It’s time for part two of the Ciloo Library! Over the past months, we kept up with the book tradition and collected some great recommendations from the team. Just like last time, there’s really a bit of everything. Check them out below! 

June 2022

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 

Amazon description: Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.

Recommended by Guus: This book was one of the honorable mentions by Tico, but for me it wins the number one spot. It dives deeply into human nature, good and evil and his vision on the duty to be good. Truly amazed about the level of clarity and relevance of his thoughts. He writes in lessons that still feel very applicable today. I was so inspired, that I even composed a four-page document with my favorite sections from the book. I’ll share a couple of small sections below:

  • “They cannot admire you for intellect. Granted – but there are many other qualities of which you cannot say, ‘but that is not the way I am made’. So display those virtues which are wholly in your own power – integrity, dignity, hard work, self-denial, contentment, frugality, kindness, independence, simplicity, discretion, magnanimity. Do you not see how many virtues you can already display without any excuses of lack of talent or aptitude?”
  • “Your mind will take on the character of your most frequent thoughts: souls are dyed by thoughts. So dye your own with a succession of thoughts like these. For example: where a life can be lived, so can a good life; but life can be lived in a palace; therefore a good life can be lived in a palace. Again: each creature is made in the interest of another; its course is directed to that for which it was made; its end lies in that to which its course is directed; and where its end is, there also for each is its benefit and its good. It follows that the good of a rational creature is community.”
  • “If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm persists in one’s own self-deception and ignorance.”
  • “Do not imagine that, if something is hard for you to achieve, it is therefore impossible for any man: but rather consider anything that is humanly possible and appropriate to lie within your own reach too.”
  • “No one tires of receiving benefit: and action in accordance with nature is your own benefit. Do not then tire of benefit gained by benefit given.”
  • “If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it.”

An honorable mention I’d like to share is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Recommended to me by Richard, it is more than anything a book of self belief and manifestation, regardless of the type of riches you seek. Summarized in a quote by Napoleon Hill himself: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

July 2022

The Power of Your Metabolism by Frank Suarez

Amazon description: This revolutionary book isolates the factors that force so many people to always be dieting but allows others to never gain weight no matter what they eat. With one simple system, the solutions, natural aids and techniques, you will learn to beat the “slow metabolism” problem once and for all. 

Recommended by Eliam: The last book I read was The Power of your Metabolism by Frank Suarez. It’s a good read since it makes us conscious of many things that can help us accelerate our metabolism without dieting, so I thought it was great.

August 2022

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Amazon description: You can go after the job you want—and get it! You can take the job you have—and improve it! You can take any situation—and make it work for you! Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you: six ways to make people like you; twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking; and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

Recommended by Goran: I love the stories that are backing some of the points on how people behave and how you can not just win them over, but also how we can improve ourselves in some aspects.

September 2022 

Life & Laughing: My Story by Michael McIntyre

Amazon Description: The riveting, poignant and remarkably honest biography from Britain’s biggest comedy star, Michael McIntyre, brought to you by Penguin. His debut stand-up DVD, Live & Laughing, was the fastest selling of all time. Now he hosts his own BAFTA nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and has won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up. But how did he get there? In his compelling autobiography, Michael McIntyre reveals all.

With deeply personal and captivating narration, Michael unveils his incredible journey: from his showbiz roots, to his appalling attempts to attract the opposite sex, to going from selling just one ticket at the Edinburgh Festival to half a million at his last tour. Written and narrated by Michael himself, Life and Laughing is the hilarious performance and life story from one of the country’s most loved comics.

Recommended by Christina: I just love to relax and chill out by the pool to an audiobook, it’s how I enjoy books the best! My favorite ones are always something I can have a good laugh to, so this book is one that I would highly recommend.

October 2022 

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Amazon description: Design doesn’t have to be complicated, which is why this guide to human-centered design shows that usability is just as important as aesthetics. Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious — even liberating — book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization. The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

Recommended by Umair: I would recommend this book together with The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson – I read both in the early stages of my career. 

November 2022

The Jewish Phenomenon by Steven Silbiger

Amazon Description: Spielberg, Brin, Dell, Seinfeld―phenomenally successful . . . and Jewish. Why have Jews risen to the top of the business and professional world in numbers staggeringly out of proportion to their percentage of the American population? Steven Silbiger has the answer. Based on the author’s synthesis of wide reading and research, The Jewish Phenomenon sets forth seven principles that form the bedrock of Jewish financial success. With startling statistics, a wealth of anecdotes, and the fascinating details behind some of America’s biggest business success stories, Silbiger convincingly shows how these seven keys have helped the Jews historically and how they continue to ensure Jewish success today. More importantly, the author makes clear that these principles are equally at the disposal of Jews and non-Jews alike. The amazing success of the Jews simply proves that they work. The Jewish Phenomenon pays tribute not merely to the success of a people but to the commonsense wisdom and enduring values that can enrich us all.

Recommended by Felix: A friend gifted me this book and it intrigued me on its teaching about major core values of day to day human life and building a successful career/business. Despite being a minority in the world, Jews are able to make themselves relevant in any field by being consistent and disciplined in what they do.

December 2022

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Amazon Description: The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance. In Grit, she takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll. “Duckworth’s ideas about the cultivation of tenacity have clearly changed some lives for the better” (The New York Times Book Review). Among Grit’s most valuable insights: any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal; grit can be learned, regardless of IQ or circumstances; when it comes to child-rearing, neither a warm embrace nor high standards will work by themselves; how to trigger lifelong interest; the magic of the Hard Thing Rule; and so much more. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference. This is “a fascinating tour of the psychological research on success” (The Wall Street Journal).

Recommended by Christian: One of the top 5 books I’ve read in this category. Psychologist Angela Duckworth explains to parents, teachers, students, and business people that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called grit. Angela’s research explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial, such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

January 2023 

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Amazon Description: What if you could change any aspect of your life, just by changing the way you start your day? What would you change? The Miracle Morning has already sold over 2,000,000 copies and transformed the lives of millions of people around the world. This book will give you the simplest and most effective step-by-step process to wake up each day with more energy, motivation, and focus to take your life to the next level. It’s been right here in front of us all along, but this book has finally brought it to life.

Recommended by Dariya: I love books about psychology and parenting, so this, together with The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will be Glad That You Did) by Philippa Perry are two I would recommend.

That’s it for this collection. Watch this space in the months to come for more book recommendations from our amazing team!

The books we read are a reflection of what inspires us… If you love our recommendations, chances are you’d also love us! Check out Ciloo’s current job openings – we’re always on the lookout for new talent!