Tag Archives: Self-Help

Faster, Smarter, Higher: Managing your Career by Utkarsh Rai

faster-smarter-higher-by-utkarsh-rai Title: Faster, Smarter, Higher: Managing your Career
Author: Utkarsh Rai
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
ISBN: 978-8129137500
Genre: Business
Pages: 199
Source: Publisher

Faster Smarter Higher: Managing your Career by Utkarsh Rai is the kind of book that of course you can race through but the idea is that you don’t. It is a book about managing your career after all and might I add that it isn’t one bit preachy. Thank God for that!
I am not the sort who reads business books or books such as these. However, this one caught my fancy and I am glad that I read it.

The book explores career and its paths not just by the virtue of hard work but more. What’s that more you ask? Is it something I possess? Is it something that is there in me? Oh yeah, sure it is, but it is all about finding that sweet spot to hone those skills – most importantly – managing key relationships at work, which is what this book is about.

“Faster Smarter Higher” is a go-to guide to what to actually do at work when it comes to interpersonal skills and how those skills will propel you forward on the ladder of success. At the same time, it is very lucid and structured. The book doesn’t confuse you and lets you think for yourself. What’s great is that there also insights from 51 business leaders on the same topic/s.

Utkarsh’s writing is easy and not complex. More than that it isn’t repetitive which it could have been given the topic. I liked the book overall. It was insightful in most places and did not seem rushed at all. A quick read but the one that you will keep thinking of a lot, because well, it has to do with your career after all.

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Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind by Catherine Lepage

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage Title: Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind
Author: Catherine Lepage
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 978-1452145792
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Pages: 104
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Why do we get anxious? What is it about us that make us feel that way? Is it us or the environment or the circumstances surrounding us? Catherine Lepage’s books “Thin Slices of Anxiety” talks to us about anxieties, fears and phobias in a manner that is not only easy and simple but also fun.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 1

I came across this book on a friend’s blog and I knew that I had to have it on my bookshelf. This book is unlike anything I have read on anxiety and what it takes to calm down. I have read self-help books but I also cannot classify this book in that category.
“Thin Slices of Anxiety” is a meditation on how to ease the worried mind. In today’s day and age we are flooded with worries. We don’t know when one begins and the other ends. Life is almost a battle and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 2

Catherine Lepage takes us through anxiety by distilling it for us into four habits that are very clear and plain to see that actually set anxiety into motion. They are: Accumulation of fatigue, Repressing emotions, setting goals too high and collecting responsibilities. Maybe the first step is to let go and then take a back seat (how many of us actually want to do that at all?) and go through the emotional repertoire and see how we can use that better to ease life.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 4

This book doesn’t preach. It doesn’t promise to change your life. It will not do all those things. It is a basic and most needed primer of our times – given the lifestyle choices we make and how perhaps we really do need to stop and smell the roses and not run all the time – from pillar to post, without getting anywhere at all.

Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa

Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa Title: Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe
Author: Yumi Sakugawa
Publisher: Adams Media
ISBN: 9781440582639
Genre: Spiritual, Self-Help
Pages: 160
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Becoming one with the universe? Getting signs from way up above? To completely and totally understand who you are and how you are connected to the universe is not an easy task. Maybe it is not that difficult either. I guess we just have to find ways to connect with the universe and become one with it. I know it sounds very superfluous but it is not. We just fail to see so many signs. We fail to listen to what our instincts tell us. Is that not a part of the universe? Don’t we need to see and listen to all of that?

Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa - Image 1

“Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe” by Yumi Sakugawa is an illustrated guide like none other that I have come across. It is beautifully done and speaks to every reader. There are nine metaphysical lessons in this one and even if you aren’t a believer, I suggest you read this to help you open your mind and heart.

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I don’t even know what prompted me to buy this book but I do know that after reading it, I just felt good about being who I am and what it takes to be who you are. It is about connecting with the world around you and with the world within you. I know it sounds mighty preachy but the good is far from that. It is a very quick read but I guarantee that you will come back to it because of the way it is illustrated and what it teaches each one of us.

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Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than

Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than Title: Zen Pencils
Author: Gavin Aung Than
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9781449457952
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comics, Cartoon
Pages: 176
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

If you have to read a self-help book this year, that is not condescending at all, but only helps you move on page by page, then you have to read “Zen Pencils”. It is a book made after the very famous website created by Gavin Aung Than and there are these cartoons there along with many more. I bumped on to the site after reading the book and could not have been happier than this.

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There is something so reassuring about reading these snippets of self-help and motivation. Maybe that is what is needed in times such as these, which is ridden with cynicism and utter hopelessness. The anecdotes and quotes are from famous people – from Neil Gaiman to a Tibetan monk to Henry David Thoreau to Confucius, their words are heart-warming, sobering and mostly just there to shake your existence.

Zen Pencils - Image 1

“Zen Pencils” makes you realize that perhaps it is not all that bad and that there is so much hope still for all of us on this world. These quotes otherwise maybe scoffed on and probably ridiculed as well, however when combined with some fantastic art-work, it is literally work of genius. One can relate to it and also think of applying what can be to life.

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“Zen Pencils” is a definite read for almost everyone if you ask me. The graphics and the cartoons are simply charming and the book will surprise you for sure – more so when you sense that you are crying and if any book can make you do that, more so a book in a graphic format, then it is worth your time. I will reread this book perhaps multiple times and cherish it as much. Gavin’s work has enabled more people to think beyond and look at life differently.

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