10 books that have changed your life
What are the 10 books that have had a large impact on your life? They dont have to be the greatest literary achievements, or your 10 favourite books, instead they are personal items that have influenced you in some way. Here is my list and I would love to hear yours.
1. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
For a third generation Australian growing up in the middle class suburbs, our dinners mostly consisted of meat with three veg. Reading this book after moving out of home opened my eyes to an entirely new world of cooking, cuisine and trying new foods.
2. Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
Having spent a lot of my career working with data this book has given me a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to many claims. Most importantly the biggest takeaway which I often find myself telling others "correlation does not equal causation". But fair warning, after reading this book you will not look at any statistical statement the same way again.
3. The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene
I can understand why this book has become so popular, and so controversial. I found my working career change greatly after reading it, as I was able to identify many of the characters in the book and when the tricks were being used against me.
4. The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday
I once worked on a project that was grossly over budget, over time and with hundred of defects. It was so bad that even through the project was initially for 12 months, the rectification work took almost three years. Yet at the end of it, I was the only person that was still there from the beginnig. When asked why, I often quoted this book. It will change the way you view problems.
5. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
I read this about 2 months out from turning 40, which was about the same time that Rich decided to take control of his life and sign up for Ultraman. This really showed me what the human body is capable of if you commit to something and that you can turn your health around as you get older. Inspired me to start competing in my own triathlons.
6. No shitting in the toilet by Peter Moore
This is a book of lists. Lists that traveller Peter Moore has put together over his decades of travelling. I always take this book no matter where I travel to, because no matter how bad a hotel, bus trip, flight or meal is, I can always find at least 10 more in this book which would be much worse.
7. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Many people often cite Outliers and the 10,000 hour rule when referring to Gladwell but I have always preferred Blink. Maybe it's because it was the first non-fiction book with a great narrative that I read, or maybe its because I like the concept, of trusting your gut and going with your first instinct.
8. Rolling Stone Magazine Interviews
Never read the magazine but loved this book, a collection of interviews from muscians, actors and artists between 1968 to 2005. Reading these interviews you realise there is so much more to these people that how the general public and media make them out to be. And while it sounds cliched, deep down they all struggle with the same problems as most people. Has really made me change the way I view any celebrity or performing artist.
9. Seinlanguage by Jerry Seinfeld
I loved Seinfeld. I still think it is one of the most clever shows on TV. I got given this book as a Christmas present when I was about 16 thinking it was going to be a boring biography but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be all his stand up comedy material. Reading it you can see how polished a performer he was as his sets were almost word for word like the book.
10. Choose yourself by James Altucher
I first came across James' writing on TechCrunch back around 2011 and have followed it ever since. While it was tempting to put more than one of his books here, I found this is the one that showed me to stop seeking out permission from traditional gatekeepers. It has helped me to publish books, start businesses, and generally live my life the way I want. This is the number 1 book I recommened to my colleagues, children and friends whenever something or someone is holding them back.