Most entrepreneurs pride themselves on being renegades and going against the grain. But you shouldn’t allow your desire to be different keep you from enjoying the books everyone else is reading.
Below are seven of today’s biggest bestsellers. Even if you’re a diehard rebel and never read the same page-turners as the masses, open your mind (even wider) and pick up at least one of these. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that each one can make you a wiser, more versatile business leader.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Could all those comfort zones that you instinctively head to actually be prisons? That’s just one of the thoughts I had thanks to this delightful, thought-provoking novel. Brace yourself: This fictional story will weave its way into your mind. After finishing it, I found myself wondering what old habits I need to put to rest in order to live life to the fullest today. I never expected Evvie Drake Starts Over to be so cleansing, but it has refreshed my entrepreneurial soul.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who suddenly finds herself in need of her own sessions. Not only does this unexpected dive into her psyche allow Gottlieb to make some surprising self-discoveries, it also gives her insights into her patients’ worlds. Reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone underscored my belief in mentorship at all levels. Just as getting new perspectives from her therapist helped Gottlieb grow as a professional, having a mentor enables me to serve my mentees better.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
While Michelle Obama was First Lady, I gave little thought to the life-work balancing act she had to manage in the White House. Yet as a father and businessman, I realized after reading her book that I should have been more awestruck by how deftly she raised two level-headed children amid public life with style, wit and phenomenal business savvy. Becoming is a great manual for anyone striving for greater authenticity and grace. I’ll remember Mrs. Obama’s words the next time I need an uplifting reminder that no matter how big the stage, you can only be you.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
We have all taken actions that seemed unfathomable to those around us. In Alex Michaelides’ novel, the main character commits a shocking crime that appears to be completely out of character. Yet throughout the book, we discover that her decisions were less incongruous than originally presumed. While I hope I’ve never deliberately hurt anyone, there’s probably not a businessperson alive who hasn’t made a judgment call that caused some unease—just as this book’s silent protagonist has. Expect to conduct a bit of cathartic self-analysis as you indulge in this gripping tale.
The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks
Is it easy to become entrapped by greed and envy, especially when you navigate the modern business realm? Yet many people—New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks included—believe true success is achievable only through the pursuit of meaningful living fostered by a commitment to others. I’m a huge advocate of living authentically, even when it’s downright tough to share your truths and vulnerabilities. Feel like you’ve moved away from your center or are climbing someone else’s mountain? Pick up this book and rediscover your true north—and your next challenge.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
Sustainability has grown into a huge differentiator among brands. As someone who likes to stay on the leading edge of natural resources stewardship, I appreciated the way David Wallace-Wells delivered his message of warning. This book will encourage you to reexamine your operational protocols, not to mention make you think twice about which vendors you choose. After all, your customers will read this bestseller. And after they do, they will expect more in the way eco-friendly best practices.
Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw
Our nation has been shaped by entrepreneurs for more than 200 years. But until reading Songs of America, I never recognized the way American music can help us understand the impact makers and doers have had on our country’s fabric. After poring over this book, I no longer simply hear sounds and words but focus on their underlying meanings and advice. As Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw argue, lyricists and musicians have long been our generational storytellers. Let your business content and thought leadership be moved by jazz beats, pop refrains and everything in between.