I spend a lot of time listening to audiobooks via Audible, and I find myself recommending books to people almost daily, none of which have anything to do with home inspections.

When I meet with big-time book readers, we end up recommending a bunch of books to each other. I have a hard time remembering all of my favorites, so I put together a list of my most-recommended books. Then I decided to share it here as a blog post. Why not? Readers are leaders, learners are earners, books are a uniquely portable magic, and all that jazz. Here's my list.

Must-read books for everyone

  • The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. Wake up early and start every day with these six routines. They'll change your life.
  • The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson and John David Mann. It's compound interest applied to your life.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie & Associates. I used to think that this book was about being manipulative, but that's not it at all. It's about being a more successful person in business, relationships, and life. I listen to this book every year to help keep the lessons at the front of my mind.
  • Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Timeless principles for success. There's some weird stuff in this book (sexual transmutation, the sixth sense), but it's interesting and thought-provoking.
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan. How and why you should focus your efforts on the stuff that achieves the highest results.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey. Again, timeless principles, excellent life lessons.
  • The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman. While we all have our own natural love languages that we speak, the recipient might need to hear a very different language. This is an excellent book on relationships and communication for anyone, not just married people.

More books for everyone

  • First Things First, by Stephen R. Covey. Get your priorities straight, plan, and spend time working on important stuff that isn't time-sensitive. That's the easiest stuff to never touch, but it'll make the biggest impact in your life.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. Fascinating stories of success, explaining how circumstances can have as much to do with success as anything else. I've re-told so many stories from this book, especially the one about why elite Canadian hockey players are all born at the beginning of the year.
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely. Humans are not rational beings. We decide with emotions. Fascinating stuff here.

Parenting Books

For perspective, my son is 11 and my daughter is 8.

  • Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, by Richard Ferber. My son still wasn't sleeping through the night at 8 months, and after reading this book, I was able to fix that in two or three days. Amazing.
  • The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families, By Hal Elrod, Lindsay McCarthy, and Mike McCarthy. This incorporates the principles of The Miracle Morning, but there's a ton of great parenting advice in this book on how to make your family stronger.
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish. The title is pretty self-explanatory. I found myself saying to myself over and over again "oops, I shouldn't say this, I should say that."
  • How to Raise an Adult, by Julie-Lythcott-Haims. This is a liberating book. A game-changer. There are a ridiculous amount of parents who over-parent, making their kids into helpless adults who can't live without their parents. I've given my kids a lot more responsibility since reading this book. I'm planning to re-read this book every year until my kids are no longer living at home.
  • Gist: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids, by Michael Anderson and Timothy Johanson. This book is very similar to How to Raise an Adult. Don't over-parent, don't waste your time doing all this stuff that won't work. In fact, all of this over-parenting will have the exact opposite of what you want.
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, by Dr. Laura Markham. Lots of good advice here for parents of siblings who don't always get along.
  • Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Meg Meeker. This book convinced me that it's impossible to raise a girl who won't suffer through a lot of emotional trauma. Girls have it rough, but dads can make it a lot better. I will definitely listen to this book again in a couple of years.
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, by Lisa Damour, Ph.D. This book taught me what to expect from my daughter in the coming years, and taught me how rebellion and pulling away is normal and expected for every teenager. This will help me to not take a lot of these behaviors personally. Hopefully. There is so much helpful advice here, and it's not just about girls.
  • The Family Board Meeting: Is Business Success Hurting Your Family?, by Jim Sheils. This is a super-short read, discussing the importance of quality time vs. the quantity of time with your kids. Here's the short version of this short book: do 1-on-1 dates with your kids and keep your phone off. But seriously, read the book.

Business

  • The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber. Own a small business? Thinking of starting one? This is a must-read. The myth is that because you're a skilled worker, you will also be a successful entrepreneur. This book made me realize that every business ought to be run like a franchise. Systems, systems, systems.
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh. Happy employees deliver excellent service. Company culture is critically important.
  • Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, by Jay Baer. My guidebook to dealing with customer complaints. Every business owner ought to read this, and anyone in customer service ought to read this too.
  • Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype, by Jay Baer. Thinking of starting a business blog? A business Facebook page? A business podcast? Read this book.
  • Building a StoryBrand | Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller. If you're a business, don't be the hero; be the guide.
  • Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz. Pay yourself first, don't pay yourself with whatever is left over after your expenses. This was covered at the very beginning of The Richest Man in Babylon. This book gives very specific advice on how to make sure that this is done. This book ties in nicely with The Slight Edge, which I recommended above in my must-read list of books for everyone.

Leadership

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. I debated putting this at the top as a book for anyone, because it's so fascinating and because I've recommended it so many times. People are not motivated by money; they're motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins.
  • Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, by Liz Wiseman and Nicky Wazim.
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John Maxwell. Just about anything else by John Maxwell could be added to this list.

Next week, I will return you to your regularly scheduled blog about houses and home inspection topics.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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