As we close out the year, the Step team reflected on their top read of 2023. The list below includes an eclectic and unique compilation of our team’s favourite books. With some looking to shift our mindset and others aiming to immerse us in a world unlike our own, the Step reading list is tailored to all tastes – from business to the flare of a 70’s rock band.

This book offers a modern take on Stoicism, an ancient Greek philosophy. Pigliucci combines personal anecdotes with Stoic teachings to guide readers on how to live a more fulfilling life by focusing on what they can control and letting go of what they cannot.

This book is good for anyone interested in personal growth and practical philosophy. Pigliucci’s blend of ancient wisdom with modern challenges offers insightful ways to navigate life’s complexities.

A touching and humorous story about Ove, a curmudgeonly old man whose solitary world is turned upside down when a lively young family moves in next door. It’s a heartwarming tale of unexpected friendship and the joys of living.

This is a delightful read, filled with humour and poignant moments that beautifully illustrate the impact of human connections on our lives.

This thought-provoking book scrutinizes the impact of modern capitalism, focusing on how business leaders and their strategies have shaped the economy, often at the expense of social and environmental well-being.

This book offers a critical and insightful perspective on modern business practices, making it an essential read for those interested in understanding the broader impacts of corporate strategies on society.

Sauls presents a compelling argument for kindness and understanding in an increasingly divided world. He uses biblical insights and real-life stories to encourage readers to respond with grace and empathy in confrontational situations.

A thought-provoking read for anyone seeking to cultivate a more empathetic and kind-hearted approach to life, especially in today’s polarized world.

Winship’s book is an inspirational guide to overcoming fear and living with purpose. He shares personal stories and practical advice to help readers discover their true identities and live a life of authenticity and courage.

This book inspires those looking to overcome fear and live a life of greater authenticity and courage; it is filled with relatable stories and practical advice.

Newport advocates for focused, undistracted work to achieve success in a distracted world. He presents strategies for cultivating a deep work habit, arguing that it’s essential for productivity and fulfillment in both professional and personal life.

An essential read for professionals and students alike, offering practical advice on how to cultivate focus in a distracted world and significantly boost productivity and creativity.

This memoir by Nike’s founder offers an inside look at the company’s early days and Knight’s journey from a startup to one of the world’s most iconic brands. It’s a tale of perseverance, innovation, and the power of a good idea.

This memoir is not just for business enthusiasts but also for anyone who loves a story of determination and ingenuity, offering a candid and inspiring look at building a global brand.

This biography explores the life of President Cyril Ramaphosa, a prominent figure in South Africa’s political landscape. Hartley delves into Ramaphosa’s role in the country’s transition from apartheid and his rise to the presidency.

This book provides a compelling read for those interested in political biographies, offering an insightful look into the life and career of one of South Africa’s influential figures.

A dynamic and engaging novel about the rise and fall of a 70s rock band, told in an interview format, it delves into the complexities of fame, creativity, and human relationships.

“Daisy Jones & The Six” provides a captivating read for anyone interested in the tumultuous world of rock ‘n’ roll, blending drama and nostalgia in a unique narrative style.

With his long-time collaborators Anna and Ola Rosling, Hans Rosling challenges common misconceptions about the world and shows that things are better than we think.  The book uses statistics and engaging stories to present a more optimistic view of global progress.

This book is a must-read for its optimistic yet factual approach to understanding the world, encouraging more informed and positive perspectives on global progress.

Based on a true story, this novel follows a young Italian man who becomes a driver for Nazi officials in WWII and, subsequently, a spy for the Allies. It’s a tale of courage, love, and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours.

This novel takes readers along an enthralling and emotional journey through WWII history, perfect for those who enjoy stories of bravery and resilience under extraordinary circumstances.

A compelling narrative about the friendship between two of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Roberts explores how their bond shaped their lives and impacted the Civil Rights Movement in America.

A fascinating read for those interested in history and the Civil Rights Movement, providing a deep dive into the lives and friendship of two influential figures of the 20th century.

Grant encourages readers to reassess their opinions and open themselves up to learning and growth. The book highlights the importance of critical thinking and the willingness to change one’s mind in the pursuit of knowledge.

This book offers a stimulating read that challenges readers to reconsider their beliefs and approach knowledge with a more open and curious mindset.

Set in WWII, this beautifully written novel tells the parallel stories of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths eventually cross. It’s a story about the human spirit in the face of war’s devastation.

This novel is beautifully written and deeply moving, offering a unique perspective on the human experiences of WWII.

Sinek explores the idea that successful leaders and organizations are those who understand the ‘why’ behind what they do. This book provides insights into the power of inspiration over manipulation in leadership and communication.

This book is an inspiring read for leaders and entrepreneurs, offering valuable insights into the importance of purpose-driven leadership and communication in effectively leading a business.

In “Effortless,” Greg McKeown builds upon the principles of essentialism to guide readers on how to achieve more with less effort. The book is a treasure trove of strategies and insights for making the most critical tasks easier. McKeown teaches how to streamline processes, focus on what truly matters, and turn overwhelming tasks into manageable actions.

This book is an essential read for anyone feeling burnt out or overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life, offering a path to greater productivity, reduced stress, and more joy in everyday tasks.

This novel follows the story of Elizabeth Zott, a chemist in the 1960s who becomes an unlikely television cooking show star. It’s a humorous and poignant exploration of gender roles, love, and ambition.

A charming and witty novel that tackles serious issues like gender equality and personal ambition, making it a compelling and thought-provoking read for those looking to immerse themselves in historical fiction.

Sutherland, a leading figure in advertising, offers a unique perspective on how irrational thinking can lead to innovative solutions and successful marketing strategies. The book combines psychology, business, and humour to demonstrate the magic of creative thinking.

“Alchemy” offers an intriguing read for those interested in the intersection of psychology and business, offering unconventional insights into creative problem-solving and marketing.

This book provides readers with a compelling yet practical guide to understanding and mastering the tiny changes that lead to remarkable results. The book delves into the science of habits, explaining how small, incremental adjustments can compound into significant transformations in personal and professional life. Clear emphasizes the power of systems over goals and provides actionable strategies for habit formation, breaking bad habits, and mastering the tiny behaviours that lead to extraordinary outcomes.

This book is invaluable for anyone looking to build good habits, break bad ones, and understand the profound impact that routine can have on achieving long-term success and fulfilment.

“Zero to One,” co-written by entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel and Blake Masters, is a thought-provoking exploration of innovation and entrepreneurship. Thiel, a renowned Silicon Valley figure and co-founder of PayPal, challenges the conventional wisdom of competitive capitalism and advocates for the pursuit of creating something entirely new — going from zero to one.

The book offers unconventional insights into what it takes to build a successful startup, stressing the importance of unique innovation over incremental improvements. It’s a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to leave a distinctive mark in the business world.

Sarah-Jane Taljard

Author Sarah-Jane Taljard

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