20 Books That Will Never Leave My Bookshelf

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Over the years I’ve read a lot of books. More than I ever expected, really. I was never much of a reader growing up, but somewhere around 30 I picked up a book and fell in love with reading. I don’t even remember what the book was. I just remember thinking, “There is so much to learn…”

Over the years, I’ve cleared my bookshelf several times, giving away the books I’ve accumulated. I do try to get books at the library sometimes, and I do have a Kindle with a virtual pile of books in it, but I still love the feel and weight of a paper book in my hand. I hope we never stop printing “real” books.

I recently looked at my bookshelf and realized there are 20 books that have always made the cut whenever I clean house. Some have been on the shelf a long time, others are fairly recent additions, but I know they will stand the test of time. More will be added in the future I’m sure, but these will always be there.

So I present to you 20 books that will never leave my bookshelf. Although they’re not alphabetical on my bookshelf (I am not nearly that organized), I present them alphabetically here.


Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins
This is the one of the first books that changed my life and launched me toward success.


Do The Work by Steven Pressfield
A great reminder that to get what you want, you have to do the work.


Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Stop filling your life with busyness and complexity and focus on what’s essential.


Leading For Growth by Ray Davis
One of the best explanations of how to lead a growing company I’ve ever read.


Linchpin by Seth Godin
Linchpins are the people who connect everything and make things happen. We need more of them.


Love Is a The Killer App by Tim Sanders
Tim has a different (and better) way of approaching our work and our workplace…with love. Sounds crazy, but it works.


Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud
Probably a book one should read every year to remind us to keep letting go of the things, thoughts, and people that are holding us back.


Peak by Chip Conley
An application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in a phenomenal hospitality company. Great lessons on how to provide great service.


Re-member by Jason Barger
A solid reminder of how desperately we need to make connecting and re-connecting with people a priority.


Significance In Simple Moments by Jon Petz
One of the most powerful stories I have ever heard of impacting the lives of others by stepping just slightly outside of your comfort zone.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek
When your why is strong enough and clear enough, you can make anything happen.


Stand Out by Marcus Buckingham
There are tons of strength and skill assessments out there. This is the most simple and most powerful I have ever used.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The only novel on my list. And the only book I have read multiple times in my life. It does have a professional application, though. It reminds me to continue on my journey.


The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
We all have an “upper limit problem,” no matter how successful we are. This book explains how to break past it and work in your “zone of genius” on a regular basis.


The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
The most irreverent — and perhaps truthful — book on the list. A practical, pull-no-punches guide to lighting a fire under your own rear.


The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
A classic story of how you can make a huge difference in any role, job, or occupation.


The One Thing by Gary Keller
A powerful book around the question, “What’s the one thing you can do, such by doing it, would make everything else on your list easier or unecessary?” Powerful. Maybe the most powerful book on the whole list.


The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg
A great breakdown of why we do what we do and how to intentionally change our destructive and unproductive behaviors.


The Power Of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
A holistic look at how to get and stay engaged at super high levels.


Unique Ability by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller
A step-by-step guide to discovering and using your “unique ability” — the thing you do best, want to keep doing forever, and keep getting better at.


What books will never leave your bookshelf? Leave a reply below and add to the inspiration!


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