A waiter at Sugar Bowl this weekend recognized me from my podcast, and after a couple of meals in the dining room, got up the nerve to tell me he was a huge fan. This is, for the record, one of the most wonderful things a podcaster can hear.
If you see me out, even if I’m with my family, do not hesitate to say “hello,” give me a fist bump, take a selfie (if so inclined), and let me know what your favorite episode is. I like being a micro-celebrity and I love talking to people–don’t be shy!
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Anyway, he asked me for three book recommendations for a young person starting out.
When I was younger I wanted to be rich and powerful because I grew up poor and powerless. How anyone got rich and powerful was an enigma to me because I didn’t know anyone rich or powerful–until I started reading biographies.
Biographies are the ultimate outsider’s hack. They enable you to hear all the details of how powerful, important and rich people became those things. Often they will share what they learned, regret and would do differently.
I recently finished Mike Ovitz’s “Who is Mike Ovitz,” and I was blown away. I’m actually listening to it a second time, and he’s committed to coming on the podcast this year.
Ten other biographies I recommend:
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Something Like an Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa (top three director for me).
- Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
- One of a Kind: The Story of Stuey ‘The Kid’ Ungar, the World’s Greatest Poker Player by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson
- All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg
- Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
- Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
Some of these are amazing to listen to on Audible as well — get your free book at audible.com/twist (ohhhh…… auuuudible!).
Note: I realize I don’t have any biographies written by women on this list. Does anyone have a top ten for me to read next? I’ve got #Girlboss in my queue but could use some more. The comments are open!