Welcome to day 2 of my 30 Posts in 30 Days challenge.

68 Must-Read Books for CIO’s (And Everyone Else) in 2021

How many books a year do you read? What are your reading goals? How do you plan to achieve your goals?

In 2019 I read 80 books. In 2020 50, and 2021 my goal is to read 50 books. If you’re interested in learning how I read 50+ books a year and applying them to achieve your reading goals, leave me a comment of send me a note.

However, if you’re like most Americans, the answer is very few. According to a Pew Research Center study, about 25 percent of American adults said they haven’t read a book in a year. According to Readers Digest, in general, the average person reads about 12 books a year.

Contrarily, if you look at the reading habits of the Forbes 400 list of the world’s wealthiest people, you will find that they have one thing in common, an appreciation for reading. Warren Buffet, the world’s most significant investor, spends 80% of his day reading. In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg invited the entire world to join him on his quest to read a book every two weeks.

Not everyone can put aside 80% of their time to read like Warren Buffett or can be like Bill Gates, who reads 50 books a year.  

If you’re wondering, could I read like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates? Try this link for some helpful tips. Are you wondering what to read?

Below are 68 books I’d recommend everyone from Apprentice to CIO to Zookeeper have in their digital device, bookshelves, or as an audiobook.

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

Shoe Dog

Phil Knight

Bruce Lee: A Life

Matthew Polly


James Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work

James Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

Daniel Coyle

The Art of Business Value

Mark Schwartz

A Seat at the Table

Mark Schwartz

Great at Work: The Hidden Habits of Top Performers

Morten T. Hansen, PhD

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

James Clear

High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way

Brendon Burchard

The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford

Everyday Chaos: Technology, Complexity, and How We’re Thriving in a New World of Possibility

David Weinberger

Simplify: How the Best Businesses In the World Succeed

Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood

The Power of Moments

Chip Heath & Dan Heath


Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Made to Stick

Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

John Doerr

Data Driven: Harnessing Data and AI to Reinvent Customer Engagement

Tom Chavez, Chris O’Hara, Vivek Vaidya

Data Driven Business Transformation: How to Disrupt, Innovate and Stay Ahead of the Competition

Caroline Carruthers and Peter Jackson

Leading the Transformation: Applying Agile and DevOps Principles at Scale

Gary Gruver and Tommy Mouser

Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow

Dominica DeGrandis

B State: A Roadmap for Bold Leadership, Brave Culture, and Breakthrough Results

Mark Samuel

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth

Change the Culture, Change the Game

Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Carol S. Dweck, PhD

The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.

Daniel Coyle

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop

Susan Cain

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How to Build the Future

Peter Thiel

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport


Adam Grant

Think Again

Adam Grant

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein

Radical Candor

Kim Scott

Blue Ocean Strategy: Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant”

W. Chan Kim

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R Covey

The Daily Stoic

Ryan Holliday & Stephen Hanselman

Start With WHY

Simon Sinek

Find Your Why

Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last

Simon Sinek

The Infinite Game

Simon Sinek

Change by Design

Tim Brown

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

The OZ Principle: Getting Results through individual and Organizational Accountability

Roger Connors, Tom Smith, Craig Hickman

Boost: Create Good habits Using Psychology & Technology

Max Ogles

The 48 Laws of Power

Robert Greene

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Last, Becoming the Person You Want to Be

Marshall Goldsmith

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy

Chris Bailey

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

Dan Heath

Good to Great

Jim Collins

Built to Last

Jim Collins

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Walter Isaacson

The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter

Michael Watkins

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy

Patrick Bet-David

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Daniel H. Pink


Daniel H. Pink

To Sell is Human

Daniel H. Pink

The Innovation Ultimatum: How Six Strategic Technologies Will Reshape Every Business in the 2020s

Steve Brown

The Effective Executive

Peter F. Drucker

Accelerate: The Science Behind DevOps

Nicole Forsgren, PhD, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim


Seth Godin

The Dip

Seth Godin

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

Thomas Kelley and Jonathan Littman

Do you have a book that you feel should be on this list, leave me a comment or send me an email with it.

“Read 500 pages…every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” – Warren Buffett

Now the choice is yours. Will you accept the challenge and prove Warren Buffett wrong or correct? As an avid reader with an appetite for learning, I know my choice; what will yours be?

You can view. recap of the list below along additional bonus books. Happy Reading!

Okay, that is it; day two is in the “books”. Now it’s time to get ready for day three.