The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger game prequel)
There is a new Hunger Games movie coming out so I might have read the book first so I can be a book snob and say the book was better.
The book is the prequel to the original trilogy and tells the origin story of Coriolanus Snow the infamous president of the capitol in the original hunger game series.
We follow Snow trying to navigate the intrigue of the 10th hunger game as he tries to do his best to help his tribute Lucy Gray from district twelve wins the Hunger Games.
If you like the original series you’ll probably like this one. However, I do feel the previous book was better, Katniss and Petr was a more believable romance that the one they tried to do with Snow and Lucy. And let’s be honest, it’s hard to sympathize with Snow even though the situation is grim in much of the book .
Think and grow rich
My wife bought around a dozen Ikea furniture and I had the luck to assemble them while I took a week off. I decided to listen to an audiobook and since “Think and Grow rich” is freely available in most forms I decided to go with that one.
That book in audio form was kind of a weird experience. Written in the 30s and first published in 1937 following the Great Depression, it felt like hearing the thoughts of a businessman of that era. So there are a lot of references to god and Christianity, even a section where he talks about The Prophet and in another chapter he’s kind of an ass for not letting his deaf kid learn sign language.
However, there are some gems here and there in between that and the name dropping and storytelling. It’s probably one of the first instances of something that resembles the secret. Some call this affirmation, where you basically say out loud or write on a piece of paper 30 times your goal and it will manifest at some point. Channel your inner desire (read sexual energy) into something productive and you need to have persistence. There are other reflections that are retell over and over by other self-help authors like the giver receives more than the taker, the taker only receives once, but the giver almost always gets back his investment since people want to reciprocate, etc.
You can read of complete review instead of reading this here
When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor.
What if part principle of the previous book was written as a fiction book instead. Well “The Alchemist” is kind of like that, but better.
With all the hype around non-fiction books this short fiction book hit home far better that most self-help books you’ll ever read.
The story revolves around a shepherd in Andalusia (Spain) who dreams of finding a great treasure near the pyramid. We follow his journey to find this treasure and other learning he finds along the way.
Courage is Calling
If you read through my other book review you’ve probably noticed that I’ve read a lot of Holiday other books.
Throughout the book, he describes different aspects of courage, preparing to answer your call (preparation makes you brave), overcoming fear, recognizing the importance of obstacles, getting comfortable with discomfort, starting small and maintaining hope for something better.
If you liked his previous book you’ll probably like this one. However, my favorites are still the Obstacle is the way and Ego is the enemy. If you want something to start reading his work, these are probably good entry points.
Here are the takeaways:
- Courage is a requisite quality for a full life
- Courage is facing and fighting fear
- Courage is not undertaken foolishly or frivolously, but reasonably and purposefully.
- The other virtues require courage. You can’t have those virtues if you only express them when you’re not afraid.
- Our society advances by acts of courage.
- Courage emboldens others to be courageous as well.
- Courage is not an attitude that you hold over a lifetime, but a choice made in moments and sustained for seconds.
The Almanac of Naval Ravikant
This book is a compilation of some of the best tweets by Naval Ravikant, including the famous ‘How to get rich’ tweetstorm from 2018, and includes extra commentary from Naval. He explains his ideas and the reasoning behind them in simple, lucid text and lays out his principles of generating wealth succinctly.
This book packs a lot of ideas, so I’d recommend reading it more than once to fully understand them.
- Understand how to create wealth
- Build judgment
- Learn the skills of decision making
- Learn to love to read
- Understand happiness is a choice
Health is key. Physical, mental, spiritual.
Anger may or may not serve others, but definitely of disservice to you.
Read, read, read. “Reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill and can be traded for anything else.” Also reread. A 100 reread books is better than a 1000 “just read” ones.
Focus on one – then nurture & perfect.
The journey from “Freedom to” to “freedom from”.
Note : The free version of this book is available online in pdf, mobi and epub file format. So don’t be a dummy like me that bought the physical book.
100% right 50% of the time
The title reminded me of a devops meme we had at work: 60% of the time, deployment work every time.
The book is about making better decisions and the fallacies that we must be wary of, it mostly presents us with biases that lead to bad or non optimal decisions. The book is loaded with references to other books I’ve already read like sway, predictably irrational, nudge, thinking fast, thinking slow, etc. He managed to distill it a bit and made it more focused on decision making. There is some interesting information in there like how the Interpretation of stats can be unintuitive. For example, if there are 60 people in a class, what are the chances that at least two people share a birthday? Easy, it’s 60 divided by 365 days which equal 1 / 6. However, this is false, it’s actually 99.4%.
Even if most of the points the author talks about are from other books, it was surprisingly interesting and I might do a full review later.
Discipline is Destiny
Discipline is Destiny is the second book of Ryan Holiday Four Virtues series, the first being Courage is Calling that I’ve already read earlier this year and the next two (justice and Wisdom) will be in future book.
Like in Courage is Calling, Holiday draws on the stories of historical figures to explain the virtue of temperance (discipline). Sometime these seem almost biographical, which is not surprising considering he is a huge reader of biographies (check is reading list if you’re interested)
Here some of the takeaways:
- Self-discipline isn’t about deprivation; it’s about being in control of your actions, thoughts, and emotions.
- Live virtuously by working hard, thinking hard, and holding yourself to high standards.
- If you fail, you’ll be OK. You’ll know you did your best, just picks yourself up when you fall and continue the journey where you left off.
Book that I’ve re-read, I will probably make a post to deep dive for each of them
- Essentialisme * (2018 – https://cjacques.me/books-from-the-first-quarter-of-2018-sapien-digital-fortress-essentialism-ready-player-one/)
- Bird by bird * (2015 – https://cjacques.me/reading-100-books-before-40/)
- Backing up the wrong tree * (2017 – https://cjacques.me/the-20-books-ive-read-in-2017/)
- How to be miserable * (2019 – https://cjacques.me/book-ive-read-in-2019/)
- Obstacle is the way * (2016 – https://cjacques.me/reading-100-books-before-40/)