4 Books I Didn’t Know I Needed Until I Read Them

Reading these books changed my life forever!

4 Books I Didn’t Know I Needed Until I Read Them
Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash

Reading these books changed my life forever!

Some books you pick up on a whim.

As you flip through the pages, you relate more and more to the author.

It almost feels as if they are talking directly to you; as if the book was written for you, keeping your struggles in mind.

Many such books leave a lasting impact on your life and end up changing your perspective forever.

In this post, I have listed four such amazing books that I didn’t know I needed to read until I read them. If you’re wondering what book to pick up next, please go through the list. Your next favorite read might be among these four amazing 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. Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Image: Goodreads

Anyone who’s heard of Austin Kleon often talks about his more popular book, Steal Like An Artist.

Keep Going is the third book in the Steal Like An Artist trilogy.

The previous two books (Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work) are about letting go of the imposter syndrome and getting started on your journey as an online writer. Had I read these two books in 2014, my life would have been drastically different today.

Keep Going is about how to keep going as a creator once you’ve achieved most of what you set out to achieve.

How this book helped me

I’m at that stage in life where I’m trying to find a purpose in what I do. I have written on platforms, strategized content for freelance clients, made videos on YouTube, recorded hundreds of podcasts, and made more money than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.

I often wonder what’s the next step for me after this.

Since December 2021, I’ve had the feeling that I’m floating aimlessly in the sea of my consciousness, picking up any project that excites me without any long-term goal in mind,

Keep Going helped me understand that as a creator, this is going to be a permanent part of my life.

The author talks about several examples from his own life and that of his artist and musician friends who have struggled with feelings such as these. The book makes it clear how sometimes the only solution is to build a daily routine and stick to it. Just get through your bad days, believing that the next day will be better.

“We have so little control over our lives. The only thing we can really control is what we spend our days on.” — Austin Kleon

I didn’t know how much, how badly I needed to read this book until I came across these lines.

It has filled my soul with happiness and inspired me to dream beyond the monotony that my work had recently become. It has filled my head with so many possibilities and given me a lot of enthusiasm to look forward to the next day.

I recommend this book for

Writers, creators, and any person who posts their work online. No matter where you’re in your journey, this book will help you find a balance between work, pleasure, and what’s truly important to you.

Get yourself a copy here.

2. How to be a Movie Star by TJ Klune

Image: Goodreads

At its heart, this is the story of an actor who falls in love with the director of his debut movie. The book follows how the couple navigates the ups and downs life throws at them and carves out their own happy ending.

I love queer romance stories, and this was heartwarming, to say the least. But the reason this book is such an important part of my life is that this was the first time I met a character who’s struggling with mental health issues.

Quincy Jones in How to be a Movie Star has struggled with depression all his life. The way he fights his daily battles and how on some days, it’s more important to “hold on,” than to “be strong” made the character so close to my heart, that I started loving him as if he’s a friend.

How this book helped me

I found this book in the darkest phase of my life.

It was at a time when I was stuck in a dead-end job with no silver lining in sight. My work was suffering, my PhD was going down the drain, my relationship felt like it would end, my friendships were draining all my energy, nothing good was happening with my writing, and I was on the verge of giving up.

Then, I read a chapter in this book where Quincy has one of his “episodes” where he has a mental breakdown for no reason that he can predict. His partner builds a blanket fort for him, feeds him good food, hugs him, and tells him it’s okay to hide for as long as he needs.

“Sometimes you need to hide away from the rest of the world. And it’s okay to do that. Just as long as you know the world is waiting for you when you’re done.” — TJ Klune

This scene gave me so much hope and made me understand that even though I was struggling, that’s all right. I can take time off and fight my demons at my own pace.

I don’t have to win every battle, as long as I choose to not give up fighting the war.

This book gave me hope and taught me that no matter how bad things might be now, they won’t be like this forever.

I recommend this book for

Any person who’s been feeling lost and confused lately; who finds it hard to get out of bed each day and has to keep looking through their life for reasons to hold on.

This book might not cure you, but it will be there by your side like a friend.

And sometimes, a friend is all we need.

Get yourself a copy here.

3. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Image: Goodreads

I’m not a big fan of self-help books, but I read this book because 2 out of 10 guests in an Instagram interview series I did recommended this book.

This was too much of a coincidence for me to not at least read the first chapter of Choose Yourself. And when I did, I couldn’t stop reading.

The tagline of this book is, “Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream,” and that’s exactly what the author teaches.

How this book helped me

It might sound cliched, but this book inspired me to believe in myself.

I read it at the time when I was struggling to carve my way in the world of writing. Every day, I used to show up on Medium, write a story, submit it to some of the biggest publications, but I never saw any results in terms of views on earnings.

I could have given up, but I held on, and James Altucher taught me how to.

Sometimes when the world seems to be working against you, you need to be your biggest fan. If you don’t choose yourself, no one else will. And if you don’t know how to, don’t worry, because choosing yourself is a skill that can be learned.

That was my biggest inspiration from this book. It also taught me a trick that I have written about several times before: the trick of writing 10 ideas every day to make the idea muscle in your head stronger. This has single-handedly helped me stay on track with my content pipeline, and create fresh content to keep my readers engaged.

I recommend this book for

Entrepreneurs, freelancers, self-employed people, artists, and small business owners.

When you build something of your own, it’s inevitable that you’ll fail and face rejection, especially at the early phases of your career. If you learn to choose yourself despite all of that, you’ll be able to stick on beyond the initial phases and turn your passion project into a grand success.

Get yourself a copy here.

4. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

Image: Goodreads

As the title suggests, this is a book about self-love.

Self-love can be your armor. It can be your shield as well as a sword as you navigate your way around the world.

And the best part? Self-love can be practiced and perfected, even if you have no experience on how to be kind to yourself. That’s what You Are A Badass promises.

How this book helped me

My biggest takeaway from this book was ingraining the concept of abundance.

As a woman who grew up in a middle-class Indian family, abundance is something I’d never have thought of myself. Growing up, I was taught that if you don’t study or work hard enough, the best jobs will be taken by people who do, and you’ll have to settle with a life of mediocrity.

But this book taught me that there is place for more than one person at the top. Even if somebody has succeeded before you, it doesn’t mean you can’t.

You don’t have to fill your heart with envy and wish them bad. Instead, you can see how they did it, learn from their process and try to emulate it. Reverse engineer the best parts of their journey, and apply them to your own, so you can also reach a stage where they are currently.

I read this book when I was building my writing business. It helped me stay sane through the months of self-doubt and insecurity I had when I saw everyone around me taking huge strides ahead, while I felt like I was the one constantly being left behind.

I recommend this book for

Everyone. No matter what you do, where you live, or what your life goals are, self-love is a vital life skill that needs to be learnt and practiced.

This is one hell of an incredible book that can change the way you view life.

Get yourself a copy here.

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve read until here, I’d love to know what is that one book (or five) that you didn’t know you needed to read until you read them.

Please leave your recommendations in the comments below. I’m sure, together, we can build a huge wishlist of amazing books and recommendations from readers all over the world.

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