Reading – An Exercise To Stretch The Mind!

“The more you read, the more things you know. The more you learn, the more places you will go.”

September is supposed to be Read a New Book Month – Why September in specific though? If you look at it, September is when schools reopen for a new year. Hence September is looked upon as a month for new beginnings, a chance to start over, gain new knowledge etc and that’s how reading ties in – new books to a new beginning.

Reading not just improves knowledge on a varied scale but also improves mental fitness, improved vocabulary, ideas for a conversation ice breaker, be able to come together as a group by hosting book club chats and is generally a nice thing to do as part of daily routine.

If your not already into picking up a book to read every now and then, then here are some resources that you could look into

Kindle Unlimited: Currently has a one-month free trial

Prime Reading: A selection of e-books for Amazon Prime members  

Scribd.com: Currently has a one-month free trial

Gutenberg.org: you can access free online books in various formats, usually it’s classics that you find here

BorrowBox: Is a free online book app. Membership is given when you register for free with specific libraries in the U.K.  

Audible : Currently has a one-month free trial

Look out for Book Exchanges: Various organisations like Rotary club have locations where you can exchange hard copies of books. 

Reading books that we know we’ll like is a wonderful way to escape the stresses of daily life. But sometimes a new type of book allows us to see the world in a different way. Here are some top read suggestions

Feel Better In 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by Dr Rangan Chatterjee – 4.29*.  A daily 5-minute plan that is easy to maintain, easy-to-follow and requires only the smallest amount of willpower.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh – 4.23*. In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness. 

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV – 4.16*. Nearly every time you see him, he’s laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He’s the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman. What’s more, he’ll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that “the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” 

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – 3.94*. A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – 3.88*. Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts. 

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein – 4.20*. This became a Business Week – Best Book of the Year. In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall. 

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle – 4.32*. An essential book that unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides readers with a toolkit for building a cohesive, innovative culture, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code 

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight – 4.48*. In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. 

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela – 4.33 *. Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. 

An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi – 4.08 *. It is not my purpose to attempt a real autobiography. I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – 4.23*. The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743. 

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – 4.10*. Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast begins the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 4.33*. From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. 

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – 3.94*. The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers’ demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale. . . . 

and for some quick reads

The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by charlie Mackery. A reminder of the most important things in life. A book of hope for uncertain times. Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most poignant life lessons. Charlie’s first book includes his most-loved illustrations and new ones too. The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos.

Purple Your People: The Secrets to Inspired, Happy, More Profitable People by Jane Sunley . Happier workforce. Better recruitment. Better staff retention. More profit with less stress. Sound appealing? Then read on… 

Home by Toni Morrison. America’s most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man’s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war. 

Notting Hill Carnival A Westside Story by Candice Carty-Williams. Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter. 

And if your wondering if I have actually read them all, I certainly have not… 🙂

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