In hundreds of comments, our readers named almost 300 books, but there were 18 that turned up consistently. Here are the books Inc.com readers truly love:
1. Delivering Happiness
Subtitle: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Author: Tony Hsieh
Summary: Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, showing how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.
2. Good to Great
Subtitle: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't
Author: Jim Collins
Summary: Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least 15 years. These good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in 15 years.
3. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Author: Dale Carnegie
Summary: A set of practical formulas to eliminate 50 percent of business worries, avoid fatigue--and keep looking your best, add one hour a day to your waking life, and find yourself and be yourself. There's no need to live with worry and anxiety that keep you from enjoying a full, active, and happy life.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Author: Dale Carnegie
Summary: Teaches the three fundamental techniques in handling people, the six ways to make people like you, the 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
5.Think and Grow Rich
Author: Napoleon Hill
Summary: This is the first book to boldly ask, "What makes a winner?" The man who asked and listened for the answer, Napoleon Hill, claimed to have spent "a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort" to produce the "Law of Success" philosophy that forms the basis of his books.
6. The 4-Hour Workweek
Subtitle: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Author: Timothy Ferriss
Summary: Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan--there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches, among other things, how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent "mini-retirements."
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Subtitle: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Author: Steven R. Covey
Summary: The integrated, principle-centered 7 Habits philosophy helps readers find solutions to their personal and professional problems and achieve a life characterized by fairness, integrity, honesty, and dignity.
8. The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Summary: The mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy whose quest will lead him to riches far different--and far more satisfying--than he ever imagined. His journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and to follow our dreams.
9. The Four Agreements
Subtitle: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Author: Don Miguel Ruiz
Summary: The author reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, it offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
10. The Go-Giver
Subtitle: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
Authors: Bob Burg and John David Mann
Summary: The story of an ambitious young man who feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. Desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from an enigmatic sage.
11. The Last Lecture
Author: Randy Pausch
Summary: When Randy Pausch was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he gave a "last lecture" about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment. It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
12. The Magic of Thinking Big
Author: David J. Schwartz
Summary: A carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. You don't need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction--but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there.
13. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Subtitle: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny
Author: Robin Sharma
Summary: A lawyer is forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life, and the subsequent wisdom that he gains on a life-changing odyssey enables him to create a life of passion, purpose, and peace.
14. The Power of Now
Subtitle: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Author: Eckhart Tolle
Summary: The book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. It awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present.
15. The Secret
Author: Rhonda Byrne
Summary: Allegedly based on fragments found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries, the book provides examples of people who have compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
16.The Slight Edge
Subtitle: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
Author: Jeff Olson and John David Mann
Summary: Explains why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. The book shows how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.
17.The Success Principles
Subtitle: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Author: Jack Canfield
Summary: Presents principles and strategies that can be adapted for your own life, whether you want to be the best salesperson in your company, become a leading architect, score top grades in school, lose weight, buy your dream home, make millions, or just get back in the job market.
18. Who Moved My Cheese?
Subtitle: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life
Author: Spencer Johnson
Summary: Most people are fearful of change because they don't believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, this book shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about change.