Writing Happiness

Marya's Bookshelf

Books for a Smarter You

Get Your Book Recommendations Here


Deliberate practice. 10,000 hours.

Tipping point. Growth mindset.

Limiting Beliefs. Sticky ideas.

You might have come across terms like these in your quest to learn more about content creation and marketing.

Some of them might have sparked curiosity while others had you scratching your head.

I don’t blame you, especially if you are new to the world of business and striking it out on your own.

Memes like these have been around for a while and for that, we have some ground breaking books to thank.

Books that have been penned by great minds like Malcolm Gladwell, Robert Cialdini, Seth Godin, Heath Brothers, Simon Sinek, Guy Kawasaki, Dan Pink and many more.

If you haven’t had the pleasure to pick their brains yet, there is a simple way of doing so. Just go down to your local bookstore or library and pick up a copy of their best selling book.

Here is a list of my top favourites that you should definitely check out. (Links point to the book  sites, NOT to Amazon listings.)

Note: I am NOT an affiliate of any of these sites. When you borrow or buy these books, I only get paid in warm thoughts – and fuzzy feelings … the ones you get for helping someone out! 



Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Carl Newport

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried

The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business by Carol Roth

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E Gerber



Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life by Denise Duffield-Thomas

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gary Hendricks

Creating Money: Attracting Abundance by Duane Packer and Sanaya Roman

The Map: To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True! by Boni Lonnsburry

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki

Attracting Abundance with EFT by Carol Look

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout

Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks

The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of ‘Enough’ by Julia Cameron

Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness by Esther and Jerry Hicks

The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks



The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Accidental Creative How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

Clout: The Art and Science of Highly Influential Web Content by Colleen Jones

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley

Content Strategy for the Web by Christina Halvorson

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing
to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

Accelerate!: Move Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing by Arnie Kuenn

Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing by Lee Odden

Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work by Dan Roam



Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by by Chip and Dan Heath

The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easy to Understand by Lee Lefever

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

Engagement from Scratch!: How Super-Community Builders Create a Loyal
Audience and How You Can Do the Same! by Danny Iny

Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini

Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger



Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Switch; How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Power of Habit (Why We Do What We Do) by Charles Duhigg

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions by Lori Deschene

The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results by Gary Keller

The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living by Nick Ortner

The Big Moo: Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start being Remarkable by Seth Godin

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

The Dip: The Little Book that Teaches You when to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson

The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life by Tal Beh-Shahar

Needless to say, this is a growing list. Make sure you check back often for newist recommendations.

Email me your favourites if they are not on this list.
(marya.writinghappiness at gmail dot com)

Happy reading!