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Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

You’ll never get tired of these books

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

These friends will never breach your trust.

Once in a while, you come across a book that’ll make you fall for it. Just like going to your trusted friend for advice, you return to this book time and again.

Whether your day is bright or glum, this book gives you hope and tells you what to do. It’s like having a companion for life.

The following books can become your forever friends if you give them a chance.

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

Emotion vs reason, who is in charge?

Kahneman contrasts the behavior of two systems that work in our brains.

System 1 is automatic. It makes connections and relies on past experiences. System one has limited breadth as it cannot focus on multiple distinct ideas at once.

System 2 requires effort. It compares and contrasts choices and solves problems.

We think that system 2 is behind our actions whereas it is system 1.

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.”

System one is biased and exaggerates the likelihood of events. For example, if asked about the likelihood of an earthquake, system 1 will overestimate it. It is because the images evoked in the mind are terrifying.

The continued reporting on TV about a past earthquake comes into play as well.

“An optimistic attitude is largely inherited, and it is part of a general disposition for well-being, which may also include a preference for seeing the bright side of everything.”

The author offers us insight into both systems and how they react to various situations.

I particularly enjoyed reading about optimism. Optimism is inherited, Kahneman says.

He also says that if you want to wish something for your kids, wish them to be optimistic.

Optimism is inherited, Kahneman says.

There are benefits to seeing the silver lining in every dark cloud. It helps you handle the downs in life.

The key takeaway from this book is to combine the talents of both systems in our brains for optimal decision-making.

But that takes energy, so Good luck, and Godspeed!

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

In with the vulnerability, out with the shame.

In this book, author and researcher, Brené Brown unveils the secret mastermind of all feelings.


Vulnerability is behind emotions like shame and fear. It is also behind positive emotions like happiness and passion.

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”

We avoid whatever makes us feel vulnerable. That is why facing those things makes us courageous.

The author explores the connection between vulnerability and shame. She tells us that a healthy amount of vulnerability can keep shame at bay.

“Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Brown tells us to ‘enter the arena’, to be all in, and to face whatever life throws our way. The arena has a ticket. To enter it, you must be ‘wholehearted’.

Wholeheartedness can be achieved by a combination of three things.

  • Courage

  • Compassion

  • Connection

Courage means accepting whatever is coming our way. Compassion means being kind to others because everyone faces tough times. And connection happens as a result of compassion.

“I often say that Wholeheartedness is like the North Star: We never really arrive, but we certainly know if we’re headed in the right direction.”

This profound read will help you embrace vulnerability and all that comes with it.

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

He was 36 years old when diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

“Death comes for all of us.”

It sure does. Still, we forget about it, time and again.

Kalanithi was doing his neurosurgery residency when painful symptoms arrived. A CT scan revealed his advanced lung cancer.

As he went through treatment, he decided to write this book.

…he died before the completion of this book.

The book is divided into two parts. Before the diagnosis and after the diagnosis.

Part I starts with his childhood and how eventually he found his ‘vocation’ in being a neurosurgeon. Part 2 details the aftermath of the diagnosis. The author went on to complete his residency and have a child with his wife, Lucy.

As they discuss expanding their family, Lucy says:

“Don’t you think saying goodbye to your child will make your death more painful?”

To which the author replies:

“Wouldn’t it be great if it did?”

Kalanithi got to meet his daughter, ‘Cady’, before his death. But he died before the completion of this book.

You can see the author’s love of literature as he references great writers throughout. This is in part, thanks to his mother who inculcated the love of literature in her kids.

The author also holds a Bachelor’s in English Literature. (He also did a Bachelor’s in human biology before becoming a medical student.)

The epilogue of the book is written by Lucy.

This book is raw and personal, which I am sure most readers would appreciate.

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

Be brave and answer your call.

In this book, Holiday follows his usual style of using historical examples to draw lessons.

He tells us to answer our call. That takes courage. If we don’t, our fate still won’t escape us.

“Don’t worry about whether things will be hard. Because they will be.”

The story of Florence Nightingale is a shining example. She knew the nursing of wounded soldiers needed an upgrade. She was kept from answering her call for 16 years. Only when she took ‘agency’ could she pursue her calling.

The lesson for us is to do the same.

Fear keeps us small and safe. We miss what could have been.

When we take agency and decide to pursue what is meant for us, we become courageous.

“The opposite of fear is love.”

I understand when Holiday equates courage with love. There is no courage like the one that love gave me.

I experienced this twice. The first time, after marrying my spouse, and the second time, after becoming a parent.

Love empowers us to do things otherwise impossible. We can see it in a man’s protection for his family, and a mother’s fight for her child.

There is no courage like the one that love gave me.

This book has something on every page that deserves to be highlighted.

It’s not a dense read. You can read it easily when winding down or during your breaks.

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

Take baby steps! You’ll get there.

This book takes a spin on the classic ‘slow and steady’.

Clear tells us to improve ourselves by 1% every day.

“All big things come from small beginnings.”

If you do better by 1% every single day, you’ll be 37% better by the end of the year. On the other hand, if you do worse by 1% every day, you’ll come down to almost zero.

Clear gives us a 4 step habit loop:

  1. Cue

  2. Craving

  3. Response

  4. Reward

He converts this loop into ‘Four Laws of Behaviour Change’.

To adopt a good habit:

  1. Make it obvious

  2. Make it attractive

  3. Make it easy

  4. Make it satisfying

Inverse these laws to break a bad habit:

  1. Make it invisible

  2. Make it unattractive

  3. Make it difficult

  4. Make it unsatisfying

I kicked off my YouTube addiction before coming across this book. Going by the laws, I am sure I used the inversion of the First and Third laws.

When I deactivated YouTube, the app icon didn’t show hence making it ‘invisible’.

It became ‘difficult’ for me to respond to my YouTube addiction. To use it I had to go to the app settings and activate it.

“The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us.”

This book will teach you how to hack the habit loop and use it for success.

Books I Want to Read Every Year Until My Last Breath

Art, asking, and human connection, an artist tells us all.

Amanda Palmer is a musician who is known for her openness and crudeness.

Her memoir will make you rethink a lot of things.

From her street performance as a ‘silent bride’ in Harvard Square to crowd surfing, Palmer spills everything about her journey.

“There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist.”

For those who are prim and proper, Palmer’s personality might be over the top.

Her raw honesty is attractive. That is the reason fans love her. After all, she did the first successful crowdfunding in music history raising $1.2 million.

“Almost every important human encounter boils down to the act, and the art, of asking.”

Palmer shows us the goodness in humanity. She wants us to open ourselves to trust.

Even with strangers.

Despite coming across those who broke her trust, she is not ready to give up. She tells us to do the same.

“Some people just suck. Moving right along.”

Another gripping aspect of the book is her relationship and marriage to Neil Gaiman.

A fascinating story of an artist who refuses to give up on humanity.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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