We’ve all been sitting at home for nearly a month now, and if you’re like me, you’re slowly getting fed up of watching shows and movies and have the urge to learn something. So we thought we’d come up with lists that will help you find good resources.
This one is for all you bibliophiles. But even if you aren’t a lover of books, you might want to check out some of these books as we’ve tried to shortlist books that provide knowledge through engaging narratives.
So here goes…
What you’ll learn: Self-management and Self-assessment
Have you felt like you don’t get enough support from your manager? That shitty feeling will affect your professional performance and undermine your confidence in the long run. This short book will show you why you should change that line of thinking and how you are responsible for your growth. It will help you develop the skills and give you the tools that will let you take control. But it is not a series of lectures. It is in the form of a story (like many others in this list) and will help you learn without getting bored or overwhelmed.
What you’ll learn: Personal finance
Many experts are talking about how we’re in the biggest recession since The Great Depression. The stock markets took a pounding in March, and while they seem to be recovering, many experts feel that the worst is yet to come. A good time to learn a few things about personal finance, eh? Here’s a book that will teach you the basics in the form of short stories. It gives you actionable strategies that you can use to get your personal finance in order and save up to invest. Think of this as a sort of ‘Panchatantra’ of the art of wealth creation.
What you’ll learn: Interpersonal skills
I know that the title sounds like something right out of your spam folder, but trust me, this book has around 20 key insights that will help you improve your interpersonal skills. And never have interpersonal been more important than now as without face-to-face interactions; it is easy for conflicts to spark off and spiral out of control. The pointers that Carnegie lists down in this book are easy to execute and even applying a few of them in your life will lead to remarkable improvements in the relationships you have.
What you’ll learn: Critical thinking and Problem solving
We live in an age plagued by misinformation and false propaganda, so it is imperative that we learn to think for ourselves, cut out the noise and think critically. Freakonomics is essentially a book that opens a window to how the world is plagued by conventional thinking and proves how, in many cases, conventional thinking is wrong. Through a series of case studies, it helps you open your mind – realize that even ‘experts’ can be wrong, and learn to dive into root causes while solving problems.
What you’ll learn: The history of our species
In a world that is getting increasingly divided by religion, nationality, and ethnicity, I believe that a book like Sapiens is of great importance. This book traces the history of our species – a bunch of apes that started walking upright in the Savanna and went on to become the most dominant species on the planet. It will leave you wondering if these false constructs of the human mind should be given the importance that they are given today.
What you’ll learn: A different perspective of Hinduism
Who is a Hindu? That’s a question that is becoming increasingly important today. But an answer to that question is not as simple as many seem to think it is. Wendy Doniger tries to give an answer by taking us through the past 6 millennia that Hinduism has thrived in. A word of warning though, you have to read this book with an open mind – it is good to question (as Freakonomics will show you, experts can be wrong), but follow logic and evidence (while staying aware of your biases).
What you’ll learn: Management and Leadership Skills, and Entrepreneurship
This one is for managers or aspiring managers. It will help you develop a highly productive team and keep them motivated. It starts with the bare basics (but more useful if you manage a team already) and teaches you concepts through a ‘breakfast factory’ example. This is a book that you’ll keep coming back to for reference and every time you do, you’ll learn something you missed out the last time.
What you’ll learn: Strategy and Management
If you ask me what my favourite book is, this is usually the one that pops up in my head. It talks about the strategies that Alexander used in his conquests and how, over the years, businesses have used the same/similar strategies to outmanoeuvre their competition. It is an absolute delight if you’re a history buff or an aspiring entrepreneur.
That’s our list of 8 books that you should try reading while you’re stuck at home during this lockdown. While you might not be able to finish all 8, try picking one that interests you and tell us if you liked it. And if you’re someone who has read any of these books, share your experience in the comments section.