5 most influential books I read in 2018

Happy new year everyone! As 2019 comes along, I spent some time to look back at the most influential books that I read in 2018 and below is the top 5

  1. Sapiens : a brief history of humankind” by Yuval Harari. While this book was published back in 2015, I didn’t read it until 2018. I learnt so much about the human race through the book. Reading it allows me to zoom out and look at things from not only ten thousand years but even one hundred thousands years, which is a very different perspective. You would perhaps look at life very differently after. I also read the two follow up books from Yuval Harari and they are both highly recommended “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century“.
  2. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think” by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling. This book not only opens my mind but warms my heart. And it is very easy to read. It talks about global trends with clear data and insights. I consider it a must read to understand about the world we are living in today. If you like this book, I would also recommend another book, with a similar theme “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker.
  3. Principles by Ray Dalio. In this book, Ray detailed the life and work principles that have helped him thus far. He talked about “radical transparency and radical truthfulness” as a way to have meaningful work and meaningful relationship with people you work with. I also love how he uses algorithm to “Believability Weight Your Decision Making”. For those who don’t know Ray. “In 1975, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Over forty years later, Bridgewater has grown into the largest hedge fund in the world and the fifth most important private company in the United States according to Fortune magazine, and Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.” – excerpt from Principles site. In the same year, Ray published another great book “Principles for navigating big debt crises” which I highly recommend for those who are interested in the topic. It can be helpful to individual investors or policy makers.
  4. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She explores the concept of introvert and extrovert through the lenses of history, biology, neurology and culture. This is a well researched book, with strong narrative and evidence. This book is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about themselves, parents whom want to understand and raise their “shy” children, or team leaders whom want to build a better team
  5. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the new world order by Kai-Fu Lee. For those who know me, I am fascinated by China and Chinese culture. I love travelling to China for leisure and have a high respect for what they have accomplished over the past 40 years since opening up to the world in 1978. This book helps me to understand about China entrepreneur environment, its technological advances and direction from one of the most respected “teacher” in China. I am touched by Kai-Fu personal story and his close contact with death as well.

Last but not least, in 2018, I also published my own book on team management and leadership. It’s available on Amazon here.

That is it from me. How about you? What are your top 5 books in 2018 and what are you reading in 2019?


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