What books have you found useful for your career and personal development?

Are there any books that have helped you develop your skills that you would recommend? These could be specific to your field or books with more widely applicable advice. Thanks!


  • There are so many great books out there. Some of my top reads:

    Atomic Habits
    The Paradox of Choice
    The Daily Stoic (ancient wisdom for the modern age)
    Digital Minimalism
    Deep Work
    Perennial Seller
    How to Drive your Competition Crazy
  • @Tom Valorsa It's well worth it, it has some funny cartoons in it and it changed my ideas about writing code. :) I think it might have been influential in terms of this whole function programming thing that came after.
  • Hi Tom! What a great question, I am sure I'll find inspiration too here for my next good reads :)
    Here are my suggestions:

    - the Do Books. Inspirational, design, personal growth. Very well written, quick reads.

    - Emotional Design by Don Norman

    - Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

    - Guardare Pensare Progettare. Neuroscienze per il design
    Unfortunately it seems there is no english translation for this. In case you speak Italian this is a great book about perception and neuroscienze for design


  • Hi Tom,

    I would recommend this ONE book.

    - The 4 Toltec Agreements by Miguel Ruiz -

    It is a reference in Leadership coaching and a life guide too. It is short and you will make the most of it by reading it several times throughout the years and listening to podcasts that put it into practice.

    It is not a "cookiecutter" book but really one to help you think and behave differently. If you end up getting it and reading it, I would love to have your thoughts on it.

  • Hi Tom

    My favourite in the last 6 months have focussed on being spiritually connected and surrendering to the now. Put some headphones in and listen to them via Audible if you can:

    A new Earth by Eckhart Tolle
    Living from a place of surrender by Michael Singer.

    I’d also recommend ‘Personality isn’t Permanent’ and ‘Who not How’ by Dr Benjamin Hardy.

    There are others I recommend here at my website too.


    Stay Boom!

  • The Culture Map: Erin Mayer
    A great book about cultural context and cross cultural communication.

    Contagious: Jonah Berger
    How to build on word of mouth
  • Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work and Keep Going - all by Austin Kleon. Bitesize pieces of motivation that are easy to dip into when you need a boost!
  • For design, I'd recommend Know Your Onions by Drew de Soto⁠! ⁠ I love this book because it is a practical guide for graphic design. It’s an essential for any designer as Drew reveals technical insights in an easy-to-understand way. Real solutions for real challenges! This book becomes like a supportive mentor.
  • Thank you for all of the suggestions @David Speed, @Priya Matadeen, @Anna Negrini, @Alexandra (Lex) Hearth, @Elliott Starr (he/ him), @Robin Howie!

    A couple I’ve already come across and also found useful, and many more to look at soon. Cheers
  • For the long game I recommend ‘Rest’ by Alex Soojung. Great advice about putting more in the engine than is going out.

  • Hey Tom, slide 18+19 on the link below might be handy:


    @Alexandra (Lex) Hearth also lists some absolute bangers, below
  • The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns. It's more for creatives but it's useful for everybody who want to learn how to position themeselves and sell their ideas without "selling out".
  • What they dont teach you at Harvard Business School- Mark McCormack
    Its not how good you are- its how good you want to be- Paul Arden

    Hope that helps xx
  • For early stage creatives; The Practice by Seth Godin and , Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis. Best business book I’ve read is Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestly, I use all of his principles in my work

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