Are you looking for a book that will enrich your life? One that will help you to be more productive and creative or simply help you with the problem-solving approach in your personal and professional life. Our team shares tips on the best book ever published. Titles, that changed our lives. Or, at least, the way we see the world. Let’s dive into it…
There are tons of books that are considered brilliant. Founts of wisdom. Similarly, there are hundreds of lists that suggest which one you should open next. But the issue is that many of the lists you can find online include the same titles.
Instagram, as well as blogs or websites, are full of great pieces. However, not many of them offer unique suggestions.
Searching for a real diamond on a beach full of sand might be exhausting. That’s why I put together this list of the best books our team has ever opened.
These books helped us on our journey of growth – both career and personal.
In the list below, each of them will be described. But most importantly, we are going to share with you why they were so important to us.
Now, it’s time to take your reading wish list and put down your favorites.
1. Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers
Description: In his book, Gladwell explains why some people are successful at chasing their goals and some are not. While doing so, he discusses what ways to succeed exist.
Comment: 'I’m an easily distracted creative, therefore a manual to increase my productivity and be better at time management is not quite functional for me. But I like to be inspired.
Book Outliers is full of inspiration. It is full of fascinating stories. Its author describes all the factors which help people to be successful.
I didn’t search for this book. It found me. For the first time, I heard of it from one of my favorite drummers. He mentioned the 10,000-hour rule in one of his talks. This rule is mentioned in the book as well. According to it, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, and others practiced an activity for more than 10,000 hours to become professionals at it.
This approach was probably the most inspiring one in the whole book. It made me focus on a smaller number of activities. Thanks to it, I started working on only those things I wanted to become the best at rather than doing everything on a mediocre level.
I’m sure that every reader of Outliers will find their factor of success in it.' - Ondřej, Content Specialist
2. Satya Nadella – Hit Refresh
Description: This is the story of Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella. He describes the changes that his company has undergone throughout the years. Hit Refresh is about transformation. Satya highlights the importance of changes. He is convinced that no individual or company should be afraid of them. At the end of the book, he advises on restoring trust in digital technologies, principles of ethical design, and economic prosperity.
Comment: 'Imagine that you love Microsoft products as much as you love your favorite video game. And then you find out that the CEO of Microsoft thinks of life and work the way which makes you say to yourself “Wow, I want to be just like him!” That’s what happened to me.
The author mentions kindness a lot in the book as well as the importance of constant learning and cooperation. I love his approach to work. Cooperation is like playing a team sport. Passing a ball and helping each other lead to victory both in the match and in the workplace.
This book assured me that Microsoft is going to achieve big things thanks to robots and AI in the future. And that’s why I decided to invest in it. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The launch of Copilot in Microsoft 365 was a big success. I believe that thanks to it the stocks grow constantly.
Two months after finishing reading the book, which was in February 2023, I started cooperating with eWay-CRM. This company develops CRM embedded in Outlook.
Is it thanks to Hit Refresh that I am here right now? Even though I’m not superstitious, I would say yes, it is.' - Antonín, Marketing Content Manager
3. Roland Barthes - Roland Barthes
Description: This book consists of biographic fragments from the life of a respected artist, Roland Barthes. It contains his thoughts and reflections about society, art, and existence.
Comment: 'I read a lot of books about art during my studies in the History of Art. After that, I lost interest in such books. Simply put, I became emotionally dumb when it came to this type of literature.
I bought Roland Barthes from a street bookseller. And packed it with me for a long trip to the Black Sea.
I wanted to clean my head during this trip. After coming to my return, I wished to step back into the art world as an artist again. This fascinating intellectual autobiography awoke the desire to create in me. Every new page made me think about my future art pieces. My head was suddenly full of amazing ideas.
I don’t even know how that happened but towards the end of the trip, my sketchbook was full of drafts.
I was fascinated by the way the author thinks about his intellectual life. With such ease. He compares it to an exciting adventure. To a love affair. Barthes says that with every new information or thought, the human body releases adrenalin. Such feelings might be compared to those we feel when meeting our loved ones.
This book is not only about art and intelligence as such, but also about freedom. Freedom of thinking, independence, and abandonment of various types of ideologies. It discusses the importance of freeing oneself of stereotypes and myths that society forces us to follow and believe.
To sum up, this book is about destroying conventions.' - Anastasia, Graphic Designer
4. Cal Newport - Deep Work
Description: Deep Work discusses one of the biggest work issues of the 21st century - multitasking. The author addresses reasons why multitasking is dangerous. And advises on how to approach work to achieve better results and be more productive.
Comment: 'The message of this book is fairly simple. It encourages us to realize that multitasking is not the right path. We live in a hectic world, including the digital one. Therefore, if we want to be effective in our job, we must learn how to prioritize. And first work on the most important tasks.
Deep Work helped me to eliminate multitasking. Thanks to it, I learned the correct way how to approach my duties according to their importance. Today, I’m able to focus on only one thing. And get the most out of it.' - Adam, SQL Developer
5. Gabriela Končitíková – Inspired the Bata Way
Description: Tomáš Baťa always said that he didn’t build a business. He was convinced that he first built a human being who was then able to start a business. This book is a peephole into his personal life. It provides rules and principles Baťa followed which helped him to become a successful entrepreneur.
Comment: 'Inspired the Bata Way is probably the best book I’ve ever read. It gives insights into the personal life of one of the greatest entrepreneurs, Tomáš Baťa.
His thoughts were revolutionary. And for me, the most important one is that if one wants to be successful, they must start from the very beginning. From oneself.
Baťa believed that every detail matters. That is why he observed himself carefully. What he eats, how long he sleeps, what his relationships with other people are, etc.
After stabilizing himself and living a healthy life (when it comes to his physical and mental health + building healthy relationships) he was able to build something that changed the whole republic - the T. & A. Baťa Shoe Company.
Why is this book so important to me? That’s a very good question. Probably because Baťa has accompanied me my whole life. I was born in the hospital he built and studied at a high school he founded. When I was younger, I heard so much about him. But it’s quite recently since I realized how great he was. It all makes sense to me today. And I’m grateful for finding my piece in his way.
This amazing book written by Gabriela Končitíková helped me to get on the right path. It made me think of what I do a bit differently. Both technically and creatively. I’m sure I will open this one in the future again.' - Dagmar, Copywriter & Translator
'Our success depends on the ability to put the knowledge from books into practice. If we can’t do this, no book can help us really.' - Tomáš, SQL Developer
6. John Covey - 7 Habits of Leadership
Description: 7 Habits of Leadership is about building relationships and its maintenance. The author’s opinions are inspired by natural laws as well as religions: Judaism, Taoism, Christianity, and Buddhism. This book is considered a leadership bible by many.
Comment: 'This book showed me a new approach to management and planning both in my personal and professional life.
Thanks to 7 Habits of Leadership, I learned how to prioritize my tasks and how to plan for the long term.
That means I focus more on tasks that help me achieve long-term goals. Thanks to that I’m calmer and I do not stress about small things or small mistakes. I take them as part of a journey on which I care the most about the finish line.
Imperfection is not a bad thing if it does not affect the whole project negatively. It’s quite the opposite. Often, we learn from mistakes and our future steps are better thanks to them.
This book helped me to be more empathetic as well. As an empathetic leader, it is easier for me to maintain relationships with my colleagues.' - Jan, Owner
7. Robert Cialdini - Pre-suasion
Description: In his book Pre-suasion, Cialdini introduces the latest findings in persuading and influencing. He gives examples of how companies and entrepreneurs should communicate with their readers and listeners to achieve the desired response.
Comment: 'Pre-suasion helped me to better understand how the human brain works.
Thanks to this knowledge, I became more successful in motivating people (not only) in my team. Now, we always achieve the maximum.' - David, Head of Support Services
8. Leonard Cohen – Book of Longing
Description: Book of Longing is a collection of poems. Cohen wrote most of them in the Mount Baldy Zen Center in California. In his poems, he meditates upon love, religion, life, and death.
Comment: 'While reading collections of poems, I always feel like walking through a garden full of blooming flowers where each of them smells like one personal experience of their author.
And this book is no exception. It made me think of life, death, love, desires, lusts, and dreams differently. More comprehensively.
Cohen is a poetic master. He can explore and share his emotions with the audience while staying sober about the things discussed.
I think that every creative soul should open this book once in their life.' - Dagmar, Copywriter & Translator
My Last Note
If the reader is not able to put the knowledge into practice, even the most brilliantly written book is useless to them.
If you are an attentive reader, any of the above-mentioned books can be an imaginary key to the doors you come across tomorrow, the following month, or the following year.