Book Summaries


A genius who loses control of their emotions can be a financial disaster. The opposite is also true. Ordinary folks with no financial education can be wealthy if they have a handful of behavioral skills that have nothing to do with formal measures of intelligence.

Author and Partner at Collaborative Fund Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money; the book’s major theme is that we can better understand money through psychology and history than finance. In 2018, Morgan wrote a report outlining 20 of the most important flaws, biases, and causes of bad behavior towards money titled The Psychology of Money; the report went viral; the book is an expanded version of the report.

In investing you must identify the price of success—volatility and loss amid the long backdrop of growth—and be willing to pay it.

The Book’s premise is that doing well with money has a little to do with how smart you are and a lot to do with how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people. A genius who loses control of their emotions can be a financial disaster. The opposite is also true. Ordinary folks with no financial education can be wealthy if they have a handful of behavioral skills that have nothing to do with formal measures of intelligence.

 “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

Writing is a form of manipulation, and in order to do it effectively, you need to control what happens in the reader’s head.  One way of doing this is to use specific details as opposed to generalities

Joanna Penn’s How To Write Non-Fiction is a great book on the art of writing non-fiction. She shared great insights on starting out as a writer, dealing with doubt and fear, the business of writing, writing tools, marketing, and other strategies on turning knowledge into creative work through book writing. The book goes in-depth to writing a great non-fiction book and building a personal brand in the process.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” – Stephen King, On Writing

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, How To Write Non-Fiction by Joanna Penn:

“There is no getting over it, but only getting under it. Loss and grief change our landscape. The terrain is forever different and there is no normal to return to. There is only the inner task of making a new and accurate map”

Grief is tough, draining, and lonely as most people think they understand what you are going through; I have been there a couple of times, from losing my closest cousin, losing my mum, to getting laid off. We handle grief differently, but most grievers have something in common: you get judged, people make assumptions, they say hurtful things unintentionally, some relationships dissolve while others get stronger. Our culture does not prepare a lot of us to handle grief and care for people in grief.

“Grief is already a lonely experience. It rearranges your address book: people you thought would stay beside you through anything have either disappeared or they’ve behaved so badly, you cut them out yourself. Even those who truly love you, who want more than anything to stay beside you, fall short of joining you here. It can feel like you lost the entire world right along with the person who died. Many grieving people feel like they’re on another planet, or wish they could go to one. Somewhere there are others like them. People who understand.”

The book provides a path to rethink our relationship with grief. It encourages readers to see their grief as a natural response to death and loss, rather than an aberrant condition needing transformation. By shifting the focus from grief as a problem to be solved to an experience to be tended, we give the reader what we most want for ourselves: understanding, compassion, validation, and a way through the pain.

In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides―as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner―Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

“Grief is not a problem to be solved; it’s an experience to be carried. The work here is to find—and receive—support and comfort that helps you live with your reality. Companionship, not correction, is the way forward.”


Acknowledgment is one of the few things that actually helps. What you’re living can’t be fixed. It can’t be made better. There are no solutions. That means that our course of action inside grief is simple: helping you gauge what’s “normal” and finding ways to support your devastated heart. This part of the book is about helping you survive the bizarre territory of intense grief. Naming the craziness of this time is powerful: it helps to know what’s normal when nothing feels normal.

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading, It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine:

“The future isn’t written in the stars. There are no guarantees. So claim your adulthood. Be intentional. Get to work. Pick your family. Do the math. Make your own certainty. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You are deciding your life right now.”

According to New York Times bestselling psychologist Dr. Meg, claiming your twenties is one of the most transformative things you can do for yourself as this decade decides the coming decades. The book’s ideas are transformative; I wished I read the book in my twenties, but the key is to become better self-aware of yourself and your environment. Today matters, the decisions you make on a day to day basis affects and determines the coming weeks, months, years and decade.

Dr. Meg Jay, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood. The book is about why your twenties matter, and how to make the most of them now.

Drawing from almost two decades of work with hundreds of clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with the behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings, themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood—if we use the time wisely. 

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay:

“If you think an awkward response to a friend’s crisis will make them feel bad, then you should know that if you say nothing, they will likely feel worse. ”

When someone you know is hurting, you want to let them know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Life can be scary, challenging, awful, and unfair at times; no one has a problem-free life. You are either going through a storm, entering a storm, or heading to the next storm. There is No Good Card for This is a great instructional guide on how to be there for your loved ones during trying times, what to say and do.

It can be tricky knowing the right thing to say or do during trying times for our family, friends, and loved ones but the major take away from reading the book is you have to try to listen to the grieving and at least say something when they lose someone, a simple text message saying “I am sorry” goes a long way and is often appreciated than not saying anything.

In There is No Good Card for This, empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation.

This book is not chicken soup for the soul; it’s whiskey for the wounded.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading There Is No Good Card for This by Dr. Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

“Listening is like playing a sport or musical instrument in that you can get better and better with practice and persistence, but you will never achieve total mastery. Some may have more natural ability and some may have to try harder, but everyone can benefit from making the effort.

The average person suffers from three delusions; we believe we are good drivers, good listeners, and think we have a good sense of humor. You’re Not Listening is a book in praise of listening and a lament that, as a culture, we seem to be losing our listening mojo.

Listening is more of a mindset than a checklist of dos and don’ts. It’s a very particular skill that develops over time by interacting with all kinds of people—without agenda or having aides there to jump in if the conversation goes anywhere unexpected or untoward.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, You’re Not Listening:

Behind the Cloud is a great account of how Marc Benioff revolutionalized the software industry and pioneered cloud computing with his company He shares 111 strategies, he used to build the company with the help of very talented individuals and partners.

Marc tells how he and his team created and used new business, technology, and philanthropic models tailored to this time of extraordinary change. Showing how not only survived the dotcom implosion of 2001, but went on to define itself as the leader of the cloud computing revolution and spark a $46-billion dollar industry, 

Seize the opportunity in front of you. Imagine. Invent. Disrupt. Do good. I know that you must be passionate, unreasonable, and a little bit crazy to follow your own ideas and do things differently. But it’s worth it. Life grows relative to one’s investment in it. I promise you that by considering everyone’s success, you will see the return.”

Here are my favorite takeaways from reading, Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff:

Call Me Ted is a great autobiography about the life of Media Mogul Ted Turner, the founder of the Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour cable news channel. The book is a no-holds-barred and vulnerable story of his life, his upbringing, lessons learned from his dad, Sister’s Death, Parent’s Divorce, and Father’s Suicide, his turbulent marriage life (3 Divorces), his business philosophy, becoming a billionaire, his boisterousness, his love for sailing, buying the Atlanta Braves among other inspiring stories.

“Son, you be sure to set your goals so high that you can’t possibly accomplish them in one lifetime. That way you’ll always have something ahead of you. I made the mistake of setting my goals too low and now I’m having a hard time coming up with new ones.”

Ted became one of the richest men in the world, the largest land owner in the United States, revolutionized the television business with the creation of TBS and CNN, became a champion sailor and winner of the America’s Cup, and took home a World Series championship trophy in 1995 as owner of the Atlanta Braves.

An innovative entrepreneur, outspoken nonconformist, and groundbreaking philanthropist, Ted Turner is truly a living legend, and now, for the first time, he reveals his personal story. From his difficult childhood to the successful launch of his media empire to the catastrophic AOL/Time Warner deal, Turner spares no details or feelings and takes the reader along on a wild and sometimes bumpy ride.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, Call Me Ted by Ted Turner.

Former Yale Professor, William Deresiewicz in his book Excellent Sheep delves into the issues facing the Ivy League admission process, the facade, the pressure on students to succeed, the American elites, and other thought-provoking insights on higher education. The book was inspired by an essay William wrote in the American Scholar: “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education.”

As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it.

“The system manufactures students who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz:

According to Author and Entrepreneur Daniel Priestley in his very insightful book, Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business that Works, the age of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs is beckoning, the days of the industrial age and worker is gradually coming to an end. The book shares great insights on embracing an entrepreneurial mindset, the factors speeding up the entrepreneurial revolution, and ways to be a part of the revolution.

The slow dinosaurs of the industrial age are being outpaced by fast-moving start-ups, ambitious small businesses and technological innovators. 

“An entrepreneur is simply someone who spots an opportunity and acts to make it into a commercial success.”

We often exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and underestimate today.

In Today Matters, John C. Maxwell shares 12 decisions and disciplines – he calls the daily dozen that can be learned and mastered by any person to achieve success. A lot of us exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow, and we underestimate today. According to John, Today Matters and it is the most important day you will ever experience. The Secret of your success is determined by what you daily.

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading, Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success.

Today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters.

The past always appears more certain than it was, and that makes the future feel more uncertain—and therefore frightening—than ever.

From terror attacks to collapsing economies, from painkiller epidemics to mass gun violence and poisonous toys from China, our list of fears seems to be exploding. Yet we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Why are we so worried?

The Science of Fear is an introduction to the new brain science of risk, dissecting the fears that misguide and manipulate us every day. Award-winning journalist Dan Gardner demonstrates how irrational fear springs from the ways humans miscalculate risks based on our hunter-gatherer brains

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner.

It’s not the companies’ responsibility to make you happy. It’s your job to find and create career happiness for yourself.

Author and Career Coach, Kanika Tolver shares innovative ways to brand, market, and sell yourself into jobs that promote work-life balance, fair compensation, and continuous career development. Career Rehab focuses on assisting career transformations for students, professionals, and retirees.  In Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work, Kanika shares various research, success stories, interviews, and case studies on personal branding and re-invention.

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading: Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work.

In Motivation Manifesto, high-performance coach and trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear. 

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power.

The Author identified three sets of people we should be wary of on our path to greatness and freedom:  The Worriers,  The Weakling, and The Wicked.  He highlighted some of our limiting behaviours such as fear, Loss Pain vs anticipation of hardship. Life Roles: Observer, Director, Guardian, Warrior, Lover, and Leader.

The 9 Declarations of the Motivation Manifesto

  1. Meet Life with Full Presence and Power
  2. Reclaim your Agenda
  3. Defeat your Demons
  4. Advance with Abandon
  5. Practice Joy and Gratitude
  6. Do not break Integrity
  7. Amplify Love
  8. Inspire Greatness
  9. Slow Time

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading “The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard”

Reluctant entrepreneurship is based on the idea that you can start out slowly and proceed cautiously. You do your research and develop your business plan. And you keep your day job while you work on your side business at night and on weekends.

A reluctant entrepreneur is somebody who keeps his day job while he gets his ideal job going in the evenings and on weekends. He is willing to take the initiative to start his own business. But he’s not willing to quit his current job and lose the income. The compromise he accepts is that he will have to work 60 to 90 hours a week for several years before he can either abandon his great idea or fire his boss.