Books That Make a Difference

August 10, 2020

A few weeks ago I received the following email from a friend and client:

“My 19-year-old Grandson is a rising Sophomore at the US Merchant Marine Academy. The program at MMA calls for him to spend his Sophomore year at sea traveling the world on a container ship.

I wanted to buy him a present to take on his long journey and suggested an iPad or iPhone. His answer surprised me. He said Granddad, “thanks for the offer, but what I would really like is a book that will change my life”. This was a profound question and one that I’m taking very seriously. I am delighted that he is seriously looking at what’s important in life and trying to develop his plan. Since early May, I have compiled a very interesting list of great books. We got together and discussed the list. We purchased a Kindle Device and loaded 6 books of his choice on it. I am sure if he reads these books it will encourage a lifelong love of reading and enrich his life. Subsequently, I reached out to the 55 Students that are members of an academy I founded at GSU and told them to pick a book from the list and I would buy them a book. They had to commit to read the book and be willing to discuss it.”

I was intrigued by this list and thought this week to share a few of them with you. Some are classics, while others caught my eye:

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hatfield

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Churchill Walking with Destiny – Andrew Roberts

D Day – Stephen Ambrose

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

Differentiate or Die – Jack Trout

East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry

Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink

Fearless – Eric Blehm

Future Shock – Alvin Tofler

Give and Take – Adam Grant

Good to Great – Jim Collins

How will you measure your life – Clayton Christensen

Make your Bed – Admiral William Walraven

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankel

Megatrends – John Nesbit

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

Night – Elie Wiesel

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Sailing True North – James Stavridis   

Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

Thank you for being late – Thomas Friedman

The Alchemist – Paul Coelho

The Art of War – Sun Tzu

The Box – Marc Levinson

The Creators – Daniel Boorstein

The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday

The Defining Decade: Why your Twenties Matter – Meg Jay

The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek

The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale

The Richest Man in Babylon – George Samual Clason

The Road to Serfdom – F.A. Hayek

The World is Flat – Thomas Friedman

Unbroken – Laura Hildenbrand

I added one of my all-time favorites “The Lord of the Rings” by Tolkein, which I am currently reading for the fifth time!

Happy reading!

Nick Hoffman