I read a great article recently — If It’s Important, Learn It Repeatedly. It makes a good case for going back and re-reading important books.

So, I went back and read Deep Work by Cal Newport. It’s one of my favorite books and it was even better the second time round. It gave me a renewed enthusiasm for doing deep work and some fresh ideas for how to go about it.

It got me thinking, what other books could I go back and read again?

Below are ten books (in no particular order) that have been life changing for me. The ideas in them changed how I think and live my life. I’m going to work my way through as many as I can throughout 2018.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Magnificent advice for how to be a likeable person. If you read and apply even a small amount of the advice in this book, your life and career will be better for it.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

This book will make you realise how little time you actually spend sitting down and getting lost in important work. The ideas are explained really well and it’s full of practicable advice.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

A great introduction to the paleo diet, it’s benefits and how to follow it. I remember reading this book on a beach in Thailand and it changed how I eat as soon as I got back.

Winning by Jack Welch

I read this book early in my career. It helped form quite a bit of my thinking about leadership and management. It’s really easy to read and cuts to the point. I like to go back and read the chapters on Differentiation and Candor from time to time – they are excellent.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A great mix of storytelling and powerful life lessons. Super easy to read.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A gut wrenching story of how Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, just as he was finishing his training to become a neurosurgeon. He also had a baby daughter — very, very sad. It gets you thinking about your own mortality and puts a lot of stuff into perspective.

Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron

Ben is one of the top coaches in the sport of CrossFit. He coaches Mat Fraser and Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir, both of whom are multiple championship winners. Ben shares his philosophy for what it takes to be world-class. It’s a great story and packed full of good life advice.

On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

A bible for writing well. It’s really easy to read (as you would expect!) and it’ll change how you write forever.

Daily Rituals by Mason Currey

An awesome overview of the working routines of more than a hundred and sixty of the greatest philosophers, writers, composers and artists ever to have lived. It’s a fantastic insight into how some of the worlds greatest contributors got stuff done.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

This books shares the story of how Phil Knight created and built Nike into one of the most famous companies in the world. Full of hustle, entrepreneurism and great stories. Very inspiring.

The above list is mostly non-fiction. But, I wanted to give a shout out to the Prey Series by John Sandford. They are about a maverick detective who hunts down very bad people — usually serial killers. I couldn’t get enough of them and read the whole series in a year. SO good.

If you have a favourite book that’s been life changing for you, let me know in the comments or on twitter.


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