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The 6 Books You MUST READ Before Coming To Japan

Are you coming to Japan to teach English? Congratulations! You're in for the experience of a lifetime. Think about all of the other people you know in your life. Chances are some of them have never been out of your home country, let alone have had the chance to live and work in another country.

However, moving to another country brings its own set of challenges. You're not going to have your usual support network to depend on. If you didn't study Japanese before coming here, you're going to have to overcome the language barrier. You will also be responsible for running your own household. Let's face it, if you're not an independent person, you're going to have to learn to be one pretty quickly!

Don't worry though, I've got your back! Independence and self-reliance are things that can be practiced and learned. If you read the following books, you'll learn "how to adult" in no time and pick up some street smarts!

You've got some downtime, right? You might as well set yourself up for success in the future. Below is a list of some of the books I read before coming to Japan and they've helped me a lot. I highly recommend that you do the same!

*Note: I'll earn a small commission from Amazon if you buy any of these books through the links provided. I don't recommend anything that I personally don't find useful. Best of all, if you currently live in Japan, you can get the digital version or use the super cheap international shipping if you want to give your eyes a break from screens. Thank you for you support!

1. Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World

by Dr. Phil McGraw

via Amazon

Say what you want about good ol' Dr. Phil, he means what he says and says what he means.

His 2012 book Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World gives you some straight-up advice on the types of behaviors the people you come across life engage in; both good and bad.

This book can teach you how to not be suckered by people that don't have your best interests in mind and how to spot those good people that can really make a positive impact your life. You can also learn more about yourself and what drives you.

Click here to buy this book on Amazon!

2. Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man

by Brett McKay and Kate McKay

via Amazon

Sorry to all the ladies out there! This one is pretty male-centered, but I'm sure there's something you can learn from it!

I first came across The Art of Manliness website when I was looking up different ways to tie a necktie.

Brett and Kate McKay make an important distinction in their work through their definition of "manliness." They argue that "manliness" is not defined as the opposite of "womanliness." That is to say that while activities like watching football, eating huge burgers, and seeing who can belch the loudest aren't necessarily "womanly," doing these things doesn't make you "manly" (although they are fun!). Rather, to be "manly" is to be the opposite "boyish" or "childish."

In this book, you can pick up a lot of practical and useful advice for your everyday life. This includes things like how to develop self-reliance, how to dress for success, how to be a better friend, and how to get ahead at work.

Click here to buy this book on Amazon!

3. Heading Out on Your Own: 31 Life Skills in 31 Days

by Brett McKay and Kate McKay

via Amazon

From the same team of Brett and Kate McKay comes another must-read for when you're getting ready to come to Japan.

This book gives you the nuts and bolts of "how to adult" laid out in an orderly and organized fashion. Chances are you know some of its contents, but there are bound to be a few bits of information that can really help you out.

Although it's geared towards men, it can be useful for anyone.

You can buy it on Amazon or check it out for FREE on the Art of Manliness site.

4. The Gentleman's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Being a Man

by Alfred Tong

via Amazon

Here's another book for all the aspiring gentlemen out there. The Gentlemen's Handbook from the UK writer Alfred Tong can give you some more concrete tips on how to live a good and, as the British say, posh life.

It may not be as philosophically driven to create a virtuous man like the Art of Manliness books, but it does have a lot of information about how to work hard and play hard.

My favorite sections are about how to build a wardrobe, making a "full English" breakfast, and starting a home bar.

Check this book out if you want to learn more about style in addition to how to be suave, sophisticated, and debonair.

Here's the Amazon link.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

via Amazon

A classic read on how to communicate as well as how to build better business and personal relationships, Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People has been helping many people get ahead in life for decades.

You can learn a lot from the book by reading about all of the different problems people had in their personal and professional lives and what steps they took to overcome them.

Start putting these principles into practice and you'll notice a difference right away!

Click here to buy it on Amazon!

6. Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times

by Clark Howard

via Amazon

Published in 2011, a few years after the Great Recession (2007-2009), Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times is invaluable in setting yourself up for financial success.

If your money is funny and your change is strange, then you really need to read this book!

If you want to save money, the best thing you can do is to stop spending it and get all of your necessities for the lowest price possible. This book can help you with some insider tips on how to do just that!

Click here to buy it on Amazon!

That's all!

That's it for now. I'm planning another book list that will help you learn about Japan.

Do you have any books that you would recommend that people read before coming to Japan? Let me know!