As we approach the end of this year and prepare resolutions for the next, we aim to further our growth, expand our knowledge, and widen our horizons. One of the simplest most effective ways of doing this is to spend time reading, reading literature that challenges our thinking and way of life. Only by exposing ourselves to such literature can we become open-minded enough to think outside the box, and solve our worlds most troubling problems. Below is a list of our top picks this year. We hope you enjoy, but more than that, we hope you put this knowledge to good use.
By: Malcolm Gladwell
The author of best-selling books Blink and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell takes complex theories and explains them in a clear and captivating way. As one of my favorite authors, he doesn’t disappoint here. What I particularly like about this book, is that it takes a subject that we’ve all probably heard about all our lives – “little things matter” – and gives us an explanation as to why and how they matter. The information in this book helps us see the world and how things work from a completely different perspective, albeit, a surprisingly interesting one. It completely changes how we think about selling products, or spreading new ideas.
” Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push – in just the right place – it can be tipped.” – Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
This quick read is full of rich content and thought-provoking ideas. You’ll find advice for any leader, and suggestions for those plagued by circumstances outside their control. In this translation of Marcus Aurelius writing’s, we’re given a spectacular look into this great leader’s mind. A book on true character, leadership, and duty that is easily digestible, but requires contemplation to savor. You can reflect on these passages for hours, or glance over them quickly. The advice given here can be applied to almost all aspects of life, and will show you “how to choose the harder right over the easier wrong without apparent regard for self-interest.”
” Often I marvel at how men love themselves more than others while at the same time caring more about what others think of them than what they think of themselves.” – Marcus Aurelius, The Emperor’s Handbook
- 3 Bad Habits To Break For A Better You
- What Money Can’t Buy: 4 Things To Consider On Your Way To Becoming A Millionaire
By: Adam Grant
One of the most insightful books I’ve ever read, and easily one of my favorites. Adam Grant takes us through surprising studies and riveting stories that demonstrate how going against the grain, and challenging outdated traditions is to our advantage and benefit. He shows us how rejecting conformity and nurturing originality has the power to improve our circumstances, and propels us toward our goals. The implications are broad and easily applicable to our lives today.
” Becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness, but it leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of pursuit.” – Adam Grant, Originals
By: Mark Manson
I was quite honestly surprised by this one. I didn’t think I’d like it in the least. Why you ask? Well, the title – big mistake. The old saying holds true here, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” or in this case, its title. Mark Manson does a great job at pointing out what we think we already know and dives into details and rational we may have overlooked. He tells of a truly counterintuitive, but very pragmatic way to live a good life. It’s insightful and humorous, to say the least. I don’t say that about many books. He also uses the word f*ck a lot. Just in case you didn’t catch that from the title. But if that doesn’t bother you, pick this one up – it is definitely worth the read. Maybe try counting how many times he uses it or something.
” Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for…Our struggle determines our successes.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
By: Matthieu Ricard
In one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read this year, Matthieu Ricard makes a case for genuine altruism being the vital principle that can solve the main challenges of our time. Inequality, life satisfaction, environmental sustainability, all stem – in one way or another – from the lack of altruism in our world today. I was hesitant to pick this book up at first, but once I started reading the introduction, I couldn’t put it down. He offers practical and inspiring ways to nurture altruistic love and compassion, that can ultimately lead us to simultaneously benefiting ourselves, and our global society. It’s a very interesting topic, and certainly one worth talking about in our present time; considering all the chaos going on around us.
” Selfishness is at the heart of most of the problems we face today: the growing gap between rich and poor, the attitude of “everybody for himself,” which is only increasing, and indifference about the generations to come.” – Matthieu Ricard, Altruism