Category Archives: Books

2016 Recap!

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Hey, 2016! Thank you! Another year filled with adventures, choices, decisions, mistakes and victories.
You came and went in an instant. Made the world grasp to the fact that you are now gone and a new year is here. The only trail you left were the memories, experiences, mistakes and successes that we acquire and will be carrying throughout our lifetime. How crazy is that tho! 365 days, 8760 hours, gone. The best part about it? We have absolute control on what we fill each of those hours.

But with all these events and realisations, 2016 thought me four main lessons.

  1. Knowledge

One of the most important lessons I learnt this year, is the value of knowledge.We live in a society where information is accessible in an instant; information is received in a rapid and overwhelming state, where the number of likes determines the credibility of an article, where knowledge is trivial, and fame is paramount. This awareness allowed me to remain conscious and diligent on things I read or learn. This realisation gave me the hunger to continuously learn and expand what I know (this may not show as my troll persona tend to triumph over my serious side). It is one of the best investment I made, a perpetual investment. To remain ideal and complacent is a road to and end

Book Recommendation: Influence by Robert Cialdini/ Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan/ 1984 by George Orwell

  1. Death

Death is inevitable (along with time and tax), we all know it will come someday, so I supposed there is no point for me to stress on that point. Rather, I’d like to mention one other benefit of acknowledging this fact; it allows you to stay and be realistic. When you priories in a very strict manner, have time or limitation or when you are on edge. Everything becomes clear; you know how to connect the dots, which perspectives to contract or expand. On the other side knowing death will come someday allows us to live freely, carelessly and without restriction makes it possible to live without limitation, without fear and makes it possible to live day by day without distress. Both concepts or ideas are healthy. However, as always the medium is desirable, the balance between the spectrum. But, the important point is that whichever approach you practice, they both give you an advantage; to be present in life.

Book Recommendation: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi/ The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason/ No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

  1. Responsibility or Embrace

To embrace who you are and take responsibility for everything you do. Take ownership of every decision may the outcome be negative or positive. And accept who you are and who you want to be, we live in a world where conformity is easy, and authenticity is hard.

Book Recommendation: Quiet By Susan Cain/ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephe R Covey/ The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason / No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

  1. Hearty in Approbation

This last point was possible because of a reminder from a friend. Towards the end of the year, my friend Robert and I were having a recap on how the year went. One of the things he mentioned is that throughout the year he realised how much joy the successes of his friends gave him. And that strummed a chord that I almost forgot, the emotion of being grateful and happy to other people’s success. It is a principle I follow; to give support and love to anyone when I can or where I can and to cherish people success as mine and to uplift them. Jealousness, negativity, bitterness and grudge are human emotions but most of the time, unnecessary. So rather than indulge in those emotions why not just spread the love :).

Book Recommendation: Quiet by Susan Cain/ How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie/ The Course of Love by Allain De Button

That’s a wrap! It was a good year of learning, and I couldn’t be more grateful this year, so I want to say thanks to the world, to my friends and to every single person I met. I wish to know you all better ( FYI, I am not very good with small talks 😦 .)

I hope you all had a good year and took away something from it! Both the bad ones and the good ones. Happy new year everyone! May this be a year of victory! And Hello 2017! I welcome you with arms wide open and a big smile. : )
Quotes

“Death is the light by which the shadow of all of the life’s meaning is measured. Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.”

‘The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

“Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socialising with everyone else. Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.
The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit deal. Use your natural powers – of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity – to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.”

“Books changed all that. Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and just those in power; to contemplate- with the best teachers – the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of ou history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere.Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go ver the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical to our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.”

 

#love #me

 

-Briane R

Book 22: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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The book is a motivational/ self-help book written by Mark Manson. This book was heavily recommended to me by a friend, convincing me that I will love this book. I have read one of his articles before online, and I found it hilarious yet informative! But I was sceptical in the beginning, having read many motivational/ self-help books I had a gut feeling that it will be dragged and tedious.

BUT! I was wrong!! The book was hilarious!! Especially the first quarter of the book, I couldn’t help but to smile and agree. The healthy dose of profanity made the book extremely enjoyable and intriguing while maintaining the coherent and eloquent writing. Not many people will find this writing attractive, but for me, it strummed the right strings (maybe I’m just weird ay?)

The chapters were very concise, compact and insightful. Personally, throughout midst of the book, things waned down for me, probably because some of the chapters were points and lesson I’ve already learnt from previous ( though it was a really good reminder, and as always I learnt something different). However, the last two chapters hit home. Those chapters were ” The Importance of Saying No” and “.. A then you die”.

I used to be a people pleaser, a massive one; well I still am, but now I have great awareness and control over it (we will save it for another story 😉 ). So this chapter gave me a good punch in the gut, a reminder to reassess my perspective and morals.
The other chapter talked about death, a concept we put aside and sometimes ignore but one of the only things in life we can be entirely certain of. A great chapter filled with encouragement and realism of time, goals, fear and life.
I unquestionably recommend this book; it was hilarious yet insightful. The book contains nine chapters within 200 pages, so it is a quick read, and I am sure that one of those chapters will impact you. So make sure to check out this book and start the new year with a healthy and powerful mindset! : )

Oh, Happy holidays everyone!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!

Hope you all enjoying the festive season, keep loving ❤

-Briane R

“Why do you care that I’m dead when you are so afraid to live?”

 

“We are all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make use love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorised and flattened by life’s trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.”

 

“Paradox of choice: Basically, the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose, because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.”

 

‘The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

 

Book 22: Quiet

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Quiet by Susan Cain

I picked up this book roughly three years ago but never had a chance to read it, so as soon as I finished my previous book, I immediately chose Quiet to read. I remember, I bought the book because of curiosity and the fact that I was a big time ass introvert that time! I still am, but now I manage to go from one side to another at free will. I feel energise when I hang out with people and value my downtime/ solitary time as much.

Now back to the book!

Quiet is absolutely an uplifting and insightful book.  The book explained and described the difference between extrovert and introvert and which environment each person will/can strive. Throughout the book, Susan provided scientific researches, theories and examples to support and enhance her claims, which I found very helpful (I learnt a lot of new things).  Also, the book provided a lot of historical figures and examples of previous introverts who thrive and put their name out in the world, some examples were Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks.  Although the book is slightly favoured toward introverts (which was expected), I believe this book will be very beneficial to extroverts to gain an understanding of introverts.

I love this book and definitely a book  I will read back in the future! So if you are an introvert, this will be inspiring, insightful and motivating or if you are a curious extrovert this book will give you a profound understanding of introverts! So if you ever have a chance pick up this book 🙂

Here’s one of my favourite passage from the book!

Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socialising with everyone else. Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.
    The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit deal. Use your natural powers – of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity – to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.

Hope you all having a great and loving week, Christmas is nearby, stay safe and warm or cool.

-Briane R

 

Book 21: Autobiography of Malcolm X

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Autobiography of Malcolm X is an extremely detailed life of Malcolm Little, later know as Malcolm X or el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister and human right activist.

The book detailed the life of Malcolm X’s struggles, growth, high life, low life, pride, anger and love. His transition from being a top class student -> hipster -> drug user/dealer ->  burglar ->  criminal -> prison -> Muslim -> Mecca. The book delivered a thorough detail of what is life like back in the days. I can’t help but feel sad and horrible what humanity was life back in the days. However, it is sad to say that we are not much better now.

I recommend this book if you want to learn a bit of history and a flavourful life of Malcolm X; his adversaries, struggles, success and experiences are very humane and relatable. Especially if you are a Muslim or interested in knowing about the religion of Islam, I believe this book laid out the fundamentals and basic information about the religion.

So that’s it for me! Check out this book and here are some passages that I like from the book.

  • “If you once believed in the truth, and now you are beginning to doubt the truth, you didn’t believe the truth in the first place. What could you make you doubt the truth other than your own weak self?”
  • “You want to know how to spread my teachings?’ he said, and he pointed has a dirty glass of water,’ he said,  ‘just show them the clean glass of water that you have. When they inspect it, you won’t have to say that yours is better.’
  • ‘Most people seeing a man in an old tour car going real slow think the man doesn’t want to go fast,’ Mr Muhammad said, ‘but the man knows that to drive any faster would destroy the old car. When he gets a fast car, then he will drive at a fast speed.’ And I remember him telling me another time when I complained about an inefficient minister at one of his mosques, ‘I would  rather have a mule I can depend upon than a race horse that I can’t depend upon.’

Bless you all. Keep loving. Keep living.

 

Briane R

Book 20: The richest man in babylon

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The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

I picked up this book base on a whim, and it was free on kindle so why not! You can consider this book as a self-help/ finance book.

To be honest, the book is good. However, the points were exaggerated and unnecessarily repeated. I believed it could’ve been condensed into 50 pages rather than 150 pages.

The book provided basic principles to follow that can be applied immediately. The book was practical and applicable in the current world / era.  Here I would point out the main points that was constantly repeated throughout the book:

  • Save 10% of everything you acquire or make. (And use the rest to live.)
  • Learn from the wise people about trading and investment. ( Be wise)
  • Invest the money you saved.
  • Reinvest again and creating a passive income.

That sums up the whole book. Though the book contains parables, that emphasises the lessons and morals conveyed. However, I believe it was redundant.

This is a bias review of mine as always I recommend checking out the book yourself as it may reveal something different and unique.

Goodreads:  The Richest Man in Babylon

I also recommend a lot of other great financial books such as:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Think and Grow Rich

Have a great week everyone!

Briane R

Book 19: 1984

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1984 by George Orwell

1984 is a dystopian novel; dystopia meaning an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad. 1984 is the first dystopian I had ever read, picking up the book without expectation except the fact that it has an outstanding review from peers and online.

Quick Info: The book followed the life of Winston Smith who lives in a world that is totalitarian; where everything is fabricated past, present and future. Where the media, books and information are all controlled and distributed in unison by one body. In this world, Winston works as someone who rewrites historical documents. However, compare to his peers and the vast majority of the population in his country, he is curious; of the truth, the past and the reality. So that’s where the story begins…

To put it to simple words; I was engrossed. I read it with absolute attentiveness and awareness. It is crazy how applicable and possible the concepts and notions are in the book. How it actually became a reality or perhaps, bits and pieces of it are so present in our world right now.

The book captured elements of love, struggle, faith, hope, trust and fear. I wholly love it, the ray of hope, faith and love that was painted through the book. But it was a dystopian novel, I could’ve prepared myself better.

The subtle agendas, cues and meaning if notice allows one to ponder and reflect upon. It provided a unique perspective and certainly an awareness of the world we live in now.

To be cautious and wise.

I love this book!  If you’ve never read a dystopian novel before I absolutely recommend this one.  I believe we can all relate and connect to the perspective world the book conveyed to our past, present and future.

Have a great weekend everyone!

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Do you recommend any other dystopian novel?

Briane R

Book 18: Big Magic

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth is a well-known author of her book Eat, Pray and Love. I deliberately picked up this book for the purpose of inspiring and stimulating my personal creativity. Oh, and it was on offer, and I was in the phase of book shopping spree ha!

Before reading this book, I read a lot of reviews and prejudice about the book. Reviewers discussed how the author wrote in a narcissistic way and how disappointed they are. Which typically affects my perspective about a book, however, when I read non-fiction books I always read it with an empty hat, and absorb what I need and what I want.

So here are the points and concepts I really like throughout the book.

  • The concept of shit sandwich- “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not much” What are you passionate about?” The question is “ What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?”
  • Gamble – But if you’re going to gamble, know that you are gambling. Never roll the dice without being aware that you are holding a pair of dice in your hands. And make certain that you actually cover your bets (both emotionally and financially).
  • Nature provides the seed; man provides the garden; each is grateful for the other’s help.
  • Your ego is a wonderful servant, but it’s a terrible master.
  • There was a really nice short story about Mr Ford towards the end of the book!

 

To be honest, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people who are looking for something inspirational to read. It was easy and enjoyable read; Elizabeth portrayed an encouraging, joyful and determined persona throughout the book which was charming and engaging. So ignore the reviews, pick it up and explore it! : )

Have a great week everyone! Happy reading!!

 

What are you reading right now?

Briane R