Selamat Hari Raya!
What I’d Been Reading
The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie Jaku
We all know how hard it is to be human. We all know what it’s like to be brought down on our knees, over and over again. With that being said, it takes courage to be happy, to stay hopeful in spite of how life may break us. In this case, Eddie Jaku found himself in the worst circumstance possible when he was sent to die in the Auschwitz concentration camp, like many others, just because he was Jewish. But with his miraculous escape and the countless losses he endured, his story is a great reminder of how strong we are really made to be — and how we can make the world a better place to live in, if we choose to find meaning in our suffering.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Having conquered more land in two decades than the Romans did in four centuries — and sometimes eliminating entire populations in the process — we generally know Genghis Khan as a ruthless, fearsome conqueror. But as you take a deeper look into his history, you can appreciate not only his military ingenuity and leadership, but also the cultural breakthroughs that he pioneered through his conquests. To name a few, he banned slavery and torture of his enemies (a practice that was especially rife back in the day), he advocated religious freedom, he created a system where people were promoted based on individual merit instead of wealth and aristocratic privilege, and he also created one of the earliest international postage systems. There’s always more to history than we think we know.
Batman: A Death in the Family
Don’t you just love everything about Batman? I do. Particularly, there’s just something I’ve always found alluring about Batman comic books — perhaps it’s their maturity, their philosophical weight, and how well they reflect human nature. Batman, after all, is simply human, with his share of tragedies and struggles — and that’s what makes him more interesting than most superheroes. In this series, Batman wrestles with his grief over Jason Todd, the second Robin, who is murdered by the Joker. Given his tragic background, raising someone as his own son means the world to him. And when that is taken away, he isn’t exempt from feeling as though his entire world has shattered, and having to rebuild it again.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Seeing a good therapist is one of the best self-investments I’ve made, and an experience that I’ll forever be grateful for. But sometimes, it can be easy to forget that therapists are people too, and that they have to deal with their own sets of challenges in their personal lives as anybody does. There’s a lot to take to heart in this book as the author shares her experience of dealing with her clients while also attending therapy herself. On the whole, with all the life advice packed in this single book, I believe just about anybody would find this a transformational read.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Having started working life fairly recently, I found myself re-reading this book. I love Ramit Sethi’s moderate approach to personal finance. He doesn’t make managing money more complicated than it has to be, and he keeps his writing relatively jargon-free. Also, I personally agree with his overall message, that it’s perfectly okay to enjoy the money you have, within reasonable means, of course. Rather than advocating being overly-frugal, or reckless with your spending for that matter, he teaches you to be more deliberate in how you can keep buying yourself that nice cup of latte guilt-free.