A man who does not read has no advantage over the man who can’t.

This is my favourite adage. On a good month, I try to finish 3 – 4 books.

Instead of Kinokuniya or Borders, I only buy my books at book fairs (usually $5 – $8 a book) or online from Amazon or Book Depository.

What I like about Amazon is its wide range of products. It is also easy to find books that are out of print. For example, once I found a good book at a library and wanted to buy it. However, it was no longer in print. Thankfully, Amazon sold “used” copies of that book. It has very good prices on hardcover books (generally books with a lot of photographs or illustrations) and textbooks.

However, the “Shipping” prices at Amazon is usually quite high. This works well if you live in the USA or UK, not much anywhere else. Generally, it is still cheaper compared to buying from local bookstores.

What I love about Book Depository is FREE DELIVERY to Singapore. However, there is a catch, the price per item is usually more expensive. Their range of books is also not as extensive.

I do not buy books on a whim. I have a file with interested books and I purchase them once a month. I add the same items into both BD and Amazon’s basket and I see which is cheaper. If the basket has more paperbacks, BD is cheaper, but with more hardcovers, Amazon tend to be cheaper. It is also wise to play around with the items to get the best deal.

I personally find BD and AMZ to be cheaper than other local sources like Open Trolley.

Below are some books which to me are “must reads“.

Fitness / Diet

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
Tim claims to have “hacked” the human body. He is not far from it. It is possible to achieve a superhuman body with only 4 hours a week. It provides comprehensive information about diet, exercise and sex. This is a good starting book to motivate a person. However, I find his diet recommendations too restrictive and impractical. For diet, I refer to Dr. Barry Sears diet which I find more scientific and well-planned.
From Amazon From Book Despository
(not available)

 

The Zone: A Dietary Road Map to Lose Weight Permanently
Dr. Barry Sears offers a good explanation on the hormonal effect of different food groups on the body. This provides good starting point on how to plan your own diet. When reading about this diet, it makes a lot of sense to me. But like any reasonable diet, just avoid processed foods, simple carbohydrates and sugars and you will be fine.
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
The book is a highly enjoyable read. To find out about the origins of corn and soy, and their impact as feed on animal production as well as how much corn is used in our processed food chain (as high fructose corn syrup, carbohydrate source etc) is enriching as it is saddening. It may lead the reader to rethink the ethics of eating meat and their sources of food. To learn about how the food comes form the feedlot to your plate is highly satisfying.
From Amazon From Book Despository

Marketing / Advertising

Ogilvy on Advertising
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck
From Amazon From Book Despository

Biographies

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Quest to Educate the World’s Children
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
From Amazon From Book Despository

Thought-invoking

The Last Lecture
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

The Zahir: A Novel of Love, Longing and Obsession
From Amazon From Book Despository

Motivation

Talent is Overrated: What REALLY Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Outliers: The Story of Success
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
From Amazon From Book Despository

Religion

The God Delusion
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World
From Amazon From Book Despository

Philosophy

Ayn Rand Box Set: Atlas Shrugged/ The Fountainhead
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

The Book of 5 Rings
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy
From Amazon From Book Despository

Presentation Techniques and Slides Ideas

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
From Amazon From Book Despository

 

slide:ology: The Art and Science of Presentation Design
From Amazon From Book Despository

Making School Life Easier

How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less
From Amazon From Book Despository (not available)

 

How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students
From Amazon From Book Despository