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The “If You Only Read One Book…” Reading List

Everyone’s short on time, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you! Over the years we’ve read dozens and dozens of books on business, personal development, pricing and selling, motivation, workflow, efficiency, digital strategy and much more.

We’re not going to lie – some of those books have been terrible. Some of them are straight out of the 1980s (and haven’t been updated since). Some of them could just be a blog post, or are just the kind of tips you see everywhere online anyway, or just have a weird or condescending tone to them.

But some are absolute gems. The kind of lightbulb moment, inspirational, helpful kind of books that are worth their weight in gold. Some of them are step-by-step guides. Some of them will just motivate you to go and do. Either way, they’re invaluable.

So here are our top picks – the best of the best we’ve found in each of the categories we’ve been reading over the past ten years. If you’re going to read one book on a topic, make it one of these.

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And if you’ve read something great lately, please let us know what it is in the comments; we’re always on the lookout for something new.

PS If you’re a Lyrical Host customer, grab “35 Must-Read Business Books” from the Resource Library for a longer list!

If you’re going to read one book on…


…ideas and lightbulb moments

Make it Borrowing Brilliance

There’s a theory that no idea is truly original – but how can you be inspired by others without inadvertently copying them? This is a great read whether you often struggle for ideas or always have far more than you know what to do with.


Make it Accessibility For Everyone

This is required reading at Lyrical Host as part of our support training, and it’s a super friendly introduction to all the important aspects of creating accessible content so that people with disabilities can happily browse your website and consume your content.

…mental health (science-based)

Make it Habits of a Happy Brain

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The subtitle of this book is “Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin Levels” – it’s an easy to understand but scientific way to increase your general happiness and ability to cope with whatever life throws at you.

…life advice in bitesize chunks

Make it Feck Perfuction

Anyone and everyone can find some useful gems in this one – not just blog and business owners. It’s all about letting go of impossible perfectionism and embracing who you are.

…inclusive design

Make it Cross-Cultural Design

Everytime we post or create something online, we have the potential of reaching a global audience. But with great power comes great responsibility. This guide will help you figure out how to include rather than exclude when it comes to design.

…taking shortcuts to learn new things

Make it How to Be Better at Almost Everything: Learn Anything Quickly, Stack Your Skills, Dominate

This one in particular is one small business owners and bloggers can truly benefit from. You’re used to wearing so many different hats anyway that it’s not much of a step to learning how to stack your skills to speed up learning and workflow – but it’s something that makes a huge difference when you’re consciously aware of how to utilize it to its full potential.


Make it How to Price Your Platypus

The subtitle of this book is, “Using an Understanding of Customer Psychology to Maximise Prices,” and it’s full of great tips on how to calculate and command a fair pricing without sleazy or aggressive tactics. Where does the title come from? Well, it will help you price literally anything you’re thinking of selling, in any niche and to any audience.


Make it Be Obsessed Or Be Average

This is a great choice for the days when you feel low on motivation. You can even stick it on as an audiobook when you’re exercising to improve your workout!

…making decisions in business

Make it The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

If you ever feel stuck or lost in your blog or business, or in any world where there’s no one specific answer or solution, we’d recommend picking this up. Every single person struggles with knowing what to do sometimes, and this book shows you you’re not alone.

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…being small(ish)

Make it Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big

Although this book still covers pretty big companies, it’s an interesting read in that the focus is on what you can do to run a great business, where the focus is on your products, services, people and customers, rather than money or growth.

…it being okay that you feel like you’re in a different universe to everyone else

Make it Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous, and Different

Although this book is difficult to get hold of outside the ebook world, it’s one of my all-time favorites. If you’ve ever felt different to other people but never been able to put it into words, this may just be the one you’ve been missing all this time.

…what’s important

Make it The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

If you feel like you care far too much about literally everything, this book is for you. Despite the devisive name, it’s actually full of very reasonable and practical advice to become less worried and anxious while still maintaining good relationships with people.

…working better

Make it Shine: How to Survive and Thrive at Work

A quick and easy read that has a broad range of snippets of advice that can be applied whether you have a career or are self-employed.


Make it Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Struggle with taking on too much? Feel too guilty to turn client requests down? This one’s for you. Plus, you can apply this advice in other aspects of your life, too!

What’s grabbing your attention from this list? Let us know what’s making it to your “to be read” pile!

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The if-you-only-pick-one-book reading list for bloggers and business owners

Jenni Brown
Co-founder of Lyrical Host, Jenni has been in the web hosting industry for years and specializes in social media, copywriting, search engine optimization, and email marketing. She loves cats, baking, photography, and gaming.

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