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90+ Creative Reading Recommendations for Entrepreneurs

Jun 13, 2021

I think it’s really important to find ways to continue to evolve. I notice that when I’m no longer challenged or inspired, I feel stagnant, and it affects my personal life, my family life, and my work/business. For me, finding new ways to challenge or inspire myself is as simple as opening a book!

I prioritize reading pretty highly in my schedule. It’s a special time to enrich myself, and I really enjoy that regular deposit into my personal development bank. Over the years, as I dive more and more into the world of creative entrepreneurship, I’ve cultivated a list of favorites and must-reads that stems from personal finds, recommendations from peers and mentors, and Goodreads suggestions.

Beyond simply reading to fill your time and minds, I believe it’s important to enjoy a variety of materials. You can’t find balance by adding more and more to one facet of your knowledge — becoming an expert in one niche is not of interest or value to me.

My creative reading recommendations are listed below, organized by category for your convenience! I hope you find a new favorite among these suggestions. Leave me a comment at the bottom of this post if you’ve read any of these or have any more to add to my list!

 

ORGANIZATION

Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lana Hakone

 

FINANCIAL

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

 

CONSUMERISM

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture by Juliet B. Shor

The WalMart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works and How It's Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman

The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do by Clotaire Rapaille

Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael Shuman

 

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy By Eric Mataxas

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjan Satrapi

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Wells

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Addie Fadiman

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James Hunter

Feeding the Rat: A Climber's Life on the Edge by A. Alvarez

Into the Wild by John Krakaur

Hitchcock and Bradbury Fistfight in Heaven by Dave Eggers

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

 

HEALTH

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal by Eric Schlosser

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

Sugar Blues by William Dufty

Wheat Belly by William Davis

 

RELIGION

The LDS Gospel of Light by N. Eldon Tanner

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline L'Engle

The Book of Mormon by Mormon/Moroni

Yearning for the Living God by Enziano Busche

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Dhammapada: Essential Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha by Dge-dun-chos-phel

The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens

The Crucible of Doubt by Terryl and Fiona Givens

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability by William McDonough

The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry

Requiem For a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change by Clive Hamilton

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Hunter Lovins, Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide by Claudia Thompson

American Canopy by Eric Rutkow

Design For the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Viktor Papanek

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie

Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough



CREATIVITY

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is Remaking Commerce, Culture, andConsciousness by Virginia Postrel

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel S. Pink

Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands by Kevin Roberts

No Logo by Naomi Klein

A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young

Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design by Audrey Bennett

Spark: How Creativity Works by Audrey Bennett

Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein and Christopher Lane

Neil Gaiman's "Make Good Art" Speech by Neil Gaiman

Art as Experience by John Dewey

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono

The Genius Machine by Gerald Sindell

Design and Truth by Robert Grudin

Visual Thinking by Rudolf Arnheim

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

Asymmetric Typography by Jan Tschichold

Never Use White Type on a Black Background: And 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules by Anneloes van Gaalen

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey

 

ADVERTISING

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising by Luke Sullivan

Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning by Jon Steel

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries

 

HISTORY

Liberal Facism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

The Story of Ancient History

The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

 

UNDERSTANDING MAN

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Frank I. Luntz

How To Hug a Porcupine: Dealing with Toxic and Difficult-to-love Personalities by John L. Lund

You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity by Robert Lane Greene

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by Arbinger Institute

Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life by Stephen Johnson and Steven Johnson

Hug Your People by Jack Mitchell

Wild by Cheryl Strandberg

 

SOCIAL ISSUES

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition by Wendell Berry

Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

The Harmless People by Elizabeth Marshall Thoma

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