100 books like Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Here are 100 books that Grit fans have personally recommended if you like Grit. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Alchemist

Diana Drake Long Author Of Dream It, Design It, Live It: The Ultimate Guide to Manifesting Your Next-Level Life

From my list on creativity, happiness and success in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the idea of “dreams come true” for as long as I can remember. In middle school, I discovered the field of psychology. I made weekly trips to the library and read books on personal development, spirituality, and memoirs. This commitment to learning and growth has never wavered. Those early seeds that I planted and nurtured have bloomed into my long-standing career of professional coaching, facilitation, and leading transformational retreats. My passion is empowering others to believe in their dreams and goals and bring them to life. 

Diana's book list on creativity, happiness and success in life

Diana Drake Long Why did Diana love this book?

International bestseller Paul Coelho wrote this book, and it is a classic and the perfect gift for yourself or others. This book is a vibrant story about a shepherd boy who dares to pursue his dreams. The book holds wisdom on every page.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: "Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked. Because when you listen to your heart, that is where you will find your treasure." I like to revisit this little book for a dose of sweet inspiration and motivation. Our inner wisdom is always nudging us in the direction of our dreams; it's up to us if we heed the call!

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Diana Drake Long Author Of Dream It, Design It, Live It: The Ultimate Guide to Manifesting Your Next-Level Life

From my list on creativity, happiness and success in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the idea of “dreams come true” for as long as I can remember. In middle school, I discovered the field of psychology. I made weekly trips to the library and read books on personal development, spirituality, and memoirs. This commitment to learning and growth has never wavered. Those early seeds that I planted and nurtured have bloomed into my long-standing career of professional coaching, facilitation, and leading transformational retreats. My passion is empowering others to believe in their dreams and goals and bring them to life. 

Diana's book list on creativity, happiness and success in life

Diana Drake Long Why did Diana love this book?

This is another book that I consider a classic and, for years, has held a place of honor on my bookshelf. I go back to it from time to time. It's like visiting a wise friend who inspires you to be the most self-expressed you can be. Julia is a great guide, and I enjoy the author's writing style, which is easy to read and relate to. As a prolific author of dozens of books, she is intelligent and generous, and she encourages readers to go deeper and wider in their creative lives. She leads the reader through a twelve-week program in the book to unleash one's creative genius.

Her signature "field work" for readers is an exercise called "morning pages," a practice of writing down your unedited thoughts each morning to clear out the old thoughts and make space for new perspectives and ideas to come forth. I have…

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from, including limiting beliefs, fear, sabotage, jealousy and guilt, and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the…


Book cover of Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

Robert Quinn Author Of Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

From my list on finding your purpose and success.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Quinn is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He has published 18 books on these subjects. He is passionate about speaking and teaching and his recent talk to Google on finding your purpose was viewed by over 18 million people.

Robert's book list on finding your purpose and success

Robert Quinn Why did Robert love this book?

This is a classic and has been foundational to my thinking and work. Fritz explains that we all live on the path of least resistance. Our lives change when we learn to ask one question; “What result do I want to create?” We all think we ask this question, but we do not. We ask; “How do I get what I want?” The difference is critical in the impact it can have on our lives. This book is filled with practical insight and wisdom.

By Robert Fritz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Path of Least Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revolutionary program for creating anything, from a functional kitchen to a computer program, to a work of art, Robert Fritz demonstrates that any of us has the innate power to create. Discover the steps of creating; the importance of creating what you truly love, how to focus on the creative process to move from where you are to where you want to be, and much more.


Book cover of Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything

Robert Quinn Author Of Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

From my list on finding your purpose and success.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Quinn is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He has published 18 books on these subjects. He is passionate about speaking and teaching and his recent talk to Google on finding your purpose was viewed by over 18 million people.

Robert's book list on finding your purpose and success

Robert Quinn Why did Robert love this book?

Stecher is a scientist who can also communicate ideas effectively. He does a tour of the literature on purpose and translates it into concepts of practical significance. The data suggests that you and I are designed by nature to be people of higher purpose. Until this happens, we are literally throwing our life away.

By Victor J. Strecher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life on Purpose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A pioneer in the field of behavioral science delivers a groundbreaking work that shows how finding your purpose in life leads to better health and overall happiness. Your life is a boat. You need a rudder. But it doesn't matter how much wind is in your sails if you're not steering toward a harbor-an ultimate purpose in your life. While the greatest philosophers have pondered purpose for centuries, today it has been shown to have a concrete impact on our health. Recent studies into Alzheimer's, heart disease, stroke, depression, functional brain imaging, and measurement of DNA repair are shedding new…


Book cover of Outliers: The Story of Success

Elissa L. Perry Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From my list on less businessy business that can help managers.

Why am I passionate about this?

In a world in which we are faced with increasing amounts of information that we have to parse (from social media, cable news channels, newspapers), it often feels hard to separate fact from fiction, and evidence-based research from junk science. In my own work, I have given a great deal of thought to how to get research-based evidence into the hands of practitioners (managers, employees) who can put it to good use. An important piece of the puzzle is helping practitioners understand the research evidence and how to apply it. The books on this list are great examples of authors who translate research into language that people can understand and use.

Elissa's book list on less businessy business that can help managers

Elissa L. Perry Why did Elissa love this book?

Gladwell is a master storyteller who is especially gifted at weaving an interesting narrative around what might otherwise be banal research evidence and facts. 

In this book, he challenges our thinking about what contributes to individuals’ success; our over emphasis on individual merit, innate talent, and ambition and under emphasis on the role of context, opportunities, and preparation. Gladwell uses engaging and relevant stories (about hockey players, geniuses, plane crashes, his own family) to make his points in powerful ways.  

By Malcolm Gladwell,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Outliers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. Regarded by many as the most gifted and influential author and journalist in America today, Gladwell has the rare ability to connect with audiences of tremendously varied interests. There are over 10 million copies of his books in print. Now, Gladwell's landmark investigations into the world around us are collected together for the first time. Beautifully repackaged and redesigned, with newly added illustrations throughout each book, COLLECTED is a perfect treasury of prose…


Book cover of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

Kurt Mortensen Author Of The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

From my list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, negotiation, and influence. Kurt has spent over 20 years researching influence, leadership, sales, persuasive presentations, and he teaches at the university level. Kurt is the author of Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma, and the best-selling book Maximum Influence. His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is also the host of the popular podcast Maximize Your Influence. Mortensen teaches that professional success, personal relationships, and leadership all depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it. 

Kurt's book list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic

Kurt Mortensen Why did Kurt love this book?

Influence is all about getting someone to change and accept your beliefs or ideas. I love that this book has five authors coming together to share how to change others' behavior. What works and what does not work based on studies and research. They looked at hundreds of successful influencers and categorized the keys to change and the art of influence. These principles are boiled down to easy-to-apply concepts.

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield , Ron McMillan , Al Switzler

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influencer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CHANGE YOUR COMPANY. CHANGE THE LIVES OF OTHERS. CHANGE THE WORLD.

An INFLUENCER leads change.
An INFLUENCER replaces bad behaviorswith powerful new skills.
An INFLUENCER makes things happen.
This is what it takes to be an INFLUENCER.

Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you hadmore influence with the people in your life. But most of us stop trying to make change happen because we believe itis too difficult, if not impossible. We learn to cope rather than learning to influence.

From the bestselling authors who taught the…


Book cover of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Vitaliy Katsenelson Author Of Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life

From my list on that bring meaning to your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an investor who happens to love writing, music, and simply life in general. I was born in Murmansk, Russia, where I spent my first 18 years. My family moved to Denver in 1991, and I have lived there since. I’m CEO of IMA, a value investing firm where I have creative freedom to focus on things I love. I was so fortunate to stumble into writing; it has completely rewired my mind by providing a daily two-hour refuge for focused thinking. I am constantly on the lookout for new stories and fresh insights. Writing is what keeps me in student-of-life mode, and there is so much to learn!

Vitaliy's book list on that bring meaning to your life

Vitaliy Katsenelson Why did Vitaliy love this book?

This book is solely responsible for hooking me on Stoic philosophy, prompting my deep exploration of practical aspects of life in my own book and, most importantly, the application of them to my daily life. William’s writing is easy to follow, and his advice is very practical. I’d advise you to start reading the book from chapter four; and then when you are done with the book, come back to the first three chapters.

By William B. Irvine,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Guide to the Good Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using…


Book cover of Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Kara Alaimo Author Of Over The Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls - And How We Can Take it Back

From my list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a communication professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, a social media user, and a mom. After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an op-ed for CNN arguing that he’d won the election on social media, and I just never stopped writing. A few hundred op-eds and a book later, I’m still interested in what social media is doing to us all and the issues women are up against in our society. My book allowed me to explore how social media is impacting every single aspect of the lives of women and girls and exactly what we can do about it. I wrote it as a call to arms.

Kara's book list on what it’s like to be a woman in this sexist, misogynistic world

Kara Alaimo Why did Kara love this book?

The opening of this book about how public transport systems have been designed to get men where they need to go (to the city center for work) but not women where we often go (all over neighborhoods caring for people) just blew my mind.

I loved how Criado Perez challenges so many things we take for granted – like why you can go out with a client after work and expense your steak and drinks but not the babysitter you have to hire. Her explanations of how the world is basically designed for men helped me understand why the voice control system in my car never seems to understand me and why there’s always a line for the ladies’ room.

By Caroline Criado Perez,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Invisible Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2019 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Winner of the 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize

Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

Celebrated feminist advocate…


Book cover of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

Dennis E. Hensley Author Of Jesus in the 21st Century: Amassing Wealth Ethically

From my list on innovative thinking and achievement.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is the author of 64 books on such topics as motivation, financial management, theology, futurism, professional writing, literary analysis, and time management. Dr. Hensley served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was awarded six medals for two tours in Vietnam. He and his wife Rose have been married for 49 years and have two grown married children and four grandkids. Dr. Hensley was a college professor for 21 years and has been a trainer for Wells Fargo Bank, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co., Vera Bradley Corp., North American Van Lines, and Lincoln Life Insurance Co., among many others.

Dennis' book list on innovative thinking and achievement

Dennis E. Hensley Why did Dennis love this book?

This book offers nuts and bolts systems and practices for thinking in new ways, organizing more effectively, and producing more abundantly. The author’s insights on establishing goals, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines are spot on. Though written a few decades ago, its lessons are timeless because they focus on reaching an endgame that provides a sense of satisfactory achievement. The author’s sense of humor and his ability to avoid tedious theory give the book momentum and energy.

By Jeff Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathing Space as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The breakthrough book for a time-pressed generation. Major features in USA Today, The Washington Post, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, and 75 other newspapers, plus Executive Female, USAir, Office Systems, Leaders, and Men's Health. Explains why the information age is not here yet; for now, most people are drowning in the over-information age. If you face too much paper, too much to read, or simply too much to do, this book will change your life.


Book cover of Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative

Samantha Dion Baker Author Of Draw Your World: How to Sketch and Paint Your Remarkable Life

From my list on inspiring creativity (from an artist).

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family of artists and then went to art school, so I have been thinking visually my entire life. I have always collected random, inspiring books with both words and images. I love being able to pick up a book and read a chapter at a time or flip through it for visual inspiration. I keep some of my favorite books at my bedside just because they give me comfort. There are so many more books I could recommend in the category I have chosen! 

Samantha's book list on inspiring creativity (from an artist)

Samantha Dion Baker Why did Samantha love this book?

Like Kleon, I believe that everything has been done before, and it is not a matter of always coming up with a new idea but interpreting and recreating old ideas in your own unique way. Once we take the pressure away from the “big idea,” then we can work on doing what we love and adding a personal flair.

I love the way Kleon writes and speaks to people of all ages. My son listened to his viral talk and read his book in his freshman class on speaking about ideas. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Steal Like an Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When asked to talk to students at Broome Community College in upstate New York in the spring of 2011, Austin Kleon wrote a simple list often things he wished he'd heard when he was their age: 'Steal like an artist; Don't wait until you know who you are to start making things; Write the book you want to read; Use your hands; Side projects are important; Do good work and put it where people can see it; Geography is no longer our master; Be nice (the world is a small town.); Be boring (it's the only way to get work…


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