The books that have largely shaped my thinking

A few books that can help you understand how life, work, and the world work.

The list starts with some books on behavioral psychology especially as it relates to work and managing people. This is a theme throughout as it is of interest to me and underlines just about everything we do at home and work.

The theme of organizational culture is next on the list. For me, this is the soil for building good governments and companies alike.

Books on leadership, measuring success, management systems, negotiating, personal drive and habits, and the role of chance are next – they support the above themes. These are pillars that support culture and organizational frameworks.

Next, come books on a range of topics that I find interesting and instructive. They hold great lessons that are transferrable to any field. Those include history, physics, meditation, Zen Buddhism, and breathing techniques.

I like to think that by reading all these books you will learn just about everything you need to know about life.

This is a running list. I add on to it as I discover gems. Dig in:

The book list

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  2. Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  3. Principles: Life & Work by Ray Dalio
  4. Mastery by Robert Greene
  5. The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
  6. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoğlu, James A. Robinson
  7. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  8. Measure What Matters by John Doerr
  9. The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel by Kati Marton
  10. Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance by McKinsey & Company, Inc. , Tim Koller , Richard Dobbs , Bill Huyett
  11. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  12. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
  13. An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey
  14. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
  15. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh 
  16. Radical Candor by Kim Scott
  17. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
  18. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson , Stephen R. Covey , Joseph Grenny
    1. What are crucial conversations?
  19. Motivational Interviewing by William R. Miller, Stephen Rollnick
  20. Originals by Adam Grant
  21. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  22. Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund
  23. Data Science by John D. Kelleher, Brendan Tierney
  24. Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
  25. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg
  26. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
  27. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
  28. The Toyota Way by Jeffrey K. Liker, Gary L. Convis
  29. Quiet by Susan Cain
  30. Lee Kuan Yew by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, Ali Wyne, Lee Kuan Yew
  31. The Box by Marc Levinson
  32. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  33. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  34. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  35. Switch by Dan Heath, Chip Heath
  36. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  37. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  38. Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less by Jim Vandehei , Mike Allen , Roy Schwartz
  39. Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond
  40. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
  41. Rubicon by Tom Holland
  42. Persian Fire by Tom Holland
  43. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  44. The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
  45. History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
  46. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  47. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  48. Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T.E. Lawrence
  49. River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins
  50. Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb
  51. Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli
  52. Seven Brief Lessons in Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  53. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  54. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
  55. Quantum Space by Jim Baggott
  56. Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski
  57. Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein
  58. What Is Life by Erwin Schrodinger
  59. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  60. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
  61. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  62. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  63. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  64. Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
  65. The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
  66. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
  67. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  68. Breath by James Nestor
  69. Brain Energy by Christopher M. Palmer

“A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket” – Proverb