As I read books, I catalog the interesting and impactful pieces. Here I’ve shared PDFs of my notes (phrases I’ve highlighted – not my summaries of those books) so you can grab a few takeaways. The notes are not a full summary, just what I found interesting. I will update this list as I read even more.
The books cover topics like: leadership, creativity and innovation, productivity, entrepreneurship, learning and development, mind and body, parenting, finances, and more.
I’ve also included links to Indiebound.org so you can purchase the book from and support an independent bookseller.
If you’re looking for a certain topic or keyword, I suggest using the ⌘+F or Ctrl+F to pull up a search bar for this page.
This is an idea taken from Derek Sivers.
50 case studies on individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less). Buy it.
The 4-Hour Workweek explains what a lifestyle entrepreneur is and why you should want to become one. It teaches you how to kill your job and design a life, the 80/20 rule and how it increases productivity, how to replace your dreams with goals, and more. Buy it.
A Mindful Nation – Tim Ryan
Ryan explores the scientific findings that support the beneficial effects of mindfulness and shares powerful stories from the field, showing how this simple practice is helping schoolchildren improve their ability to learn, veterans heal from trauma, and CEOs become more effective leaders. Ryan also provides practical tips for how to incorporate mindfulness into your life today. Buy it.
Anything you want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur – Derek Sivers
A manifesto and guidebook on how to become an entrepreneur and grow your own business. Buy it.
The book reveals how teams research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service, examining it from the perspective of clients, consumers, and other critical audiences. Buy it.
Slim shares the tools to have meaningful careers in this new world of work. She shows how to find the connections among diverse accomplishments, sell your story, and continually reinvent and relaunch your brand. buy it.
Born for this: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do – Chris Guillebeau
Practical advice and real-life examples on how to find or create your dream job. Buy it.
Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success – Matthew Syed
Using sports to learn about our own behavior and how to be great at anything. Buy it.
BrainChains: Discover your brain and unleash its full potential in a hyperconnected multitasking world – Theo Compernolle, MD, Phd
A great read for multi-tackers and those who wear many hats – learn how to increase productivity and get more our of our brains. The book is very heavily researched and digs into the science of it all. Buy it.
Learn how to best raise your children as their brain develops–and how to optimize its growth. Buy it.
Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To – Sian Beilock
The science of why we collapse under pressure and how we can overcome it.
Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All – Tom Kelley, David Kelley
The Kelley brothers share the principles and strategies and exercises to help us unlock our creativity.
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace, Peter Altschuler
Go behind the scenes at Pixar and learn from their meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made.
Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It – Mitch Joel
A survey of the ways technology has transformed how brands and businesses create, connect, and adapt to a shifting new landscape.
Crush It! : Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk
Crush It! explains exactly why your business should engage in the world of social media, and it tells you how to do it. Buy it.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown
A new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate through the power of vulnerability.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Malcolm Gladwell
Explore the power of the underdog in Malcolm Gladwell’s dazzling examination of success, motivation, and the role of adversity in shaping our lives.
Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity – Josh Linkner
A five part process that can transform your organization into a creativity machine–we need creativity at all levels of the organization. Buy it.
Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck – Jon Acuff
Amplify the four elements that all great careers have: relationships, skills, character, and hustle. Jon teaches you how to build a Career Savings Account. Buy it.
Alter tells us about the forces that shape our thoughts and actions – insights into why we think, feel and act the way we do. Buy it.
Interviews with the world’s richest people who don’t have college degrees – the skills, mentorship, network, and purpose you need to make it in the real world. buy it.
How to transition from corporate life to a business of your own. Are you ready to escape? Buy it.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown
Get the right things done – learn a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. Buy it.
Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination – Hugh MacLeod
“It has never been easier to make a great living doing what you love. But to make it happen, first you need an EVIL PLAN…Life is short.” -Hugh MacLeod Buy it.
The way to change your life is to pay attention to your feelings. This book has steps, plans, and example to help you access your feelings. Buy it.
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
Two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Buy it.
The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! – Josh Kaufman
Learn a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. Buy it.
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything – Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
“economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.” Buy it.
A step-by-step guide on how to build your business from the ground up, all without compromising the unique mindset and personal values that make you a freak in the first place. Buy it.
Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age – Steven Johnson
Envisions a new political movement that embraces the potential of peer networks to improve government, medicine, education and journalism, among others… Buy it.
Get Together – Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, Kai Elmer Sotto
A great guide to cultivating a community—people who come together over what they care about. Don’t fixate on what you can do for people (or what they can do for you). Instead, focus on what you can do with them.
Find and/or create new opportunities for wealth-building in any existing business, enterprise, or venture. Buy it.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In – Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton
Learn a proven strategy for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting angry-or getting taken. Buy it.
Learn how to treat money as a welcome guest, allowing it to come and go with respect and without resentment; understand and improve your money EQ; unpack the myth of scarcity; and embrace the process of giving money, not just receiving it. Buy it.
Buckworth imagines a world where corporate policies and practices rule on the home front, and Mom is most definitely in charge! Buy it.
The Innovator’s Cookbook: Essentials for Inventing What Is Next -Steven Johnson
A foundational text on the subject of innovation – essays, interviews, and cutting-edge insights by such exciting field leaders like Peter Drucker, Marisa Mayer, Jack Dorsey, etc. Buy it.
Learn the concepts of imagination, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurism, showing how they affect each other and how we can unlock the pathway from imagination to implementation, where our ideas then gain the power to inspire the imaginations of others. Buy it.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men –
By Caroline Criado Perez
If you think there is gender equality and equity, think again. This book breaks down institutionalized bias with data. Buy it.
This book examines modern technology and how it’s designed to be addictive. A terrifying must-read. Buy it.
A handbook of how to succeed in the world: a pocket bible for the talented and timid alike to help make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. Buy it.
This book links know-how—the skills of people who know what they are doing— with the personal and psychological traits of the successful leader. Buy it.
Leading through Meaning : A Philosophical Inquiry – Michael W Morrison, PhD
How to be a great leader, connect to your purpose, and create a meaningful life through meaningful work.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs—in companies of all sizes—a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Buy it.
Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync? – Seth Godin
The definitive guide to the 14 trends no marketer can afford to ignore–what to do about the increasing power of stories, not facts; about shorter and shorter attention spans; and about the new math that says 5,000 people who want to hear your message are more valuable than 5 million who don’t. Buy it.
The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing – Lisa Gansky
“Learn about the new competitive logic of sharing- and shows how to build not just a single company, but an entire business ecosystem, around this concept. If you want to understand the future, and maybe even help create it, read this book.” Buy it.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy – Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
This book identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. buy it.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential – Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area. Buy it.
Hal has taken the best practices, developed over centuries of human consciousness development, and condensed the ‘best of the best’ into a daily morning ritual. Buy it.
An inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy. Buy it.
This book covers such topics as taking offline products online, niche marketing, successful Web-based business models, information marketing, affiliate programs, and more. Buy it.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time – Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
Distinguish between genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handling usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. Buy it.
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children – Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
Recently, scientists have discovered a series of natural techniques that are astonishing in their efficacy – it’s not baby videos, sign language, or even the richness of language exposure. It’s nothing you’ve heard before. Buy it.
The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth – Mark Victor Hansen, Robert G. Allen
Freedom is about knowing who you are, believing in yourself, and applying both those things to the American free enterprise system so you can achieve millionaire status. Buy it.
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
Learn to master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life–work, personal, family, and spiritual. Buy it.
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload – Daniel J. Levitin
“From how not to lose your keys to how to decide when the risks of surgery are worth it, Levitin focuses on smart ways to process the constant flow of information the brain must deal with.” Buy it.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting – Dr. Laura Markham
Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish. Buy it.
The Power of Fifty Bits: The New Science of Turning Good Intentions Into Positive Results – Bob Nease
Learn how to change your behaviors. Take shortcuts to make better decisions. “Of the ten million bits of information our brains process each second, only fifty bits are devoted to conscious thought.” Buy it.
The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live Without Regret – Richie Norton, Natalie Norton
They shows you how stupid is the New Smart – the common denominator for success, creativity, and innovation in business and life. Buy it.
Read This Before Our Next Meeting: How We Can Get More Done – Al Pittampalli
“If you find yourself withering away in endless meetings, if your organization suffers from consensus constipation, if you can’t seem to get a decision made this century, read this book.” Buy it.
Teaches you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial
success. Buy it.
Great intro to finances – Set in ancient Babylon, the characters learn simple lessons about money and investing throughout the collection of short stories. Buy it.
An exploration of how extreme athletes break the limits of ultimate human performance and what we can learn from their mastery of the state of consciousness known as “flow”. Buy it.
Based off interviews.. The masters of greatness are not successful because they got lucky or are innately more talented, but because they applied specific habits and tools to embrace and overcome adversity in their lives. Buy it.
A look into the reasons why some people and organizations are able to achieve incredible things in implausibly short time frames, showing how each of us can use these “smartcuts” to rethink convention and accelerate success. Buy it.
Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity – Charles Duhigg
a fascinating book that explores the science of productivity, and why managing how you think is more important than what you think—with an appendix of real-world lessons to apply to your life. Buy it.
a series of rich insights into successfully leading a balanced life as a human being who wants to play as hard as he works and who wants to be as fulfilled in life and in work. Buy it.
SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance – Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
This is the follow-up to Freakonomics with even more original studies and research. Buy it.
Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever – Dave Asprey.
A self-proclaimed human guinea pig, Asprey arms readers with practical advice to maximize their lives at every age with his signature mix of science-geek wonder, candor, and enthusiasm. Getting older no longer has to mean decline. Buy it.
Over the years, IDEO has developed ten roles people can play in an organization to foster innovation and new ideas while offering an effective counter to naysayers. Buy it.
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel H. Pink
a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home. Buy it.
“What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.” Buy it.
Weird is the new normal. And only companies that figure that out have any chance of survival. This book shows you how. Buy it.
Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College – Sandra Aamodt, Sam Wang
This book upends myths and misinformation with practical advice, surprising revelations, and real, reliable science. It’s essential reading for parents of children of any age, from infancy well into their teens. Buy it.
Examples, from the classroom to the boardroom, of individuals defying expectations, challenging assumptions, and achieving unprecedented success. Buy it.
A user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new wheat-free lifestyle. Buy it.
Winning Wealth Strategies: The Secrets of Successful Investing In Any Market – Charles E. Mellon
Basic Strategies for Investing in the stock market, and how to minimize your losses.
This book aims to convince people to change their fundamental perception of the world around them from a vision of an impenetrable, amorphous conglomeration, to one made up of individual linear systems, each of which can be improved and perfected. Buy it.
The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work – Scott Berkun
A behind-the-scenes look at the firm behind WordPress.com and the unique work culture that contributes to its phenomenal success. Buy it.
The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child – Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson, Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson
Parenting insights and techniques to help children embrace life with all of its challenges and thrive in the modern world. Buy it.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future – Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Buy it.