Read in Q1 2024

I decided to share some info about books I read – I will publish such a post every quarter and list all books with some summary info. It will include not only books, but also audiobooks, but always with clear info, what medium I used.

Four Thousand Weeks

Dr. Oliver Burkeman

I’m placing this book at the top of the list, even though I read it last out of all of them. Why am I doing this? Because I think it’s too important to get buried somewhere lower. Reading this book opened my eyes to the fact that for the past few years I’ve been focusing on the wrong things: work, productivity, some distant goals, instead of living in the here and now, with family and friends. It might sound banal now, but it really allows you to understand why constantly chasing things doesn’t make us any happier – I was just getting lonelier and lonelier…

Some time ago I stopped considering some famous people like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk as role models, but after reading “Four Thousand Weeks” I threw away my plans to read several books on “success” or “productivity.” Just because it does not make sense at all and I should focus on really important stuff in my life, even if it were to mean bigger changes, including in career aspects.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Dr. Dan Ariely

This book shows how wrong we are in judging ourselves: we think that we are usually guided by reason, that we make rational decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of our actions are due not only to emotions, but also to the environment, current conditions, and we often lose out on this. It allows us to close unnecessary ditches in our lives and focus on what is really important. Some people will be surprised at what I am doing her reading this book, but I have no control over that – what I do know is that these changes are needed.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

by Patrick Lencioni

A great book on management and teamwork. I will openly admit – even if someone reads it later and wants to hold me accountable, I don’t care – that it opened my eyes to the problems that exist in the company where I work. I’ve known for a long time that trust is the foundation and without it, it’s impossible to work together effectively, but nevertheless it also emphasizes other problems that ultimately lead to poor quality products and customer dissatisfaction. I recommend it to everyone, not just business owners or team leaders – ordinary employees can also gain a lot from reading it.

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

By Suzanne Collins

Prequel to the entire Hunger Games series I have read in last quarter. I did not know about the existence of the book and first I was at the movie in the theater – it made a big impression on me, because I strongly identified with the main character (despite the fact that he can not be called a positive character). At the beginning of the year, as a break from literature, I reached for the book and was not disappointed – it is even better, shows the feelings of the protagonist from a different perspective and, most importantly, has much more detail than the film. A great read showing what is threatened by stubborn pursuit of a goal.

Rambo First Blood Part II & Part III

By David Morrell

I’ve always liked the Rambo movie. Maybe because when I was little, this type of production was common on our television. In high school, I even decided to read the book and I admit that it was a shock: the movie is one thing, but the book touches on completely different aspects, gives a different perspective. After reading it, I didn’t think there would be sequels, but there were – and I admit that they are also great. This is not just a light read full of action, it is a journey into the depths of a lost man.

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

By Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman

I will probably mention this book periodically – I have been reading it for a long time, more than a year. As intended, it is exactly one tiny chapter, one excerpt from Stoic works each day, along with the authors’ interpretation. Seemingly nothing like that, and yet it helps to remind myself of the most important assumptions, as well as the principles I want to follow in life. It forces you to reflect, is a kind of signpost, in addition, it really does not require time – amazing idea.