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5 Must Reads

Top 5 books recommended by Andrew Blyth

The covid-era lockdowns has been very interesting. I went from being proactive, engaged, and productive to being a recluse. A year after the last of the lockdowns, it has still been a struggle. What is interesting is, I’ve started to meet many interesting and wonderful people in the last few months. One theme I keep coming across is that there are some basic concepts about life that many people are struggling with. I am not a life coach, but I can recommend these books that have changed my life, and allowed me to be more effective and content in my personal and professional lives. I am not earning any commission from any of the links to the books listed below; however, I’d appreciate it if you’d poke your nose at Sockadelic.

Who Moved My Cheese

Available at Dymocks.

who moved my cheese

This is a book about change and adaptation. It was hugely popular when it was released – especially in the business community. It’s lessons are cute, simple, profound, and very important. It’s a short read. I knocked it over in one afternoon. It is not the cure – it’s the prevention. Read it before things go bad.

tuesdays with morrie

By Mitch Albom

I was living in Taiwan at the time, and I had an online student (back in the day when ICQ and Yahoo Messenger were the standards… before Skype!). This book was introduced to me by two women on two separate continents. I guess they saw something in me that was a little too intense? Anyway, the one in Taiwan said, “Andrew, you really must read this book. It’s about a guy who dies”. “Great! I’ll do that” was my reply. The online student in the US said exactly the same thing – my response was the same.

The Taiwanese lady gave it too me – put it in my hands. It is the best gift I have ever received. It’s a book that will change your perspective and help you understand the value of relationships. What is it about? It’s about a guy who dies. I cannot recommend it enough.

It’s a short read. After each chapter I found myself stopping to think about what lessons I just acquired.

Available at Booktopia.

Available at Amazon Aus.

art of war

By Lao Tzu, Translation by Stephen E. Kaufman

There are many translations of this book. Some are more poetic. Some trying to be “deep and meaningful”. Some more philosophical. This particular translation cuts through all of the hyperbole and focuses on the core message: How to take over your rival’s territory. It’s a great lesson in the Chinese foreign policy that guided the Mandarin over the last 1000 years, and continues today. It’s great for anyone who cares about democracy, anyone in politics, and importantly, anyone who is in business or trade with China.

norwegian wood

By Haruki Murakami, translation by Jay Rubin

It’s a beautifully written book, and the translation is astoundingly perfect. Released in 1987, translation published in 2000, but set in the 1970’s, the translator did a wonderful job of focusing on using discourse and linguistic styles of the 1970’s to help capture the feel of the era. I love the feel of the emotions, the expressions of music, Japanese style of relationships of the 70’s, and the Japanese national obsession: food. It’s a beautiful exploration into the human condition.

Haruki Murakami was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is contemporary, and most likely to be a literary standard at the heights of Shakespeare. This book changed my way of looking at and valuing literature – and was the reason why I fell into the Murakami rabbit hole.

Available at Amazon Aus.

I cannot speak highly enough of Jay Rubin for his sincere and beautiful articulation. His translation is a true gift to the English reading world.

Available at Amazon Aus.

the naked brain

By Richard Restak, MD.

We all must learn something about how the brain works. Either be manipulated or become aware of what is happening to you. The book is of great use for anyone in marketing, sales, economics, politics, education, in leadership, and more. It gives you an insight into the advances in brain science for 2006 – which will still send shivers up your spine, and gets you thinking how you can utilise this for your own effectiveness in personal and professional life.

honourable mentions:

  • Nippert-Eng, Christena (2010) Islands of Privacy. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Lukes, Steven (2008) Moral Relativism. Picador.
  • Iyengar, Sheena (2010) The Art of Choosing. Twelve.
  • Dale Carneige (1937) How to Win Friends and Influence People.

What are your top 5 books? Are there any life changing books I’ve missed? Have you read any of these, if so, what did you think of these? Comment below.

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