10 Books to read during a quarantine


A few weeks ago I was reading an interview of a French lady who was quarantined and I was surprised to read about how the boredom affected her.

After posting some selfies and updates on social media,  she did not know what else to do with her time. She went crazy after 5 days not knowing what to do for the next 10-days. Now she is in depression hospitalisation.

I wished I had 2-weeks of rest to read, write and meditate. Today, the government announced mitigation by heavy social distancing, which Wuhan succeeded in killing the Corona Virus back home by a lockdown of the province’s 60Mio inhabitants.

Wuhan, Italy, France, all Vietnam arrivals from 26 Schengen countries are under a minimum of 15 days quarantine equivalent to the incubation period of the CoronaVirus. 

MITIGATION: requires heavy social distancing. People need to stop hanging out to drop the transmission rate (R), from the R=~2–3 that the virus follows without measures, to below 1, so that it eventually dies out.

here are a few books we recommend if you are in quarantine, it is a peaceful time where nobody will really want to mess you around you have full quiet time to read:

1# Remote by Jason Fried

explains how to work efficiently from anywhere. 

“What you’ll find in Remote is profound advice from guys who’ve succeeded in the virtual workforce arena” —David Allen, internationally best-selling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity 

About Jason Fried, he is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.

37signals’ products include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. 37signals also developed and open-sourced the Ruby on Rails programming framework.

The founders of Basecamp explore the “work from home” phenomenon and show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished.

Today, the new paradigm is “move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace.”

Remote work increases the talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens the real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages.

2# The Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb

explains all about risks and… how you end up in a quarantine or in a hospital room.  The black swan explains how a small highly improbable event can be the cause of changing the course of your life

The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. 

Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. 

About Nassim Nicholas Taleb

He spent two decades as a risk taker before becoming a full-time essayist and scholar focusing on practical and philosophical problems with chance, luck, and probability. 

He now spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés. In addition to his life as a trader he spent several years as an academic researcher ( Distinguished Professor at New York University’s School of Engineering, Dean’s Professor at U. Mass Amherst).

#3 Essentialism, Greg McKeown

when in a quarantine you stockpile, in life and at work you accumulate… for what?

“Best-seller book is a much-needed antidote to the stress, burnout and compulsion to “do everything,” that infects us all. It is an Essential read for anyone who wants to regain control of their health, well-being, and happiness.”  

-–Arianna Huffington, Co-founder, president, and editor in chief, Huffington Post Media Group

Have you ever felt the urge to declutter your work life? Are you frequently busy but not productive?  Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?

 If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.

It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

Greg McKeown Stanford MBA writes, teaches, and speaks around the world on the importance of living and leading as an Essentialist. He has spoken at companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn…

#4 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Th e Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

Time to get physical with essentialism, you may want to apply this zenitude to tidy your home 

“I recommend it for anyone who struggles with the material excess of living in a privileged society ”  

-–Jamie Lee Curtis, Actress

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.About Marie Kondo, Times’ 100 most influential people. Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

#5  The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

Of course quarantined due to a deadly virus makes most people think of what they should not miss in life when they can walk out.

“This book had a profound effect on my life.”-– Dr Wayne W. Dyer, best-seller author in personal development

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or previous experience in the field, she found herself working in palliative care. During the time she spent tending to those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed as she wrote about the most common regrets, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, to share her story.

About Bronnie Ware is  an inspirational speaker on the global stage. She lives in northern New South Wales, Australia, and is a passionate advocate for simplicity and leaving space to breathe.

#6  Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nicholas Taleb

Most businesses are suffering in times of chaos and perhaps your job may disappear. But some are thriving during Corona think Netflix, Facebook, masks, gel soap, medical insurance…

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”The Economist

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. 

The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. 

About Nassim Nicholas Taleb is  a trader he spent several years as an academic researcher, distinguished Professor at NY University (more above)

#7 Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andrew Grove, Intel CEO

Now you got clarity on some business models that thrive whatever the Corona says and you want to survive to give it a go.

“This book is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one.”

-Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple – Pixar Animation Studios Under Andy Grove’s leadership, Intel became the world’s largest chip maker. In Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove reveals his strategy for measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads–when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside–in a new way.

Grove calls such a moment a Strategic Inflection Point, which can be set off by almost anything: mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology. When a Strategic Inflection Point hits, the ordinary rules of business go out the window. Yet, managed right, a Strategic Inflection Point can be an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever.

About Andrew S. Grove emigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1956. He participated in the founding of Intel, and became its president in 1979 and chief executive officer in 1987. He was chosen as Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1997. In 1998, he stepped down as CEO of Intel, but continues as chairman of the board. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

#8 What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel

Knowing that 13.8% cases become severe for hospitalization and 4.7% cases becomes critical needing scarce ICU equipped with artificial respiratory machines. Based on Italy experience, will you count on your money to secure your  access on top of the waiting list?

“Brilliant, easily readable, beautifully delivered and often funny. . . an indispensable book on the relationship between morality and economics.” David Aaronovitch, The Times (London)

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

The book takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn’t there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets?

In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.

About Michael Sandel is Professor of Government at the University of Harvard. Sandel’s legendary ‘Justice’ course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Sandel is the author of many books and has previously written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and the New York Times. He was the 2009 BBC Reith Lecturer.

#9 The Tibetan Book of the Dead by The Dalai Lama

You may be into introspective time, trying to find the meaning of your life…

“The ultimate introduction to Tibetan Buddhist wisdom. An enlightening, inspiring, and comforting manual for life and death” .-New York Times

This book written back in 1927, explains the nature of the spiritual mind and the link between life, the universe and death as per Tibetan ancient wisdom. It guides you to rethink your position in the Universe. It is an introduction to meditation, the karma and rebirth. It defines the ‘bardos’, the various stages of consciousness after death to re-incarnation so fascinating to artists, doctors and western philosophers for so long.

About Sogyal Rinpoche was born in Tibet and entered a monastery when he was four months old. He fled the country with the Dalai Lama in 1959 and was educated in India and Cambridge, England. Since then, he has taught throughout the world. He is the spiritual director of Rigpa, an organisation devoted to introducing the teachings of the Buddha and to offering advice on spiritual care for the dying.

#10 The Tibetan Book of the Dead by The Dalai Lama

“I hope that the profound insights contained in this work will be a source of inspiration and support to many interested people around the world.” – His Holiness The Dalai Lama

This book, graceful and precise, includes one of the most detailed and compelling descriptions of the after-death state in world literature, practices that can transform our experience of daily life, guidance on helping those who are dying, and an inspirational perspective on coping with bereavement.

About The Dalai Lama His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, northeastern Tibet. His Holiness began his monastic education at the age of six. In 1950, after China’s invasion of Tibet, His Holiness assumed full political power. In 1954, he met with Mao Zedong and Chinese leaders, to no avail. Finally, in 1959, following the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India.

The Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books.

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