This article is not about fiction. This article is also not about philosophical reading. This article is not even about architecture and projects. However, what this article will give you is a path, a ladder, and a choice to create the life and the architecture you want. Often as architectural students, we are pushed to reading various architects, their ideologies, and theories that they represent. This does not necessarily provide us with the life skills that we need to become entrepreneurs or to climb social ladders.

Here is a list of 10 non-architecture books that are amazing in their contributions. 

1. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

“Infinite riches are all around you if you will open your mental eyes and behold the treasure house of infinity within you.”

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The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Source: www.amazon.com)

Our mind is the biggest powerhouse we have and if we train it well, the universe aspires to work with us. Read this book to understand how the human mind works and the importance of creating strong subconscious thoughts to succeed in our lives. 

2. The Diary of Anne Frank

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Anne Frank: The Diary of a young girl (Source: www.amazon.com)

All of us always believe that we face the worst struggles. Het Achterhuis (The Backhouse) or The Secret Annex of Anne Frank: The Diary of a young girl; has been published in more than 60 languages. It is the writings of a young girl who was in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. It is a moving tale of a selfless teenage girl as she describes her life in the backdrop of World war II. A little reminder for everyone to keep believing and looking beyond the everyday struggles of life.

3. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

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The Richest Man in Babylon (Source: www.amazon.com)

Babylon was once known to be the richest land in the entire world. Imagine if the richest man in that richest world could give you personal financial advice? That’s where ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ comes in. Written by George Clason in 1926, this book is a parable set in the times of Babylon, each chapter ends with one classic quote that we can add to the ‘things to do’ of our financial diaries. A beautiful balance of fiction and guidance, this is a must-read to improve your financial goals. 

4. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon

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Steal Like an Artist (Source: www.goodreads.com)

Everybody steals. Nobody is original. So, if there is nothing new under the sun, how can we be different? In the digital era, where information and matter both are enormously available, how do we define what is good? An excellent pocket-size book with interesting graphics which pushes one to ethically define one’s style and creativity. 

5. Ways of Seeing by John Berger

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.” 

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Ways of Seeing (Source: www.goodreads.com)

This book is based on a BBC series written by John Berger. The book is extremely stimulating and raises several questions about how art and images inform our everyday life. It also goes so far to suggest that the contemporary forms of art – paintings to photography to even advertising; create discriminations in the people’s subconscious mind. Although published in 1972, a very interesting book that emulates and reflects the relationship between art, people, and society even today. 

6. Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen

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Information Graphics (Source: www.taschen.com)

The language of architects is very visual. With the exploding world of digitalization and social media, visual representations are becoming a key tool in an architect’s profile creation. Information Graphics is a collection of more than 400 graphics and symbols exploring the depiction of data in the visual form. This book is not small. Ranging from art, journalism, and education to even statistics, this book is an excellent guide to creating pictorial representations for the evolving individual. 

7. Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

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Metaphors We Live By (Source: www.goodreads.com)

Analogies and Metaphors are tools many architects and designers use to explain their concepts and ideas. Professor and linguistic Dr. George Lakoff, in this book, explains the science behind these language tools. Metaphors can enable people to use what they know through their own experiences and communicate the complex ideas of non-physical aspects to more relatable ones. This book is a huge recommendation for people who find it difficult to express their ideas and to improvise their narratives.  

8. The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton

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The Architecture of Happiness (Source: www.amazon.com)

Alain de Botton is not an architect. ‘The Architecture of Happiness’ is a non-architect’s take on the environment they live in and the architecture they perceive. He talks about the relationship between architecture and well-being, human needs, and desires versus the surroundings. In the self-praised world of an architect, this book forms a strong impression of the people’s perception of happy places. The question is, are we up to this challenge? 

9. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (Source: www.amazon.com)

First glance at the title, you feel it’s a book to learn how to punch and that is so perfect for architects. But hold on. ‘How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World?’- this is the tagline of the book. Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, in this book, demystifies the ways to master social media marketing. From story-telling on a digital platform to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and others; there is a chapter dedicated to all of them. A must-read book for people wanting to enhance their social media content and presence.

10. Building a Story Brand by  Donald Miller

“Your customer should be the hero of the story (aka: your marketing), not your brand.”

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Building a Story Brand (Source: www.amazon.com)

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. It’s a seven-step guide to achieving a balanced client-business relationship for a successful endeavor. Simple language and step by step data can help develop individual strategies for their brands. 

From developing the potential of your mind, personal finance advisor, digital marketing, and social media projection to creating sound client interaction and relationships, whatever is your choice of the day. Pick one of these or try to read all of them. One thing is for sure, once you are done with reading them, they are going to be on your recommendation list for others too. 

Author

An Architecture graduate with a postgraduation in Urban Design and an Educationist by profession. She is on a constant quest for knowledge be it through reading, travel, people, experiences or even just by observing life go by. She believes words are powerful and beautiful and can help heal the world.

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