I’ve read and frequently recommend each of these books. Feel free to add your own comments or questions.
Naturally, there are some rules….
Books are arranged alphabetically within categories. These are all great books so I have not prioritized.
In each case, the link I’ve provided is to the format I liked best: Audible, Kindle, or paper.
For series I have chosen the first book or the best place to start if different.
Do you agree?
Product Management & Development
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Lessons from the front lines of leadership and product.
Inspired by Marty Cagan
Practical, concise, complete guide to organizing product management and development.
Product Roadmaps Relaunched by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, and Michael Connors
My book. Couldn’t resist. A primer on how to set direction in the agile of agile and lean.
Testing Business Ideas by David J. Bland and Alex Osterwalder
Fantastic, practical book with dozens of lean experiments, when to use them, and how to interpret your results.
Business & Tech
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
The accidental entrepreneur tells it like it is.
Disrupted by Dan Lyons
The book on the crazy/not-crazy world of startups by the writer of Silicon Valley.
The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
Great narrative about removing bottlenecks in any process.
Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke
Approachable fable about really putting OKRs into action. Highly recommended.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Key concept for product people -- or any business people.
Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
The book that got me addicted to Lencioni books and methods, covers why meetings suck and how to fix them.
The Driving Force: Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People by Peter W. Schutz
Autobiography of the former CEO of Porsche who saved the 911, created the 911 Cabriolet, won Le Mans a record 7 times, and taught me a lot of product culture.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr
The original and still definitive book on OKRs as practiced at Intel and Google.
Running Lean by Ash Maurya
Way more practical than The Lean Startup, covers Ash’s actual step-by-step process for creating his business.
Turn This Ship Around by L. David Marquet
How leadership really works.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Call him a charlatan if you like but there are some really useful ways of thinking here.
Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
Changed how I plan my day, week, and work. Met JZ and he really practices what he teaches!
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The method for compounding improvement. Clear validated and improved my approach to many things.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
Compelling statistical and sociological exploration of actual progress in civilization.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
The classic on what’s wrong with the food industry and what you can do to protect yourself.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Lucid overview of Kahneman’s seminal work on how people really think.
The Moral Animal by Robert Wright
Great introduction to evolutionary psychology, highly readable.
The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil
Buy into his thinking or not, it is certainly intriguing
The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
Great summary of the science of group thinking, including when it is better than the experts and when it is much worse.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The master storyteller puts gods into everyday life.
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Wacky, sprawling novel mixing timelines from WW2 to the near future. Be prepared for details, caricatures, and a deep understanding of nerds.
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Light Vietnam era tale of a far future war that is equally pointless.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Full cast recording of this entrancing mood piece.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Crazy fantasy for bibliophiles.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Good, nerdy fun.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Sherlock Holmes as a medieval monk.
Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
What if we all really were in a computer simulation? Hilarious.
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Stephen Fry’s reading is definitive.
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Book 1 of the Dresden Files series of wizard detective noir books. James Marsters is the only one who could read this right.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
First book of the epic Chinese space yarn with mind-bending physics thinking.
The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
Best place to start with the Vorkosigan Saga, a light and fun space adventure series. The sardonic reader for the Audible version is not to be missed.
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
Entertaining recounting of how 6 beverages influenced civilization, starting with beer.
Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss
Definitive guide to value-based solo consulting.
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
Gripping retelling of the tragic hero’s life and work.
Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright
A scientist’s personal experiences and scientific exploration of meditation and other Buddhist practices.