One of the ongoing projects I’ve pursued the past couple of years is to read 50 books a year – that’s about a book a week. I didn’t hit my target last year and I’m on target to only hit 40 this year. But I did read a lot of books from a wide range of topics: Christianity, craftsmanship, success, marketing, productivity and performance psychology, among others.
Some rocked my worldview, some were *meh and some were just downright boring – I only finished those so I could add them to the list.*
But for this post, I’ve curated a list of 17 books that made me go, Wow. I’m really, REALLY glad I read that.
And for your reading pleasure, I’ve categorized my book recommendations based into five categories based on what you can get out of the set of books because who wants to read about boring classifications like business, self-help, careers and biographies, anyways?
18 Books from the Past Two Years that Have Changed My Life for the Better
Craft your Dream Job
This is probably my favourite category of the five. Ever since I started working, I’ve been obsessed with figuring out what it takes to be a master of a craft. These four books have all changed my life and my thinking on what it takes to have a successful career.
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
Make Money (Mostly) Online
Despite my obsession with career craftsmanship, I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t think I’ll be sticking with a career for very long. TL;DR the corporate just doesn’t suit my temperament and my priorities and there is no real, long-term path for me but entrepreneurship. Here are three books that have helped me with this blog and with my online business experiment.
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
- Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson
- This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better by Neville Medhora
Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
If someone’s already done it, why should we reinvent the wheel? Don’t read biographies for the sake of trying to replicate their journey to the T; we all have our own path to walk. Rather, biographies are a great way to learn from other people’s mistakes, triumphs and life journeys in a sitting or two.
Build a Better Version of Yourself
I’m always looking for ways to improve and build Me 2.0. These books helped.
Learn About It Means to Be A Christian
It may seem off to include “religious” books in a list for a blog about success. But apart from the fact that I am a Christian, I believe that reading books about God or theology (the study of God) is a great exercise in learning how to think critically and to see things from a big perspective. And, particularly in the case of the last book, it helps to have an informed opinion on religious views as Christians (and Muslims!) are oftentimes misrepresented in the news.
- Radical by David Platt
- Radical Discipleship by Edmund Chan
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
- The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper
- Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
Invest In Yourself
With regards to buying and reading books, here’s a quote one of my favourite authors Ryan Holiday: “I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me I’d never let time or money or anything else prevent me from having it.”
Given, we’re students and we don’t exactly have a lot of spare cash lying around to buy books. But there are many, many ways to get a hold of great books for next to nothing. Cough The library cough
Finally, though these may not necessarily be the best books I’d ever read (though some are!), these are books that I will be reading and re-reading again some time in the future (love how redundant that was).
So pick a book, grab a cup of dark roast, and start changing your life.