Somebody once said there are more book titles beginning with the words “how to" than with anything else. Perhaps that’s because we all want to learn to do things better.
I’ve spent hours combing library shelves for how-to titles. (I’ve also spent several minutes combing my hair, but that’s another story. )
What follows is a completely subjective list of outstanding books that teach us how to improve ourselves. Warning: Some of these titles do NOT begin with the words “how to. "
1. “How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie – written in 1936 – offers great tips on “six ways of making people like you, " “12 ways of winning people to your way of thinking, " and much, much more. It’s one of history’s greatest guides.
2. “How to Make Your Advertising Make Money" by researcher John Caples provides great advice for just about anybody, especially those looking for ideas to help them write better.
3. “Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James offers “100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter. "
4. “The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" by David Niven, Ph. D. talks about the “traits, beliefs, and practices" successful people share.
5. “Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom tells the true story of a dying professor who offers great lessons on living. It’s a wonderful book for any reader.
6. “Free Publicity" by Jeff Crilley. This “TV reporter shares the secrets of getting covered on the news. "
7. “Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" by Charles Panati discusses the origin of hundreds of “items, expressions, and customs, " and offers fascinating facts.
8. “The Practical Guide to Practically Everything" by Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma offers ideas and advice on many, many subjects.
9. “What Every American Should Know About American History" by Dr. Alan Axelrod and Charles Phillips discusses “200 events that shaped the nation. "
10. “Cracking the Network Code" by Dean Lindsay. This terrific book from Lindsay – a popular business speaker – offers ideas for “meeting, connecting, and developing long-term relationships with co-workers and others. "
Rix Quinn wrote the new book “Words That Stick, " a practical writing guide for people who hate to write. It’s available from your local bookstore, or http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/