I like books. And I am the kind of person who reads a book… and it becomes a part of me. And it sort of never feels the same once I love a book. I have emotional reactions when people talk about The Great Gatsby, Where the Red Fern Grows, or any of the Harry Potter books. I feel like this. But there are books that I actually use as a guide to life… and these are them.
1. 1001 Places To See Before You Die – Patricia Schultz
I do have some issues with this book… the fact that you can tell who paid her is an obvious one. She talks about a bunch of hotel chains mentioning ones in different cities that are MUST-STAYS (you can check out the book if you want to know which chain it is). Now, while I know that there are amazing and infamous hotels out there (Bellagio, Regent Beverly Wilshire ["Reg...Bev... Wil..."], The Ritz, and all these cools ones) I’m not a fan of putting a bunch of chains.
That being said… she has some great stuff in there. Places that I agree with, places I have never heard of, nature, industrial, artistic, historic, modern and everything in between. She’s got the obvious stuff like the Lourve, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China, as well as some not so obvious stuff. She also includes great festivals and things to do and restaurants (another point of contention, but for the most part, I’m okay with it). Do I plan a trip without this? I think NOT.
2. How To Become CEO: The Rules For Rising To The Top Of Any Organization – Jeffery J. Fox.
This book is really small, really short, and really good. While some people think that it’s obviously a marketing ploy (the author is a famous marketer) I disagree. It gives you tips with digestible explanations. The book is not the end-all-be-all, but is meant to be inspiration. It’s meant to be general advice across all industries, times periods and locations. If you want specifics… well, that’s what Google (and your current CEO!) are for.
It’s genius in it’s simplicity. Things you SHOULD know, and that you do know… but telling you how important they are. It also works at any point in your career. Right now, for instance, I don’t have to worry about the tips that discuss my subordinates or travelling with my boss. But I can work on the ones that suggest hand written notes and seeking line jobs – not staff jobs. Genius.
3. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie.
I want to win friends and influence people. So there.
It’s also a classic an if you don’t like this book, you’re probably just a social genius (unlikely).
4. The Bro Code – “Barney Stinson.”
This is really, really funny and while I’m not a bro, the principles are great. It’s all about being a good friend (although not a great boyfriend) and it just makes me laugh. Especially because I’m one of those chicks who plays jump rope with the crazy-hot scale (HIMYM reference!).
5. The Bible.
WAIT. Before you click out of my blog and think I am a religious nut… know that although I grew up in a religious household, I can’t agree with everything in the Bible. After all… things change. But the general principles are there: treat everyone well. Be a nice person. Don’t be mean. To me, that’s what I take away from the Bible and that’s what’s most important – BE A FREAKING GOOD PERSON. THAT’S IT.