3 Books I’ve Gifted 21 Times

And why you should read them.

3 Books I’ve Gifted 21 Times
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And why you should read them.

Books make for lovely presents, no matter what the occasion is.

But if you’re not an avid reader, it’s hard to pick a book that you’re sure the other person will love.

There are some “usual suspects” that most people often gift (Sapiens, Ikigai, etc. among the most commonly gifted books).

When you pick a widely recommended book, you can be safe because at least the book is good. But you always run the risk of the other person having already read it.

And that’s where this article comes in, dear friend. I’ve compiled a list of the three books I’ve gifted twenty one times to different people at different phases of my life. These might not be super popular, but they are life-changing in their own unique way.

If you can’t think of anyone to gift these to, why not treat yourself to some life-changing wholesomeness contained within the pages of these books?

(Note: The links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through these links, it will help me earn a small amount of money — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

1. The Big Questions of Life by Om Swami

Genre: Philosophy/Self-Improvement.

Image: Goodreads

I remember a Gospel song I learned in my Catholic school that went like,

Oh, what grace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

While this may invite questions (how can “God” solve all our problems?), but the line has a ring of truth. Most of the time, the pain we feel is completely avoidable if we learn to see our misfortunes as serving some higher purpose.

While we have little control over what happens to us, how we respond to “bad luck” is almost entirely in our hands. And that’s what this book is about.

The author, Om Swami, ran a multimillion-dollar software company before renouncing it all to become a mystic living in the Himalayas. He infuses his unique experiences and learnings into this book and offers a practical, no-nonsense guide to enlightenment through mindful thinking.

“The real problem is the unrealistic nature of our expectations, the greatest being our desire that anything good in our life should stay as it is.”

Why I gifted this book to so many people

The book addresses four topics: Samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound), Loneliness, Self, and Awakening. A person can pick any topic that pulls to them and start reading. The best part is, no matter what a person is going through in life, there will always be something relevant for them among the pages.

What makes this book even more endearing is how every topic contains a Zen story that’s ridiculously simple but covers great depth. They convey the emotions perfectly and always force you to pause for a moment and really reflect on what you’ve just read.

If I had to make a list of all the books that impacted me the most, this will definitely be somewhere at the top!

Get this book here.

2. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman

Genre: Memoir.

Image: Goodreads

This is the memoir of Richard Feynman, the 1965 Nobel Prize winner for physics.

Aside from being a brilliant physicist, Feynman was also an excellent teacher. Even Bill Gates has named Feynman, “the greatest teacher I never had.”

This book is an insight into how Feynman’s mind functioned — fueled by curiosity and a never-ending desire to get to the root of all problems.

The chapters are a series of adventures, each shining bright with valuable life lessons.

“All the time you’re saying to yourself, ‘I could do that, but I won’t,’ — which is just another way of saying that you can’t.”

Why I gifted this book to so many people

The book is in the form of a series of anecdotes by a brilliant mind who had an interesting way of looking at the mundane and rendering it magical. His passion for learning new things and unfailing sense of humor never fails to inspire.

All my friends who’ve read this book have told me how quirky and different this was from the books they usually read. If you want to gift a book that will make a person really think and act on what they learned, this is a perfect choice!

Get this book here.

3. A Little Book of Happiness by Ruskin Bond

Genre: Poetry, Self-Improvement.

Image: Goodreads

This beautiful little book is a collection of poems that invoke strong emotions about happiness and life in general. Each tiny poem or quote is a little pearl of wisdom meant to be cherished for long after the last page is turned.

There’s a reason why Ruskin Bond is one of my favorite authors. His writing is super evocative, and the poems here reminded me of the sweet innocence of childhood. His words are soothing, almost like a lullaby, and while leafing through the pages, I felt like I didn’t have to worry about anything at all.

“Happiness is as elusive as a butterfly, and we must never pursue it. If we stay very still, it may come and settle on our hand. But only briefly. We must learn to savour the moment.”

Why I gifted this book to so many people

All my friends whom I’ve gifted this book have a common thing to say: that Ruskin Bond is that one person they feel like running to when they feel life isn’t going according to plan.

This makes me happy because when I first read this book, I could almost hear the author’s voice in my head telling me everything will be okay as long as I have hope.

The fact that others can feel it too makes me feel as if my purpose as the gift-giver is served!

Get this book here.

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