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recommended books

inspirational, motivational and enlightening books for personal and self-development

"Books are the treasured wealth of the world, and the fit inheritance of generations and nations... Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert and influence on mankind... How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book! The book exists for us, perchance, which will explain our miracles and reveal new ones." (Henry David Thoreau, American writer and philosopher, 1817-62, from his book Walden, written in 1854.)

The book links go mostly to Amazon.co.uk and commission goes towards running and developing the website, thank you.

Recommended books, old and new, for inspiration, teaching, communicating and learning.

Many of the older books are available very inexpensively via Amazon. Shop around.

New books will be added. Authors and publishers are invited to send review copies.

fiction, classics, autobiographies

the upside of fear - weldon long

The inspirational true story of Weldon 'Wally' Long's journey from alcoholic, drug-addicted convict to CEO of a multi-million dollar business. Long's dreams of giving his son, who he had hardly seen since his birth, a better life was the main motivation behind his transformation.


for richer, for poorer: a love affair with poker - victoria coren

As a teenager Victoria Coren discovered poker through her brother. At 33, she won the European championship with a prize of $1 million. This wonderful, frank and amusing book tells of Victoria's love of the game and how her relationship with her family helped her through difficult times.


 

frankenstein - mary shelley

Different from the popular conception of the story, this book is aptly described as a strong psychological drama, which was written when the author was only 18. This is a sympathetic and heart-rending story of someone (Frankenstein's creation) who wants to love and be loved, but people hurt and despise him because of his ugliness, which in turn generates feelings of hate in him for his creator.


rule of the bone - russell banks

Set in the US and Jamaica, this is the moving story of a homeless teenager who has been rejected by his alcoholic mother and abused by his stepfather. He drifts into a life of drugs and shoplifting, getting into trouble with the police, until he meets an exiled Rastafarian who dramatically changes his life.


 

mrs dalloway - virginia woolf

Set in London at the end of the First World War, the events in this book take place over the course of one day in the life of upper-class housewife Clarissa Dalloway who is married to pompous MP Richard Dalloway. Clarissa is preparing for the party she is to host in the evening but the unexpected arrival during the day of an old suitor triggers vivid memories of her past. The variety of characters in this book show how differently people see and treat each other.


sanjo - evelyn wilde mayerson

The heartwarming, emotional and very amusing story of a thirty four year old woman with Down's Syndrome who lives with her ageing parents and makes friends with the four year old daughter of her new next-door neighbours.


 

a thousand splendid suns - khaled hosseini

Set in Afghanistan, this beautiful and unforgettable story spans three decades. It tells of the lives and the endurance of an older and a younger woman, Mariam and Laila, who find consolation in each other's friendship after Laila joins Mariam's unhappy household.


the well of loneliness - radclyffe hall

Banned by the British courts as obscene when it was first published in 1928, this novel, which was reissued in 2008 for it's 80th anniversary, is a moving and compassionate story of lesbian love.


 

me & emma - elizabeth flock

An emotional account of brave eight year old Carrie Parker who is determined to protect and save her younger sister from a life of abuse from their drunken step-father, which their neglectful, emotionless mother doesn't seem to see. A heart-wrenching story with an unexpected twist at the end.


the girl with the dragon tattoo - stieg larsson

A riveting thriller set in Sweden which was published after the death of the author. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is offered a job with wealthy Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger. Blomkvist's job is to find out who murdered Vanger's great niece Harriet, who disappeared 40 years ago, using the pretence of ghosting Vanger's autobiography as a cover.


 

life with the navajos in chaco canyon - marietta wetherill

An inspirational account of Richard and Marietta Wetherill's life from 1896 at a remote archeological site near a Navajo reservation in North America. The Wetherill's set up and ran a trading post which Marietta managed while learning about the customs and rituals of Navajo life from the local women and medicine men. Richard, an amateur archeologist, excavated the ruins before being murdered by a Navajo in 1910.


a recipe for bees - gail anderson dargatz

The compelling story of Augusta Olsen's life from farmer's daughter to farmer's wife, this book tells of the isolation of living on a remote farm in rural Canada. Augusta finds that her marriage and relationships with her family and friends change for the better after she starts using her mother's old beekeeping equipment.


 

true at first light - ernest hemingway

An insightful 'fictional memoir' set in Africa, this book is an account of Hemingway's 1953 Kenyan safari with his fourth wife Mary. Hemingway becomes obsessed with a beautiful African woman, while Mary is determined to hunt and kill a black-maned lion before Christmas.


the restraint of beasts - magnus mills

A very funny, original, black comedy about two beer-drinking Scottish fencers who work for an English foreman.


 

the handmaid's tale - margaret atwood

Winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction. The republic of Gilead is run by men. Women are repressed and the fertile ones are used for breeding. Dissenters are hanged or sent out to die of radiation sickness. This is the moving story of Offred, who is used as a handmaid by the Commander and his wife, who is unable to have children.



 

inspirational and motivational books - books for management, leadership, business, life lessons...

how life imitates chess - garry kasperov

Garry Kasperov shares the powerful secrets of strategy and emotional skills he has learned from being one of the world's most successful chess players, and how they can be used to navigate life's toughest challenges and maximise success no matter how tough the competition.


 

the four agreements - don miguel ruiz

A life-changing book. Don Miguel Ruiz's simple guidance for life. See the Four Agreements summary review.


the primal scream - arthur janov

Provides a remarkable and illuminating explanation of difficult behaviour; the way that personality is formed through experience, and can be changed through unlocking the sub-conscious - primal therapy.  A book for anyone wanting to learning more about relationships, communications and behaviour.


 

feel the fear and do it anyway - susan jeffers

Classic inspirational life-changing book - how to overcome our fears and achieve a stronger power of belief, and greater self-esteem. This remains a global best-selling book on self-discovery and self-development.


man's search for meaning - viktor frankl

A truly life-changing book, this is the author's story of his time in the Nazi extermination camps of the 2nd World War, and how this experience translates into a personal philosophy, from which we can all draw intense and meaningful inspiration.


 

if this is a man - primo levi

As compelling and humbling and inspirational as 'Man's Search For Meaning'.


a long walk to freedom - nelson mandela

So many lessons in one book. When you read the story of Mandela you understand how the man became such a force.


 

the phantom tollbooth - norton juster

One of those children's books that's really for grown-ups. If you ever feel as though you're stuck in a rut this can help get you out of it. A celebration of innocence and discovery of self. Wonderful stories within a story.


if life is a game these are the rules - cherie carter-scott

Such a simple little book, with so much common sense about how to get the best out of yourself and life in general. In a cynical world the teachings of books like these do much to encourage truly grown up, giving, behaviour. See the Cherie Carter-Scott Rules Of Life summary review.


 

the diving-bell and the butterfly - jean dominique bauby

Remarkable autobiographical story of endurance and courage in the face of heart-rending personal disaster. Bauby dictated this work after a paralysing accident, letter by letter, by blinking his eye. Beautifully written and truly inspirational.


the seven habits of highly effective people - stephen covey

Life-changing. Something for everyone. See the Stephen Covey Seven Habits summary review.


 

over the top - zig ziglar

Zig Ziglar is for many a life-changing writer and speaker.  This is one of his classic works.


 

book(s) of the month

business techniques for growth - thomas h gray

Follow-up book to Thomas Gray's 'troubled times' start-up book (right); this book is similarly well crafted. It's for small business, USA, but the principles are applicable widely beyond. From business improvement (motivation, performance, products, efficiency, etc) to valuation, sale and exit, this is a superb simple guide to developing and optimizing a business.


business techniques in troubled times - thomas h gray

This is a truly practical and accessible guide to starting and running a new business, but useful for existing businesses too. Thomas Gray is a business expert who conveys complex principles in a simple easy manner. This book is clear, comprehensive, technically solid, and structured brilliantly.



 

islam and sustainable development - odeh rashed al-jayyousi

Occasionally a book emerges which is so remarkable that I feature it here. This is one such book.

Obviously there is a long uneasy relationship between 'the West' and 'the Muslim world'.

Wars and persistent tensions are deeply catastrophic failures of human leadership in response to these challenges. Fuelled by idiotic self-interested mass media, and deluded politicians, these failings cascade inevitably to society, businesses, and generations of humanity, when actually a billion or more people on each side of the divide would otherwise very happily share a meal together, become good friends, cooperate, and see the world in very similar ways.

This book is a wonderful refreshing antidote to all of those centuries-old mutual resentments, fears, suspicions, and confusions.

Sadly this book's bafflingly high price will put it beyond the reach of most people, but business and societal leaders, policy-makers, and serious students of life, economics, and all matters connected, should pay the fifty quid to obtain a copy.

This book essentially provides:

an explanation of Islamic principles within a superbly-well structured framework,

as related to global sustainability from:

  • social
  • economic, and
  • human perspectives.

The author Professor Odeh Al-Jayyousi is Vice President, Science and Research, of Jordan's Royal Scientific Society. Before this he was director at the West Asia/Middle East Regional Office of the International Unioon for Conservation of Nature. Prof Al-Jayyousi was awarded his Phd at the University of Illinois in Urban Planning and Public Policy Analysis. He taught for10 years at the Applied Science University, becoming Professor of Water Resources and Environment and Dean of Research. He has consulted to the EU, UN, and World Bank.

This book offers a potentially game-changing view of the world and the ways its people and organizations operate within it, by offering a radically innovative framework of ideas and methods which can be learned, transferred, and applied - and which, fascinatingly, harmonize and reconcile hitherto 'irreconcileable differences' between two and unnecessarily conflicting ideologies and peoples.

This is a truly remarkable book.





 

past book of the month and perhaps selling book of the decade..

dirty little secrets: why buyers can't buy and sellers can't sell and what you can do about it - sharon drew morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen is regarded by many (including me) as the greatest thinker and writer on selling in the modern age.

Published Oct 2009, Dirty Little Secrets should become a sales classic and a must read for anyone in selling and for anyone helping others to make decisions.

Building on Morgen's previous books Buying Facilitation® and Selling with Integrity, Dirty Little Secrets reveals the hidden systems and processes behind decision-making, and will teach you how to help buyers buy and how to help others make effective decisions of all kinds.

Written beautifully and supported by clear examples, this is not a traditional sales book - it's a buying-decision book, which exposes why the old broken selling methods don't work, and provides a uniquely effective guide to modern ethical selling and decision-facilitation.

Sample chapters, reviews, background, etc - see dirtylittlesecretsbook.com

 




or order from Amazon.com




 

 

fish! omnibus - lundin, christensen, paul

The organizational development model taken from Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market. Fish! was the first book dealing with the model. Fish! Omnibus includes the sequels Fish! Tales (case study examples) and Fish!Sticks (how to apply how to apply the philosophy and methods in your own environment).

Fish! is based on the four principles of

  • play
  • make their day
  • be there
  • choose your attitude

buying facilitation - sharon drew morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen's brilliant book on facilitative selling. Ground-breaking and superb. Available from her website.

Read this revolutionary book and change your way of working and your business.

Download three free chapters.



go to sharon drew morgen's website

 

selling with integrity - sharon drew morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen's best selling book on how to sell more effectively. See the Buying Facilitation® summary review.


sales on the line - sharon drew morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen's brilliant best seller on telephone selling, cold-calling and telephone business in general.


 

in search of excellence - tom peters and robert h waterman jr

Seminal management book, written in 1982 - (see the Tom Peters section, as this explains how the book was written and provides Peters' view on the book and how he'd write it today). With its classic eight themes for successful corporations, In Search Of Excellence remains the biggest selling and most widely read management book ever.


thriving on chaos - tom peters

Peters takes stock of the excellence he found in writing his first book ".......IBM was dead in 1979, 'excellent' in 1982, and dead again in 1986......." when he reviewed the company again in Thriving On Chaos. Contains Peters' 45 pointers for companies to succeed by embracing change in the chaotic global business environment, still relevant today.


 

guide to the management gurus - carol kennedy

Virtually all of the great management and behavioural gurus, from Maslow to Peters, summarised in easy-to-digest format, including details of the books each has written.  An invaluable trainer's aid, as well as a brilliantly practical reference work for all managers and business people.


TA today - ian stewart & vann joines

The best introduction and modern guide to Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis theories. Absolutely fascinating, brilliantly written and explained. See the Transactional Analysis section.


 

games people play - eric berne

By the founder of Transactional Analysis, a simple and illuminating book about people's behaviour.  We all play these games. See the advanced Transactional Analysis section

.

staying ok - amy harris

Following on from I'm ok you're ok - about being a grown up. See the Transactional Analysis section.


 

what do you say after you say hello - eric berne

Another enlightening book by the founder of Transactional Analysis, Eric Berne. See the advanced Transactional Analaysis section.


the one minute manager - ken blanchard & spencer johnson

If you're a manager and you've never read this then get hold of a copy immediately. It's only a little book, but my goodness it's one of the best. It will take you an evening to read it and it will change your thinking for ever.


 

the psychology of handwriting - nadya olyanova

An accessible and concise instruction and explanation of graphology. Understanding graphology helps you to understand yourself as well as others, and this book is an excellent help.

See graphology and the free graphology test.


motivation and personality - abraham h maslow

Maslow's defining work about self-actualisation and the hierarchy of needs. Possibly the most expensive paperback you will ever buy - let me know if you know a cheaper source. See the Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs summary and review.


 

silent messages - dr albert mehrabian

Albert Mehrabian's work is widely referenced in many aspects of communications, and is the source of the famous and widely misunderstood 93% statistic relating to non-verbal signals. See the Mehrabian Theory summary review. For more information and to order the book go to Albert Mehrabian's website.

thriving in mind - katherine benziger

This book can be difficult to obtain at a reasonable price - if so try direct from Katherine Benziger's website.

Katherine Benziger's work on personality and communications is pioneering and revealing. Her approach to psychometrics is honest and caring, and advocates sensitive and meaningful application of this potent science. See the Benziger Theory summary review.


 

project managing change - ira blake & cindy bush

This book is jam-packed full of methods for managing successful change in teams and organisations. It reads very easily, whether you skim it, cherry-pick from the masses of tools and templates, or absorb it cover-to-cover. The presentation is extremely clear. Serious content, delivered in a very friendly way - classic and modern effective change management processes, tools, and guidance. A treasure trove for trainers, and a blueprint for consultants and managers.


thank you for arguing - jay heinrichs

Misleadingly titled, this easy to read book explains the theory and techniques of persuasion, influence, and effective communications, and it does so brilliantly. It's also a resource for new ideas for communications - for selling, leading, managing, teaching, negotiating, speaking, presenting, parenting, and life in general.


 

brilliant idea - douglas miller

This book focuses on ideas and goals and making them happen. Containing many relevant mini case-studies and several useful underpinning theory references, The book is packed with ideas for trainers and coaches helping people to bring innovation and improvement to all situations and includes excellent sections on: overcoming psychological barriers, generating ideas and different types of innovation working and communicating with people and teams.


yo, blair! - geoffrey wheatcroft

This book is a fascinating account of the Blair years and explains why he became one of the most reviled figures of modern times, and by implication why so many people have become disillusioned with politics. This book also tells the facts behind the headlines and the spin, and shows why we should all be more interested in what leaders do in our name. Blair was once a hugely popular leader. The book helps to explain in real terms why leadership must be built on ethics and honesty or it ultimately fails.


 

making globalization work - joseph stiglitz

Nobel Prizewinner and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Clinton, Stiglitz is a leading modern thinker on Globalization and governance. Driven by fairness and justice his previous book Globalization and its Discontents was also a best-seller. This 2006 book is full of facts, statistics and reasoning and is an excellent reference tool. It shows how historical Western thinking fails, and how business and politics need to change.


night - elie wiesel

Considered by many to be the greatest book from the Holocaust, Night is an inspiring record of Elie Wiesel's experiences under the Nazis at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The lessons from Night, written in 1955, concern the survival of the human spirit through unimaginable terrors, and provide inspiration for self-determination and inner resolve. Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work against violence, repression and racism.


 

freakonomics - levitt and dubner

This entertaining 2005 best-selling book is a collection of socio-economical questions and answers, creatively and scientifically interpreted. Using seemingly obscure subjects, the authors explore motivation and success - from individual and social standpoints - in a genuinely different and enlightening way. Notable sections explain the similarity between drugs traders and conventional business organisations; why it's often not a good idea to sell your house through an estate agent; how crime levels are more related to abortion laws than policing, and how people's names are linked to success in life.


the wisdom of crowds - james surowiecki

The first popular and accessible commentary on the value of collective judgement. People in groups are remarkably effective in evaluating and deciding things, and the lessons in this book are immensely useful for managers and leaders. It's a counter-view to Sir Alec Issigonis' assertion that a camel is a horse designed by committee, although author James Suroweicki does explain that the key to collective wisdom is independent thought, which arguably most committees struggle to preserve. This book is relevant to life, management and organisations of all sorts. .


 

s.u.m.o. - paul mcgee

Paul McGee's guide to living a positive and successful life is easy and entertaining to read, practical to apply and modern in outlook and philosophy. This is a great book for anyone interested in making the most of their life. SUMO stands for Shut Up Move On.


eunoia - christian bok

Eunoia means 'beautiful thinking'. It's the shortest English word containing all five vowels. This book, which took seven years to write and was first published in 2002, is a remarkable literary work. Each of its five chapters contains words using only one of the five vowels. A uniquely strange and beautiful reading experience.


 

the art of war - sun tzu

Written in the 6th century BC this is the earliest significant theory on military strategy. It was translated into French in 1772, English in 1905, and influenced many military leaders since these times, latterly also as a reference work in the strategy of business leadership and management.


the art of being right - arthur schopenhauer

The highly influential German-born philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788--1860) devised, among deeper concepts, a series of 38 tactics for beating an opponent in a debate. The words 'highly influential' are no exaggeration - Nietzsche, Einstein and Freud were Schopenhauer fans.


 

the handbook of model job descriptions - barry cushway

There are several job descriptions books. Here's a good example. If you know a better one please suggest it.


think and grow rich - napoleon hill

A 1937 classic self-improvement book, focused on making money, and probably the first best-seller of its type.

 

emotional intelligence - daniel goleman

Emotional Intelligence theory pre-dated this 1995 book, and other valid interpretations exist, but Goleman's work made the theory widely accessible.

See Emotional Intelligence summary.


the power of now - eckhart tolle

Eckhart Tolle's best seller and hugely popular classic spiritual self-help book, first published in 1999.


 

love - leo bascaglia

Buscaglia's best selling 1972 book is based on his pioneering Love Class at the University of California. Buscaglia's ideas remain fundamentally relevant to modern life and our neglect of this essential life need.

See love and spirituality at work.


a guide to rational living - albert ellis and robert harper

Albert Ellis pioneered REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavior/Behaviour Therapy). This book is a seminal work in the field of modern psychotherapy.


 

childhood and society - erik erikson

Erikson's Psycho-Sexual Life Stage Theory is an extremely helpful way to understand how people develop. This 1950 book first presented his significant ideas and Life Stage Theory.

See Erikson's Theory summary.


the power of positive thinking - norman vincent peale

Dr Peale's 1953 classic book is the source of the famous 'power of positive thinking' expression. The thinking is devout and strongly faith-based.

See assertiveness and confidence.


 

the peter principle - laurence j peter and raymond hull

The 1969 bestselling book which spawned the expression 'The Peter Principle'.

A wonderful ironic view of organizations and management.

See Peter Principle summary.


six thinking hats - edward de bono

Edward de Bono is regarded as one of the most innovative thinkers of recent times. This 1985 book founded de Bono's now famous Six Thinking Hats methodology, used for positive thinking teams and workgroups.


 

please understand me 2 - david keirsey

Keirsey's well structured theory underpins his hugely popular Temperament Sorter personality profiling system. Contains self-analysis profiling tool.

See personality styles and models.


body language for dummies - elizabeth kuhnke

There are hundreds of books about body language. This is a particularly good one.

See body language for subject summary and guide.


 

peace is every step - thich nhat hanh

A classic spiritual self-help book, and a calming antidote to the ceaseless pursuit of 'success' that affects most of us at one time or another.

Stress management is a related subject.


blink: the power of thinking without thinking - malcolm gladwell

Gladwell's hugely appealing 2005 commentary on intuitive thinking, and how its potency can deliver fantastic results.


 

the tipping point - malcolm gladwell

A massive selling book of the early web 2.0 age, which achieved a hysterical level of popularity, aptly demonstrating the tipping point principle. Gladwell is said by some to be one of the greatest thinkers of the modern age.


the motivation to work - frederick herzberg

The seminal 1959 book in the study of motivation in organizations. Contains the statistics from which Herzberg's developed his famous of Motivators and Hygiene Factors theory.

See Herzberg summary.


 

on death and dying - elisabeth kubler-ross

The Classic 1969 book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, which has helped so many deal with personal loss, and which first announced Kubler-Ross's famous five stages of grief cycle.

See the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle summary.


the empty raincoat: making sense of the future - charles handy

Charles Handy is one of the most enlightened writers on work and the human condition in the corporate age. This is one of his best books.

See the introduction to Charles Handy's ideas.


 

how to win friends and influence people - dale carnegie

Dale Carnegie's 1936 classic self-help book, which became a fundamental reference for business and selling. Much of the core thinking applies in modern times.

See selling theory and methods for more background.


the 80/20 principle: the secret of achieving more with less - richard koch

An extremely useful explanation of the wonderful 80-20 Rule - also known as the Pareto Principle. The 80-20 Rule is a much under-used method for success in life and work.

See the Pareto Principle summary and guidance.


 

jonathan livingston seagull - richard bach

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is one of the most spiritually warming and inspiring books ever written.


the prince - niccolo machiavelli

A classic study of leadership, in very readable format for a book written in 1513. The lessons are not all transferable to modern times, but many contain essential wisdom and resonance for leadership today.

See leadership for related materials.


 

the prophet - kahlil gibran

A timeless spiritual classic, full of simple lessons for life.


illusions: the adventures of a reluctant messiah - richard bach

Bach's follow-up to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and equally warming.


 

the original reiki handbook - dr mikao usui

The original and seminal work of the founder of the Reiki System. Surprisingly accessible. Extremely concise. Fascinating and enlightening.


some other rainbow - john mccarthy and jill morrell

The gripping and amazing true story of John McCarthy's five years as a hostage in Beirut. Told from two perspectives - John McCarthy's incredible experiences as the captive - and Jill Morrell's awesomely inspiring campaign back in the UK. The spirit of human survival and determination can rarely have been better personified.


 

stumbling on happiness - daniel gilbert

Harvard psychology professor Gilbert's highly regarded study of human happiness, and how humans often confuse its true sources.


the loss of sadness: how psychiatry transformed normal sorrow into depressive disorder - horwitz and wakefield

This thought provoking book argues that ordinary sadness is too often treated as depression by doctors, which in turn benefits such industries as insurance and pharmaceuticals.


 

 

the pleasures and sorrows of work - alain de botton

The renowned modern philosopher offers a practical guide to a better quality of life through an unconventional approach to work.


how to find a job you'll love: a practical guide to unlocking your talents and finding your ideal career - john lees

Career-Coach John Lees offers practical advice on how to find the right job.


 

 

happiness: lessons from a new science - richard layard

Leading happiness expert Richard Layard's research shows that as societies become richer, they do not become happier.

Layard is one of the world's great authorities on the science of happiness.


the how of happiness: a practical guide to getting the life you want - sonja lyubomirsky

Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Lyubomirsky's practical guide to increasing personal happiness is a highly regarded contribution to the question.


 

books on evolution and behaviour

why is sex fun? - jared diamond

Utterly compelling, entertaining and enlightening book about the evolution of human sexual behaviour, and how it drives all sorts of other behaviour besides.


the history and geography of human genes - cavalli-sforza, menozzi and piazza

Fascinating work on genetic dispersion around the globe. The book maps out the spread of people and cultures since man came out of Africa. Technical in parts but compelling all the same.


 

genes, peoples and languages - cavalli-sforza

Wonderful book - and a lighter, easier read than the bigger History And Geography Of Human Genes - about the evolution and spread of people around the world.


the origin of species - charles darwin

One of the most significant books ever written, Darwin's discoveries and theories about natural selection continue to provide the basis of modern evolutionary thinking.


 

sperm wars - robin baker

Fascinating insight into relationships, particularly between the sexes, and what actually drives and controls human reproduction and behaviour. The evolutionary and physiological factors which determine man's and woman's procreational systems make surprising reading. Warning - sexually explicit.


the selfish gene - richard dawkins

Fascinating analysis and explanation about why we've evolved to be as we are, and compelling explanation as to why we behave the way that we do - requires some concentration but well worth it. Another incredible book that will completely change your views about people and life.


 

why elephants have big ears - chris lavers

Relatively easy to read given the complex arguments presented, and written with great humour. If you are a parent with inquisitive children, or are simply inquisitive yourself, you will enjoy learning the answers to questions you never thought to ask about why living creatures developed as they have.


 

reference books for trainers, writers and facilitators

dictionary of money and investing - morgenson and harvey

A great guide to financial and investing terms. Written in the USA it's relevant to the UK and Europe and is fantastic value for money as a used book.


good beer guide 2010 - roger protz

An interesting enjoyable way to find very civilised meeting places as an alternative to motorway services and business hotels.

Fascinating and useful information about over 4,500 pubs and the real ale industry.

See real ale.


 

making the alphabet dance - ross eckler

Recreational wordplay of all sorts. Utterly absorbing. Fascinating facts about words that you can use for training sessions, puzzles and quizzes, dinner parties and word games with friends. See also the cliches, expressions and words origins section.


mother tongue - bill bryson

A hugely entertaining, interesting and informative book about the development of the English language. A gem on every page, and a terrific source of language trivia and fascinating facts. The book is also a superb perspective on the development of the English people, as well as the language.


 

why do buses come in threes? - eastaway and wyndham

Explains and informs about so many of life's natural conundrums, mysteries and mathematical riddles. Really easy to read, and will open your mind to all kinds of questions and answers that most of us take for granted. A terrific source of puzzles and questions for training sessions, warm-ups at any gathering and amazing your friends at the pub.


how long is a piece of string? - eastaway and wyndham

A follow up to Why Do Buses Come In Threes? More wonderful riddles and puzzles answers from the world around us. Great source material for interesting examples and diversions.


 

nota bene (latin quotes) - robin langley sommer

A lovely little book containing all those elusive latin quotes, phrases and expressions that are so good for presentations, report-writing, and public speaking.  Also great for reference when somebody else uses one and you can't  remember what it means. 


cockney rabbit (dictionary of cockney rhyming slang) - ray puxley

This really is the most complete dictionary of cockney rhyming slang you could wish for. Written with humour and lots of useful side information about the roots of these wonderful words and meanings.

See the cockney rhyming slang section.


 

mind-bending lateral thinking puzzles - lagoon books

Wonderful material for trainers and speakers. Lots of classic puzzles.


the oxford dictionary of quotations

Quotes are a super way to emphasise a point, and to bring life to all sorts of subjects.


 

roget's thesaurus

If you are a writer you'll have this already. For those moments when you know what you want to write and need a little help to think of the best word to use.


dictionary of cliches - julia cresswell

Suggested origins with meanings and examples of 1500 cliches, including many modern ones.

See the words, expressions, and cliches origins section.


 

dictionary phrase and fable - brewer

First compiled by Ebenezer Brewer in 1870, copies of the original are historically more interesting and surprisingly inexpensive as reprints. Recent versions like this one are more useful for modern terms.


oxford dictionary of etymology - hoad

Big dictionary of word origins.

See the words, expressions, and cliches origins section.


 

chambers dictionary of etymology

Over 1300 pages of words and derivations; a popular research tool, especially if you want the American spellings (English purists beware).


aesop's fables

So much wisdom and meaning for less than the price of a good loaf of bread.

See some of the best Aesop's Fables here.


 

If you are a publisher or author and wish to send your book for review and possible inclusion here please do so.

 




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