10 Books That Changed My life

Jonas Altman
4 min readJun 7, 2021


Deep Work

This book completely transformed the way I work and would never have been able to finish a book, let alone a myriad of other things without cultivating this deep practice.

How to Do Nothing

This was my Pre-COVID companion. Odell in her majestic way shows us how we only have one life to decide what we will give our attention to.

Or in other words, we must resist the temptation to give it to things that are not worthy and to become discerning in seeing the world and its inhabitants in all their splendor.

Oh yeah, it was Obama’s favorite book of 2018 too :)

Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenence

My brother gave this to me to read when I was a teenager. I read it again last year and it was infinitely better the 2nd time round as a 40-something. Apparently, every time is a completely different experience. I believe it

Man’s Search For Meaning

Probably the most powerful book I’ve read. Ever. It completely transformed the way I understand and appreciate the ultimate freedom we have: to choose how to respond in any given situation.


Pink never disappoints but this is his all-time classic. Pulling from Psychologists Richard Ryan’s and Edward Deci’s self-determination theory — Pink captures so beautifully what keeps us motivated.

And that is simply having a sense of autonomy, getting better all the time — aka mastery, and aligning with our purpose.


After entrepreneurial burnout, I went back to school and came across this book. Turns out that while artists, musicians, and athlete all experienced flow on the regular — so do knowledge workers. Finding and sustaining flow has become a personal mission that makes me feel lighter every single day.

Four Futures

Recommended by the director of Autonomy, the UK’s only future of work think tank, this concise read lays out four possible futures and perhaps makes the most compelling case for a universal basic income I’ve ever read.

Team Human

Get it. Read it. Share it.

Utopia for Realists

Picked this one up for the title and it does not disappoint.

Bregman is one of the boldest and refreshing thinkers alive and he manages to take otherwise far-fetched woo woo type stuff and make a bonafide case for its viability.

I have his new book Humankind on my shelf and it is very easy on the eyes.

Still Writing

I absolutely adore this book.

And if I had might indulge and add an eleventh it would be Bird by Bird because after all, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

These are all of course non-fiction reads. My favorite fiction books are here. You can also grab my monthly digest right here



Jonas Altman