Books Recommended by Successful Founders

Jen Rubio, Co-founder and Chief Branding Officer of Away

Jen Rubio

Co-founder and Chief Branding Officer of Away

Jen Rubio is the Co-Founder, President, and Chief Branding Officer of Away, a direct-to-consumer smart luggage startup. As a world-class traveller, Jen was struck by the idea for Away when her luggage broke and she had to shop for a new one at Zurich Airport. She was shocked by the fact that “you could buy a $500 or a $40 bag and they’d be sold next to each other with no discernible difference”. Jen definitely found the perfect gap in the market as Away has rapidly grown and raised $108M in just a couple of years.

Jen is a branding mastermind in the fashion space. Before founding her current company, she worked as Head of Social Media at popular direct-to-consumer eyeglasses company, Warby Parker, and Global Head of Innovation at AllSaints.

Sources Bio: https://bondstreet.com/jen-rubio-interview/, https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/away-2#section-funding-rounds
Books: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295513
Images: Everipedia
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

“It is a collection of Rilke's correspondence to a young, aspiring artist and offers candid thoughts on what it means to be a creatives. It's a little overwrought, but full of sage advice -- every time I've read it, new pieces of advice jump out at me depending on what's going on in my life and career.” (Jen in Entrepreneur)

Read More

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.

Buy
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“I think it's a great story about unconditional giving, but it's also a good reminder to not be that selfish little boy.” (Jen in Entrepreneur)

Read More

Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein's poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Shel Silverstein's incomparable career as a bestselling children's book author and illustrator began with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. He is also the creator of picture books including A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree, and of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

Buy
Jenn Im, Founder of Eggie and Clothes Encounters

Jenn Im

Founder of Eggie and Clothes Encounters

Jenn Im is a YouTube personality with 2.7M followers on YouTube. She is a Korean-American fashion and beauty vlogger who has been building her brand on the internet since the days when YouTube was a new phenomenon. She is listed as one of the top influencers in fashion on Forbes.

She has worked with multiple brands in addition to launching her own makeup line, “Jenn Ne Sais Quois” with ColourPop. Jenn has also launched her own fashion line called Eggie, incorporating Korean fashion and unisex design into its clothing. Its first line was sold out within minutes of its initial launch. The name is in reference to her being the youngest daughter in her family, meaning “baby” in Korean.

She’s an avid reader and has many favourites on her list but this is the most recent one:

Sources Bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenn_Im
Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cSc15Oj6v0&t=7s
Images: Forbes
Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

I know I’m not the only one with that voice in my head that is constantly making commentary on life. Sometimes it’s pretty funny and helpful but the majority of the time, it’s just noise. Singer does a really good job of explaining that, that voice inside of your head is not you. He calls it your roommate and you are just listening to it. I like to re-read this book when I’m feeling anxious about my life or when I’m over thinking about something. I’ll just bust open a chapter and it really grounds me." - Jenn Im

Read More

Buy
The four agreements by Dom Miguel Guiz

“This is a book I really wish was assigned in school because I feel like it would have made me a lot more centred and confident. It explains 4 rules that we should all live our lives by: (1) Be impeccable with your word, (2) Don’t take anything personally, (3) Don’t make assumptions, (4) Always try your best. I find that any life problem can be redirected to any of the four agreements.” - Jenn Im

Read More

Buy
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

“Over 65% of the things you do in your day to day life is run on autopilot, aka your habits. So if you have positive habits that you can just daze throughout life and be productive without even trying. The author does a really thorough job of describing how habits are created. It is a chain reaction of three events: (1) The queue, (2) The routine, (3) The reward. If you are looking to change a habit, it’s all about changing the routine.” - Jenn Im

Read More

Buy
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

“I was obsessed with thrillers last year and the queen of suspense. I read all of her books last year but my favourite one was by far, Dark Places.” - Jenn Im

Read More

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

Buy
The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine

“This is my gateway book that got me sucked into thrillers.” - Jenn Im

Read More

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale. Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn't have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces. With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

Buy
Room by Emma Donoghue

“This is by far the most uniquely written book that I’ve ever read.” - Jenn Im

Read More

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

Buy
Pachinko by Minjin Lee

“It was one of those reads where after I read it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This was a historical fiction that takes place in Korea under Japanese rule. I think this book does a really good job of explaining what it was life over 4 generations.” - Jenn Im

Read More

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

Buy
What I know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

“I fricken love Oprah and everything she stands for. This is a book of all the life lessons that she knows for sure. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired or unmotivated, I pick up this book.” - Jenn Im

Read More

As a creative force, student of the human heart and soul, and champion of living the life you want, Oprah Winfrey stands alone. Over the years, she has made history with a legendary talk show - the highest-rated program of its kind, launched her own television network, become the nation's only African-American billionaire, and been awarded both an honorary degree by Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. From all her experiences, she has gleaned life lessons―which, for fourteen years, she's shared in O, The Oprah Magazine's widely popular 'What I Know For Sure' column, a monthly source of inspiration and revelation.

Buy
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

“My mind completely changed when I heard his story on Oprah’s podcast.” - Jenn Im

Read More

Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. But he did exist--and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government. This compelling memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom's unwavering love and indomitable will. It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa's racial history, but it will also astound and inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.

Buy
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

“This memoir is the ultimate story of the underdog getting justice.” - Jenn Im

Read More

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

Buy
Justin Hein, Founder and CEO of Rose Rocket

Justin Hein

Founder and CEO of Rose Rocket

Justin Hein is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rose Rocket, a venture-backed Y Combinator (Summer 2016) alumnus company. Rose Rocket is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software used by trucking companies to manage critical steps in their ordering process. It works in a multi-billion dollar industry that we don’t really think about but YC partners do:

“Trucking is one of the largest industries in the US and it is one of the last large industries not to be disrupted by technology. Do you know the app that Uber drivers use? Amazingly, truck drivers still don’t have anything like that – in some cases, they still communicate with their base over the radio. Rose Rocket is the right solution. It’s modern software that makes trucking companies better without trying to replace them. Even when trucks become driverless, trucking companies will still need to manage their operations, and they will use Rose Rocket to do it.” – Jared Friedman, Partner, Y Combinator

Sources Bio: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heininc/
Books:
Images: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heininc/
Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager 3rd ed. Edition by Michael Lopp

Read hilarious stories with serious lessons that Michael Lopp extracts from his varied and sometimes bizarre experiences as a manager at Apple, Pinterest, Palantir, Netscape, Symantec, Slack, and Borland. Many of the stories first appeared in primitive form in Lopp’s perennially popular blog, Rands in Repose. The Third Edition of Managing Humans contains a whole new season of episodes from the ongoing saga of Lopp's adventures in Silicon Valley, together with classic episodes remastered for high fidelity and freshness.

Read More

Whether you're an aspiring manager, a current manager, or just wondering what the heck a manager does all day, there is a story in this book that will speak to you―and help you survive and prosper amid the general craziness of dysfunctional bright people caught up in the chase of riches and power. Scattered in repose among these manic misfits are managers, an even stranger breed of people who, through a mystical organizational ritual, have been given power over the futures and the bank accounts of many others.

Buy
Two Against the North by Farley Mowat

No single book could represent such a singular, widely curious figure as Farley Mowat, but Lost in the Barrens, the classic adventure tale that has introduced his work to generations of Canadians, is an excellent place to start. Set in the icy North that has been Mowat's continuing source of inspiration, Lost in the Barrens is a thrilling example of the gift for storytelling that makes almost any story Mowat wants to tell worth a listen.

Read More

Buy
Katrina Lake, Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix

Katrina Lake

Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix

Katrina Lake is the Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, an online subscription and personal styling service. You may have seen the iconic photo of her at Nasdaq MarketSite taking her company public with her then 14-month-old son at her hip.

Katrina is the youngest female founder to take a company public, and she herself never saw it coming. In an interview with Elle Magazine she joked she was always the “master of the A-minus. I’m not somebody that people looked at and said, ‘Oh, she’s going to be a CEO someday.’”

But Katrina has earned that title with all of the hurdles she has jumped through. Having always had a passion for the intersection of fashion and tech, Katrina started Stitch Fix as a school project while attending Harvard Business School. She has had to deal with professors calling her idea an “inventory nightmare” to convincing mostly male Venture Capitalists to fund an idea they just couldn’t wrap their heads around. With all of her triumphs, Katrina Lake is now a powerful name giving strength to female founders everywhere.

Sources Bio: https://www.elle.com/fashion/a15895336/katrina-lake-stitch-fix-ceo-interview/
Books: http://money.com/money/5080173/katrina-lake-net-worth-stitch-fix/
Images: Inflection Point
It’s Not about the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks. By Howard Behar

“I read it before I started Stitch Fix. It had a really big impact on me and how I approached company culture. In Howard’s book, he talks about how the company culture of Starbucks is one where he felt like he could be the same person at home and be the same person at work. And that the values were consistent in both worlds.” - Katrina Lake

Read More

During his many years as a senior executive at Starbucks, Howard Behar helped establish the Starbucks culture, which stresses people over profits. He coached hundreds of leaders at every level and helped the company grow into a world-renowned brand. Now he reveals the ten principles that guided his leadership-and not one of them is about coffee. Behar shows that if you think of your staff as people (not labor costs) they will achieve amazing results. He discusses the importance of building trust, telling hard truths, thinking independently, and more. And he shares inside stories of key turning points for Starbucks, as it fought to hang on to its culture while growing exponentially.

Buy
Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden

“I love cooking. It’s what clears my mind, since it’s pretty hard to multitask when you’re chopping vegetables.” - Katrina Lake

Read More

Joshua McFadden, chef and owner of renowned trattoria Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon, is a vegetable whisperer. After years racking up culinary cred at New York City restaurants like Lupa, Momofuku, and Blue Hill, he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, where he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant and learned to coax the best from vegetables at each stage of their lives. In Six Seasons, his first book, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons—an arc from spring to early summer to midsummer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, the earthy, mellow sweetness of winter. Each chapter begins with recipes featuring raw vegetables at the start of their season. As weeks progress, McFadden turns up the heat—grilling and steaming, then moving on to sautés, pan roasts, braises, and stews. His ingenuity is on display in 225 revelatory recipes that celebrate flavor at its peak.

Buy
The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us  by Richard O. Prum

“It’s talking about natural selection. We know about survival of the fittest and how the strongest animals win. But the reality is there are all these traits that evolve that don’t really make sense from a natural selection standpoint. There’s all these traits that have evolved because species find them to be beautiful. It was part of Darwin’s original theory, but it was one that was kind of lost in history and so it kind of revisits that.” – Katrina Lake

Read More

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Buy
Tobi Lutke, Founder and CEO of Shopify

Tobi Lutke

Founder and CEO of Shopify

Tobi Lutke is the founder and sitting CEO of Shopify, a Canadian e-Commerce software-as-a-service unicorn startup. Tobi was born in Germany, dropped out of school to join the Kblenzer Carl-Benz-school apprenticeship to become a computer programmer after the tenth grade.

He then moved to Canada and started a company called Snowdevil, an online snowboard shop. The lack of e-commerce platforms available that made it easy for merchants to create online stores is what prompted Tobi and his co-founders to create Shopify which now helps over 300,000 merchants to conduct over $20 billion dollars of gross merchandise sales (as of 2006).

In 2014, he was listed as The Globe and Mail’s CEO of the year and he is also an advocate for digital literacy in Canada and sits on the board of Canada Learning Code!

Sources Bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobias_L%C3%BCtke
Books: https://tim.blog/2019/02/11/the-tim-ferriss-show-transcripts-tobi-lutke/
Images: https://twitter.com/tobi
The Box by Malcolm McLean

"He’s one of us entrepreneurs who would absolutely be on your podcast if he would be alive right now because he spent the first money out of college on buying a truck. He started a trucking company and tried to get things shipped across the country or even to Europe and realized we can make the most efficient trucking system, or the train guys have the most efficient trains, and the boat guys have ships all over the world... (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss podcast)

Read More

But getting something through multiple stations is impossible. You have to unload everything. So he ended up just buying a bunch of tankers from the US Navy, which had surplus tankers at the end of World War II and just came up with this idea of putting a shipping container together that you can put things in the factory in Maine and then ship them all the way to Berlin. And the moment he did that, the cost of sending a unit of goods went from, I think, $6 to $0.16. We all live in Malcolm’s world because the shipping container has been hugely influential in history. It’s like a lot of people talk about free trade agreements and globalization. In reality, globalization happens the moment a shipping container opens in a country. And it’s a fascinating, rather underexposed story. But what’s so cool about this is the reason why he put this off is because, again, the Vanderbilts and the train guys really loved the trains. And the boat guys loved the boats. And he was the only person who just cared about moving things. He wanted to solve the problem of moving things in the world and then, you come to better solutions. We need more of that kind of thing.” (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast)

Buy
High Output Management by Andy Grove

“So Andy’s book is unapologetically almost a how to manual, but kind of deconstructs the world of business into first principles. It’s like, ‘Here’s what matters. Here’s how to think about it. No one needs a degree. There’s a little bit of circumstantial contextual understanding that you just have to have.’ But basically, at the end of the day, making business is an engineering exercise, which is brilliant for me because that actually made the whole thing about becoming CEO significantly less scary to me because engineering I understand.” (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast)

Read More

Buy
Influence by Robert Cialdini

“Influence was just the most mind-bending book you can imagine, because it essentially taught you always humans are flawed and influential and how, yes, computers are predictable. And you can deal with it.” (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast)

Read More

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say 'yes'—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Buy
Drive by Daniel Pink

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others).

Read More

In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Buy
Mindset - Carol S. Dweck

“I’m a big fan of the book. It talks you through the theory. And what I’ve observed is even with a very, very high super successful executives who come to Shopify and have worked at Shopify for a very long time, they end up reading the book. And they say, 'You know what? I was actually fixed mindset on all of these three things. (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss podcast)

Read More

And it’s like it really irks me now.' It’s just really funny how it wakes you up to this reality that we kind of all have that. It’s not something you can completely overcome. But it’s something that just having the awareness is really powerful. And also, if you have to have reports in a company, even if that book does nothing for you, it will allow you to be a much better lead to most people because it’s just priming you to detect fixed mindset talk in other people. And pointing it out is hugely beneficial.” (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss podcast)

Buy
The Elements of Style by William Strunk

“The most frequently gifted book is The Elements of Style because I like good writing.” - Tobias Lutke, Founder of Shopify

Read More

The Elements of Style is a study guide for the development of writing style by William Strunk Jr., a professor of English at Cornell University. It was later finished by his student, Elwyn Brooks White. Now it is commonly known as “the study guide by Strunk and White”. In short, this book is for someone who wants to become a writer. The Elements of Style is some kind of examples’ collection of all kinds of styles of writing very different works. It comprises eight 'elementary rules of usage', ten 'elementary principles of composition', 'a few matters of form', a list of 49 'words and expressions commonly misused', and a list of 57 'words often misspelled'.

Buy
A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.

Read More

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

Buy
The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

“It is probably the best book I’ve read in the last couple of years. [...] It’s an introduction to Adlerian psychology, which is sort of anti-Freud. [...] Clearly a student of Stoicism, but I think he took it further. His concept of the separation of tasks is probably – maybe that would be another thing I would put on a billboard. But I think it requires a little bit of context and explanation...(Tobi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast)

Read More

[The concept of the separation of tasks] It is the basic idea of “It’s not your task to be liked. It’s your task to be likable, and it’s someone else’s task to like you or not. It’s up to them.” The biggest wedge between your psychology and someone else’s that could ever be driven into it. And I think, potentially, a more tangible way of getting people into this mindset than I think the stoics who came at it from a very high mindedness. It all makes sense. But I think what Adler does really well is he developed tangible tools to facilitate a lot of those kinds of outcomes with stoic but a sort of reasoning about it. So a fascinating book.” (Tobi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast)

Buy

OTHER POSTS YOU'LL LIKE

Salespeople

Salespeople

Salespeople from Facebook, Snap Inc., Uber, and Ubereats recommend their fave books

Read more

Tim Urban

Tim Urban

Founder & Blogger of Wait But Why

Read more