12 Books Guaranteed to Lead to Your Best Life & 1 That Will Fail You Utterly
Read more in 2016. Everyone’s resolution. Why? Because reading makes you smarter, wittier, more interesting, even prettier.
But wait, you’re already smart/witty/interesting/pretty enough? Okay, egotist. Go continue to be “perfect” and let the rest of us EGOTists (here for the ambition) get to work!
Books to Rule the Fortune 500
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
“Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do…Imagine that today is your final day of working for anyone other than yourself.”
This blueprint for microbusiness entrepreneurs makes you want to get started with your idea. Like right now. Thankfully it’s comprehensive enough that send you don’t go out unprepared. It’s perfect if you suffer from perfection paralysis like I do and Chris has plenty of success and failure stories to let you know you’re not alone in this.
Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Agrawal
“From now on, you will no longer feel envious of others who “have the perfect life” or intimidated by anyone trying to keep you from your perfect life. You will have the courage, clarity, and confidence to become authentic, empowered, and actualized – the best version of yourself you could ever imagine.”
Definitely one to permanently add to your shelf. Get ready because a fire’s igniting beneath you. Not just with starting your business but in work, in friendships, and in love. Miki’s writing style makes you feel like you’re right there hustling along with her. Racing to catch an entrepreneur cruise, befriending soccer playing scholars in London, opening a new restaurant without a test run. It’s an exciting race through an ambitious life that leaves you more than ready to keep up.
Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Zack
“Introverts, the overwhelmed, and the underconnected fail at traditional networking by following advice never intended for us in the first place.”
An amazing buy uncovered on the clearance table and a saving grace for everyone who finds networking to be the bane of their existence. Devora breaks down the traditional “rules of networking” and shows you how to flip them to play to the strengths of an introvert. Event cheats, preparation tips, conversation starters, this book is the perfect read for those of us who break out in a cold sweat in the midst of strangers.
Books to Win Your Oscar, Tony, and Emmy
The Body Speaks by Lorna Marshall
“Ironically, we all spend years learning how to be well-socialized, yet if we want to perform, we have to undo this process…The job of communicating via performance demands the ability to access and directly express the full range and depth of human feeling, not just the aspects that we are familiar and comfortable with in our daily lives.”
To perform honestly and be truly open, the actor must first break the patterns of socialization. Lorna explains how the body serves as the connector between the inner life and the outer life and how to be active, energized, and receptive in performance. The method definitely destroys some acting blocks and mental blocks by rediscovering the emotional and physical freedom we all experienced as young children.
The Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan
“You can never know what you are doing until you first know what you are doing it to. For the actor, all “doing” has to be done to something. The actor can do nothing without the target.”
Outward focus makes acting infinitely easier. Get out of your own head and turn your focus to your “target”. Declan shows how you can find everything you need in that something you direct your energy towards. Reframe the self-centered “I don’t know what I’m doing,” and fashion a performance based on active choices.
True and False by David Mamet
“Acting is not a genteel profession. Actors used to be buried at a crossroads with a stake through the heart. Those people’s performances so troubled the onlookers that they feared their ghosts…The players moved the audience such that…they feared for their soul. Now that seems to me something to aim for.”
This book gets you fired up about acting both as a technical skill and as an artistic outpouring of internal truths. And still finds space within its 127 pages to be a practical business guide. Quick, candid, sometimes inflammatory, but an absolute must read for any actor or director.
Books to Conquer Social Media
Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi*
“I believe the absolute best way to start a business today is not by launching a product, but by creating a system to attract and build an audience…This model is called Content Inc.”
A guide to how entrepreneurs build audiences and leverage new marketing techniques. Social media and digital marketing are no good without interesting, shareable content to catch attention. Learn some strategies whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or just solo operation.
Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
“With literally hundreds of millions of public blogs in existence, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I add one more?” Because you have something unique to say too! Someone out there is interested…”
Beautiful breakdown of blogging with bits on getting started, platforms, and beginning advice on getting paid to blog. Joy includes stories from a variety of different blogs to give you an idea of how her prescribed methods work in real life. Be prepared to start writing by the end of the book.
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki*
“The world will not beat a path to your door for an insanely great mousetrap. In fact, the greater the mousetrap, the more difficult it is to get people to embrace it because it is so different from what people are used to.”
Learn to flip haters to fans without resorting to cheap manipulation tactics. Learn how to build an audience of supporters. Create a likeable digital persona to become as “enchanting as Apple”.
Books to Make You a Conqueror
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy.”
One father’s examination of what it means to be Black and male in America. Brutally honest and ruthlessly candid. Hold a mirror up to yourself and your beliefs no matter what “race” you claim. A hard read emotionally but the enlightenment is worth the effort.
The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
“I saw it all – truly saw, as others did. Maybe more than they did, I don’t know. It is a moment I will hold in my heart forever: the return of something glorious. The reforging of something long broken. The rebirth of life itself. That evening I learned my father was dead.”
Second in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy and featuring gods, demons, and a blind female protagonist equal parts strength and vulnerability. In other words a woman written like an actual person. Examine the love, forgiveness, betrayal, sacrifice, what it means to protect. Devour the book in a day (or more when you have to put it down to calm your racing heart and feel all the things).
How to Walk in High Heels by Camilla Morton
“The girl’s guide for everything…For aspiring Cinderellas everywhere.”
Life-hacks that folks seem to forget to tell women as we’re growing up. Handle everything like the boss badass you are: buying a house, making an entrance, jetsetting, gardening with a green thumb, and (of course) walking in heels. Great guide especially if you feel like you don’t know how to girl.
The Book that Will Fail You Beyond Measure
UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn
No quotes, no summary, no link. Just know that 1. Nothing happens in this book and 2. This book made me angry enough to actually want to write to the author. Listen to me and skip it. *This book is still on my reading list.
Which books are on your reading list? Share in the comments down below.