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24 books must read in your lifetime

People often comment on how I am always reading something new and frequently ask for my a good book recommendation. It might be the most com...

People often comment on how I am always reading something new and frequently ask for my a good book recommendation. It might be the most common (and most difficult) question I am posed so regularly. My absolute dream day is spent with 2-3 hours absorbing my latest book. Writing this post therefore is both enjoyable and very challenging! For me, and I don’t feel like I am exaggerating here, it’s like choosing between my children! Sadly I think I don’t have any other hobbies.

What I have here for you today is a curation of some of the books that have most impacted my life, changed me for the better and radically improved my quality of living. I feel sometimes like reading is cheating — I get to learn from everyone else and use their experiences to drastically better my life — my business, my relationships, my bank account and my overall sense of peace.

1. The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being In the Digital Era

by Amy Blankson

Overwhelmed by the flood of apps and information online? Discover how to navigate technology in a way that enhances your happiness. Amy Blankson, cofounder of the digital consulting firm GoodThink, reveals five strategies to thrive in the digital age. Start by using your power of choice to scan for the positive. Learn how to use technology as a sixth sense to better understand yourself and the world around you.

2. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (1949)

Okay, it’s the obvious one, but Nineteen Eighty-Four is a book that actually has changed the way we see and talk about the world around us. Big Brother, the Thought Police – Orwell was speculating, sure, but his vision of a totalitarian, panoptic, revisionist society is one that we can actually recognize. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, give it a shot: it’ll change the way you look at history books, for a start. Truth in the media? Think again.

3. Habits Of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey

A practical masterpiece with easy to follow instructions and guides.  Useful for both businesses and individuals.  Learn to “put first things first” and “begin with the end in mind”.  This book is a classic in management and leadership literature, and should be mandatory reading for anyone who is in a position of influence.

4. The Magic of Thinking Big

I read this when I was 15!

Greatest lesson: Anything is possible — it starts and ends with your thinking. There is no way I would have achieved what I have so far from the unstable, extremely humble, nomadic upbringing I had without learning and believing these principles. I adore the 1950s vantage point too. I got a few chuckles out of when re-reading this book recently — how success is defined by how I “can provide the best opportunities for my wife and children” and how it’s important “to treat my secretary with respect!”

5. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

 In the vein of "1984," Brave New World tells of a futuristic society where people are bred into different jobs and castes, family ties are eliminated, and complacency and consumption are encouraged. The government controls most of the world except for the "savage" territories, where people are left to their own devices. When one of those savages ventures into the government-controlled city of London, all hell breaks loose.

6. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes (1966)

More spoilers: Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled guy who works as a cleaner in a bakery, is plucked from his life and transformed by scientific experimentation into a genius, intellectually outperforming his ‘makers’ in all arenas, before it all backfires and he’s returned to his prior state. It’s SF, definitely, but more than that it’s a psychological study of human relations, frustration, desire, hope and disappointment: it’ll certainly make you think again about compassion and eugenics, and it’s just as affecting now as it was back in the sixties.

7. The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene – *I’ve Read It 15+ times

Anytime I start having a conversation about books I immediately recommend that someone reads this book.
Opening this book was the moment I realized all of the power and knowledge that books will truly bring to your life.
It goes through history and shows you how kings, queens, emperors and anyone who has ever been in power attained and kept their power.
It allows you to do what history does best…. learn from other people’s mistakes and moves.
48 laws of power book cover
The book consists of 48 different things you can apply to your life. (Obviously)
As you read the book you will realize you were missing this information your entire life.
I first read this book when I was in a super depressed time in my life.
So I was taking every single law and seeing where it had been used on me at some time and it made me feel like I had been abused by people who already knew the power this book held.
It made me recomb over every moment in my life and look at it using the laws.
I relived my life and every moment where I could have changed something using the law or a time I witnessed someone else use it. It was absolutely crazy.

8. The War of Art

Resistance stands between everything you have any everything you want.
Greatest lesson: Get busy. Work every single day toward your dream. Nothing else is more important and excuses mean nothing.
I am forcing myself to stop here. I would love your feedback and comments and you can easily hit reply or tweet me a question @susiemoore
What has been a life-changing book for you?

9. Activate Your Brain – Scott G. Halford

Despite all the scientific breakthroughs made in recent decades, we still don’t fully understand the human brain. We have, however, discovered some important elements of neuroscience! Backed by research, helpful examples and exercises, Activate Your Brain shows you how to use what we know about brains to make the best use of your gray matter, be more mindful, and feel more fulfilled.

10. The 4 Hour Work Week

Never think about work the same way again.
Greatest lesson: Creative decisions and actions allow you to experience the richest life available and reject the traditional 9-5. You’ll question everything about why your conventional career is valuable and receive highly practical information to live your life by design in an online driven, connected, opportunity rich world.

11. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program

Thousands of years prove it, and Western science backs it: Meditation sharpens focus. Meditation lowers blood pressure, relieves chronic pain, reduces stress. Meditation helps us experience greater calm. Meditation connects us to our inner-most feelings and challenges our habits of self-judgment. Meditation helps protect  the brain against aging and improves our capacity for learning new things. Meditation opens the door to real and accessible happiness.

12. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie

This is the self-help czar’s somewhat lesser-known treatise on, what else? Nixing the worry in your life so you can know, do, and be better. Carnegie outlines clearly why worrying is so awful for you and offers tools that you can use to cut it out. In typical Dale style, there are also plenty of anecdotes to support his recommendations, including those from Carnegie himself. Until he did a little digging for the secrets to living better, he considered himself to be ”one of the unhappiest lads in New York” due to excessive worrying. This book is the manifestation of long, hard efforts to quitting it for good.

13. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – 4 Reads

This book taught me the power of actually networking with people and building the right team.
The power of finding my life purpose and understanding the direction I am going in, in order to shift my dreams into a reality.
He helps you set goals and know exactly what you want and where you want to be.
Napoleon Hill spent his whole life studying and talking to the worlds most successful people to find out what they all did to become so successful.
He takes all of those principles and combines them into this book and well as the Master Key System To Riches.
I love his personality and the way he talks.
It may be old… but the principles will be true until the end of time.
If you don’t want to read the book, you can watch this video and learn an enormous amount.

14. How To Win Friends and Influence People

People matter most in this world.
Greatest lesson: You succeed when you make it about others. Ask questions. Listen. Use people’s names. Be encouraging and optimistic and sincerely praise the people in your life. They will love you for it and you are both better for the experience. This has been invaluable in my sales career.

15. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book taught me the basics of money.
It’s really cool because Robert Kiyosaki uses the perfect example of 2 different kinds of fathers.
First he has his normal hard working dad who believed in working for the rest of your life after getting educated. The first dad didn’t know much about money, so he couldn’t really grow his money.
His second dad, his best friend’s dad, was a rich man who understood money very well.
He taught him and his friend how to make money work for you and where to invest it.
It teaches you what liabilities are and how to make your money make money.
Even if you aren’t too ‘big’ on caring about money right now, this book is fantastic, a must read and a super quick read.
I guarantee you it is one of the many books that will change your life.

16. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Read at 36. Made me understand that founders of companies have a unique magical ability and I should never let management, partners or anyone tell me too passionate on an idea, because it was these neurotic abilities that got me here in the first place. It helped me embrace my crazy side.

17. The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Everything you need to know about attracting anything into your life. A must-read.

18. How Will You Measure Your Life? – Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

If you’re wondering how to strike a balance between work and life demands, or lately, you’ve been asking yourself just what long-term happiness is made of, this is the book for you. As a leading business expert and cancer survivor, Clayton M. Christensen has a unique insight or two on how to lead a life that brings both professional success and genuine happiness. In How Will You Measure Your Life?, Christensen touches on everything from motivation and how you can harness it to picking a career strategy; how to strengthen relationships with loved ones, to how to craft a family culture.

19. The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it was expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. Another important work by Dumas, written prior to his work with Maquet, was the short novel "Georges"; this novel is of particular interest to scholars because Dumas reused many of the ideas and plot devices later in The Count of Monte Cristo.

The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. His plans have devastating consequences for both the innocent and the guilty. The book is a story of romance, loyalty, betrayal, vengeance, selfishness, and justice.

20. Mastery by Robert Greene – 5+ Reads

This book is absolutely amazing.
It taught me that any skill I wanted to learn in my life was completely learn-able.
It shows you how greats in history like Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Mozart and others became masters in their field.
The years of understanding and combining knowledge in other fields with their current base of knowledge to expand their ideas and grow their minds to become some of the greatest figures in the history of mankind.
It’s quite amazing.
What I really took away from it was that it truly does take the persistence, effort and dedication to get better at something.
It may seem like obvious information but when you see how they worked it’s a whole different ball game.
It let me know even more so that knowledge is power in all fields and knowledge will combine and intermingle with every other field to expand your intelligence in a different way.

21. The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business by Charles Duhigg

Duhigg is a pulitzer prize winning business reporter for the New York Times, his book focuses on the science of habits and willpower, and how they can respectively be changed or controlled. He argues that the key to exercising regularly, being more productive and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Research shows willpower is the greatest correlate to future success, and that willpower is taught through habits. Habits are not destiny, they can be ignored, changed or replaced. Duhigg's book concludes that if you're mindful of the logic behind your habits, and choose to be conscious of behaviors that are normally unconscious (where science shows your brain turns off), and premeditate your habit's triggers and rewards, you have the ability to change any habit.

22. How Will You Measure Your Life?  by Clayton M. Christensen 

An excellent blend of academia and morality, Dr. Christensen's book was born from his class at Harvard Business School, Building and Sustaining  a Successful Enterprise, where the class studies theories examining various facets of the job of general managers. Dr. Christensen writes that the theories state what causes things to happen, and why. The class applies a theory to a particular company, to see what the theory can tell them about the difficulties and opportunities that have emerged in a company. By doing this the students learn a sound theory explains "what has and will occur across the hierarchy of business: industries, corporations within those industries; in business units within those corporations; and in the teams within those business units," Christensen writes. On the last day of class, they take the theories one step further to investigate the most fundamental players in organizations: individuals. Rather than use businesses as case studies, the class uses themselves. Christensen was struck by how theories in the course enlighten issues in personal lives as in the companies they've studied. The theories state not what they hope to happen, but what they predict will happen to us as a result of different decisions and actions.

23. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The ultimate tale of three competitive brothers and a hopeless father involves love, hate, faith, nihilsm, despair and patricide. Dmitri, the sensualist, Vanya the rationalist, Alyosha the hero priest may be archetypes for pleasure, reason and faith but each character is much more than an allegorical symbol. An intense interrogation of God, human purpose and the nature of suffering, the book is hardly known for its jokes but Freud called it "the most magnificent novel ever written". Frankly, I'm with Anna Karenina, but this is the gold standard for fraternal fiction.

24. A Game of Thrones

 A Game of Thrones is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on August 1, 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award[2] and was nominated for both the 1997 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. In January 2011 the novel became a New York Times bestseller and reached #1 on the list in July 2011.

In the novel, recounting events from various points of view, Martin introduces the plot-lines of the noble houses of Westeros, the Wall, and the Targaryens. The novel has inspired several spin-off works, including several games. It is also the namesake and basis for the first season of Game of Thrones, an HBO television series that premiered in April 2011. A March 2013 paperback TV tie-in re-edition was also titled Game of Thrones, excluding the indefinite article "A".


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