Summer Books for 2018

September 25, 2018 - 4 min read 🍵🍵🍵

Tags: books


I was never an avid reader back in school. Fast forward a few years later into my high school years, my friend recommended a Dan Brown book called Deception Point. After picking up the book, the words made an imaginary movie in my head. That is the first time I’ve experienced the magic of words.

From time to time, I like to read thriller and mystery novels but now that I’m done school, I found myself gravitating towards personal development books and finance books. Simply because I want to be a better version of myself and learn more about personal finance.

Here’s a few books I read this summer and recommend:

Never Split the Difference

A book about a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI reveals some of his insights and tested approaches to high level negotiations and translates it to the reader to learn about his experience. The author tries to bring his experiences to relate to the readers such as negotiating for a better wage, a better deal and even making business decisions.

Some key points — none of these will be a substitute for his book nor am I spoiling them. I highly recommend this book.


Everyone is a protagonist of their own life. It is important to always understand their perspective and where they are coming from. Empathy is key to negotiating and understanding what the other party wants. Chris Voss goes into detail in his book with real life scenarios he’s faced while negotiating and how he used empathy to gain the upper hand.

  • Avoiding the words why and use the word how instead, given the right circumstances. Why makes people defensive, it questions their work and intelligence, and can be insulting.
  • Negotiation starts with no. It is the best response to trigger an alternative means to your negotiation. You can ask “what is it that won’t work for you?” which ultimately leads you to figuring out why they said no in the first place. Again this is something that reflects back to his important key point about empathy.
  • How do we listen better? What is the magic of listening? Chris Voss reveals some techniques you can use. He also mentions that the worst advice someone can give another is “You need to listen better”.

These are just some of the key important points that stood out to me. Chris Voss Never Split the Difference was a great book to read and something I definitely would recommend to my friends.

The Question Behind the Question

A book by John G. Miller explores personal accountability in the workplace and personal life. I found this book very similar to a section in Chris Voss’s book and I found it quite a coincidence that it mentions using the words how and what to address questions.

It talks about the questions that can lead to change e.g “What can I do to improve the situation?” instead of “Why can’t they do this right? Why is it always me?” Questions to ask yourself to eliminate the complaining and really focus the core issue at hand.

Personal accountability is not always easy. I admit, I am struggling with this from time to time but after reading this book, it reveals some very interest points that provide valuable take home messages.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

School never taught me anything about building wealth and what you should do with your money. I always hear that we should always “save up”, don’t spend your money etc. But how do we effectively do that? It’s very hard to save up when you have expenses and wants. It is very easy spending money and so hard to save without good discipline.

This book by Ramit Sethi teaches you about money and finances and how to make money work for you, it also teaches you the benefits of using credit cards, setting up your accounts so that money moves on its own and optimize your finances.

A blog by Kien

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