I read a lot of books. I used to work in book publishing, and reading manuscripts and newly published books was part of my job. Sadly I no longer get books for free (unless I borrow them from the library!) but I do still love reading. I read mostly fiction, as it’s my preferred genre, and I like anything I can escape into. However, I do also read some non-fiction and these are my top picks that are not necessarily business books, but are related to business. I hope they inspire and motivate you to get your own reading groove on.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve read this book twice, I love it that much. I find Gilbert’s writing, fiction or non-fiction, beautiful and inspiring. Her thoughts on creativity really made me open up my thinking about how to be creative and work in a creative industry. One of my favourite quotes from this book was “If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” I think this totally puts creativity into perspective – you don’t have to be the most original, ‘arty’ person around, you just need to create. And keep doing it.

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

I started to read this book and stopped, started and stopped, and finally ended up finishing it. Parts of this book weren’t particularly relevant to my business, but I found the section on pricing really useful. This book made me realise I actually had to increase my prices and be pickier about which clients I took on, to ensure that I was using my time wisely and profitably. This book is probably the most ‘typical’ business book in my list of favourites, but that doesn’t mean it’s dull.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

This was a breath of fresh air when I read it a couple of years ago, and the main message is that everyone has problems. However it’s what you put your energy into, and which problems you ‘solve’ that shows you if you’re using your time wisely, or just caring too much about everything. The premise behind the book is basically summed up in this quote: “You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of f*cks to give.” Choose to give your f*cks to things you really care about – family, lifestyle, health, whatever is important to you. The rest will follow.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This book was a good overall reminder to get the most out of my working week. Teaching skills around reducing time spent looking at and replying to emails, time management and productivity are this book’s strengths. Even using a virtual assistant to reduce the time taken on admin tasks is in line with this book’s philosophy, and it’s well worth a read for some inspiration.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I’ve read this book several times (which is itself an achievement, as it’s the size of a brick!). Steve Jobs’ story is told so well by Walter Isaacson, and I couldn’t detect any bias in how Jobs was portrayed. In many ways, he was not a good family man, remaining focused on work almost entirely. But the way he worked, and the innovation that came from him and his business is awe-inspiring. This was a really well-written book about a creative and brilliant businessman. And it also makes you realise that there is more to a life well-lived than just work.

I’d love to hear what your favourite business book is, or what you’re loving reading at the moment. Feel free to shoot me through an email and let me know. Happy reading!