1) The 4-hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
Random House, 2007
I love this book and dip back into it when I find my balance has gone. A brutal 'in your face' view of today's western world, forcing you to look at your crazy, busy life and showing you how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent 'mini-retirements'. If you want a blueprint for living life on your own terms and achieving your dreams, this is it. Inspiring stuff.
2) Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
I love all of Coelho's books but this one stayed with me for ages. Veronika seems to have everything you could want; good job, boyfriend, great family, beauty but she feels empty and decides to die. So she swallows a load of pills and wakes up only to be told that she has damaged her heart and only has a few days to live. In her final days in a mental institution, she finally discovers what it means to live. Life affirming!
3) Barbarians at the Gate: The fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
Arrow Books, 1990
Barbarians at the Gate is the first real business book I read and I was hooked. It's a compelling account of the largest and most dramatic corporate takeover in American history; the entire US financial system stopped for this deal. Intrigued by this world of excess, ego and greed, it taught me that even at the highest levels, everyone is flawed. It captures all that is good, bad and ugly about the business world.
Sarah Willingham is founder of letssavemoney.com. Meet her at our Inspiring Women Birmingham event on 23 April. Check out the programme and book tickets here.