I’m looking for great practical books. In particular I’m looking for books that have lessons that extend far beyond their official subject matter.
Keith Johnstone, Impro for Storytellers. Officially this is a book about how to do improvisation (like Second City or the Groundlings) but I find this book has very deep things to say about how to interact with people, particularly his dicussion of status.
Michael Shurtleff, The Audition. Officially about actors going on auditions, but I (who am not an actor) find it a great book about how to present yourself
The Inner Game of Tennis. I fear my paraphrase will make the book sound loopy, but I think this book is great on how to “get out of your own way” and learn
Winning Through Intimidation. Officially about how to sell commercial real estate, but I find the lessons of the book applicable to so much of life. How not to be intimidated.
Positioning, the Battle for Your Mind. Officially about how to market a product or service, but I find it to be a great lesson in how to clarify your thinking and your message.
Neal Strauss, The Game. This pick is likely to generate controversy, but if I’m being intellectually honest, I have to include it on the list. This book taught me about how to deal with fear of rejection, how to be systematic and smart in pursuit of your goals.
Herbert O. Yardley, The Education of a Poker Player. My first introduction to the practical lesson of ignoring sunk costs: once the money is in the pot, it’s not your money any more.