What’s On My Bookshelf: What I Read and HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Let’s just skip the whole ‘why reading is important’ part because you already know that and I don’t want to insult your intelligence.

After showing you the contents of my bag, today I want to show you another aspect of my personal life: the books I read. These are the worldviews and ideologies that shape me: I am who I am because of these materials. Everything I write is directly or indirectly influenced by these authors.

My bookcase contains more than personal finance books.  I read a wide variety of topics, mostly non-fiction. If you want personal finance-specific book recommendations, do check out these articles instead:

Without further ado, let’s start. I’m not going to list ALL of my books, just the ones that truly made me think and self-reflect, even years after I read them. Some of them also inspired RoR articles (I’ll link them too).

Have fun checking out what’s on my bookshelf. As if you need a reason to buy more books, lol.

What’s On My Bookshelf – Oranges and Yellows

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all of these books:

1. How Women Decide: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices by Therese Huston

2. Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker

3. The Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar  *Inspired the Book Review: The Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar article

4. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

5. Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

6. Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

7. New Aging: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever by Matthias Hollwich with Bruce Mau Design (Big Bad Wolf Booksale) *Inspired the How My Dream Home in Malaysia Would Look Like article

8. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

9. Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money by Kate Levinson *Inspired the [Personal] How it feels like to constantly obsess over money article

10. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

11. Money Stories from Malaysians: Volume 1 curated by Suraya Zainudin (hehehe of course I’m going to include my own book. Pls buy – here or at major bookstores nationwide!)

What’s On My Bookshelf – Blues and Greens

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all of these books:

1. Everything is Figureoutable: How One Simple Belief Can Help Us Overcome Any Obstacle and Create Unstoppable Success by Marie Forleo

2. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

3. Ani’s Railway Odyssey: An Exile’s 18,200 KM Journey Home From London to Kuala Lumpur by Nooraini Mydin (Buy at GerakBudaya; major bookstores)

4. Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

5. Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

6. You’re a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

7. Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave by Adam Alter

8. The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen

9. Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey by Hannah Yeo (Buy at GerakBudaya; major bookstores)

What’s On My Bookshelf – Reds and Browns

whats on my bookshelf

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all of these books:

1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

2. Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals by John LeFerve

3. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

4. Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times by James Finn Garner

5. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

6. Nickeled and Dimed: On Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

What’s On My Bookshelf -Whites, Greys and Blackswhats on my bookshelf

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND all of these books:

1. Tengku Noor Zakiah: Malaysia’s Pioneering Stockbroker (Major bookstores)

2. 7  Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

3. Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones  *Inspired the How the Fashion Industry Makes Money (Credit: Fashion Babylon) article

4. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

5. Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong

6. The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle Du Jour

7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

8. Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World by Mark Ellwood *Inspired the Why We Can’t Stop Spending Money article

9. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

10. Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell

11. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

12. 1984 by George Orwell

13. Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

14. Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy by Julie Holland, MD

15. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

16. Holy Men, Holy Women by Dina Zaman (Buy at GerakBudaya; major bookstores)

What books do YOU have on your bookshelves?

(Or your Kindle. Or your audiobook playlist – listening to books is reading, too!)

Note: If you want to get your hands on any of the books I recommended above, consider getting them from:

  • BookDepository.com, the online book marketplace. Deliveries are free (but admittedly lengthy), the prices tend to be alright, sometimes way cheaper than bookstores and
  • Kinokuniya – you know them. Buy from here if you want faster deliveries

If you buy through the link, I’ll earn a small commission without any additional cost to you.

I love getting book recommendations. Share with me a book (or a few) that made a deep, lasting impact to you in the comments section below, can? It doesn’t have to be money-related.

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4 comments

  1. Hi Suraya, these are the last few good books that I read. I don’t usually read a lot of biographies, but somehow, there are 4 in this list :
    1. What Happened – Hillary Clinton
    2. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi – beautiful and heartbreaking
    3. Becoming – Michelle Obama
    4. Born a Crime – Trevor Noah

    To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – My favourite book when I was 18.
    The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy – the first book I read that made me hunger for “serious” books, i.e. those parked in the “Literary Fiction” section in MPH. 😉

    Special Mention (beautiful, short, easy reads) :
    1. The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon) – highly recommend
    2. Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho

    1. Thanks for sharing your list, Lena! Some great suggestions in there. I’m a fan of Michelle Obama, so that’s something to pick up!

  2. Most of my reads are an easy read, since I mostly read for leisure. Some of my faves are:

    1. Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
    2. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
    3. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
    4. Where the Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern
    5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    For books no. 2 and 3, I knew about it because of this book-gift-exchange program organised by @MYbibliomaniacs on twitter, which I joined couple of years ago.

    1. Thanks for sharing your list, Bahiyah! I’m interested in Ready Player One, since I saw it in the cinema and really enjoyed it

      Followed @MYbibliomaniacs on Twitter!

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