A gift for my daughter

Books are a big part of my life. I read over 30 a year.

When I was young, I would read a lot. I used to love reading Enid Blyton’s ‘The Faraway Tree’ books. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t get enough of the Christopher Pike and John Grisham books.

As I got into my twenties, my focus shifted to non-fiction. Mostly entrepreneur biographies, business, leadership and general lifestyle improvement topics. That continued into my thirties, with a slight shift towards lifestyle improvement books. I’m also starting to get back into nonfiction. At the moment, I’m hooked on anything by John Sandford.

Reading books and blog posts, and listening to audio programmes and podcasts have been such a big influence on my life. It’s more than just consuming information. It’s about wanting to be the best version of myself, and being open to learning and growing.

I’ve been thinking lately about how to pass some of this onto my daughter Fearne.

One idea I had, was to create a box of books that have had a big influence in my life. I thought it would be cool to include a small note in each one too – explaining why I chose it. And then give it to her when she is old enough to find them useful.

It made me reflect on some of the books that might be in that box.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is just incredible and is still my all-time favorite book. Life lessons for how to deal with people, that stretch over personal and business life.

When Breath Becomes Air is a shocking wake up call for what’s important in life and a reminder of mortality. It made me think very differently about life priorities and decisions.

80,000 hours is a career advice book I wish I had access to when I was 18. Awesome advice for how to do high impact, meaningful work that will make you happy.

The Millionaire Next Door is required reading to have the right attitude and mindset around money and being wealthy. I try and live to these principles.

The Alchemist is just an awesome read. A great story and many subtle life lessons. It made me appreciate that you can’t map everything out. You have to get comfortable with taking risks and have faith in small steps. Often, things happen for a reason and most decisions, even big ones can be reversed of pivoted.

Deep Work and Daily Rituals between them, share what it takes to do meaningful, high impact work. Everything around routines, time allocation, the right environment, focus etc.

I’ve also read a few blog posts I think are profound. For example, I’d like to include something about why it’s important to get good at writing. I’ve read a few really good books on how to write, but they don’t quite feel right. But, I remember a great blog post or two which it might be nice to include.

I’m going to think about this over the next few weeks and decide if and how to action it.

I’m curious. Has anyone else done anything like this or have any good advice for how to share life changing books with your children?


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  • Richard

    I had a similar thought this year, looking through the shelves of books that have shaped me. I say shelves but in the last few years, since the kids came along mainly, they’ve almost all been audio books.

    What I ended up doing was writing an Evernote with a little synopsis of each, I figured I could probably pick up the physical copies at some point or by then they’ll hopefully have some form of all access as we do with older films now.

    Part of me thinks discovery should be serendipitous, I certainly don’t want to force anything onto their mental models.

    • I too think alot about not wanting to force anything on others, particularly Fearne. I want her to get into what she gets into because she wants to – and then do everything I can to support that fully.

      But, I don’t think discovery should always be serendipitous. It’s nice when it is, but if you know of a gem, why wouldn’t you share it with someone 😉

      I am going to buy the books and hope it’s still a thing in 10 years 😉

      Good to hear from you – hope all is well!