Life-Changing Books


Hi, guys!
I'm a reader. Even when I was a kid, one of my favorite thing is buying little picture books and made my parents read those at least three times before bedtime. Back in high school, I got a certificate for one of the student that borrowed the most books from the library.  Suffice to say, I read a good amount of books altho not as much as I'd like. 
Even though I read a lot, rarely do I find a book that I would say life-changing. Said book just gives me a new perspective and you can say enlightening. I truly believe knowledge is power and therefore I want to share with you some of that power.

First book is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. This book is part a memoir part psychology book. It shares the author's time in concentration camp from his perspective as a psychiatrist and then his logotherapy theory which focuses on the meaning of human existence and on man's search for meaning.
While meaning of life is a difficult and personal topic, I'd say Viktor E. Frankls gives great insight on how to find the meaning in the midst of our suffering. And once we do, we hold on to that to survive.
It's not a long book, but it is heavy and tought-provoking. I would highly recommend it for everyone above 16 years old. I would say, the first part is harrowing and young minds might not feel comfortable to read it. I read it when I was in my 20s and it really leaves a mark in my mind.

"Man is not fully conditioned and determined, but rather determines himself whether he gives in to condition or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man doesn't simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment." - Viktor E. Frankl. 


Second book is everyone's favorite which is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. This book shares a story about a gravely ill Professor Morrie and his Tuesday's chat with his former student, Mitch Albom. 
A lot of people say that this book is way too fluffy and light but I actually like that. While none of the topics are groundbreaking, it still serves as an excellent reminder on how to live our life as best as we can; since tomorrow is never promised. It encourages the reader to stop and think about what is important in life.
It's also an easy read. I always finish in one sitting, which is about 2 or 3 hours. Highly recommended for anyone above 13 but under 40. While this book holds many wisdom, true wisdom comes with age, so anyone above 40 might feel this book not at all that wise.

"The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." - Morrie Schwartz from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom



Third book is another survivor of the Holocaust, which is Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl. This book is, as the title goes, a diary of Anne Frank; a 14 year old Jew hiding in a secret annex in Dutch during the Holocaust with her family.
First time I read it, I was immediately enamored by Anne Frank. She is surprisingly strong and mature for her age, impressively intelligent, and although there was a World War going on, her own particular world never abated. To think how this young girl personal life continued beyond the details of the war is rather remarkable.
It's not a long read, I would say two or three days but it does have some sensitive topics so anyone above 13 years old should be fine. And anyone above 40 might think it's silly to read a little girl's diary. 
However, you can't read this journal and think it's just an ordinary diary of a young girl. because it's not. Anne's diary is a representation of how other Jewish families lived and coped during the Nazi War. That's a powerful thing. Many don't realize how fortunate we are to have some insight on how it must have been for the Jews to coexist this way. I personally feel grateful that I have read it.
I have this star of david necklace and I was wearing it during one of my travel (I want to say UK? Or was it Europe?) and when I was in a mini market, an old lady approached me and told me my necklace is beautiful. I of course thanked her and she said that star used to have a different meaning back then. I didn't think much about it that time but then I read this book and I immediately thought of her. She must have a family or maybe she is one of the Holocaust survivor. That small talk alone make this book so much more influential to me.

"People who have religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing heavenly things. You don't necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death, purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can't accept, but still a religion, doesn't matter which, keeps person on the right path. It isn't the fear of God but the upholding of one's own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the whole day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. " - Anne Frank.


Fourth book is rather new, comparing to the first three book; Love for Imperfect Things by Haenim Sunim. It is a self-help book in an easy to read format that is straight to the point. Everyone can read it. And Lisk Feng did an amazing job too with the illustrations. Looking at the pictures really does give a calming effect.
What is great about this book is how Haenim Sunim breaks down each chapter with a little anecdote of his own experience and then some essays with quotes. These essays and quotes are deceivingly simple, these are not earth-shattering revelation but it's quiet, peaceful reflections on life and how best to live it, starting by accepting the most meaningful imperfect thing, ourselves.
I deliberately took my time with this book the first time I read it, since each chapter needs to have a little digesting in my part. I would stop after each chapter and just kind of let it seeps in. It would be a few hours later before I continue. It's a great book to have by your bed table since it's not only easy to read, it's also soothing.

"We all wish to belong. 
It is through those who care deeply about us 
that we find love and purpose in our lives. 
After all, we are all imperfect beings who need one another." 
- Haenim Sunim


Last book but surely not the least is Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Obviously, this book is about introvert personality. If you're not sure what is introvert or extrovert, it is basically a psychological term that divides people with certain attributes.
I read this because well, I'm an introvert. When I was a kid, people always call me timid and shy and I believed them. I was never good at initiating a conversation or holding one, for that matter. It made me think like I'm less of a person since I don't make friends easily and I actually question myself why I don't like being around people. I even had one friend called me a stuck up to my face in high school since I never say hi first to them. It's not that I don't want to, it's because I know if I said hi, I might need to have a conversation with them, and boy o boy was I scared of having conversation with people that is not my inner circle.
Fortunately, as I get older, I get better at pretending to be an extrovert and a lot of people call me friendly now. So for me, it's mind blowing to read that a lot of introverts do that to survive! I really thought I was the only one. Susan Cain did extensive research for her book and I think a lot of extrovert parents can benefit from reading this book.
Upon reading, my mind was like "that is so true!" or "oh wow is that why I did that?" or "that makes perfect sense now". This book really do gives such enlightenment to my introvert self. It actually makes me proud to be an introvert.
I think anyone can read this altho there are some medical terms that might confuse children. I'd say anyone in high school can benefit from reading this book. Even if you're an extrovert, since a third of the half people you know is an introvert, it might help you to have a better relationship with your introverted peers. And also for me, it gives a lot of insight why extrovert is the way they are too. So I'd say it's quite a comprehensive read.

A Manifesto for Introverts (from Quiet)
1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: Thinkers.
2. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.
3. The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths.
4. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later.
5. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters.
6. One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.
7. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.
8. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.
9. Love is essential; gregariousness is optional.
10. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi


Anyway, I do hope you'd try to read at least one of the book listed here. The most life changing book for me would be Quiet by Susan Cain and followed closely by A Man's Search for Purpose by Viktor E. Frankl. 
Have a great day, all.

2 comments

  1. Tuesday With Morrie is old but gold (: it's such a heartwarming story between the student with his professor. I love this book!

    I've heard alot about Haenim Sunim's book, maybe I should find a copy very soon!

    Thank you for these recommendations! <3

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