100 books like How to Fight a Hydra

By Josh Kaufman,

Here are 100 books that How to Fight a Hydra fans have personally recommended if you like How to Fight a Hydra. 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 Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Author Of Leading with Questions: How Leaders Discover Powerful Answers by Knowing How and What to Ask

From my list on asking questions that will change you and the world.

Why are we passionate about this?

Michael Marquardt is Professor Emeritus of Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University, where he directed the Global Certificate and Executive Leadership Programs. He's a Co-founder and first President of the World Institute for Action Learning. Dr. Marquardt has authored 27 books and his publications has sold over a million copies. Bob Tiede is on the U.S. Leadership Development Team at Cru, an interdenominational Christian parachurch organization. His blog, LeadingWithQuestions.com is in its 11th year and followed by Leaders in over 190 countries. Bob is the author of Great Leaders ASK Questions, Little Book of Big Leading With Questions Quotes, and 262 Questions Paul the Apostle of Christ Asked.

Michael's book list on asking questions that will change you and the world

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Why did Michael love this book?

 In story after story Mark shares that the key to connecting with people is to be “More Interested Than Interesting.” 

The author shares a multitude of thoughtful questions, that you will certainly want to begin to employ to communicate your interest in others. And of course, the reason I love Just Listen is that no one will ever become great at “Leading with Questions” without becoming a great listener!

When your family/staff/ friends feel heard, your relational effectiveness will skyrocket! 

By Mark Goulston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Getting through to someone is a critical, fine art. Whether you are dealing with a harried colleague, a stressed-out client, or an insecure spouse, things will go from bad to worse if you can't break through emotional barricades and get your message thoroughly communicated and registered.

Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, author Mark Goulston combines his background with the latest scientific research to help you turn the "impossible" and "unreachable" people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.

In Just Listen, Goulston provides simple yet powerful techniques you can…


Book cover of Badass: Making Users Awesome

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

Whether you sell products or services, customers don’t really buy either: they buy outcomes. And it’s not enough to understand what people want to accomplish, truly successful businesses deeply understand how customers view their own success, and how to create a path from where they currently are to where they want to be. 

In Badass, Kathy uses her unique and very visual learning style to help you get in the head of your customers and understand the world from their point of view. There’s a shortlist of people who’ve had a huge impact on my career, and Kathy Sierra is at the top of that very shortlist. This book embodies that impact, I consider it required reading.

By Kathy Sierra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Imagine you're in a game with one objective: a bestselling product or service. The rules? No marketing budget, no PR stunts, and it must be sustainably successful. No short-term fads. This is not a game of chance. It is a game of skill and strategy. And it begins with a single question: given competing products of equal pricing, promotion, and perceived quality, why does one outsell the others? The answer doesn't live in the sustainably successful products or services. The answer lives in those who use them. Our goal is to craft a strategy for creating successful users. And that…


Book cover of The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is how to manage my own fear and excitement. How we react to the world around us is one of the few things we are truly in control of! This is the book that helped me most to shift the way I perceive and react to things, allowing me to live more calmly in my work and my life even in the face of complexity, fear, even success. 

This book is weirdly simple, almost child-like in its cadence, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. I found it valuable to sit with the short parables and examples especially when I’m having an emotional response surrounding a business decision. 

This was the first book based on Buddhist teachings that I ever read and made sense to me in a practical way. The writing style is strange (and the author has a truly bizarre…

By Lama Christie McNally, Geshe Michael Roach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential Yoga Sutra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a classic Sanskrit treatise consisting of 195 “threads,” or aphorisms, describing the process of liberation through yoga. Although little is known about Patanjali (most scholars estimate that he lived in India circa 200–300 B.C.), his writings have long been recognized as a vital contribution to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This new, expert translation of the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali’s best-known work presents his seminal ideas and methods in accessible, plain-language English.

Patanjali organized the sutra into four parts: Samadhi (absorption), Sadhana (practice), Vibhuti (supernatural powers), and Kaivalya (liberation). Each represents a…


Book cover of Design for Cognitive Bias

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

The most insidious mistakes we make are the ones we didn’t even realize we were making. This short book brilliantly shines a light on the thousands of “invisible” choices that we make in our work and our lives, but more importantly, the author guides us on how to begin correcting them.

Using examples and case studies, author David Dylan Thomas helps you bring awareness to three lenses of bias that are guaranteed to be affecting your work: how biases impact our own individual experiences and choices, how they wiggle their way into our teams and leadership structures, and how they get wired directly into the products and services we deliver. 

If you care about creating long-lasting and equitable results with your work, you need to read this book.

By David Dylan Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Design for Cognitive Bias as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We humans are messy, illogical creatures who like to imagine we’re in control—but we blithely let our biases lead us astray. In Design for Cognitive Bias, David Dylan Thomas lays bare the irrational forces that shape our everyday decisions and, inevitably, inform the experiences we craft. Once we grasp the logic powering these forces, we stand a fighting chance of confronting them, tempering them, and even harnessing them for good. Come along on a whirlwind tour of the cognitive biases that encroach on our lives and our work, and learn to start designing more consciously.


Book cover of The Thousand Faces of Night

Berlie W. Doherty Author Of Rose Doran Dreams

From my list on the psychological power of fairy stories and fables.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much of my writing is influenced by Fairy Stories. Sometimes I retell the stories in my own words, sometimes I create my own, and sometimes, as in Rose Doran Dreams, I weave them into the narrative so that they shape the central character in a way that affects or explains her development. There is a darkness about Fairy Stories that fascinates me, that gives psychological depth to a character or a narrative as I write. I am dizzy with the notion that Fairy Stories don’t belong to the teller or the writer, the listener or the reader; they transcend time and place. 

Berlie's book list on the psychological power of fairy stories and fables

Berlie W. Doherty Why did Berlie love this book?

I was given this book thirty years ago by an Indian poet, who promised me I would love it. It is a feast of stories, told to the central character Devi throughout her life. Through her grandmother’s ancient stories, she learns about love, beauty, riches, and womanhood. Her father-in-law tells her stories that teach her about life, how to survive her lonely marriage, how to belong. Stories and dreams give her wealth and power, but they evaporate and still she is there, empty, alone, and desperate for the love that the old stories are about. 

Two other women’s stories weave through the narrative. Her mother Seta, and her husband’s old retainer, Mayamma share exotic tales of ancient India, Gods, mysteries, magic, and rituals. 

The Thousand Faces of Night is trancelike and beautiful.

By Githa Hariharan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thousand Faces of Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A debut novel which interweaves the fabled myths and legends of India with a young woman's search for self, exploring such universal themes as freedom, independence and desire.


Book cover of Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation

Sandra A. Miller Author Of Trove: A Woman's Search for Truth and Buried Treasure

From my list on for people on a spiritual search.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2010, Sandra A. Miller began hunting for a chest of gold coins buried in New York City soil. In her late forties at the time, she was mired in the process of helping her ailing mother to die, her teenage children to fly, and her writing career to survive the beating it had taken in the Great Recession and beyond. Soon enough, Sandra realized she was not just hunting for a treasure chest full of gold, but rather a different kind of riches. She had lost herself and needed to find a spiritual path that would lead her back home.

Sandra's book list on for people on a spiritual search

Sandra A. Miller Why did Sandra love this book?

The comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell is probably best known for A Hero with a Thousand Faces, but it’s another book—Pathways to Bliss—that I turn to like a travel guide to my own spiritual journey. In prompting readers to explore archetypes to help them create their personal mythology, Campbell believes that life should be a journey to finding our bliss. This is a book about personal growth for people who want to self-discovery in a larger—mythical—context.

By Joseph Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pathways to Bliss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Campbell famously defined myth as “other people's religion.” But he also said that one of the basic functions of myth is to help each individual through the journey of life, providing a sort of travel guide or map to reach fulfillment — or, as he called it, bliss. For Campbell, many of the world's most powerful myths support the individual's heroic path toward bliss.

In Pathways to Bliss, Campbell examines this personal, psychological side of myth. Like his classic best-selling books Myths to Live By and The Power of Myth, Pathways to Bliss draws from Campbell's popular lectures and…


Book cover of A Game Free Life

Chris West Author Of The Karpman Drama Triangle Explained: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, Trainers, Therapists – and Everybody Else

From my list on really helpful psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by human behaviour since going to a school where we were told there was a right and a wrong way to do everything. That never felt right to me – human beings are much bigger than that! I studied Counselling and Therapy at Norwich City College in the 1990s and later specific courses on Transactional Analysis. Many years on, I am still learning…

Chris' book list on really helpful psychology

Chris West Why did Chris love this book?

This isn’t the easiest of reads, but it is the Real Thing – the work of the man who discovered the Triangle itself.

I love its density and the fact that I can come back to it over and over again and find new ideas. Dr Karpman’s long experience as a working therapist speaks out from every page. 

By Stephen B. Karpman,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century

Mario Beauregard Author Of Expanding Reality: The Emergence of Postmaterialist Science

From my list on the new science of consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in the relationship between the mind and the brain around the age of 8. It was at this age that I decided to become a neuroscientist. Years later, I completed a bachelor's degree in psychology and then a doctorate in neuroscience. I’ve spent part of my research career in neuroscience at the University of Montreal. I have also been affiliated with the University of Arizona (Tucson). My groundbreaking work on the neurobiology of emotional self-regulation, consciousness, and spiritual experiences has received extensive international media coverage and numerous awards. I am one of the main proponents of a postmaterialist paradigm for the new science of mind/consciousness.

Mario's book list on the new science of consciousness

Mario Beauregard Why did Mario love this book?

Irreducible Mind is an insightful collective volume written by scientists about the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.

In this work, the authors examine several rogue phenomena (e.g. psychological automatisms and secondary personality, genius-level creativity, extreme psychophysical influence, NDEs, 'mystical' states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced) that cannot be accounted for by materialist (physicalist) theories.

These authors further demonstrate that these phenomena are more easily explained by an alternative 'transmission' or 'filter' theory of mind/brain relations.

By Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree , Alan Gauld , Michael Grosso , Bruce Greyson

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates empirically that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level…


Book cover of Dead Falls: A Jessica Anderson K-9 Mystery

Laurie Buchanan Author Of Impervious: A Sean McPherson Novel

From my list on mysteries and thrillers paw-fect for dog lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Laurie Buchanan, and I'm addicted to dogs. I was nicknamed "Dr. Doolittle" at seven, and the moniker has stuck. Why? Because I have a way with all animals, but dogs in particular. I've been owned by dogs (not the other way around) since elementary school—from Irish wolfhounds to Scottish Terriers and everything in between—Poodles, Collies, Dalmatians, and mixed breeds. Not only do I enjoy reading books that feature K9 characters, but I also write them—The Sean McPherson crime thriller series. I do my best plotting during my daily six-mile walk with my four-legged companion, Henry, a not-so-standard Standard Poodle.

Laurie's book list on mysteries and thrillers paw-fect for dog lovers

Laurie Buchanan Why did Laurie love this book?

I love a good storyline, but even more so when it’s well-supported.

The author, D.L. Keur, offers captivating information about search and rescue, hostage rescue, pack interactions, human-K9 communication, and human psychology. I love the dogs—yes, plural—and the relationships with their human companions.

Speaking of which, the human characters are realistic. Just like people in real life, they’re flawed, which to my way of thinking, makes a story even more believable and relatable.

By D. L. Keur,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Watching Dallas: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination

Daniel Silliman Author Of Reading Evangelicals: How Christian Fiction Shaped a Culture and a Faith

From my list on reading about reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a journalist and a historian who writes about how American evangelicals are complicated. I was trying to explain Left Behind in graduate school and I talked and talked about the theology in the book—all about the doctrines of the rapture, the antichrist, and the millennium. Then my professor said, “But it’s fiction, right? Why is it fiction? What are people doing when they read a novel instead, of say, a theological treatise?” I had no idea. But it seemed like a good question. That was the spark of Reading Evangelicals. But first, I had to read everything I could find about how readers read and what happens when they do.

Daniel's book list on reading about reading

Daniel Silliman Why did Daniel love this book?

I’m cheating a little here, but I made the rules and there’s a little clause in the rules I made that says I can break them as long as I announce that I am breaking them. Herewith, I announce. 

This isn’t a book about readers. It’s a book about watchers—specifically the Dutch audience for the soap opera Dallas. But this book is so good and so wild, it changed forever the way I think about “reception,” including reading. I recommend this book all the time and if you want to understand the freedom and creativity of readers, you have to read it.

By Ien Ang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dallas, one of the great internationally-screened soap operas, offers us first and foremost entertainment. But what is it about Dallas that makes that entertainment so successful, and how exactly is its entertainment constructed?


5 book lists we think you will like!

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