One of the first things I thought about this year is which books and how many I should read. What struck me is that I haven’t mastered much from the extraordinary books I had already read a while ago.
To put things into perspective, I went ahead and looked into my old to-read lists. I found some great titles that have insights I no longer seem to apply in my life.
I went ahead and put together a list that I believe would be life-changing if appropriately applied.
I believe that reading is about quality, not quantity. What is essential is the ability to convert information into real knowledge that can affect your life positively.
Our lives and priorities are different. Some books are life-changing for some, but not for others; the kind of books that are extraordinary for me are those that bring to us new insights, new types of information to build upon, and, most importantly, interest us to learn and be curious.
Here are the books I found worth reading or rereading this year, hopefully, one book, if not all of these books will change your 2020 for the better. It’s a mix of personal development, business, biography, and a novel.
10. The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho
The book’s central theme is about finding one’s destiny, although according to The New York Times, The Alchemist is “more self-help than literature.” The advice is given Santiago that “when you want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true” is the core of the novel’s philosophy and a motif that plays throughout it.[wikipedia]
09. Start With Why — Simon Sinek
The book starts with a comparison of the two main ways to influence human behaviour: manipulation and inspiration. Sinek argues that motivation is the more powerful and sustainable of the two.[wikipedia]
08. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future — Ashlee Vance
Published in 2015. The book traces Elon Musk’s life from his childhood up to the time he spent at Zip2 and PayPal, and then onto SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. In the book, Ashlee Vance managed to get regular interviews with Musk, those close to him, and those who were with him at the most critical points of his life; Musk had no control over the biography’s contents.[wikipedia]
A tremendous look into arguably the world’s most important entrepreneur. — Washington Post
07. Zero to One — Peter Thiel
A book by the American entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel co-written with Blake Masters. It is a condensed and updated version of a highly popular set of online notes taken by Masters for the CS183 class on startups taught by Thiel at Stanford University in Spring 2012. [wikipedia]
06. Rich Dad Poor Dad — Robert Kiyosaki, Sharon L. Lechter
A book was written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It advocates the importance of financial literacy (financial education), financial independence, and building wealth through investing in assets, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing one’s financial intelligence (financial IQ) to improve one’s business and financial aptitude. [wikipedia]
05. Ego Is the Enemy — Ryan Holiday
Having previously written about external obstacles in his book The Obstacle Is the Way, Holiday sought to answer questions about what to do when the biggest obstacle is internal. In the prologue of the book, Holiday explains how finding early successes led him to the realization that ego can cloud ambition and hinder personal and professional growth, particularly when accomplishments are tied to self-worth.[wikipedia]
04. The Power of Habit — Charles Duhigg
A book by Charles Duhigg, who is a New York Times reporter, published in February 2012 by Random House. It explores the science behind habit creation and reformation. [wikipedia]
03. How to Win Friends and Influence People — Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Over 15 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2011, it was number 19 on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential books.[wikipedia]
This book is my personal favorite; Carnegie’s techniques in handling people, winning people to your way of thinking are essential in everyday life.
02. Think and Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill
Written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 and promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. The author insists that his philosophy can help people succeed in any line of work, to do, and be anything they can imagine. First published during the Great Depression, the book had sold more than 20 million copies by the time of Hill’s death in 1970. By 2015, more than 100 million copies had been sold worldwide. [wikipedia]
01. 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People — Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen Covey. Covey presents an approach to being useful in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he gives as universal and timeless. [wikipedia]
I’ve found it to be helpful reading about something relevant you can apply directly into your life. I’ve noticed great results using what I learn when the knowledge received can be practiced directly.
So If you are struggling with going to the gym routinely, then read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and try to apply what you learn immediately.
“So many books, so little time.” ― Frank Zappa