Each year I share the books that made the most impact on me during the year. These make great gifts for your favourite entrepreneur, or to read over the summer break (and yes, if you buy them from my link, I do get a fee to buy more books next year).
1. There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell
Emily McDowell has been there and done that, and created the amazing Empathy Cards. She collaborated with a psychologist to put together an incredibly useful and practical book on what to do and say when life sucks for people you care about, and you don’t want to make things worse.
It is designed to help you respond with kindness, compassion and resilience, while building authentic connections.
The book is helpful, funny, visually engaging and understanding of what it means to be human. It is the book I wished I was given as a teenager, and wished I could embody throughout my life.
If you want to be a better friend, parent, colleague or simply a better person, then read this book! It is the ultimate gift for people you care about.
2. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
Daniel and Amos were the founders of contemporary behavioural economics and worked together over much of their lives.
The book is engaging, intriguing and gives a fascinating insight into how concepts of anchoring, framing, halo effect and overconfidence bias came into being.
Unlike many dry biographies, this one is full of rich stories and anecdotes that help explain concepts as well as provide a window into the rich collaboration of two very different personalities.
If you like biographies, then add this one to your reading list.
3. Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins
In this book, he dispels the myth that art and creativity is the province of starving, solitary artists locked away in a garret somewhere.
He proposes that “the new definition of an artist isn’t the lone genius, but a visionary who brings people and resources together. It’s about finding more ways to collaborate with like-minded creatives.”
In this book, he explores strategies to build your creativity and find ways to hone your skills through collaboration. His approach is practical and uplifting, delivering much to think about.
If your work requires creativity, this book helps you discover that you can get paid for what you love doing.
4. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
This book shines a bright light on influence, power, status, respect and status. It explains why people speak up and others remain silent.
It explores how to bring your unique gifts to the world, and what it takes to make a difference.
The book is filled with intriguing research and stories that will challenge your view of the world.
If you are in a leadership role, or simply want to make a difference, this book is mandatory reading.
5. Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
This is the perfect book that you dip into when you need a shot of motivation or inspiration. It packed with tangible, practical tips and advice on influence, negotiation, dealing with failure, success and everything in between.
One word of caution, this is not the book to read if you want a logical series of thoughts that build on each other to a sensible conclusion. This book is more like a bag of liquorice allsorts with a surprise twist of meaning running through the centre.