Books I Read During Quarantine That I Would Recommend

During my ongoing quarantine, I have had more time to read. Below are some of my favorites.

  1. 1. “Life is What You Make It” by Peter Buffett

    Entering college, I have struggled to find what I want to do with my life, while it seems the people around me know what they want to do in the future. After fielding too many comments from my family and friends about what they suggest I should do with my life, I picked up this book. After reading, I realized the smaller steps I can take to build a life I want to live even if I don’t know my exact destination. While I am still deciding my path, the book helped me cope with the anxiety of feeling like you have to figure out everything at once.

  2. 2. “Learning How to Learn” by Barbara Oakley, Terrence Sejnowski, and Alistair McConville

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been feeling exhausted and less motivated to study. I forget how to study, and when work comes along, I often feel overwhelmed by the number of assignments. Learning How to Learn is a handbook that provides suggestions, tips, and study strategies to help make learning faster and easier. Throughout the book, the authors use analogies and illustrations to help readers grasp the material, making this an easy and helpful read.

  3. 3. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

    This memoir is different from what I had expected. After watching Michelle Obama on the television for years, you may be inclined to think she is just the former first lady. But she is more than that. Reading the memoir, I learned from her experiences and understood the critical transitions that made her the independent and strong woman she is today. Her journey was not without pain and tears, but she addresses these challenges without fear. Reading about her inspired me to become someone like her: someone who doesn’t give up and always strives to become better.

  4. 4. “Sophia of Silicon Valley” by Anna Yen

    Having read memoirs, autobiographies, and even documentaries of men’s thriving careers in the finance and technology industries, it was nice to read about a woman in those fields. Even though this is a fictional story, I could resonate with Sophia, the main character. As an Asian woman, I could relate to her background. Some parts of the story felt so real and familiar that they reminded me of my own story. Reading about her experiences in a male-dominated industry made me root for her throughout her journey. I wish to have her courage and leave a lasting legacy, no matter what environment I am in.

  5. 5. “Principles” by Ray Dalio

    At first glance, I never would have thought that I could finish this book. I thought it would consist of some old cliché rules. But Principles went beyond that. The rules and guidelines set by Dalio have benefitted me personally and professionally. The book provided me with valuable thinking tools to become more in control of my work and life.

    Specifically, by reading the book, I developed habits to become more transparent and clear with my works and approach a task. For me, what was more valuable was the idea of meritocracy. Instead of giving everyone equal say, sometimes it is better to be based on who has more expertise in the field. This way, while everyone gets to voice their opinions, those who have more knowledge should get more weight to ensure the solution’s best quality. I find this helpful because I have struggled with too many people giving me advice. With this method, I learn to ask and seek advice from people based on their expertise and not get stressed by a large amount of information available.

  6. 6. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

    I finished this book in one afternoon. That’s how good it is. Especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement’s current context and renewed discussions about police brutality and racial justice, this book provides significant context on race and identity through narrative. As I was devouring the book, I couldn’t help but become emotional as I read Angelou’s narration of her life experiences.

  7. 7. “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight

    I admit I used to have an intense obsession with Nike. When I read this memoir, I was initially drawn in by the shoes, but I was impressed by the long journey the business went through that made it the brand it is today. It’s fascinating how, when the company started, Knight had just graduated from graduate school and wasn’t yet established in the industry. Nike’s founding was not the typical story you would expect, making it even more inspiring and remarkable.

If you feel like running out of books to read, check these out. I would love to hear your recommendations for what I should read next!