Reach Indians and South East Asians living in Australia



There are many such ‘book lists’ that are floating around the internet these days. Not one of them is definitive. Neither is this one. That’s the thing about books, isn’t it? No book is truly unique in the sense that it says what no other book before it has said, but it is unique in how it says it. What appeals to us is not always just the message but also the way it is delivered.
So I will not claim that this is the only list of four books that will change your life. It is just one of many. With that disclaimer, here goes.
1. The Richest Man in Babylon – George Samuel Clason
Often classified – rather unfairly – as a personal finance bible, this little book is much more than that. It takes us on a history tour of Babylon, the ancient city, and introduces us to Arkad, the merchant who rises from a pauper to the city’s wealthiest inhabitant. In telling his story, not only does he pass on great insights about money, he also trains us in the areas of discipline, thrift, contentment and peace. It packs a mean punch, this book, and will not take you any more than three hours to read.
2. Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Perhaps a tad psychological in places – which is not surprising since Viktor Frankl, the author, was a practising psychologist – this little classic takes us on a journey of discovery of man’s breaking point. And we constantly realise that we’re more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. The overarching theme of the book is our instinctive search for meaning in everything that we do, and how suffering becomes easier to handle if only we can train – or trick – our minds to finding meaning within it. Compassionate, insightful, and wholly readable, this memoir will tell you quite a few things about yourself.
3. Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor who lived from 161 – 180 CE. He was a known stoic, who displayed remarkable calm and balance throughout life’s ups and downs. In Meditations, he puts down small thoughts, vignettes and thought exercises that act as personal notes to himself so that he can be unaffected by success and failure. The main tenet of stoic philosophy is that one should be thankful for what one receives, no matter whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Nature doesn’t know good from bad, only we do. So Mother Nature doesn’t give us good or bad things. She just gives us ‘things’. It is we who judge them as good or bad.
4. Status Anxiety – Alain de Botton
One of Britain’s most popular modern philosophers, de Botton tackles the very real problem of status anxiety and envy in modern life. As someone famous once said, every time our close friends achieve something, we ‘die a little inside’. The book is a charming, self-effacing look into the anxieties of modern life that drive us into a frenzy of consumption. And more crucially, de Botton suggests ways in which we can get out of this loop and live life more happily.

Divya Mangal

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