100 books like Think Like a Breadwinner

By Jennifer Barrett,

Here are 100 books that Think Like a Breadwinner fans have personally recommended if you like Think Like a Breadwinner. 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 Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Melanie Deziel

From my list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI.

Why am I passionate about this?

Professionally, I’ve been a journalist, author, speaker, marketer, adjunct professor, consultant, startup founder, and more; but at my core, I’m a storyteller and a lifelong student. I read voraciously about creativity, writing, media, marketing, psychology, and design, and I’m fascinated by drawing connections between these things. (I’m still allowed to say “read” when I mostly consume audiobooks, right?) I’m currently focused on helping other creators and storytellers master their craft, refine their big ideas, and figure out their unique differentiators, through The Creator Kitchen, the mastermind program I run with fellow creator Jay Acunzo.

Melanie's book list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI

Melanie Deziel Why did Melanie love this book?

Ok, you caught me. I recommended the first edition of this book in a previous list. But this, my friends, is the second edition which, as the cover art indicates, is 10% funnier than the first.

Ann’s work is a testament to the power of honing your unique voice in a way that makes your work easy to identify, clearly differentiated, and dang near impossible to recreate well. Now that we’re battling it out against generative AI, not just other writers, this book serves as both an instructional guide and a case study on developing a distinct voice, in and of itself. 

By Ann Handley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finally a go-to guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive. Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer. If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers. Yeah, but who cares about writing anymore? In a time-challenged world dominated by…


Book cover of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

Debbie Sorensen Author Of ACT for Burnout: Recharge, Reconnect, and Transform Burnout with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

From my list on books for lasting recovery from burnout.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard. My personal experience of burnout, when I was a psychologist on a medical team in a hospital setting, led me to specialize in burnout in my private therapy practice. I’ve been doing therapy with adults experiencing chronic stress and burnout for many years since. I’ve also interviewed thought leaders in mental health on my podcast, Psychologists Off the Clock. I understand the complexity of burnout and the reason “quick fixes,” like individual wellness interventions, are often not enough to help with burnout. To really solve the problem, we must “dig deeper” and find both personal and cultural solutions.

Debbie's book list on books for lasting recovery from burnout

Debbie Sorensen Why did Debbie love this book?

If there is a “silver lining” to burnout, it’s that sometimes it can inspire growth and change. Four Thousand Weeks inspired me to do some soul-searching on what I care most about in my life, and to rethink how I spend my time.

I always thought I struggled to manage time because I wasn’t efficient and focused enough - until I realized that wasn’t the problem! The problem was that I had too much on my plate, and I wasn’t making hard decisions about what needed to go, in order to have room for the more important things. Burkeman’s wise and inspiring book completely changed my point of view about how to spend my time, and it has made a big difference in my life.

By Oliver Burkeman,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Four Thousand Weeks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Provocative and appealing . . . well worth your extremely limited time." ―Barbara Spindel, The Wall Street Journal

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of…


Book cover of Unfollow Your Passion: How to Create a Life That Matters to You

Ilise Benun Author Of The Creative Professional's Guide to Money: How to Think About It, How to Talk About it, How to Manage It

From my list on business books for creative professionals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have made it my business to teach basic business skills to creative professionals who should have learned them in school but, alas, did not because it’s not taught in school. This has for years perpetuated a “starving artist” mentality amongst creative professionals, who are naturally talented and could easily bring their creativity to the business side of their business, if only they knew how. That’s the mission I’m on with all of my work through marketing-mentor.com

Ilise's book list on business books for creative professionals

Ilise Benun Why did Ilise love this book?

Essential Skill #2 for Creatives: Practicality, not Passion

Creative professionals tend to be “passionate practitioners” but if you need to “love” every single aspect of your business, you won’t get very far. That’s why I love Terri’s book. It’s the funniest business book I’ve read! Part comic autobiography, part business handbook, Unfollow Your Passion provides practical, clear, and excellent advice. It also happens to be beautifully written, the stories so compelling and hysterical that you’ll learn the practical skills in spite of yourself. The message of this book – forget about passion – is so important, something I’ve espoused for years, but not nearly as eloquently and clearly as Terri has.

By Terri Trespicio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the Best Feel-Good Books of 2021 by The Washington Post

A hilarious and honest not-quite-self-help book in the vein of Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies and I Used to Have a Plan.

Every person on the planet wants their life to mean something. The problem is that you've been told there's only one way to find that meaning.

In Unfollow Your Passion, Terri Trespicio-whose TEDx talk has more than six million views-questions everything you think you need: passion (fun, but fleeting), plans (flimsy at best), and a bucket list (eye roll), to name a few.

Instead, she shows…


Book cover of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships

Ilise Benun Author Of The Creative Professional's Guide to Money: How to Think About It, How to Talk About it, How to Manage It

From my list on business books for creative professionals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have made it my business to teach basic business skills to creative professionals who should have learned them in school but, alas, did not because it’s not taught in school. This has for years perpetuated a “starving artist” mentality amongst creative professionals, who are naturally talented and could easily bring their creativity to the business side of their business, if only they knew how. That’s the mission I’m on with all of my work through marketing-mentor.com

Ilise's book list on business books for creative professionals

Ilise Benun Why did Ilise love this book?

Essential Skill #5 for Creatives: Connecting

Business is all about relationships and people do business with people they know, like, and trust. But if you hate networking, as many creatives do, it’s hard to build those essential relationships. That’s why this book is perfect for you. McPherson provides a simple framework for the much more useful skill of connecting with others. She makes learning it palatable and doable for introverts and makes an especially strong argument for why, in the 21st century, connecting is so essential to succeed in business.

By Susan McPherson, Jackie Ashton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Uncover a new way to network and build relationships that last!

Networking is often considered a necessary evil for all working professionals. With social media platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at our disposal, reaching potential investors or employers is much easier. Yet, these connections often feel transactional, agenda-driven, and dehumanizing, leaving professionals feeling burnt out and stressed out.

Instead, we should connect on a human level and build authentic relationships beyond securing a new job or a new investor for your next big idea. To build real and meaningful networking contacts, we need to go back to basics,…


Book cover of I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve

PeggySue Wells Author Of The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make: A Biblical Guide for Navigating Family Life on Your Own

From my list on being a single mom and staying sane.

Why am I passionate about this?

“Eminently quotable, PeggySue Wells is a tonic — warm like your favorite blanket, bracing like a stiff drink.”

History buff and tropical island votary, PeggySue parasails, skydives, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. The bestselling author of 30 books including the What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make, PeggySue’s most challenging and rewarding adventure was solo parenting seven children. With one in four homes single mom-led, PeggySue teamed with Pam Farrel to offer practical help and tangible tips to moms navigating parenting solo.

PeggySue's book list on being a single mom and staying sane

PeggySue Wells Why did PeggySue love this book?

A spunky and accomplished businesswoman and author, Kate White carved her own highly successful career and provides a practical and proven how-to for women to follow. Women wear many hats simultaneously (Think Seuss’ Ten Apples Up On Top) and Kate gives witty, wise, straight-talk for moms on how to balance parenting and craft a career you enjoy. You have talents and potential, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is step-by-step guidance to hone your abilities and navigate challenges. These are essential tips from the gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmopolitan Magazine's circulation by half a million copies per month.

By Kate White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Shouldn't Be Telling You This as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you've just settled into your first work cubicle, getting back to work after taking some time off for kids, or are looking to get that corner office, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This gives you all the secrets you need to become a success, go big with it, and savor every second. Here, Kate White shares the five essential secrets every woman needs to know, as well as the crucial lesson you need to achieve your dreams: go big or go home-do what's unexpected and always keep your career trajectory in mind. Jam-packed with insider strategies, interviews with women…


Book cover of Good Company

Brian Unell Author Of Everyday Leadership: You Will Make A Difference

From my list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a recovering Big 5 consultant and healthcare administrator, while others portray me as a transformational healthcare executive who has a passion for cultivating talent and driving change to enable sustainable results. I am a visionary and collaborative team builder and servant leader who views issues/opportunities from all perspectives, turns data into information, the complex into simple, and chaos into focus. I have led transformational consulting projects, a $180M technology implementation, and a team of 1,500 people. I enjoy serving on non-profit boards, mentoring others, and co-leading a team of four at home with my wife, Hilary.  

Brian's book list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life

Brian Unell Why did Brian love this book?

In Good Company, Arthur Blank, one of the founders of Home Depot, shares his views on leadership, hiring, his biggest mistakes, and how creating a culture of putting the customer first in everything you do can drive tremendous business results, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. 

Pick it up to understand how 2” can make a massive difference.

By Arthur M Blank,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A WALL STREET JOURNAL AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Featuring an introduction by President Jimmy Carter

The Home Depot cofounder and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS's Atlanta United shares a vision and a roadmap for values-based business.

Arthur M. Blank believes that for good companies, purpose and profit can-and should-go hand in hand. And he should know. Together with cofounder Bernie Marcus, Blank built The Home Depot from an idea and a dream to a $50 billion-dollar company, the leading home improvement retailer in the world. And even while opening a new store every 42 hours, they never…


Book cover of The Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are

Cecilia Muñoz Author Of More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You . . . and Other Lessons for Women of Colour on the Rise

From my list on inspirational books for women color.

Why am I passionate about this?

Things may have gotten better for women compared to our mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations, but that is not to say that it’s easy to navigate work and life, the weight of others’ expectations, and the expectations we place on ourselves. Women of color have a particular set of challenges that others often can’t even see. I have been lucky: I have found wonderful guides and sources of inspiration, and I have been able to pass along what I have learned. Nobody should have to navigate these challenging waters on their own. We need buddies, confidantes, truth-tellers, and sources of inspiration.

Cecilia's book list on inspirational books for women color

Cecilia Muñoz Why did Cecilia love this book?

The moment I started reading this book, I thought, “YES! EXACTLY!” Alicia Menendez has done a really compelling job of showing how and why women are under so much pressure to be amiable and likable, especially on the job, and how these expectations can make it hard to move forward.

This book reminded me that we don’t have to be limited to “strong and cold” or “weak and warm.” We can succeed by being ourselves. 

By Alicia Menendez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Be nice, but not too nice. Be successful, but not too successful. Just be likeable. Whatever that means?

Women are stuck in an impossible bind. At work, strong women are criticized for being cold, and warm women are seen as pushovers. An award-winning journalist examines this fundamental paradox and empowers readers to let go of old rules and reimagine leadership rather than reinventing themselves.

Consider that even competent women must appear likeable to successfully negotiate a salary, ask for a promotion, or take credit for a job well done-and that studies show these actions usually make them less likeable. And…


Book cover of Earning It

Adrienne Hand Author Of Make Way For Women: Men and Women Leading Together Improve Culture and Profits

From my list on women’s confidence and accelerate their advancement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by women’s power in the workplace. My mother was intensely focused on breaking ground as a working mother of four small children on Capitol Hill in the 1960s. She was the first woman to be granted part-time status in Senator Ted Kennedy’s office. She worked her way up to speechwriter for Joan and personal correspondent for the Senator. And she kept a fierce border between work and home. And we were intensely proud of her. At a time when our friends’ mothers were mostly homemakers, our Mom had a cool job and kept a cool head among the political and intellectual elite – most of whom were men.

Adrienne's book list on women’s confidence and accelerate their advancement

Adrienne Hand Why did Adrienne love this book?

This should be required reading for girls and women at any stage of their careers. Joann Lubin is the real deal. As management news editor and career advice columnist at the Wall Street Journal, Lubin brings the data with a personal point of view. I appreciate that she interviewed women executives for their hard-won insights and advice, and that she quotes men who are making meaningful change. This book is well written and made me more hopeful about women’s advancement!

By Joann S. Lublin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than fifty trailblazing executive women who broke the corporate glass ceiling offer inspiring and surprising insights and lessons in this essential, in-the-trenches career guide from Joann S. Lublin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and management news editor for The Wall Street Journal. Among the first female reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Joann S. Lublin faced a number of uphill battles in her career. She became deputy bureau chief of the Journal's important London bureau, its first run by women. Now, she and dozens of other women who successfully navigated the corporate battlefield share their valuable leadership lessons. Lublin combines…


Book cover of Get Your Career in Shape: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve

Zakiya Akerele Author Of Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom

From my list on managing your career and finances after college.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many degree holders experience career and financial challenges they aren't prepared to handle. I know this first hand because after completing my Ph.D., I faced joblessness and massive student loan debt, and after becoming a professor, I saw my students encounter similar situations. This prompted me to write, Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom. My mission is to provide tangible solutions to students and early career professionals so that they stop solely relying on their degrees but instead learn how to use the sum of their knowledge, skills, and talents in unique ways to create meaningful, viable careers.

Zakiya's book list on managing your career and finances after college

Zakiya Akerele Why did Zakiya love this book?

This insightful guide gives readers relatable, practical advice on developing their careers. Its message is empowering and rooted in proven methods that lead to success. Dr. Steele Flippin's SHAPE framework presents the importance of having solid finances, the true meaning of hard work, how to be your own advocate in the workplace, perseverance, and continued learning. Get Your Career in Shape is an invaluable resource for career success. 

By Candace Steele Flippin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Get Your Career in Shape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Instead of holding our careers down or back, women can rise―on our terms. Are you ready to own your power and take the next step in your career?

With groundbreaking research on women's leadership, Dr. Candace Steele Flippin's guidebook empowers women to "challenge the glass ceiling system within their own minds" (Tyree C. Daniels, executive chairman at Memphis College Preparatory).

Women's careers are held back by cultural norms, gender bias, sexism, and self-policing.

And too often, their self-efficacy―the belief in their ability to be successful―is at risk.

TEDx speaker Dr. Candace Steele Flippin has been recognized as one of the…


Book cover of Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass: Leading in Uncharted Waters

Sally Helgesen Author Of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

From my list on actually being a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent the last 32 years of my life working with women leaders and aspiring women leaders all over the world and helping organizations to create more inclusive cultures. As a result, I’ve been exposed to extraordinary leaders and to terrible leaders and have seen up close the impact they have on people’s lives. This has inspired me to write 7 books and thousands of articles exploring different aspects of the leader’s journey and to deliver leadership workshops in 32 countries. What do I love? Sharing the stories that inspire me.

Sally's book list on actually being a leader

Sally Helgesen Why did Sally love this book?

Vice Admiral Stosz’s extraordinary career as a US Coast Guard leader culminated in her being the first (and so far only) woman to head a major service academy. I came away from her memoir hugely inspired by her honesty and courage. I also loved her vivid descriptions of long stints on the icebreakers that ply Arctic and Antarctic waters in order to prepare the way for scientific teams, often as the only woman. Her grace and goodwill in those adventure-filled situations come shining through– and sea narratives by women are very rare.

By Vice Admiral Sandra Stosz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A prime resource for any leader's library."

-James Mattis, General, US Marines (ret), and 26th Secretary of Defense


Today, our nation is like a ship being tossed in tumultuous seas. The winds and waves of change have divided and distanced our society, threatening to wash away the very principles our nation was founded upon. Now more than ever, our nation needs leaders with the moral courage to stand strong and steady-leaders capable of uniting people in support of a shared purpose by building the trust and respect necessary for organizations and their people to thrive.

In Breaking Ice and Breaking…


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