Seventeen Reading Courses Organised by Topic / Cause




Welcome everyone

I have put together a list of recommended books that I hope inspires you in some way. I wasted many years not reading that frequently, but at the age of 32 I was lucky to be given the advice (direction) by a great leader, Roger Philby, to read more. Doing so transformed my life, and so here I am passing on the same great advice.


I have divided the books into reading courses, designed for a particular cause and/or purpose. Some books appear in more than one course, such is their brilliance and ubiquity!

I often get asked if I have actually read all of these books, and my answer is “yes, and this is only half of them!” Having created this list four years post committing to reading at least one book a week, I’ve only listed the books I could remember (I give most books away once I’ve read them), and those I believe are truly remarkable. If you don’t think it’s possible to read at such a rate, I recommend Ryan Holiday’s article about reading (I also recommend signing up to his reading list email).


So, good luck in your reading, I hope you find something you love. I‘d love to hear how you get on, and I’m happy to create your own reading list if you have a specific challenge/ idea you’re working on. If you’d like to receive my latest recommended books, subscribe here and/or you can email me here!

Take care and blessings,

Benjamin


Reading Course 1 Improving the Human Spirit

Reading Course 2 Building Community

Reading Course 3 Building Responsible Organisations

Reading Course 4 Global Development, Geopolitics, and Socieconomics

Reading Course 5 Capitalism and Markets

Reading Course 6 Poverty

Reading Course 7 Entrepreneurship: Creating Organisations

Reading Course 8 Leading, Managing and Coaching in Organisations

Reading Course 9 Building Great Habits / Ways to Live

Reading Course 10 Physical Health

Reading Course 11 Psychology: Anxiety and Depression

Reading Course 12 Relationships

Reading Course 13 Fascinating Stories (including fiction), Autobiographies, Biographies

Reading Course 14 Faith

Reading Course 15 Stoic Philosophy (and a few other philosophy books)

Reading Course 17 Sales

The Non-Reading Course Books I believe are quite dangerous and/or counterproductive

Reading Course 1

Improving the Human Spirit

The goal of this course

To be present. To find and live with a mindset of personal peace; where you focus on showing up the world consciously, authentically, sincerely, curiously, compassionately, and committed to collaboration not competition.

Click here to head back to the index

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Sebastian Junger

A wartime reporter, straight, but deeply empathetic orator, this book is stunning. It is a book about why men miss the war, why Londoners missed the Blitz, and what we can all learn from American Indian captives who refused to go home. In a wealthy society, people don't need to cooperate with one another, so they often lead much lonelier lives that lead to psychological distress.

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, often cited as Rome's greatest emperor wrote this as his diary, i.e. it wasn’t written to impress! Yet it is full of wisdom centered on Stoic philosophy. I believe stoicism has major limitations, however, there is enough value for us all to live a more content, peaceful and courageous life. A stunning, beautiful, and wise book. (Note, there are many different printed versions and formats of this book. The link I attached above is by far the best version I have listed - even if I have to reluctantly list amazon!

The Power of Now, Practicing the Power of Now, Stillness Speaks, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle will be marmite to many readers, though almost every person I know that has become a student of his work, has been transformed, some to the point of becoming a truly new person. His goal is to bring us back to who we really are; that is, fully present. We achieve this by freeing ourselves of our ego. In my experience, it is an astounding book series that transformed my life. I recommend beginning with the Power of Now. Then I recommend getting the audio version of Practicing the Power of Now, and listening to it as frequently as you can until you really are becoming more present. You may then be all Eckharted out! If you are, come back to Stillness Speaks and A New Earth at a later date. I’m not saying it isn’t without flaws. The New Earth in particular had moments I didn’t agree with, such as the Zen Master not holding people doing bad things to account, but the principles remain powerful and beautiful.

Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

The first book my wife gifted me, and is one of the most gorgeous and compassionate books I’ve ever read. Ten stunning letters from the great poet, Rilke, to a young writer struggling to find their way. Rilke’s letters are gracious notes of guidance, helping us find patience when shrouded in self-doubt. A book especially great for creatives.

Dibs in Search of Self, Virginia Axline

One of the most gorgeous books I have ever read, that set the precedent and standard for attachment theory and child development. It tells the heartfelt story of one little boy and his journey through childhood life up to his mid-teens, and also an insight into psychotherapy.

Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper

A book I believe will be relevant for all of time. It beautifully constructs a rich case for the need for leisure in a (Western) world that is so obsessed with productivity. Having lived in London, been part of the rat race (and other such cheap cliches :), I found myself deeply revolted by my own self in wallowing and wasting time at the expense of community and purpose. This book inspired me to do the opposite.

Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change, Prof. Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan

The best book I have read on understanding the brilliance and total dysfunction on humanity. It is the most compelling and empowering model I have come across. A mostly unknown gem. I recommend first reading the short 50-page summary: Emergence Volume 1 by Rosemary Wilkie.

The Incerto Series, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I believe Nassim’s five-book series to be one the most brilliant of the past several decades; an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. I recommend you start with Nassim's website which is poetically sprawling. You can also see the 61 books he recommends here. I also recommend delving into his Medium page. The books do work well read in order, but in this section I suggest reading the third, fourth and fifth books in the series (the others appear in other courses).

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is the category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

Skin in the Game, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line. Citizens, artisans, police, fishermen, and entrepreneurs all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, many academics, bankers and most journalists don't. It's all about having something to lose and sharing risks with others.

The Bed of Procrustes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs, representating Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, inventing diseases to sell drugs, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics & Religion, Jonathan Haidt

A great book that decodes why there is such vitriol and anger in the world, and how we can build civil understanding and discourse.

Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, Viktor E Frankl

A revered book looking at the ease at which human beings can be led to so easily unearth their evil. Compelling, deeply humbling, and truly remarkable. Viktor Frankl was a prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the second world war. And thus it was his experience that meant he was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience.

Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

Seneca's letters are a profound and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind, from one of the most insightful philosophers of Roman literature. A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature.

On Living and Dying Well, Cierco

Cicero's philosophies were frequently personal and ethical, drawn not from abstract reasoning but through careful observation of the world. The resulting works remind us of the importance of social ties, the questions of free will, and the justification of any creative endeavor.

What Are People For?, Wendell Berry

A collection of 22 groundbreaking essays-offering both sound advice and deep concern for America's future. Addressing topics ranging from consumerism to literary subjects and waste management, Berry gracefully navigates his way through many of the key issues in contemporary culture. But despite the somber nature of his essays, Berry also provides an underlying sense of faith and hope, shedding light into an otherwise bleak reality.

Dancing in the Street: A History of Collective Joy, Barbara Ehrenreich

A fascinating study and exploration of the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. From the earliest orgiastic Mesopotamian rites to the medieval practice of Christianity as a "danced religion" and the transgressive freedoms of carnival, Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrates that mass festivities have long been central to the Western tradition

A Bigger Prize: Why no one wins unless everyone wins, Margaret Heffernan

This is a dense and endlessly rich book, full of remarkable examples that holds one key truth: competition within teams and organisations regularly produces just want we don't want. A good place to start as a teaser is Margaret's highly entertaining TED Talk.

Thinking Fast & Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Being a missionary for several activist causes, this astounding book taught me so much about bias and equality, helping me to reframe how I think, and critically, how I judge how others think. Great for anyone working on or interested in diversity and building fairer communities. (As a humorous and poignant side note, I once attended an evening hearing Michael Lewis talk about his writing, including his book about Daniel Kahneman. He said when he first met him, Kahneman answered the door, flustered and angry. He said he had thrown his current book in the bin as it was "terrible - a waste of time." That book was Thinking Fast and Slow, now, one of the biggest selling and most cited books of a generation!)

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Marshall B.Rosenberg

What is Violent Communication? Communicating in ways that result in hurt or harm; judging others, having bias, blaming, finger-pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who's "good/bad" or what's "right/wrong" with people. A remarkable book that continues to transform lives.

The Road Less Travelled, M.Scott Peck

The (hilarious) part of the book that details that people own dogs so they can have someone who obeys them is worth the purchase! Scott Peck eloquently explores how the ery avoidance of confronting and solving problems results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. He covers the nature of loving relationships: how to recognise true compatibility, how to distinguish dependency from love; and how to be a more sensitive parent.

A Calendar of Wisdom, Leo Tolstoy

There isn’t much you can say about Tolstoy other than to reflect his genius! Here he presents a book of gems. Over the last fifteen years of his life, Tolstoy collected and published the maxims of some of the world's greatest masters of philosophy, religion and literature, adding his own contributions to various questions that preoccupied him in old age, such as faith and existence, as well as matters of everyday life.

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Jaron Lanier

This also appears in the Socioeconomic reading course, but I list here as simply I see a barrier to a healthy spirit (and indeed to reading!) is social media.This is a remarkable and critical book, written without dogma, and by someone who is a world-famous Silicon Valley scientist-pioneer and 'high-tech genius'. Please hand it to the kids!

Walden, Henry Thoreau

If you are longing for serenity, this book is a perennial gem. In his own words: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Inspiring, brilliantly written, cantankerous and funny.

Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung

A great introduction to the theories such as our need for a God and the mechanics of dream analysis. One of his most famous books, it perfectly captures the feelings of confusion that many sense today. Generation X might be a recent concept, but Jung spotted its forerunner over half a century ago.

Radical Acceptance: Embrace your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach

I first came to Tara on the Tim Ferriss show and. I really recommend her podcast series centred on both meditation and talks of spreading compassion in the world and to ourselves. For those that are hard on ourselves, carry shame and pain of the past, this book really could help you. I know it did for me and loved ones I have gifted the book to.

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, Melodie Beattie

Many of us are codependent, without knowing, As one of those people, this book was truly life changing. It has been the healing touchstone of millions, holding the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

This Is It: And Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience, Alan Watts

I can find Alan Watts’ work both dense and meandering to the point I can get lost. I have picked this book out as it is my favourite of his works on the relationship between mystical experience and everyday life. I remain sceptical about a lot of what he writes, but I keep great admiration for his skill and humour at making Eastern ideas. I also recommend Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek

The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis's dazzling allegory about heaven and hell - and the chasm fixed between them - is one of his most brilliantly imaginative tales, as he takes issue with the ideas in William Blake's `The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'. In a dream, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, from the disgruntled, ghostly inhabitants of Hell to the angels and souls who dwell on the plains of Heaven.

Discourses and Selected Writings, Epictetus

Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with God and nature.

The Analects, Confucious

This is one of the most influential books in human history. China's first and greatest teacher, Confucius traveled from state to state as an itinerant philosopher. The Analects preserves his major teachings, as compiled by his disciples after his death - everything from how people should relate to each other.

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition, Wendell Berry

This book is full of illumination on the subject of science, that in the words of one review is a scathing assessment that shows Wilson's much-celebrated, controversial plea in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to science.


Reading Course 2

Building Community

The goal of this course

How we can build great communities, whether that be in the places we live or work.

Click here to head back to the index

The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, John McKnight and Peter Block

This is a glorious truth; that we need our neighbors and community to stay healthy, produce jobs, raise our children, and care for those on the margin. Institutions and professional services have reached their limit of their ability to help us. The consumer society tells us that we are insufficient and that we must purchase what we need from specialists and systems outside the community. We have become consumers and clients, not citizens and neighbors.

The Careless Society: Community and its Counterfeits, John McKnight

John McKnight is one of the most sincere and intelligent thinkers on community. I adore his work. Here he shows how the experts best efforts to rebuild and revitalize communities can actually destroy them and celebrates the ability of neighborhoods to heal from within.

Skin in the Game, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line. Citizens, artisans, police, fishermen, and entrepreneurs all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, many academics, bankers and most journalists don't. It's all about having something to lose and sharing risks with others.

The Answer to How is Yes. Acting on What Matters, Peter Block

This book tears into how modern culture’s worship of “how-to” pragmatism has turned us into instruments of efficiency and commerce—but we’re doing more and more about things that mean less and less.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Marshall B.Rosenberg

What is Violent Communication? Communicating in ways that result in hurt or harm; judging others, having bias, blaming, finger-pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who's "good/bad" or what's "right/wrong" with people. A remarkable book that continues to transform lives.

Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities, Geroge L.Kelling and Catherine M.Coles

Many leaders use the metaphor of ‘fixing the small things to avoid big failures’, which is based upon the groundbreaking theory of crime prevention, this practical and empowering book shows how citizens, business owners, and police can work together to ensure the safety of their communities. Here, Kelling and urban anthropologist and lawyer Catherine Coles demonstrate that by controlling disorderly behavior in public spaces, we can create an environment where serious crime cannot flourish, and they explain how to adapt these effective methods for use in our own homes and communities.

Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper

This book constructs a rich case for the need for leisure in a (Western) world that is so obsessed with productivity. Having lived in London, been part of the rat race (and other such riches :), I found myself deeply revolted by my own self in wallowing and wasting time at the expense of community and purpose. This book inspired me to do the opposite.

A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World, Daniel Goleman

I bought this book on a day in London, where apathy was ripe! It could be easy to look at the Dalia Lama’s view as wishful thinking, However, I believe that is a heretical mistake. This book proves that the Dalia Lama is a man in total touch with modern science, neoliberalism and beyond, and provides a highly applicable action to build a more sincere and kind world.

A Bigger Prize: Why no one wins unless everyone wins, Margaret Heffernan

This dense and rich book, presents that competition within teams and organisations regularly produces just want we don't want. A good place to start is Margaret's highly entertaining TED Talk. Like the talk, Margaret writes with deeply sincere authority. A deeply authentic person that has walked the walk as CEO and leader of many organisations. A poignant place for any leader to begin.

Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success, Adam Grant

Adam Grant explains why helping others as a 'disagreeable giver' is the best way to show up in the world. When you dominate others, or allow yourself to be a doormat, your personal and organisational success will underwhelm. Disagreeable givers give without being trampled on.

The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics & Religion, Jonathan Haidt

A great book that decodes why there is such vitriol and anger in the world, and how we can build civil understanding and discourse.

How Much is Enough? Edward Skidelsky, Robert Skidelsky

The authors argue that wealth is not - or should not be - an end in itself, but a means to 'the good life'. Tracing the concept from Aristotle to the present, they show how far modern life has strayed from that ideal. They reject the idea that there is any single measure of human progress, whether GDP or 'happiness', and instead describe the seven elements which, they argue, make up the good life, and the policies that could realize them.


Reading Course 3

Building Responsible Organisations

The goal of this course

How we can build responsible organisations; those that earn a profit without causing harm to others, and instead, promoting the health of the people and the environment

Click here to head back to the index

Connect: How companies succeed by engaging radically with society, John Browne

I picked up the book having been repulsed by a lot of what I was seeing working for a big blue chip. It articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation. If you’re interested in CSR, this one’s for you!

Beyond Measure: The big impact of small changes, Margaret Heffernan

This tiny book is packed with wisdom, covering topics such as creative conflict; social capital; smashing barriers; and having leaders everywhere. As with all of Margaret Heffernan's writing, it is wise, witty, and immensely tangible. This can be read in a long-lunch break and I frequently go back to it.

Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a radical Way to Make a Difference, William Macaskill

William makes claims such as the fact that fair trade does very little to help the poorest farmers, that boycotting sweatshops might make things worse for the global poor and that people who pursue high-income careers such as plastic surgeons or wall street bankers could do more good than charity workers.

Good Profit: How creating value for others built one of the world's most successful companies, Charles G.Koch

The story of Koch Industries, that explores that makes this company so profitable is what Charles G.Koch coins, "good profit" which is is driven by products and services that improve people's lives. It results from a culture where employees are empowered to be entrepreneurial and customer-focused.

The New Prophets of Capital, Nicole Aschoff

Nicole explores innovative thinkers and doers of recent times (published in 2015). Ironically, just a few years on (2019), the subjects used include Sheryl Sanberg, who is now embroiled in many Facebook scandals) and Wholefoods, since sold to Amazon. This perhaps only makes the book even more compelling to read!

Reading Course 4

Global Development, Geopolitics, and Socioecomics

The goal of this course

Quite a meandering course that looks back to history through to today. Really it’s a course in opening ourselves to what on earth is going on, well, earth! Here you will learn a wealth of insights regarding global development,geopolitics, and socioeconomics.

Click here to head back to the index

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari

A wonderful trilogy of books from a man with a huge heart (I found it brilliant to see Yuval speak after having read his books - he was more animated than I anticipated!) Sapiens: Explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Home Deus: As Homo sapiens becomes Homo deus, what new destinies will we set for ourselves? 21 Lessons: Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created.

Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa, Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa is a true contrarian and helped shape a higher level of skepticism in my thinking. Dead Aid reveals why millions are actually poorer because of aid, unable to escape corruption and reduced, in the western world’s eyes, to a childlike state of beggary. Over the past fifty years, $1 trillion of development aid has flowed from Western governments to Africa, with rock stars and actors campaigning for more. But this has not helped Africa. It has ruined it. Dead Aid shows us another way.

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, William Easterly

I was glued to this incredibly dense and challenging read. William Easterly, traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing not only how these tactics have trampled the individual freedom of the world's poor, but how in doing so have suppressed a vital debate about an alternative approach to solving poverty: freedom.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda, Philip Gourevitch

Having had the pleasure of being in Rwanda several times between in 2013 and 209, it now seems impossible to imagine the state of the country less than two decades before. This remarkable book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994 when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Hans Rosling

From the now late and beautiful soul that was Hans Rosling, this book provides an empirically rich explanation as to why we have made incredible progress in overcoming some of the world’s biggest problems. I do believe we have to read with caution, for it does not consider that whilst physical poverty, for example, is declining around the world, spiritual poverty is rife. However, that is perhaps rightly for other books to explain. I also recommend his TED Talks as well. He is a brilliantly entertaining presenter.

The Palestine-Israeli Conflict: A Beginner's Guide, Dan Cohn-Sherbok & Dawoud El-Alami

A that sees two academics with opposing views, respectfully present each side of the argument. A conflict any person paying attention to world affairs will hear of, yet often knows little about. This book provides a clear and robust overview of both the history and current day situation.

Who Rules the World?, Naom Chomsky

As with all Chomsky books, a provocative and meandering book. Noam discerns between what our leaders tell us, and what actually happens. Really, it is a book on hypocrisy, centred on Noam’s very consistent anarchist position.

The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics & Religion, Jonathan Haidt

A great book that decodes why there is such vitriol and anger in the world, and how we can build civil understanding and discourse.

Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There, Rutger Bregman

A humorous (but serious) book, that presents that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilisation - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. A really good read that only touches the surface, and should lead you to research deeper.

On Anarchism, Naom Chomsky

It was reading this succinct book that opened my (naive) eyes to the truth that anarchism as it is stereotypically known, is not what it really is. Whilst is has become to be portrayed as people with dreadlocks tying themselves to trees and shops, Naom, an anarchist himself, points out that it is first and foremost a radical scepticism about structures of domination, authority and hierarchy throughout human life, from the patriarchal family to imperialism.

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.. It has gone on to be heavily criticized, and so it's also worth reading the counter-arguments.

The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana, Peter Hitchens

I found this book to be deeply insightful, adoring for its uncompromising prose. I find Peter Hitchens compelling for many reasons, so whilst I did not agree with everything here, this book wonderfully navigates recent British history and has a lot to say for the failings of modern world.


Reading Course 5

Capitalism and Markets

The goal of this course

To explore capitalism; the arguments for it, the arguments against it, and what should be done about it.

Click here to head back to the index

Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman is perhaps the most cited author on liberalism. I began reading his work having watched his emphatic ability as a speaker (as a side note here, look how civilised and constructive this debate is between Milton - a right of center neo-liberal, and the activist students. It puts the level of discourse in today’s politics to shame). I recommend reading the wikipedia overview of the book.

Saving Capitalism, For the Many Not the Few, Robert Reich

I enjoyed this book, especially for its pragmatic, reasoned and non-vitriolic tone, written by a true gentleman, Robert Reich, who served in three US administrations. In the 1950s his father sold clothes to factory workers and the family earnt enough to live comfortably. Today, this middle class is rapidly shrinking: He shows the threat to capitalism is no longer communism or fascism but a steady undermining of the trust modern societies need for growth and stability.

The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable than it was.

Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This book is about luck–or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck. Against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of trading–it provides a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives.

How Much is Enough?, Edward Skidelsky, Robert Skidelsky

The authors argue that wealth is not - or should not be - an end in itself, but a means to 'the good life'. Tracing the concept from Aristotle to the present, they show how far modern life has strayed from that ideal. They reject the idea that there is any single measure of human progress, whether GDP or 'happiness', and instead describe the seven elements which, they argue, make up the good life, and the policies that could realize them.

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and global order, Naom Chomsky

One of my favourite Naom Choksky’s books. In 2019, this book is now twenty years old, and it is clear Naom was calling out the flaws of neoliberalism long before the financial crash of 2008 and other such policy failings. Even if you believe in neoliberalism, there are important lessons and insights in here, especially the tyranny of the few that enacts policies that vastly increase personal wealth.

The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics & Religion, Jonathan Haidt

A great book that decodes why there is such vitriol and anger in the world, and how we can build civil understanding and discourse.


Reading Course 6

Poverty

The goal of this course

Understand the dynamics of poverty, common biases that are not true, how we can fix it, and why it’s all our own interests (even if that’s a selfish interest) for no person to be poor.

Click here to head back to the index

The New Poverty, Stephen Armstrong

I found the book to be motivating and painful in equal measure. My mum was a cleaner when I was a child, and worked too many hours for too little pay. The evidence is clear; we need restoration for how we distribute wealth.

The Roles We Play, ATD Fourthworld

A charity that is close to my heart published this stunning book that merits a place on any coffee table (in my humble opinion!) Stories of poverty, told by those in poverty. Simply beautiful.

How Much is Enough?, Edward Skidelsky, Robert Skidelsky

The authors argue that wealth is not - or should not be - an end in itself, but a means to 'the good life'. Tracing the concept from Aristotle to the present, they show how far modern life has strayed from that ideal. They reject the idea that there is any single measure of human progress, whether GDP or 'happiness', and instead describe the seven elements which, they argue, make up the good life, and the policies that could realize them.

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, William Easterly

I was glued to this incredibly dense and challenging read. William Easterly, traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing not only how these tactics have trampled the individual freedom of the world's poor, but how in doing so have suppressed a vital debate about an alternative approach to solving poverty: freedom.

The Righteous Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics & Religion, Jonathan Haidt

A great book that decodes why there is such vitriol and anger in the world, and how we can build civil understanding and discourse.

Reading Course 7

Entrepreneurship: Creating Organisations

The goal of this course

For those people at the start of creating an organisation, whether that be for profit or nonprofit. These books cover most of what needs to be considered prior to formation (i.e. should you even start an organisation), through to those first couple of years. I highly recommended also paying attention to reading courses eight, nine, and ten as well!

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Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, Ryan Holiday

This book is divided into three parts, and the first section asks you to really focus on what on earth it is you intend to build. Does it even need to be built? Is it clear what you are trying to build? Having studied marketing at University (which I found to be a waste of time) I would exchange ten textbooks for this 200-odd page gem. If you're looking for a succinct, punchy, and applicable 'how to' build a brand/company/blog/et al, this is the best I have ever read. You may just wish to read the first two sections and come back to the third section (actually marketing) once you have decided to press ahead.

The Answer to How is Yes. Acting on What Matters, Peter Block

This book tears into how modern culture’s worship of “how-to” pragmatism has turned us into instruments of efficiency and commerce—but we’re doing more and more about things that mean less and less. A good place to start, especially is ensuring you’re building somethingof worth.

Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think, Luke Johnson

I went back to this post having started a couple of organisations, and whilst in that moment I found the book to be a little basic, it was ideal at the very early stages of being a founder, which is the whole point and genius of this book! So for any person thinking of running their own organisation, this book is a great place to start. I would then go on to read The Answer to How is Yes, The Lean Startup, Zero to One, A More Beautiful Question, and the Four Hour Workweek.

Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

I believe this book is a masterpiece, ideal for any person wishing to be part of creating a positive change in the world. Succinct enough to read in a few hours, I adore both its simplicity, not being verbose (a rarity for business books), and packed with brilliant models and contrarian perspectives.

Strengths Finder, Gallup

Having worked for a great psychomerics company, I am relatively well versed in the use of psychometrics in many contexts. Strengths Finder is a 101 of who you are, and although limited, is a glorious insight into your personal DNA, explaining the ways you most naturally think, feel and behave. I advise any person take this to ensure the venture you’re considering embarking upon, or are currently within, plays to your strengths. If it’s not, it will be a long or impossible road. It’s also really useful to understand potential new hires and your current team.

Confessions of an Entrepreneur: The Highs and Lows of Starting Up, Chris Robson

No-one ever tells you what it really feels like to be an entrepreneur. What you actually have to go through when you chase ambitions and fortunes. This book is the best I have read (as a side note, The Hard Things About Hard Things is often cited as the go-t0 book, but I must prefer this). This is a book about the emotional issues that other business books ignore the sacrifices you make, the struggle to choose and work with the right partner(s), the strain of uncertainty and potential failure.

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries

Most new businesses fail, but many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. I have applied the principles in almost every facet of my work, using the simple principle of testing an idea for as cheap as possible, learn from it, and decide to persevere or pivot. Simply, it provides engineers thinking for a holistic like me. What I particularly love is that it avoids jargon, keeps it succinct, and is accessible for any personality type.

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich, Timothy Ferriss

Teachers have a tough role: They must draw upon an endless library; distill the most poignant info; and form a simple and compelling lesson that captures their student’s imagination. And I believe there are few better teachers than Tim — the master of finding tools of titans. This book has helped millions become more efficient, effective & happier, living a fuller, kinder, and vagabonding lifestyle. I also recommend Tim's podcast.

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture, Ben Horowitz

I couldn’t put this one down. My favourite book that directly addresses culture. I recommend this be read by all readers and entrepreneurs to guide understanding what culture is, how to build it, navigate it, and overcome it when it goes awry.

Powers of Two: The essence of innovation in creative pairs, Joshua Wold Shenk

It is easy for a huge Beatles fan like me)to love a book which has a through line of John Lennon and Paul McCartney! However, beyond such fanboy fanatical behaviour, this is a gem of a book. If you work in a partnership Joshua takes you through an in-depth and articulate deconstruction of what makes partnerships thrive (and sometimes die). He lays out that our richest art and science come from collaboration: we need one another not only for love, but also for thinking and imagining and growing and being.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity into Advantage, Ryan Holiday

A modern book that applies ancient philosophy, especially that of the Stoics. This book is perfect for any person, working and living in a modern world, who gives up too easily. The three-part structure of the book is really powerful, and reading this book (as with all Ryan’s book) led me to simplify my life, be more courageous, and led me to reading more widely.

Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change,Prof. Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan

The best book I have read on understanding the brilliance and total dysfunction on humanity. It is the most compelling and empowering model I have ever used, and when I tech it in an organization context it goes down a storm, most of all because it transforms how people communicate and collaborate. I recommend first reading the short 50-page summary: Emergence Volume 1 by Rosemary Wilkie.

A Bigger Prize: Why no one wins unless everyone wins, Margaret Heffernan

This is a dense and endlessly rich book, full of remarkable examples that holds one key truth: competition within teams and organisations regularly produces just want we don't want. A good place to start as a teaser is Margaret's highly entertaining TED Talk.

Beyond Measure: The big impact of small changes, Margaret Heffernan

This tiny book is packed with wisdom, covering topics such as creative conflict; social capital; smashing barriers; and having leaders everywhere. As with all of Margaret Heffernan's writing, it is wise, witty, and immensely tangible. This can be read in a long-lunch break and I frequently go back to it.

The Science of Storytelling, Will Stor

Whilst I am yet to find what is the perfect book on storytelling, this is the best of a deep pile I have scoured through. I enjoyed how the Will deconstructed storytelling, demonstrating how master storytellers can compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr. Men. The book is rooted in solid research and neuroscience, as well as myths and archetypes. Pretty cool.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

I have read a lot of books on 'asking great questions' and this is by far the most interesting, and refreshingly, it hasn't been designed to achieve a selfish /self-indulgent end goal (I find books such as Influence by Robert B. Cialdini to be unpalatable.) Warren Berger shows that to get the best answer in life, we have to ask the best possible question. He rather poetically evidences that we learn to question well in infancy and abandon as we grow older.

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

This book is especially great for any person starting something with a big vision, especially those looking to crowd found of crowdsourcing/crowdfunding. I really love the energy of Peter Diamandis. The book provides a radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions. But even if you have smaller sights, this is still a worthy book to pick parts from.

The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer Conversation, Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

This book became a classic, and I actually worked for a company that had membership to the company that founded the Challenger Sales (CEB). This gave me access to their seminars, consulting, and various training. In short, I do not believe it should be taken as gospel. It has limitations, some of the language I find hard to stomach (for its lack of sincerity), but there is still something worthy of reading, notably, use insights to teach people things. I believe readers must also read the second book, The Challenger Customer, to get a fuller and more accurate picture. And final word to the wise, having trained well over one-thousand salespeople, being a relationship builder, in the evidence I have gathered, IS still the most important thing (something this book doesn’t profess.)

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million , Mark Roberge

The best book I have read on creating a sales process, providing a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Readers will learn how to apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy became very famous for her TED Talk, of which the content of “fake it until you become it.” which has been subsequently ‘debunked’. Ironically, I have actually trained her teaching to over one hundred people that suffer from social anxiety and confidence, and it has worked almost every time! A really great book for those that wish to build more confidence in moments that matter such as presenting and interviewing.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any AudienceCarmine Gallo

Carmine has also written Talk Like Ted, but I found this book to be even better. He has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs's performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets that anyone can master. You'll learn how to take charge of a room, create an inspiring brand story, deliver unforgettable moments-and do it powerfully, effortlessly, and effectively.

Reading Course 8

Leading, Managing, and Coaching

The goal of this course

For those people in any organisation no matter how small or large, and finding themselves leading, managing, or coaching (most of us do all three, even if in a small way!)

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Give and Take: Why helping others drives our success, Adam Grant

Adam Grant deconstructs why when you dominate others, or allow yourself to be a doormat, your personal and organisational success will underwhelm. Whereas if we cultivate giving in a genuine and well-thought out manner, we will see greater fulfilment and success.

Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Great Component, Ryan Holiday

This book is by no means an extensive look at the deeper spiritual level of ego (for this you should read The Power of Now), rather, it looks at the archetypical definition of ego that we see in the workplace and world around us - and that’s why this book is so good. It speaks to a level of the ego we’re having to deal with on a daily basis, whether in ourselves or from others.

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the box, The Arbinger Institute

As the synopsis outlines; you might think you are a people person. But are you really having the right effect on those around you? Are you actually undermining success for your yourself - and others? Don't focus on what others are doing wrong. Do focus on what you can do to help.

Humble Inquiry: The gentle art of asking instead of telling, Edgar H.Schein

Edgar H.Schein is a great man. His writing oozes kindness, compassion and dedication to creating a less violent, more collaborative way. I turned to this book when really struggling with the way my friend and I were communicating having started an organisation together. It is a short book with one really clear message: don't assume bad of people, ask before you assume, be humble, and have more fruitful and compassionate communication. You will likely need to go deeper than just this book - for which I recommend Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

Helping: How to offer, give and receive help, Edgar H.Schein

Complementing his book, Humble Inquiry this is another breezy and short book that digs into why helping can be so passive aggressive, difficult, confusing, frustrating and alike.

The Relationship Edge: The key to strategic influence and selling success, Jerry Acuff with Wally Wood

This is a very 'sales led' book though the principle of the relationship pyramid I believe to be relevant for all people in all organisations. As opposed to the rather crass books about building relationships via "influence" (that are really ultimately about control and even manipulation), this book centres on sincerity and being genuine. An easy read with some nice models.

More Magic of Metaphor: Stories for Leaders, Influencers and Motivators and Spiral Dynamics Wizards, Nick Owen

Whether you lead in business, education, coaching, sports, health, parenting, or any other context this book offers insights into the many aspects of this complex, fascinating, and demanding role that we are all, from time to time, called upon to fulfil. Containing over sixty stories from a wide range of traditions and eras, the book explores them in the context of two great contemporary models for understanding ourselves and others with deeper awareness and compassion.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever Michael Bunguy Stanier

Simply the most direct, powerful and brilliant model to coach people I have read. It offers a short, simple, and highly effective 7-step coaching method. Having used it (in principle) with several hundred people, I know it works. Personally, I always adapt the model slightly depending on the individual an/or company culture, it gets you 80 percent of the way there.

The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown, Daniel Coyle

A wonderful book drawing on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured. I found this book really encouraging, and have used Daniel Coyle's writing to encourage myself and others to realise how the wiring of our brains can be transformed by the way we approach particular tasks and how "apparently unremarkable people suddenly make a major leap forward." It's especially good at explaining why some teaching methods are so much more effective than others. .

The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World That Values Sameness, Todd Rose

Todd shows how there is no such thing as average - even seat belt fittings. Taken in the wrong way, this could look like further emancipation of the individual from the group, or worse), the community (which in my opinion would be a travesty on the already great tragedy of the death of community.) But the underlying point that there is no such thing as average is perfectly humanitarian in my view i.e. stop treating people, and especially young people as though they must all learn, do and be at the same pace. The evidence of this book should be just further proof of how naive the education system is.

The Captain Class: The Hidden Force Behind the World’s Greatest Teams, Sam Walker

Personally, I see this book's message as more of a powerful metaphor, which is, groups need a solid role model at their heart to pull a great team together (the actual goal of the book is to say it has been the captain that has made truly great teams, contrary to the belief that great teams have been because of star payers and/or managers.)

Tribes: We need you to lead us, Seth Godin

As with all Seth's books that I have read (four to date), this reads as more of a presentation of ideas. If you're looking for tight structure and standard prose, this may frustrate you! In the early 2010s, "tribes" became one of those buzz words. But don't let that put you off. This book is highly motivational and provides a number of sound ideas and inspiring points as to how we can lead. And the key is to start small. As Kevin Kelly said, aim for 1,000 true fans (this article will be a forever classic, I am confident of it!)

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

I have read a lot of books on 'asking great questions' and this is by far the most interesting, and refreshingly, it hasn't been designed to achieve a selfish /self-indulgent end goal (I find books such as Influence by Robert B. Cialdini to be unpalatable.) Warren Berger shows that to get the best answer in life, we have to ask the best possible question. He rather poetically evidences that we learn to question well in infancy and abandon as we grow older.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy became very famous for her TED Talk, of which the content of “fake it until you become it.” which has been subsequently ‘debunked’. Ironically, I have actually trained her teaching to over one hundred people that suffer from social anxiety and confidence, and it has worked almost every time! A really great book for those that wish to build more confidence in moments that matter such as presenting and interviewing.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any AudienceCarmine Gallo

Carmine has also written Talk Like Ted, but I found this book to be even better. He has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs's performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets that anyone can master. You'll learn how to take charge of a room, create an inspiring brand story, deliver unforgettable moments-and do it powerfully, effortlessly, and effectively.

Reading Course 9

Building Great Habits / Ways to Live

The goal of this course

Simply, how to build good habits to be at greater peace (see reading course 1), be more effective, be more efficient, and more time to do the good things in life!

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Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Happy Life, Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

What a beautiful book. Even for those that have read a lot of books about shaping the good life, this will feel refreshing. Hector and Francesc tell a wonderful story that aside from making us desire moving to Japan, provides a lovely framework to live your life by. They show how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nurture friendships and throw yourself into your passions. Bring meaning and joy to your every day with ikigai.

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance, Josh Waitzkin

Before you read this one, I recommend you begin by listening to his interview with Tim Ferriss (both of them... episode one, episode two) for Josh is a beautiful soul. An incredible story of being a famous young chess genius and then a world champion martial arts competitor.

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be, Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall is the master of simplifying broad concepts into concise, powerful and practical models for self-improvement. This book is all about building better habits and giving you the tools to hold yourself to account. It is also a great management tool.

Napoleon Hill is On the Air! The Five Foundations for Success, Napoleon Hill

Whilst much of the writing is very dated (and some of the language a little hard to stomach given it was written in 1953), there are some really nice bits of advice in here that may serve you well. His classic is Think and Grow Rich if you're interested, though that title is a little too contrived for my preference :)

The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do how to change, Charles Duhigg

A highly cited, highly revered classic that breaks down the science of habit. It's full of great anecdotes and scientific studies, that will enable you to see why it is you, your loved ones, and the organisations you care about struggle to change.

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying, Marie Kundo

Even as a life-long freak his book inspired me to strip down to even fewer essentials. Marie Kundo has o the most gentle and sincere presence. I also recommend the prelude to this book, the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising.


Reading Course 10

Physical Health

The goal of this course

Wisdom as to how we build good physical and mental health. Not all books will be relevant to everybody, so you’ll likely dip in and out of this one.

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The 4-Hour Body, Timothy Ferriss

As with his brilliant 4-hour Workweek book, this provides a shortcut to being slimmer, stronger, and healthier. It’s a big book, but in 90 minutes of reading (the rest is supplementary), if applied, you will reach monumental health goals.

The Immune System Recovery Plan, Susan Blum

This book is overtly targeted at people with an Auto-Immune condition (something that is way more common than I appreciated), but it’s really a book for everyone.

How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease, Michael Gregor

Of course, the book title is brilliant. You will need to look beyond the unrelenting campaign for a vegan diet (which is too heavily laboured and a little unbalanced in my opinion), this is a brilliant book.

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams, Matthew Walker

Why We Sleep delves into everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the phenomenon that safeguards our existence.


Reading Course 11

Psychology: Anxiety and Depression, Meditation

The goal of this course

Duty of care upfront, I have no authority to advise what books you should read for mental health or anything synonymous. What I have done here is simply list books I have personally found helpful to myself and my loved ones. I have subsided the section as follows:

Anxiety / Lack Self Belief / Depression

Classics on Psychology

Finding Peace and Meditation

Relationships

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1.Anxiety / Lack of Self Belief / Depression

The Power of Now, Practicing the Power of Now, Stillness Speaks, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle will be marmite to many readers, thought almost every person I know that has become a student of his work, has been transformed, some to the point of becoming a truly new person. HIs goal is to bring us back to who we really are; that is, fully present. We acheiev this by freeing ourselves of our ego. In my experience, it is an astounding book series that transformed my life. I recommend beginning with the The Power of Now. Then I recommend getting the audio version of Practicing the Power of Now, and listening to it as frequently as you can until you really are becoming more present. You may then be all Eckharted out! If you are, come back to Stillness Speaks and A New Earth at a later date.

Radical Acceptance: Embrace your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach

I first came to Tara on the Tim Ferriss show and. I really recommend her podcast series centred on both meditation and talks of spreading compassion in the world and to ourselves. For those that are hard on ourselves, carry shame and pain of the past, this book really could help you. I know it did for me and loved ones I have gifted the book to.

Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

The first book my wife gifted me, and is one of the most gorgeous and compassionate books I’ve ever read. Ten stunning letters from the great poet, Rilke, to a young writer struggling to find their way. Rilke’s letters are gracious notes of guidance, helping us find patience when shrouded in self-doubt. A book especially great for creatives.

Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, Viktor E Frankl

A revered book looking at the ease at which human beings can be led to so easily unearth their evil. Compelling, deeply humbling, and truly remarkable. Viktor Frankl was a prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the second world war. And thus it was his experience that meant he was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience.

The Road Less Travelled, M.Scott Peck

The (hilarious) part of the book that details that people own dogs so they can have someone who obeys them is worth the purchase! Scott Peck eloquently explores how the ery avoidance of confronting and solving problems results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. He covers the nature of loving relationships: how to recognise true compatibility, how to distinguish dependency from love; and how to be a more sensitive parent.

2.Classics on Psychology / the Human Condition

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, Eric Berne

This is actually the second book after Eric Berne’s groundbreaking book, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy: A Systematic Individual and Social Psychiatry. I recommend both. We play games all the time; relationship games; power games with our bosses and competitive games with our friends. In this book, he reveals the secret ploys and manoeuvres that rule our lives and how to combat them. Truly remarkable and immediately helped all relationships in my life!

What Are People For?, Wendell Berry

A collection of 22 groundbreaking essays-offering both sound advice and deep concern for America's future. Addressing topics ranging from consumerism to literary subjects and waste management, Berry gracefully navigates his way through many of the key issues in contemporary culture. But despite the somber nature of his essays, Berry also provides an underlying sense of faith and hope, shedding light into an otherwise bleak reality.

Dancing in the Street: A History of Collective Joy, Barbara Ehrenreich

A fascinating study and exploration of the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. From the earliest orgiastic Mesopotamian rites to the medieval practice of Christianity as a "danced religion" and the transgressive freedoms of carnival, Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrates that mass festivities have long been central to the Western tradition.

Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper

A book I believe will be relevant for all of time. It beautifully constructs a rich case for the need for leisure in a (Western) world that is so obsessed with productivity. Having lived in London, been part of the rat race (and other such cheap cliches :), I found myself deeply revolted by my own self in wallowing and wasting time at the expense of community and purpose. This book inspired me to do the opposite.

Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung

A great introduction to the theories such as our need for a God and the mechanics of dream analysis. One of his most famous books, it perfectly captures the feelings of confusion that many sense today. Generation X might be a recent concept, but Jung spotted its forerunner over half a century ago.


Reading Course 12

Relationships

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, Melodie Beattie

Many of us are codependent, without knowing, As one of those people, this book was truly life changing. It has been the healing touchstone of millions, holding the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, Eric Berne

This is actually the second book after Eric Berne’s groundbreaking book, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy: A Systematic Individual and Social Psychiatry. I recommend both. We play games all the time; relationship games; power games with our bosses and competitive games with our friends. In this book, he reveals the secret ploys and manoeuvres that rule our lives and how to combat them. Truly remarkable and immediately helped all relationships in my life! Totally transformed all relationships I’d had challenges with!


Reading Course 13

Fascinating Stories (including fiction), Autobiographies, and Biographies

The goal of this course

Less of a course, and more of a collection of great and inspiring stories.

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

The first and best-known of Maya Angelou's extraordinary seven volumes of autobiography As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration.

Bartleby The Scrivener, Herman Melville

Regarded as a masterpiece (it really is), this short book took a hold of me and I read it in one sitting. A glorious, heartbreaking, humourous and wonderful story about a man called Bartlby who refuses to do most things, infuriating his colleagues.

Conspiracy: A True Story of Power, Sex, and a Billionaire's Secret Plot to Destroy a Media Empire, Ryan Holiday

A very different style of book compared to Ryan's other excellent books. Here he tells the captivating story of how one billionaire (Peter Thiel) took down a media empire or the current state of the free press Gawker). It's a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious - and successful - secret plots in recent memory.

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

The definitive 70th-anniversary edition of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, the world's most famous diary and 'one of the greatest books of the century'.

Outliers + Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell

I am only two books into Malcolm Gladwell’s books, but enjoyed both thoroughly. His writing is so interesting, vivid, plot-twisting, often contrarian, and just breezy; the types of books that are hard to put down. I would say check out the list of all his books here and then either start from the beginning (I wished I had - and will do) or pick one that seems to stand out to you. I think Talking to Strangers is particularly pertinent for today’s world. Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell feels like an important book for our time. As with all of Malcolm’s writing, it’s unpredictable, articulate, and quite spellbinding. Covers a lot of ground that brings one central argument; we are really REALLY bad at understanding strangers, and as a result, society falls apart, at least in pockets and critical moments. I am not sure of what the outcomes of this book will be, and it feels like there could be a second part to this. But either way, a great book.

Seneca, A Life, Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson presents Seneca as a man under enormous pressure, struggling for compromise in a world of absolutism. The Greatest Empire offers us the portrait of a life lived perilously in the gap between between what we aspire to be and what we are.

Walden, Henry Thoreau

If you long for serenity, or wish to be ‘more with nature’ this book is a perennial gem (as a side note, I also recommend exploring the work of Mac McCarney)

Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela

The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader. An endlessly insightful book that covers hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with clarity and eloquence of a born leader.

Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler

I expected this book to be difficult to read, but it surpassed even my fears. An evil book, but neccessary reading for those who seek to understand the Holocaust, for students of totalitarian psychology and for all who care to safeguard democracy.

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Walter Isaacson

This book is a beast, and I found it to be interesting throughout. It is so well researched (to the point I respect Walter Isacson’s perseverance!) A fascinating insight into the man, the mission. A wise read for any person interested in design and company culture.

A Life in Thirty-Five Boxes: How I Survived Selling My Record Collection, Dave Haslam

One for music fans and fans of collecting things. A tiny gem of a book, where former resident D of the legendary Hacienda club, Dave Haslam, investigates our impulse to collect, and the notion that every record collection reflects our life story.

Paul McCartney: The Biography, Philip Normal

Paul McCartney is my favourite musician of all time. But even if you’re a mild music fan, this is a wonderful portrait, that gives a unique insight into McCartney; A long-misunderstood genius and beautiful human being.

Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian

What a book! An incredible story sweeping in scope and packed with groundbreaking, behind the scenes behind-the-scenes details of the Shakespearean rise and epic fall of a global icon.

Oasis the Truth, Tony McCaroll

This one is probably only for true Oasis fans, written by Tony McCaroll who comes across as genuine, sincere, and really fun. Spoiler alert: he loves Liam and dislikes Noel!


Reading Course 14

Faith

The goal of this course

This is less of a course, and more a provision of quite beautiful books. To set my stall out: I have spent notable periods of my life as an atheist, agnostic, and with faith (such is the human condition!) And my personal belief is free-speech combined with empathy and tolerance towards others gives us the greatest chance of creating a just and fair world. And to have any chance of reasonable discourse, we need to take the time to understand someone else’s world with genuine curiosity. With over seventy percent of the world having faith, even if you are an atheist, understanding faith is a real gift. Not just that, many of the religious texts are full of wonderful literature. I hope you find something here of great value :)

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Start with the key books and/or a good summary

I am sure it would be a lot to ask people to read all the main religious texts, though it’s something I recommend. I am a long way for finishing the list below, but have set myself the challenge of reading one major religious text a year. I should be done by 2030! A short cut / starting point is to start with Huston Smith’s classic, The World’s Religions. This is a good link for an overview of each of the main texts as follows:

Buddhism, The Tipitaka

Christianity, The Bible

Hinduism, The Vedas and The Upanishads

Islam, The Quran and The Hadiths

Jainism, The Agamas

Judaism, The Tanakh and The Talmud

Shintoism, The Kojiki

Sikhism, The Guru Granth Sahib

Taoism, The Dao De Jing

Zoroastrianism, The Avesta

The remainder of the books in this list comprise of texts mostly centred on the Juedo-Christian faith. I have listed books in order of those that I believe would be most applicable to any person, whether of faith or of extreme atheism!

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to the True Christian Joy, Timothy Keller

In a post-enlightenment western world, Tim Keller identifies we are continuously told our problem is a lack of self... for if we only had more self-belief, self-actualisation, self-fulfilment, self-empowerment, then we’d be okay. Yet we have known since time memorial, and as Jesus taught, that this is an endless road that does the opposite of what it intends. Instead, we must not think less of ourselves, but rather, think of ourselves less. A glorious book that can be read in less than an hour.

A Calendar of Wisdom, Leo Tolstoy

There isn’t much you can say about Tolstoy other than to reflect his genius! Here he presents a book of gems. Over the last fifteen years of his life, Tolstoy collected and published the maxims of some of the world's greatest masters of philosophy, religion and literature, adding his own contributions to various questions that preoccupied him in old age, such as faith and existence, as well as matters of everyday life.

Sister Wendy on Prayer, Sister Wendy Beckett

The divine, wondrous, and gorgeous soul that was Sister Wendy. This book emboldens the reader to realise prayer is not something to be confused, sceptical, worried or intimidated by, but something of true beauty. Sister Wendy (who became famous for her brilliant TV art series -where she also became infamous for saying how lovely the ‘fluffy pubic hair’ was in a particular painting!), was dedicated to a life of prayer for more than half a century. She had always resisted writing a book on the subject for reasons of both humility and conviction that prayer is simple: thus books about prayer can be a dangerous distraction. Yet, when she does speak about prayer, often in response to the questions of ordinary people, she does so with an eloquence that speaks directly to her hearers in ways that make practical sense.

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

Most famous for the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis was also a prolific writer on Christianity. An incredible (and often humorous book) which he set out simply to 'explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times'. Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity's many denominations, 'Mere Christianity' provides an unequalled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to absorb a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.

Instrument of Thy Peace, Alan Paton

A short and really beautiful book that explores, line by line, the meaning of St. Francis' prayer for peace, often illuminating them with companion passages from the Bible.

The Celebration of Discipline,Richard Foster

Discipline, far from feeling like suppression, gives freedom! This book explores the 'classic disciplines' of Christian faith: the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study; the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission and service and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance and celebration.

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World, Richard J.Foster

A powerful manifesto that shows how simplicity is not merely having less stress and more leisure but an essential spiritual discipline for the health of our soul. Simplicity is easy to understand, and sometimes feels impossible to master, especially if you have been handed a big or challenging purpose in life.

The Reason for God: Belief in an age of scepticism, Timothy Keller

A worthy book for all, believers and absolute atheists. As the pastor of an inner-city church in New York City, Timothy Keller compiles a list of the most frequently voiced 'doubts' sceptics bring to his church, as well as the most important reasons for faith. He addresses each doubt and explains each reason.Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth.

The Joy of God: Collected Writings, Mary David,, Erik Varden, St Cecilia's Abbey

Sister Mary David Totah was a nun of the Benedictine contemplative community of St Cecilia's Abbey on the Isle of Wight. The spirituality to be found in this book demonstrates why her influence should have been so great and so deep. Her notes to the novices deal with issues of relevance to a world beyond the cloister: What is the meaning of suffering? How do we cope with living with people who annoy us? How do we relate to a God we cannot see? How do we make the big decisions of life?

The Kingdom of God is Within You, Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's magnum opus of philosophy and religious thought. The book is cited by Mahatma Gandhi as one of the chief influences in the development of his philosophy of non-violence. Tolstoy takes the reader to the heart of the message of Jesus Christ, laying aside the common dogmas of the church in favor of a literal understanding of Christ's teachings. This brings his philosophy to one of strict non-violence and a complete overhaul of the structures of modern society.

The Gospel in Brief: The Life of Jesus, Leo Tolstoy

What Leo Tolstoy sought to do in "The Gospel In Brief" was to apply his tremendous skills as a writer to tell the life of Jesus in one seamless narrative, thus integrating the four Gospels. The result is a work that reads like a novel, complete with twelve chapters.

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Marriage with the Wisdom of God, Timothy Keller

I read this book before getting married, and listened together with my wonderful wife-to-be before we wed, and it not only enabled us to become closer and understand one another more, it helped us do years of potentially passive work immediately. Co-authored with his wife, Kathy, and beginning with the biblical narrative, and its pictures of marriage that span the original ideal to the broken to the redemptive, he looks at themes of friendship and commitment; the completion of men and women in each other; singleness, sex and divorce; and ministry and discipleship within the context of marriage.

Loveology: God. Love. Marriage. Sex. And the Never-Ending Story of Male and Female, John Mark Comer

As John opens, in the beginning, God created Adam. Then he made Eve. And ever since we've been picking up the pieces. Loveology is a theology of love, starting with marriage and works backward. In a really hopeful, but totally brutal manner, it covers sexuality, romance, singleness, and what it means to be male and female; ending with a raw, uncut, anything goes Q and A dealing with the most asked questions about sexuality and relationships, for those who are tired of Hollywood's propaganda, and the church's silence. Read in conjunction with the Meaning of Marriage, you will be on a much more informed road to relationship success.

How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People, Pete Greig

Pete Greig has been teaching on prayer - and leading a non-stop prayer movement - for twenty years. Now, for the first time, he puts his life's work into a response to the question everybody ultimately asks: how do I pray? This down-to-earth introduction guides you deeper in your relationship with God, helping you to become more centred and still, clearer in discerning God's voice, more able to make sense of your disappointments and more expectant for miraculous breakthroughs too.

Encounters With Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions, Timothy Keller

What is my purpose in life? Who am I meant to be? How can I live a successful life? Why is there so much wrong with our world today? Am I part of the problem? What can I do to help change that? These are the big, seemingly unanswerable questions that everyone must ask and then answer in life. In Encounters With Jesus, New York Times-bestselling author and renowned pastor Timothy Keller explores Jesus' answers to life's biggest questions by showing what happened to those who met Jesus personally.

The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis's dazzling allegory about heaven and hell - and the chasm fixed between them - is one of his most brilliantly imaginative tales, as he takes issue with the ideas in William Blake's `The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'. In a dream, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, from the disgruntled, ghostly inhabitants of Hell to the angels and souls who dwell on the plains of Heaven.

Perseverance in Trials: Reflections on Job, Carlo Maria Martini

There is little that can ever prepare you in reading the book of Job for the first time. But it’s necessary reading, and reading I found to be immensely helpful, especially as a naturally anxious and searching person. This is a splendid book, short in length, but dense in message. When I wobble in my spirit, this book is a go to.

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?, Rick Warren

A renowned book, that is split into a forty-day study and focuses on self. It covers facing the difficult questions in life - Why am I here? What is my purpose? We have to find these answers somewhere and that somewhere should be with God and His purpose for you. Practical applications for your Christian walk are written in accessible and bite-size chunks for daily reading to take you on a journey as you discover what your purpose is in life.


Reading Course 15

Stoic Philosophy (and other philosophy books)

The goal of this course

Some important context here. The name of this course says it on the tin really. The header though is, I believe Stoic Philosophy to be one of the most brilliant philosophies for so many reasons. I do however believe it has limitations. You’ll make your own mind up, of course. For me, I still use almost all that it has taught me, and regard it as something that could create a better life for most people. Taking even this aside, the books I list here are just brilliant, perennial masterpieces.

I would actually recommend visiting Ryan Holiday’s Stoic Philosophy website. Ryan has become the most prolific modern-day writer on Stoic Philosophy. He has written a cool book on the topic, The Daily Stoic as well as his bestselling book, The Obstacle is the Way, being the best modern day interpretation I have read on Stoic Philosophy. He’s far more qualified than I to teach you about the topic, so you may wish to check out his site. I also recommend signing up for his reading list

Click here to head back to the index

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, often cited as Rome's greatest emperor wrote this as his diary, i.e. it wasn’t written to impress! Yet it is full of wisdom centered on Stoic philosophy. I believe stoicism has major limitations, however, there is enough value for us all to live a more content, peaceful and courageous life. A stunning, beautiful, and wise book. (Note, there are many different printed versions and formats of this book. The link I attached above is by far the best version I have listed - even if I have to reluctantly list amazon!

Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

Seneca's letters are a profound and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind, from one of the most insightful philosophers of Roman literature. A philosophy that saw self-possession as the key to an existence lived 'in accordance with nature.

Discourses and Selected Writings, Epictetus

Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with God and nature.

On Living and Dying Well, Cierco

Cicero's philosophies were frequently personal and ethical, drawn not from abstract reasoning but through careful observation of the world. The resulting works remind us of the importance of social ties, the questions of free will, and the justification of any creative endeavor.

Letters on Ethics: To Lucilius, Seneca

Letters on Ethics includes vivid descriptions of town and country life in Nero's Italy, discussions of poetry and oratory, and philosophical training for Seneca's friend Lucilius. Seneca uses the informal format of the letter to present the central ideas of Stoicism.

Dialogues and Letters, Seneca

This selection explores his thoughts on philosophy and the trials of life. In the Consolation to Helvia he strives to offer solace to his mother, following his exile in AD 41, while On the Shortness of Life and On Tranquillity of Mind are lucid and compelling explorations of Stoic thought.

The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

Ryan’s book provides a daily Stoic quote, with a small interpretation. The goal is to focus you each day. I personally don’t like daily quote books, mostly because I suffer from anxiety, and so if I miss a few days, I panic! So this format may or may not work for you. However, the book is absolutely brilliant, the quotes just glorious, and as with all of Ryan’s writing, the interpretations are really well done.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity into Advantage, Ryan Holiday

A modern book that applies ancient philosophy, especially that of the Stoics. This book is perfect for any person, working and living in a modern world, who gives up too easily. The three-part structure of the book is really powerful, and reading this book (as with all Ryan’s book) led me to simplify my life, be more courageous, and led me to reading more widely.

Other books on philosophy

This Is It: And Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience, Alan Watts

I can find Alan Watts’ work both dense and meandering to the point I can get lost. I have picked this book out as it is my favourite of his works on the relationship between mystical experience and everyday life. I remain sceptical about a lot of what he writes, but I keep great admiration for his skill and humour at making Eastern ideas. I also recommend Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek

What does it all mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy, Thomas Nagel

Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems-knowledge of the world beyond our minds, knowledge of other minds, the mind-body problem, free will, the basis of morality, right and wrong, the nature of death, the meaning of life, and the meaning of words.


Reading Course 16

Sales

The goal of this course

In my humble opinion, the best books for salespeople to read are the books across the other reading courses! The best salespeople in my experience are genuinely and deeply curious people (a topic I am drafting a short book I am working on!) This list however are those books that directly and obviously relay to ‘being a salesperson’ mostly covering the process and technical side of things.

My personal belief is, you do not need endless books on topics such as the psychology of selling, closing the sale, and influencing people. All the best salespeople I have been led by, worked with, sold to, and trained at our own company, Showing Up, are those that love what they do, care about their work, care for the people they sell to, ask great questions, listen well, and tell interesting stories. In short, they focus on virtues and principles as opposed to tectics and techniques. This said, many of these books still have some useful insights. I have divided the books under three categories.

The Sales and Marketing Process, and Building a Sales Culture

Presenting and Storytelling

Core Sales Skills

Click here to head back to the index

1.The Sales and Marketing Process, and Building a Sales Culture

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million, Mark Roberge

The best book I have read on creating a sales process, providing a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Readers will learn how to apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand.

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, Ryan Holiday

I love Ryan’s books. He cuts the fat, and roots his principles in lessons of the ancients, which he masterfully combines with refreshing modern insights born from his own skin in the game. Here he focuses on how one can create things that last. Having studied marketing at University (which I found to be a waste of time) I would exchange ten textbooks for this 200-odd page gem. If you're looking for a succinct, punchy, and applicable 'how to' build a brand/company/blog/et al, this is the best I have ever read.

Tribes: We need you to lead us, Seth Godin

As with all of Seth's books that I have read (four to date), this reads as more of a speech or presentation of ideas. In the early 2010s, "tribes" became one of those buzz words. But don't let that put you off. This book is highly motivational and provides a number of sound ideas and inspiring points as to how we can lead. And the key is to start small. As Kevin Kelly said, aim for 1,000 true fans (this article will be a forever classic, I am confident of it!)

What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture, Ben Horowitz

I couldn’t put this one down. My favourite book that directly addresses culture. I recommend this be read by all readers and entrepreneurs to guide understanding what culture is, how to build it, navigate it, and overcome it when it goes awry.

The Captain Class: The Hidden Force Behind the World’s Greatest Teams, Sam Walker

Personally, I see this book's message as more of a powerful metaphor, which is, groups need a solid role model at their heart to pull a great team together (the actual goal of the book is to say it has been the captain that has made truly great teams, contrary to the belief that great teams have been because of star payers and/or managers.)

2.Presenting and Storytelling

The Science of Storytelling, Will Stor

Whilst I am yet to find what is the perfect book on storytelling, this is the best of a deep pile I have scoured through. I enjoyed how the Will deconstructed storytelling, demonstrating how master storytellers can compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr. Men. The book is rooted in solid research and neuroscience, as well as myths and archetypes. Pretty cool.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any AudienceCarmine Gallo

Carmine has also written Talk Like Ted, but I found this book to be even better. He has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs's performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets that anyone can master. You'll learn how to take charge of a room, create an inspiring brand story, deliver unforgettable moments-and do it powerfully, effortlessly, and effectively.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy became very famous for her TED Talk, of which the content of “fake it until you become it.” which has been subsequently ‘debunked’. Ironically, I have actually trained her teaching to over one hundred people that suffer from social anxiety and confidence, and it has worked almost every time! A really great book for those that wish to build more confidence in moments that matter such as presenting and interviewing.

3.Core Sales Skills

The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer ConversationMatthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

This book became a classic, and I actually worked for a company that had membership to the company that founded the Challenger Sales (CEB). This gave me access to their seminars, consulting, and various training. In short, I do not believe it should be taken as gospel. It has limitations, some of the language I find hard to stomach (for its lack of sincerity), but there is still something worthy of reading, notably, use insights to teach people things. I believe readers must also read the second book, The Challenger Customer, to get a fuller and more accurate picture. And final word to the wise, having trained well over one-thousand salespeople, being a relationship builder, in the evidence I have gathered, IS still the most important thing (something this book doesn’t profess.)


A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger

I have read a lot of books on 'asking great questions' and this is by far the most interesting, and refreshingly, it hasn't been designed to achieve a selfish /self-indulgent end goal (I find books such as Influence by Robert B. Cialdini to be unpalatable.) Warren Berger shows that to get the best answer in life, we have to ask the best possible question. He rather poetically evidences that we learn to question well in infancy and abandon as we grow older.

The Relationship Edge: The key to strategic influence and selling success, Jerry Acuff with Wally Wood

This is a very 'sales led' book though the principle of the relationship pyramid I believe to be relevant for all people in all organisations. As opposed to the rather crass books about building relationships via "influence" (that are really ultimately about control and even manipulation), this book centres on sincerity and being genuine. An easy read with some nice models.


The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your SalesDan S. Kennedy

In the age of email and instant communication, great sales copy is indispensable to closing a deal. But too many sales letters end up in the junk file or the wastebasket. In this new edition of his top-selling book, author Dan Kennedy explains why some sales letters work and most don't. And he shows how to write copy that any business can use.


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