Here are 5 books I read this year that might change how you see the world –
1. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg (my review/notes, Amazon): Putting this book into practice will be my most important theme in 2019. Since the last 7 weeks, it has already made an impact on how I think about communication (and hopefully communicate). It is a “beginner’s guide to communication” of sorts as Marshall Rosenberg explains how communication should be done – with a focus on observation instead of evaluations and by taking the time to articulate feelings and needs. A game changer.
2. Great at Work by Morten Hansen (my review/notes, Amazon): Over the years, I’ve come to realize that the books that resonate the most are those that I read because they are “just in time” instead of “just in case” (H/T Naval Ravikant for that articulation. I was at a place where I was mulling my themes for approaching work better in 2019 and this book resonated deeply. The first principle of the book is “Do less, then obsess” – it is what I need to learn in 2019. I wish I had the opportunity to read this book when I started my first job.
3. The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (my review/notes, Amazon): Josh Waitzkin shares his journey becoming a chess and martial arts champion while articulating his learning philosophy. As someone who obsesses about learning, there were many notes in the book that touched chords deep within. Profound in pars, inspirational in parts, and thoughtful throughout.
4. This is Marketing by Seth Godin (my review/notes, Amazon): Seth’s blog is my favorite blog. Every day, Seth shows up and talks about marketing in a way that is applicable to our businesses, our work, and our life. He explains that we are all marketers because marketing is about driving change in the people we seek to serve. And, doing it well involves showing up, earning trust, and creating tension. In many ways, this book reads like a conversation with Seth on his approach to thinking about marketing. And, in many ways, the experience was very meta – the brand he has created as a result of showing up everyday on his resonates deeply with me. So, I expected the book to make me rethink how I think about marketing at work and in life in 2019 – and it did.
5. Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb (my review/notes, Amazon): I think of Nassim Taleb as a brilliant jerk. In being who he is, he challenges (provokes?) you to think deeper about ideas you take for granted, pokes holes in research you thought was bulletproof, and brings together ideas from history, psychology, and probability together with impressive skill. You may disagree with him a bunch. But, that’s almost why you have to read his work.
More book resources: