This hashtag #7BooksToKnowMe is floating around on Mastodon (no more Twitter, yay!) and I have a whole shelf of favourite books on Goodreads. These ones I think give you a snapshot of the me you’re likely to encounter on any given day. The TL;DR upfront, followed by more explanation:
- Guards! Guards! – Terry Pratchett
- My Dear Child: Listening to God’s Heart – Colin Urquhart
- The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not – John Vorhaus
- The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t – Robert Sutton
- Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
- Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well – Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen
- Letters from a Stoic – Seneca
Guards! Guards! – Terry Pratchett
The eighth book of the Discworld series, and the first of the City Watch sub-series, this is the book I loan out to people to get them hooked on Pratchett. I think I am on my 3rd or 4th copy of it, most of the time it comes back to me.
My Dear Child: Listening to God’s Heart by Colin Urquhart
This book has been a comfort in really dark times, a reassurance, and something I come back to many times.
The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not by John Vorhaus
Got this as the textbook for a comedy writing course many years ago, the ideas of the Rule of Ten, and Comedy is Truth + Pain have been useful in not just writing jokes, but improving all my writing.
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert Sutton
This book is one I’ve mailed to people, loaned to people, and recommend to every new people manager I come across. It puts hard evidence behind the gut feeling that assholes depress productivity and make everyone’s lives miserable. The concept of the TCA, or Total Cost of Asshole, deducted from one asshole’s yearly bonus is sweet justice.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Probably the first book on how to write that really clicked for me, the concept of morning pages and writing practice is a great exercise for clearing out cobwebs and exploring what the static in your head is hiding.
Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen
Did a work book club on this book, I firmly believe that the ability to disagree in a healthy and respectful manner, and to give critical feedback with kindness are essential in business.
Letters from a Stoic, by Seneca
The second book of the Stoics I read, and I first listened to it on Audible. It is sensible, efficient, and useful life wisdom.