I’m a big reader. It’s my preferred form of learning and if I’m being honest, it’s also my favorite form of procrastination. However, of the hundreds of books I’ve read, there is fewer than a dozen that I truly consider “must-read.” These are books that have stuck with me for years after I’ve read them and I expect will stick with me until I die.
How do people and social interactions work?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I spent the majority of my formative years submerged in a fantasy world of books, television, and my own imagination. It certainly wasn’t the worst way to spend a childhood, but it was fairly isolating and left me with underdeveloped social skills as I became an adolescent and then a young adult. Add in a moderately dysfunctional family dynamic and the unsaid rules governing social interactions remained seemingly intangible. This book cleared up the mystery of people immensely by addressing the issue clearly and insightfully without a hint of shame or the unbearable fluff that tends to infect books of the genre. The only negative was that this book made me hungry to consume more from the self-help genre (a largely wasteful undertaking), but all things considered, it remains the most useful book I have ever read. Bear in mind that understanding the dynamics of how people think won’t magically make you a happy, outgoing person, but it will help remove the gnawing confusion that comes from not understanding how people operate.
How can I endure a life in which I’m not always happy and comfortable?
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays Translation
This “book” is the compilation of hundreds of notes that the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself over the course of his adult life and reign over the largest empire the world had ever seen. Aurelius was a diehard practitioner of Stoic philosophy, a comprehensive ideology and lifestyle guide that stressed morality, compassion, and mental fortitude.
How do I get good at something?
Mastery – Robert Greene
The Dip – Seth Godin
Permission Marketing– Seth Godin
Linchpin– Seth Godin