29 Short Books to Read on Leap Day

2020 is a leap year, which means this February we get one extra day to read. If you’ve ever wanted to up your book reading from say, fifty a year to seventy-nine, then this list is just for you.

Here is a list of twenty-nine quick reads under 300 pages you can dive into on this extra day. They are a perfect mix of some old, some new, some blue, some yellow, some poetry, some self-help, some existential and everything in between.

So the real question is, how many of these can you knock out with your extra day?

1. The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho


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12 Happiness-Seeking Books for Hunt Happiness Week

Everyone wants to be happy, but finding or maintaining happiness on life’s rollercoaster can be tricky sometimes. One study outlined an excellent and simpler way to get happier – simply by reading books. According to a study by the UK’s National Literacy Trust, reading not only gives you an insight into different aspects of human nature or makes you smarter, it also makes you happier and more successful in life and relationships.ˆ

Reading books is not only a good pasttime, but it’s also a great way to learn and can improve a person’s skill at reading books faster. It improves your vocabulary and your imagination. But if happiness is what you seek, here are 12 happiness-seeking books I recommend. And just in time for the 12th annual Hunt for Happiness Week (courtesy of the Secret Society of Happy People) which encourages everyone to create their own happiness and spread a little around too.

ˆSource: MedGuru

What book recommendations would you add to this list?

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

The Kick in the Pants You’ve Been Looking For: 7 Career Advice Books

Need a kick in the pants? Feel stuck? Desperate for motivation on the job? Well, I’ve got some reading suggestions for you! Granted, there are many business advice or job-seeking books out there, but these books don’t talk about making millions or climbing corporate ladders. This collection of nonfiction will stir you. And perhaps that’s just the energy you need to get your career in gear. 

In addition to these titles, I’d highly recommend reading just about anything written by Sally Hogshead or Seth Godin – both brilliant and passionate minds.

What career advice books do you suggest?

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

This Will Make You Smarter: 5 Brainy Books

How can science explain the creative mind? What causes a spark or an idea for a new invention? Jonah Lehrer (@jonahlehrer) offers case studies to answer these questions in his new bestselling book Imagine: How Creativity Works. As a writer and creative professional, I’ve often theorized about originality and inventive thinking – “What is a truly original idea?” Through examples like invention of the Post-It Note, the formation of Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline, and how Mattel created the Barbie doll, Lehrer recounts how imagination and innovation function. Much like the style of Malcolm Gladwell, this book offers accessibility for the reader to grab hold of intellectual insights. Lehrer debunks common myths about inventions because “the radical concept was merely a new mixture of old ideas.” After reading this book you may learn to pay attention to your daydreams, where emotions and ideas are already flowing inside your brain.

Now here’s a book I was itching to read the first day it was released Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky (@scottbelsky). Ever since I met Scott in 2009, I’ve been inspired by his insights on creative thought and execution. Scott Belsky is on a mission to organize the creative world. His book distills years of research and interviews with productive and successful creative professionals to help the rest of us. Making Ideas Happen deconstructs the myths about what it means to be creative, and reveals simple ways to organize, articulate and produce ideas. Read this book if you’re hungry not just for theories, but tactics which you can put into practice.

A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living was a bestseller in France where author Luc Ferry (@ferryluc) – a philophy professor at the University of Paris – is a notable thought leader and lecturer. He poses that philosophy is not an exercise for academic types, but a resource for all man kind to live fuller and freer through our thoughts, convictions and values. Ferry explores the foundation of wisdom from ancient to present day teachings. Many describe this book as accessible and concise, while others find it too dense with syntax to read quickly. Whatever your pace, you will likely find your mind stretched by the end of it, questioning and theorizing meaning in life. And, you’ll feel more knowledgable on the topics of Stocism, Humanism, Nietzche, Heidegger and more.

It’s a bold promise made in the title. This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking, edited by John Brockman (@edge), is a compilation of essays from today’s leading philosophers, scientists, economists, physicists, sociologists and playwrights who each answer the question: “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” As the thought pioneers of their respective fields, they present 151 diverse ideas and perspectives on the human condition. It is, in short, a collection of dizzying fodder to challenge your mind. It may prove to be a mind-bending, vocabularly-enhancing read.

Long-time bestseller Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Fubner (@freakonomics) offers skilled storytelling and contorted insights to tackle topics of social sciences in a new way. This Steven/Stephen duo turns each topic on its head and pokes at hidden truths within our modern world. Well beyond examining how we think, Freakonomics creates a new way of thinking. It’s highly accessible and straight-forward. After reading this book, you’ll have stretched your brain a bit. Better yet, you’ll be well-armed for amusing and engaging conversation at a cocktail party. Since its original release in 2005, its been revised and expanded in additional editions. And in 2010, Freakonomics was adapted into a documentary film.

You might also be interested in…

13 Things I Learned from Malcolm GladwellThe Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggSeven Sins for a Life Worth Living