John Bennett/ April 16, 2021/ Resources, Teaching

Recently, I posted a request on LinkedIn and asked followers to share book recommendations. Specifically, I wrote that I was interested in compiling a list of high impact books. For me, a high impact book is one that provides several things: new insights or perspectives, reinforces something I know or believe, something I can use in my personal or professional life, novel approach, historical context, etc. The post was viewed by more than 1,700 people, and here (in alphabetical order) are the top responses I received (excluding books like the Bible, Koran, or works of Shakespeare, along with books on known top lists such as the top 100 classics):

  1. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Yuval Noah Harari)
  2. ain’t i a woman? (bell hooks)
  3. The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)
  4. All the King’s Men (Robert Penn Warren)
  5. The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict (The Arbinger Institute)
  6. Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (Christopher Johns)
  7. Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
  8. The Culture Map (Erin Meyer)
  9. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brené Brown)
  10. Ethnicity and Family Therapy (Monica McGoldrick, Joe Giordano, Nydia Garcia-Preto, editors)
  11. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Don Miguel Ruiz)
  12. Full-Spectrum Thinking: How to Escape Boxes in a Post-Categorical Future (Bob Johansen)
  13. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren)
  14. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn)
  15. Jayber Crow (Wendell Berry)
  16. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (Simon Sinek)
  17. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (Arbinger Institute)
  18. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  19. Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl)
  20. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol S. Dweck)
  21. The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)
  22. The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias (Dolly Chugh)
  23. Primal Leadership – Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman)
  24. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development (Gillie E J Bolton)
  25. Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture (Makoto Fujimura)
  26. The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles(Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte Ph.D.)
  27. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)
  28. Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right (Anne Nelson)
  29. Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams: How You and Your Team Get Unstuck to Get Results (Roger M. Schwarz)
  30. Survival in Auschwitz (Primo Levi)
  31. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know (Malcolm Gladwell)
  32. The Tao of Dialogue (Paul Lawrence, Sarah Hill, Andreas Priestland, Cecilia Forrestal, Floris Rommerts, Isla Hyslop, Monica Manning)Dialogue
  33. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
  34. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (Michael A. Singer)
  35. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Isabel Wilkerson)

What would you add to (or, maybe even delete from) this list? I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas, so please leave your comments, feedback, and suggestions below.

Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash


© 2021, John L. Bennett. All Rights Reserved.

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