How I Build My Book Recommendation Lists

I believe that so many of the answers and insights we need are somewhere in some book.

I mentor a lot of people.  And one thing I found is that so many of the answers that people need, are lying in some book somewhere.

So many times I would mention an idea or concept to someone, and I knew it was exactly what they needed.

But they had never heard of the idea or they had never heard of the book.

I would tell them which book, and sometimes they would read it, sometimes they would not.

Or sometimes they would read it, but they didn’t quite get the point or internalize the concept in a way they needed to.

Building and Sharing Book Nuggets

That is why I created so many blog posts based on what I call “Book Nuggets.”

Book Nuggets are those needles in the haystack, those gems of insight, that help you in some way.  Maybe they frame a problem better.  Maybe they give you a new way to look at a challenge.  Maybe they give you some idea to try that just might be the key you needed to unlock more of your potential.

By using Book Nuggets, you are using Wisdom of the Ages and Modern Sages to “Stand on the shoulders of giants.”

I Test a Lot of Books

During my process of buying, trying, and testing books, I end up going through lots and lots (and lots) of books.

While some months I may only spend tends of dollars on books, I have spent thousands of dollars on books in a month (I believe around $3,000 one month, for example), and in general, I spend a few hundred dollars on books in a given month.

I don’t buy books to just collect them or to sit on the shelf.

I buy them to learn things faster, build my knowledge base, get exposed to new ideas, and actually solve problems with them.

So rather than say I read a lot of books each month, it’s more accurate to say I “use” a lot of books each month, or I “test” a lot of books each month.

I try ideas out to actually solve problems in work and life.

Having a large collection of books gives me a library of profound knowledge to tackle any challenge.

I Buy Lots and Lots of Books (I Have Stacks)

I try to buy mostly books on Kindle when I can – otherwise I would have to move out of my house and let the books take over.

That said, I still have plenty of stacks of books – not just in multiple rooms, but in the garage, too.

A few pictures should give you the idea. 

image  image

I Do Book Reviews (and Book “Trailers”)

Well, you can think of them as Book Reviews, but they are a bit more like movie trailers, where I share some of the most exciting scenes.

If I read a book that’s got create insights, I like to bubble up those big ideas and share them with the world.

I like to let the world know that a particular book has some amazing insight that they can use in pragmatic ways to change their life.

Here are a couple of my favorite examples so you can see what I mean by more like a book “trailer” than your typical book reviews:

The Charge Book Review

Intelligent Leadership

One Year Lived

I don’t really focus on pros/cons of a book or “review” it’s style, etc.

I focus on key take aways and the value of the insights.

Maybe from that regard, I do more like a book “write up.”

I Build Book Recommendation Lists

People ask me for book recommendations all the time.

Either for a specific problem or they just want to know what might be an interesting book to try out.

They know I can usually come up with at least a few books they never heard of, or never imagined they might like.

Sometimes, it’s more like I try to match a book to somebody’s particular style – kind of like an image consultant — try on this shirt, it will look good on you.

And so I thought it would be helpful for me to share my lists of book recommendations with the world, so anybody who wanted some ideas for books to read, could use my lists.

When I create my list, I first try to think about all the books that are relevant to the particular topic – such as Personal Development or Leadership or Happiness, etc.

I then try to figure out the top books to read for that particular topics.

I like to then provide  a “Getting Started” section – a list of the books you should read if you are first starting to explore and learn that topic.

I then create sub-categories for

For example,  when I created my Personal Development Book Recommendations list, I created categories such as Achievement / Goals, Body, Career Development, Character / Attitude, Choice / Decision Making, Communication Skils, Courage / Confidence, Emotional Intelligence, Focus, Habits / Principles / Practices, Happiness / Feeling Good, Interpersonal Skills / Relationships, Intuition, Leadership, Learning, Motivation / Self-Discipline, Positive Thinking / Optimism, Productivity, Purpose / Passion, Self-Awareness, Spiritual Intelligence, Strengths, Stress, Success, Thinking Skils / Intelligence, Wealth, and Work-Life Balance.

That means that I end up with a lot of books in my book recommendations list.

I think that’s a good thing.

It also means that rather than just get a list of books on Personal ‘Development, you get deeper choices so you can drill-down into Personal Development and really explore the nooks and crannies on your learning journey.

To bottom line it – my book recommendation lists are built to help empower you will skills and insights to give you an edge in work and life in all that you do.