Six books that inspired us this year

Six books that inspired us this year

Every year we like to share some of the books that have impacted us—and inspired blog posts—over the  past 12 months. As we close out 2018, here’s what we recommend you add to your must-read list.

The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose
By Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

This book makes a strong case for a charitable lifestyle using extensive research from the University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity initiative. A summary of the studies done on the impact of  generosity, the book asks fascinating questions like, “Are fulfilled people more generous, or are generous people more fulfilled?” This compelling read led to our blog post Is Generosity the Secret to Wealth?


Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

by Dave Evans and Bill Burnett

Originally for graduating college students, this book was written by Stanford design professors. However, the book is really for anyone who’s trying to make big life changes. It applies design thinking to all aspects of decision-making, particularly career development. It will help you discover your faulty thinking and provide practical exercises for improving your life. We tried out one of its thought experiments in our blog post Make Better Decisions by “Grokking” First.


Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
by Annie Duke

We’re not big poker players, but Annie Duke is. As a former World Series of Poker champion, she makes the case convincingly that decision-making in life, business and investing is a lot like playing poker: you have to make the best bet you can with limited information. She uses compelling stories to help you get better at making decisions. We wrote Why You Won’t Outsmart the Market after reading this helpful book!


Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

This leadership book is written by two former Navy SEALs who apply lessons they learned in Iraq to situations beyond the battlefield . What makes this a captivating read is the way the authors use stories from their time both at war and business to demonstrate the central principles throughout. Extreme Ownership contributed to our post Do You Have These 21st Century Survival Skills?


by James D. Wise

We’re currently experiencing the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the world. Most people pass on their assets at death to the next generation, whether their heirs need the money or not. Fellow Certified Kingdom Advisor Jim Wise makes the case that the status quo is broken. Writing from a Christian perspective, he argues that we should use our estate planning for a bigger purpose. Our post What are You Waiting For? was influenced by this thought-provoking read.


Debt: The First 5,000 Years
by David Graeber

This book, written with an anthropologist’s lens,  is an interesting take on the history of money. With stories from many cultures and eras, Graeber takes us on a trip through time and around the world. It will give you a different perspective on the way money and debt has worked through the ages. Debt: The First 5,000 Years contributed to our post What World War I Teaches Us About Managing Money.


What books have changed how you thought about money, giving, leadership or life? We’d love to hear from you! Reach out and get a conversation started.

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