14 Books for 2014! (How Many Have YOU Read?)

"When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes." ~Erasmus

"You should never read just for enjoyment.  Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick hard books. Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth. Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of literature? That means fiction, too, stupid." ~ John Waters

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~Confucius

I asked my Facebook and Google+ friends for their best recommendations for a superb reading list for 2014 and they really stepped up to the challenge! Here are the ones that bubbled to the top.  If you're needing a little jolt, some new direction or insights for the new year, check these out!

1. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell - This is one book I wish had been written and I had read years and years ago.  Truly remarkable!  I've recommended this book to dozens.  Of course, I'm already a big fan of Mr. Gladwell.

2. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander - One reviewer said "If you are serious about improving your state of being this book is perfect. I make a habit of reading self help/motivation books and this book stands alone as succinctly giving you fine points of becoming a better you. Many of the book's points have been made in other places but this book so refreshingly reminds you of thing you know you should be doing but are not, reminds you of past success, and perhaps introduces some new concepts. A must read if you are looking for success self help books."  Sounds like quite an endorsement and this one goes on my list for sure!

3. His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Dr. Willard Harley - The title kind of says it all.  Phenomenal book that is real and not at all judgmental.  Whether married or single (or not sure what you want to be) this is a treasure trove of information and encouragement to become a better partner and to receive better partnership!

4. The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews - Every person who's read this book has raved about it without exception.  This book is a little Og Mandino and a little Steven Covey.  Nothing wrong with those comparisons at all!

5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - I'm intrigued by this book.  It was recommended to me several times.  Not sure if they are trying to tell me about the book or me? I guess I'll have to find out.  I need to grow in several areas anyway.  I'm sure this will help.

6. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham - I'm already on record as believing that Jay Abraham is a business genius.  He's the man with the track record to show for it.  Fortunately for you and me, he's got the communication skills, too.  Not only do I learn a lot from his writing, but I enjoy it. #GameChanger

7. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson  - This was given to several members of top management at a company for which I used to work.  It wasn't a coincidence that a round of layoffs was soon to follow!  Nevertheless, it is about dealing with and prospering through change - something most people can use these days.

8. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill - It's about the journey and the person you become along the way.  Don't think this book is about greed.  It's really about YOU.  Timeless classic.

9. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley - Along with The Millionaire Next Door, these are fantastic reads.  I like "The Millionaire Mind" a little more because the author includes the practical steps and thought patterns up-and-coming millionaires employed during their rises.

10. You Can Negotiate Anything: The World's Best Negotiator Tells You How to Get What You Want by Herb Cohen - This man is FUNNY and really makes you think about how the game of negotiation is played so that EVERYBODY wins.  This is a book for every entrepreneur to read and re-read from time to time.

11. If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg  Of all the books in the list, I am most likely to get this one next for myself.  That's where I am right now - needing to learn how to walk on water.

12. The Janitor: How an Unexpected Friendship Transformed a CEO and His Company by Todd Hopkins - Amazon says in this fable, "Janitor" Bob Tidwell helps Roger to reevaluate how he is leading his business and his life. Bob's counsel is based upon six principles that Todd and Co-Author Ray Hilbert discovered have the most impact on succeeding in business while holding together a personal life. Their insightful advice is delivered in a real-to-life story that inspires you to find greater fulfillment in your life."  This is another I've not read but comes highly recommended.  I will let you all know what I think, I'm sure!

13. Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others by John Maxwell - I recommend John Maxwell because he writes from a spiritual perspective without clubbing you over the head.  Good man.  You'll like him if you don't know him yet.

14. The Spiritual Life by Andrew Murray - Because it's not all about money and accomplishments.

Just so you know I got about fifty very strong recommendations.  Waaaaayyyy too many to feature.  I will be making the ones I haven't read a personal priority.  Can you think of anything I've missed?

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THe Four Agreements is an awesome book. YOU have to REALLY listen to get all of it. But it is powerful. You might not agree with everything he says but the overall takeaway is awesome. I did the audiobook.

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