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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,552 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of How Will You Measure Your Life?

Khadijah Butler Why did I love this book?

If you’re a high achiever like me, you may have asked yourself several times which direction you should “climb the ladder” to achieve your version of success. Towards your career or towards your personal life?

Often, we can’t define what motivates us until we see it, and the authors’ use of theories on motivation, destination, and the journey truly illuminated my next steps to “measure” my life. Honest perspectives are provided no matter what stage you’re in.

Ultimately, this book challenges you to decide if your career or your personal life is the joy worth fighting for.  

By Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, Karen Dillon

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked How Will You Measure Your Life? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you lead a fulfilling life? That profound question animates this book of inspiration and insight from world-class business strategist and bestselling author of The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen.

After beating a heart attack, advanced-stage cancer and a stroke in three successive years, the world-renowned innovation expert and author of one of the best selling and most influential business books of all time - The Innovator's Dilemma - Clayton M. Christensen delivered a short but powerful speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class. He presented a set of personal guidelines that have helped him find meaning and happiness…


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Love + Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life

Khadijah Butler Why did I love this book?

Stuck at the “proverbial glass ceiling”? Want to become an entrepreneur? These familiar questions we ponder about our career choices are answered in this book, and it starts with what we Love and what we loathe.

I HIGHLY encourage you to take the Standout Assessment first, which will help you identify your top two roles. Leaning into those roles allows you to explore what strengthens you and what depletes you, and while we’ll never love every aspect of work each day, this book provides the guidance you need to affirm that you’re on the right track.

By Marcus Buckingham,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Love + Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal bestseller

World-renowned researcher and New York Times bestselling author Marcus Buckingham helps us discover where we're at our best-both at work and in life.

You've long been told to "Do what you love." Sounds simple, but the real challenge is how to do this in a world not set up to help you. Most of us actually don't know the real truth of what we love-what engages us and makes us thrive-and our workplaces, jobs, schools, even our parents, are focused instead on making us conform. Sadly, no person or system is dedicated to discovering the…


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader's Guide to the Real World

Khadijah Butler Why did I love this book?

Sometimes your boss gets it right, and sometimes they don’t! The “lies,” or misconceptions, are what we’re told, and this book does an outstanding job deconstructing those lies.

I loved the authors’ ability to illustrate how monolithic organizations keep us stagnant and how critical it is for us to lean into our own strengths, not the company’s culture or values. The perfect book to read during performance review season! 

By Marcus Buckingham, Ashley Goodall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nine Lies About Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forget what you know about the world of work

You crave feedback. Your organization's culture is the key to its success. Strategic planning is essential. Your competencies should be measured and your weaknesses shored up. Leadership is a thing.

These may sound like basic truths of our work lives today. But actually, they're lies. As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies--distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking--that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact.…


Plus, check out my book…

The CDB Scholarship Monthly Planner

By Khadijah Butler, Basheer Johnson (illustrator),

Book cover of The CDB Scholarship Monthly Planner

What is my book about?

The CDB Scholarship Monthly Planner is a 12-month organizational tool with over 150 nationwide scholarships. This planner identifies annual awards from August through July for students from kindergarten to 12th Grade.

Quick tips and reminders are also provided, including when to begin working on your FAFSA and SAT/ACT Prep deadlines.