12 books you should read to improve your business productivity

12 books


Choosing only 12 was difficult! I’m a total bookworm. I had reading glasses at the age of 12 to give my eyes a break because I was reading under the covers with a flashlight. So here they are, my top six business books and top six for your personal growth/pleasure.



The Business List


1.  The Little Big Things: 163 ways to pursue excellence by Tom Peters

«Hard is soft. Soft is hard.»

Potent advice for all entrepreneurs: no baloney and lots of exclamation marks, exactly my style!!!


2.  Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

«The second factor is how you dress. This is the one time you want a tie (no pun intended), not a victory or a loss. Overdressing says, “I’m richer, more powerful, and more important than you.” Underdressing says, “I don’t respect you. I’ll dress any way that I please.” Equal dressing says, “We’re peers.” My recommendation is to park your ego. You don’t have to “make a statement” and try to show people you have money, power, or great taste. The goal is likability—not superiority»

How do I make others crave to interact with me? Simple and to the point, you’ll find all the basics to enchant people around you.


3.  Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin

«At the age of four, you were an artist.

And at seven, you were a poet.

And by the time you were twelve, if you had a lemonade stand, you were an entrepreneur.

Of course you can do something that matters. I guess I’m wondering if you want to.»

I had to pick one of Seth’s books, it was painful!! You probably already know about my passion (yes! passion!) for Seth Godin. I read every word he’s writing and I’m amazed every time. Seth is asking the right questions and he’s leading you to find your own answers. Please, please please, don’t be a cog and read.


4.  The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

«In a complex environment, experts are up against two main difficulties. The first is the fallibility of human memory and attention (…) A further difficulty, just as insidious, is that people can lull themselves into skipping steps even when they remember them. »

Even if I’m a nurse, I love doctors! This book shows us how to use our knowledge to avoid failure in a world where technologies are omnipresent and not always serving us for the better.


5.  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

«Once you understand that context matters, however, that specific and relatively small elements in the environment can serve as Tipping Points, that defeatism is turned upside down.»

Looking at the world through Gladwell’s glasses is simply fascinating. This book will change you.


6. Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson

«The worst interruptions of all are meetings.»

I may not be such a fan of 37signals’ products but you can’t be against good business advice with an amazing visual signature.



The Personal Growth List


7.  Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

«It’s not a silly question if you can’t answer it.»

I you only read one book about philosophy, it should be this one.


8.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel

«It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.»

Because we’re all living with some sort of tiger by our side at some point in our life and because this amazing author is of French-Canadian origins. Let’s be proud!


9.  1984 by George Orwell

«Big Brother is Watching You.»

Isn’t he more than ever? Both captivating and scary.


10.  Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

«Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.»

The smells’ descriptions are pure genius. To read, more than once.


11. We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

«I realize it’s commonplace for parents to say to their child sternly, ‘I love you, but I don’t always like you.’ But what kind of love is that? It seems to me that comes down to, ‘I’m not oblivious to you – that is, you can still hurt my feelings – but I can’t stand having you around.’ Who wants to be loved like that? Given a choice, I might skip the deep blood tie and settle for being liked. I wonder if wouldn’t have been more moved if my own mother had taken me in her arms and said, ‘I like you.’ I wonder if just enjoying your kid’s company isn’t more important.»

A great reflexion on the so-called mother instinct and life after a tragedy.


12.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

«On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.»

A glimpse at what the mind of a child suffering from a pervasive developmental disorder can be. Mesmerizing.