My Recommendations

When you have a curiosity-bug in you, you explore a lot. And when you do, you find:

– some things that resonate with you
– some things that transcend your being
– and some things that bore the hell out of you.

You don’t get the gold without going through the dirt.
And my internet’s History would unveil the kind of dirt I have dealt with (pun-intended:P)

But that’s something you might not have to go through. If you like my content/thinking (otherwise, this might not interest you a lot) you might like what I liked. You might find the gold I found to be gold for you, too.

And as I already like you for giving me your time to read my content, I wanted to sum up my recommendations for you all. Be it movies, music, books, artists, courses, newsletters, or any material/link that would either entertain you or help you. (It will also have some affiliate links that won’t cost you anything but would reward me a little if you decide to buy it. Extra motivation for me to provide you with something that’s beneficial to you. Yippy!)

I’m going to update this list as soon as I explore something new for you, or I get time;). You are welcomed to drop me a mail at ataraxissoul@gmail.com if you have anything to discuss regarding anything I recommend, or even just to say Hi. 🙂

BOOKS TO READ

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Books are a great way to explore the unknown. It’s basically a cheap ticket to an extraordinary world created by the author. Be it a fiction or non-fiction, you get a lot for a lot less, if you stumble upon a right book. And here, I will try to guide you to some of the exceptional ones I found. (I will add more to this list over time)

  1. The Alchemist (Fiction/Motivation) – If there was a book that can fill you up with hope, this is the one. I still remember when I read this, I felt that the entire universe is on my side.

  2. The Book Thief (Fiction) – When on the first page, DEATH introduces itself to be the narrator of the story, your imagination just look for someone to hold its beer! This book is a slow burn, but I can guarantee that the latter half of this book will bring a smile over your face.

  3. Immortals of Meluha (Mythological Fiction) – How can you forget a book that started your journey as a reader. I still remember downloading Kindle in my phone, and reading it on my way to home from my office. The author makes the mythological gods as characters, and illustrates various myths, supernatural powers with a pinch of logic, that you constantly mumble, “this makes so much sense.” Give it a read, especially if you belong to Hinduism. You will love it.

  4. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (Non-fiction/Inspirational) – How can you not read a book with that title after years of stumbling on rejections and failures? And this book is one of those books that I wished I had read earlier. It’s a no BS book with many strategies to make sense of this competitive world. I can bet you will say this at least once: “Why didn’t I read it before?”

  5. Kahlil Gibran: His Collected Works (Poetry) – Here comes my favourite poet of all time. If a poet makes you stand still as the meaning behind his words hit you one after another, that it makes you sad and it makes you smile simultaneously, you know you are in the presence of a genius. Kahlil Gibran is that for me. His best work, The Prophet, was my introduction to him, but this book never let me go without a smile during my commute after a tiring day at the office.

  6. Barking Up The Wrong Tree (Non-Fiction) – “Do nice-people finish last?” If I ask you this question, your answer would either be anecdotal, or would be based on your beliefs. But do you know that some scientists actually performed tests over it to prove it wrong? Well, this book is a collection of such sayings that we often hear. And it will surprise you with each chapter. (Spoiler Alert: Nice people often fare better in the long run)

  7. Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life (Non-fiction)- Do you know the story of potato? Yes, the staple ingredient of many dishes. Do you know once nobody wanted to eat it? Until a king came with an idea utilizing behavioral economics? Yeah, he played with the loopholes of human behaviour to come up with it and the results are in front of you. Read this and you will never view the world the same.

  8. The Art of War (Non-fiction) – The only book you need to read to beat procrastination. Don’t procrastinate on this book. I can’t recommend it enough for everyone to read it asap.

  9. Sandman (Comic/Fiction) – My list can’t be complete without a mention of Neil Gaiman. I absolutely love this creative freak. I mean, I imagine that if I ever get a chance to meet him and talk, I would lose my shit. And this is his Magnum opus, IMO. In fact, I gifted this comic to myself on my 27th birthday. He’s a master when it comes to creating imaginary worlds.

  10. Let’s Talk about Money (Finance) – When it comes to finances, I was a noob. A noob who didn’t know the difference between health insurance and term insurance. A noob who didn’t know the difference between insurance and investment. Well, I was a noob until I read this book. This book is a masterclass in Personal Finance, especially from an Indian context. For an Indian, this is an absolute read.

UFFF… There are so many. I will update it. If you need some suggestions on any specific topic, email me at ataraxissoul@gmail.com.

Though I prefer paperback over digital, but the digital ones have their advantages, especially in a world where starring at your screen is normal. Be it your office or in the loo. You can always read on the go. I use the free app for Kindle my phone for it. But you can buy the device itself. It’s a great investment when you think about reading epic fiction like LOTR, on the go.

Online Courses

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Some say online courses are the novel way of education. And to be fair, they are not entirely wrong. However, you have to be sure as the sea is full of not so worthy fishes when it comes to online courses. Be it on Udemy, Coursera, Udacity or likewise, they have so many courses that you would get so confused that you might just close the website. Well, let me tell you the ones I found helpful.

  1. Neil Gaiman (MasterClass) – Storytelling is one of the finest skills out there. If you can weave a story, you can command the attention of your audience or friends like a magician. And who better to learn it from than the magician himself. Be it comics, novels for YA and children, screenplay, or short stories, this man has done it all. And when you listen to him, you would feel like an elder beloved uncle is sharing his life experiences with you that makes you in awe of his life. A must for all my creative friends out there.

  2. Ankur Warikoo (How to Start a Startup) – If Gaiman is a beloved uncle, then Warikoo is definitely the elder brother we never had. An elder brother who:

    – Teaches us about finances
    – Show us how to manage our time
    – Share his failures so that we don’t commit the mistakes he did

    And his course on How to Start a Startup is everything you need to know about it. Even if you want to know whether you want to start a startup. I come in that category. After watching the first few sections of his course, I realised that starting up for the purpose of starting up is not worth it. And I have paused till I come up with something that I have to do, anyhow.

    His way of looking at the world is so simple, yet so logical. If you want to start a startup, look nowhere and grab it. It costs less than a movie date with your gf/bf. Totally worth it.

  3. Digital Pratik (The Indian Gary Vee) – When you meet a teacher that illicit the same passion in you that he has for the subject, you know that you have come to the right place. Digital Pratik is that person for you. And if there is anything related to Digital Marketing that you need to study, be it about building a personal brand, or Facebook advertising, or podcasting, Digital Pratik is your man. His courses will not only teach you these skills, but will also generate a feeling for those skills. A passion for those skills. And I couldn’t tell you how that makes an enormous difference in life. (Did I tell you that many of his courses are for free?)

Blogs

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We live in a world of content. Content is everywhere, from your computer screens in offices to your mobile screens almost everywhere.

But let me ask you this: What do you consume?

News?
Highlight Reel of your friends’ life?
Stalking your ex on social media?
Funny videos?

What else?

You keep scrolling the entire time. Would any of the aforementioned activities help you transcend in life?

If you feel like you don’t care, I feel you should think about it once. After all, we Only Live Once.

Consider your mind to be a garden and whatever you consume to be the seeds you are sowing. Now, would you not care?

If you would, here are some suggestions. Try them.

  • InvertedPassion.com – This blog changed my life. He introduced me to mental models and since I have entered that rabbit hole, I have only improved. He talks about everything. Decision making, critical thinking, startups and everything in that ecosystem. Explore him. You won’t be disappointed. (Follow its author, Paras Chopra on Twitter, too)

  • Waitbutwhy.com – Read it once and you won’t ask “but why?”. His range of topics is inscrutable and his writing style is incredible. Even Elon Musk follows his blog. I don’t want to say anything else.

  • fs.blog – In one line, the blog I would have love to write. In fact, we both follow the same model of making blogs (I try to) – Making content that lasts. His blog will teach you about thinking. And as Descartes said, I think therefore I am, think better! His blog will help you with that.

  • Dave Trott – A creative genius, a copywriting maverick and a real (M)admen, if I can say so. His blog will challenge your creative thinking chops. To all the aspiring copywriters, follow his blog and books. Thank me later.

Ps – Let me stop for now. I still have a lot of recommendation regarding the people to follow on various social media channels, books on advertising, movies, links, and so on. I will update them the next time I take a day-off from my work to relax. Do like the post and follow the page, to get updates.

I hope you might like some of these. 🙂

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