10 Underrated Books Everyone MUST Read

My underrated favorites highly recommended for 2019.

Here’s my list of books that people aren’t talking about enough, have just a few-thousand ratings or even less on Goodreads, but you should definitely add to your shelves (and also read, don’t just keep them sitting there!).

1. Unthink by Chris Paley

(Goodreads average: 3.55, but it deserves at least 4/5 stars)

Genre? Psychology. Without the boring, scientific details, this short, quick book covers dozens of interesting studies on the human mind (and how it’s being heavily manipulated). Easy to read, keeps you hooked on every page, and will leave you thinking for a long time.

2. An Atheist’s History of Belief by Matthew Kneale

(Goodreads average: 3.82, Me: atleast a 4/5)

I’ll go so far as saying it’s (almost) as fascinating and resourceful as Yuval Noah’s Sapiens. But don’t take my word on it – read it for yourself.

This is an essential book to believers and non-believers alike, as this uncovers questions like, where did the idea of God really originate from? How did idol-worship begin? Why are there strange practices like sacrifices, martyrdom and witchcraft? The conception of polygamy and abstinence, and a LOT more.

Value for money, and a well utilization of 240 pages! No fluke. And you might be surprised by what you discover about your own religion. Brace yourselves, there are some bold revelations!

3. Hypnotherapy by Dave Elman

(Goodreads average: 4.4, Me: 5/5!)

What is hypnosis? Can we be hypnotized without consent? Is it possible that we are often hypnotized even without knowing it? Can hypnosis actually be beneficial? And how can we do it (if at all)?

This is one of the finest books written on the subject, and will surprise you with a ton of information. Mind-blowing!

Disclaimer – the book is rarely published anymore and will be an expensive buy. But most certainly worth it, I assure you!

4. Anam Cara by John O’Donohue

(Goodreads average: 4.31, I’d say 5/5)

Celtic wisdom. Philosophy. Mystical.

If these words intrigue you, pick this book without a second thought. In a world where you get a hundred new quotes per hour on Instagram, the thoughts and ideas in this book still remain widely untouched and uncirculated.

5. Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss

(Goodreads average: 4.06, Me: definitely a 5/5)

“Faith in humanity restored!”
That was my reaction atleast after every 2 pages.

Its a feel-good yet emotion-stirring read. Thought-provoking, yet gentle. An ideal book if you’re finding yourself questioning the ‘purpose in life’, or wondering if there’s any hope left for humanity.

This is written as a series of stories with a deep message and a lot of happy endings (happy new beginnings, rather).

6. Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh

(Goodreads average: 4.49, Me: 5/5 undoubtedly!)

Written by an Enlightened Buddhist Monk himself, this book is such an easy way to understand the Buddhist Way.

Even if not with the intention to become a Monk, or a Buddhist, read this extraordinary piece of work to gain invaluable knowledge about Buddhism, Meditation practices, spiritual discourses, and even a bit of historic recounting (disputes between the monks, rivalries, the Buddha’s passing into Nirvana etc).

7. No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal

(Goodreads average: 4.45, Me: 5/5)

If you see the word ‘UNPUTDOWNABLE’ describing for a book about world history, you know this is a book really, well-written. Narrated with three, poles-apart perspectives – one from a Mujaheddin leader, second from a Taliban member and third from a local citizen of Afghanistan, this book is a personal and immersive experience of what happened to the country, and why it is suffering. Even if you know nothing about Afghanistan (as I didn’t when I read this), this is the only book you’ll need to read.

8. The Terrorist’s Son by Zak Ebrahim

(Goodreads average: 4.09, Me: 5/5 brilliant!)

Haven’t we all wondered how such families are impacted? And what happens to the kids – do they follow their father’s footsteps? This is a (very) quick but brave memoir about the story of a Terrorist’s son. Written by a TED talk speaker, this one is sure to leave a mark on your heart.

9. Return to Life by Jim B Tucker

(Goodreads average: 3.7, Me: 5/5 phenomenal!)

If you want to be challenged into reading something outside your comfort zone, try this. It will question (almost) everything you’ve believed in about life. The major theme is around cases where children’s memories of past lives could be PROVEN, and there are other compelling evidences such as famous people being reborn, animals being reborn as humans (WTF?), psychic powers, near death experiences, and more.

As eerie as this book sounds, it was a breeze to get through and really shook me to the core. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

10. The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

(Goodreads average: 4.27, Me: 5/5, favorite book ever!)

If there is one book you need to understand how the mind works against us, how to meditate, the concepts of detachment, ego, surrendering, and a vast sea of other spiritual concepts, pick this and you will not have to look further.

This is a beautiful, meaningful and short book that merges psychology and spirituality. I know I’ve brought this one up before, in my list of spiritual favorites, but I think it’s worth mentioning again!

Happy Reading! 🙂

How Many Favors Should You Ask For, From God?

Questions, one after the other. And I’m sure, you’ve asked them too. It’s time to find some answers.

I often wonder.

Why would the Creator, the Universe, the Divine, ‘God’, who has access to everything and needs nothing that we can offer (because He IS everything) not give you what you want? What would God do by keeping everything good for Himself?

Note : I’m not declaring a gender for God, but I’m in no mood to write He/She everytime I make a reference, so let’s use He.

Is it even God, if He is some kind of sadist who enjoys seeing us ‘begging for mercy’?

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“God’s grace is only invoked through prayers, rituals, sacrifices, lighting candles, etc.”

What about the atheists? I know a few, and they don’t look miserable. God hasn’t even punished them yet, for being so bold and declaring God is non-existent.

And think of this. We’ve all met someone we can call the ‘most selfless person ever’. Then considering that God is the combination of all the highest qualities everyone has, including selflessness, does it even make sense that God would only give you something when you worship and please Her/Him with intense sacrificial rituals?

What would God get with all that glorification – who is He even competing against to prove his glory? Does God even need validation, could God be insecure?

“God needs to help other people, so maybe today’s not our turn.”

But if it’s God, if it’s the Universe, if it’s the Divine, then this is an omnipresent soul. Then there shouldn’t be a Round-Robin service, I think it should be ’round-the-clock!

But what if God gets ‘fed-up’?

Is there really a limit on how much God will do for you before He decides He’s done enough? That you’re a lost cause, and He runs off abandoning you, leaving you against this cold, heartless world, to look after yourself? What happens to such people – do they get thrown out of the Universe?

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If It Isn’t God – What Stops Us from Taking Help?

It is ego that says “I am INDEPENDENT. I will do this all by myself”.

There are people that claim they’ve never asked God for anything! There’s another growing trend of people calling themselves ‘SELF-MADE’.

So then I wonder, how much of a self-made person are you, really?

Do you harvest your own food? Stitch your own clothes from the cotton growing in your backyard? Grow your own trees for the all your well-carved furniture? You know where I’m going with this.

You see – no matter how hard you try, you cannot be a self-sufficient ecosystem. We were never made to do unnecessary heavy-lifting, we are here to come together with our unique qualities and simply help each other grow towards our Oneness with the Universe.

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By being ‘self-sufficient’ and never asking for help, who are we even trying to prove a point to?

I am not preaching here, because I came from the same mindset of self-sufficiency. And it was this huge blockage that disconnected me. After all, I was saying I am separate, and therefore I must take care of myself separately. How can such a person experience Oneness?

And finally, if you can get help and make your life move faster, why aren’t you doing that?

*Ba Dum Tss*

So What Now?

If you are looking for some comfort after having your perspective a little rattled, you should know that we are always, constantly being helped and looked after. But because things are manifesting behind the scenes, instead of counting our blessings, we’re usually questioning its occurrence at all.

The Universe is NOT beating a drum for you, every time it helps. Would you have preferred that instead? Would have been kind of annoying, honestly. We must admire it working in a wondrous silence.

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But then there are moments in life, when we are met by Divine Intervention. We know in that moment, “this couldn’t have been by chance, this wasn’t ME. This was something much bigger, more powerful”.

In retrospect, we can always agree that things worked out for the best. Why? Simply because things were working in your favor, even when you didn’t think so.

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You Are NOT Helpless; You Are a Co-creator!

So what I’m trying to put out there, is that the Universe is always working for you, whether you ask for it or not. YOU can make your life much more better, and more meaningful, if you let go of your guilt of asking for too much, or trying to figure everything out on your own, and instead working with the Universe to co-create a reality that better suits your human experience.

Now that you know this, only one question remains, “slow-motion, or accelerated living?”

Choice is yours! 😉

Picture courtesy: pixabay