Man’s search for meaning, by Victor Frankl

We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

[…]

Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. Therefore, we can predict his future only within the large framework of a statistical survey referring to a whole group; the individual personality, however, remains essentially unpredictable.

If you haven’t already: Read. This. Now.

What I’ve been reading this year

I read a lot of books when I was a kid. Actually, scrap that. I read a lot of programming books when I was a kid, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twice

So over the past few years, I’ve been catching up. I read on average two-three books per month, about 60% business books & biographies and 40% literature. I have 167 books on my Kindle, which has become sort of an addiction. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed the most this year:

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

The Snowball (Warren Buffett’s biographY), by Alice Schoreder

The Facebook Effect, by David Kirkpatrick

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

What books did you enjoy this year? 

Books I’ve read in the past couple of months

I haven’t had time to blog at all in the past couple of months, as I’ve been too busy sleeping, partying and sipping Pina Coladas in Santorini, of course.

However, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. From classic novels to philosophy to business books. And to soften some of this guilt I have for almost abandoning this blog, I decided to share some of the best ones with you. You’ve probably read most of them, but if you haven’t I strongly recommend that you do.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde – I think it’s the second or third time I read it, but Lord Henry remains one of my favorite characters of all times

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie – a book that has taught me how to smile. Smile properly.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera –  it made me miss Prague, a city that reminds me a lot of Bucharest, my home town.

Crush it, Gary Vaynerchuk – the books brings nothing new to the party, but I completely loved the chapter about customer service: CARE

The One Minute Manager series by Ken Blanchard – a must read by any manager or CEO out there interested to improve his / her leadership skills.