Books to Read Now and Later

Books to Read Now and Later

I’ve “skinnied down” my listing of favorite books to recommend, with the intention of providing suggestions on books to prioritize first in each category, followed by books to consider when you’re ready to go deeper.

As I’ve written many times before, I love to read books and, if you’re here, you probably do as well…or you’d like to get more into the habit of reading.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer paperback books, hardcover books, audio books, or e-books; books are essential, because nothing compares to the deep learning and insights you can garner when you plunge into an extensive work of fiction or non-fiction by a talented writer.

Articles, videos, podcasts, and other shorter bursts of media are helpful and important as well, but they are a complement to books rather than a substitute. If you perceive that you don’t “have time” to read books, chances are you’re spending time on at least a couple of activities that don’t add a lot of value to your life. Once you identify such activities, you can transfer that energy to reading.

I find that most voracious readers enjoy getting recommendations from other readers. I’m asked quite often about my favorite books, and so I thought it would be helpful to list them all in one blog and categorize them; these categories align with my website’s overall blog categories. Since I’m constantly reading and discovering new titles, I update this post every one to two months; so please keep checking back and contact me with your book recommendations as well.

Advocacy, Allyship, Diversity, Equality, Feminism, & Inclusion

READ NOW

  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, We Should All Be Feminists
  • Sandberg, Sheryl, Lean In
  • Bader Ginsburg, Ruth, My Own Words (go see the movie On the Basis of Sex!)
  • Catlin, Karen, Better Allies
  • Wilkerson, Isabel, The Warmth of Other Suns
  • Orange, Tommy, There, There

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Kaplan, Mark, and Donovan, Mason, The Inclusion Dividend
  • Traister, Rebecca, Good and Mad
  • Cooper, Brittany, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
  • Oluo, Ijeoma, So You Want to Talk About Race?
  • DiAngelo, Robin, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • Downs, Alan, Velvet Rage
  • Baldwin, James, Giovanni’s Room
  • Angelou, Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (and pretty much everything else she wrote)

Career Growth, Leadership, and Strengths

READ NOW

  • Godin, Seth, This is Marketing
  • Pink, Daniel, A Whole New Mind
  • Covey, Stephen R., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Kogon, Kory Kogon, Merrill, Adam, and Rinne, Leena, The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity
  • Rath, Tom, Strengths-Based Leadership
  • Wiseman, Liz, Multipliers
  • Ferriss, Timothy, The 4-Hour Work Week

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Loehr, Jim, and Schwartz, Tony, The Power of Full Engagement
  • Brown, Brene’, Dare to Lead
  • Johnson, Whitney L., Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work
  • Duhigg, Charles, The Power of Habit
  • Myer, Pamela, The Agility Shift
  • Lapid-Bogda, Ginger, Bringing Out the Best in Yourself at Work: How to Use the Enneagram System for Success
  • Myers, Isabel Myers, and Myers, Peter B., Gifts Differing (a deep dive into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator/MBTI)
  • Brandon, Rick, and Seldman, Marty. Survival of the Savvy
  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  • Rohr, Richard, Falling Upward

Critical and Creative Thinking

READ NOW

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Harari, Yuval Noah, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
  • Harari, Yuval Noah, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  • Pinker, Steven, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
  • Tippett, Krista, Becoming Wise
  • Hallenbeck, George, Learning Agility
  • Martin, Roger, The Opposable Mind
  • Block, Peter, The Answer to How is Yes

Fiction That Illuminates Human Nature

READ NOW

  • Carver, Raymond, Where I’m Calling From: Selected Stories
  • Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • King, Stephen, The Stand
  • Rowling, JK, Harry Potter series
  • Hemingway, Ernest, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Orwell, George, 1984 and Animal Farm
  • Salinger, JD, The Catcher in the Rye
  • Puzo, Mario, The Godfather
  • Kerouac, Jack, On the Road

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Morrison, Toni, Beloved
  • Doerr, Anthony, All the Light We Cannot See
  • Steinbeck, John, East of Eden
  • Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Marquez, Gabriel-Garcia, 100 Years of Solitude
  • Wroblewski, David, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Hesse, Herman, Siddhartha
  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations

Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence

READ NOW

  • Campbell, Joseph, with Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth
  • Tan, Chade-Meng, Search Inside Yourself
  • Riso, Don Richard, The Wisdom of the Enneagram
  • Travis, and Greaves, Jean, Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  • Landaw, Jonathan, Bodian, Stephan, and Buhnemann, Gudrun, Buddhism for Dummies
  • Frankl, Viktor, Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Manson, Mark, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
  • Tolle, Eckhart, The Power of Now and A New Earth
  • Armstrong, Karen, 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life
  • Campbell, Joseph, Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion
  • Smith, Huston, The World’s Religions

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Zinn, Jon-Kabat, Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, The Miracle of Mindfulness
  • Spira, Rupert, Being Aware of Being Aware
  • Brach, Tara, Radical Acceptance
  • Kapleau, Philip, The Three Pillars of Zen
  • Suzuki, Shunryu, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Writers and Writing

READ NOW

  • Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer
  • King, Stephen, On Writing
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • Lencek, Lena, and Brunello, Pero, How to Write Like Chekhov
  • Hemingway, Ernest, Ernest Hemingway on Writing

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GO DEEPER

  • Pressfield, Steven, The War of Art
  • Moore, Dinty W., The Mindful Writer
  • O’Brien, Tim, The Things They Carried (a memoir by a Vietnam veteran; not a book on writing per  se, but the prose itself is worth several semesters of an MFA program!)

Demarco-cta-book-club-widowers