I read more than a dozen books in 2015, most of them in the non-fiction category, a couple of them in the fiction category and a couple of Haiku handbooks. Given below are my favorite books among the ones that I read in 2015.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl: This book is written by Nazi concentration camp survivor and a Psychotherapist Viktor Frankl. He is in fact the founder of third Viennese school of Psychotherapy, ‘Logotheraphy.’ The first part of the book deals with the recollection of Viktor Frankl’s time in multiple Nazi concentration camps through his Psychotherapist lens. The second part goes on to give a brief overview about ‘Logotheraphy.’ According to Viktor Frankl, ‘Life is a quest for Meaning. The great task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.’ The book is about a man whose soul got enlightened and strengthened by the darkest days of his life and at the most inhuman of places.
Choose Yourself by James Altucher: I read a free version of ‘Choose Yourself’ in 2014. I liked the book so much that when I decided to re-read it in 2015, I decided to buy a copy and then read it. The book is written by a serial entrepreneur who has seen both his hey-days as well as professional abyss. The book is about how to reinvent ourselves, reinvent our goals and career. The book is about how to ‘Choose Ourselves’ and ‘Take Charge of our Life.’ The writing style of the author is completely different from that of most other authors of self-help books; he does not use a paternalistic tone and goes on to state that the world around us has changed and we better change for our own good.
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt: This book by Social Psychologist Jonathan Haidt is about the origins of positive psychology in ancient wisdom and the applications of positive psychology today. The authors takes ten great ideas from world’s ancient civilization, analyses them using (social) science research principles and synthesizes the lessons that are still relevant to our present day lives.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams: This book provides a sneak-peek into Scott Adams’ life and the lessons that we can use to improve our lives. While it is very easy to assume that a very successful person like Scott Adams’ might have tasted success from the word go, in reality his life has not been a bed of roses. He has faced a number of failures before and after Dilbert. I liked the fact that most of the chapters are short, crisp and clear. Overall the book is a delight to read and has a healthy mix of success advice, insights from Scott Adams’ life, humor and Dilbertoons.
Springboard by G. Richard Shell: This book is a complete success workbook that is filled with a number of exercises that helps us to reflect on what success is to us and how can we go about achieving it in our life. The book does a very good job of explaining the multi-dimensional aspect of success and the various trade-offs and pitfalls of following the cultural and societal stereotypes of success. The book could serve as a virtual mentor for people who have difficulty finding a real-life mentor.