Take The Top 10 Book Challenge


Social media has brought us challenges. Challenges such as the “ice bucket challenge,” the “one week of gratitude challenge,” the “let’s do something that might get us killed and then post the video online challenge.” (OK, maybe that last one isn’t an actual challenge but people seem to be daring each other to do it anyway.)

I don’t want to get drenched by a bucket of icy water or ski-jump off the roof for the sake of making a video. But I am intrigued by one challenge that has been circulating on Facebook – the top 10 book challenge. You name the 10 books that have had the biggest influence on you and then you challenge your friends to do the same. I posted my list on my Facebook page about three weeks ago and then I sat back and waited for the friends I had challenged to do the same. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

  1. Night by Elie Wiesel. This Holocaust survivor’s memoir is not only a horrifying account of his experiences, but it raises a number of existential questions, such as how anyone can continue to believe in God after witnessing such atrocities.
  2. Iacocca by Lee Iacocca. Someone gave me this book when I started a home-based business a number of years ago. We all know Lee Iacocca as the man who rescued Chrysler from the brink. But most of us don’t realize that he had a number of major failures in the business world in addition to his spectacular successes.
  3. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. A book about managing change. My favorite line in the book is the question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
  4. Good to Great by Jim Collins. What makes the difference between those who are successful and those who are outstanding? Jim Collins spells it out.
  5. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. After reading this, I realize that I have two or three of these habits, but I don’t know whether I’ll ever hit all seven of them. If I ever do achieve all seven — look out, world!
  6. The Eighth Habit by Stephen Covey. “Find your voice and help others find theirs.” Good advice on helping to raise others up while we improve ourselves.
  7. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. My favorite work of fiction. It took me an entire summer to read it when I was a teenager and I have re-read it about 20 times. The Victorians in England didn’t have soap operas or mini-series on TV, but they had Dickens to tell the story of a young man’s quest to find his place in the world.
  8. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. No matter what life throws at us, there’s always something better ahead if we look for it.
  9. Never Fly Solo by Robert Waldman. This book reinforces the importance of looking out for those around us while we let others look out for us.
  10. 212: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker. A quick read that teaches the difference that a little additional effort can make. Something to keep in mind on those days when I don’t feel like exerting myself any more than I have to.

    Now here’s where the challenge comes in. I challenge you to share the list of books that have influenced you. You don’t have to list 10 books. Sharing the name of even one book would be great. A few words about why the book is important to you would be helpful as well. So put down the ice bucket, climb down from that roof and share your favorite book!



Susan Rupe is assistant editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Connect with Susan →

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