Required Reading

Required Reading

Christopher Murphy · 4 November, 2020

Asked about the key to his success, Warren Buffett gestured towards a pile of nearby books and observed:

Read 500 pages like this 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.

Reading is low barrier to entry. All most of us can do it, but – as Buffet points out – not many do. If you want to progress, read more.

Books That Multiply Your Knowledge

There’s a convention in academia that reading lists are broken down into two categories: Recommended Reading and Required Reading. The latter are essential reading: the books you must read.

Think of this as a required reading list from an MFA × MBA programme. This is the source of everything I've learned and I'll be your navigator.

The following books will improve your thinking. In each category I’ve ordered the books according to my personal preference. It’s always a challenge to introduce an order when you believe every book has value.

It goes without saying that, if money were no object, I’d recommend buying them all, or at least a couple from each list.

Reviewed Books

These books are more or less reviewed. I suspect these reviews will never be finished as I have a tendency to reread books and make additional notes, so you may wish to check back often.

Required Reading (Front End)
A Technique for Producing Ideas
Managing Oneself: The Key to Success
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read
The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme for Confidence, Success and Happiness
Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Get Together: How to Build a Community With Your People
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh-t: And Other Tough-Love Truths to Make You a Better Writer
The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design

Up Next

These are books I'm currently reading or re-reading, adding notes as I go.

The Sketchnote Workbook: Advanced Techniques for Taking Visual Notes You Can Use Anywhere
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


These are books I’ll be adding over the summer. The pages below are empty for now. I’ve added them to establish placeholders.

  • Deep Work
  • Creative Confidence

Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs [Paperback]
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want
Double Fold
Required Scratch

Zero to One