OK, maybe it is just a philosophy, but I do think that everything you need to learn is already in a book somewhere. After all with 7 billion or so people alive and billions who have written books literally, the only problem is finding the right one, so here’s my list of books that I have found incredible useful and also incredibly obvious once I had read them, but here in life’s order some books to read
* Sweaty Palms and the Neglected Art of Being Interviewed. Sometimes i think that life is an interview. Whether you are headed to college or your first job. But making the right first impression really matters. But basically, it is all about figuring out what the interviewer wants and giving it to them. OK maybe that’s a little cynical, but there’s a grain of truth. A good first thing to know. I must read for anyone graduating from college.
* The Millionaire Next Door. A good grounding on what it really takes to do well by playing good defense. Also some surprising lessons about kids and wealth. Pithy and a good read when you are just starting out. The early you read this the more likely you won’t just have to play startup lottery to do Ok.
* How to Listen so your kids will talk and how to talk so your kids will listen. I must be one of those long title guys but these two books really helped me understand how to talk with kids and grownups alike. I’m kind of gratified that it is still the #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon. You really need this with your first child!
Siblings Without Rivalry. I got this and it helped so much with multiple siblings, but actually the real use was with your *own siblings. Learn how to talk understand your own brothers and sisters.
* Type Talk. I actually never read the book but had a class in my first “obedience school”. Knowing that you are a driver-analytic talking with an amiable is sure useful in business! It ironically was sure helpful with kids as well.
* The Situational Leader. The second time I was sent to “obedience school” I also learned how to talk with people and why sometime people need to get specific instructions and sometimes not. Another example of cross over from corporate to family life.
* The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. Ok, if you just didn’t learn from your parents or spent time in France, but just want to make a decent steak, this is the book for you. They actually test the recipes a hundred different ways and your friends and family will think you are a genius.
* Guns, Germs and Steel. Just when you thought you had completely mastered everything about civilization, along comes Jared Diamond to explain how a few simple things like domesticable animals and harvestable grains explain why “The White Men have all the cargo”. You’ll understand after you read this book 🙂
* A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Just when you think you are superman and can solve just about any problem, this book is a real eye opener about how hard it is to change something like poverty. Maybe wisdom is understanding your limits.
* Being Mortal. A must read for anyone who is caring for someone who is elderly or in dire straights. It was like a cannon shot to me to realize how people feel at the end and what we can all do about it.