Independent Thinking Blog

The Big Boffo Buffer Community List of Great Books

The Buffer community was on a roll.

The #bufferchat Twitter conversation this week was all about books. Books we loved as a kid. Books that inspire us now. Books that guide our businesses. Classic books and not-so-classic books.

When I offered to build a master list of Buffer community book recommendations, I had no idea just how many tweets we could all drop into the Twitterverse in an hour. Apparently a lot. I’ve added author names whenever possible so the list is a little more complete.

Now I have some really interesting books to add to my reading list, including The Martian and The Bone Clocks. Hopefully there’s some goodness here for you too.

Here’s the big boffo buffer list, by category.

These books inspired us as kids.

Harold in the water

Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
“Oh the Places You’ll Go” — Dr. Seuss
Any book by Dr. Seuss
Any book by Richard Scary
The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
The Nine Planets — Franklyn M. Branley
The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
A Wrinkle in Time — Madeleine L’Engle
Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
Famous Five — Enid Blyton
The Little Prince — Antoine de Saint Exupery
Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
Encyclopedia Brown — Donald J. Sobol
The Nancy Drew Series – Carolyn Keene
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
His Dark Materials — Philip Pullman
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein
Lord of the Rings– J.R.R. Tolkein

These classic books have remained relevant.

Drink Me vial

Business Books

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Think and Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill
How to Win Friends and Influence People — Dale Carnegie
Permission Marketing – Seth Godin
The Filter Bubble – Eli Pariser
Macrowikinomics – Don Tapscott and Andrew D. Williams
Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel
Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office — Bill McDermott and Joanne Gordon

Classics (non-fiction)

Walden — Henry David Thoreau
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
The Art of War — Sun Tzu
The Republic – Plato
Utopia – Thomas More
On the Road – Jack Kerouac

Classics (fiction)

The Iliad – Homer
Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne
Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The Metamorphisis — Kafka
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Giver — Lois Lowry
The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
1984 – George Orwell
Animal House – George Orwell
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Madame Bovary — Gustave Flaubert
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Something Happened – Joseph Heller
The Harry Potter Series
Childhood’s End — Arthur A. Clarke

These books are fun to read.

The Princess Bride (book)


The Year Without Pants – Scott Burkum
No Logo – Naomi Kein
No Excuses – Brian Tracy
Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America — Jeff Ryan
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day – Todd Henry
Scary Close – Donald Miller
The Glass Castle — Jeannette Walls
Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic – Mel Ziegler and Patricia Ziegler
Getting Things Done – David Allen
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood – James Gleick
eMarketing — Rob Stokes
The Power of Habit — Charles Duhigg.
Content, Inc. – Joe Pulizzi
The New Rules of Marketing and PR — David Meerman Scott
Money: A Love Story — Kate Northrup
How To Write Short — Roy Peter Clark
The Circle — Dave Eggars
Creativity, Inc. — Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
The Art of Readable Writing — Rudolph Flesch
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World — Gary Vaynerchuk
Search Inside Yourself — Chade-Meng Tan
#GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso
How To Be Idle — Tom Hodgkinson
Rethinking Narcissism — Craig Malkin
Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace — Susan B. Mead
The Power of a Praying Woman — Stormie Omartian
Cyanide and Happiness — Kris Wilson and Rob Denbleyker
Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? — Mindy Kaling


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot — David Shafer
Confessions of a Shopaholic — Sophie Kinsella
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
The Maddaddam Trilogy – Margaret Atwood
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
The Wicked + The Divine — by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
The Princess Bride — William Goldman
Ajwan — Noura Noman
Kafka on the Shore — Haruki Murakami
Wolf of the Plains — Conn Iggulden
Academ’s Fury – Jim Butcher
The Kingkiller Chronicle — Patrick Rothfuss
Indexing — Seanan McGuire
Any book by Junot Diaz
Any novel by Nicholas Sparks
The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

These books have influenced our business and/or work ethic.

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad

The Bible
Meditations — Marcus Aurelius
The Human Condition — Hannah Arendt
Letters To Malcom — C.S. Lewis
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
The Game: Theory of Constraints, by Eli Goldratt,
Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders — Lindsey Pollak!
The One Minute Manager — Ken Blanchard
The E-Myth Revisited — Michael Gerber
The Elements of Style — Strunk & White
How to Balance Your Life — James O’ Loghlin
Picture This — Molly Bang
Zero – Joseph Jaffe
The Story Wars — Jonah Sachs
Quiet – Susan Cain
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
Totality & Infinity — Emmanuel Levinas
Secrets for Success and Happiness — Og Mandino
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Little Red Book of Selling — Jeffrey Gitomer
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson
Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth – Chris Brogan
Zero to One: Notes on Startups – Peter Thiel
How to Build the Future — Peter Thiel
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City – Brad Feld
The War of Art — Steven Pressfield
Turn the Ship Around — L. David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey
Leave Your Mark — Aliza Licht
Oversubscribed — Daniel Priestley
Strengths Finder 2.0 – Tom Rath
The 4-Hour Workweek — Tim Ferriss

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
(Love that @cleandropmobile included The Grapes of Wrath in this list, saying that “people just want to work, be respected, treated with dignity.”)

These books are on our to-read lists.

Ned Stark & Daenerys figures

Business / Non-fiction

Small Giants — Bo Burlingham (non-fiction)
Contagious by Jonah Berger
Growth Hacking Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Good to Great – Jim Collins
Raise the Bar – John Taffer
Everybody Writes – Ann Handley
The Happiness of Pursuit — Chris Guillebeau
Imagine: How Creativity Works — Jonah Lehrer
Remarkable Leadership – Kevin Eikenberry
From Bud to Boss — Kevin Eikenberry
Rework — Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Love Wins – Rob Bell
Empathy by Roman Krznaric
Thinking Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman
Speak Easy — Catherynne M. Valente
Daring Greatly — Brene Brown
Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer & Brene Brown
The 80/20 Principal: The Secret to Achieving More with Less — Richard Koch
The Organized Mind — Daniel Levitin
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life — Marshall Rosenberg.
The Last Act of Love: The Story of My Brother and His Sister — Cathy Rentzenbrink
How To Be a Woman — Caitlin Moran
Everything – Gary Vaynerchuk
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear — Elizabeth Gilbert
Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy – Bryan Kramer
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin
QR Codes Kill Kittens –Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – Brad Stone

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches — Audre Lorde
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Bill O’Reilly –Killing Reagan
Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand


The Girl On The Train — Paula Hawkins
The Martian – Andy Weir
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
Slade House by David Mitchell
A Song of Fire and Ice (aka, Game of Thrones) – George R.R. Martin
Richard III — Shakespeare
Love May Fail — Matthew Quick
The Nightingale — Kristin Hannah
Hawaii – James Mitchener
Seveneves — Neal Stephenson
All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr
Tyler Knott’s poetry

Feature photo by Sarah B. Brooks (Flickr).

“Harold” by vivek jena (Flickr); “Drink me” by Wonderlane (Flickr); “Princess Bride” by Richard Masoner (Flickr); “Grapes of Wrath” by drmvm1 (Flickr); “Game of Thrones” by Aranami (Flickr).

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