The 5 best books I read in 2019

Published on Dec 19, 2019 in Personal

2019 was another great year for reading. I've read 28 books and nearly

These are my favourite 5 books I'd highly recommend anyone for the next year. (You can see my list for 2018 here)

Never Split The Difference

Get this book on Amazon - Read my notes - Score: 9/10

From Amazon:

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a kidnapping negotiator brought him face-to-face with bank robbers, gang leaders and terrorists. Never Split the Difference takes you inside his world of high-stakes negotiations, revealing the nine key principles that helped Voss and his colleagues succeed when it mattered the most – when people’s lives were at stake. Rooted in the real-life experiences of an intelligence professional at the top of his game, Never Split the Difference will give you the competitive edge in any discussion.

I absolutely loved how actionable the book was and felt it made a big difference in how I handle negotiations in my life. Definitely a book worth reading over and over.

Atomic Habits


Get this book on Amazon - Score: 9/10

From Amazon:

In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy. 

Perhaps THE book about habits, it's definitely one of the most impactful books I've read in the last 5 years. It completely changed my attitude towards habit formation and possibly the trajectory of my entire life.

Shoe Dog

Get this book on Amazon - Score: 9/10

From Amazon:

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.

I’m usually not a big fan of memoirs but this book is exceptionally well written and a reminder of what running a business *actually* looks like. Super recommended, especially if you are a Nike detractor.

So Good They Can't Ignore You

Get this book on Amazon - Read my notes - Score: 10/10

From Amazon:

Cal Newport's clearly-written manifesto flies in the face of conventional wisdom by suggesting that it should be a person's talent and skill - and not necessarily their passion - that determines their career path.

Newport, who graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) and earned a PhD. from MIT, contends that trying to find what drives us, instead of focusing on areas in which we naturally excel, is ultimately harmful and frustrating to job seekers.

From there, Newport presents compelling scientific and contemporary case study evidence that the key to one's career success is to find out what you do well, where you have built up your 'career capital,' and then to put all of your efforts into that direction.

I loved this book and I wished I read it in my early 20's. Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. Indeed, he goes as far as saying that this belief can actually be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping. Luckily, he offers an explanation of what makes people love what they do and how anyone can achieve it. A must-read for any millennial.


Get this book on Amazon - Score: 10/10

From Amazon:

In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail. Then, in case anyone thought he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan . . . Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It's a profound tribute to his willpower . . . At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.

“Shantaram“ by Gregory D. Roberts is easily in the top 3 novels I’ve ever read. The style is beautiful and the storytelling is sensational. Probably the only book that made me cry. Buy it, read it and fall in love with it.

Hope you enjoy it!

Which books have changed the way you think or blown your mind away in 2019?

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