Have you read any good books lately? Personal libraries are fascinating. Each person’s taste is different: some people have every novel Jodi Picoult has ever written, some shelves are stacked with crime fiction, and others favor the classics.
No matter your personal tastes, these five books are fantastic additions to any personal library. Stories about business, overcoming obstacles, and learning a thing or two, these off the beaten path suggestions are sure to challenge and change your perspective.
- The Biggest Bluff, by Maria Konnikova
“It’s about time that somebody investigated poker with the clarity it deserves. It’s about time that somebody who is a gifted and formally trained psychologist stumbled across the game, fell in love with it, and described the experience,” writes poker legend Lee Jones for Global Poker. The book he’s discussing? Maria Konnikova’s The Biggest Bluff, her novel that likens the game of poker to the game of life. The book is fascinating. Konnikova, a trained psychologist, charts her experiences playing (and winning) against some of the sport’s greats.
This Book is Great For: Poker enthusiasts, and anyone curious about learning to play to win, both in cards and in life.
- What it Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence,by Stephen Shwarzman
Stephen Schwarzman is an American businessman, investor, billionaire, philanthropist, and the CEO of global private equity firm Blackstone Group. In his memoir, Schwarzman takes us through his life, starting from his very first business (a lawn-mowing company at the age of 14, if you were curious) to his start on Wall Street, and all the way to his meteoric rise and success in private equity. A man who can turn dreams into realities, this book is a must-read for taking the back quarter of 2020 by the horns.
This Book Is Great For: People who are just beginning their careers. According to Forbes, “Schwarzman outlines his path from student to CEO of Blackstone, one of the most successful investment firms in the world. This is an especially worthwhile read for those who are just getting their careers started.”
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
Are you letting the fear of failure hold you back? Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection will show you how to find courage and embark on a journey of change and self-discovery. Brown describes it best herself: “owning our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
This Book is Great For: Anyone who feels like they’re not worthy enough or brave enough to live a happy life.
- Smarter, Better, Faster,by Charles Duhigg
Have you ever wondered why some people accomplish so much more than others? This is the question that Charles Duhigg’s book aims to answer. He identifies eight productivity concepts that explain why some people achieve more. For the experts at Develop Good Habits, “drawing from information on neuroscience and behavioral psychology, along with the experiences of successful CEOs, generals, pilots, FBI agents, and Broadway songwriters, this well-researched book reveals how productive people and companies view the world in profoundly different ways than those who find less success.”
This Book is Great For: Breaking out of a rut. If you’re looking for a paradigm shift, whether in work or in life, these stories will inspire you and change your outlook.
- Educated, by Tara Westover
Tara Westover’s 2018 novel still hits home almost two years later. Raised in a survivalist family in Mormon Idaho, the memoir tracks her upbringing on a farm, with no formal education. For the New York Times, “Tara makes her first big step toward liberation by, remarkably, doing well enough on the ACT to gain admission to Brigham Young University. Westover eventually makes it to Harvard. By the end, [she] has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not to exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.” It’s a fascinating read and a real page-turner.
This Book is Great For: Anyone who needs a reminder that anything is possible.
The right book has the potential to change your life. No matter what you choose to dive into, keep reading!