My Favorite Books to Recommend, Updated April 2019

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My Favorite Books to Recommend, Updated April 2019

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

  • Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, We Should All Be Feminists
  • Kaplan, Mark, and Donovan, Mason, The Inclusion Dividend
  • Sandberg, Sheryl, Lean In
  • Bader Ginsburg, Ruth, My Own Words (go see the movie On the Basis of Sex!)
  • Obama, Michelle, Becoming
  • Catlin, Karen, Better Allies

Bias, Harassment, Intersectionality, Racism, & Sexism

  • 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
  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi, Between the World and Me
  • Wilkerson, Isabel, The Warmth of Other Suns
  • 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)
  • Blaisdell, Bob, ed., Great Speeches by Native Americans
  • Miles, Davis, Miles (an autobiography by the great jazz pioneer)
  • Orange, Tommy, There, There

Career Growth, Leadership, and Strengths

  • Brown, Brene’, Dare to Lead (I’m reading this right now)
  • Godin, Seth, This is Marketing (one of the most helpful books I’ve read in recent months)
  • Ferriss, Timothy, The 4-Hour Work Week
  • Aujla, Dev, 50 Ways to Get a Job
  • Johnson, Whitney L., Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work
  • Pink, Daniel, A Whole New Mind
  • Covey, Stephen R., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Wilber, Ken, Integral Life Practice
  • Palmer, Parker, Let Your Life Speak
  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  • Rohr, Richard, Falling Upward
  • Kogon, Kory Kogon, Merrill, Adam, and Rinne, Leena, The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary          Productivity
  • Duhigg, Charles, The Power of Habit
  • Myer, Pamela, The Agility Shift
  • Patterson, Kerry, Grenny, Joseph, and Maxfield, David, Influencer
  • Rath, Tom, Strengths-Based Leadership
  • 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
  • Loehr, Jim, and Schwartz, Tony, The Power of Full Engagement
  • Lapid-Bogda, Ginger, Bringing Out the Best in Yourself at Work: How to Use the Enneagram               System for Success
  • Wiseman, Liz, Multipliers

Compassion and Kindness

  • Armstrong, Karen, 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, Living Buddha, Living Christ
  • Block, Peter, Community
  • Campbell, Joseph, Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion

Critical and Creative Thinking

  • Harari, Yuval Noah, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (the best book I’ve read so far in 2019)
  • Harari, Yuval Noah, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  • Newport, Cal, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World  
  • Pinker, Steven, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
  • Tippett, Krista, Becoming Wise
  • Hallenbeck, George, Learning Agility
  • Gelb, Michael, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
  • Herrmann, Ned, and Herrmann-Nehdi, Ann, The Whole-Brain Business Book, Second Edition
  • Paul, Richard, and Elder, Linda, Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools
  • Martin, Roger, The Opposable Mind
  • Block, Peter, The Answer to How is Yes

Great fiction that will teach you a lot about life and human nature

  • Morrison, Toni, Beloved
  • Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Steinbeck, John, East of Eden
  • King, Stephen, The Stand
  • Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • 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
  • Doerr, Anthony, All the Light We Cannot See
  • Marquez, Gabriel-Garcia, 100 Years of Solitude
  • Puzo, Mario, The Godfather
  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations
  • Kerouac, Jack, On the Road
  • Orange, Tommy, There, There
  • Wroblewski, David, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Hesse, Herman, Siddhartha

Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence

  • 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, Peace Is Every Step
  • Spira, Rupert, Being Aware of Being Aware
  • Smith, Huston, The World’s Religions
  • Brach, Tara, Radical Acceptance
  • Tan, Chade-Meng, Search Inside Yourself
  • Manson, Mark, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
  • Bradberry, Travis, and Greaves, Jean, Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  • Chamine, Shirzad, Positive Intelligence
  • Moffitt, Phillip, Emotional Chaos to Clarity
  • Tolle, Eckhart, The Power of Now and A New Earth
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, The Miracle of Mindfulness
  • Frankl, Viktor, Man’s Search for Meaning
  • Suzuki, Shunryu, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
  • Riso, Don Richard, The Wisdom of the Enneagram
  • Becker, Ernest, The Denial of Death
  • Smith, Huston, The World’s Religions
  • Landaw, Jonathan, Bodian, Stephan, and Buhnemann, Gudrun, Buddhism for Dummies

Writers and Writing

  • 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
  • Gioia, Ted, How to Listen to Jazz
  • 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!)
  • Campbell, Joseph, with Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth
  • Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With a Thousand Faces