100 books like The Ride of a Lifetime

By Robert Iger,

Here are 100 books that The Ride of a Lifetime fans have personally recommended if you like The Ride of a Lifetime. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Les Miserables

Stephen Jackley Author Of Just Time: A Journey Through Britain's Fractured Justice System

From my list on the power of redemption.

Who am I?

Having spent a total of 7 years in 12 UK prisons (and 6 in the USA), I encountered so many people from all walks of life who found themselves in custody. What they all generally had in common was a desire to seek betterment – redemption – for even the repeat offenders never hoped to see the inside of another jail again. It can be a soul-destroying, depressing place, often ruthless, but also serves as a forge to draw out the perseverance and will to keep going. After leaving prison, I went on to set up a social enterprise, received a commendation from then Prince Charles, and support the daily operations of a charity (Arkbound). 

Stephen's book list on the power of redemption

Stephen Jackley Why did Stephen love this book?

Another classic, and quite possibly my favorite. It has been dramatised many times, though nothing beats the full novel.

Admittedly with a slow-paced start, the narrative soon grips you with the intensity of its plot and unforgettable characters – most prominent, of course, being the protagonist (Jean Valjean). After serving a long sentence, he then must contend with the prospect of a lifetime of prejudice and discrimination by being an ex-con, but he escapes this and, with the help of a kind bishop, sets himself up under a different name.

Here he transforms into Monseiur Madeleine, a philanthropic businessman who later becomes mayor, before being hunted down by the stern and relentless Javert. If I could name any literary ‘role model’, it would be Jean Valjean.

This dramatic tale has redemption at its very heart, resonating deeply with me, and what makes it even more fascinating is the fact it’s…

By Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock (translator), Norman Macafee (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Les Miserables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The only completely unabridged paperback edition of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece—a sweeping tale of love, loss, valor, and passion.

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

Within his dramatic story…

Book cover of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Tom Gilb Author Of Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage

From my list on learning successful invention and business methods.

Who am I?

I am a self-taught guy, having started in my first job at IBM Oslo, when I was 18 years old, as punched card machine operator, and plug-board ‘programmer'. I did night studies in sociology/philosophy for 10 years at University of Oslo. I read about 30 books a year, and I’m 82 in 2023. I have spent most of my career as an independent international consultant to corporations and governments, while building up my ideas of useful methods to solve problems. In retirement, I love to spread my ideas, and learn more. I also write about 5 new books a year, when at my Oslofjord Summer cabin. They're all digital and free or free samples. 

Tom's book list on learning successful invention and business methods

Tom Gilb Why did Tom love this book?

From my notes after I read it, “Great content and organization. Triggered me to write and plan a 2022 Book.”

There was specific practical content like removing vacation policy, removing travel and expenses policy. An opening the books, which showed the practices behind the no rules idea, and their consequent results in the business. As a consultant, these give me a tool for discussion with clients. What if you did the same?

Again a great leader, and successful businessperson, using persistence and imagination to deal with the forces against change.

By Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked No Rules Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest. Adequate performance gets a generous severance. And never, ever try to please your boss.

These are some of the ground rules if you work at Netflix. They are part of a unique cultural experiment that explains how the company has transformed itself at lightning speed from a DVD mail order service into a streaming superpower - with 125 million fervent subscribers and a market capitalisation bigger than Disney.

Finally Reed Hastings, Netflix Chairman and CEO, is sharing the secrets that have revolutionised the entertainment and tech industries. With INSEAD business school professor Erin…

Book cover of Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood's Creative Artists Agency

Frederick Levy Author Of Hollywood 101: The Film Industry

From my list on Hollywood insiders.

Who am I?

I am the author of seven published books about Hollywood. I’m also actively involved in the entertainment industry day to day. Presently, I am the owner of Management 101, a firm that guides the careers of actors and writers. I’m also a producer of feature films and television shows including the GLAAD award-winning feature film Geography Club, Sins of our Youth, and Nickelodeon’s Dance On Sunset. I have taught at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and have appeared as a guest on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Fox News, and CBS.

Frederick's book list on Hollywood insiders

Frederick Levy Why did Frederick love this book?

Since I work in talent representation, I’m always curious how my colleagues and competitors conduct business. CAA is, and has been, the top agency in Hollywood since I first started in this industry. I was anxious to read about the history of the company and how it has managed to not only survive, but thrive, throughout the decades. Filled with tantalizing stories of insider secrets, this is an eye opening account of one of Hollywood’s most powerful companies and the uber successful men and women who have worked there.

By James Andrew Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller, now updated with an afterword and exclusive new material From the #1 bestselling author behind acclaimed oral histories of Saturday Night Live and ESPN comes "the most hotly anticipated book [in decades]" (Variety): James Andrew Miller's irresistible insider chronicle of the modern entertainment industry, told through the epic story of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)-the ultimate power player that has represented the world's biggest stars and shaped the landscape of film, television, comedy, music, and sports. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash upstarts left creaky William Morris to form their own innovative talent agency,…

Book cover of Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Marc D. Giller Author Of Candidate Z

From my list on not minding your workout as much.

Who am I?

Just your friendly neighborhood thriller novelist. When people find out I write books, they inevitably enquire, “Really? Have I read anything of yours?” Well, funny you should ask! I’ve been cranking out stories since I was sixteen but took a couple of decades to finally land a publishing deal for my debut novel Hammerjack and its sequel Prodigal (Bantam Spectra). A lifelong Star Trek fan, I’ve also published the novella “Revenant” in the collection Seven Deadly Sins (Gallery Books). My latest is the high-tech thriller Candidate Z, available on Amazon.

Marc's book list on not minding your workout as much

Marc D. Giller Why did Marc love this book?

I have zero fascination with celebrities, but remain a sucker for a showbiz memoir as told by a true raconteur. And though you might never have known it from the pretty-boy reputation cemented firmly by his 80’s era film oeuvre, Rob Lowe ranks right up there with George Hamilton in both his having known pretty much everybody in Hollywood, but also having a great story to tell about each one. At turns self-deprecating, deeply touching, brutally honest, and laugh-out-loud funny, Lowe’s Stories doesn’t dish any dirt—so if that’s what you’re looking for, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’d like an inside peek at Hollywood as told by a Gen-X icon in his own words (no ghostwriters here!), you can’t go wrong here.

By Rob Lowe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Stories I Only Tell My Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wryly funny and moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye.

Teen idol at fifteen, international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal…

Book cover of Inside Out: A Memoir

Kim O'Hara Author Of No Longer Denying Sexual Abuse: Making The Choices That Can Change Your Life

From my list on abuse survivors speaking candidly.

Who am I?

Abuse as a buzzword is so broad and big. Our stories are so unique in how we were neglected, abused, abandoned, not seen, beaten, or sexually molested, but what also differs is what area of our lives it affects. For some of us, it's our bodies and food. For others of us, it's addiction to drugs and alcohol. And then there is promiscuity or sexual isolation. As a survivor myself, and having written a book that covers how denial was my go-to in my abuse history, I'm always fascinated by the human’s desire to persevere and be resilient. As a survivor, I want to be part of opening the conversation about abuse up louder.

Kim's book list on abuse survivors speaking candidly

Kim O'Hara Why did Kim love this book?

When more than three women recommend a memoir, especially one that is by someone famous, I have to pick it up. Usually, I am not attracted to the lives of famous people, partly because I worked in Hollywood for so long. I saw they were just people like us, playing roles and doing their jobs. But Demi Moore’s long battle with body dysmorphia stemmed from a cruel relationship with her mother, where she was even sold for money. As she finds her fame, she is never satisfied with her body, but acutely aware she is underpaid when compared to her famous husband. So on one hand, she can’t align with a personal image of self-love and worth, but somewhere inside is a voice that knows she deserves more. 

By Demi Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A Daily Mail Book of the Year. A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year.

Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.

For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight - or the headlines.

Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her…

Book cover of Humankind: A Hopeful History

Dashka Slater Author Of Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed

From my list on facing down extremism, online and off.

Who am I?

I’ve spent the past ten years reporting and writing true crime narratives about teenagers and hate, first in The 57 Bus and now in Accountable. My research has led me into some fascinating places and has left me convinced that we cannot prevent what we don’t understand. In both books I found that the young people who harmed others weren’t the stereotypical grimacing loners I’d always associated with hate and extremism. Instead, they were imitating behaviors that we see all around us. Being young, with brains that aren’t fully developed in important ways, and lacking the life experience that teaches us a more nuanced understanding of the world, they are ripe for radicalization.

Dashka's book list on facing down extremism, online and off

Dashka Slater Why did Dashka love this book?

The best antidote to extremism, in my view, is to reject the old canard that humans are selfish and xenophobic by nature.

Bregman’s optimistic and affirming book dispels this myth with fascinating research and persuasive storytelling. Along the way, he examines deep questions like why we persist in believing the worst about ourselves and one another. Humans are wired for altruism and compassion and the more we understand that, the more difficult it is to persuade us to act against our most basic instincts.

By Rutger Bregman, Erica Moore (translator), Elizabeth Manton (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and Daily Express Book of the Year

'Hugely, highly and happily recommended' Stephen Fry
'You should read Humankind. You'll learn a lot (I did) and you'll have good reason to feel better about the human race' Tim Harford
'Made me see humanity from a fresh perspective' Yuval Noah Harari

It's a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have…

Book cover of The Chain

Robert E. Kreig Author Of Pit Guard: The Tanner's Boy

From my list on suspense to lose yourself in.

Who am I?

I love character-driven, roller coaster ride stories. As a young reader, I gravitated to the “choose your own adventure” books which relied on invoking knotted stomachs, and cold sweats in children as they struggled to make the right decision before reading on; turn to page 105 if you want to face the ravenous bear or page 23 if you wish to flee. Thus, the love of reading emerged and, eventually, the joy of writing followed. These books are just some of the stories that bring similar nostalgic tones when I delve into their pages. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Robert's book list on suspense to lose yourself in

Robert E. Kreig Why did Robert love this book?

The Chain is one of my most recent reads.

I’d categorise it as a dark thriller that created some of the tightest knots in my stomach. The concept alone was enough to generate terror, anxiety, and anger from the first page onward. But anything that involves the endangerment of children does that to me.

A gripping tale that puts the victims, both the kidnapped and the kidnappers, in peril from an unseen syndicate who controls their actions with a phone call.

Very realistic. Very scary.

By Adrian McKinty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter—or risk losing her forever—in this "propulsive and original" award-winning thriller (Stephen King).

It's something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it's a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a…

Book cover of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Jane Hamilton Author Of The Excellent Lombards

From my list on sad but funny bummer literature.

Who am I?

I’m no particular expert on anything, but I know what I love in a book, and I’ve read approximately a million books, plus or minus. I’ve written novels with the hope that they will be funny and poignant in about equal measure, I value humor in books more than just about anything, and here I have listed books that I cherish.  

Jane's book list on sad but funny bummer literature

Jane Hamilton Why did Jane love this book?

Say Nothing is nonfiction. Keefe is a first-rate storyteller, an expert researcher, and a writer who can explain complex matters simply and beautifully. 

Even if you’re not interested in the Troubles of Ireland, or in Ireland, this book allows for an understanding of how local war is, how neighbors become enemies, how war breeds war, and how governments don’t work to erase poverty or manage the anger of young people. 

On top all of that, there are the archives at Boston University, which figure in the tale, and, the passage of time, which allows the participants to reflect on their youth. This was the best book that I read in 2018.  

By Patrick Radden Keefe,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Say Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •From the author of Empire of Pain—a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

"Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book—as finely paced as a novel—Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga." —New York Times Book Review

Jean McConville's…

Book cover of Managing Oneself: The Key to Success

Christian Mayer Author Of Leaving the Rat Race with Python: An Insider's Guide to Freelance Developing

From my list on freelancers in the digital age.

Who am I?

No one in my family has ever owned a business, so I always believed that the best way forward was to find employment. I followed the "expected path" in life until I obtained my Ph.D. in computer science. However, I always wondered if there was a way for me to "break free" from the corporate world. After reading hundreds of business books and watching countless hours of YouTube videos about creating a business, I finally managed to achieve my goal. I began working as a self-employed freelance developer and gradually moved towards a more scalable education business, which aligns with my purpose of helping people thrive in an exponential world.

Christian's book list on freelancers in the digital age

Christian Mayer Why did Christian love this book?

Perform from your strengths! There can hardly be a more effective success principle than this one.

The book is very tiny – you can read it in 1-2 hours. But it has had a profound impact on my life. After reading it, I decided to quit my job and focus 100% on business because I discovered that I didn’t need a corporate environment to reach success and I didn’t need a boss either.

Only after reading Druckers' “Perform from your strengths” principle I gave myself permission to do just that – and it changed things quickly for me.

By Peter F. Drucker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Peter Drucker is widely regarded as the father of modern management, offering penetrating insights into business that still resonate today. But Drucker also offers deep wisdom on how to manage our personal lives and how to become more effective leaders. In these two classic articles from Harvard Business Review, Drucker reveals the keys to becoming your own chief executive officer as well as a better leader of others. "Managing Oneself" identifies the probing questions you need to ask to gain the insights essential for taking charge of your career, while "What Makes an Effective Executive" outlines the key behaviors you…

Book cover of Unleash Your Complexity Genius: Growing Your Inner Capacity to Lead

João Rosa Author Of Software Architecture Metrics: Case Studies to Improve the Quality of Your Architecture

From my list on a people first approach to technology.

Who am I?

I’m puzzled by how people and technology evolve—as humankind we created all of these wonders to make our life easier. At the same time, I feel that we are more focus on the technology and processes, rather than people. It drew me to the topic of sociotechnical systems, which fascinates me. I’ve formal education in IT, and everything is binary; however, during my career I was drawn to the intersection of technology and people. My mission in life is to support a new generation of leaders that want to create an organisational environment that puts people in the center! 

João's book list on a people first approach to technology

João Rosa Why did João love this book?

In my quest (you can also call it a professional career), I’m drawn to complexity since we create software for complex problems. There are books on Complexity Science; however, they are very academic. This particular book gives practical advice to cope with complexity. It acknowledges the balance between the emotional and rational sides and why we must bring our full-self to any aspect of our life. The “don’t be emotional, this is work” proves to be a threat to our mental well-being and kills innovation in a company. In the book, the authors explore how to listen to our bodies in the face of complexity in an accessible way.

By Carolyn Coughlin, Jennifer Garvey Berger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unleash Your Complexity Genius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a complexity paradox that we all need to understand. We humans have a natural inclination towards connection, engagement, and creativity - all necessary skills to thrive in complexity. The problem is that the stress caused by uncertainty and ambiguity makes it difficult to tap into this inclination when we need it the most. This book offers a set of practices that help you not only understand complexity but actually hack into your own nervous system to bring your natural capacities back online. By paying close attention to your body, redefining your emotional experiences, and connecting more deeply to…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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