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KOSO series - 52 books a year, January

First of all, I want to say, that a year ago, I never would have thought that somebody would like me to write anyting wihin the terms of ‘literature’. I was never a book mole, on the contrary (!) in high school books were last on my priority list.

A bit about me, My name is Aleksandra, I’m 24 years old, born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. I’ve always been a social butterfly who mostly valued time out with friends over any type of self-development. At the beginning of 2020, I began my life transformation. I developed some serious health problems, and that’s what started my journey with books. I was mostly reading about gut health, trying to figure out what was the cause of my severe allergy reactions.

After less than a year I figured it out! I couldn’t believe that I did it all by myself. Because of Covid I had all the time in the world at home and had to find a new hobby for myself. That’s when I decided I’m going to start reading on a daily basis, that was one of my biggest accomplishments when it came to building new habits. At the end of 2020, I’ve already read a few self-development books that really grew roots in my consciousness. I had a few big goals for 2021 and one of the most important ones is to read 52 books this year, which equals a book a week. I read that many great and successful people have this habit developed and I wanted to challenge myself to try if I would be able to do it. That is was brings me here and what I will do at NIKA onwards while I am trying to reach my goal this year.

Reading gives me knowledge, that I became so thirsty for in the past year. I realized that the only way to achieve my big plans for the future is to learn everything my way – that was always most effective for me, always learning from my own mistakes, and my experience. It also helps me explore topics, I didn’t know about. My curiosity for the unknown has grown enormously since my two-year adventure in the US. I always needed to see more, know more, and now books deliver that to me, when I cannot explore the World physically.

To share a part of my experience and hopefully inspire a couple - or some of you, I will share my books of the month with you. Let's dive into the books of the month!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

It’s very easy to read a novel with its story set in Ireland. It’s about an on and off relationship between two people, who came from the same small town, but the socio-economic differences have been standing between the two since they met each other in high school. It’s mysterious yet very ordinary.

In my opinion, this book is great for analyzing and understanding why some of our previous relationships were not meant for success. It made me appreciate more the life I have. But it was mostly a relaxing book to read.

Easy to read: 9/10

Interesting: 5/10

Plot: 5/10

The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

The 5 AM Club is about a billionaire, who does not want to be recognized as one from the outside, who guides an Artist and Entrepreneur, who are looking for motivation to keep their businesses going. From LA, they begin their amazing experience around the world, visiting the most breathtaking places on Earth and receiving lessons and methods on how to increase their productivity by simply developing a habit of waking up at 5 AM each morning.

I’ve implemented some of the methods to my morning routine, like to 20/20/20 Formula that means respectively Move/Reflect/Grow. You start from 20min intense exercise to clean cortisol, increases serotonin, and gives you more focus at the beginning of your day. Then your journal/ meditate/ contemplate to boost your gratitude and increase happiness. The last 20 min you spend reading books that educate you, review your goals, or listen to podcasts, that’s when your knowledge deepens and your confidence accelerates.

Interesting: 9/10

Self-development boost: 9/10

Easy to read: 7/10

Never Get Angry Again by David J. Lieberman Ph.D.

This book was very revolutionary for me in terms of understanding why we react the way we react to different situations, what stands behind specific reactions and emotions and how to set boundaries when they are needed. He shares many effective techniques to regain control and stay angry free in our everyday life when unexpected situations arise.

“Expectations are a product of the ego and produce a toxic disappointment. When we manage our expectations, disappointment never fully matures into anger.”

Self-development: 9/10

Interesting: 10/10

Easy to read: 6/10

Entanglement by Zygmunt Miłoszewski

It’s a tightly plotted crime, a mysterious novel, happening in Warsaw in 2005. The morning after a group psychotherapy session in a Warsaw monastery, Henry Talek is found dead, a roasting spit stuck in one eye. Public prosecutor Teodor Szacki, world-weary, suffering from bureaucratic exhaustion and marital burnt-out, feels that life has passed him by. But this case changes everything. Because of it, he meets Monika Grzelka, a young journalist whose charms prove difficult to resist, and he discovers the frightening power of certain esoteric therapeutic methods. His current life mission becomes to figure out who committed a crime, the writer kept the answer until the end which makes it so much more exciting.

Interesting: 8/10

Plot: 9/10

Easy to read: 6/10


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