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#Read2019: Book Reviews for January

It’s my seventh year doing this Reading Challenge and this year I thought of doing something different — to write monthly book review. I am targeting to read 50 books this year. Here are the books I have read last January 2019.

This was actually recommended by one of my friends in business school. It took time for me to finish this book (bought this late last year but got busy with paperworks.) I heard about Nudge from friends taking marketing and economics classes at school.

If you want to make mindful and better decisions in life, this book might help you in doing so (or improve how you do so.) The book discusses two main personas Рthe Econs and the Humans, and how choice architecture can design a system that can help people better make sound choices either benefiting the decision-maker or the decision-designer. The factors involved in this system is called NUDGES.

  • iNcentives
  • Understandable mappings
  • Defaults
  • Give feedback
  • Expect error
  • Structure complex choices

It’s a bit technical to me but a good read — 3.5/5 stars.

I like how Ray shared his story on how he failed in life and business and learned from it to stand up and never giving up. Thus the book “Principles” comes in two sections – his principles in Life and Work. He said that we all need to experience an “abyss” or a hell of an experience in life to bring out the best in us. He said in life that we need to experience pain and knows how to reflect on that pain, its learnings, to make progress. One cannot just sit down and cry about failures, one must make a choice to experience life fully. And that’s practicality.

This book is for you if you seek to learn how principles can be a strong foundation in your choices in life. With strong values and principles, you will make sense of your surrounding and you will know how to navigate through life easily.

Loved it! — 4.5/5 stars.

So I reached out to friends on Facebook on what book they can recommend if I want to learn more about Politics, War, and Economics… and “The Confessions of An Economic Hit Man” was recommended by a number of friends.

I got the new edition, thus the new confessions. This book is definitely a good read and an eye-opener for me in many ways, specifically in politics and economics, on how powerful countries take advantage of the weaknesses of others by indulging them with debt and the idea of progress they can achieve. The common theme of this book is debt, oil, and the United States. The author calls it corporatocracy. And of course, let’s not forget about the economic hit man and the “jackals”. The events in the book are still very evident until now. Maybe even a bigger scale, I assume. Just a caution: When you read this book, it might change how you will see the world afterward.

New gained knowledge. — 4.5/5 stars.

Tara shared a very personal story of her journey in getting an education, thus the title “Educated.” She was raised in a conservative family, with unsupportive family of her desire to get a formal and better education. She also encountered abuse from his bipolar brother.

I did not like the first half of the book because of the long story-telling but then I realized I need to understand her history before she got into school, how she prepared for it. And maybe I am not used to reading memoirs. But I really did enjoy her journey and it personally resonates so well to me since I am an advocate of education. One of her mentors said about fighting noise with knowledge. And that’s what she did. It was just sad that she had to let go of her family but I do understand her situation.

Strong and relevant. — 5/5 stars.

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