5 Books to Kick Your Butt and Break Your Rut

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

Harry S. Truman

Following the Curve of Her EyeWell, here it is. My first tip-of-the-hat to that ubiquitous and quotidian member of the blog family: the numbered list. Call it pandering. Call it trite. Call it a cop-out, a writer’s block, or a cheap attempt to drum up a bigger readership. I don’t really care. I post what I believe is important, and I try to communicate it in the least painful and most palatable way possible. And sometime a numbered list is just what the doctor ordered. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of numberless, listless web pages out there in the nebulon to peruse at your leisure. This blog is no longer one of them.

Los Libros Poderosos

In no particular order (with the exception of numero uno), here are 5 books that have grabbed me by the throat and plunged me into an ice bath of paradigm-shifting reality:

#5 – The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris: This powerful biography of the 26th president won Mr. Morris the Pulitzer in 1980. Rich and captivating, it is one of the greatest depictions of seizing the reins of your destiny and living an extraordinary life. It will stick with you forever.

#4 – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: The title says it all. Unless you’re some demigod of interpersonal relations, you’re not functioning even close to your capacity in this critical area of your life. Buy this and read it…right now.

#3 – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey: Truly excellent book from a master of personal development. Even if the only thing you remember from reading this is the Time Management Matrix, you’ll be thanking Mr. Covey for the rest of your life.

#2 – Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey: Forget the Wall Street wise guys. If you want the simplest, most challenging, most transformational way to look at personal finance, this book will certainly deliver. A true counter-cultural uppercut. I still have a black eye from the first time I read this…over four years ago.

#1 – Gaining Favor with God and Man by William M. Thayer: If Financial Peace was the uppercut, Gaining Favor is the entire prizefight. Nearly lost to the abyss of literary history but for the efforts of a priest who resurrected its printing in the late 20th century, this in-your-face, make-you-feel-like-an-abysmal-failure-before-lighting-a-quenchless-passion-for-greatness work of genius radically revolutionized my life. I read it over three years ago and haven’t been the same since. I can’t even lend my copy to anyone because it became my personal journal. I wrote an entire book of my own in the margins, and I reference it continually for material. Get rid of your preconceptions and prejudices, get your hands on a copy, and don’t stop reading until you reach the end. Except to visit your cut-man in the corner after ever chapter.

Are you reading?

– CD

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

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