When I’m feeling lost, lazy, or utterly lifeless, the best cure is to read a book.
Fiction puts me in someone else’s shoes, enriching my world with fresh perspective. But I have a special shelf for when I need to hunker down and get some things done. These are my favourite books for finding inspiration, purpose, and drive – the ones I find myself recommending to friends over and over and over.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This book kicks me into gear by acknowledging and personifying the struggle of Resistance. Sometimes I get myself down because “how hard can it be to simply…” but Pressfield does not belittle the war. His short entries are poignant, empowering, and motivating to the extreme.
On Writing by Stephen King
Here is a writer who is truly passionate about his craft. King’s personal stories in perseverance and writing routines remind me the effort and persistence required to be a pro.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Murakami is a gentle, humble genius. He writes in a matter-of-fact tone about doing pretty extraordinary things (like running marathons and ultramarathons and other marathons so fancy I can’t remember the term). The calm with which he presents his accomplishments makes them seem achievable without going insane. He inspires me to dream bigger, push harder, and upgrade my 10K to a half-marathon.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry
I am obsessed with others’ daily routines as I work to perfect my own, and these snapshots of the daily rituals of famous artists and thinkers prove that everyone works differently. All brilliant people, their routines vary from regimented to whimsical to dangerously drug-ridden. I regret purchasing the ebook instead of a paper copy, as it’s great to leaf through and read bit by bit.
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Enlightening. Rubin argues that everyone forms habits differently, so this book is about understanding your habit-forming tendency and playing to its strengths. Much of the advice about habit-forming will offer a one-size-fits-all solution, which Rubin acknowledges does not exist for everyone.
The Habit Guide by Leo Babauta
The ultimate manual to forming habits, by the Zen Habits master himself. Rather than read cover to cover, dive into the table of contents of Ultralight based on a specific need or struggle to get Leo’s extensive step-by-step breakdown.
anything else I should add to this list?