This is my personal reading list. I wish I’d discovered these gems early on in my life because I would’ve had much more clarity in my life when I really needed some direction.
While all of the books are non-fiction, their sub-genres vary, from startup financing to interpersonal communication tips.
They changed the way I think and live, and I’m sure they’ll help anyone who reads them.
That’s because I’m extremely picky about the things I read. I hate wasting my time on badly written books that take hundreds of pages to get to the point, and when they do, it’s such an obvious one.
So I’ll spend days doing my due diligence- reading the Goodreads reviews, asking my LinkedIn connections to share their collection of favorites, and listening to the audio summaries on Blinkist to determine whether it’s worth my while.
In the end, I only go for the top-rated, indisputably premium picks.
How to Win Friends
This one helped me go from being a lonely bear on campus to becoming one of the most actively engaged kids who took a leading part in 5+ large student communities.
It was written by Dale Carnegie in 1936, but the insights it contains are relevant to this day (one would argue they’re timeless).
Read it to uncover the secrets of developing good relationships & influencing people without a pinch of force.
48 Laws of Power
If the previous book was about tapping into the altruistic tendancies of people, this one looks at the other, darker side.
It was written by John Greene in 1998.
Summarized in the 48 laws are the ugly realities of human nature that you can either be a victim of or learn to harness with preparation & tact.
A modern retelling of medieval politics, it’s essential reading for power-hungry leaders & entrepreneurs who are trying to climb their way to the top of the foodchain.
Success is purely about consistency. Building a stack of small but good habits eventually adds up & gives you exponential returns in the long run.
But maintaining a solid mindset & lifestyle is easier said than done. Thankfully, we have this amazing guide written by James Clear in 2018.
It’ll teach you how to keep up the good routines and eliminate any unproductive, or unhealthy habits that are hurting you silently.
The entire book flows effortlessly like butter from start to end; I finished it in one sitting during a layover at an airport.
Blue Ocean Strategy
Another must-read for aspiring brand leaders is this eye-opening book. It was the first one to coin the term “blue ocean.”
Almost every market today is a red ocean i.e. it’s noisy, saturated, and filled with disloyal customers who will need some hard convincing to switch from their established brands to your new product.
In such times, leaders must develop the unique ability to find, create, and capitalize on a “blue ocean” i.e. an uncontested market space where you can enjoy the first mover’s advantage.
This book is the go-to resource on how to go about differentiating yourself by using some basic principles of market positioning.
Read it to learn the art of standing out.
It was written in 2004 by Renée Mauborgne & W. Chan Kim.
Presentation Secrets of Jobs
Knowing how to sell your ideas is a survival skill. And Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.’s late founder, had mastered that technique.
Learn about his professional resentation techniques with rich examples & clear directions that you can apply at work or university.
This highly practical book was written by Carmine Gallo in 2009.
This is another great read on the art of public speaking.
It was written by the head of TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) himself, so it’s coming from the most reliable authorities.
In his 2016 debut, Chris Anderson dissects great TED speeches, explaining what goes into making an impactful public presentation.
So that’s the end of my personal reading list. I’ll keep coming back to update it every month as & when I stumble upon good books.
Have you already read any of my suggestions? Did you like them?
Based on my taste (as is evident from the above list), which book do you think would be a great addition to my virtual shelf?
Comment your reviews & suggestions below!