December 29, 2017

What Are Millionaires Reading This Year?

I was shocked! It is simply hard to believe that 33% of high school graduates and 42% of college graduates will never read another book after they graduate.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received when I graduated was to keep reading. My first boss told me one of the best gifts I could pass along to my kids was a great library.

What’s On My Kindle

My youngest son is off building his career in the world of finance. He asked for a Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for Christmas. My wife and I were excited to purchase this gift. When I set it up, I was a bit surprised to discover I had nearly 400 books in my Kindle library.

You may know that you can set up “Collections” on a Kindle that allow you to categorize your library or set up reading lists. I spent some time setting up a reading “Collection” for Andrew. By reading for just 15 minutes a day, he should easily be able to read 30 books this year.

So, I selected 35 books spanning leadership, personal growth, biographies, business and politics that I thought he would both enjoy and learn from reading. Reading more than 24 books a year puts you in the company of millionaires. Researchers have discovered that 85% of self-made millionaires read two or more books every month. Their reading lists include books covering a wide range of topics.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”

My Best Reading Recommendations from 2017.

So what are you going to do with that Amazon gift card you received as a gift? Given reading has a very high personal ROI put a few books on your shopping list. Here is a list with links to some of the best books I read in 2017. (These are all affiliate links which means when you click and buy you support our work—thanks!)


42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story by Ed Henry

One of the best biographies I have ever read. Ed Henry dug deep to write this special book. His research lead him to discover unpublished books Robinson wrote and notes from sermons Jackie delivered. This is not a story about baseball. It is a story how one man and his mentor and advocate (Branch Rickey) changed the course of history.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas

William Wilberforce was a British Statesman. Amazing Grace chronicles his extraordinary journey over 20 years to abolish the British slave trade. A fight he won three days before his death in 1833.

Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows by Ravi Zacharias

This is the story of Ravi Zacharias. He is truly an amazing man. It chronicles his incredible journey from a troubled youth in India through his search for truth.

Business and Marketing

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

One of the best books I have ever read that simplifies how you can dramatically improve how to connect with customers and grow a business. The power of story is uncovered in what I thought was the best business book I read this year.

Leadership and Growth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

I am always looking for insights into what drives higher levels of satisfaction, joy and achievement. The insights and research in this book are powerful. Everyone has talent. But that is not enough. A deep dive into the special blend of passion and persistance that fuels great achievement.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

We have been trained and conditioned to desire answers. But to get the best answer and get to the best answer you have ask questions—good questions. Asking great questions is both an art and science. Anyone who really wants to improve in any area of life will benefit from reading this entertaining book.

Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

The Wall Stree Journal review sums it up well, “Entertaining, illuminating and—when you recognize yourself in the stories it tells—mortifying.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaches take people to places they couldn’t go on their own. Improving your ability to be coach will make everyone around you better and this book provides lot’s of keen insight into how to be a better coach.

Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential by Joshua Medcalf

Achievement requires perspective. Achieving your potential sometimes requires you to get out of your own way and give yourself a chance. This book is full of fresh perspective that will help you stay encouraged and inspired.


Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen

I wrote an entire post on this book. It was a book I recommended to people a lot. It speaks to people of faith, skeptics, critics and cynics. It’s filled with humor and stories that will leave you saying, “Ah!” Did I say I loved this book?

15 Will Get You 30

Knowledge is the frontier of tomorrow and it has never been more accessible than it is today. One of the most important aptitudes for achievement and contribution is unfortunately a mystery to the majority of people—simply because they choose not to read.

Leaders are readers. Want to break out in the New Year—make reading a priority.

What did you read in 2017 that I should put on my reading list. I'd love if you'd leave your recommendation in the comments below.

4 comments on “What Are Millionaires Reading This Year?”

  1. Coach Jim,

    Here are 3 of mine our group likes:

    Lord, Change My Attitude, by James MacDonald
    Joseph, A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness, by Charles Swindoll
    Parables - The Mysteries of God's Kingdom Revealed Through Stories Jesus Told, by John MacArthur

  2. Jim,
    I really liked The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems by co-authors David Dotlich, Peter Cairo and Cade Cowen. It describes the difference between problems and paradoxes and how you navigate the differences. To be "unfinished" means you are always striving for more, to be better equipped to deal with ambiguity and the ever-changing complex world.

    1. Great recommendation Jim! I will add this one to my list. Love the concept of "unfinished" in the sense of being curious and always looking to learn and improve. We are our best when we are serving and striving to move beyond our "Zone of Competency."

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