📚What books are you reading?


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How’s it going?

Welcome to Wisdom Letter #99.

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Today we are talking about Books.

But first, an Important Update - next week is our 100th issue.

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A few years ago we were a lot into performative reading.

Performative reading is the idea where you read books to show them off.

You know, click pictures of books, post them on Instagram.

Try to read a book every 2 weeks, or every month.

Set Goodreads challenges of 20, 24, 30 books a year.

Honestly, we realized performative reading wasn’t adding as much value to our lives.

Sure, we were reading a lot more books, learning a lot from them, but weren’t really applying the lessons we learned.

So earlier this year, we resolved to read far fewer books than usual.

And apply lessons from every book that we do read.

We wrote about this idea in a post titled - Knowledge vs Wisdom.

It’s one of our most popular posts this year.

Anyways, today we want to post an update on the books we have read so far since making that decision.

We feel these books can help you in your endeavors as well.

A couple of Caveats before we get going -

  1. We have stopped reading books cover to cover. We focus on ideas, try to extract them, apply them and move on. That’s a strategy we recommend you follow as well.

  2. We are not sharing links to books, you can find them by Googling the titles.

So let’s go 👇

Books we have read this year📚

Atomic Habits | James Clear

  • What’s it about - Behavior change, habit building, self-improvement.

  • Who should read - Everyone. Honestly, only avoid it if you have already read The Power of Habit or Tiny Habits.

Related - The Wisdom of Atomic Habits

The Art and Business of Online Writing | Nicolas Cole

  • What’s it about - Making a living writing online

  • Who should read - Anyone who wants to learn to write effectively online, and make some money from it.

Company of One | Paul Jarvis

  • What’s it about - Being a solopreneur, why the future is going to be full of small one or two-person companies instead of large conglomerates.

  • Who should read - Anyone who wants to be a solopreneur, wants to start their own thing, make a living as a freelancer, or an independent consultant.

The Mom Test | Rob Fitzpatrick

  • What’s it about - Validating business ideas by asking the right questions. The framework for customer conversations for creators.

  • Who should read - Anyone who wants to start their own thing, or build products (digital or physical)

Related - Ask Questions Even Your Mom Can’t Lie To 👵 

Never Split the Difference | Chris Voss

  • What’s it about - Building persuasion skills that can help you in all walks of life. Effective strategies that can help you get the best possible outcome of any negotiation.

  • Who should read - Everyone. Ignore only if you think you always get the best deal possible.

The Lean Startup | Eric Ries

  • What’s it about - Early-stage startups pivoting and validating their ideas, running experiments, and building products through iteration.

  • Who should read - Anyone who wants to start their own thing or works at an early-stage startup.

The Embedded Entrepreneur | Arvid Kahl

  • What’s it about - Audience first products. Build an audience, embed yourself in a community, understand their problem, then build products for them.

  • Who should read - Anyone who wants to de-risk their business by first validating their idea from the community.

Related - Idea To Exit In 2 Years | Lessons From Selling A SaaS At $55K MRR

We are reading this book in public. We have a reading club that meets every Sunday and discusses a chapter of the book on Twitter spaces.

You can find our running notes of the book here - The Embedded Entrepreneur

Anything You Want | Derek Sivers

  • What’s it about - Derek’s experience of building, running, and quitting a company as a solo founder.

  • Who should read - Everyone, really. It’s a short 1-hour book. Such clear writing, so much wisdom. And such rich experiences. You should definitely read this book.

Related - This was the highlight of the week for me🤩

🐦 Birdwatch

Our top 5 book recommendations from last year -

💭Something to chew on

How do you decide which books to read? What are the lessons you applied from the last book you read?

Think about it🤔

📂 From the archives

This Week Last Year 👉 Swans, Rhinos & The Elephant in the Room | Wisdom Letter #47 - Models to think about Covid

Thank you for reading🙏

Hope you enjoyed today’s mail.

If you liked it, please forward it to just 1 friend and ask them to subscribe.

Also, which one of these books would you like us to write about going forward.

We can extract the wisdom of all these books and distill them in this newsletter. Do let us know which ones you’re interested in reading, we will go to them first.

See you next week, watch out for some email only special goodies in Wisdom Letter #100😍


Ayush & Aditi

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Also, tell us your favorite book? We want to know more about you.

You can learn a lot about a person from their favorite book.

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