welcome to the

better yourself

book club

I’m hoping this page gives a little more definition for the request to pick a book that has helped you “better yourself.” TLDR: it can be anything.

You just have to be able to tell me about how it helped you better yourself. Personally, professionally, whatever. Maybe it taught you something you didn’t know before. Maybe it changed your perspective on something. Maybe it made you change something about how you lived life. Maybe it featured a character who did something or lived in a way you admired.

It could be fiction or non fiction. It does not need to be a self help book. It could be a children’s book or assigned reading from high school. It could be a biography or autobiography. It could be something you read recently or years ago. It could be a comic book or graphic novel. There’s a good chance if you made a list of your favorite 3-5 books, at least one of them has probably had some impact on how you go through life.

Below are a few lists that might spark something.


What’s been Done

These are the books we’ve talked about so far:

  • Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith

  • Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer

  • Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Klauser

  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

  • Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

  • The Gospel According to Jesus by Stephen Mitchell

  • So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

  • Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God by Russell Simmons

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

  • The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

  • Moneyball by Michael Lewis

  • On Writing by Stephen King

  • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

  • Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

  • White Like Me by Tim Wise

  • Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

  • The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

  • Educated by Tara Westover

These have helped others

These are books that others have said helped them better themselves:

  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

  • The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways To Keep The Little Things From Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson

  • The First Third by Neal Cassady

  • Ready Player One by Earnest Cline

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

  • The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

  • Linchpin by Seth Godin

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

  • Anger by Thic Nhat Hahn

  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thic Nhat Hahn

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

  • Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell

  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

  • Early Bird by Rodney Rothman

  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills

  • You Are Not Your Brain by Jeffrey Schwartz M.D.

  • The Game by Neal Strauss

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk

My wishlist

Still feeling stuck? Willing to read something new and looking for a suggestion? Here are some books I’d be psyched to talk about:

  • I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

  • Deepak Chopra: anything by him

  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

  • The Brothers K by David James Duncan

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey

  • Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman (this is actually just a speech, short!)

  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

  • Lost Connections by Johann Hari

  • The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

  • The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith