Reading list

The Ultimate Book List 2023.

Written by The DO TeamEducation
The books we re-read are few. And the books we gift are even fewer. Therefore, a list of gifted books is the purest signal of something remarkable. So, with that said, we asked our community a simple question: ‘Which book have you given as a gift in 2023?’ This list was built from all of their replies. We hope this proves useful.


By Laurence Endersen

Pebbles of Perception

An exploration of life’s fundamental truths and the importance of long-term thinking, encouraging readers to cultivate wisdom through reflection and curiosity.

By Atul Gawande

Being Mortal

The modern experience of mortality — what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong.

By Boyd Varty

The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life

Navigate life’s journey with the ancient wisdom of the African wilderness, emphasising awareness, intuition, and connection to the environment and oneself.

By Mo Gawdat

Solve For Happy

Using his engineering background, Gawdat argues that happiness results from understanding and addressing the discrepancies between our perceptions and reality.

By James Nestor


Drawing on thousands of years of wisdom and cutting-edge studies, Breath is full of revelations, flipping the perception about our most basic biological function on its head.

By Matthew Walker

Why We Sleep

Walker illuminates the role of sleep in human health and well-being, detailing its impact on memory, emotional regulation, lifespan, and disease prevention.

By Ellen Rozman

Full of Shit

Vauhini Vara’s lyrical and thought-provoking debut novel begins in India in the 1950s, following a young man born into a Dalit family of coconut farmers in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh.

By David Bradford


Learn how to foster deeper, more meaningful relationships in both personal and professional spheres through understanding, empathy, and effective communication.

By Björn Natthiko Lindeblad

I May Be Wrong

We think we can determine the path our life takes, but events rarely unfold the way we plan for or expect. A humbling journey towards navigating uncertainty.

By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Kabat-Zinn shows how mindfulness meditation as a practice can bring peace and presence into everyday life, regardless of one’s surroundings or circumstances.

By Michael Singer

The Untethered Soul

How the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts that keep us from achieving happiness.

By Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now

Find spiritual enlightenment and mental freedom by living fully in the present moment, transcending ego-driven thought patterns.

By Philippa Perry

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

Build stronger parent-child relationships through understanding, empathy, and effective communication.

By Sidney Rosen

My Voice Will Go with You

A collection of therapeutic narratives and anecdotes that illustrate the pioneering hypnotherapist’s techniques and their transformative power in therapy.

By Eligio Stephen Gallegos

Animals of the Four Windows

Delving into the diverse modes of human perception and cognition, offering insights into harmonising these aspects for enhanced personal understanding and growth.

By Viktor E Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning

Frankl’s story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz. Today, this tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.

By Don Miguel Ruiz Jr

The Four Agreements

How to create love and happiness, personal freedom and a fulfilling life by adhering to these transformative agreements with oneself.

By Manni Coe

brother. do. you. love. me.

A response to a desperate text from his brother Reuben, a man with Down’s syndrome and a gift for art and poetry, leading them on a transformative journey of healing and rediscovery.

By Michael Rosen

Sad Book

An exploration of grief, following the loss of his son, illustrated with evocative images that convey the depth of sorrow and human emotions.

By William Martin

The Parents Tao Te Ching

Martin adapts Taoist wisdom for modern parenting, promoting mindfulness and harmony in raising children.

By Hermann Hesse


A chronicle of the spiritual journey of a man named Siddhartha as he searches for enlightenment in ancient India.

By Bobby Palmer

Isaac And The Egg

Heartbreaking and heart-stealing, this modern-day fable is a novel about sorrow, joy, friendship and love. As is the title, it all starts when Isaac meets the egg.

By Wallace J Nichols

Blue Mind

Nichols reveals the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water.


By James Young

A Technique for Producing Ideas

A step-by-step technique for sparking breakthrough creativity in advertising — or any field. Generate exciting ideas on demand, at any time.

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

Big Magic challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

By Martin Shaw

Smoke Hole

Smoke Hole is a passionate call to arms and an invitation to use stories to face the complexities of contemporary life.

By James Victore

Feck Perfuction

James will guide you through all the twists, trials, and triumphs of starting your creative career and give you a kick in the pants.

By Sean Tucker

The Meaning in the Making

Find your voice, discover your message, maintain inspiration, and stay mentally healthy and motivated creators as we strive to find “the meaning in the making.”

By Rick Rubin

The Creative Act

The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow.

By Miranda West

The Book of DO

Featuring wisdom and advice from leading experts on how to live a more creative and sustainable life, work smarter, or even change direction.

By Rory Sutherland


Discover the alchemy behind original thinking and why abandoning logic and casting aside rationality is the best way to solve any problem.

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet

Rilke explores the necessity of solitude, the relationships between creativity, nature and sexuality, and the importance of living a full life.

By Austin Kleon

Steal Like An Artist

This beautifully illustrated book teaches readers how to use their surroundings and their own creativity to discover their own artistic paths.

By Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

By Peter and Judy Nelson

The Treehouse Book

Master treehouse builders embark on a treehouse-discovery expedition across America, adding the investigation of backyard playhouses to their agenda.

Environment + Sustainability

By Guy Shrubsole

The Lost Rainforests of Britain

Guy Shrubsole travels through Britain to map these spectacular lost worlds for the first time.

By Jean Giono

The Man Who Planted Trees

Year after year the narrator returns to see a miracle being created: a verdant, green landscape that is a testament to one man’s creative instinct.

By Greta Thunberg

The Climate Book

Greta Thunberg has gathered the wisdom of over one hundred experts to equip us all with the knowledge we need to combat climate disasters.

By Tamsin Omond

DO Earth

How to heal our relationships with nature, each other and ourselves; and feel inspired about what the next phase of human evolution might be.

By Rachel Carson

Silent Spring

Silent Spring alerted people to the environmental and human dangers of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.

By Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass

Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

By Hans Rosling


Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world, and make you realise things are better than you thought.

By Chris van Tulleken

Ultra-Processed People

This is a book about our rights. The right to know what we eat and what it does to our bodies and the right to good, affordable food.

By Alden Wicker

To Dye For

To Dye For uncovers the harmful environmental and health impacts of the fashion industry, advocating for more sustainable and less toxic production practices.


By John Amaechi

The Promises of Giants

The product of a lifetime spent observing effective leadership. This book is a challenge to anyone who aspires to make a difference in their environment.

By John Heider

The Tao of Leadership

An invaluable tool for anyone in a position of leadership. It provides the clearest advice on how to trust the process, pay attention, and inspire others.

By Liz Wiseman


Liz explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results.

By Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, Kaley Klemp

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

This book contains a comprehensive road map to guide you to shift from fear-based to trust-based leadership.

By Brené Brown

Dare to Lead

Daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human.

By Dave Gray

Liminal Thinking

Liminal thinking is the art of creating change by understanding, shaping and reframing beliefs.

By Scott Erickson

Say Yes

Our darkest moments are sometimes doorways to a more joy-filled journey of recovering who we are, why we’re here, and why the future bursts with possibilities.

By Marshall Goldsmith

The Earned Life

Goldsmith reveals that the key to living the earned life requires connecting the habit of earning rewards to something greater than our personal successes.

By James Clear

Atomic Habits

A foray into the power of small, consistent behaviour changes to achieve remarkable results, highlighting the compound growth effect of habits over time.

By Dr Christian Busch

The Serendipity Mindset

Exploring the art of cultivating good luck in life and work. Serendipity can be nurtured by recognising and acting on unexpected opportunities.

By Adam Grant

Give and Take

Everybody knows that hard work, luck and talent each play a role in our working lives. There is another way to get to the top.

By Ron Friedman

Decoding Greatness

Friedman reveals how top performers achieve success by studying and reverse-engineering others’ work.

By Henry Engelhardt

Be a Better Boss

This book will help any manager in any organisation think creatively, make smarter decisions, and manage people better.

By Dr Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese?

Johnson uses the allegory of mice and cheese in a maze to highlight the importance of adaptability, proactivity, and a positive mindset.

By Spencer Johnson

Peaks and Valleys

A parable about navigating life’s ups and downs, stressing that both periods are essential for personal growth.

By Roam Dan

The Back of the Napkin

Any problem can be made clearer with a picture, and any picture can be made using the same simple set of tools and rules.

By Fiona Buckland

Find Your Own Path

You are not in the waiting room of life. You sense you have more potential but the way forward isn’t clear. This is a practical guide to fulfilling your potential.

By Gay Hendricks PhD

The Big Leap

A step-by-step program for identifying and breaking through our personal upper limits to achieve ultimate success.

By Eric Jorgenson

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with. These may seem out of reach, but being happy is a skill we can learn.

By Simon Sinek

Start With Why

Those who have had the greatest influence in the world all think, act and communicate in the same way.

By Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Covey promotes principle-centred habits for personal and interpersonal effectiveness, proactivity, understanding, synergy, and self-renewal.

By Jamie Smart


Renowned speaker, writer, and coach Jamie Smart delivers a practical roadmap to turning that infinitely long to-do list into manageable and focused tasks.

By Nancy Kline

Time to Think

Effective listening is recognised as the foundation for more productive meetings, solving business problems and building stronger relationships.

Sport + Adventure

By Robert Kitson

Around the World in 80 minutes

Observant, amusing and thought-provoking, the journey takes in some of the game’s more prominent names, to reflect on rugby’s intangible shared joy.

By Niamh McAnally

Flares Up

Flares Up is a true story of adventure, tenacity and the capacity of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.

By Halldor Laxness

Independent People

This is a magnificent portrait of the eerie Icelandic landscape and one man’s dogged struggle for independence.

By Luke Jennings

Blood Knots

Blood Knots is about angling, about great fish caught and lost, but it is also about friendship, honour and coming of age.

By AJ Dungo

In Waves

In this graphic novel, surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo remembers his late partner and the shared love of surfing that endured throughout their difficult times.


By Andy Whyte


A framework for complex sales, focusing on metrics, decision criteria, and understanding the buyer’s needs.

By Paul Arden

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be

This uplifting little book provides a unique insight into the world of advertising and is a quirky compilation of quotes, facts, pictures, wit and wisdom.

By David Hieatt

DO Open

Build community. Build your brand. Build long-term growth. Discover why the humble newsletter is pure and utter gold.

By Blake Masters and Peter Thiel

Zero to One

Masters and Thiel advocate that true innovation comes from creating something entirely new, rather than iterating on existing products.

By Paul Jarvis

Company Of One

A refreshing approach to entrepreneurship centred on staying small and avoiding growth — maximising happiness, sustainability and profitability.

By Benjamin Graham

The Intelligent Investor

Promotes the virtues of value investing and the significance of understanding a company’s intrinsic value over market trends.

By Matt Watkinson

Mastering Uncertainty

The unforeseen always occurs. Mastering Uncertainty shows you how to prepare for it and succeed in our ever-changing world.

By Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, et al.

The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research.


By Jon Alexander and Ariane Conrad


Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive as individuals, organisations, and nations.

By Robert L Heilbroner

Worldly Philosophers

Heilbroner links the world’s greatest economic thinkers and explores the philosophies that motivate them.

By Deirdre McCloskey

Economical Writing

Economical Writing is itself economical: a collection of thirty-five pithy rules for making your writing clear, concise, and effective.

By Philip Ball

Critical Mass

This investigation into human nature ranges from Hobbes and Adam Smith to modern work on traffic flow and market trading, across economics, sociology and psychology.

By Alan Lane

The Club on the Edge of Town

A deeply moving memoir of how a group of artists fed their local community during the Covid pandemic.


By Scott Harrison


Thirst is a riveting account of how to build a better charity, a better business, a better life — and a gritty tale that proves it’s never too late to make a change.

By John Higgs


Wildly unauthorised and unlike any other music biography, THE KLF is a trawl through chaos on the trail of a beautiful, accidental mythology.

By Glennon Doyle


Untamed explores the joy we discover when we stop striving to meet the expectations of the world and dare to listen to and trust the voice deep inside us.

By Brené Brown

Atlas Of The Heart

Brené lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection and gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances.

By John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy Of Dunces

A pithy, laugh-out-loud story following John Kennedy Toole’s larger-than-life Ignatius J. Reilly, floundering his way through 1960s New Orleans.

By Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago

Banned in the Soviet Union until 1988, Doctor Zhivago is the epic story of the life and love of a poet-physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

By Adam Grant

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Adam Grant delves into how unconventional thinkers challenge the status quo and champion new ideas to drive innovation and change in society.

By Sam Conniff Allende

Be More Pirate

Challenge the status quo, adopt the rebellious spirit of pirates, and rewrite the rules for greater innovation and societal impact.


Thank you for making it all the way to the bottom of the list. It is a behemoth with lots of gold. Our aim is to share insightful and inspiring books that will help you on your journey to get you from where you are to from here, to where you want to be.

Written by
The DO Team
Relentless progress needs a certain kind of mindset. It is in the walls of our buildings. It is in the hearts of everyone that works here. It turns up every day to make amazing things happen. One team in pursuit of one goal; to help you close the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be.

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