Take a look at the top-selling personal development books of the past month, and you’ll see not all of them are new—that there are modern classics, like Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages, and all-time classics, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. But others, like Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, are brand-new and already making waves in the self-improvement world.
For your journey to your best self, we continue our monthly list of the best-selling personal development books with the top 10 for May 2016:
1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
By Angela Duckworth (May 2016; Scribner Book Company; $28)
Psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit. Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of genius, Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
2. StrengthsFinder 2.0
By Tom Rath (2007; Gallup Press; $29.99)
Do you do what you do best every day? Chances are you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths. Although you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades. The redesigned StrengthsFinder 2.0 companion website features a strengths community, a library of downloadable discussion guides and activities, a strengths screensaver and a program for creating display cards of your top five strength themes.
3. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
By Gary Chapman (2015 edition; Northfield Publishing; $15.99)
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts and just plain boredom of everyday life? Whether your relationship is failing or flourishing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love is as practical as it is insightful. The 5 Love Languages includes a “his and hers” personal profile assessment. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, the new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant and actionable wisdom.
4. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
By Jen Sincero (2013; Running Press; $16)
This refreshingly entertaining how-to guide serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice and easy exercises, helping you to create a life you will love. Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want—create a life you love and make some damn money already!
5. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
By Carol S. Dweck (2006; Ballantine Books; $16)
After decades of research on achievement and success, the Stanford University psychologist has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea: the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talents that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She presents why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but might actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, parents can motivate their children to become achievers.
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Dale Carnegie (1998 edition, originally published 1936; Pocket Books; $16)
Go after the job you want and get it! Take the job you have and improve it! Take any situation you’re in and make it work for you! Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. As relevant as ever, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age. Learn the six ways to make people like you, the 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
7. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed on Your Own Terms
By Vishen Lakhiani (May 2016; Rodale Books; $26.99)
What if everything we think we know about how the world works—our ideas of love, education, spirituality, work, happiness and love are based on Brules (bull**** rules) that get passed through generations and have long exceeded their expiration date? Inspired by thought leaders such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Peter Diamandis, these unconventional laws combine computational thinking with personal growth to help you live your best life and make a dent in the universe. Blending computational thinking, integral theory, modern spirituality, evolutionary biology and humor, personal growth entrepreneur Vishen Lakhiani provides a revolutionary 10-point framework for understanding and enhancing the human self.
8. Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story About Second Chances
By Brendon Burchard (May 2016; HarperOne; $14.99)
This classic inspirational parable is a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire anyone who has ever wished for a second chance. Brendon Burchard tells the story of a man who is trapped in the prison of his past. To soothe his fiancée Mary, clinging to life in a hospital bed, the man accepts a mysterious envelope she offers and heads to an old, abandoned amusement park she begs him to visit. To his surprise, when he steps through the rusted entrance gates, the park magically comes to life. Guided by the wise groundskeeper Henry, the man will have to re-evaluate his life. At the end of his journey, the man opens Mary’s mysterious envelope. Inside is a golden ticket—the final phase in turning his tragic life story of loss and regret into a triumphant tale of love and redemption.
9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
By Stephen R. Covey (2013 edition, originally published 1990; Simon & Schuster; $17)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for more than 25 years. It has transformed the lives of millions of people of all ages and occupations, from presidents to CEOs, educators and parents. Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Covey was an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant and author. His books have sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the No. 1 most influential business book of the 20th century.
10. The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
By Dave Ramsey (2013; Thomas Nelson; $24.99)
America’s trusted voice on money and business provides a surefire way to whip your finances into shape with the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits.
SUCCESS analyzes a combination of sales data acquired from Nielsen BookScan—which gathers point-of-sale data from more than 16,000 locations across the U.S.—and from a variety of independently verified sources within the personal development industry. This list represents sales from May 8 to May 29, 2016.