The 42 Books That Shaped My 2019

“In the quiet spaces opened up by the prolonged, undistracted reading of a book, people fostered their own ideas. They thought deeply as they read deeply.” -Nicolas Carr


My Top 5 Books 2019

  1. Simone De Beauvoir by Deirdre Bair (Biography): Recommend this book to anyone interested in how Simone turned from Sartre’s doll to a formidable thinker. This 720-page biography encapsulates the ups and downs of the life of the Queen of French Existentialism. I am forever grateful I picked up this book up during one of the toughest and loneliest periods of my life.
  2. The Shallows by Nicolas Carr (Psychology/Human-Computer Interaction): Life-changing. Anyone who is feeling the toll of digital media- Get. This. Book. Now.
  3. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport (Career): Recommend this for people who are starting out with their careers or are experiencing a work existential crisis.
  4. Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg (Communication): This book single-handedly changed how I communicate with people. My Myers Briggs is ENTJ/INTJ and we are known to be ruthless in our way of engaging with people. Rosenberg’s book taught me how to connect with people at a deeper level. A valuable tool for therapists and psychologists.
  5. The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van der Kolk (Psychology): Once you start approaching your body with curiosity rather than with fear, everything shifts. This book broadened my perspective on the nature of trauma. Highly recommend this to anyone who wants to build greater empathy.

42 Books I Finished This 2019

  1. Relentless -Tim Grover
  2. The Fall -Albert Camus
  3. No Logo -Naomi Klein
  4. When -Daniel Pink
  5. Attached -Amir Levine
  6. The Body Keeps Score -Bessel Van der Kolk
  7. Second Person You Meet in Heaven -Mitch Albom
  8. When Nietzsche Wept -Irvin Yalom
  9. War of Art -Steven Pressfield
  10. Awakening -Erin Haskell
  11. 90 Seconds to the Life You Love -Joan Rosenberg
  12. Ask -Ryan Levesque
  13. Miracle Morning -Hal Elrod
  14. Non-Violent Communication -Marshall Rosenberg
  15. Atomic Habits -James Clear
  16. Becoming Supernatural -Joe Dispenza
  17. Bad Blood -John Carreyrou
  18. Simone De Beauvoir -Deirdre Bair
  19. The Boy Who Was Raised by a Dog -Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz
  20. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down -Haemin Sunim
  21. Deep Work -Cal Newport
  22. Super Intelligence -Nick Bostrom
  23. Laws of Human Nature -Robert Green
  24. So Good They Can’t Ignore You -Cal Newport
  25. Third Culture Kids -Ruth E. Van Reken, David C. Pollock, Michael V. Pollock
  26. Growth Mindset -Carol Dweck
  27. Stillness is the Key -Ryan Holiday
  28. Stop Self-Sabotage -Judy Ho
  29. At the Existentialist Cafe -Sarah Bakewell
  30. Everything is Figureoutable -Marie Forleo
  31. Drawing Out the Dragons -James Owen)
  32. The Art of Living -Epictetus
  33. Perennial Seller -Ryan Holiday
  34. Messages – Matthew McKay, Martha Davis, Patrick Fanning
  35. The Neuroscience of Human Relationships -Louis Cozolino
  36. Group Therapy -Irvin Yalom
  37. Blitzscaling -Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh
  38. Hard Thing About Hard Things -Ben Horowitz
  39. The Shallows -Nicolas Carr
  40. Schopenhauer’s Porcupines -Deborah Luepnitz
  41. 張力中的孤獨力 -張力中
  42. 零基礎學中醫
  43. 蔡康永的情商課 -蔡康永

I want to let you know that it wasn’t easy finishing all these books.

Yes, even as a bookworm, I am not going to feign superiority by saying that I don’t find online bite-sized content appealing. It’s perfectly normal. I highly recommend reading Nicolas Carr’s book The Shallows (one of my top 5 books) if you are interested to learn how the internet is affecting our ability to think at a neurological level.

It took a conscious decision to put deep reading into my daily routine.

And you can integrating deep reading into your life too.

2020 is your year to start that reading challenge!

What’s amazing about reading is the act itself is an exercise of focus.

You will notice your ability to focus increase when you include sustained reading in your daily habits.

All it takes is one decision to include literature into your life.

As a wise man once said, Readers are Thinkers and Thinkers are Readers.


Artist: Huang Guangyu

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