“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

–  Jim Rohn

People like Bill Gates and Barack Obama hardly ever need an introduction. But many people don’t know that these two highly successful individuals are bibliophiles. Most accomplished individuals like these two have a knack of reading books. They just love books.

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Books are deemed to be best friends of us. They guide us, motivate us and give us clarity and vision. Here are 5 books successful people and world leaders recommend strongly :

1. “Leadership and Self-Deception”

Published in the year 2000 this writing is a marvel by Arbinger Institute. Leadership and Self-Deception show how most personal and organizational problems are the result of a little-known problem called self-deception. Through an entertaining and highly instructive story, Leadership and Self-Deception shows what self-deception is, how people get trapped in it, how it undermines personal achievement and organizational performance, and- most importantly the surprising way to solve it. It’s a great book for aspiring world leaders.

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2. “That’s What She Said”

Published early this year this book is recommended by most of the people who have had the pleasure of reading it. With gender pay gaps and sexual harassment increasingly in the news, books on improving the quality of life for women in the workplace are more relevant than ever. Joanne Lipman has written this latest paean to achieve full equality. Full of solid points and extensively researched and footnoted, this book is a must-read.

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3. “Leadership: In Turbulent Times”

The internationally acclaimed author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership. Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely – Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights) – to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. The book was published in September of this year.

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4. “The New Geography of Jobs”

This book was written by Enrico Moretti and was published in 2012. It is insightful writing of Moretti’s and other economists’ research on why highly skilled workers tend to be attracted to cities, and why some cities become “innovation hubs” that make everyone who works there are wealthier compared with workers in cities with fewer knowledge-intensive jobs. The author raises his concerns about “The Great Divergence,” his term for the fact that people’s incomes, educational attainment, and even health are better in prosperous cities than in those that are falling behind.

Among his proposals are increasing federal subsidies for basic research, which can lead to high-tech jobs years later, and improving public transportation to allow more workers to commute to jobs in expensive but especially productive cities such as San Francisco and New York. The book is quite an interesting read.

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5. “Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure”

This Jerry Kaplan’s writing was published in 1995. It describes what can happen to a business venture in the fierce and extremely competitive world of Silicon Valley when its timing is wrong, its technology too speculative and its market not yet ready.

Silicon Valley is the technology capital of the world located in California, USA. Computer scientist Kaplan auctioned his award-winning computer company GO in July 1994, after six fast-paced years in the start-up game accruing value of $60 million.

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This book presents each stage of the GO venture, from the birth of the idea to the start-up game and war with Microsoft, and on to the final showdown. The book gives an interesting insight into what it is really like to begin a start-up in Silicon Valley.

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

– Walt Disney.