Aside from the technical (computer) books I read to keep my skills up-to-date, I’ve read numerous business and self-help books that helped me in my personal and professional life. Here’s a list of my top 10 books:
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I read this book when I was just starting my career way back in the early 90’s. This book has a tremendous impact in my personal and professional life. It helped me how to be proactive, how to manage my time, and how to prioritize my goals.
2. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twentieth-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman. This is the best book I read on globalization. It argued that one should be a “versatilist” to compete in a shrinking world.
3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. This book explains that an idea, trend, or behavior can reach a “tipping point” where it spreads rapidly. The book is well research and has a lot of examples. I also like Gladwell’s Blink and Outliers books.
4. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazi. This is the best book I read on networking. The best advice I got is that you have to be generous – ask other people how you can help them.
5. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I like this book because the author is a Computer Science professor at Carnegie Mellon who taught about overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams.
6. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. This is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. It is based on research and careful analysis on companies that are doing great in the market.
7. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. This book explained how the universe and humans came into being, from a science perspective. It recounted the researches and scientific discoveries and inventions from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. The author made the book very entertaining.
8. The Harvard Sampler: Liberal Education for the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer M. Shephard, Professor Stephen M. Kosslyn and Evelynn M. Hammonds. The book is a collection of essays by distinguished Harvard professors, showcasing diverse subjects such as religion, cyberspace, evolution, medical science, energy sources, morality, human rights, and many more. The essays are entertaining and thought provoking.
9. Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. Aside from the Toastmasters manuals and magazines that I’ve read, this book provides tons of practical tips on how to conquer your fear of public speaking, how to organize your speech, and how to deliver your speech.
10. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. Very inspirational book – provides useful methods on how to improve one’s life and achieve greater happiness.