Life-Changing Books

Every week, I ask my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that are part of my social networks (Twitter and LinkedIn) a simple question:

“What is the book that changed your life? (not novels or religious texts)”

I think it’s a wonderful way to connect in a less superficial way and learn a little more about each other. It’s also a wonderful way to discover new books worth reading.

These are the titles received I received so far, in chronological order:

Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do!
Robert H. Schuller

From Amazon:

Dr. Schuller shows you how to build a positive self-image, no matter what your problem. Whether it's unemployment, poor health, loneliness, fear or anything else that blocks your success, you can turn your negative into a positive. No matter how tough times get, you have the potential to achieve the best of life. Through Dr. Schuller's dynamic principles, you can learn:
  • 4 ways to evaluate a new idea
  • 10 commandments of possibility thinking
  • 5 principles for putting problems in a proper perspective
  • 18 principles of leadership
  • 5 phases necessary for the faith to move mountains
  • 5 ways to overcome a 'brownout' and prevent a burnout
  • 25 action words to get you started and never let you quit

Goodreads reviews

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Jared Diamond

From Amazon:

Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science that can provide expert insight into our modern world.

Goodreads reviews

The Prize
Daniel Yergin

From Amazon:

Follows the historic role of oil from the first oil well in Pennsylvania to the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War and comments on how the natural resource shaped the entire world economy and international politics in the last century.

Goodreads reviews

Programming the 6502
Rodnay Zaks

From Amazon:

Learn how to program in 6502 assembly language.

Goodreads reviews

Morality
Jonathan Sacks

From Amazon:

With liberal democracy embattled, public discourse grown toxic, family life breaking down, and drug abuse and depression on the rise, many fear what the future holds. In Morality, respected faith leader and public intellectual Jonathan Sacks traces today's crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. We have outsourced morality to the market and the state, but neither is capable of showing us how to live. Sacks leads readers from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to the present day to show that there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility, arguing that we all must play our part in rebuilding a common moral foundation. A major work of moral philosophy, Morality is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place and face the future without fear.

Goodreads reviews

They Thought They Were Free
Milton Sanford Mayer

From Amazon:

Interviews with ten former Nazis comprise the core of this penetrating study of the psychological causes of Nazism and their implications for modern Germany.

Goodreads reviews

The Innovator's Dilemma
Clayton M. Christensen

From Amazon:

A thought-provoking analysis of the new business paradigm shows how firms that do "everything right" can nevertheless fail because of new technologies and disruptions in the market structure.

Goodreads reviews

The Road Less Traveled
M. Scott Peck

From Amazon:

A psychiatrist suggests ways in which confronting and resolving problems, a painful process most people try to avoid, can lead to greater self-understanding and spiritual growth.

Goodreads reviews

Outliers
Malcolm Gladwell

From Amazon:

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

Goodreads reviews

Atomic Habits
James Clear

From Amazon:

A supremely practical and useful book James Clear distils the most fundamental information about habit formation, so you can accomplish more by focusing on less - Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Goodreads reviews

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey

From Amazon:

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity--principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Goodreads reviews

Solve for Happy
Mo Gawdat

From Amazon:

Mo Gawdat is a remarkable thinker and the Chief Business Officer at Google's [X], an elite team of engineers that comprise Google's futuristic "dream factory." Applying his superior skills of logic and problem solving to the issue of happiness, he proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. Then he solves for happy. In 2001 Mo Gawdat realized that despite his incredible success, he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would: examining all the provable facts and scrupulously applying logic. Eventually, his countless hours of research and science proved successful, and he discovered the equation for permanent happiness. Thirteen years later, Mo's algorithm would be put to the ultimate test. After the sudden death of his son, Ali, Mo and his family turned to his equation--and it saved them from despair. In dealing with the horrible loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of "moonshot" goal that he and his colleagues were always aiming for--he would share his equation with the world and help as many people as possible become happier. In Solve for Happy Mo questions some of the most fundamental aspects of our existence, shares the underlying reasons for suffering, and plots out a step-by-step process for achieving lifelong happiness and enduring contentment. He shows us how to view life through a clear lens, teaching us how to dispel the illusions that cloud our thinking; overcome the brain's blind spots; and embrace five ultimate truths. No matter what obstacles we face, what burdens we bear, what trials we've experienced, we can all be content with our present situation and optimistic about the future.

Goodreads reviews

Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson

From Amazon:

It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving. In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change in their search for the cheese. One of them eventually deals with change successfully and writes what he has learned on the maze walls for you to discover. You'll learn how to anticipate, adapt to and enjoy change and be ready to change quickly whenever you need to. Discover the secret of the writing on the wall for yourself and enjoy less stress and more success in your work and life. Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights will last a lifetime.

Goodreads reviews