Books That I've Read & Love

When I was a kid, I could finish an entire Harry Potter book in a single day. Unfortunately, as I grew up, I started feeling there are bigger fishes to fry other than reading.

Nevertheless, I was so wrong.

Bill Gate reads. Jack Ma reads. Elon Musk reads. Warren Buffett reads. Every successful person that is worth looking up to is an avid reader. Mind you, they definitely have a lot more and bigger fishes to fry - yet they are reading! So, why are commoners like us not reading?

Now that we are all locked at home, it's the perfect time to start reading more and consistently. Let's cut to the chase, here are some books that I've read and love (and have also reread for a few times) - and will personally recommend to anyone:

The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) 

I don't really read fictional books because in my head I'd be thinking things like "this is fake anyway" but if there's one that I'll always come back to, apart from the Doraemon comics when I don't have anything better to do, it will be The Little Prince.

It's about the journey of The Little Prince after departing from his home planet B612. He travels to a few planets where he encounters several characters that depict different personalities of humans that he has never seen - because on his planet, he only has to deal with an immature rose.

The fascinating thing about this book is that there's more than it meets the eye. Even though I had read it for more than 10 times (not joking at all), I always walked away with new AHA moments as I discovered new layers to the story.

Believe it or not, I have this book in 3 languages - English, Mandarin and Korean. The love for this book is real! 

Rich Dad Poor Dad (by Robert Kiyosaki) 

I am thankful that I came across this book when I was still in high school. When everyone was obsessed with The Twilight Saga, I was carrying this purple book with an uncle's face on it - and nobody understood me, not even my teachers at that time.

This is one life-changing book that I will always be thankful for. It gave me a whole new perspective of dealing with money at a relatively young age. I use that word relatively with caution because I do know that there are a lot more people whom I look up to who started really young and hence they could achieve financial freedom in their 20s.

Plus, this book inspired me to pursue Accounting and Finance for my tertiary education. Because I knew that nothing matters more than knowing your numbers. Regardless of your profession, you have to deal with money anyway, period. Though I never had the idea of becoming an accountant that's stuck in a cubicle, I've never regretted my choice.

The Secret (by Rhonda Byrne)

This is THE book that kickstarted my spiritual and personal development journey. I picked it up after reading this blog post. Based off the Law of Attraction, it talks about how powerful our thoughts can be in shaping our lives and changing our destinies. It may sound a little huu-aah but you never know until you try it. If reading is not your thing, you can look up "The Secret Documentary" and get your mind blown.

You Are A Badass (Jen Sincero)

This is another personal development book that I keep coming back to. My copy of it is full of post-it notes, underlines and highlights. It has gotten so worn out that I had to wrap a layer of plastic on its cover to stop it from getting worse.

Jen Sincero broke it down into 27 chapters with funny yet personal stories of her own. She shared lessons, insights and some theories that helped her overturn her life at the age of 40. I know there's a conventional saying that's along the lines of "if you don't have your life all figured out by 30, you are practically doom" but Jen proved it otherwise. She's the living proof that as long as you have the right mindset, determination and attitude, you have the power to turn your life around. This is a book that I personally recommend to my own friend and had given it out as gifts a few times on special occasions.

The Mental Game of Poker (by Jared Tendler)

This isn't a book that turns you into a poker god but one that teaches to play with the right mentality. After reading it, I was able to learn how incredibly powerful (both in good and bad ways) our minds can be when it comes to controlling our reactions to whatever cards we are dealt with - not just on the poker table but in life as well (for me, it helps a lot in my trading journey). This book literally calls you out on your own bullshits. The fun part is that there are many questions in this book for you to ponder on as you slowly work through the layers of emotional issues for the betterment of your game.

#GIRLBOSS (by Sophia Amoruso) 

This is a book that's based off Sophia's life. She went from scrounging in dumpsters for bagels, constantly getting fired from jobs, committing thefts to selling vintage clothing that she thrifted on eBay to launching a fashion empire called NastyGal.

I've always looked up to Sophia before she even wrote this book. Although I can't guarantee how unbias I can be while writing this, undoubtedly, there's nothing more powerful and inspiring than a self-made lady.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (by Marie Condo)

I got this book because I came across a lot of Youtubers raving about how life-changing it literally could be. Marie is a tidying consultant from Japan who uses the concept of "spark joy" in her tidying process. She asserts that as long as something doesn't bring you joy, then it should not be in your life. The ripple effect of tidying your possessions using this method is that you will unconsciously start doing the same in other areas of your lives.

From my own experience, I've used this way to clean out a lot of crap from my home, cleared out people from my social media and even started shopping more consciously. Whenever I wanted to buy something, I'd ask myself "is this thing going to spark joy for now or will it continue to spark joy in the years to come?" Many times, I caught myself being unable to come up with a definite answer at the checkout point - that's how I stopped my impulsive shopping pretty efficiently. Of course, that helped me save quite a fair bit of money too!

This Is Not A T-Shirt (by Bobby Kim) 

I'm not a girly girl. I love streetwear for how daring they are in showcasing their creativities, how loud they are in both their designs and voices, and how different their styles are in comparison to the clothings that you find in fast fashion retail stores.

I've been a fan of Bobby's work since several years ago ever since I came across this short clip of him on Youtube by chance. In his book, Bobby talks about the humble beginnings of his streetwear brand The Hundreds and the ups-and-downs of growing this brand. Today, The Hundreds has evolved into one of the OGs in the streetwear/skateboarding industry. As for Bobby, he's still as down to earth as he is, to the extent that he replies to every single DM that I occasionally shoot him. #respect 

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