Book Review: Books i read in January 2018

The first month of the Year 2018 is gone. Whew!

About 31 (or is it 626) long days, its finally over.

How are your goals coming through?

As explained, it Is easy to know how you are doing already.

If you want to do a daring thing like Paddy, you start with with a step.

Now to the business, I am doing a review of books I read in the month of January 2018, as i will be doing each month of this year.

With an set target of 60 books (yes 60) and with an increasing number of wonderful books I have gotten so far, this will most likely be exceeded.

While the aim of reading is to learn, become a better person and get my eyes open to realities and dreams; the quality of books need to be emphasized.

The January 2018 collection varies from Business to Finance to Religion to Hacks. I will be doing a short review on them.

  1. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Go-giver book

Rated as one of the most interesting and practicable books I’ve read so far in life. This book was recommended by Kola Aina. It’s a little story about a powerful business idea.

It describes five simple laws. Below are some of the things that we can all relate to.

1. The Law of Value — Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

2. The Law of Compensation — Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

3. The Law of Influence — Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

4. The Law of Authenticity — The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

5. The Law of Receptivity — The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

In essence, if you want to get more from life, Give More!

A very good read.

2. Hit Refresh — Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella is the current CEO of Microsoft. I was quite skeptical of the title till I read it in which Satya explained his growth from a Computer scientist to an industry leader. Started with relating his life story from childhood to marriage and to business and the ever-changing dynamics in technology with key focus in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

My mind went back to the recent news of the Amazon convenience store in Seattle in which there are ongoing concern of massive job losses by AI.

However Satya explains that a defining factor that distinguishes AI from human is EMPATHY.

3. As a man thinketh — James Allen

As a man thinketh

First published in 1903, and a phrase from Proverbs 23:7 : “For as a man (or woman) thinketh in his (or her) heart, so is he (or she)” . The writer tells us expresses that A man (or woman) is literally what he (or she) thinks, his(or her) character being the complete sum of all of his(or her) thoughts.

Chapter one dwells on Thought and Character on how our character is shaped by our thought process.

Chapter Two was Effect of Thought on Circumstance: Allen writes that “The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. This does not mean that a man’s circumstances at any giving time are an indication of his entire character, but that those circumstances are so intimately connected with some vital thought-element within himself that, for the time being, they are indispensable to his development.” Essentially, that we are where we are based on our thoughts and our actions. Not that external factors don’t have influence, but that on balance we are each the master of our own destiny.

Chapter 3 are on the effects of Thoughts on Health and Body

“The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed,” Allen writes

Chapter 4: Thought and Purpose

Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.”

Chapter 5: The Thought-Factor in Achievement

Allen’s opening statement in this chapter: “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.” And his ending statement: “He who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly

Chapter 6: Visions and Ideals

“To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve. Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.

Chapter 7: Serenity

“That exquisite poise of character that we call serenity is the last lesson of culture. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

I leave with this quote

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

4. Hooked: How to build habit-forming products — Nir Eyal

I first heard about this book on CNN when a topical issue (technology addiction) came up. Nir Eyal has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design with clear insight on how human behavior is affected by technology. Prominent in the list is mobile phones. For a consumer, this book might not be of tremendous importance as it is to Technology companies.

Strategies used by the big 4 (Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google) to cause a ‘hooked’ user-experience was analysed in details. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how provide habit-forming products.

5. Alibaba: The House Jack Ma built — Duncan Clark

This book is about the story of Jack Ma and Alibaba. The author first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. He was an early adviser to Alibaba. After two decades, he interviewed Jack Ma and chronicled the rise of Alibaba. This book has twelve chapters, there is a saying stated by not only Jack Ma but also other famous entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates on each new chapter page. The most memorable quote that I have read is “Nobody knows the future. You can only create the future” — — Jack Ma.

6. Ego is the enemy — Ryan Holiday


This is a a life-changing book. We majorly have our focus on being successful rather than staying successful. Ego is a highly recommended book for anybody at the Aspiration, Successful and even Failure stage of their lives.

You aspire to achieve all these amazing things and destroy everything in your way. But do you know who is the biggest obstacle? Yourself. More specifically your ego. The climb towards success creates dangerous openings from where the ego can burst through. In the attempt to go forward, you unknowingly go backwards.

Countless are the successful people who worked extremely hard to reach a position of power and influence to later destroy their lives because of their egoistic addiction. It is the reason for many failed businesses, relationships and careers.

So far we saw how much the ego influences your actions and hurts our progress. Unfortunately, failure happens to everyone, regardless of our ego. It’s an inevitable aspect of our lives, therefore we must know how to deal with it. Failure is already hard to deal with by itself but our ego will hyperbolize the situation, making it even harder to bounce back from it.

In short, please read this book.

You can kindly give your own review and suggest books to be reviewed in the comment section.

Have a fruitful month ahead.