What is a life-changing book? Is it a book that makes you quit your secure job and start your own company or just a book that helps you become a better listener so you can have better conversations and stronger relationships? The answer is both. Life can change in big ways and small and sometimes the smallest differences can lead to the biggest changes down the road.

Each one of these books is a life-changing book. So don’t read them unless you’re ready to have a better life. Do you want to be able to handle rejection, have more meaningful conversations, be happier, and influence people? These books will show you how—if you dare to change your life.

Rejection Proof

In his 30’s, Jia Jiang quit his high paying job to launch his own startup. After months of work, with funds dwindling and a child on the way, his company was turned down for funding. Jiang was devastated. He was about to return to his old job, tail between his legs, but his wife told him not to quit. She helped him see his rejection was just one setback, not the end. Jiang wondered what he could do to handle rejection better. His search for an answer became an experiment. In order to overcome the fear of rejection that was holding him back from achieving his goals, he set himself 100 tasks in which he would be personally rejected. The book recounts his journey and what he learned about rejection over 100 days. A valuable book for anyone who wants to overcome the crippling fear of rejection, or has ever been rejected and wants to learn how to get that yes.

Difficult Conversations

Have you ever given feedback to a significant other or friend with the best of intentions only to end up never talking to them again? Or maybe you were unable to tell your boss how they hurt you and you kept quiet hoping things would just get better? In Difficult Conversations, Sheila Heen and her co-authors use research to show how our common assumptions about people’s intentions throw us into a negative spiral. The book then provides a method of how to approach conversations, to understand our own contributions to outcomes, so you can have a learning conversation about the difficult things that matter to you most. This book has saved jobs, marriages, and brought families closer together.

We Need to Talk

Ever watch an interview and a question seems to come out of nowhere, unrelated to the current talk? Most of us spend our lives waiting to get our word in, rarely taking the time to listen to what others have to say. The result is shallow conversations and misunderstandings. How can we start talking to each other and not at each other? NRP Host and interviewer, Celeste Headlee has some answers. Using research and her own interview experience, she shows why we have so many problems talking to each other. Using insightful anecdotes from her life, Headlee offers tips from how to listen better to asking open questions so you can have more meaningful conversations. If you just master one of these tips, Headlee says, you’ll be a much better conversationalist and it will show through more meaningful relationships.

The No Asshole Rule

When you hire someone to work with you, you’re making a choice about the kind of person you will be around for most of your waking hours. Do you want that person to be cool or an asshole? Dr. Robert Sutton makes the case it doesn’t matter how famous, accomplished, or expert a person is in their area; if the applicant is an asshole you shouldn’t hire the jerk. In Sutton’s book, he shows how one asshole can ruin your whole department and create a toxic work environment that decreases productivity and increases turnover. Sutton also provides practical tips on creating policies on how to handle an as*hole if you have one in your organization. An essential for leaders who want to create a great work culture.

The Happiness Advantage

Do you think that you’ll be happier when you become rich, famous, or successful? Why are you waiting so long to be happy? Why not be happy today? It actually might make you more successful. If you could use a little more happiness in your life, happiness researcher Shawn Achor has the answers for how to change your life for the better. In fact, he has many answers. In the Happiness Advantage Achor turns around the old notion that you become happy when you’re successful to show you actually become successful because you are happy. In the book, Achor gives practical tips to change your behavior and mindset to increase your well being, improve your relationships, and make you more successful.


When social psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini found he was always being persuaded to give money and buy products he didn’t want, he wanted to know why he was such an easy mark. To find out, he went undercover with salespeople and hucksters, conducted experiments, and uncovered research to discover the six major principles that influence us to say “yes” from reciprocity to scarcity. In the book, Cialdini shows how you can use these six principles to persuade others or how to defend yourself against their power when they are used on you. A must-read for anyone who works in sales, marketing, or who wants to stop being a softie.

The Third Door

As a freshman in college, Alex Banayan found himself on the wrong path. He wanted to be successful like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but instead he was in a pre-med program and not interested in his studies. How did these people become successful? What was their secret? With the help of his friends and family, he set out on a quest to find out why. Over a period of years, he tracked down people such as Bill Gates, Tim Ferriss, and Jessica Alba to find out how they became successful. In the process, he learned the way to success is by creating your own path, which he calls the third door. His story of tracking down successful people is just as insightful as the advice he gets from their interviews. A must for anyone who has ever faced a daunting, shoot-for-the-moon task.