Live Your Legend | The 5 Books I Reread Every Year (or How to Read Less)
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The 5 Books I Reread Every Year (or How to Read Less)

The 5 Books I Reread Every Year (or How to Read Less)

5 best books of all time to reread

“The difference between who you are now and who you are five years from now, comes down to the people you meet and the books you read.”

~Anonymous [Tweet this Quote]

The Link Between Reading and Success

It’s no secret that when I get into things I tend to obsess.

In the past few years I’ve read hundreds of books. No joke – I keep track of every title during my weekly planning process.

I owe much of who I am to the things I’ve read.

Just about the only benefit of my absolutely miserable first (and only) ‘job’ after moving back from Spain was that I had a 45-minute train commute every morning and night. That travel time became sacred. And that was when I became absolutely obsessed with reading.

So much so that I took a few speed-reading classes and I even became the head San Francisco instructor for one of them.

Side note: The Iris Organization gives fantastic intensive weekend speed-reading courses all around the country if interested. I’m still close with the founder, Paul, and he’s offering you guys $50 off if you use the promo code “liveyourlegend” – btw, I don’t get any compensation for you using it. I just think it will help a lot. My reading speed went up by over 3x after their two-day class. 

And come to think of it, reading is where this site first originated. I read a book, Internet Riches, that talked of how ‘easy’ it was to create a website without knowing code. So, as a test, I tried it out…

I created a blog to post book reviews and recommendations of the most influential books. That site started out as Reading For Your Success and later turned into Live Your Legend. And here we are!

My life would be a fraction of what it’s become if books hadn’t been a part of it.

The 80/20 of reading – How to Read Less

The funny thing is that of the hundreds upon hundreds of books I’ve read, there are still only a few that have provided the majority of the benefit. The 80/20 rule never fails.

And as you may have seen, one of my New Years resolutions was to reread more books.

Those of you who have read a book more than once, know that it’s an entirely new experience. We are so focused on checking boxes, that we forget that the point of reading books is not to finish them and move on to the next. The value does not lie it how many titles you can say you’ve ‘read’. The value comes from digesting, learning and acting upon the new ideas. That takes time. And it takes swallowing our pride and obsession with making visible ‘progress’ (at least it did for me).

Read more of what you know has already changed your life and you can bet it’s time well spent.

So I’d like to share with you the five books that have made the biggest difference in my life and career. These are the ones I reread every year without fail. I also included a few more below the list that deserve a mention.

The 5 Books I Reread Every Year:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

how to win friends and influence people

If the human race was only allowed one book, this would be it. Hands down. Nothing has been more impactful for my business or personal life. Eight years ago a good friend of mine in Sevilla told me he read it every quarter. Who reads anything every three months?? I picked up a copy the next day. It’s been my bible ever since.

The simplicity and practicality of the advice is bar none. You can read a chapter on the bus to work and literally put it to use the moment you step off. Lessons include: giving people a reputation to live up to, the value of one’s name, how to give a real compliment, how to give honest criticism and…wait for it…smiling. This is the foundation for EVERYTHING. And the most incredible part – it was written in 1936 and is still as relevant as ever. Very few books can own the claim of being even more useful nearly 100 years after publishing. Over 15 million copies sold too.

Oh yeah, and to this day Warren Buffett says the most valuable diploma ever received, and still framed on the center of his office wall, is his diploma from a Dale Carnegie course.

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
– Dale Carnegie, [Tweet this Quote]

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the alchemist

Over 22 million copies sold in over 67 languages has this book in the running for the best-selling book in history. In some odd ways it’s almost like the 4-Hour Work Week in fiction form, although I read The Alchemist long before. The message is pure and brilliant. The story of a Spanish boy who opts to say no to societal norms and pursue the road less traveled, or as Paulo Coelho calls it, one’s Personal Legend – your life’s destiny.

In fact, last year I was rereading this book (for the fifth time I believe) as I was fly fishing my way through Patagonia with my dad. And through its message came the inspiration for Live Your Legend. We launched the new brand a couple months later. The message forever keeps me on a path true to what matters. Very very fast read too.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

-Paulo Coelho [Tweet this quote]

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Influence the psychology of persuasion

Charlie Munger, the 88-year old billionaire partner of Warren Buffett, consistently labels this his #1 book. For those of who have any idea how many books Munger plows through in a week, you will appreciate such a claim. It’s also a NY best-seller of over 2m copies and Fortune Magazine 75 Smartest Business Books.

In writing the book, Cialdini spent three years going “undercover” applying for jobs and training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations and telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion. He also reviews many of the most important theories and experiments in social psychology. It covers decades of research and provides simple ways to apply the techniques in dozens of everyday situations.

You ever wondered why people from Greenpeace stand out in the cold asking for signatures, why Starbucks gives out free samples or even why you’re more likely to follow a man in a suit as he jaywalks than you are a man in shorts and a tee-shirt? A lot of things you never thought twice about, start to make sense pretty fast. Combine the lessons here with How to Win Friends and watch out.

Here’s an interview I did with the author: 4 Ways to Be a More Effective Influencer, and a review I did of the book.

“Our best evidence of what people truly feel and believe comes less from their words than from their deeds.”

– Robert Cialdini [Tweet this Quote]

4. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

The4HourWorkWeek

I know everyone talks about this one. And by now it may be a bit of a broken record, but there’s a reason it’s been a non-stop best seller since it hit the shelves in 2007. Very few books (if any) have had such a streak. Live Your Legend would not exist if it wasn’t for this book. Nor would my lifestyle or approach to the world.

There are two reasons I read it every year. One, because the message is so important to keep front of mind: that we ought to value our life not based on the zero’s in our bank account but on the time we have to spend doing the things we truly enjoy. And two, because the step by step tools for testing an idea, starting an online business, testing it and scaling it, are priceless. And every year as I learn more about business and grow Live Your Legend, topics in the book become even more relevant. Oh yeah, and there is no way I would have a five-person team out in India doing top-notch work for an amazing price, if this book didn’t encourage the experiment 4 years ago.

More than anything, Tim’s message taught me not to settle for anything less than what absolutely mattered to me, instead of simply doing what everyone else said. And it gave me the wherewithal to know the difference. The case studies and success stories in the new version are priceless too.

“The commonsense rules of the “real world” are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.”

– Timothy Ferriss [Tweet this Quote]

5. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

never eat alone

The title says it all. And to be honest, if you only followed those three words, this book would change your life. And it no doubt has mine. It’s an invaluable tool not only in teaching the importance of human interaction and relationships in every walk of life (especially business), but also the step by step tools to create your connections.

I’m paying special attention as I reread this and How to Win Friends these next couple weeks as I develop the content for the How to Connect with Anyone course I’ve started to work on (more on that soon!). I remember that within months of first reading this and the 4-Hour Work Week, I had made personal connections with Warren Buffet, Jessica Biel and Tim Ferriss. I don’t think that was coincidence. After some personal time with Keith, I can say that he’s also a genuinely good person who cares about helping people. Also a NY best-seller and a foundational book in many ways.

“Be interesting! Your responsibility is to be someone worth talking to, and even better, worth talking about.”

-Keith Ferrazzi [Tweet this Quote]

The people you meet and the books you read…

Over a lifetime, those two things make up much of who you become.

Did you happen to notice any similarities with the 5 titles above?

Over half of my top books directly deal with meeting and connect with people.

That’s not a conincidence. When I’m not out making friends and meeting passionate people to help and inspire me to change the world, I’m often at home reading or writing about it.

Nothing else really matters. It all comes down to the people.

That’s why this How to Connect with Anyone course is so important to me.

So those five books are seriously all you need.

Read them once. Then read them again. Then a few more times.

Or take a few seconds now to think about what your top rereads are. Put one next on your list (and tell us the name in the comments below!)

Remember, there is no race to read and do as much as possible.

We read so that we can be better for it.

Watch what happens when you start to focus on what you already know works like magic.

To reading less and learning more…

-Scott

What’s your favorite reread? Share with us in the comments!

And if you want to reread it a little faster, check out: 7 Quick Steps to Finishing a Non-Fiction Book in Half the Time While Retaining Twice as Much

P.S. The above list was pretty obvious for me to put together but there were some other books I’d love to include. The below are some of the best of all time, I just don’t necessarily think they need to be reread every year (although it certainly wouldn’t hurt…)

The rest of my most influential books:

Start with Why by Simon Sinek – People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. My most powerful business lesson of 2011.

What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles – 41 years in print as a best-seller and over 10m copies sold. Hands down the best job search book of all time. My passion for helping people find their path came from a sushi dinner I had with Richard, his son and my dad nearly 10 years ago. Live Your Legend came from his work. I was actually just at his birthday party last weekend and he said they’re working on a web app of the book too. I can’t wait to see that!

Inbound Marketing by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan – This is the book that finally convinced me to take my blog seriously and turn it into a business. Best book on the subject I’ve seen. Very easy to follow steps after each chapter.

The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett – The only book he’s ever written. Best single business book of all time as far as I’m concerned. It’s a compilation of 30 or so years of his annual letters divided into various subject on business, philanthropy, investing and life.

Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins – Most powerful overall book on personal psychology, human change, energy and vitality I’ve seen. This is what opened my world up to the personal development space.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – I’ve read dozens upon dozens of books on health, fitness and nutrition. Hands-down the most easy to understand and follow. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, just remember the tag line: Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants. Perfect, simple advice. Very fast read too.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Most inspirational book I’ve read on the power of the human body and your mind’s influence on what’s possible. Reading this got me to run a barefoot ultra-marathon in a matter of months. Incredible story-telling too.

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard – The founder of Patagonia shares the most refreshing approach to business I’ve seen. Spoken from a guy who truly puts passion and love for people and experiences far ahead of money.

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall – I think this is the only book that’s made me cry. I dive into it around the holidays each year. About a 2-hour read and the perfect reminder that the stuff we worry about so often, really doesn’t matter a bit. I absolutely love this message (and story).

That should keep you busy for a while…

55 Comments
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  • Nick Toomey
    Posted at 02:10h, 21 March Reply

    I own Deepak Chopra’s “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” in book format, CD format, and its on my iPod. No idea how many times I’ve gone through it, but its second to none as far as what’s shaped my approach to existence and interacting with everyone. I’m extraordinarily happy right now, and this book is a huge reason for it.

  • Darren Poke
    Posted at 02:19h, 21 March Reply

    I’ve reread Covey’s 7 habits a few times and it’s gold.

    The Alchemist and Unlimited Power are a couple of others that I’ve read more than once.

    There are still a couple on your list that I need to buy, so thanks for the encouragement to get hold of them.

    For anyone who wants to read more, I would also advise getting a kindle. My volume of books read has gone up significantly in the past year since getting mine.

    Thanks for your awesome blog Scott. Love your work!

  • Schuyler Westphal
    Posted at 05:43h, 21 March Reply

    Great list, thanks for sharing! Is there an Amazon list created for these titles that I could batch add to my wish list?

  • Lance
    Posted at 05:44h, 21 March Reply

    Great list, Scott! I’ve read a few of these, heard of some of the others, and there are a couple of new ones on there for me. Very awesome!

    A book I really love – and have read more than once – “The Four Agreements” – by don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a short, easy read – and the four agreements he talks about are just so good to let “settle in” a bit more each time I read the book…

  • Brandon Monk
    Posted at 07:41h, 21 March Reply

    The Trial by Franz Kafka is my favorite reread.

    I admit I was scared when I read the post title. Particularly, the parenthetical, which encourages reading less! As I read through the post, though, I think I would generally agree with what you’re saying.

    Seneca said something similar. Quality time spent with books is more important than quantity.

  • Debra Dowdell
    Posted at 07:48h, 21 March Reply

    Great list Scott. Fantastic post!
    I would add eMyth Mastery by Michael Gerber. That book gave me the wake up/shake up I needed during a very difficult time in my life. He writes about “the walking dead…living in a closet of their own making, not knowing they had closed the door to their Life themselves…”.
    It’s powerful!
    Thanks again for this post…we all need reminders to keep reading (and less) and to reread the books that made an impact!

  • George Mihaly
    Posted at 07:56h, 21 March Reply

    Love the list Scott! Carnegie, Ferriss, and Ferrazzi are some of my biggest influencers. I have had Influence on my shelf for some time now and officially now it is #2 on my to read list when I get home (biography of Ben Franklin is #1).

    If I was to add one more to the list it would be The Essential Ghandi. I find his life and teachings influence the way I think and act in several areas of my life (much in the same way as Carnegie & Ferriss). Thanks again! -George

    Side note-Are you normally reading books in paper or digital format?

  • Steve Patterson
    Posted at 07:57h, 21 March Reply

    Great list. If you just read those books and nothing else, success is much easier to find and enjoy.

    I would like to add “Leadeship and Self Deception” by the Arbinger Institute to that extraordinary list. This book helped me realize that my own self betrayal and deception was holding me back in developing relationships and becoming the leader. A must read by anyone looking to grow and develop relationships.

  • Mary
    Posted at 08:15h, 21 March Reply

    I would include The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews and would also second the inclusion of Seven Habits and Four Agreements.

  • James H.
    Posted at 08:16h, 21 March Reply

    Thanks for the pleasant surprise this morning in finding that I’ve already read three of your five top picks. Looking forward to picking up the rest and diving into all of them more than once.

  • Nicole Witt
    Posted at 08:17h, 21 March Reply

    I love “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. That reminds me that I have to go buy a new copy as my MIL borrowed mine over a year ago and I am itching to read it again.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:23h, 21 March Reply

    Thank you for the recommendations! I’m a big fan of Never Eat Alone and happy you recommended it, I think it’s a very important book, especially for graduating seniors and those looking for jobs. Shows the importance of networking and truly building a real network before you need it.

  • Cheryl Thompson
    Posted at 08:46h, 21 March Reply

    Dr. Seuss’ “Oh The Places You’ll Go” is an extraordinary read for adults. Also, the book “The Magic of Thinking Big” is a must read. Thanks for the great post…I attribute being a writer this very day to my decades of voracious reading. You can only put so much in before some has to come out. Read on!

  • Cary
    Posted at 08:57h, 21 March Reply

    I’ve so been looking forward to this post Scott! I can’t wait to read the 2 on your list I’ve not read before (and re-read the others)! One of my favorite books that I try to re-visit often is “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Hemmingway. I’ve never read another book, fiction or non, that gives me space to appreciate the current moment, solitude, love, our interconnectedness and the delicate balance that is our life. I know lots of folks had to read it for English classes in school — I recommend reading it again for pleasure, you’ll be shocked how different the experience is!

  • Johnn Four
    Posted at 08:59h, 21 March Reply

    I love 4HWW, but want to call out there’s an undercurrent of taking shortcuts and hacking your way to the top. It’s dangerous if this kind of mentality is not backed up with a good, sustainable strategy and personal mission.

    A book I’d add is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

  • Elle St. Laurent
    Posted at 09:25h, 21 March Reply

    Yay for book posts!! 🙂 I’ve read two on your list and will add the other three to my ‘to read’ list. For me, I love the warm fuzzy writing book “Bird By Bird”, which is definitely a yearly read for me. I also adore Made To Stick (all my work is in communications so this is always an inspiring read for me.)

  • Joel Zaslofsky
    Posted at 09:53h, 21 March Reply

    You had many things going for you in Sevilla Scott. The Feria de Abril, the best paella in the world and an introduction to “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I experienced two of those three things while I was in Sevilla a number of years ago and wish I had all three. Hint: The one I didn’t experience was book related.

    Thanks for the great book tips! You have more credibility with book recommendations for me than just about anyone else. I still refer back to Reading for Your Success from time to time to find hidden gems like your review of “Never Eat Alone”. There’s another book I wish I had discovered many years ago.

  • Gabriel
    Posted at 10:22h, 21 March Reply

    Scott, this is a fantastic list – thank you for sharing. Totally agree with your philosophy that you don’t need a extensive library – you just need to focus on the classics.

    I’ll have to seriously improve my speed reading ability to keep up! Thanks for the link to the Iris speed reading course as well.

    Love the posts – keep up the great work Scott!

  • Scott Fox
    Posted at 10:53h, 21 March Reply

    Hey Scott,

    Nice list.

    There were a couple of books on here that I have been meaning to read forever, so now I will thanks to your post (and Amazon links!).

    Best,
    Scott

  • Debbie
    Posted at 11:04h, 21 March Reply

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. Thank you Scott. I have alot of books and don’t think I have read them even a second time. Although I just bought Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book “Wishes Fullfiled”. I’m reading it a second time right now and I just bought it last week. For some reason it just really resonates with me. I look forward to reading your selections and some of the others that are a reply to this post. Thank so much for sharing.

  • laura barto
    Posted at 13:05h, 21 March Reply

    Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Erroneous Zones” It really changed how wasting energy on attempting to blame or change others is useless.

    Dr. Schuller’s “Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking” Can’t say enough…maybe it is time to buy that Kindle now. Just talking about them gets me excited.

  • Samantha
    Posted at 14:20h, 21 March Reply

    I love The Art of Possibility by Rosamund & Benjamin Zander…am reading for the 3rd time…it’s uplifting, creative and unique!

  • Fab
    Posted at 14:24h, 21 March Reply

    Hi Scott,

    nice post!Congratulations!

    A recent book that I’m reading for the fourth time is:

    “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers

    http://sivers.org/a

    My comment: a Masterpiece packed with extraordinary gems of true wisdom!!

    It’s funny too!!

    Who is Derek Sivers:

    http://sivers.org/

    All the best!

    Fab, greetings from Italy.

    1PS his reading list with accurate reviews:

    http://sivers.org/book

    2PS even tons of free songs after the purchase!!

  • Ciara Conlon
    Posted at 15:04h, 21 March Reply

    I rarely re read books as I’ve realized that I usually get the message the first time round but by reading again I am just delaying implementing it. Any time I catch myself say: I must read that again I stop and ask myself what was the lesson I needed to learn and then consciously try and live it.

  • Dr Cory Annis
    Posted at 21:26h, 21 March Reply

    What a great question…I was actually surprised to realize how many books I do reread. Top of the list:

    for spirit :
    -Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”
    -Robert Johnson, the collected works of Jungian psychotherapist , (“He” “She”, “We”, “The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden” etc)
    Any Coleman Barks translation of the poetry of Rumi.

    -For practical self reliance: The Tightwad Gazette, Your Money or Your Life, and Square Foot Gardening.

    -For Profession: “A General Theory of Love”(MDs Lewis, Amini, and Lannon), “Better”(Atul Gawande), “Just Listen” Mark Goulston

    -For Business: Linchpin (Seth Godin), The War of Art (Stephen Pressfield), and also Dan Kennedy (so I don’t slip out to the unretrievable fufu fringe.

    Margaret Atwood”s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is always on my reread list for fiction. However, in America, its getting closer to non-fiction all the time.

    “Never Eat Alone” is next on my list of new reads for nonfiction, and Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” for fiction.

    Thanks for the though provocation…as always

  • Justin
    Posted at 23:26h, 21 March Reply

    Scott,

    Have you read “the art of war?” it was just recommended to me. Seems to be pretty epic.

  • Eugene
    Posted at 00:40h, 22 March Reply

    Great list, Scott!

    I would add Heart of the Soul by Gary Zukav and Linda Francis. Most books you reread are simply so you can refresh the principles but Heart of the Soul is something you reread because you interpret it differently as you progress throughout life. It’s really profound!

  • Guido
    Posted at 02:24h, 22 March Reply

    Hi Scott,
    great list. I also have a list of ten books I reread every year. My top one is “Mindfulness in Plain English”.
    I added ‘Never eat alone’ to my ToRead-List now.
    Thanks, Guido

  • Annie Andre
    Posted at 05:02h, 22 March Reply

    Scott,
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! More books on my reading list. I spend about 12 hours reading a week and I havn’t made a dent in my list. I have to say thought a lot of the books are not worthy of a second read so i’m really excited about going through your top list of books to read.

    I’ve been struggling with how to read more because i love reading but with three kids and living abroad and starting a business there’s not enough time. I’m fascinated by the notion of taking up speed reading though. I would love to do an experiment to see if audible books or speed reading is a better choice when faced with the challenges of time and comprehension.

    ps
    I’ve read just about all of Michael Pollan’s books on food and health and he single handedly made me never eat fast food again. That was 7 years ago. That and all the horrible videos about animal torture. I digress.

  • Joe Amadon
    Posted at 13:58h, 22 March Reply

    Great list, Scott. Loved the Alchemist. Carnegie has been on my list for awhile, and after reading this I requested Never Eat Alone from the library and am looking forward to it.
    My top re-read is Everyday Survival by Laurence Gonzales, which I’m halfway through a third read. It isn’t really a survival book, but more following the curiosities of a smart man investigating how people and groups of people make decisions/mistakes. And the path leads through nearly everything from NASA space shuttle disasters to business collapses to evolutionary biology and more. Definitely a book that everyone should read.

  • Rachel Denning
    Posted at 15:47h, 22 March Reply

    I would definitely add:

    As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

    Pretty fundamental to having an incredible philosophy toward life.

  • Mark John Scicluna
    Posted at 23:34h, 22 March Reply

    Scott,
    I also recommend Awareness by Anthony de Mello. It is a very great book which I`ve re read countless times as it opens different perspectives on how to interpret life and how to live your legend 😉

  • Harry @ GoalsOnTrack
    Posted at 23:54h, 22 March Reply

    It’s interesting that no one seemed to have mentioned Bible.

  • Marion
    Posted at 04:33h, 23 March Reply

    Thanks for the list! I have read the 4hww but not the others. My favorite re-read is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I have it both in physical and audio form. Its really gotten me to look closer at my behavior and actions and propelled me forward as well.

  • Rose Byrd
    Posted at 11:49h, 23 March Reply

    Scott, The Alchemist and the Never Eat Alone books are providing me incremental lessons in focusing and passion and building my own legend, with lots of connections to other “legends” (over coffee, quite often!)
    You have inspired me to create a short must-read list for myself for this year!

  • @cdstern
    Posted at 01:47h, 24 March Reply

    Currently rereading “How to think and grow rich”

  • Steve Hunter
    Posted at 19:02h, 25 March Reply

    One of the books on my re-read list: ‘Unleash the Warrior Within’ by Richard J. Machowicz. A powerful read about living life to it’s fullest. Mac, as the author is known is a former Navy Seal – but this book isn’t about fighting. Check out the reader reviews to get a feel about how great this book is.

  • Alden
    Posted at 00:46h, 26 March Reply

    I actually re-read Neil Gaiman’s books all the time. They may not be self-help books that motivate you or anything like that, but it’s nice to just keep reading something that’s so awesome you go to another world.

  • Noch Noch | be me. be natural.
    Posted at 19:31h, 26 March Reply

    Hi Scott

    it sounds like you don’t read novels or fiction then? Do you not find non-fiction a bit of a bore after a while, whereas fiction can open up imagination ?

    Noch Noch 🙂

  • LC Coleman
    Posted at 09:37h, 27 March Reply

    I love this! I have always been an avid reader and a couple of these books would make my “best of” list as well. As a black girl at a predominately white university, Never Eat Alone helped me rethink my definition of connecting with people and The Alchemist has gotten me through many a tough moment of self doubt. Thanks for sharing. This post really made my day!

  • Kristoph Matthews
    Posted at 20:43h, 27 March Reply

    Splendid list, though I’d like to suggest a couple gems:
    1. “Lincoln on leadership.” (by Donald Phillips, about the former US president) Lesson: don’t lead from the throne; go to the ground floor and really make a personal impact on those whom you lead.

    2. “The dip” (by Seth Godin). Lesson: Society’s most coveted positions are hard to get for a reason, and most people won’t even try. For those who do have the courage to try to be the best, they eventually hit a “dip,” at which point 99.9% quit. This book is about making it through that dip.

    Hope these are valuable suggestions!

    -Kristoph

  • Matt
    Posted at 12:17h, 03 April Reply

    My constant re-reads are:

    Think and Grow Rich
    Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh
    Dhammapada — Cleary translation
    On the Road
    Awakening of Intelligence, by Krishnamurti
    4 Hour Work Week
    Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy

  • Fab
    Posted at 02:14h, 05 April Reply

    Hi Scott,

    I also highly recommend:

    “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age”

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Friends-Influence-People-Digital/dp/1451612575/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    A true effective communication in the “Digital Age” is very often a matter of details!!

    All the best!

    Fab, greetings from Italy

  • Alan Reeves
    Posted at 17:38h, 07 April Reply

    Great book list. I have read 4 of the 5 (The Alchemist is now on my list to read). A few books I would add:

    Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – Also wrote a book named Flow that focuses on working “in the zone” and creative work. Haven’t read it yet, but it is on my list

    The Art of Possibility – Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander – Outstanding book. Also check out a TED talk by Benjamin Zander (http://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html) Really great stuff

    Thanks for the book suggestions

  • Sarah Taylor
    Posted at 16:28h, 09 April Reply

    I am always surprised at the experience and the knowledge I pick up when I read a book I’ve already finished before. Each time I read it, it feels almost like I’m reading a new book because the ideas in my mind going in is much different than it was when I first read the book.

    There was actually few quite a few books on your list that I’ve never read yet have heard so much reference to over the years.

    Thanks for the great list. I’ve written a bunch of them down and I’ll be reading them this year.

  • Nathan
    Posted at 16:16h, 09 May Reply

    I think a lot of people read because they are information junkies but they don’t ever take any action with the information they have. In a way burying yourself in book after book can be a way of avoiding taking any real action.

    My advice, even if you just read one of these books and take action today you will be better off than all the people who have read them all, have all the knowledge but do nothing with it.

  • Kate
    Posted at 08:05h, 12 June Reply

    Yeay books! I can’t get enough; I love to read.

    I would add to this list (sorry if I missed some in the comments!):

    Think and Grow Rich- Napoleon Hill
    The Power of Full Engagement
    Warrior of Light- Paulo Coelho
    The Book of Awakening

    Thanks for getting this list going!

  • saltna
    Posted at 16:34h, 10 July Reply

    Great list, Scott! I’ve read a few of these, heard of some of the others, and there are a couple of new ones on there for me. Very awesome!

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  • Quick-read recommendation: “The Ultimate Gift” – by Jim Stovall | Catford's Compass
    Posted at 05:36h, 12 January Reply

    […] discovered this book from Scott Dinsmore’s “The 5 Books I Read Every Year”  (I’ve read all 5 – I’ll review my favourites here on Catford’s Compass in due course). […]

  • Why I’ve volunteered to run the “Live Your Legend: Southampton” group. | Catford's Compass
    Posted at 09:53h, 06 February Reply

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  • Stephanie
    Posted at 20:42h, 09 May Reply

    That quote isn’t anonymous, it’s by Charlie Jones (and the original is phrased a bit differently).

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