Updated: October 23, 2013
There is a wealth of knowledge out there. The difficulty lies in finding what’s relevant to you.
What I want to do here is help you out in that process to some degree. This is my personal reading list. It includes books I’ve read, the book I’m reading, and books that I will read.
In this list, there will be many books that aren’t only relevant to me. Over time, it will also be updated continuously because there will never come a point where there is nothing else to learn.
Some of these books are quite amazing too. A few I’ve even read countless times, and the incredible thing is that I learn something new every time.
Books That I’ve Read
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Dealing with people is one of the most crucial skills in life. This book is one of the best guidelines on developing that skill. I definitely needed it.
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu – Nothing needs to be said about this. If you haven’t read this, rectify that with all due haste. Go to a library, borrow it from a friend, whatever you need to do, but get it.
- The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi – This is one of those books that I read all the time. It’s very conceptual with a focus on mastery.
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – I read this book in less than a day. It’s very well-written, and there are some great lessons to be learned from it That’s true even if I don’t agree with some elements of the argument.
- Meaningful Marketing by Doug Hall – This is a reference guide on marketing principles and techniques. Meaningful marketing is another way of saying marketing for smart people or marketing that people actually respect. A contrast is also made against principles and techniques that the author labels as mindless marketing.
- Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin - This is another book that focuses on the factors of success like Outliers. If I had to choose between them, I would definitely choose this one.
- The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss – This has great lessons on time management and entrepreneurship. Also he recommends some quite interesting books.
- Training the Samurai Mind (translated) by Thomas Cleary – This is a collection of various writings by notable historical figures with a focus on philosophy and religion. It was incredible.
- Drill to Win by Andre Galvao – This is one of the best reference guide for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Drills. The only flaw it has is that there is no video component. It’s an issue because some of the movements can;t be properly translated through pictures alone.
- Code of the Samurai (translated) by Thomas Cleary – It’s been a long time since I’ve read this, but the focus is on how you conduct yourself to be worthy of respect.
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – If you haven’t read this, stop whatever you’re doing, and rectify that. Think and Grow Rich really can’t be recommended enough. The concepts highlighted in the book are as true today as they were decades and centuries ago.
- The Unexpected Champion by Dan Faggella - If you don’t have a lot of time and you want a practical guide for achieving success in training, this is the book for you.
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – I read this before Think and Grow Rich, but it’s written afterward. Both books highlight similar principles, but the presentation is different.
- The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan – A series of interviews and observations on the mindset that fighters develop in order to achieve high levels of success.
- The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli – A classic. Even if the days of kings have come and gone for the most part, there are still some practical lessons here.
- Discourses on Livy by Niccolo Machiavelli – This is the lesser known book by Machiavelli that focuses on the benefits of the republican form of government. You really have to read both to get a full sense of the philosophy.
- The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin – Josh uses his own life story to highlight lessons about the learning process. He gets a bit too dramatic with language here and there, but it’s a book filled with great insights.
- The Theory That Would Not Die by Sharon Bertsch Mcgrayne – I don’t recommend this book. It has a series of interesting history lessons, but overall it’s just not well organized.
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris – A very interesting biographical book about Teddy Roosevelt’s life before he became President.
- Einstein by Walter Issacson – A biographical book that covers almost the entire span of Einstein’s life and accomplishments.
- Rebounders by Rick Newman – This is another book focused on the factors that go into success. It uses real life examples to illustrate on how resilience and persistence make a significant difference.
- Slow Down, Sell Faster by Kevin Davis – The focus is on a simple idea. It’s that a customer’s buying process is far more important than any selling process. The focus should also always be on filling a need, and this book gives ALOT of practical advice for doing that.
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – This is another well-written book by Gladwell. The focus is on how the unconscious mind influences decisions.
- Masters of Command by Barry Strauss – This is a study of the history and leadership of three great generals. They have names you’ve probably heard before: Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar.
- As We Speak by Peter Meyers and Shann Nix - The book goes over several different aspects of communication and clearly outlines methods for improving the process. It’s also well-written and quite interesting.
- Mastery by George Leonard – The book focuses on the concepts of mastery, but you already knew that. It was the title, wasn’t it? Anyway, he breaks up the principle into core components then uses a mixture of personal experience, research, and philosophy to emphasize his points.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – This was one of the best books I’ve ever read on managing money. The ideas and concepts are presented and reinforced in a clear and enjoyable way.
- Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson – There are dull points in this book, but the actual parable is quite interesting, and the lesson you can draw from it is great.
- The Art of Strategy by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff – I was disappointed by this book. I feel that it failed to deliver on the promise of being a guide to strategy in business and life. Instead, it’s a book about the mathematics of game theory and public policy.
- Mastery by Robert Greene – This book is simply amazing. He mixes concrete examples and theories to really drive home the concepts and ideas. It’s easy to see how it can all be applied.
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek - I saw Simon’s TED talk, and it inspired me to pick up this book. I’m glad that I did because it really makes you think about what people respond to.
- Thick Face, Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu – This was an extremely interesting book. It challenged conventional concepts about achieving success and gave me a different perspective on things.
- Mindset by Carol Dweck – It begins with the idea that there are two primary mindsets and they affect how people respond to events. Then she gives many different examples of those mindsets are applied, and what you can do to change your own mindset.
- On Writing by Steven King - I really enjoyed this book. There were great lessons to be learned from his life story as well as his technical insights on writing.
The Book That I’m Reading Now
- Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss
Books That I Will Read
- Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
- Success Principles by Jack Canfield
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
- Strategy by Liddell Hart
- Expert Performance in Sports by Anders Ericsson
- Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow
- Extraordinary Minds by Howard Gardner
- The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder
- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene