“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Looking back at everything, I have this ardent belief that everyone must be self-reliant and seek their own form of security by building up a path they themselves create. It is about learning on how to stand up by their own two feet and not be too dependent on 3rd party welfare institutions like the government. What we can do however is to make them an enabler.
On that note, this philosophy has been reflected in my writings. It did not come gradually though. On the contrary it was the result of reading and absorbing the works like that of Milton Friedman, J Paul Getty, and Fredrich Von Hayek. Without these books I could not be who I am today. Their main message: Be an individualist.
Anyhow I cannot say that I’ve been a reader all my life. If it wasn’t for my highschool principle, I wouldn’t be reading extensively(I average one book a week, when jobless three) as I am now. I was seventeen years old when he imparted me his wisdom, and it happened by pure sheer luck. Standing outside his office, he came out, we struck on a friendly conversation, and advised me on the importance of reading.
And that has changed everything for me.
Since then I have read close to 300-500 books. This started around 2008 and the process intensified as I got access to Amazon.co.uk when I got in the UK. Looking back my life’s greatest regret was not having the reading habit while I was still five. It could make a hell lot of a difference. But hey, let the dead bury the dead.
Anyhow, below are the top twenty books which have profoundly influenced me. Some of them could be found in your local book store, others to be pre-ordered.
For those who intend to join my insatiable desire for reading, do start at Think and Grow Rich first. This book has made a ‘success’ of everything I touch. From creating AMO Times to AMO Mart, to setting up a Housing Rental Business to a Spaghetti Start-up. This book is the epitome of entrepreneurship. It is a must read! It will develop within you an attitude that is best summed up in the following quote “I failed? Meh. I’ll start again.”
Without further ado, below are my top 20 books. (The list is allocated by the magnitude of influence it has on me).
1. An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
Learn how one remarkable man created a united front of 200M people to fight for India’s right for independence in its darkest and most trying of times. It will enlighten, entertain, and sometimes sadden readers alike as they join Gandhi’s relentless quest for truth in this epic literary masterpiece.
2. The Intellectual and Socialism by Frederic Von Hayek
In the battle of ideas stood freedom against tyranny. It’s agents, intellectuals. In the height of battle shall stand only one, and it is either one of two which could seal the fate of a nation. It is a fight I’m willing to take, through my writings and enterprises, in longing to see a better Brunei through expounding the virtues and necessities of the former not only to those around me but to the public at large.
3. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller by Ron Chernow
From humble beginnings to the richest man in history, this book recounts a quiet yet sly John D. Rockefeller in consolidating, scheming, and ultimately controlling 90% of the then world’s oil resource our of complete scratch. His is the epitome of a man whose life reflects on a God-like ability to create order out of complete chaos. He is an inspiration of inspiration to me.
4. Man Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl
A narrative of horrific proportions about the holocaust, endured by the author during the World War, shocked me to the very core forcing me to ponder long and hard on Nietzsche quote he often shares in his book “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”. If there is any book you should read this year, this is it.
5. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The philosophies outlined in the book built up within me a spirit of epic persistence and unshakable faith that has enabled me to achieve most of the successes I have achieved, insofar and years henceforth. It is quite possibly the greatest motivational self-help book you will ever need to kickstart and attain your longings right now.
Then here’s the rest.
6. Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
7. Here’s How Anyone can Succeed Now by M. R. Kopmeyer
8. 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
9. How to Get Rich by J. Paul Getty
10. Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon
11. Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. Five Years of My Life by Murat Kurnaz
13. Mastery by Robert Greene
14. On Writing by Stephen King
15. The Republic by Plato
16. Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon
17. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
18. The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
19. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
50 Shades of Grey (Just kidding. Here’s the final list: My Own Story by Bernard Baruch.)
Here is a recommended reading list by Ryan Holiday, a writer who I look up too. If you’ve got 5 minutes, this could be something of a read.