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My Top 5 Reads of 2019

In 2019, I decided to make the notes of each book I read, especially the non-fiction books. For fiction, I noted down my favourites quotes. Earlier I used to keep my books spotless but once you get into the habit of highlighting and marking, there’s no going back. In this post, I am going to share my best five reads of 2019 and why I loved them, along with some of my favourite quotes/excerpts from the books. I read 24 books in 2019, out of which, 4 were a part of my editing job (why I love being an editor).
I’m mentioning the books in the order I read them in. They cannot be compared to each other.

1. Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi

Whenever I asked people for book recommendations, this name came up always. And I had to give it a try. It was my first fiction of 2019. I had bought a copy of The Immortals of Meluha, the first book in the trilogy, but reading it only after keeping it on my shelf for a long time. As soon as I began reading it, I began falling in love with it, with the way it’s written, with its characters, with everything about this book. When I finished reading the first book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second and then the third book.
“An honest heart is all that is needed for a prayer to reach the lord.” 
-Amish Tripathi (The Secret of The Nagas

This is undoubtedly one of my favourite reads of all time, not just 2019. Even though all three books are masterpieces, I loved The Secret of The Nagas (second book) the most. Shiva Trilogy takes you on a mesmerising journey with its so beautifully crafted characters.
“One makes one’s own luck, but you have to give the universe the opportunity to help you.” 
-Amish Tripathi (Oath of The Vayuputras)

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I don’t think it requires an explanation of why To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my best reads. What a page-turner! Loved it so much that I am short of words. I am just listing my favourite quotes from the book.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 
-Harper Lee

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” 
-Harper Lee

“You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them." 
-Harper Lee

3. The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

As the title suggests, the book is about entering the league of legends by making that one extra hour of each morning productive. That one hour follows the 20/20/20 formula which includes 20 minutes of workout, the next 20 minutes of meditation, journaling and self-reflection, and the final 20 minutes of reviewing goals, planning, reading books, podcasts, studying online, whichever resources you prefer for personal growth.
“Every time you resist a temptation, you grow" 
-Robin Sharma

But this is just not it. The book has so many great insights that it’s too difficult to put them in one post. I loved the entire journaling part. The book has helped me improve in many ways (no, I still haven’t started waking at 5 AM but it’s still useful).

“We only hear what we’re ready to hear. All learning meets us exactly where we are at. And as we grow greater, we understand better.” 
-Robin Sharma

I shall consider writing a separate post about the lessons I learned from the book. This book is full of motivational quotes and I have even put my favourite one in my bedroom on a post-it as a reminder to resist vain temptations.
“The soreness of growth is so much less expensive than the devastating cost of regret.” 
-Robin Sharma

“Your past is a place to be learned from not a home to be lived in.” 
-Robin Sharma

What I loved the most about this book is that unlike other self-help books, it’s been told through a story of four characters: The Spellbinder, The Homeless Man (Billionaire), The Artist and The Entrepreneur. The story keeps you engaged throughout the book and not making the book feel like a drag.

“Procrastination is an act of self-hatred.” 
-Robin Sharma

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and glorious at the end.” 
-Robin Sharma

4. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

I had planned to read Steve Jobs’ biography last year but I picked up Autobiography of a Yogi instead and guess what... it turned out that Steve Jobs was so inspired by Autobiography of a Yogi that after first reading the book as a teenager, he read it once every year ever since. It was the only book that he had on his iPad. The copies of this book were given as farewell gifts at his memorial service. 
“Man has the privilege of roaming secretly among his thoughts. The unbidden Lord does not enter there; neither do I venture intrusion.”-Sri Yukteshwar
The book Autobiography of a Yogi is indeed inspiring and if you ever question your faith in God, you may find it hidden somewhere amidst its pages.
“Always know that the omnipotent Paramatman can heal anyone, doctor or no doctor”-Lahiri Mahasaya
“Imagination is the door through which disease as well as healing enters.”-Sri Yukteshwar

5. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I have not made notes of this book yet and it was so good that I ended up marking not lines, not paragraphs, but pages (hence so many flags on my book). It felt like it was written for me, and for everyone who finds freedom in creativity. I cannot even choose words to quote here because there are so many paragraphs, and yet I shall quote some. If you are a creator, please read this book. I cannot recommend it enough.

“Your creative work is not your baby; if anything, you are its baby. Everything I have ever written has brought me into being, every project has matured me in a different way. I am who I am today precisely because of what I have made and what it has made me into. Creativity has hand-raised me and forged me into an adult" 
-Elizabeth Gilbert

“Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents.” 
-Elizabeth Gilbert

“What you produce is not necessarily always sacred, I realized, just because you think it’s sacred. What is sacred is the time that you spend working on the project, and what that time does to expand your imaginations, and what that expanded imagination does to transform your life.” 
-Elizabeth Gilbert
You may get your copy of Big Magic from here.

So, there were my top 5 reads of 2019. Let me know on Instagram at @meetlife240 if you pick any of these because of this post. It means a lot when you guys follow my recommendations.