Reading List

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading recently. Sparked off by both my Raindance Masters course and a new pair of glasses(!), I have rediscovered my love of reading.

Here’s a starter list of books I think are must-reads.

Business

Peter Drucker’s Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics) is short – only around 60 pages – yet packs a punch. Drucker delves into how to know what you should be doing, given what is right for your character type. Great reading.
Another book so stunningly simple it’s alarming. Koch has a simple premise, and backs it up with data and action plans. Again, I can’t recommend The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less highly enough!
This is an excellent, entertaining and motivating book on making your business grow to a level of importance. Some inspiring examples, plus a healthy dose of practical tips. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
Step 1, well perhaps Step 0, of a building a company is having a killer business plan. Long gone are the days of long winded documents. With Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers and it’s concept of a Business Model Canvas, things become much more visual and hopefully easier.
I’ve written a blog post about Philip Fischer’s Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings. Great book for investing – and inversely for knowing how to run your business so it’s investable.
Often I find that business books focused on ‘new methods’ are so flash in the pan that their long-term impact is destined to be as a door stop. Contagious: Why Things Catch On is unlike that. Backed up, again, by copious research Berger explains how products and businesses can harness factors to make them more ‘sticky’ in people’s minds.
Worth reading, if only for the fact that everyone has read it. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses took the tech world by storm and has spilled over to almost all industries.

Other Non-Fiction

Arguably, this could go under business books. Walton, of course, started WalMart and made more money than any human being in history. At the very end of his life he wrote Sam Walton: Made In America which is part autobiography and part explanation of how WalMart became the empire it is. He delves deeply into his business values, and even says how to compete against Walmart. Agree with him or not, you might as well learn from the most successful businessman in history.
To be a better human, to contribute to the advancement of society and culture, I seriously believe we need to have a deep understand of the great thinkers that have gone before us. Will Durant’s language may be a little dated, and some might argue his choices, but, without question in the pages of The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time you will discover new thinkers and learn new ideas. What more can you ask for?
The largest study ever of millionaires (in the United States) will leave you surprised at their frequency and methods. It is definitely NOT what you think. The lessons are simple and the book is easily skimmed, but, if you want to be wealthier, faster, then The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy will give you the strategies. It’s not difficult.
I’m not sure if Where Good Ideas Come From is a business book or not! Technically not, I guess, as it starts out by explaining how life evolved, but, this is the kind of book that business people – especially people looking to be innovators and market leaders – should be reading. It will inspire you and show you how great businesses and ideas evolve. The first chapter on the ‘adjacent possible’ should be enough to get your brain running.

Fiction

Murakami is Japan’s modern literary master and this book, in my opinion, is his tour-de-force. It is highly responsible/to blame for me moving to Japan. 1Q84 (Vintage International) is not the most accessible of his works, so, for an introduction to Murakami I usually recommend the equally amazing Kafka on the Shore.
I cannot express the glee I feel when a new David Mitchell book comes up. Personally I feel that The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel – his tale set in 1799, on Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the Japanese Empire‚Äôs single port and sole window onto the world – is a masterpiece, but choosing one of his books is impossible, so I’ll throw in the near ubiquitous Cloud Atlas: A Novel.

My Reading List

Upcoming I’ve got:

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