Reading Update: Book Recommendations of 2021

Looking back at the year gone by isn’t complete without fondly remembering the great reads that were a part of it!

I believe that reading is an important part of becoming a better communicator. And I don’t differentiate between fiction and non-fiction. This is a great time for you to start adding books to your reading list for 2022. Hope this post will help you get started.

NON-FICTION RECOMMENDATIONS

SOFT IS THE NEW HARD BY LEAH METHER

It was a great start to the year with this book. Books on soft skills are a few and it’s great when another good one gets added to the collection.

Detailed and practical – it has the right balance between theory and application. This book is a masterclass and a coach rolled into one. You understand each concept and follow up by applying the long list of tips at the end of each chapter.

Leah has a patented 5C framework to ensure that we communicate effectively at all times. I’d say that these tips aren’t just helpful at work but can be very useful in your personal communication too.

READ: Here is the link to a more detailed review: Soft is the new hard

DIGITAL BODY LANGUAGE BY ERICA DHAWAN

Another must read from 2021 – a book that’ll help you navigate the new normal world of virtual communication.

As the tag line goes – How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance – this book is tailor made to wade through the socially distanced world of the post-pandemic communication.

The books covers:

  • Digital elements of style
  • Laws of digital body language
  • Digital communication across gender and generation

READ: Here is a detailed review of the book: Digital Body Language

THE CONFIDENCE CODE BY KATTY KAY AND CLAIRE SHIPMAN

As the tag line goes: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know – the book explores many aspects of what makes us confident – or not.

The book explores the premise of women’s under-confidence from many different angles: genetic, social, cultural, physiological – the difference in the brain chemistry of men and women.

Katty and Claire talk to a diverse groups of women about confidence. And surprisingly, they find that even when women compete and excel in male-dominated areas, they do experience lack of confidence as women in life in general.

After exploring the why, they move on tips that can help women neat their under-confidence and come on top:

1. Fail fast – Take action even if it means failure. Women overthink and stand on the edge for far too long waiting for perfection

2. Stop overthinking (duh!) – Rewire you brain to look at things you did right rather than what went wrong.

3. Speak up without upspeak: Research shows that women speak 75% less than men when men are in majority in a meeting!

So just getting your word in would make a huge difference.

WATCH: Here is a detailed video review of the book – The confidence Code

FICTION RECOMMENDATIONS

THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS BY ELIZABETH GILBERT

This book made me realise that popular opinion can sometimes be biased. Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for Eat, Pray, Love. And that is does grave injustice to her writing prowess.

The Signature of all things spans a century and moves across locations around the globe following the fortunes of Alma Whitaker, a botanist in the 19th century. The daughter of a traveller and a botany enthusiast, she makes a name for herself in world of plants. We live with her as she traverses her journey through evolution and spiritual awakening.

And what makes this 500-pager a treat to read is the well paced writing of Gilbert. She truly creates a visual world from that era. You may want to skip some technical botany but full marks to the author for a well-researched book.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE BY GAIL HONEYMAN

A debut novel with several literary awards to its credit, this is a good book for a bad day! Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine in her routine job and even more boring personal life. But as you read, you’ll find how NOT fine she is!

However, the story of her past comes out with no drama or over-the-top descriptions. The book is like the right temperature of a room – it goes on at a comfortable pace and is great to snuggle with on a weekend.

A must read best seller!

A MAN CALLED OVE BY FREDRICK BACKMAN

This was the find of the year! This is a book that makes you sad when it’s over because it’s over. It’s like warm soup that stays with you for a while after you’ve finished it.

Ove is a cranky old man, set in his rule-bound ways and wants everyone else also to follow them. The book is about how a noisy family that moves next door draws this cranky, lonely man out of his shell bringing out the warmth in him.

I also re-discovered my love for Malcolm Gladwell and went through his books Blink, David and Goliath and currently, Outliers.

What has been on your reading list recently?

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