult-life in epic story-telling format. You will find yourself laughing out loud, cringing and probably even crying at some point.

She touches on issues you've probably never heard anyone talk so openly about. And you will find yourself relating to a lot of it. I certainly did.

I'll try not to spoil it for you. Just got out and get it.

3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

I picked this one up because - ahem - the title spoke to me. I once had a New Year's resolution to "give less f*cks" so a book about how to do this would certainly be one I would want to read. So I quickly added it to my list.

I thought of this Mark Manson dude as someone with a lot of balls to actually pick this title and write a book about it.

Right after starting it, I was not disappointed.

Manson breaks most of the self-help conventions and presents them with a nice twist. He gives you a new way to think about stuff that your mind wallows in. Your problems, your life's direction, your worries.

It'll definitely change the way you see things and even give you some laughs here and there.

And please don't give a f*ck about how many times he uses the word "f*ck".

Just jump right in.

4. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

This one follows directly from her other book, You Are a Badass.

It is basically a guidebook on how to make the kind of money you desire and deserve - by working on your mindset.

As a freelancer, I picked it up without blinking because I need any education I can get on how to increase and diversify my income. Whether you are like me, an entrepreneur or an employee, it will hit a home run.

The book tackles the many perceptions we hold deep in our minds about money.

It'll show you how those thoughts affect the amount of money you have and the amount you can and deserve to make.

It is filled with real-life examples, easy-to-implement tactics and mantras to get you uber-motivated.

It's a book that's totally worth getting and one that you'll want to keep referring to again and again.

5. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

In case you're wondering: 168 hours is what you get each week.

How you use that time is your choice and for most of us, it's usually directed by obligations and whims. But what if you could be more mindful of your time? What if how you use your time in a week is a direct reflection of your goals?

Well, this book will help you figure that out.

It's been called one of the best time management books in recent years.

I picked it up because I kinda suck in time management. Sure, I get to do the work that is expected of me at the expected times. But when it comes to things I want to do (write more, read more, do online courses, make online courses, learn a new skill, practice Spanish etc.), the time never seems to be there.

So, I got this book in order to make some serious changes. I've just gone through a few chapters and already, I'm thinking differently about my time.

I would certainly recommend it.


6. Originals by Adam Grant

This one's my travel book as I write this since I bought it in physical form from an airport bookshop in Bangkok. I read it on the flight to Manila and read it on a bus ride to some random corner of Philippines.

I had almost forgetten how good it feels to have an actual book in hand!

Though I'm still reading it as I write this, I can say that it's an absolute motivator. It shows you how to get out there and be the original innovator you were born to be. Filled with real life accounts and interesting studies, it'll be the right book to kick your ass back in action if you were a little discouraged or demotivated that great things only come to the "lucky".

Highly recommended!

What Will I Read Next?

Over the next few months, I'll slowly try to venture into more biographies / memoirs, some philosophical books and possibly, out-of-my-comfort-zone books for a change.

These five books, however, will be a must:

1. Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

2. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

3. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

4. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Have you read any of the above-mentioned books? What do you think of them?

Let me know :)

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