Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

by - Monday, October 08, 2018

Hello guys! Whoo! This one’s going to be a breath of fresh air in my blog. I know I might give the impression that all I care about is makeup but in reality, I’m the type of person who goes out full makeup nicely done or just staying home sporting that homeless look while reading an ebook or watching TV series (a lot of ‘em). There’s no in between.

I don’t really consider myself a bookworm, though I really enjoy doing something that entices my brain to work. And that’s where studying and reading fit right exactly. Lately, I’ve been taking “I-have-to-learn-Nihongo” rather seriously. I’ve been reading Japanese language books a lot lately, answering drills and tests both online and offline after. And just as learning and speaking another language is as interesting as it may seem, I can’t help but to feel like I’m slowly losing my English vocabulary (vocabulary shrinkage frightens me so much I paused so many times while typing). So what do I do to prevent it from happening? I went back to how I improved my English back in High School.


Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday
First of the bunch is something I just finished very recently. I’m currently reading another book by Ryan Holiday (you’ll see below) which also lead me to ‘Ego is The Enemy’.

It wouldn’t be wrong to think that most of us aspire to be successful (how you define success depends on you) but in most cases it’s aspiring to be better businessman, better artist, better athlete, or be better off financially, to have power, to do great things, or better yet TO BE THE VERY BEST.

But what we don’t realize is what usually drive people with ambitions are usually the same things that make them vulnerable to the darker side of human psyche.

“Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, your worst enemy already lives inside you: your ego.” - Ryan Holiday

One can argue that they’re not egotistical, for sure, but in this digital age, it’s easier to talk and puff up ourselves to our friends or thousands of followers. We can easily label ourselves artists, entrepreneurs, influencers on our bio while letting the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ roll in on one side. The feeling of superiority and certainty that exceeds the bounds of talent and confidence - that’s ego.

I love how this book works like a human manual I can go back to every time. It’s a bible for mastering your own mind: suppressing ego before it consumes you, replacing ego with humility and discipline when we experience success, and encouragement and strength during our failures.

The Daily Stoic (366 Meditation on Wisdom, Perseverance, and Art of Living)
by Ryan Holiday
I learned this book through a friend (Thanks, Mariel!). The book aims to be read one meditation per day of every day of the year. The passages are usually short yet very insightful, I read them every morning on the train on my way to work. The meditations are something you can regularly go back to even after finishing it, I personally like the meditations from February and August—I keep reading them back.

“The same is true for our mind. If you hold a perpetually negative outlook, soon enough everything you encounter will seem negative. Close it off and “you’ll become closed-minded. Color it with the wrong thoughts and your life will be dyed the same.” - Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
This book also works like a daily meditation for me. I’m already finished with it but still, I read Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff alternately with The Daily Stoic every morning on my way to work. It preps my mind of the daily task I need to do and it saps negativity off my head (just exactly how I want to start a morning).

It has 100 strategies, simple and short just like The Daily Stoic. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff is so good that it took me a difficult time to choose which of my favorite quotations should I include here—-because I have highlighted a lot. Really. A lot.
“The truth is, life is rarely exactly the way we want it to be, and other people often don't act as we would like them to.” - Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (and PS: I Still Love You, and Always And Forever Lara Jean)
Cheesy, I know! This is one of the  f e w  fictional books I’ve ever read. But it’s nice to break out of the self-help personal development books-pattern once in a while. And girl, if you have internet and you’ve no idea who Peter Kavinsky is then it’s time to finally get out of that cave!

A few months ago I saw TATBILB on Netflix and I couldn’t take my mind off it. I’ve been re-watching it for God knows how many times I can already say their lines like I’m kinda part of the cast replying to them. It’s crazy!
It’s crazy because even after the film’s immense success we still don’t know if they’re working for a sequel and the waiting is killing me. Hence the reading of these 3 amazing books. Jenny Han is such a good writer, I love the way these books were written, the way she wrote them made it easier to vividly imagine everything. I think I finished ‘PS: I Still Love You’ in more or less 24 hours. I was that hooked!

(Fair warning, these books are not for anyone who’s not into teenage High school drama and romance.)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
I know this book received mixed reviews (due mainly to the author’s history) but this book is so good it made me cry so many times. Everything he said in the book just slaps you right on the face and still feel grateful for it. Haha!
Kidding aside, I know there are many great authors out there, intellectual, more experienced, together with much more exquisite writing. But I truly admire Mark’s way of writing this book--his tone, choice of words, from where I stand the book seems like he’s right there talking to me. A friend talking to me. I guess all the people who bought the book (it’s usually ‘out of stock’) can say the same thing about it, right?

I still go back to this book every time I’m having anxiety-triggered emotional breakdowns (or PMS you could say, haha). It calms me and it keeps me back on track.

“You know who bases their entire lives on their emotions? Three-year-old kids. And dogs. You know what else three-year-olds and dogs do? Shit on the carpet.” - Mark Manson

And that’s it for my current reads! I know due to information overload and time constraint, a lot of you guys have resorted to short tweets and short form platforms, and that’s totally understandable. I do too. But while these social media platforms are entertaining, they too are shortsighted, may have less educational value, and might even induce depression to some. I hope we could all spare some time to read a book or two. It’s therapeutic!


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