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7 Great Books for Your Self-Isolation Reading List

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7 Great Books for Your Self-Isolation Reading List
5 min. read
Back view of handsome young businessman in casual clothes and eyeglasses reading a book while lying on couch at home

Image: VGstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Like the rest of us, you probably have more time on your hands than ever, as the entire world is hitting pause and isolating themselves to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In the wake of social distancing becoming the new temporary norm, it’s important to find ways of filling our time with productive activities. 

Following an online course is a great way to develop your skills while at home, but if you’re more of a bookworm, here are our suggestions of great reads that might help or inspire you in these times:

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – Daniel Goleman

Goleman’s book on emotional intelligence, although released in 1995, is still as relevant as ever today and is still seen as a must-read for everyone in a leadership role or looking to advance their career. 

In this book, Goleman argues that non-cognitive skills can help you on your path to success, even more than IQ. He gives insights on our “two minds” – rational and emotional, and explains how the five skills of emotional intelligence can help us in both our professional and personal lives.

Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

While you’re in the neighborhood, you could continue with Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman’s book follows a similar approach to describing the mind, but makes a slightly different distinction between our “two brains”. His main argument is the existence of two separate modes of thought: System 1 – fast, instinctive, emotional, and System 2 – slower, more deliberate and more logical. 

Kahneman then presents cognitive biases linked to each type of thinking. Knowing these heuristics and biases can help you understand the psychological processes behind many choices we make every day. And if you’re wondering when this might come in handy, try applying this in your work to understand the psychological factors that influence a homebuying decision.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari

We’re going through what feels like a unique situation, but with the Internet keeping us connected on a global level, it seems that we’re at least all going through this together. However, if we take a step back and look at humankind throughout history, we’ll see that we’ve gone through many similar crises over the years. It’s important to get some perspective.

Harari’s international bestseller takes a look at how humankind has evolved from the archaic humans of the Stone Age, all the way to the twentieth-century Homo Sapiens. It challenges what we think we know about being human and offers great insights on how we’ve come to believe in many of the things we take for granted nowadays (money, laws, nations and many more).

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

To describe Dale Carnegie’s self-help book as popular would be a gross understatement. Having sold over 30 million copies worldwide, it’s one of the most successful books of all time. In it, Carnegie offers insights on interpersonal relationships and advice on how to be successful in different social interactions in your professional and personal life.

The book will teach you fundamental techniques in handling people, but also how to be a great leader. Anyone wishing to develop their interpersonal skills, or anyone who interacts with a lot of people in their job should have this book on their reading list.

Zen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational Folks – Gavin Aung Than

Zen Pencils takes an inventive approach to classic inspirational quotes. Cartoonist Gaving Aung Than picks famous inspirational quotes and adapts them into graphic stories that will either make you laugh or cry, but will always leave you motivated and inspired.

You’ll find quotes ranging from Confucius and Henry David Thoreau to Frida Kahlo and Maya Angelou, all transformed into beautiful visual metaphors. We all need a bit of inspiration in our daily lives.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

Creating healthy habits is something a lot of us struggle with. A common theory is that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can just stick to doing yoga in the morning for three weeks, you should be settled for life. Things don’t work quite like that.

In his book, Charles Duhigg takes a look at the science behind forming habits, the neurological patterns that govern any habit (the so-called Habit loop). A habit loop consists of three components: a cue, a routine and a reward, and by understanding these components we can form good habits much easier. And by changing our habits and focusing on good ones, we can change our businesses and our personal lives, for the better.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondo

This might be the perfect time to tackle some of the around-the-house tasks you’ve been postponing for lack of time, like reorganizing the closets, cleaning out your garage or figuring out what to do with that one drawer that holds all the clutter. But why not take it one step further?

Marie Kondo has become quite popular with her KonMari method, which essentially boils down to tackling items category by category and only keeping those that “spark joy”. With other helpful tips on how to reorganize your home, this book will help you transform your home into your own oasis of calm, which should then help you move into a motivated and inspired mindset too.

What’s on your reading list at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.

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