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Buffer’s Favorite Books of 2016

Here at Buffer, we love to read.

A lot.

In fact, we gifted 1,366 Kindle books to our team members and their family members this year alone!

This is 27% more than our 2015 total of 1074 and 108% more than our 2014 total of 656!

One of our most avid readers, Amy, is in four book clubs currently, and she cites this Kindle perk as enabling her to do so and also set new expectations for her reading habit.

“I also challenged myself to read at least 25 books by female authors this year,” Amy said. “Which has been a great way to find diverse voices and viewpoints. I was able to exceed my goal, while also enjoying some books outside of that group of books.”

We asked our team about their favorite book of 2016 and compiled some of the most-requested books from the past year. Are any of your favorites in here? Any that stand out to you? Get your to-read list ready for more additions!

Our team’s favorite books of 2016:





The 10 most-requested books from the entire team in 2016:

In 2016, we had a bigger showing of non-fiction than we saw in 2015 (the only fiction book in the top 10 was the latest Harry Potter release). We had some repeats from our 2015 list as well, with classics like Essentialism and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Our most-requested book, Sprint, was a huge influence in our Buffercelerator program with the product, Rocket.

Here are the most-requested books of 2016:


  1. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp (19 requested)
  2. Essentialism by Greg McKeown (15)
  3. Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (13)
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (13)
  5. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (13)
  6. High Output Management by Andrew S Grove (12)
  7. Inspired: How to Create Products People Love by Marty Cagan (11)
  8. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins (11)
  9. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (11)
  10. Tie: Creating a Data-Driven Organization by Carl Anderson, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, Small Giants by Bo Burlingham, Clean Code by Robert C Martin (8)


Our team book club selections:

Our amazing teammate, Amy, led the effort to start a team-wide book club in 2016 (among many other remote team-building efforts) and here were our selections with the most requested, When Breath Becomes Air, as our first pick.


  1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (29 requested)
  2. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (15)
  3. Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (15)
  4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (12)
  5. The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-hwan Kang (8)
  6. Rising Strong by Brene Brown (8)
  7. Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art by Virginia Heffernan (8)

Over to you

Follow our Pinterest board here to keep up on our latest readings!

What were your favorite books that you read in 2016? What are you looking forward to reading in 2107? Any of these books make it onto your to-read list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

  • Alison Baldyga

    This is a great list! In 2016, I enjoyed Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (among my huge list of reads) as well as How to Win Friends and Influence People (thanks for the reco Buffer) :). In 2017, I can’t wait to check out multiple Neil Gaiman novels, Playing Big by Tara Mohr, Zadie Smith (multiple titles), as well as re-reading my Pema Chodron faves. Here’s to another year of great reading!

    • Oh these sound incredible, Alison — We have picked Swing Time by Zadie Smith for our January Book Club book! Excited to hear how you like that one if you get to it! :) Thank you for sharing your 2017 list!! :D

  • This list looks AMAZING! I haven’t read any books on this list. My favorite book of 2016 was definitely the #AskGaryVee book. Looking forward to reading some of the favorites of the Buffer team in 2017.

    • Thank you so much for checking out this list, Brian!! I’ve heard so many amazing things about AskGaryVee!! Adding that to my own list for sure!!

      • You’re welcome Nicole! I can honestly say that he provides unbeliveably valuable content that I haven’t heard or read anywhere else. All his other books are great too. I actually have a bunch of extra copies and would love to send you one or someone else on the Buffer team who might enjoy it. :)

  • Steph Coulton

    I’m on a mission to read 50 books in 2017 and I’ll be adding some of these to my list for sure. Thanks so much for the recommendations Buffer! :)

    • That’s so great! Best of luck with your goal — that’s incredible!!

      • Steph Coulton

        Thanks Nicole, I’m reading books 3 & 4 so making good progress!

      • Steph Coulton

        Thanks Nicole :D

  • Meg Lyons

    I love these lists – I could spend the year working through them! From my own 2016 reading list I have to agree with Alison below – Big Magic was my favourite and I also enjoyed The Art of Asking way back in January last year. The War of Art also goes down as a winner for relevant lessons around commitment to do good work.

    I congratulate you on prioritizing the need to preserve a culture of connection and relationships among remote team members – and a book club sounds like a great way to do that. Inspiring and fun stuff! Wishing you a great year of reading and connecting ahead.

    • Aw thank you so much, Meg! We’ve found the Book Club super helpful to connect and share a common love of reading! :) Thank you also for your book endorsements!!

  • Jenn Peralez

    Thank you for sharing this list! Knowing that reading is such a big part Buffer’s culture, I am so glad you shared your top picks. I will definitely be using this list to select my next read.

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