10 Books I read so far in 2017

Most people that know me personally also know that I’ve always loved the quality time spent with my reading. Books are a huge part of my life and I will probably never get bored reading. It brings me a wealth of knowledge, inner peace, and ultimately it is my happiness. One of my goals this year was to continue my reading journey. I decided to share with you my first 10 books in 2017… because they are all one of a kind I promise!

If you read any of the below books, feel free to leave me a comment with your personal opinion on them!

1. The Code of The Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani — Founder of Mindvalley

“Human society today runs on the accumulated beliefs of our forefathers.”

Vishen’s book is one of the best books I read on Personal Development. As a former Software Engineer, in this book he uses engineering “language” to help anyone build a life that is truly extraordinary when the brain is in full control. He teaches you a few important aspects, such as how to bend reality, question the brules, transcend the culturescape, embrace your quest, practice consciousness engineering, live in blissipline, and push humanity forward. He shows readers how there are no limits in life. Your understanding of the world around you and your place in it will change, and you will find yourself operating at a new, extraordinary level in every way.

Such an intelligent read. I highly recommend it!

2. Joy on Demand by Chade-Meng Tan

"The greatest freedom in life is to be aware of the moments that you are free from pain."

This book is written by one of the first @Google engineers who, apart from many other achievements, led the creation of their now popular mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course called “Search Inside Yourself”. Chade-Meng Tan also shows readers through his own example that you can definitely pursue your life passion through work.

If you are into Meditation, this book is a Bible. I would especially recommend it to people who either want to understand the concept of meditation, or are pursuing it at a higher level (the last part of the book brings some advanced practices and information on meditation).

3. America the Anxious by Ruth Whippman

"Are you happy? Right now? Happy enough? As happy as everyone else? Could you be happier if you tried harder?"

Although I do also understand the American concept of happiness, I highly resonated with this book as I understand the British culture very well. I lived with my partner in the UK for the past 8 years and so I have a very similar story to Ruth Whippman. The book is written in a humorist and also controversial way, which brings a whole new aspect to the American pursuit of happiness. It opened my perspective and allowed me to see things much more in context. It is an important read so I definitely recommend it!

4. Cure — A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body by Jo Marchant

"At the heart of almost all the pathways I’ve learned about is one guiding principle: if we feel safe, cared for and in control - in a critical moment during injury or disease, or generally throughout our lives - we do better. Our immune system works with us instead of against us. Our bodies ease off on emergency defences and can focus on repair and growth".

This book speaks mainly about the Placebo effect and how powerful it can be in so many areas of science and medicine. Jo Marchant brings a wealth of knowledge and proven research to it, which makes the book even greater. She proves, over and over again, that the human brain has to do the most work when it comes to injury or disease. She also shows us how important it is for people to feel safe and being taken care of in order to succeed in the battle of disease.

A very good read, I would recommend it for people who want to develop their knowledge in the science of mind over body area.

5. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

“You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care, nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound”

A collection of poetic essays full of inspiration, metaphors and life lessons. The book is divided into 28 chapters covering different topics and their true meanings, such as love, marriage, friendship, career, freedom, etc. If you love poetry and metaphors, this is the book for you!

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

"...I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe."

The action in this book takes place in 1960’s in Mississippi, inspired by the true story. Three black maids share their stories during the Civil Rights movement in a racially conflicted US. The book outlines the black/white relationship in great depth. It also brings a complex spectrum of emotions, both negative (hate, abuse, mistrust) and positive (love, attachment).

A book about the fight for human rights, about change that can happen at any time in life as long as we strive for it, and about ordinary and how it can bring determination and hope in women’s lives. Super entertaining book that I recommend.

7. Animal Farm by George Orwell

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
"All men are enemies. All animals are comrades."

This book is about an uprising of farm animals against their human masters. It illustrates how new tyranny replaces old in the wake of revolutions and power corrupts even the noblest of causes.

The story itself is hilarious, with a great depth of truth that you can read between the lines which helps picture the reality of the world. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand how corruption works.

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan

"It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you."

The action of this book takes place during World War II in England, when 13-year old Briony misinterprets her older sister’s love affair with their family’s gardener to be something much worse than what it is. Her innocence and partial understanding of the world begins a chain of events that tears the family apart and alters the course of the rest of the girl’s life.

This book is interesting as much of the action itself happens in the characters heads, so it makes it very entertaining to see how different characters think.

9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

"There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do."

The action of this book takes place in the Great Depression period in the 1930s, in the USA. It relates the story of one Oklahoma farm family, forced to migrate west to the land of California. The story captures the strong US division between the powerful and the poor which probes the nature of equality and justice in America.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It fills you with emotions of all kind, teaches you a tough lesson but also shows you the beauty of generosity and kindness.

10. Amerika by Franz Kafka

"Like so many Europeans, Kafka dreamed of America, of the land of skyscrapers and opportunity. America was his dream..."

Kafka has always been one of my favorite writers so I enjoyed all his books. Amerika is a very funny book to read. It captures the story of a young immigrant who is sent to Amerika by his parents. As the reader is expecting to read about Karl’s development in the land of opportunity, instead the action follows him in a number of strange adventures.

I recommend this book to everyone who is curious. It is an interesting read, however the ending, as with some of his other books, could have been as great as the book itself.