Got some time during lock-down? Don’t spend all of it on jigsaws or computer games, maybe read some of these so you’re ready when things start up again…….
Recommended reading list
Carlson, Richard, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Great list of ideas, easy to read on the toilet, and quite inspirational
Carnegie, Dale, How to Win Friends and Influence People, (Cedar).
Dated in places but still a classic. You’ve probably heard of it, but have you read it?
Cialdini, Robert, Influence
Real life experiments reveal the big six thought processes that influence us
Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Not as weird as much of his other work, this little book is the most brilliant summary of how life works.
Covey, Stephen R., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, (Simon & Schuster).
A well-structured analysis of how to improve your relationships with yourself and others, made clear by many excellent stories and examples.
Gallwey, W. Timothy, The Inner Game of Tennis, (Pan)
The book is about tennis and the human mind, and considers whether competition (beating other people) or mastery (the personal quest for improvement) can lead to satisfaction with tennis and with life in general.
Gawain, S., Creative Visualisation, (Bantam)
If you like things that are a little bit out there, this is the ultimate book on how to get the best out of your subconscious: the instructions are simple, clear and practical, yet amazing and powerful.
James, M. and Jongeward, D., Born to Win, (Addison-Wesley).
A readable and thorough guide to transactional analysis (how people interact and why) and full of great examples of psychological games players.
Jeffers, Susan, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, (Arrow)
This book is about more than just courage; it’s still the best classic ‘self help’ book that I’ve read. It covers much more than fear, it’s just a great summary of what you need to be successful at whatever you do. The part about having clear goals for your life definitely changed my life, because I did write them down and they did all happen, and I’ve been adding to my list of goals ever since.
Kushner, Harold, When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough, (Pan).
The subtitle is “The search for a life that matters” and this book really does deliver some tangible answers.
Kushner, Harold, When bad things happen to good people
Life changing book about how to cope with grief.
Lyubomirsky, Sonja, The How of Happiness
Well structured and practical – surely the best happiness book
McCormack, Mark, What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School, (Fontana).
Full of practical advice for anyone starting out as a manager.
MacKenzie, Gordon, Orbiting The Giant Hairball, (OpusPocus)
A description of how the author managed to avoid being sucked into the bureacracy and the accepted way of doing things (“the hairball”) and keep his originally and spirit. Possibly the most weirdly made and beautiful book I’ve ever seen…
Mistry, Rohinton, A Fine Balance
A novel about several families in India, this isn’t the kind of thing I normally read, or the kind of thing you’d find on a list like this, but…. This incredible novel has haunted me ever since I read it, making me think about how lucky I am in my life, and how strong people can be in their suffering. I hope it’s made me stronger in the small challenges I face, and maybe more compassionate about the suffering of other people. Wow what a book.
Morgan, Marlo, Mutant Message Down Under
This is a book about finding your role in life, your purpose, what you can contribute to a team, and it’s wonderful.
Nicholson, John, How Do You Manage?, (BBC)
Originally went with an equally good TV series on management, but still remains the best book I have found as a general introduction to all areas of management. Includes, teams, motivation, problem solving, negotiating, and self-development with plenty of useful checklists.
Oncken, W., Managing Management Time: Who’s Got The Monkey?, (Prentice Hall).
From the originator of the monkey concept for delegating, this book is both amusing and shrewd. It deals with the politics of delegation and power within organisations, including tactics for handling difficult employees, slippery colleagues and demanding bosses.
Pease, Allan & Barbara, Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps, (PTI)
Better than “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” (John Gray) because it is funnier, better written, and covers more ground, this book explains how both sexes can contribute their strengths and get the best from each other without misunderstandings. Useful at work and at home.
Peck, M. Scott, The Road Less Travelled, (Hutchinson).
This was the first book to come to mind when asked about books that have influenced my thinking. This list is in alphabetical order, but this one is TOP. What’s so great about it? It’s a strange, wide-ranging book, which talks about everything being connected, sources of happiness, and how one thing is the cause of all our problems. Not the easiest read, but there’s something about this book that fascinates me. Somehow it encompasses evolution, religion, the ultimate sin (read the book and find out what it is and why), and how to live a better life. PS: Further Along the RLT is also brilliant – get that as well!
Redfield, James, The Celestine Prophecy, (Bantam)
I hate to admit that this book changed my life, because it’s badly written, corny, and I don’t always even like the people who like it. But…. There’s some great stuff in here! As well as the insights (“Coincidences happen for a reason” is just one of the ideas that I think about every time one happens) the atmosphere of searching for an answer, and the idea that there might be a higher purpose to all our lives, this has stayed with me since reading the book, and I’m still thinking about it twenty years later.
Rubin, Gretchen, The Happiness Project
Great that she tries all sorts of things and judges them – just what I would do!
Senge, Peter, The Fifth Discipline, (Century).
A fascinating book about organisations and how they learn, and how we are all victims of the structure within which we operate – only by changing the underlying structure can we make progress.
Simpson, Joe, Touching The Void
One of only two novels here, this book is so inspiring that I think it’s a must read for anyone. Worried about a scary boss? Read this! Worried about cold calling? Read this!
Smith, Hyrum, The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management
My favourite time management book, but can be hard to find nowadays.
Tracy, Brian, Maximum Achievement
He’s the boss, in my view. His audio series The Psychology of Achievement totally changed my life, I owe him pretty much everything.
For more information on happiness and success in your career, check out my Life Skills Collection