I've never been much of a reader. Reading feels more like work than leisure when you're reading the wrong book. The right book is the one you can read through effortlessly and stays with you forever. Let me tell you about the three books that have stuck with me and taught me a bunch. 

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As far as I know, The Little Prince is considered a children's book but, also, it isn't. Short, sweet and written very simply, it digs in to topics that pertain us all. If this book teaches anything to the reader is to live life and find happiness. It points out some of the nonsensical priorities of adults and sheds light on the value of the little things in life. 

People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don’t find what they’re looking for...

They don’t find it,” I answered.

And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water...”

Of course,” I answered.

And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell

In short, Outliers is a book about successful people. This is a collection of essays detailing the journey of some of the brightest and most successful people. It talks about the unique opportunities that were presented to these people, but also how hard they worked to take advantage of those opportunities. In short, legends like the Beatles, Bill Gates, et al are successful because they were at the right place at the right time, but also because they worked really hard at what they did. What did I learn from this book? Opportunities find you while working, so work hard at what you love.

I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work. People don’t rise from nothing....It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.
— Malcom Gladwell, Outliers

Annie Leibovitz at Work - Annie Leibovitz

This one comes from a very special place in my heart. Annie Leibovitz is my favorite portrait photographer and probably my biggest inspiration. I had read this life-changing book at the Brownsville public library and I was lucky enough to receive, from one of my best friends, a signed copy of this particular book for my birthday earlier this year. What I love the most about this book is how candidly Annie tells her story and the story behind each of the images presented in there. 

It is hard to fail with Kate Moss. I was used to photographing people who don’t like to be photographed, and here I had someone who likes it. [...] It seems simple, but there’s more work than is apparent.
— Annie Leibovitz, Annie Leibovitz at Work

 

I hope you find some much-needed inspiration and lessons in these just as I did. 

Which books would you add to this list?

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