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See What Over 1000 Quora Users Around The World Would Recommend If You Can Only Read Once In Your Life

See What Over 1000 Quora Users Around The World Would Recommend If You Can Only Read Once In Your Life

When asked to pick only one book to recommend to someone, most people would agree that it is quite a difficult task. Firstly, because there are so many great pieces that it seems unfair to pick just one. Secondly, definition of a great book varies from person to person. Yet, when asked what would be the one they would recommend if someone could only read once in their life, most Quora users opted for books that greatly influenced their thinking and ideas about life. Go through the list and see if you agree and maybe pick one or two for your personal library.

1. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

The book explores lives, works and ideas of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Jonathan Sebastian Bach. Using puns, metaphors and puzzles to connect concepts of mathematics, symmetry and intelligence, the book actually explores the notion of human cognition and consciousness. The value of the book is in its ability to take you on a journey of exploring your abilities to self-reflect, and it doesn’t require a scientist or artist of any sort to realize the universality of laws of our consciousness and perception.

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2. Best of Quora (2010 – 2012)

Great book that covers 18 sections of creative, funny, practical and intelligent answers to all sorts of questions. A book about everything for everyone. “It’s less about the “right answer” and more about perceptions and experiences.” Says one of the reviewers.

3. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

Written as a means to fix the emotional scars that surgeon Maxwell Maltz couldn’t help his patients with by surgical procedure, Psycho-Cybernetics is one of the corner-stones of self-help programs. Even though the original was published in 1960, many readers still consider it the best at its niche due to its practical value that relies on science.

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4. The Tirukkural

Written 2000 years ago in Tamil and since then, translated into 82 languages, The Tirukkural (Sacred Couplets) is a book of 1330 couplets that explores truths about universal topics of love, righteousness and material life. Readers consider it as a religiously neutral and universal guide for any life situation.

5. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet consists of 26 prose poetry fables, which, written in 1923 can still be applied today. Rich in metaphor, the stories are abundant with lessons that don’t seem like lessons, on life’s most important aspects such as love, marriage, children, joy, sorrow, beauty, religion, and death.

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6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

First published in 1955, American literature classic, Lolita, was, and probably still is, one of the most controversial novels of all time, due to the appalling subject of pedophilia it explores. Captivating, yet unreliable narration of Humbert Humbert, full of word play and puns, with ironic observations about American culture, tells the story of his love for 12-year old Dolores, a nymphet he called Lolita.

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set in WWII Germany, The Book Thief is another great novel that speaks of universal values in a beautiful and captivating way. It tells a story of a young girl Liesel Meminger who loses her family and struggles to preserve her own life and innocence during a cruel time. Narrated by Death, the novel explores themes such as mortality, the power of storytelling, and love.

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8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

One of the most translated and best-selling books of all time, The Little Prince, is a novella that, disguised as a children’s book, tells a more mature and universal story of human nature. First published in 1943, the book has stood the test of time making people of all age question their perspective on life and universe they are a part of.

9. Mahabharata

The longest poem ever written, Mahabharata is an epic poem written in Sanskrit in ancient India. Through the story of Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes, the poem illustrates life aspects and stories that are timeless and universal.

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

One of the most quoted books of our time, The Alchemist, is the book that changed the lives of so many people. Following a boy shepherd Santiago through his adventures in the quest for treasure, it tells the story of human quest for purpose, meaning and destiny.

Featured photo credit: Intellectual Takeout via intellectualtakeout.org

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Ana Erkic

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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