Every year one of the goals I set is to continue to become a lifelong learner. One of the action steps to that goal is always focused on reading.
I usually try to read one book a week. Some of the books I read are ones that I have read before. Repetition is the motor of learning. It is great to read new books, but the ones that I re-read are the ones that I get the most out of because I retain far more of the ideas presented. I read some books every year because they are so important to my growth.
I do read a lot of new books as well. My goal in reading is usually one new idea that I can use. This goal allows me to never read a bad book. If you can’t find one new idea you are not looking hard enough.
When it comes to lifelong learning an important question to ask is “what are the last three books you have read?” If you cannot answer this question then you probably aren’t committed to lifelong learning.
With that here is a list of the last 52 books I read over the past year:
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill (I re-read this book every year.)
- As a Man Thinketh – James Allen (Another book I re-read every year.)
- The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale (Re-read.)
- QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life – John G. Miller (Another re-read. This book inspired my topic “Be the Boss of Your Life.”)
- Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything – John Izzo
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Go Set a Watchman: A Novel – Harper Lee (I don’t read many fiction books, but when I heard about a follow-up book to To Kill A Mocking Bird I had to read it.)
- 41: A Portrait of My Father – George W. Bush
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin
- Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success – Rory Vaden (Re-read)
- Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time – Rory Vaden
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable – Patrick Lencioni (Re-read)
- Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life -Spencer Johnson (Re-read)
- Seven Steps To A Life of Significance– Paul Brown (I actually published this book written by a good friend.)
- Controlled Chaos– Mark Saltveit
- Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surprising Good-About Feeling Special– Craig Malkin
- The Prior-Service Entrepreneur: The Fundamentals of Veteran Entrepreneurship– Michael I Kaplan
- The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason
- Acres of Diamonds: All Good Things Are Possible, Right Where You Are, and Now! – Russell H. Conwell (Re-read)
- The Secret: What Great Leaders Know-And Do – Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller
- Values, Inc.: How Incorporating Values into Business and Life Can Change the World – Dina Dwyer-Owens
- Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work – Michael Lee Stallard
- Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction – Matthew Kelly
- Should I Fire My Doctor?: Eleven Essential Elements to Living Well Aware – Patricia Sulak M.D.
- The Power of 10: A Practice for Engaging Your Voice of Wisdom – Rugger Burke (Rugger wrote a great guest post on my blog. Check it out here.
- The 33-Year-Old Rookie: My 13-Year Journey from the Minor Leagues to the World Series – Chris Coste (I still love sports books although I don’t read as many as I used to.)
- Thought Leaders: How to Capture, Package and Deliver Your Ideas for Greater Commercial Success – Matt Church
- You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference – Mark Sanborn
- Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life – Nathaniel Branden
- Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World – Margaret J. Wheatley
- Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life – Tony Dungy
- To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – Daniel H. Pink
- Creating Value: An Intangible in a Tanglible World – Mona Dunkin
- Habitudes: The Art of Self-Leadership – Tim Elmore
- The Strangest Secret – Earl Nightingale (Re-read.)
- Flipping the Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ! – John G. Miller
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek
- The Truth About Employee Engagement: A Fable About Addressing the Three Root Causes of Job Misery – Patrick M. Lencioni
- I Dare You! – William H. Danforth
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing – Benjamin Graham
- The Berenstain Bears and the Blame Game – Stan Berenstain (Not all books have to be long. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. It also inspired me to write and speak about personal responsibility. I wrote a post about this book. Check it out here.
- Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia–Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing the Way We Run Things – Brad Szollose
- Achievement: A Proven System for Next-Level Growth – David Byrd (Re-read.)
- Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo
- Outstanding!: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional – John G. Miller
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practice and Principles – Peter F. Drucker
- Man Alive: Transforming Your Seven Primal Needs into a Powerful Spiritual Life – Patrick Morley
- Inside Steve’s Brain – Leander Kahney
- Playbook for an Uncommon Life – Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
Those are the 52 books I read this year. I recommend all of them. I got something from every book. Any book on the list that was a re-read obviously is one that I would highly recommend.
In 2016, I will once again try to read a book a week. Here are a few that I will be starting with:
- The Audacity to Win – David Plouffe
- Destiny and Power – Jon Meacham
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
What books did you read this year? How many books will you read in 2016? I would love some suggestions for my own 2016 reading. Share them with me in the comments.
The most important question you must ask yourself as this new year approaches is this:
How will I invest in myself?
The way you answer this question will define your year. It will play a major role in making it your best year ever and making you the best version of yourself in 2016.