If You Only Read A Few Books A Year, Read These in 2019

In 2018, I’ve had the pleasure of listening and reading over 40 books. Here are some that I highly recommend reading in 2019.

1. When Breath Becomes Airby Paul Kalanithi

This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question — What makes a life worth living?

2. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency”, lays out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.

3. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreamsby Matthew Walker PhD

The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert— reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better. Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don’t sleep.

4. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on Itby Chris Voss

Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’ head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: in saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles — counterintuitive tactics and strategies — you, too, can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal lives.

5. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Resultsby Gary Keller

In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goal, dial down the stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling, revive your energy, stay on track, master what matters to you. The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life — work, personal, family, and spiritual.

6. Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choiceby Clayton M. Christensen

Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to “hire” a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products not only that customers want to hire, but for which they’ll pay premium prices to bring them into their lives.

7. Straight Talk for Startups by Randy Komisar

100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds — From Mastering the Fundamentals to Selecting Investors, Fundraising, Managing Boards, and Achieving Liquidity

8. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Factsby Annie Duke

Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make betterdecisions.

Even the best decision doesn’t yield the best outcome every time. There’s always an element of luck that you can’t control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. The key is to focus on the quality of the decision and not the accuracy of the outcome.

9. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRsby John Doerr

Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth — and how it can help any organization thrive.

10. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timingby Daniel H. Pink

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

11. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Workby Chip Heath, Dan Heath

In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

12. Mindset: The New Psychology of Successby Carol S. Dweck

In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed.

13. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listenby Donald Miller

Building a StoryBrand — shares the seven universal story points all humans respond to, the real reason customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Building a StoryBrand will transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

14. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startupby Bill Aulet

Whether you’re a first-time or repeat entrepreneur, Disciplined Entrepreneurship gives you the tools you need to improve your odds of making a product people want. This book will show you how to create a successful startup. It breaks down the necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive, and proven 24-step framework that any industrious person can learn and apply.