Best “Personal Development” books I read in 2012

The year 2012 is coming to an end and a part of my reflection process is to look back on books I’ve read this year.

Some of them I even read twice.. & some I have blogged about.

Anyways here is my top 20 list

  1. The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them
    – Richard J. Davidson (Author), Sharon Begley (Author)
  2. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
    – Dan H. Pink
  3. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
    – William B. Irvine
  4. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
    ~Shawn Achor
  5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  6.  A Whole New Mind: why right-brainers will rule the future
    ~Dan H. Pink
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning
    ~Viktor E. Frankl
  8.  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
    ~Garr Reynolds
  9.  Outliers: The Story of Success
    ~Malcolm Gladwell
  10. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    ~Steven Pressfield
  11. Mojo: How to get it, How to keep it, How to get it back if you loose it
    ~Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter 
  12. Wherever You Go, There You Are
    ~Jon Kabat-Zinn 
  13. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
    ~Dan Ariely 
  14. 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot
    ~Richard Wiseman 
  15. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    ~Charles Duhigg 
  16. Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
    ~John B. Arden 
  17. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    ~Steven D. Levitt (Author), Stephen J. Dubner (Author) 
  18. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
    ~Sharon Begley 
  19. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
    ~Daniel J. Siegel 
  20. Don’t Die with Your Song Unsung
    ~Gary Russo 
All these books are very good… and top 10 is essential & highly recommended.
I’ve mindmapped many of them & will create blogposts when time allows it.
My top 5 Music books read in 2012 will be posted on (our music website) soon.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy – William B. Irvine

Link – William B. Irvine

“Bill Irvine has given us a great gift: the most accessible and inviting description of modern Stoicism available. Read this book and be prepared to change your life!”–Sharon Lebell, author of Epictetus’s The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness


  1. Introduction: A Plan for Living
  2. Part One: The Rise of Stoicism
    • One: Philosophy Takes an Interest in Life
    • Two: The First Stoics
    • Three: Roman Stoicism
  3. Part Two: Stoic Psychological Techniques
    • Four: Negative Visualization: What?s the Worst That Can Happen?
    • Five: The Dichotomy of Control: On Becoming Invincible
    • Six: Fatalism: Letting Go of the Past . . . and the Present
    • Seven: Self-Denial: On Dealing with the Dark Side of Pleasure
    • Eight: Meditation: Watching Ourselves Practice Stoicism
  4. Part Three: Stoic Advice
    • Nine: Duty: On Loving Mankind
    • Ten: Social Relations: On Dealing with Other People
    • Eleven: Insults: On Putting Up with Put-Downs
    • Twelve: Grief: On Vanquishing Tears with Reason
    • Thirteen: Anger: On Overcoming Anti-Joy
    • Fourteen: Personal Values: On Seeking Fame
    • Fifteen: Personal Values: On Luxurious Living
    • Sixteen: Exile: On Surviving a Change of Place
    • Seventeen: Old Age: On Being Banished to a Nursing Home
    • Eighteen: Dying: On a Good End to a Good Life
    • Nineteen: On Becoming a Stoic: Start Now and Prepare to Be Mocked
  5. Part Four: Stoicism for Modern Lives
    • Twenty: The Decline of Stoicism
    • Twenty-One: Stoicism Reconsidered
    • Twenty-Two: Practicing Stoicism
  6. A Stoic Reading Program

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