Rob Sullivan's Bookstore of Highly Recommended Books!

(Books That Changed How I Look at Life)

Over the past few years, countless people have emailed, written, or come up to me at events to tell me how much they liked the Recommended Reading. I kept thinking to myself, "I've just got to update that list. There are so many books I've read recently that need to be on there." I've got more to add, but I promise to be better about adding books as I read them. (Now that I've put that promise in writing, I'm bound by it.)

As you will see, I've added a section highlighting new additions. I am also considering a section dedicated to the many books readers have recommended that I haven't had a chance to read.

For now, this list is divided into two main sections:  Professional Development and Personal Development. The Professional Development section includes business-related books that may help in your job search or professional life. In contrast, the Personal Development section is a separate list of books that changed the way I approach life. Whether the goal is survival, self-improvement, or business success, these books are a source of power, positive thinking, motivation, and courage. Each, in its own way, has had a significant impact on the person I have become and may, in turn, help you.    

Professional Development
Personal Development and Other Wonderful Books

(Listed alphabetically by author)

Click on the links below to see the descriptions in the page below.

To order a book from the list below, just click on the title and you'll go directly to the book's listing on (or the website where the book can be ordered).

Professional Development (Alphabetically by author)
In many respects, your personal and professional development are closely related. Productivity and personal finance are just two of the areas where significant crossover exists. That's why I have also listed a number of books that focus on this aspect of your development.


The Artist's Way : A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity  by Julia Cameron (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016)
A well-thought out, effective method to help you nurture and develop your own creativity.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (Penguin Books USA Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014)
A beautifully crafted, inspiring parable about getting out of debt and building wealth. The principles are extremely straightforward and, with a certain amount of discipline, easy to apply. If you have even the slightest difficulty saving money or getting out of debt, I urge you to read this book.

The Procrastinator's Handbook : Mastering the Art of Doing it Now  
by Rita Emmett (Walker & Company, 435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014) 
Written by a reformed procrastinator, this book is sure to inspire everyone who has projects they've been putting off indefinitely. I had the privilege of seeing Rita speak so I know first hand how motivating she is. Rita definitely knows what she's talking about.

Making A Living While Making A Difference: The Expanded Guide to Creating Careers with a Conscience  by Melissa Everett (New Society Publishers, P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island B.C., Canada)
A wonderful book with countless real-life examples of people who have created careers based on their highest values. A must read  for anyone committed to having a positive impact on the world.

Creative Visualization  by Shakti Gawain (New World Library, 58 Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903)
This is a step-by-step description of the meditations, exercises, and affirmations that are the basis for creative visualization. The process is often used for personal growth, health, and relaxation. A heart transplant patient I know used these techniques to deal with pain.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014)
Loaded with inspirational stories of people who overcame difficulties on the road to financial independence and prosperity. This book explores the power of imagination, creativity, and focus as it applies to goal setting and creating the life you desire. Don’t be put off by the title. It’s not a get-rich-quick type book.

The Problem Solving Journey: Your Guide for Making Decisions and Getting Results  by Christopher Hoenig (Perseus Publishing, Inc., Eleven Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142)
Considering the emphasis that many employers place on recruiting people with strong problem solving skills, this book should be on the reading list for every serious job hunter and budding executive. In this book, Hoenig describes the six essential components of effective problem solving beginning with generating the proper mindset and attitude through creating solutions and delivering results. What I like best about this book is the wealth of real world examples that extend well beyond the business world. Read this book and learn to maximize your own problem solving skills.

The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures  by Michael Landes (Ten Speed Press, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707)
This is a great resource for recent graduates and anyone looking to travel, explore, and make money at the same time. This book is loaded with internships, seasonal jobs, overseas jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Separate chapters are devoted to the environment, artistic adventures, the great outdoors, adventure careers, camps and resorts, and socially responsible opportunities.

What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants   
by Laurie Lewis
(Aletheia Publications, Inc., 46 Bell Hollow Rd., Putnam Valley, NY 10579)
A valuable resource for freelancers and other self-employed professionals. This book provides great insights about analyzing projects, researching what other people charge, developing contracts, negotiating, setting fees, and countless other topics of interest to people who work for themselves.              

Ogilvy on Advertising
by David Ogilvy
(Random House, Inc., 201 E. 50th Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10022)
This is the book that got me excited about advertising. Ogilvy’s colorful style and insight made me wish I could have lived through his years at Ogilvy & Mather.

How to Put Your Book Together and Get a Job in Advertising by Maxine Paetro
A great book if you are interested in becoming an art director or copywriter in advertising or marketing. 

Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder
(Devorss & Company, Publisher, P.O. Box 550, Marina del Rey, CA 90294)
Ponder, a minister in the nondenominational Unity faith, is an inspirational writer who uses countless personal examples and case studies to get her points across. Not long after I read this book, I witnessed its effectiveness in my own life. The principles and affirmations definitely work. Extremely motivational.      

The 101 Best Freelance Careers by Kelly Reno (The Berkeley Publishing Group, 375 Hudson, New York, NY 10014)
A valuable source of ideas for anyone considering self-employment as a freelancer. Often, when people think of freelance professionals, they think of writers, graphic designers, and other creative types who work for a variety of different employers on a project basis. However, this book will open your mind to 99 other opportunities you may never have considered.

The Savage Truth On Money  by Terry Savage (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012)
This wonderful book is a valuable resource for people committed to getting out of debt, planning for their future, and anyone tempted to postpone financial planning indefinitely. Unlike the dreadfully boring financial books that clutter bookstore shelves, The Savage Truth is fascinating, well written, and inspiring.

A Whack on the Side of the Head : How You Can Be More Creative  
by Roger von Oech
(Warner Books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
A fun and involving book that examines ways to stimulate your creative potential. Loaded with great questions, puzzles, stories, and mental challenges.

Brand Babble: Sense and Nonsense About Branding
by Don E. Schultz and Heidi F. Schultz
(South-Western Publishing, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc.  5191 Natorp Blvd., Mason, OH 45040)
Anyone responsible for or interested in marketing would do well to read this book. There is a lot of misinformation and overly complex theory related to brands and brand-building. Unlike the other dry books in the category, this is written in a very conversational, easy-to-grasp style. Better still, it can be read in one sitting. Having sat through many of Don Schultz's classes at Northwestern University, I could literally hear his voice as I read each chapter. I even laughed out loud a few times. As anyone who has ever read a marketing book can attest, that doesn't happen very often.

Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood
by Marsha Sinetar (Dell Publishing, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036)
This is a great book that will help you to better understand and express yourself through your work. Having worked as a headhunter, I know for a fact that more and more people are growing dissatisfied with traditional 9-to-5 jobs. A steady paycheck is no longer enough. An increasing number of people also want to feel they are making a difference and growing personally. If you find yourself in this group, read this book.

Value-based Fees by Alan Weiss

Anyone who has ever struggled to price their services would benefit from the strategies in this book. One idea I learned from Weiss helped me negotiate a deal that paid for the cost of the book many times over. My only issue with the book is that Weiss rejects "performance-based" fees. My firm belief is that anyone who is hired to achieve results--whether on a full-time, freelance, or project-basis has an opportunity to consider performance-based compensation. That's especially true in the work I do as a career consultant because the value is in the results. People come to me, and other consultants, expecting performance. In that case, the value IS the performance so separating the two isn't always realistic. 


Personal Development and Other Wonderful Books  
(Alphabetically by author)

It's Easier Than You Think : The Buddhist Way to Happiness  
by Sylvia Boorstein
(HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022)
If you don’t have a background or interest in Eastern philosophy, this would be an easy book to pass over. Don’t let that happen. Thanks to Sylvia Boorstein’s matter-of-fact style, the chapters are clear, memorable, and concise. The insights are universal. And the path to happiness is accessible. To put it another way, enlightenment probably isn’t what you think it is.


Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Brown (Henry Holt and Company).
Without question, this book should be required reading for every student in American schools.
I truly don't understand why it isn't--aside from the fact that it casts our forefathers in a very disgraceful light. I remember hearing about "manifest destiny" in grade school and thinking what a wonderful philosophy it was. The concept may have been interesting, but the execution was abominable. On an intellectual level, I was aware of what the U.S. did to the American Indians, but I had no idea just how awful it really was.

This book provides a compelling history of what happened to various tribes as the early settlers moved west across the United States. Driven by greed and fear, the white race all but wiped out countless American Indians taking away their land and their way of life.

In describing the lack of integrity on the part of the U.S. government, Red Cloud, leader of the Oglala Tetons (part of the Sioux tribe), said it best: "They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it."

Awakening Spirits GrandfatherThe Journey, The Quest, The Search, The Science and Art of TrackingTom Brown's Field Guides (a series of books on Wilderness Survival) The Tracker, The VisionThe Way of the Scout  by Tom Brown, Jr.
The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
In one of life's great synchronicities, I heard about Tom Brown's books from a guy I met when I switched planes at the last minute and took an earlier flight from Colorado to Chicago. Among the many things we had in common was a love for the outdoors. Saying only that I had to read it, he told me to go to the bookstore the next day and buy "The Vision." I devoured that book and 11 of Tom's other 16 books in the next few months.

When Tom was eight years old, he met an 83-year-old Lipan Apache named Stalking Wolf. Stalking Wolf, or Grandfather as he was called, never lived in civilization. At a young age, Grandfather left his tribe, which lived in the mountains of Northern Mexico, and spent over 60 years wandering across North America and South America. When they met, Tom was collecting fossils by a river bed in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Grandfather recognized Tom from a vision he had had as a young man. Knowing that he was meant to teach Tom the ways of the earth, Grandfather stayed in the Pine Barrens for 11 years teaching Tom everything he knew about the earth, wild edible and medicinal plants, tracking, spirituality, and the Sacred Silence (a form of meditation).

Tom now runs a Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival School called The Tracker. I have been fortunate to attend Tom's Standard Course as well as a specialty tracking course in Search & Rescue. Tom's work has deepened my appreciation of life, nature, and our place in the world. Read his books. Attend his classes. It will change your life.

The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016)
An outstanding book about the power of asking for exactly what we want in every area of our lives. Includes some great goal setting exercises as well.

Chicken Soup for the Soul : 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit written and compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Health Communications, Inc. 3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190)
A collection of anecdotes about the life-changing differences we can make in someone’s life—sometimes without realizing it. These books deepened my appreciation for the people who have helped to shape my life. With each paragraph, my desire to have the same impact on others also grew. The stories are so thought-provoking (and short—one to two pages) that I often read one in the morning and another before I go to bed. The sequels are equally good.


How to Stop Worrying and Start Living  by Dale Carnegie (Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
A wonderful collection of techniques to eliminate the worry in your life. These true stories of overcoming stress, trauma, life- and career-threatening experiences are both memorable and inspirational. Although I read it over 10 years ago, I remind myself of these techniques regularly.

Click the book cover for more information.

Double Your Dating: What Every Man Should Know About How To Be Successful With Women by David D'Angelo
On the surface, this book may sound a bit superficial and somewhat out of place--even in this list of diverse and unusual titles. But I assure you, it is here for a reason. What impresses me about David's work (this e-book, his email tips, seminars, interviews with women and men, etc.) is his sincere interest in science, psychology, and human nature. People quick to judge will assume that David's purpose is to help men become womanizers. However, to dismiss the work without looking deeper would be both unfair and inaccurate. David's teachings are actually centered around effective communication. Furthermore, many of his observations--especially the ones dealing with the concept of attraction--are applicable for not just for single guys, but for sales professionals, people in transition, and anyone else interested in making a good first impression. Not surprisingly, he has quite a few female fans as well. Click on the book above for more information.  

(I make no effort to hide the fact that I signed up as an affiliate for David's site. There is a deeper value in many of the concepts he teaches. And, like anything else, it's best approached as a buffet. If you find a few offerings that aren't to your liking, push them aside and focus on the others.)

The Art of Happiness : A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
(Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014)
An absolutely amazing book about human nature and relating more effectively and meaningfully with others. The sections on dealing with anger are especially practical and valuable. It's nice to know there are people as wise, loving, and compassionate as the Dalai Lama alive today.

Man's Search for Meaning  by Viktor E. Frankl
(Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
Frankl discusses his own struggle as a prisoner in the Nazi death camps during World War II. As a psychiatrist and survivor, he examines the role of motivation and the human desire to find meaning in existence—even when that existence defies understanding. I can only echo the thoughts of my college psychology professor who said, "Anyone who even pretends to be educated should have read this book."

Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn
This wonderful book will help you appreciate the power of your thoughts and the impact your thinking has on the life you are creating. If you've ever wondered why people sometimes go into a tailspin when bad events happen and why other people seem to magically attract good fortune, read this book and begin to understand. After working through the exercises, I realized where I had been too attached to particular outcomes. Once I released those attachments, I experienced results I could never have predicted.

If you have already read this book and found it valuable, you might consider visiting and ordering the "Starter Set" -- a 5-CD series that takes Grabhorn's book to another level. There are so many parallels, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Grabhorn's work is based on the Abraham-Hicks material.  Or, you can order the book Ask And It is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Death Be Not Proud : A Memoir  by John Gunther (Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022)
A true story about the author’s son, Johnny Gunther, who died at age 17 of a brain tumor. Courage, faith, patience, perspective, and intelligence are words that only begin to capture the spirit of this book.


Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
For the more spiritually inclined, this is the truly the best book on the Law of Attraction and other valuable strategies. The exercises in the back are particularly interesting and helpful. If you truly believe in your power to manifest and would like to improve in that capacity, I strongly recommend this book. It's wonderful! Also, check out, The authors have some great CDs and other products available.


Synchronicity & You: Understanding the Role of Meaningful Coincidence in Your Life  by Frank Joseph (HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022)
A very enlightening book that break down meaningful coincidences and synchronicity into 17 distinct categories ranging from dream and premonitions to enigmas, warnings, guidance, and transformational experiences. After reading this book, I started my own synchronicity journal to keep track and categorize the meaningful coincidences in my own life.                

What Was Good About Today  by Carol Kruckeberg (Madrona Publishers, 3202 Fuhrman East, Seattle, WA 98102)
A truly moving story about the author’s 8-year-old daughter Sara. From the initial diagnosis of leukemia to her untimely death, Sara’s spunk and positive energy rarely wavered. Despite her pain and prognosis, Sara and her family finished every day by answering the title’s question: "What was good about today?" Deeply moving, yet hopeful.

The Law of Attraction by Michael Losier
If you are intrigued by the Law of Attraction, which basically states that you get what you think about, and are looking for a book with practical exercises this is a great book. It is also worth noting that this book avoids the usual spiritual elements. If you happen to be spiritual, it probably won't bother you that it's missing because you'll still get a lot of out the book. For people who prefer a more spiritual approach, I strongly recommend Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks (see above).

The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History by Joseph M. Marshall III (Penguin Books, 2005) 
This is an absolutely wonderful book about Crazy Horse, the American Indian who bravely defended the Sioux Indians in the mid-1800s. It is truly remarkable to see U.S. history through the eyes of a Native American. Along these same lines, I also recommend Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown.  

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman (H.J. Kramer, Inc., P.O. Box 1082, Tiburon, CA 94920)
In this engaging story of self-discovery, Dan befriends a gas station attendant named Socrates who, through a series of late-night conversations, becomes his mentor. With wit, wisdom, compassion, and a collection of bizarre experiences, Socrates helps Dan replace his inner confusion and cynicism with peace and understanding. This book is to emotional and personal development what "The Celestine Prophecy" is to the forces at work in the universe.

The World Up Close : a cyclist's adventures on five continents   
Kameel Nasr
(Mills & Sanderson, Box 665, Bedford, MA 01730)
This is the story of the author’s 40,000-mile bicycle trek across the globe. Even more memorable than Nasr’s descriptions of the countries are his insights about the people. For all of their cultural barriers, Nasr and the people he encountered found ways to communicate and enjoy each other’s differences without relying on language, laws, or government. This book is as much about human relations as it is about adventure. After traveling through North and South America, India, Thailand, Japan, Africa—70 countries in all—Nasr reached this conclusion:

"The biggest obstacle facing travelers is not dishonest people or wild animals or bad roads; it is not disease or food or bad water or diverse languages. Problems make travel an adventure which can, depending on a mixture of the traveler’s ability and attitude and luck, enrich the traveler’s life. The biggest obstacle to travelers is government."


Reader of Hearts:  The Life and Teachings of a Reluctant Psychic by Darrin Owens (New World Library, 2006)
I had the pleasure of meeting Darrin for a session and am pleased to give him an enthusiastic endorsement. He is a truly gifted psychic/spiritual director. I decided to schedule a session with Darrin after reading his book because I was so struck by some of the exercises he presents. His forgiveness exercise is particularly helpful and something I've been doing every day since. In addition, Darrin was instrumental in helping me identify and change a few limiting beliefs that were holding me back. I am forever grateful for his help, insight, and wisdom. To learn more about Darrin, visit his website:


The Celestine Prophecy : An Adventure. The Tenth Insight, and The Secret of Shambhala  by James Redfield (Warner Books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
Celestine Prophecy is an adventure of discovery and understanding that revolves around the search for a series of nine manuscripts. Each describes an insight essential to understanding the nature of life itself and our place on this planet. If nothing else, you will pay more attention to coincidences. 
I know so many people with strong and opposite feelings about these books that I must also include a word of caution. These are not literary masterpieces. If you are a critical reader, don’t let your feelings about the writing or story-line camouflage the value of this work.

Diet for a New America : How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins
(H.J. Kramer, P.O. Box 1082, Tiburon, CA 94920)
If anyone ever had a vested interest in maintaining America's appetite for processed food, it would have been John Robbins, heir to the Baskin & Robbins ice cream empire. Instead, Robbins has dedicated his life to exploring the links between diet, health, and the environment. While this book may not turn you into a vegetarian, it will absolutely make you think twice about nutrition and the foods you consume. As antiobiotics, irradiation, and genetic engineering play an ever-increasing role in the world's food production, you owe it to yourself to read what the food industry doesn't want you to know.

Awakening Intuition : Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing by Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D. (Three Rivers Press, 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022)
This wonderful book explores the ways you can develop your intuition to help you gain insight into your life and health. This book will help you recognize and tap into the voice of intuition in your own body. As you develop your intuition, you'll realize more than ever the important role it plays in your ongoing happiness and satisfaction.

Learned Optimism : How to Change Your Mind and Your Life   
by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
(Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020) 
An incredible book that explains why some people tend to be pessimistic and how they can transform themselves into optimists. Even if you consider yourself an optimist, this book is worth reading because you may find practical, easy-to-use suggestions to become even more optimistic.
(Update: After almost 10 years, I recently reread this book and retook the optimism assessment. 
I found it pleasantly surprising that my level of optimism increased. Even though  I wasn't actively working on changing the way I think--my "explanatory style" as Seligman calls--just knowing the principles helped me become more optimistic.)

Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born/Secrets from 200 Successful Entrepreneurs  by Lloyd E. Shefsky
(McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
A factual and inspirational reference for anyone who has ever considered starting their own business. This book opens the mind to different ways of thinking. By the time I read the last page, I had three solid, original ideas for starting my own company.

Conversations With God : An Uncommon Dialogue  (books 1,2&3), Friendship With God : An Uncommon Dialogue  Communion With God  
by Neale Donald Walsch
(Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. 
134 Burgess Lane, Charlottesville, VA) 
Whether or not you accept Walsch's assertion that he maintains an ongoing dialogue with God, anyone even remotely interested in God and/or spirituality would find these books thought provoking in a good way. Of particular interest is the discussion about both the validity and the shortcomings of all organized religions.

Many Lives, Many MastersMessages from the Masters,  Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates, Through Time into Healing by Brian Weiss, M.D.
(Warner Books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020)
A conservative, analytical Yale-trained psychiatrist and former chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Weiss was not exactly a poster-child for new age thinking on past lives, spirituality or anything even somewhat related. Nevertheless, during the course of one life-changing therapy session, Weiss took Catherine, his patient, back to her childhood without uncovering the cause of her anxiety. Not having had any luck guiding Catherine to specific points in her childhood, he decided on a more open approach. During hypnosis, Weiss suggested to Catherine that she go back to the source of her trauma. Both were shocked when she began to have vivid recollections of a past life as a slave in ancient Egypt. Better still, her symptoms improved dramatically.

Having achieved similar results with other patients, Weiss could no longer deny the validity or effectiveness of the past life regression therapy. At great risk to his professional reputation, he has published these books to share his experiences and encourage dialogue. Absolutely fascinating reading.