10 books like Originals

By Adam Grant,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Originals. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

What does it take to be successful? There is a tendency in society to answer that with the response “natural talent”. In reality it is a bit different. Of course talent plays a significant role. But Angela Duckworth argues another often an overlooked factor – of effort, which she calls “Grit”. In her research, she demonstrates that where talent counts once, effort counts twice. Intertwining studies from business, sport, and academia she suggests the power of combining deliberate, purposeful, and systematic practice allows you to improve in relation to your goal. Ultimately, grit means getting “better every day”. Duckworth shares my belief that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence. Developing ‘Grit’ is key to keep improving en route to your goal.

Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

UNLOCK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain


Mindset

By Carol S. Dweck,

Book cover of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Dweck’s concept of “growth mindset” is an incredibly useful way to explain why some individuals and organizations respond more effectively to disruption than others. The key is, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella points out, is to shift from being a ‘know-it-all’ to a ‘learn-it-all’. Dweck’s message is “It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.” 

Mindset

By Carol S. Dweck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the renowned psychologist who introduced the world to “growth mindset” comes this updated edition of the million-copy bestseller—featuring transformative insights into redefining success, building lifelong resilience, and supercharging self-improvement.

“Through clever research studies and engaging writing, Dweck illuminates how our beliefs about our capabilities exert tremendous influence on how we learn and which paths we take in life.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this…


Switch

By Dan Heath, Chip Heath,

Book cover of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

This was one of the first books I read about behavior change, and to this day, it’s one of the best. The authors, Dan and Chip Heath, present a simple model consisting of a rider on top of an elephant traveling a path. The rider represents your rational side, the elephant is your emotional side, and the path is your environment. And by strategically influencing all three, you can create the behavior change you want much more effectively.

Switch

By Dan Heath, Chip Heath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________________________________
Change is hard. It doesn't have to be.

We all know that change is hard. It's unsettling, it's time-consuming, and all too often we give up at the first sign of a setback.

But why do we insist on seeing the obstacles rather than the goal? This is the question that bestselling authors Chip and Dan Heath tackle in their compelling and insightful book. They argue that we need only understand how our minds function in order to unlock shortcuts to switches in behaviour.

Illustrating their ideas with scientific studies and remarkable real-life turnarounds - from the secrets of…


When

By Daniel H. Pink,

Book cover of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

The most important thing I learned from this book is that “winners take breaks!” I was the kind of person who kept pushing and pushing and pushing myself because I thought that was how I would get ahead. I never understood the scientifically proven benefits of taking breaks. There’s a lot of other great stuff in here, but even that small tidbit permanently changed how I work.

When

By Daniel H. Pink,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Timing, it's often assumed, is an art; in When, Pink shows that timing is in fact a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? When should you have your first coffee of the day? Why is singing in time…


Truth & Beauty

By Ann Patchett,

Book cover of Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

Ann Patchett is a successful American novelist, and Truth and Beauty is her memoir about her friendship with the poet, Lucy Grealy. She writes beautifully about Grealy, her talent and her warm, engaging personality, but also about her struggles and eventual death. Patchett conveys the depth of a passionate friendship by letting the reader see all her thoughts and feelings, courageously looking at how we can love someone, but how they can also try us to our limits. It is a book for those who love literature and are fascinated by the depth and intricacy of a creative connection between humans.

Truth & Beauty

By Ann Patchett,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Truth & Beauty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Dutch House, Commonwealth and Bel Canto, Winner of The Women's Prize for Fiction and the Pen/Faulkner Award.

When Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college they began a friendship that would define their lives. Lucy Grealy lost part of her jaw to childhood cancer, and a large part of her life to chemotherapy and endless reconstructive surgeries. Stoic but vulnerable, damaged by bullying but fascinated by fame, Lucy had an incandescent personality that illuminated those around her.

In this tender, brutal book, Ann Patchett describes Lucy's life and her own platonic love for…


Monogamy

By Sue Miller,

Book cover of Monogamy

This book is a page-turner. Annie, the main character in this novel has just found out her husband has been having an affair. The book circles back to their marriage and how completely different they are. 

Somehow the relationship works as they totally balanced each other. I love how Sue Miller creates pictures of characters so we get to know them at a granular level. I ended up loving all of them despite their imperfections. Annie makes a life for herself as a widow having been transformed by the man she loved. Opposite personalities can enrich each other as often as they drive each other crazy.

Monogamy

By Sue Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Book of the Year
DAILY MAIL 'BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR TO GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS'
SUNDAY EXPRESS' S MAGAZINE 'WINTER WARMERS'
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'BEST BOOKS OF 2020' ONLINE

'One of the most emotionally truthful novels I have ever read' DAISY BUCHANAN
'Almost every line glows with even-handed wisdom - a superb novel, beautifully put together' DAILY MAIL
'An invaluably moving book' JULIET NICOLSON
'One to read first for the story and then to re-read at leisure and marvel at how real these people feel' ERIN KELLY
'Penetrating, intelligent, humane, funny too ... Smart and powerfully alive'…


Introverts in Love

By Sophia Dembling,

Book cover of Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After

I had a great deal of respect for this author from reading her Psychology Today columns. Sophia Dembling is an introvert and from her research and personal experience knows that relationships between different personality types can be challenging to say the least. 

She takes us through all aspects of the dating process and doesn’t slam extroverts. What she does is show us, through her great wit and transparency, how we are not perfect but that we can balance each other. 

Dembling teaches introverts “how to let someone into their hearts while honoring the solitude we need..” I found myself laughing many times, even while reading the table of contents. “Whee! Fun With Extroverts” and “I Love you But Please Don’t Call Me.” And she helps extroverted readers understand and empathize with introverts who don’t find joy in too much socializing. 

Introverts in Love

By Sophia Dembling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of The Introvert’s Way, a friendly and accessible guide to dating and relationships for introverts.

Love is tricky for everyone--and different personality types can face their own unique problems. Now the author of The Introvert’s Way offers a guide to romance that takes you through the frequently outgoing world of dating, courting, and relationships, helping you navigate issues that are particular to introverts, from making conversation at parties to the challenges of dating an extrovert.


The Cactus and Snowflake at Work

By Devora Zack,

Book cover of The Cactus and Snowflake at Work: How the Logical and Sensitive Can Thrive Side by Side

The author is well versed in the Myers-Briggs and uses her knowledge of that instrument and years of consulting in this practical and funny book. 

The author focuses on thinking types and feeling types and describes how they can clash and achieve sweet harmony. Thinkers lead with their heads and Feelers lead with their hearts.

This is helpful for me as a “feeler.” I have a roadmap to guide me in the land of thinkers. The “CakFlake” instrument (this gives you a sense of the author’s sense of humor) is a great way to determine when I might fall into a trap like expecting everyone to process information like I do. It is a quick and fun read and you will leave with some actions to take right away.

The Cactus and Snowflake at Work

By Devora Zack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cactus and Snowflake at Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This hilarious and profound workplace guide proves the rigorously rational and the supremely sympathetic can meet in the middle and merge their strengths. Readers will discover how blending with their opposite opens the pathway to being their truest selves.

Carl Jung's personality typology introduced the distinction that Feelers (who lead with their hearts) put more weight on personal concerns and the people involved, and Thinkers (who lead with their heads) are guided by objective principles and impartial facts. This book calls them Cacti and Snowflakes—each singularly transcendent. But can people with such fundamentally different ways of making sense of and…


The Myths of Creativity

By David Burkus,

Book cover of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth about How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas

I love contrarian thinking. It’s by definition creative…new, novel, useful. That’s what David Burkus does with this book. There are a lot of conventional thoughts about creativity and the generation of innovative ideas that are held out as universal truths, but just aren’t. True, that is. David takes them all to task, pokes holes in them with science and logic and good old thoughtful insight, and dispels an entire family of mythology...misconceptions all relating to creative thinking: brainstorming, collaborating, incentivizing, and about a dozen more. Prepare to have much of your current understanding of creativity shaken.

The Myths of Creativity

By David Burkus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How to get past the most common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies We tend to think of creativity in terms reminiscent of the ancient muses: divinely-inspired, unpredictable, and bestowed upon a lucky few. But when our jobs challenge us to be creative on demand, we must develop novel, useful ideas that will keep our organizations competitive. The Myths of Creativity demystifies the processes that drive innovation. Based on the latest research into how creative individuals and firms succeed, David Burkus highlights the mistaken ideas that hold us back and shows us how anyone can embrace a practical…


The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

For me, as an artist, there is no greater feeling than bringing a vision into reality and welcoming the formless into form. Having to wrestle with the angels of creativity and the demons of resistance is exhausting, soul-enlivening work. Steven Pressfield brilliantly describes and guides readers through this process in his seminal work The War of Art. Steven invites us to square our shoulders towards all that we’ve been resisting, as a means of facing the life we know we’re capable of and called to live. The book is divided into three parts, or books within the book: Book One is called, simply “Resistance: Defining The Enemy.” Book Two is titled “Combating Resistance: Turning Pro” and outlines the differences between an amateur and a professional, and Book Three is my personal favorite: “Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm” where he waxes poetic about our connection to the Muses and the…

The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dreambusiness venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy thatevery one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer thisinternal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in creative thinking, entrepreneurs, and leadership?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about creative thinking, entrepreneurs, and leadership.

Creative Thinking Explore 12 books about creative thinking
Entrepreneurs Explore 94 books about entrepreneurs
Leadership Explore 76 books about leadership