One of the many enjoyable aspects of long-term travel is I get to read a lot more…for pleasure. I am starting a new post that I will update periodically to list the books that I have read (or am reading) since our journey began. Note that many of these authors have corresponding blogs where you can get a taste for the concept without buying/reading a whole book. And if you have suggestions for books you think I would enjoy, please do let me know!
The Lean Startup – a very popular book relevant for both new entrepreneurs and established companies launching new products, among others…as the title suggests, the goal is to figure out if your business is viable and if so start and grow it without betting the farm…advocates practices like continual testing of assumptions, metrics that are both measurable (of course) but also meaningful, etc.
Investment Biker – older book by Jim Rogers, partner of George Soros at the Quantum Fund with legendary returns…as Amazon says, it is “the fascinating story of his 1990 investing trip around the world by motorcycle, with many tidbits of hard-headed advice for investing in foreign markets.” while not infallible, he is quite prescient and it is a good read.
Delivering Happiness – the Zappos story, a book about building the best customer service business and having fun in the process. Tony offers some neat ideas for managing employees and creating the right culture. I enjoyed it a lot and many of his philosophies align with my own.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers – book about the Mumbai slums. Bill Gates said, “It reads like a novel by Dickens, but is a real-life depiction of the challenges hundreds of millions of people face every day in urban slums. It’s also a reminder of the humanity that connects us all.” The tales of corruption are truly horrifying.
Business Stripped Bare – Richard Branson book about how he got started with Virgin and his relentless focus on brand. If you do not define your brand, someone else will.
Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. His patience, tolerance, sacrifice and humility are quite the inspiration.
The 4-Hour Workweek – another very popular book, Tim aims not only to inspire you to examine your professional and personal lives but he gives step by step instructions for freeing your time and generating income. At first I was lukewarm because it seemed like another book heavy on philosophy (which I don’t really need since I already made the decision!), but then Tim proceeds to offer a wealth of resources for starting businesses and using outsourcing both professionally and personally.
The Kite Runner – per Amazon, Khaled Hosseini offers “an educational and eye-opening account of a country’s political turmoil–in this case, Afghanistan–while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over.” I thoroughly enjoyed it, and great fiction is just what Madurai called for. I think I particularly like historical fiction for the simultaneous escape/repose and learning.