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My Favourite Books of 2021

My Favourite Books of 2021
By Niall Maher • Issue #4 • View online
“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” – Marcus Aurelius

Other than Star Wars and building sh*t, I have a couple of other hobbies.
Buying and reading books. 
No, they aren’t the same (if only you could see my unread pile).
In this issue, I picked 5 of my favourites from the last year with a little blurb on why.
No, I’m not planning on writing a book (not yet anyway).
Communication is critical in life and business, and I’ve picked up a few books to make my written word a little more “useful”.
It is packed with practical advice to craft writing that gets to the point and delivers value to the reader on every page.
Expertly crafted and extremely valuable to anyone interested in delivering real value when writing.
Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick
Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick
My better half is Spanish, and her mother doesn’t speak English, so this is essential reading before landing on the ground. 
It’s vital to have the essentials like “una croqueta por favor”.
It is amazing how this book can get me by for ordering food and some of the basics in the time it takes me to get to Spain.
I really need to book some lessons…
Essential Spanish in 2 hours with Paul Noble
Essential Spanish in 2 hours with Paul Noble
Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, initially written in Greek and never intended for publication, is a remarkable collection of spiritual reflections and exercises developed by the emperor. 
In the writings, he tried to make sense of himself and the universe.
The teachings are based on a school of philosophy called Stoicism.
I picked this book up because I read one too many quotes delivered by Ryan Holiday on the topic, and I was not disappointed.
It’s helped me be more present, be mindful of how I act (and why), contemplate death and personal responsibility.
Meditations By Marcus Aurelius
Meditations By Marcus Aurelius
I learned that Steve Jobs didn’t like to shower much, could distort reality for himself and people around him, was a horror to a lot of people that worked for him,
but deeply passionate about delivering great products.
I bought this one in late 2020 and got around to it in early 2021. The only reason I purchased it was because of Walter Isaacson. His writing is masterful, and his journalism and storytelling make it feel like you are watching scenes of peoples lives play out.
I became an Apple fanboy when I got a glimpse behind the scenes with Steve Jobs on his crazy journey to produce perfection.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Marty Cagan has been mentioned in two of my past three newsletters because his book has thought me so much over the past 6 months. 
I read this book a few years ago when I started as a Product Manager, but unfortunately, it was back when I was consuming books and not taking the time to take lessons and add them to my life.
I blasted through the audiobook, then I picked up a fresh copy to destroy with sticky notes and highlighters to really try to understand how to make great products and teams. I have been studying this book as if I will be examed on the contents. 
Honestly, I didn’t appreciate this book when I first picked it up, but now it’s become my gospel as a founder.
It is packed with practical knowledge for people who want to learn “how to create a tech product that customers love”.
If you are interested in building your own tech company, product management, or just delivering a better experience to your users, do yourself a favour and grab this book.
Inspired by Marty Cagan
Inspired by Marty Cagan
Blog picks
How to be useless
100+ Resources for Optimizing Productivity & Performance: 2022 Edition
A favour to ask...
If you made it this far I’d really appreciate a little help.
Last week I put out a Tweet about an upcoming project and have already started recording some incredible chats with some people.
I would love if you could tag one (or two) people that you would like to hear from on my new podcast that will focus on learning from startups (from early stage to exits).
It’s an easier outreach if they come recommended.
Niall Maher
I'm starting a podcast for Startups! 🎧 🚀

Who are some great people you would love to hear from on the show?
That’s all for this week, stay safe, and I’ll chat to you next week, my beautiful friends! 👋
If you have any questions you would like answered in an upcoming issue; please send them to
I try to respond to every email I get.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Niall Maher

A curation of great articles, thoughts on running a tech startup, personal growth and building stuff that people love to use.

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