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Here are 50 books I recommend

Looking for a good book? Here are 50 books Ramit Sethi recommends you have on your shelf.

Ramit Sethi

I’m a big reader (I try to read two books a week), so people often come to me for good book recommendations. That’s why I decided to compile a list of 50 books that I absolutely love — and think you will too.

I do have one request before you jump in: Follow Ramit’s Book-Buying Rule.

If you think a book looks even remotely interesting, buy it.

Don’t even waste five seconds debating it. If you glean just one idea from the book, it makes it even more than worth the price. That idea could be the one that changes your life or simply challenges long-held beliefs you’ve always had. And those moments are invaluable to your development.

So without further ado…

Ramit Sethi book recommendations

I’ve divided my recommendations into several sections:

  • Finance/Investment
  • Psychology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Miscellaneous

And each has a (non-affiliate) link for easy buying.

FINANCE/INVESTMENT

1. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf

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This is a great, no-nonsense guide to investing. The book draws on the principles of John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, and is presented in short, bite-sized chapters in plain language — so don’t worry about running to Google to look up esoteric financial terms.

Purchase link

2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Gordon Malkiel

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Written by renowned economist Burton Gordon Malkiel, A Random Walk has proven to be a staple for any good investor’s bookshelf since it was first published in 1973. While I don’t necessarily agree with the entire book, the ideas presented between its covers are downright fascinating.

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3. The Smartest Investment Book by Daniel R. Solin

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A GREAT primer on investing in index funds. The book also shows you how simple it is to get started investing. You don’t need a bunch of brokers in your ear telling you where to put your money when you have easy-to-manage index funds you can hold onto for years.

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4. The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William D. Danko

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What’s a better way of learning how to be rich by studying…well, the rich?

That’s the idea behind The Millionaire Next Door — which draws upon the work of two doctors who studied the lives and financial philosophies of the wealthy.

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5. Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel

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This one frequently appears in “best investment books” lists — and for good reason. Since its publication, the Siegel book has become known as the buy and hold bible, touting the overall benefits of long-term passive investments in equities.

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6. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber

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I don’t have kids, but when I do, I’m going to make sure I have the talk with them early.

No, not THAT talk. I’m talking about the money discussion where I teach them all about the importance of diversification in their portfolios and the superiority of index funds over individual stocks. You know. Things kids like.

Luckily, finance columnist and father Ron Lieber has plenty of actionable and proven advice on how to approach talking to your kids about allowances, part-time jobs, college tuition, and even the tooth fairy.

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7. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

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Ah, quite possibly my FAVORITE book on the list. (There’s got to be SOME benefit of writing this list.) My New York Times bestseller on getting the most out of your finances — no guilt, excuses, or BS involved.

I give you the exact word-for-word scripts you can use to negotiate everything and also how you can allocate your money to save without worry, spend without guilt, and invest with confidence.

Purchase link

PSYCHOLOGY

8. Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson

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Aronson, the co-author, guest-lectured at Stanford and his class was one of the most thought-provoking ones I ever took. Learn how the media, our friends, and even we ourselves cause us to behave in unexpected ways. Each and every aspect of this book is rooted in theoretical literature, but it is incredibly fascinating to read.

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9. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

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Dr. Cialdini put his years as the world’s foremost persuasion expert into this grandfather of psychology books. Impressively, this book is equally interesting to the ordinary reader as it is to experts. He distills years of research into a few critical principles that help you understand how to influence others and yourself — and how to protect yourself from unethical persuasion.

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10. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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Imagine being able to set a goal and know that you’re going to get it done. That’s the beauty of building habits and it’s exactly what Charles Duhigg explores in The Power of Habit. I sat down to talk to him about the power of habits a while back. Check out that discussion below.

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11. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

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A good checklist can change your life — or at least that’s what surgeon, writer, and public health researcher Atul Gawande believes. In this book, he gives you the advice you can use to start leveraging checklists to streamline all facets of your life and business (just ask any pilot).

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12. The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

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Gavin de Becker has helped politicians, actors, and other high-profile individuals recognize and react to violent threats. In The Gift of Fear, he offers a look at violent behavior and exactly how you can recognize it before it’s too late.

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13. Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead by Tara Sophia Mohr

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Tara Mohr offers insight and advice for talented women with big goals but little in the way of confidence. Find out exactly how she has helped thousands of women find success in their careers in Playing Big.

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14. Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

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Age of Propaganda‘s Elliot Aronson teams up with Carol Tavris to explore the cognitive dissonance we embrace to justify our bad decisions. The two authors also offer up some tactics we can use to confront our own behaviors and learn from them.

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15. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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There’s a reason a book older than some of our grandparents still shows up on “best psychology book” lists. Dale Carnegie’s tested and proven tactics on developing rock steady social skills are timeless. If you haven’t read this one yet, make sure you do ASAP.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

16. Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

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From the mind of a guy who helped bring you the most tears you’ve ever shed during a children’s film comes a book packed with lessons on how you can effectively manage your team to embrace creativity. These same lessons helped Catmull propel Pixar from a small animation studio to a household name.

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17. Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca with William Novak

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In this insightful autobiography, long-time Ford CEO Lee Iacocca reflects on his illustrious career, sharing his success, failures, and practical business lessons that got him far with companies like Chrysler and Ford.

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18. The Boron Letters by Gary C. Halpert

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Legendary copywriter Gary C. Halbert provides timeless copy and life advice to his son Bond through a series of letters — now available to anyone who wants it. In this book, you’ll find some of the best actionable advice on creating copy that sells.

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19. The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier

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From one of the best marketers who ever lived, The Robert Collier Letter Book provides insight on how to craft the perfect sales letter. The advice here can be easily transferred to email copy, sales pages, etc.

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20. The Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

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My good friend Tim Ferriss has distilled the lessons he’s learned from interviewing over 200 Top Performers for his podcast The Tim Ferriss Show. The result is a book full of actionable lessons and insights into how the most successful people live their lives (including a cameo by yours truly).

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21. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9 – 5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

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Reading this book changed my life. Tim’s lessons on efficiency and his take on the concept of retirement have impacted an entire generation of entrepreneurs to pursue goals beyond the 9-to-5 and build their own Rich Lives. I can’t recommend this book enough.

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22. Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

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Years ago, I picked up a copy of this book and it opened my eyes to Jay’s philosophy on wealth-creation through proven systems. He has since become my mentor and I can tell you with confidence that his program will help you leverage the unseen resources right in front of you to help increase your earnings and reach your goals.

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23. The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by J.N. Kapferer and V. Bastien

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The Luxury Strategy provides a fascinating look into building luxury brands such as Ferrari, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren. The authors also offer seemingly counter-intuitive marketing strategies used in luxury branding.

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24. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

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A hold-nothing-back look at what it’s like to build a business brick-by-painstakingly-placed-brick. Get the real origins of the Nike swoosh and how the company became one of the history’s most iconic brands from Phil Knight himself.

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25. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez

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Having worked for both Twitter and Facebook (not to mention founding his own startup), Antonio Garcia Martinez has penned a humorous and occasionally scandalous expose of Silicon Valley’s tech industry. This book’s going to give you a real-talk look into the reality of the tech world. A must-read for any burgeoning entrepreneur (or startup employee).

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26. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Capt. D. Michael Abrashoff

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What can the former commander of a United States naval destroyer teach you about business? A hell of a lot. And assuming you don’t have time to rise through the ranks of the U.S. Navy and command your own ship, Capt. Abrashoff has distilled the management lessons he learned while at the helm of the USS Benfold that can help you lead your own team to success.

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27. Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer

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Drawing upon over three decades in the hospitality industry, restaurateur Danny Meyer provides unique insights on the client/business relationship and the methods you can use to create positive relationships with your customer. Though it’s told through the lens of running a restaurant, the lessons here are applicable to any business.

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28. Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From a Life at Disney by Lee Cockerell

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When you’re in charge of the happiest place on earth for over a decade, you’re going to learn a thing or two about management. In Creating Magic, Lee Cockerell gives you the exact leadership principles that took him to the top of one of the world’s biggest companies and the methods you can use to become a better leader yourself.

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29. My Life in Advertising & Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins

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This is two books for the price of one — including one that David Ogilvy, the greatest ad man who ever lived, once said of it, “Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until he has read this book seven times. It changed the course of my life.”

These are must-reads for anyone curious in the theory behind advertising and proven tactics you can use to approach it.

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30. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples

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John Caples — the man who wrote one of the most successful advertisements in history — provides you with copy tactics that draw upon decades worth of experience. The book also provides you with his proven headline formulas that alone makes it well worth the price.

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31. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz

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If you want to increase sales and take your copy game to the next level, Breakthrough Advertising is the book that will help get you there. There is one catch though: This book is out of print. That means that it’s incredibly rare, with copies typically selling anywhere between $100 and $500.

If you need help making the money to buy the book, don’t worry. We have systems that can earn you the cash.

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32. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin

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This book boils down to one mantra every business owner should constantly echo to themselves: “You are playing to win.” That’s what Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley did when he took a dying brand and made it a powerhouse of sales.

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33. Confessions of the Pricing Man: How Pricing Affects Everything by Hermann Simon

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One of the biggest roadblocks for freelancers and new entrepreneurs is pricing — namely, how the hell do you do it? You can blindly test out prices until you hit upon something that works. OR, you can turn to a man with over four decades of experience in pricing and read his book on the subject. I suggest the latter.

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34. Your Move: The Underdog’s Guide to Building Your Business by Ramit Sethi

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This is my second favorite book on the list!

Your Move is a no-BS guide to creating your own business from the ground up. You’ll learn the exact tactics you can use to come up with a profitable idea, find clients to sell to, and create a system to grow your business even further. And, the author is handsome.

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MISCELLANEOUS

35. Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Douglas Kent Hall


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One part memoir. One part bodybuilding guide. Find out how Arnold became a Top Performer in and out of the gym — and how you can too.

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36. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

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One of the best books to come out of 2016. Hillbilly Elegy is a devastating look into the struggles of an American working class family — and what that means for a large cultural swath of the country.

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37. Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson

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Manson cuts through all of the pickup artist BS to give you actionable, straightforward lessons on how to attract women. This is a great read for anyone interested in psychology and social skills.

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38. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield

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An incredibly entertaining read from the astronaut who sang David Bowie’s Space Odditywhile in space. Col. Chris Hadfield details his life through a series of vignettes, showing you how he went from Canadian farm boy to the internet’s favorite astronaut.

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39. Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger

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The phrase “There are no good guys left out there to date” is practically a meme — however, the data backs it up. Date-onomics is a fascinating look at the numbers behind dating and the tactics women can use to find success.

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40. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola

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A haunting memoir on the struggles of alcoholism and what happens when a heavy drinker decides to put down the bottle for good.

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41. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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Though you were probably forced to read this in high school, this is a novel that deserves a second read. Having served on the German frontline himself, Remarque provides a haunting and gritty account of the realities of trench warfare — as well as the impact of war when soldiers are home.

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42. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

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The master of horror gives you an in-depth look on exactly how he got that way in one of the best memoirs you’ll ever read. King also gives you some no-nonsense advice on grammar and style in the second half of the book. If you’re a writer, make sure this one is on your shelf.

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43. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas

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The shape of luxury has changed since Louis Vuitton was making clothes in 19th century France — and award-winning journalist Dana Thomas found out why through this in-depth book that tears down the shiny facade of the luxury industry to reveal what really drives it.

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44. No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy Seal by Mark Owen

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A follow up to his bestseller No Easy Day, this book gives you an eye-opening look into the life and history of one Navy Seal who took part in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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45. Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories That Resonate by Brian McDonald

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Though the book is written through the lens of a screenwriter, the lessons on storytelling, character building, and narrative crafting that McDonald dishes out are universal for any writer. You’ll learn how to captivate and engage your audience while telling stories that’ll stick with them far after they stop reading.

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46. The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy Seal Sniper Corps and How I Trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen by Brandon Webb

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A Navy Seal sniper instructor gives you a look into his experience training some of the deadliest men in the world. Spoiler alert: It’s nothing like it is in video games.

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47. Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

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The story of one American mother raising a child in Paris. Her observations on the differences in French and American parenting are eye-opening and can give any mom or dad fascinating insights on raising their child.

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48. Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood by Donovan Campbell


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A thrilling look at one marine’s journey from Ivy League to leading a 40-man platoon in the middle of the longest conflict in our country’s history.

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49. One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick

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If it wasn’t obvious already, I love stories of awe-inspiring military leadership — and One Bullet Away is no exception. Fick’s account of leading his platoon in Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks is harrowing and gives any leader lessons to learn from.

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50. Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff

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Excuse me while I put on my old man pants for a moment:

BACK IN MY DAY WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY FANCY IPHONES OR TINDER MACHINES. ALL WE HAD WERE OUR BLACKBERRYS AND THAT’S THE WAY WE LIKED IT! WHAT IS AN EMOJI, ANYWAY?

And while you’re probably never going to see someone sporting one again, the BlackBerry once commanded more than half of the smartphone market. Now, it has less than 1%. Journalists Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff explore the mismanagement and internal struggles that led to the fall of a once thriving cell phone empire.

Purchase link

What do YOU recommend?

If you’re looking for a good book, you can’t go wrong with any of the suggestions above.

And remember: If you’re even remotely interested in buying one, go for it. You might learn a lesson you might never have otherwise gotten.

Now I want to turn it to you: What books do YOU recommend? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? Looking forward to reading your answers.

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385 Comments

 
  1. Pedro Pais

    Have you read all of them?

    Could you please be kind enough to tell us what general guidelines do you use to assess if a book is worth reading?

    Thanks.

    • Simon

      Beggars in Spain, only book I've recommended to all audiences.

    • jk

      For the miscellaneous category, The Long Walk by Brian Castner. It's about an EOD tech and the life before and after war. I've quite a few friends who are/were in the military and this was a really interesting view into what they might be thinking, especially just returning home from war.

      Another Miscellaneous recommendation, Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes (yes, going old school). It can be a bit of a challenge in some chapters, but that's part of the fun of reading it. It's made me laugh out loud at some parts, which is impressive given that it's over 400 years old. Also, most people have never read it. So, to say you've gotten through the entire book is a mini triumph.

  2. Ramit Sethi

    Yep, I’ve read (or re-read) all of these this year. There’s no set criteria–I mostly read reviews online/in newspapers, and get recommendations from friends–but these are the books that have had the most impact on me in 2006 in business and personal life.

    • Paul

      Principles by Ray Dalio
      Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner
      Tao of Bruce Lee
      Exploiting Poker Tells by Elwood

    • Anshul Yadav

      1. Principles by Ray Dalio
      2. The undoing project by Michael Lewis
      3. Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman
      4. Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

      I will recommend more as and when I read more books

    • Rich Harrell

      Ramit, is your reading list really 11 years old (in 2006)?

    • Sundar

      Ramit… The best book you can read in my opinion is 'seeking wisdom – from darwin to mungerv by peter bevelin.
      Simply the best book i read by a mile.
      Thanks.

    • Rich Johnson

      If you liked "All quiet on the western front", try "Johnny got his gun" (also about WWI
      The Undoing Project
      Sapiens
      Ishmael

    • Jon

      Two question:
      Is 2006 a typo?

      In your email "20 shortcuts for smart people", #2 was "F%#K Efficiency" and specifically mention 4HWW, but 4HWW is on your must read list. Can you elaborate on the contradiction?

    • Ramit Sethi

      4HWW isn't about efficiency, it's about effectiveness. Also, some of the most interesting parts of life are contradictory.

  3. Andre

    Excellent – thanks Ramit!

  4. eR0CK

    Thanks for the feedback Ramit. I’ll be adding this book along with several others listed to my stack of reading.

  5. Dale Swinford

    Ramit, I thought I’d pass along the observation that your blogsite doesn’t “scale” well in Internet Explorer 7. Being an old, dumb and blind guy, I like (need?) to use the 125% or 150% size option in order to read comfortably. Unfortunately, even though your cool-looking Amazon box has scrollbars, the column containing it ovelaps the right-hand column…a fairly ugly result. I realize that your posts are directed toward young people who don’t have my eyesight issues; OTOH, I like to follow your thoughts on a regular basis so I can pass on useful tidbits to the kids (who are in your target demographic, but not as “connected” as I am…yet). BTW, your site is not unique in this regard; 3-column layouts are even worse, and sites like the Wall Street Journal (which one might think to be more “in tune” with my age-group) is *really* messed up.

    • Scotty

      Please do not use internet explorer, it is an abysmal browser. I would recommend using firefox or chrome, your life will improve dramatically. Best of luck!

  6. Jake

    Already stated, but don’t try to play off “This damn Amazon thing was the easiest way out there”. There was thousands of other ways to make a better list (ex. bullet points). You’re just trying to get the commission.

    • Kim

      I've posted this below, but it deserves mentioning again – he states at the top that these are non-affiliate links. Seriously, this is a list about reading and yet – no one read that.
      If you think that is a lie, check out the link in your browser when it opens to Amazon. Then research what an affiliate link to Amazon looks like. The referral part is mysteriously missing…

    • Randy J

      Why does it matter if he is trying to make a commission off the list? This website is a business. You can recommend products you believe in and make money. Honestly, if you have that attitude, why are you here? It seems like an odd website to spend your time if you are offended by affiliate links. By providing this list of books which I am sure are great, he is providing value. Value is worth receiving compensation for. The money is not coming out of your pocket to pay the commission.

      Regardless, he states that these NOT affiliate links. Which as Kim states, can be proven if you just look at the link when you click it.

    • Tom

      And apparently, Jake, you don't even realize how tiny an Amazon commission is for a typical book. The idea that Ramit would do this just to rake in, literally, a few extra dollars is ridiculous. Besides, from a consumer standpoint, I'd far rather get a link to Amazon than B&N or whatever other source… I already have an Amazon account, I get 5% back on purchases, and my order will get here tomorrow if I want. So, "thousands of other ways to make a better list"? Thousands, really? I don't think so.

  7. SCapitalist

    Great list. It’s nice to see such a diverse range of topics. I think that sometimes people are so focused on “personal finance”, they spend all their time reading technical books. Yet, books on psychology and productivity can be very beneficial. You have a background in psychology, as do I, and it shows in you reading selections.

  8. Ramit Sethi

    J.R., it’s ~4-6%.

    Dale: Thanks for the feedback. I’m working on making it easier to read (here’s a preview of some simple changes that are coming).

  9. TZ

    I borrowed _Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America_, by Barbara Ehrenreich, and it is a highly recommended read for a humbling experience on the ‘have nots’ in America.

  10. Neil T

    I like your idea of putting up books you’ve read. I hope you don’t mind that I did the same on my blog. I referenced your site tho. I’ll check out some of your recommendations.

  11. kayla

    Next time you put up a book list, try library thing, and you can link it to your profile. I dig it, anyways.

    Thanks for the list, I’ll have to add these to my “to read” list.

  12. Jennifer Lynn

    A very useful and comprehensive list. I’ve read roughly 1/2 the books on here as well and you’ve made some great selections. I’ve just finished David Bach’s “Automatic Millionaire” (an easy yet enjoyable read which literally took me about an hour to get through), but haven’t dabbled into Seth Godin yet. I’ve pretty much devoured all of Suze’s books. I love her, although many seem to disagree /;

    I’ll probably try the Boglehead’s Guide to Investing next.

    And yes, Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed” is a very enlightening and haunting journalistic piece that is well worth checking into.

    All right, enough babbling from me. Time to check your wish list.

  13. frank

    i dont mind ramit making some commission, but yes, disclosure is nice. the amazon thing seems more convenient to me since you can get the exact title and author, plus get a pretty cover picture and be able to click on it for more details like isbn and read reviews. overall, i think it serves the reader well. if he can benefit from that too, so what? win-win.

    thanks for the list.

    • Kim

      Not to stir the pot, but he states explicitly that these are non-affliate links. This is a list about reading, so I find it kinda ironic that people missed that.

  14. j

    Regarding these books; I’ve read a few of them. A Random Walk Down Wall Street is one of the most interesting books on the stock market I’ve ever read and I heartily agree with that recommendation. Even if you don’t agree wholly with Malkiel’s conclusions it’s best to be familiar with the theory behind them.

    The Tipping Point was a great book, but I thought that Blink was a bit of a clunker. I don’t know why really; it just felt a little silly to me to write a whole book about the fact that people tend to make snap judgments.

    One book which I might recommend is “The Future For Investors” by Jeremy Siegel. He is a professor at Wharton and a really great writer and this book essentially re-hashes the old arrgument that boring dividend-payers trounce growth stocks (except it does so with some new research and cool graphs. I love graphs).

    Anyhow, happy holidays and good luck getting all the Amazon referral cash you can from this post. People who whine about the fact that you can make money from this are doing so for no good reason – it’s not like they pay any extra for the book; what does it hurt to help out someone whose blog you read if you were going to make the purchase anyway?

  15. Lore

    Try using when displaying the Amazon store. Insert scrolling=”yes” in the script and height=”1000″ Drop all menu items to the right. Since your working with a fixed table size your field won’t expand but you give your visitors the opportunity to at least scroll to the right.

  16. Jim Hunter

    “GRAVE TRAVELERS” was the strangest and most engrossing book I’ve ever read. It was like a Stephen King book with real characters, and a story line that was indefinable.

  17. Don

    You should add “All Your Worth” by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia to your wishlist if you haven’t read it.

    Personally I don’t Suze Orman’n credibility so high after reports that she doesn’t even follow the philosophy of her own books.

    • Ramit Sethi

      She doesn't follow the exact advice because she has a net worth of over $25mm. (The main difference is she invests more heavily in bonds.) Her advice is solid for people in debt or people slowly building a net worth.

    • Tom

      Thanks, Ramit. I wish, however, that Orman would explain this more often and in detail. I've heard many of the reports of her 'hypocrisy,' take them with a grain of salt, but don't have any info to the contrary. Since she's so much about money transparency, she should come out and say, 'Here's why I preach one thing and do another….'

    • Ramit Sethi

      She explained it in an interview years ago. But after that, what's the point? Her audience is not other people with $25mm net worths. It's also not skeptics who doubt that she's saying one thing and doing another. It's people who need financial help. And she serves them well.

      You can certainly criticize her (or any financial expert) for parts of their philosophy, but the "hypocrisy" critics of her on this point are, shall we say, "misled." You should move past them.

  18. M

    If you liked “Nickel and Dimed”, the better version of this book is “The Working Poor” by David K. Shipler (Pulitzer prize winning author).

    • Ramit Sethi

      I will check it out. Thank you!

  19. Chance

    Looks like a great list, some I’ve read, but most remain on my “wish list.” Just curious, have you ever read any of Dave Ramsey’s books? Any opinions on his financial philosophy?

    • Ramit Sethi

      He's very good at helping people get out of debt.

      Why not get some of these books off your wish list and read them?

  20. Brad B

    Two that should definitly be there (hope I didn’t miss them) are Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley.
    The Total Money Makeover absolutely works and Stanley’s book is an awesome eye opener to what a being real millionaire entails

  21. Patricia

    A book I’m reading, “Cash-Rich Retirement” by James Schlagheck encourages people to build a “ladder of annuities”. The idea is to invest some money in an annuity every year so you have different streams of income after you retire. Where can I learn more about annuities and this “ladder” idea besides this particular book? Any suggestions?

    • Ramit Sethi

      I recommend you stop chasing annuities

  22. Herb Wright

    Design 1
    Herbwrightbooks.com

    The Craving and the Cross is a bold political thriller. The villain is a callous CEO who has
    achieved incredible financial success. He is a visionary and resourceful businessman who lives without limits. He is now approaching age fifty and has become consumed with finding the key to immortality. He lives an enviable life, full of power, passion and intrigue. He has everything so many of us desire but he feels unfulfilled. He is bizarre and amoral.

    Joe is a homeless man, who loves virtue and believes that God speaks to him. As the result of a selfless and brave act, Joe becomes a media sensation. Some speculate that he may be the world’s next savior, an authentic hero who can perform miracles. Others say he is a schizophrenic and a heretic. One of Joe’s adversaries is Wolf news, owned by the villainous CEO. The course of events that lead to their inevitable meeting involve caves in Brazil, hustlers in the South Bronx, Park Avenue psychotics and ancient wise-men.

    The Craving and the Cross is an action laden, imaginative and unexpected exploration of our cultural norms and expectations. It is a critical examination of corporate power and its’ domination over the institutions that should serve the people. It is about our abandonment of humanity’s great ideas for false security and mindless consumption. The book achieves its’ aims by its use of compelling, exotic and vibrant characters, exciting plot twist and incredible energy. The readers will find familiar, universal truths while expanding the limits of their imagination.

    Do Clones Have Souls
    Do Clones Have Souls is a provocative political thriller which explores ideas on race, culture and religion through the eyes of Clones, America’s newest minority group. The Supreme Court rules that they are unnaturally born and have no rights. Corporations exploit their labor. Religious conservatives will not let them into churches. The media uses them for ratings. They have no allies, so they form a resistance group. They are immediately labeled terrorists. ..”The insights are uncommon and the action is unrelenting.”
    Herbwrightbooks.com

  23. Raquel Bordin

    Hey Ramit, my name is Raquel Bordin, I’m 28 years old and I just read your book “I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH” and loved it… so I was hoping you could help me out.
    I’m looking for some advise before I start my own business.
    Do you know a good book for who wants to start their own business?

    Thank you very much.

    Raquel Bordin

    • Ramit Sethi

      Yes, https://www.amazon.com/Your-Move-Underdogs-Building-Business-ebook/dp/B071F7R9KY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1508349386&sr=1-1&keywords=underdog+entrepreneurship

  24. Katie

    Having lived in Kentucky for almost 10 years, I'd heard a lot of buzz about Hillbilly Elegy and read it eagerly. Mid-way through I was ready to throw it across the room, especially when Vance discounts racism for any role it may have played in backlash to Obama. It's political propaganda disguised as a "thought-provoking" memoir. This is a great takedown of the book: https://www.salon.com/2017/03/11/hillbilly-sellout-the-politics-of-j-d-vances-hillbilly-elegy-are-already-being-used-to-gut-the-working-poor/

  25. Dorothy

    When I hear an interesting book recommendation I download the free sample to my Kindle.

    If I like the first few pages I can buy it later. But for many non fiction books, the main idea is covered sufficiently in the beginning for me to get the gist of it.

  26. Aner

    Nice list, thanks! I always appreciate book tips from people I respect or find interesting. 🙂

    A few tips for you: most of Malcolm Gladwell including the podcast he made, The Black Obelisk, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Shipping Man, The Five Disfunctions of a Team – from top of mind.

    Thanks for a nice blog.
    Aner

  27. Ryan Belcher

    My recommendation:

    The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

    • Ryan Kuhle

      And Perennial Sellers.

      Great insights on creating value and using that value to market. On my second read and having my creative and marketing team read it as well.

      (Lots of Ryan's!)

    • Peter

      Pretty much everything he writes is great. Perennial Seller is particularly good (and counter-intuitive) for creative types (he really delves into the reality of being a creative professional). His stoic trio (Obstacle, Ego, and The Daily Stoic) are fantastic as a very practical, non-spiritual way to get some philosophy and help guide your life/ambitions in a positive way. I'm sure Ramit has read (or is at least aware).

  28. J Washburn

    Ah, Ramit, you're the BEST!

    Here are a few of my favorites:

    – Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute
    – The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    – A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    – The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
    – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

    • Nichol

      Ditto, here's to you Ramit, and
      J Washburn! Both of you having great lists.
      To add to your mix of,
      • Catcher In the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
      • Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Abom
      • Corduroy, by Don Freeman

  29. Nick S.

    Good list but you missed one: "How Brands Grow." As a career Marketer, it has changed how I view marketing. There is a small group of marketers who drink from the cup of this book and we're trying to dispel many of the myths of marketing that are so prevalent.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Outstanding book. Thanks for mentioning it here! If you know other people who read from this book — or better yet, if you have a group of them together in some group — please invite me!

  30. Bryan

    I have already read a few of these suggested books (including yours Ramit) and learned a lot from them. I would like to suggest M. J. Demarco's, "The Millionaire Fastlane" and "Unscripted". His books have really given my work more direction.

  31. Rohan Bhardwaj

    I was expecting a few Seth Godin books.

    Arnold and models book attracted me. Will probably buy them.

    My highest recommendation is "Alchemist". Hands down the best fiction book ever. Go for it Ramit.

  32. Sat P

    Two books that got my on my journey to being successful were by John DeMartini:

    1. "How to make one hell of a profit and still get to heaven"
    2. "The Breakthrough Experience"

    I highly recommend them to every person who asks me about what to read if they want to improve their situation.

    I don't recommend any books to people unless they ask because I found that nobody listens. most people just want a stock tip, not read a book where they have to put in effort.

  33. Martin

    Thank you for your recommendations. I ordered 4 of the ones I didn't already have and saved some for later.

    The book that had the biggest impact on my life was 4-Hour Workweek and not because of the tactics and advice, but primarily as an eye opener proving that YES, there is another way to live life, other than 9-5 in a job you just do for the money. No other book comes close in terms of overall impact, because I wouldn't be where I am in life today without Tim's book.

    Books are a great way to create your own echo chamber if you don't have a way to surround yourself with ambitious people.

    • Edward

      Martin, thats awesome. So many people who I recommend this to just look at it as a guide to get rich quick and not working when its goal is exactly what you said: to shake up your perspective on the 9-5 and show other ways to do things.

    • Mary

      I second what Edward said – really like your last paragraph that books are a great way to create your own echo chamber. I do that by reading memoirs and biographies of people from many different walks of life that sound interesting one way or another.

      Recent biographies/memoirs that I have read that may be of interest include:

      Becoming Ms. Burton – Susan Burton about a lady from LA whose 5 year old son was killed in an accident. She was poor and self medicated with drugs, did jail time on and off for a while, got out and got a second chance after hearing about and completing a treatment program. Now helps many other women getting out of prison with readjusting, getting their kids back, jobs, etc. as well as advocating for education and other options for women who didn't know they had other options… insights into life in prison, life as a poor person, etc.

      What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey has a lot of topics covered by other people in other places about joy, resilience, taking care of your body with healthier eating, exercise, being the parent/lover/sibling/friend you need for you vs. seeking outside validation, etc.

      Just started reading a book about Custer and he is reminding me a lot of another more recent famous person with various antics and larger than life personality that leaves people with different opinions about the man… can't say whether 100% recommended yet, but interesting so far.

      https://www.amazon.com/Custers-Trials-Life-Frontier-America/dp/0307475948/

  34. Bill

    Hey, Ramit! Some great titles here that I already have and will read or have already read. Some books I think you might like:

    1) The Count of Monte Cristo. An excellent story into strategy, focus, psychology, and understanding people around you. I was fascinated with how the main character used his understanding of what drove/motivated them exact his revenge and be one step ahead.
    2) Think and Grow Rich. Classic read on knowing what you want, eliminating the miscellaneous things in your life that don't get you to where you want to go, and surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you to help you achieve your goals. Your former "Brain Trust" was very similar to a concept from Hill.
    3) How to Get Lean, Strong, and Bulletproof by Tim Blake (www.superfitdads.com). Far and away the best fitness book I've read. Presents the simplest way I've found to achieve exercise and weight loss goals. (Lost and kept off 25 pounds on his program!)
    4) Nurtureshock. Great book on parenting. I'm a father of 4 and found it to be an excellent resource I go back to often.
    5) Scaling Up. Currently reading this about setting strategy and driving that strategy forward in an organization. Very straight forward without fluff to fill pages.

    • Paul

      I second Nurtureshock. Great book on parenting, too bad all of my kids have already left the nest, I would have loved to have had this book 30 years ago! I read it because I teach and coach high school kids (and their parents!) and it really helps me understand better how to influence them.

  35. Ryan Kuhle

    Ramit,

    Check out Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

    Leadership skills learned on the battlefield, applied to life and business.

    • Matt

      100 times this.
      Great book.

    • Nicholette Lambert

      Yeah that one is AMAZING!

  36. Susan

    I've read 6 of the books on your list – mostly from the finance section. I picked up Mistakes were made but not be me after you mentioned it a couple of years ago on your blog. I remember it was fascinating, I should read it again.

    I've read What Happy Peopke Know at least 3 times, and enjoyed Brain Rules for Baby and The secret to happy families. They're certainly for a more targeted audience but I recommend them to my friends occasionally.

    I'll look forward to picking up a few more books from your list – thanks for sharing!

  37. Doug

    These look great! There are several that I want to read to get different perspectives.

    My favorite recent reads:

    Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: a great way to get an idea of what it is like to be a black man in America today. I keep telling people to stop talking about race until they have read this book.

    The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman: Friedman makes so many good points about where our priorities should be to succeed in the changing world economy.

    The Big Short by Michael Lewis: Amazing combination of knowledge and entertainment.

    Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku: Interesting thoughts about what future technologies may be and how they will affect our society.

    Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance: A lot to learn about leadership and entrepreneurship from this guy.

    I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai: Malala grew up in a part of the world that has unimaginable beauty and unimaginable conflict. Her story is fantastic.

    • SoniaB

      Great recommendations. I really enjoyed Between the World and Me & The Big Short.

    • Mary

      Also enjoyed Between the World and Me and read his bio about his father The Beautiful Struggle too. Between the World and Me is the author writing to his son about growing up black in America and his perspectives. I also read "Letters to a Young Muslim" by Omar Saif Ghobash, another father to his son about growing up and becoming your own person… started off with a brief intro to Middle Eastern history but got into questions/thoughts that may be common for any parent to share with their children about values and thinking for oneself, etc.

      Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was also an interesting black/white story based on growing up in South Africa but a lot of the issues parallel black/white American issues….

      Monster – Autobiography of Kody Scott – an LA Gang member and his life story was interesting to learn more about gangs and life in prison, etc.

      I'm on a biography and memoir kick… In Her Own Words – Ruth Bader Ginsburg was also good for her history and some womens rights issues from the 60s through today as well as her friendship with Scallia – wish more people could learn from the Supreme Court example that you can have differing opinions but still respect the person and seek common ground. Picked up Scallia Speaks bio but haven't read it yet.

  38. Doug

    I recommend that people who are looking for reading ideas get on Goodreads. It is a book-focused social network. I have found so many ideas there and had great discussions with other readers. I rarely purchase or start reading a book without first checking out the reviews on Goodreads.

  39. Max

    Hey Ramit –

    * "Dreamland" is better than "Hillbilly Elegy" – https://books.max-nova.com/dreamland/

    * "The Power of the Dog" is Game of Thrones set in the War on Drugs. Lots of great business strategy power-plays – https://books.max-nova.com/the-power-of-the-dog/

    * "The Power Broker" is hands-down the greatest book I have ever read. A detailed study of the precise actions Robert Moses took to become the behind-the-scenes ruler of New York City – https://books.max-nova.com/the-power-broker/

  40. Mark

    No Seth Godin books on the list? Interesting….

  41. David Locker

    How and when do you make time to read? I've read about others reading habits. What is yours?

  42. Theresa

    Shocked, SHOCKED I say, that you and the other commenters haven't discussed the one best thing in the world: the library.

    (Which is where I got your book last month.)

    I know you're all about the Big Wins and adding to your income, but surely a way to save thousands of dollars a year – which you teach with your tips on how to call your insurance company/cable provider – is worth mentioning.

    Say a book is around $15 and you read 70-80 a year like I do (#humblebrag) – that's over $1,000 every year that you could use for other things. Like, I dunno – index funds. These days you can even check out e-books.

    Not to mention that keeping circulation numbers up helps libraries to stay open for your fellow citizens to use.

    Win-win.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Thank you for the comment about libraries! I'm a huge fan of anything that gets more people to read. I love public libraries and grew up spending hours and hours every week in them. Libraries are great. Bookstores are great. Anywhere you can read more is great.

    • Jen

      The best part is libraries have ebooks now, so that makes it even faster to get free books

  43. Stu

    Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

    http://a.co/1jol1dt

  44. Kyle Nelson

    The craving mind by Judson Brewer.

    https://www.amazon.com/Craving-Mind-Cigarettes-Smartphones-Hooked/dp/0300223242

    It's a fantastic book on behavioral change and what we can do to lower the power of addiction to stimulus.

  45. Tobias

    Thanks for the list!

    I recommend "The Goal" by Eli Goldratt. It's about zeroing in on the one constraint that's holding you back from success at any given time, and breaking the constraint. I think you'll find it resonates with your message of getting out of "marketing tactical hell" and focussing on the few actions that will lead to big wins.

    • Priya

      All Goldratt book's are a Gem !!

  46. KK

    Ramit,

    Read these 2 books:
    — Living with a Seal
    — Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

    You'll enjoy them!!

  47. Jarkko Oksanen

    Absolutely something not so serious:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-first-comedy-book-for-the-startup-community-comics-technology

  48. Martin

    Principles, Ray Dalio.

  49. Abinadi Ayerdis

    I have a category 4. Miscellaneous book recommendation: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Book 1 of the Mistborn series) because who doesn't love fantasy books with a hard magic system? Read it and thank me later.

  50. Bree

    The Gift of Fear is hands down the best book I've ever read.

    I just finished Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte and found it really interesting and helpful as I strive to create a better and more family-friendly work environment for employees.

  51. Matt

    I just finished this book and loved it:
    How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
    https://www.amazon.com/How-Filthy-Rich-Rising-Asia/dp/1594632332

    It's fiction, but pokes fun of "how-to" books. Fun & easy read…

    • peachfront

      I loved "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia"!!! Great book…

      I think I've read most of Ramit's suggestions but maybe an older one that is helpful could be "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins. Also I don't think I saw, "David and Goliath" by Malcolm Gladwell, that's an inspiring read.

  52. Mike

    Great list!

    My only comment is that you could add some authors from across the pond even though I don't have specific tips.

  53. Lily

    U-turn by Bruce Grierson. Had a huge impact in my life and helped me during my Aha! Moment.

    U-Turn by Bruce Grierson
    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/u-turn/id537180254?mt=11

  54. Jennifer

    Hi Ramit,
    One of the most useful books I've ever read is "The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy" by Irvin Yalom. It's written as a textbook for therapists, but it applies to anyone who works with groups anywhere (so, all of us who don't work in isolation). Since you run a massive group of online followers and seem to be very astute in psychological topics, you might find it an interesting foundational view of group behavior.

  55. Joshua Nichols

    These books are great reads! Haven’t read em all but two to three I have read and they’ve inspired to write my own book! I published on the 12th of October and so far people are really enjoying it! I still can’t believe I actually did what I said I was going to do and I can’t wait to start my next one but Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1549941933/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509721622&sr=1-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Big+Homie+Wisdom&dpPl=1&dpID=41Lo7OINtsL&ref=plSrch

  56. Adam

    Miscellaneous: SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson. Non-fiction, incredible writing, depth of characters and clever problem-solving.

    • Ryan Stephens

      Will 2nd this recommendation. Came highly recommended by two of the most prolific readers I know: Ryan Holiday and Patrick OShaughnessy. I know/care less about diving than you ever could about sports and I couldn't put it down. The best narrative non-fiction book I've ever read.

  57. Adam

    https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Divers-Adventure-Americans-Everything/dp/B0073XM2SK/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3VJJ5D87GB8YEZDNB8ET

  58. Diana Keeler

    You can do better. Here are 50 I recommend. I'm a novelist. And a good one. Let me know when you're ready for more.

    Blindness by Jose Saramago

    Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada

    A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous

    The Truce by Primo Levi

    The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

    The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

    The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adechie

    My Traitor's Heart by Riaan Malan

    Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

    Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

    The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer

    Amsterdam by Russell Shorto

    A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

    For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

    Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

    West With the Night by Beryl Markham

    Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger

    When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin

    Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje

    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

    Atonement by Ian McEwan

    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    • peachfront

      Diane's list is amazing. I might add "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson.

      I feel like many of these novels have insights into human nature that would be hard to express in logic or numbers or nonfiction discussion.

    • Bonnie

      I loved A Woman in Berlin. It’s a memoir from a German woman when WW2 ended and the Russians entered Berlin.
      A very intelligent and articulate woman who was a journalist before the war, she talks about learning to survive amongst the chaos that ensued. Learning how to understand the psychology of the young peasants that constituted the bulk of the Russian army so as not to be raped all the time. Learning to make tough real politik choices.
      It’s an amazing book and a great lesson for anyone wanting to step up their game. I think you would love it, Ramit.

    • Eky

      Americanah is everything!. great book.

  59. Chris

    Currently reading “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams. Super interesting look at persuasion and at how we perceive our reality.

    Thanks for the list Ramit, I’ll definitely check out The red circle (I’m fascinated by the whole Navy Seal mindset and outlook on life since I’ve known about Mark Divine and his material through The Brain Trust…).

  60. Alex

    The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holliday

  61. Joe

    Jimmy Carter's Autobiography. He went from peanut farmer to president and tons of experiences in between obviously.

  62. Tim Taylor

    Here's a few novels that I'll never forget:

    Let the Great World Spin by Collum McCann (great novel set in New York in the 70's)

    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

    Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer (actually a memoir and really, really good)

    A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

    • Dane Gomez

      A Long Way Down is fantastic. Even better as audiobook! Nick Hornby has a sharp wit and keen insight into people. The Polysyllabic Spree is his book about trying to tackle a massive reading backlog (from classics like Dickens to books on quitting smoking) with misadventures along the way. Ramit might be able to write a book like that with all these recommendations 🙂

  63. Ben Threinen

    Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

    While it doesn't neatly fit into any of your categories, the content is certainly interesting, and it relates to the propaganda theme of some of the other books on your list. You may or may not be interested in the governmental policy aspect of it, but it's certainly worth the read imo, as it will certainly inform your eating/drinking decisions.

  64. venu

    Great list! I would recommend Lyrical and critical essays by Albert Camus. The mix of philosophy and travel writing in the book is inspiring.

  65. Jordan

    Thanks for sharing Ramit!
    I'll definitely look into some of these!

    I enjoyed "The Power of Broke" by Daymond John and I know he just release a new book.

    Also, one that I'm currently reading is a day a page book called "The Daily Stoic" by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

  66. Heather

    "You Are a Badass"
    "The Last Lecture"
    "Never Eat Lunch Alone"
    "The Glass Castle"

  67. Becky

    My recommendations: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin – really insightful on how different minds/personalities can structure their environment to be successful – finding out what works for you. (Ramit – my guess is that you are a Questioner!). Thanks for the list – looking forward to checking out Bringing Up Bebe and Losing the Signal!

    • Ramit Sethi

      Good book! Gretchen was one of our keynote speakers at <a href="http://forefrontevent.com/">Forefront</a>. I'm an Upholder!

    • Kwin

      I discovered Gretchen thanks to Forefront and her latest, The Four Tendencies, blew my mind and changed my life in ways that continue to surprise me. I suspect this is more true of rebels than the other tendencies, and I STRONGLY recommend taking the quiz on her website and getting this book if you are a rebel.

  68. John Childs

    Good list. Ray Dalio's Principles is a must read.

  69. JD

    Love mastery by George Leonard:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mastery-Keys-Success-Long-Term-Fulfillment-ebook/dp/B01ND0X91Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509726453&sr=8-1&keywords=mastery+george+leonard

  70. Nicholette Lambert

    I strongly recommend Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham. Totally changed how I parent. The People Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman is amazing for understanding people’s personalities and what drives them. I also recommend the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. It’s the book for understanding what communicates love to you and how others communicate love. Also, Ramit you have talked about reading relationship and parenting books before you need them. I know you are getting married and want to have kids so I am telling to read books about childbirth RIGHT NOW. I did this before I got pregnant and it helped me avoid a lot of terrible experiences that my friends had. If you’re having a baby in the US, understand that our maternity care is broken and we have the highest rate of infant and maternal mortality of any developed nation. I recommend reading Pushed by Jennifer Block and Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Robert A. Bradley. I recommend Husband Coached Childbirth to everyone whether they are having a natural birth or not because it explains childbirth as a biological process so freaking well and has tactics and strategies for how men can advocate for their partner in labor. If you don’t know what’s normal for birth, normal will look dangerous and dangerous will look normal.

  71. Sonja B.

    Love book lists and all the comments! Great Friday post, Ramit!

    I'm reading Thank you for Being Late and loving it. Talks about acceleration of change and seems like it should be a text book for living in the world right now. Teach Your Children Well is another book I love for parenting right now.

    I recently read Pound Foolish (Subtitle: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry). I thought it was really good. On a Dollar a Day is probably getting a little dated, but was interesting and Nickled and Dimed is a great book about the working poor.

  72. Verde

    Read Allies of Humanity by Marshall Vian Summers. You will not enjoy it, because it presents the most critical challenge for the individual and the world today. Requires very open, free mind. Very important book.

  73. Jean de Brébeuf

    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
    by Jonathan Haidt, a renown social psychologist, presently teaching at NYU's Stern School of Business. [Author bio: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/faculty/bio/jonathan-haidt]

    About the book: Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Mind-Divided-Politics-Religion/dp/0307455777

    Whet your appetite with Haidt's eye-opening piece about coddled college students, featured on the cover of the Atlantic (He's presently writing a new book about this phenomenon):https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

  74. darryl

    Hey Ramit, great list.

    Two of my favorite books and quick reviews –

    Simplify by Richard Koch: What do Ikea, Mcdonalds, Apple, and Uber have in common? The fact that they're simplifiers. People inherently like to keep things simple, and Richard Koch talks about the two ways companies can go about simplifying that massively grow their businesses. It's such a huge paradigm shift, and certainly one that you won't find in typical direct marketing philosophies.

    https://www.amazon.com/Simplify-Best-Businesses-World-Succeed-ebook/dp/B01KEL4G4K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509726261&sr=8-1&keywords=simplify+richard+koch

    Speaking of direct marketing…

    My other favorite is Perry Marshall's 80/20 Sales And Marketing book.

    What I love about Perry Marshall is that he focuses on teaching principles that last decades instead of tactics that last weeks. Plus the fact that even though he's a "marketing guru", he's done substantial work in engineering and biology – staying outside of the "internet marketing bubble" that you hate. If I went back to when I first started writing copy and learning marketing, I'd tell myself to read this book 5 times over, plus the classics that you have on your list.

    https://www.amazon.com/80-20-Sales-Marketing-Definitive-ebook/dp/B00CGNRVHE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509726602&sr=1-1&keywords=80%2F20+sales+and+marketing

    Cheers!

  75. Bjorgvin Benediktsson

    I've read quite a few of those books, both of yours obviously, and I love that you included Hillbilly Elegy. I tore through that book on my Alaskan tour last year and became quite the antisocial bassplayer…

    Here are some additional suggestions.

    The Go Giver

    This is a short read packed with great guiding principles on how to be a successful business person. It’s one of those books I buy, read, and then give to somebody I think should read it. I re-read it annually on Graham Cochrane's birthday because he inspired me to read it the first time.

    10% Happier

    A very interesting read about one man’s introduction to meditation and mindfulness. I only mediate 10 minutes a day but it’s been crucial in keeping me sane. This book helped me make it a habit.

    The War of Art

    I want to call this the blue-collar method to creativity. Basically, you just focus on doing the work as a habit and a ritual every day. Once you’ve finished a project you get up the next day and start a new one. Probably similar to the Power of Habit.

    How to Talk to Anyone

    I think this one is a better, more modern version of How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s basically like if somebody updated Carnegie’s book for the new generation.

    I’m Not for Everyone. Neither Are You.

    I love this book. It’s a really easy read (with a foreword by Steven Pressfield!) but it encapsulates why it’s pointless to try to please everyone all the time(I'm sure you can relate :). I have my thing and I know there’s an audience that likes what I’m about. It’s actually quite pointless of me to try to go after those who won’t ever like me no matter what I do. Best to stick with what I’m good at, being lovingly abrasive and direct.

    Other notable mentions that I don't have long descriptions for:
    -Leaders Eat Last
    -Disrupted
    -Unlocking Creativity
    -Non-Obvious
    -Perennial Seller
    -Hávamál (but you might prefer The Words of Odin: A New Rendering of Havamal for the Present Age edition)

    Cheers and have a great weekend,
    Björgvin

    • Bonnie

      Yes, the War of Art is the one I was going to suggest!

      It’s very different from the Power of Habits, though. While the latter discusses science, the former is poetic and highly persuasive.

      Written for writers and other artists or creatives, it talks you through identifying and overcoming your biggest enemy: Resistance. And gives you a glimpse of what it took for him to go from unpublished bum to successful author.

      It’s beautifully written, in short chapters, with few well-chosen words that sink deeply. It helped me through writing my own book and taught me how to turn pro.

  76. Daniel

    Ramit, I think you would appreciate The Dao of Capital, by Mark Spitznagel. I've read many investment books, and this is by far the best when it comes to integrating investment practice with sound economic logic. The detours into other subjects (e.g. Chinese philosophy) are enjoyable as well.

  77. Tiago

    Principles by Ray Dalio.

  78. JoeC

    PSYCHOLOGY: Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking – by Christopher Hadnagy
    DOPE TEDDY ROOSEVELT: River of Doubt – by Candice Millard

  79. Liz

    I love lists of books! Added a few here to my wish list and have read many.

    Here are some I've enjoyed recently:

    When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by R. Lowenstein
    A Gentleman in Moscow by A. Towels
    Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by E. Larson
    The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by J. Vaillant
    Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by A. Lamott
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by R. Skloot
    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by M. Manson
    My Life in France by J. Child

  80. Steven Goethner

    Thanks Ramit.

    I second Extreme Ownership. The other Navy Seal book that I liked too is The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens.

    Anything by John Maxwell for leadership development.

    I know Robert Kiyosaki can feel a little commercial these days but Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant were 2 eye opening books for me when they came out (I read them back when they were first published).

    And I was pleasantly surprised by Good to Great. Typically, I don't think much of professors who write books but this had a lot of real world depth. A Stanford connection for you.

  81. Meg

    I'd recommend Fiddler on the Subway, a collection of Gene Weingarten's best stories for the Washington Post. He's one of the best writers of our time. It's some psychology and some miscellaneous and all enjoyable and thoughtful.

  82. Kevin

    ***The Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes***

    We all know or met men who outwardly have success, but lead lives of quiet desperation. In this book Lewis deconstructs the masks men wear from the material mask, athletic max, sexual mask, and 6 others.

    – Eye opening stats to begin the book: 88% of all men commit homicides and men are 6x as likely as women to commit suicide & are less likely to seek help.

    – Profiles the difference between pursuing wealth from a scarcity perspective (Tai Lopez) vs abundance (Tony Robbins)

    – Profiles the deep rooted desire of approval through sex (needing sexual variety, multiple partners, etc) that expands on Neil Strauss' book The Truth (also recommended)

    – Considering Lewis has access to experts of all backgrounds with his podcast School of Greatness, it's a great balance of his personal story, qualitative anecdotes from experts, and supported research.

  83. David Barnett

    Hi Ramit

    Good list, although I've only read two of these so far. Really enjoy your posts – they've helped given me the confidence to give up my day job and go freelance recently.

    My last full time job was working for an agency doing social media analysis for Coca-Cola. As homework I bought "For God, Country & Coca-Cola" by Mark Pendergrast. Much to my surprise it turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. As well as being an incredibly in-depth history of the company it's also really a history of America and the growth of capitalism and is a very balanced account. Also lots about how Coca-Cola is the ideal business model etc.

    I think you would love it!

    One question – how do you fit in two books per week? Do you set aside specific times dedicated to reading or just fit it in when you can?

    Best regards

    David

  84. Akshay Nanavati

    Awesome list Ramit, thanks. I've read all the ones on the psychology list and am checking out some of your recommendations from the entrepreneurship list next. A few more I highly recommend:

    Peak by Anders Ericcson

    When bad things happen to good people (This one helped me out of some very dark times after the war) by Harold Kushner

    Total Recall by Arnold schwarzenegger

    The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal

    Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith

    Assault on Lake Casitas by Brad Alan Lewis

    And…

    Fearvana: The revolutionary science of how to turn fear into health, wealth and happiness – that one is mine 🙂 I feel very confident you would love it though and it would be my honor and pleasure to send you a copy if you like 🙂

  85. Marny

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? No books on spirituality, meditating, mind-body connection? Big Magic by the one and only Elizabeth Gilbert is a primer for all creatives. You gotta, gotta, gotta leave room for the muse.

  86. BLKvapour

    Hi Ramit, I would like to recommend "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien to you. This can go into section no.4.

  87. Ryan

    What's up Ramit,

    If you haven't read it already (and there's a fair chance you have), I've found myself recommending time and time again, most recently to a friend trying to address the issue of increased depression and suicide in Australian Fly in Fly out mining camps is "Tribe" by Sebastian Junger.

    He digs deep into the primal drivers that make human beings crave community and examines how we've insulated ourselves from it in the modern world. A lot of his insights come from studying the military too which seems to be your jam. After writing that out I think I'm going to read it again…

    Take it easy! And remember: The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    • Shane

      Totally agree. Came over just to recommend it.

  88. Alex

    Awesome list Ramit !👏

    One of my favourite books right now is Endurance by Alfred Lansing. It’s a true story, but you won’t believe it. Great story to think about when you’re going through a tough time.

  89. Jeff

    Hey Ramit,
    Great list! I've read a few and will check out some of these. "Habit" has been recommended to me so many times that I think someone's trying to tell me something.

    Here's a few recommendations for you:

    "Killer Brands" by Frank Lane. easy to read book by a master of brand creation

    "Convert! Desigining Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion" by Ben Hunt, which I'm on my second read in the past 3 months. useful guide to creating content for every stage of the buyer's journey. some of his advice has been covered elsewhere, but he definitely has his own contributions to this topic.

    "See You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar. no seriously. improve your attitude, set ambitious goals, and get to work!

    finally,
    "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman, because sometimes you have to remember to be unavoidably detained by the world

  90. Ella

    The Art of Money by Bari Tessler. It'll give you a different kind of approach to behavioral finance than your own. Not that there's anything wrong with yours!

  91. Nate

    Ramit, I know you're engaged, so here's a list of the top 5 books that will make you a kickass husband.

    • Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch – This book teaches you about how marriage is a "Human Growth Machine." It dives into the psychology of differentiation aka: how to be with someone and navigate the complex emotions of marriage while still maintaining your sense of individuality. It's amazing and fascinating and inspiring. It's a pretty heady book, so give yourself some time to digest it bit by bit.

    • The New Rules of Marriage by Terry Real – This book is a lighter read. It does a great job addressing the common pitfalls of modern-day love. Dr. Real provides practical and insightful advice on how to talk about issues that most couples avoid, and maneuver through the obstacles that most people get hung up on.

    • 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman – I know you're a man who likes to test things. John Gottman has done more modern-day marriage research than any human on the planet – 40 years. This book is based on the findings of his research and is SUPER interesting.

    • She Comes First by Ian Kerner – Most women can't experience an orgasm through traditional PiV intercourse. If you want to become the master of cunnilingus, the champion of the clitoris, this is your book. Your wife will be very happy you did.

    • Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel – I haven't read her new book, The State of Affairs yet, so I can't speak to it. But Mating in Captivity will help you have conversations about sex and your sexuality that you probably never thought to have. Esther has a gift for prose. It's easy to devour this book because it's so well-written, and informative.

  92. Jordan

    Relentless – Tim Grover (best sports/psychology/mindset book – from the man who trained MJ and other basketball greats.

    Win or Learn – John Kavanagh (Conor McGregor’s coach talks of the rise of his career and humble beginnings)

    The Magus – John Fowles (a simply amazing piece of literature with many twist and turns)

    Those are my top 3, enjoy!

    P.s. Oh yeah and Life In A Half Second – Matthew Michalewicz

  93. Dock Ellis

    Blue of Capricorn, Eugene Burdick

    I thought I could write until I read this…..painting word pictures galore and short stories that can be reread repeatedly. Masterpiece doesn't do it justice.

  94. Dave

    You'd really appreciate "The Attention Merchants" by Tim Wu. If you're not familiar with Tim, he's a Columbia Law Professor who writes occasionally for the NYT and teaches media, intellectual property and communications law. The book is a retrospective on businesses that commercially exploit our attention from the first one-cent paper in New York in 1833 through current ad-tech models (including Claude Hopkins and snake oil sales). It's well-written, engaging and a surprisingly breezy read.

  95. Rob

    The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs … about the relationships US Presidents (since Truman) have with their predecessors. Fascinating.

  96. Ryan Holmes

    The Carpenter – Jon Gordon

    Or any of his other books are also great. Energy Bus, Hard Hat, Power of Positive Leadership, etc.

  97. Silvia Chacon Crawford

    Hi Ramit,

    Thank you for sharing this list. It is awesome!

    These are my recommended books for you (all in Miscellaneous):

    – Just Kids – Patti Smith (about being an artist)
    – The Art of Seduction – Robert Greene (just a fun read)
    – The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod (another way to structure your day for success)

    Have a great weekend!
    S I L V I A

  98. Jay

    Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

  99. Michelle

    Psychology/Miscellaneous mostly…

    After Perfect: A Daughter's Memoir by Christina McDowell. I loved how she moved from blaming others to looking at herself. She went from 1% to….not. Coming from a super poor background (homeless at one point) and foster care system after my parents abandoned us kids, for me this book was more realistic about how to improve one's life vs. books like Hillbilly Elegy and Nickel and Dimed that can talk more about systems or environments and how to fix everything outside ourselves vs. changing what we individually can control.

    I was enthralled by The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt for weeks.

    Children: The Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs is the single best parenting book I've ever read and I use its philosophy and advice to this very day. I have four young kids and am probably only sane because of this book. The Adlerian parenting ideas have been updated with Jane Nelson's Positive Discipline series (which I also like, but recommend Dreikurs first).

    Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang was great! Learning about the schedules and systems of super productive historical figures was interesting, and with all the science and recommendations it was helpful to lay down some guilt about not being 100% productive all of the time. I learned its ok for me to need rest and listen to those signals. But then dig and get into flow once I have rest. 🙂

  100. Jim Jones

    "The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don't)". Stupid title, a legendary book on structuring your copy and answering the customers' mental question as they progress through your page…

    Specifically, the section on authentic testimonials – that will pay for itself.

  101. Priya

    Wonderful list Ramit. I don't know if you have read Eliyahu Goldratt..All his business novels are page turning thrillers while givings tons of unconventional yet most logical business advice. You can start with Goal series, or Choice, if you would like to get a more broad set of consulting case studies and scientist mindset that Goldratt recommends in business. I have loved $100 Startup of Chris Guillebeau for small entrepreneurs.

  102. Jeremy Gratil

    I HIGHLY recommend checking out The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson–it's raw, real, and one of the most thought-provoking reads of my life.

  103. Guillermo

    2 – Entrepreneurship

    Turn The Ship Around!, by Marquet
    Could not be that different from "It's your ship" though…
    "Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet.
    One day, Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.
    Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst t first in the fleet.
    No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier – and everyone is a leader."

    4 – Miscellaneous

    Diplomacy, by Kissinger
    "A brilliant, sweeping history of diplomacy that includes personal stories from the noted former Secretary of State, including his stunning reopening of relations with China." A story of diplomacy from ancient times to modern day.
    https://www.amazon.com/Diplomacy-Touchstone-Book-Henry-Kissinger/dp/0671510991/

    Empires in World History, by Jane Burbank
    "Empires–vast states of territories and peoples united by force and ambition–have dominated the political landscape for more than two millennia. Empires in World History departs from conventional European and nation-centered perspectives to take a remarkable look at how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper examine empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination–with an emphasis on how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations."
    https://www.amazon.com/Empires-World-History-Politics-Difference/dp/0691152365/

  104. Clovette M.

    Ramit, Thank you for sharing your list with us. Some of these I have. Many I don't.

    Here's a few equally impressive reads that may not be on your radar…yet.

    Anatomy of The Spirit by Caroline Myss
    The Art of Open Relating by Rakhem Seku
    The Wisdom of the Hebrew Alephbets by Mesorah Publications
    Your Word is Your Wand by Florence Shovel Shinn
    The Kyballion – Hermetic Principles

  105. Dave

    Excellent list. Have a good portion of them. Many I re-read often.

    My new favorite recommendation is "Never Split the Difference – Negotiating as if your life depended on it" By Chris Voss

    Excellent read with some fantastic negotiating tips. I have used some of the techniques to make some decent coin just in the few months since I have first read it. Can't beat that!

  106. matt

    2 books by Richard Bach
    Johnathan Livingston Seagul and Illusions
    both are read between the lines kind of books, easy to read, entertaining with a strong message and you come away feeling great
    there different than most of the list but short and sweet

  107. Levi

    Agree with all the Dalio-boosters on Principles Vol 1. Sure to go down as a classic.
    Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow is also truly vital.

  108. Matt Holladay

    I've been following this podcast (Guys We F*cked) for years and have gained incredible insights from their interviews. A lot of what they talk about is the psychology of your relationship with sex, yourself, and society.

    This book is for men, women, straight, gay, and everyone in between.

    https://smile.amazon.com/cked-Sexually-Explorative-Self-Confident-Screwed/dp/0349416044/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509726933&sr=8-1&keywords=fcked

    F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That's Screwed by Krystyna Hutchinson Corinne Fisher

  109. Douglas

    Thanks for sharing your books, Ramit. Sticking with your categories:

    1. Finance & Investment: Maybe not a true "investment book", but Seeking Wisdom, by Peter Bevelin is an important read for investors. I'm assuming you have read this next one, but everyone should read The Investment Answer, by Daniel Goldie and Gordon Murray (common sense investment advice that anyone can and should employ)

    2. Psychology: The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis. Anything by Michael Lewis is worth reading, and this book is no exception.

    3. Entrepreneurship: We hear lots of stories about Silicon Valley start-ups. For a different tale of entrepreneurship and perseverance, read American Steel, by Richard Preston (about how Nucor changed the steel industry). Ken Iverson's Plain Talk: Lessons from a Business Maverick is a good follow-on read.

    4. Misc.: No Great Mischief, by Alistair MacLeod. Simply the best work of fiction you have never read. The importance of family, authored by the best writer since Chekhov.

  110. Alex

    Big Potential (Shawn Achor's new book)

    https://www.amazon.com/Big-Potential-Transforming-Achievement-Well-Being/dp/1524761532/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509727654&sr=1-3&refinements=p_27%3AShawn+Achor&dpID=512uua3pgyL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

    Shop Class as Soulcraft (by Matthew Crawford)

    https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulcraft-Inquiry-Value/dp/0143117467

    Also, Brian Kurtz recently republished both Breakthrough Advertising and Brilliance Breakthrough and sold them directly to his email list for a fairly reasonable amount of money (compared to $1,000+).

    If you go to his site, sign up for his list, and reply to his email asking about the book I'm sure he'd let you know if there were any copies left. He seems like a very down-to-earth guy and has always been very pleasant and responsive whenever I've replied to one of his emails or asked him a question.

    https://www.briankurtz.me/

  111. mike

    Blind Spots by Madelieine L Ban Hecke

    The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

    Three Moves Ahead by Bob Rice

    • Mike

      Van Hecke not Ban Hecke <groan>

  112. Jen

    The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Giovanni – amazing book about the things going on in Syria, works well with your love of war/military narratives

    Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall – I bet you've already read it, but if you haven't, you'll love it. War, ways to improve yourself, research – it's awesome

  113. Polyana

    I love Rework: https://www.amazon.com/Rework-Jason-Fried/dp/0307463745

    It's a bit "old" now, but still relevant, I think – and I reread a few parts every time I get stuck or upset with my business' progress. It's really great for business owners or those who want to start a business, but aren't sure if they have the resources to start!

  114. Patrick Szalapski

    An absolute must-add is _Antifragile_ by Nasim Taleb. As a general approach to everything, it is better to build up systems that gain from chaos, rather than compensate or overcome it. Ramit, I'm sure you'll love it. If you give it a chance, I predict it will be on the next revision of the list of 50.

  115. Trevor Dimoff

    Ramit, you would enjoy reading “10 Minute Toughness” by Dr. Jason Selk, a sport psychologist who trains elite athletes in their mental game. He outlines an effective mental workout that anyone can do and only takes 10 minutes a day. I use it consistently!

    He adapted his methods for business in the follow up: “Executive Toughness” and “Organize Tomorrow Today” They are also great books, but start with 10 Minute Toughness it dives deepest into the mental game (and will help you focus your workouts!)

    I reviewed it on my songwriting website and explained how the mental workout can be adapted for musicians, songwriters and other non-athletes. Included my only amazon link on the website, because I wanted readers to take action, get their own copy of the book and take action with the mental workouts, instead of just reading the review:

    http://epicsongwriting.com/mental-toughness/

  116. Amanda Smith

    Love this list! I noticed there are a lot of military writers on your list. Why these books?

    My recommendations:

    Finance – The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre: How to rescue your child with a new family system of choosing, earning, and ownership. I read this while I was pregnant. Priorities.

    Psychology – Social Physics by Alex Pentland: How good ideas spread – the lessons from new science. This is a quick read about the psychology of starting a movement.

    Entrpreneurship – The War of Art and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

    Miscellaneous – Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. It’s about the author’s spiritual journey as a world champion athlete.

  117. KR

    You might like Debt: the First 5000 Years by David Graeber. It is a different perspective on debt and finance that will broaden your view. Everyone can find some insightful things and some things they strongly disagree with. People who write financial advice books can almost certainly find something they can use.

  118. Libby

    – "The Power of Moments," by Chip and Dan Heath – psychological examination of why some experiences have more impact on us than others
    – "Little Solders," by Lenora Chu – the true story of an American woman who put her kid in a Chinese public school in Shanghai
    – "The Boys in the Boat," by Daniel James Brown – the astounding true story of the 1936 US Olympic rowing team

  119. Ken Ragle

    Rammit, "Cash Flow Quadrant" by Robert Kyosaki, "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton, "Stirring It Up" Gary Hirshberg, EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey, Linchpin by Seth Godin. I was laid off on Tuesday (10/31) and am ready to start a new chapter: reflective and accountable for my role, and needed the kick in the ass to move on! So my current read for my time will be "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" by Marshall Goldsmith

  120. Arthur

    Donovan Campbell spoke to my grad school class shortly before his book (#48) came out about the lessons he learned and he believed they could be applied to business. It was an incredibly powerful talk. Tears were shed, by both Donovan and my classmates (and me).

  121. Harry

    I’m just getting into it this as well…

    So Good They Can’t Ignore You
    and
    Deep Work by Cal Newport

    Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

    • Dane Gomez

      Completely agree with the Cal Newport recommendations. Surprised these aren't already on the list as I'm somewhat sure that Ramit has referenced Newport at times.

      Many ideas Cal articulates are completely in line with Ramit's brand: Don't follow your passion, become excellent and passion will follow. Keep the calendar sacred and schedule EVERYTHING. Cal also explains systems of action to create quality work with intense focus.

      My most successful friends (and some of Ramit's most successful ZTL students) have read and lived Deep Work.

  122. Keith

    Fantastic list. I have read about 2/3 of them. Thank you Ramit

  123. Emily Shaules

    Hey Ramit,

    Great list, but I noticed there were only 7 female authors out of almost 60. One great one to add to the list is Sheryl O'Loughlin, the former CEO of Clif Bar who now heads up REBBL. Her book "Killing It: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart" is fantastic.

    Also, Diana Herself by Martha Beck. Every person I've recommended it to said it was life-changing.

  124. Catherine

    Most of my recs are already listed above, but I'll add a few.
    1. "The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now" by Meg Jay. The title is awful, but I found it to be incredibly helpful and thought-provoking when I read it several years ago, at the tail end of my 20s.
    2. "Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results" by Drew Boyd & Jacob Goldenberg. Some good thought experiments.
    3. "The High Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition" by Steven J. Spear. This (and "The Checklist Manifesto" which I loved but you already listed) are getting a ton of love within the DoD, where I work.

  125. Trevor

    Great list. Just bought 3 of your recommendations.

    Two book recommendations:
    Psychology:
    How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett. Provides a compelling case for the theory of constructive emotion and why Paul Ekman's facial expression research may be incorrect.

    Misc:
    You seem to like first-person military books and E.B. Sledge's With the Old Breed is a great first-person account of a private during WW2. It's an interesting contrast with Joker One, similar intense combat conditions only 60 years earlier but with the same honesty about the psychological impact of combat. Part of the HBO's miniseries, The Pacific, is based on this book.

  126. Robert

    Simple Life by Thom S. Rainer & Art Rainer-Written from a Christian perspective but a great book. It helped me and is helping me simplify me life.

    Anything by Dan Kennedy-A genius on marketing and getting a quick ROI

    Since I owned a furniture store in Florida for years, I quickly learned that 85%-90% of all buying decision were made by women. I bought all the books I could find on the subject. I recommend The Power of The Purse-Fara Warner; EVEolution-the 8 Truths of Marketing to Women.

    The Power of Intention-Wayne Dyer

    Anything by Jim Rohn

    52 Things Kids Need From a Dad-Jay Payleitner

    I have plenty more but that's all for now.

    PS Advice to people over 65: Read every day, write every day and thing (a lost art in America) everyday.

  127. Trebecca

    Read 'The Goal'. I found it on my Dad's bookshelf when I was in the 9th grade and loved it. It was required reading for him at Tuskegee University. "Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant – or it will be closed by corporate HQ, with hundreds of job losses. It takes a chance meeting with a professor from student days – Jonah – to help him break out of conventional ways of thinking to see what needs to be done. The story of Alex's fight to save his plant is more than compulsive reading. It contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas, which underline the Theory of Constraints (TOC), developed by Eli Goldratt."–Amazon summary

  128. Robert

    Learn to spell better everyday-this is for Robert from Robert

  129. Chris

    An American Hero – Philip Singerman
    The Challenger Sale – Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon
    The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
    Jack – Jack Welch
    Win – Frank Luntz
    Leadership and Self-Deception – The Arbinger Institute
    Execution – Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
    Psycho-cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz
    5 Levels of Leadership – John Maxwell
    How to Be Rich – J Paul Getty
    Mindhunter – John Douglas

  130. Arkamitra Roy

    The $12 million stuffed shark – Don Thompson
    Provenance – Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo
    Tall Poppyship – Ian Stephens with Roger Antony
    Son of Raw Fish – Don Maloney
    Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
    The Godfather – Mario Puzo
    The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – Bill Bryson
    Small Data – Martin Lindstrom
    Cashvertising – Drew Eric Whitman
    The Cult of the Luxury Brand – Radha Chadha and Paul Husband

  131. Terrance

    I recommend
    https://www.amazon.com/Denial-Death-Ernest-Becker/dp/0684832402

  132. Arkamitra Roy

    Obvious Adams – Robert Updegraff

  133. Kevin

    Psychology?

    A brand new book just came out by Chip and Dan Heath (the writers of the excellent books "Decisive", and "Switch"), that is called "The Power of Moments".

    Listen to this 5min audio excerpt, and you'll be hooked:
    http://heathbrothers.com/the-power-of-moments/

    • Mike M

      I can second this recommendation, "The Power of Moments" is a very worthy read. It gives some practical ideas about creating memorable
      moments in our lives & the lives of others we care about,
      . Also has interesting psychology research behind the ideas.

  134. Brian Schmitt

    I found Barking Up The Wrong Tree to be packed with useful/usable information. I listened to it on Audible, but was constantly rewinding to run and grab paper while I took notes. I ended up buying the hard copy because I knew it would be getting a lot of use as a reference book. https://www.amazon.com/Barking-Wrong-Tree-Surprising-Everything/dp/0062416049

  135. Mariko

    Some food-focused books with insight into why we, as a society, eat the way we do plus how we can eat differently to create a truly sustainable food system:
    – The Third Plate by Dan Barber
    – The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    – Cooked by Michael Pollan

    And one of the most entertaining memoirs ever:
    – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
    Just Bourdain's description of eating his first oyster was worth reading this memoir that launched him as celebrity.

    • Bonnie

      I love Michael Pollan. Not in any of this post’s categories but such good reads. Very documented, insightful, excellent prose: a great example for anyone aspiring to write well.

  136. Boukjan

    A great book from my favourite Swedish author:
    The Power Games by Henriuk Fexeus.
    A practical book on how to influence others in a positive way.

  137. Markus Siering

    The one book that I miss here that apparently no one has mentioned yet: Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". No summary or teasers needed. Just read it.

  138. Nishant Mehrotra

    Thanks for the Luxury Strategy recommendation Ramit. Lot's of good tips that I've found to be true with my own experiments with clients.

    Will help me running a small business that sells those products (pricey rugs).

    I've been also reading Insight By Tasha Eurich. I would categorize it in Psychology.

  139. Jordan

    In the theme of entrepreneurship, I recommend reading 'Chapter One' by Daniel Flynn.

  140. Evan

    Awesome list! Thank you, Ramit! I recommend Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, and Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Thanks again!

  141. Angela

    Positioning the Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout…still relevant over 30 years later. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy deserves a look too.

  142. Arkamitra Roy

    Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

  143. John Fawkes

    The Girls of Atomic City. It's the story of Oak Ridge, Tennesee, during the Manhattan Project, told through the eyes of women who worked there and had no idea what they were doing (refining Uranium for the A-bomb). Really interesting look at life on the home front in WW2, and how gender roles were rapidly changing at the time.

    • Dana

      Such a good book. Add Hidden Figures for a double feature.

  144. Energetic321

    Deep Survival – Who lives, who dies and why by Laurence Gonzales

    Never split the difference by Chris Voss

  145. Kate Athmer

    Thanks for the list Ramit. Just made 3 additions to my Amazon gift list because, while I'm not shy to buy them for myself when the stack gets low, I also find it very helpful to have a backlog of books to answer the "what do you want for X holiday" question 😉

    My suggestion for you is the book I wrote: Millennial Reboot. It's full of practical advice for millennials (or alternatively, a window for non-millennials to understand what many millennials have yet to learn). We referenced you as our favorite financial resource. If you (Ramit) send me your best mailing address, I'll send you a copy.

    Here's the link
    https://www.amazon.com/Millennial-Reboot-Generations-Playbook-Professional-ebook/dp/B01MXPMV9J/ref=sr_1_1

  146. Daniel

    "Gulag Archipelago" – aleksandr solzhenitsyn
    Psychologist Jordan Peterson describes this book as "a 200 page scream from the smartest person you'll ever know." (paraphrased)

  147. Glenn Wilson

    Anything by Nassim Taleb, but definitely Black Swan and Anti-fragile. I am sure the word iconoclast was invented just for him

    'Thinking, fast and slow' by Daniel Kahneman. Nobel Prize-winning thinking, but he explains it so clearly

    Regards
    Glenn

  148. Joe

    If you like investing books, you should definitely read antifragile by Nassim Nicolas Taleb (his other works The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness are good too. For more on psychology I would recommend Nudge by Sunnstein and Thaler and Misbehaving by Thaler.
    Also great reads are Presence by Amy Cuddy and The Upside of Stress by McGongall.
    You've already mentioned Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy that is a great read as is Focus by Daniel Goleman.
    Enjoy!

  149. Sean

    A few book suggestions for you Ramit…

    1. The Boys on the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Story of how nine working class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. True story.

    2. Bill Walsh: The Score Takes Care of Itself with Steve Jamison and Craig Walsh. The story of how Bill Walsh took his advanced leadership concepts and transformed the San Franciso 49ers from the worst franchise in sports to a legendary dynasty.

    3. Nature and Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. (His essay on self reliance is AMAZING). Emerson unburdened his young country of Europe’s traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own circumstances.

    And thank you for putting out such fanfuckingtastic material : )

  150. Celeste

    Books which women's unconscious beliefs due to cultural indoctrination and how to overcome them: "Prince Charming Isn't Coming" , "Secrets of Six-Figure Women" and most recently "Sacred Success". By Barbara Stanny, daughter of H&R Block founder who learned NOTHING from her father about finances because at the time, that was only for men. She learned it the hard way and has mastered it. Excellent

    • Celeste

      Should Read 'books which address women's unconscious beliefs'. And concious beliefs too.

    • Celeste

      Correction : the above should read 'books which address women's unconscious beliefs'.

  151. Jordan Smith

    I got a lot from "How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life", by Scott Adams. I know, some will say: "But Scott Adams very passionately supports Trump!!" I too disagree with his support for Trump, but there are still many valuable insights he has on goal setting and achievement and other daily life issues in this book. I'm going to start reading his newer book "Win Bigly", that's about the ways people like Trump can be so persuasive, very soon. I don't agree with the people who support Trump, and I know Scott Adams won't convince me to change my mind. But I want to know why those who disagree with me think what they do, and to apply some of the knowledge Scott Adams imparts in the parts of my life that have nothing directly to do with who I vote for.

  152. Jaquelyn Burton

    As was stated before Ray Dalio's book Principles is excellent! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12935037-principles

    I would also like to recommend Kevin Kelly's book The Inevitable
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27209431-the-inevitable

    for a short read, I would recommend "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be"
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/114737.It_s_Not_How_Good_You_Are_It_s_How_Good_You_Want_To_Be

    Happy reading and it's an excellent list!

  153. Chase

    American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
    by Nick Bilton

    Just listened to the audio book and found it fascinating. A very cool look into the guy who created it and the guys trying to stop him.

  154. Josh

    Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard Schwartz.

    A novel approach to psychology that we all basically have multiple personalities that bubble up under different events in life: during arguments, when things are going bad, when things are going good.
    These personalities lock us into certain behaviors that limit our potential in life (relationships, work, money, health, etc).

  155. Matthew

    Verbal Judo by George Thompson
    Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier
    The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

  156. David Walton

    Ramit, this book changed my life. And it is a compelling counter argument to the “self” help world. Which is why I’d be so interested in your thoughts/critique of it. Alan Watts is a brilliant writer/philosopher.

    “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts

  157. Eric

    I have 50 copies of high-performance habits by Brendon Burchard released this last September. Would be happy to send you one

  158. Wayne

    I just started reading Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler. It's pretty solid so far and free right now in the Amazon Prime library.

    Also available here: http://amzn.to/2hbwDNQ

  159. sharad

    Psychology: "Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain", "The Secret Teachings of Plants", "Not in His Image". This last one is the single-most important book I've ever read (and one of the few I've read three times).

  160. Terry

    Two books that I think are key:
    If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? – Alan Alda
    How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business – Douglas W. Hubbard

    The first one is a great book covering how to make sure you are effectivly communicating. Hint: Understanding you audience is key.

    The second one simplifies some complex theories on statistical analysis and understanding that you don't always have to measure to finite detail. If you don't know anything about the problem, even a little measurement can help steer you in the right direction.

  161. Christie

    " Life is so Good" by George Dawson. Memoir. At 98 years of age George decides to learn to read. As an African American child of the south he never had the opportunity. He shares his stories from his life as living as a family of sharecroppers, seeing a black man lynched, military service and years of hard labor. He had never heard of the Great Depression. He says his people were always that poor and they didn't notice. Yet, he has a love of life that warms me all over.

  162. max

    Awesome!

    I have read some of them…

    I'd add to your list:
    1. Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins (even if you hate Tony Robbins you should read this book… It can change your life)
    2. 1 Page Marketing Plan – Allan Dib (by far the most underhyped book I've seen so far… I've read tons of books on marketing but this is my favorite one)
    3. Adweek Copywriting Handbook – Jo Sugarman (my favorite copywriting book)

    This is a good list for your next 3 weeks…

    Cheers,
    Max

  163. Laura

    I just read Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth."

    I'm a skeptical of anyone presenting philosophy / spirituality as "fact," but the basic premise of the book is that we are more than the sum total of our parts and I kind of dig it!

  164. Kimberly

    Thanks, Ramit!

    Lots of great books here. I've read a lot of them, but there are some that are new to me, which is golden.

    Anything by Shawn Achor is worth reading, but I'm finding his newest, Big Potential, very interesting.

    Also, Admiral William H. McRaven's
    Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.

    Thanks again!

  165. Chad

    A couple of books by Gerald Weinberg:
    _The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully_
    _Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method_

    He's written several more — if you like these, check out the others.

  166. yousuf

    mistake were make , creativity, short investment

  167. Ben

    Three psychology recommendations from the last few years:

    The Knowledge Illusion by Steve Sloman and Philip Fernbach
    Why we think we know more than we do? Largely, because we don't notice the difference between what's in our brains and our "social minds"–information we can access through others. Quiz (from the book): How well do you know how a toilet works? (1-10). Now actually try to describe it. Did you include the water going from the tank down into the bowl? Do you know why it seems like there force pushing down–actually, it's "sucking" force, because of the u-shaped pipe. Now, how well do you think you really know? (1-10) Unless you happened to know all this, probably less certain than before. Really interesting implications for dealing with ignorant overconfidence (on any side of any issue) and persuading people who focus on whatever their tribe says (any of them!) but don't really understand.

    The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber
    Want to understand why reason fails, rather than just knowing a list of ways that it does, so that you can persuade people more effectively? It's because reason doesn't exist to get you to better answers in isolation–it's there to generate reasons to convince others. Explains lots of "irrationality" by showing what it's there for, rather than just calling it "irrational." Dense and empirical, but incredibly interesting and compelling

    Gaining Control by Robert Aunger and Valerie Curtis
    Want to look inside the black box of the brain to go beyond social and cognitive psychology to neuroscience and (to fill in the gaps and provide guidance while it develops) evolutionary psychology? A simple biological model of how we make decisions about behavior–explaining the biological basis for divisions between habitual actions (chewing), simple motivated behavior (eating unhealthy food when you feel hungry), and executive control (trying not to eat fatty foods when you're hungry) and implications for helping people change. Short, theoretical, but full of interesting implications to think through.

  168. Rebecca

    The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty – a fascinating read on Southern Culinary History

  169. Omar

    – CAPITAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY, by Thomas Piketty.
    What did Karl Marx, Adam Smith or John Maynard Keynes had in common? Besides proposing and developing economic theories and addressing wealth distribution, *none* of them had strong data to support their work. Thomas Piketty aims to provide an analysis based on 100+ of data to evaluate Economic theory. I am sure you will enjoy this, even being outside of the realm of finance. This is more of a scholarly book, in academic format, but worth the read. At the least, reading the introduction will be well worth the cost.

    – BEHAVE: The Biology of humans at our best and worst, by Robert Sapolsky.
    This is another kind of dense read, but so worth it. To get you in the mood, I recommend checking the TED talk about it (https://tinyurl.com/yak2vx26). It's fascinating to put together so many considerations regarding human behavior when looked through the lens of an amazing neuroscientist.

    – INCOGNITO: The secrets lives of the brain, by David Eagleman.
    This is a super fun read, by yet another amazing neuroscientist. It explores the brain with a great narrative. Thought-provoking in a very entertaining way.

    – THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, by Daniel Kahneman.
    A lengthy book about the way we think, written by a psychologist that had won the Nobel Prize in Economics. If you haven't read it, and that doesn't spark your interest, then nothing will.

    – THE SCIENCE DELUSION: freeing the spirit of inquiry, by Rupert Sheldrake.
    Whether you are an atheist and a dogmatic believer in science, or are a bit open-minded, this book will surely allow you to balance the limits of any extreme position when it comes to what we know and what we don't know, and how to better address the ways to explore the unknown, scientifically, not dogmatically.

    Finally, just as other commenters, I highly recommend the big sellers from 2017 like PRINCIPLES, by Ray Dalio and BLUE OCEAN SHIFT, by W. Chan Kim and Reneé Mauborgne.
    Also, *all* books by Robert Greene, Sam Harris and Nassim Taleb are remarkable.

    • C.J.

      I've been scrolling down for what seems like forever and your blurb is one of the best I've seen. Something about the number 4 and the substantive descriptors. Thinking, Fast and Slow appears no where else in the comments yet, and while I'm sure the quantity of books published in the name of Nobel Prize winners is astronomical and therefor not noteworthy as a qualifier, you still managed to make an irresistible appeal to read it. I do believe I'll be trying to snatch it up.

    • Omar

      I'm glad it caught your attention and will check it out C.J. I do believe it's worth the time. Besides the original content, just grasping the way the author (and his closest colleague) developed a way of thinking and exploring his own questions is very refreshing and illuminating. I hope you like it.

  170. ian

    Everybody Lies- Seth stephens Davidowitz.

    The Lucifer Effect- Phillip Zimbardo

  171. Wilman Villegas

    This book is my recommended (PSYCHOLOGY)

    The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do
    by Rapaille, Clotaire

    Thanks

  172. Yuanli Shentu

    Hi Ramit so here a rec out of the blue:

    The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

    It's a rare book that managed to explain String Theory and the forefront of modern physics in plain English! It takes you from the grandest universe to the sub-microscopic "strings."

    After reading this book I started to see this world differently. I mean, while humans (I being part of it) are routinely self-centered we a soooo freaking insignificant in this universe. The full history of humankind is like this last-second blip in the history of the Universe. Everybody, see the world in a grander view, please!

    And it's a great list! Got a lot of interesting books I wanted to read and ordered them!

    Have only read The Millionaire Next Door, it was a great read and changed my perspective on fortune/money and happiness, also got me out of this "get-rich-quick" pipe dream that many youngsters tend to have when I was young.

  173. Adam

    Hey Ramit,

    Thanks for sharing your book list. As an avid reader, I'm getting to the end of my backlog, so you've given me plenty to dig into.

    Here are a handful that transformed the way I look at work:
    Rework – Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

    Rework has short, pithy chapters that get down to the brass take of what it takes to run a business/department/team.

    Remote -Jason Fried and David Heinemeier
    Hansson

    Remote is about making remote work feasible. I used these techniques to drastically expand work-from-home for my entire team, despite management push-back. Guess what? We just dominated the past quarter because of the flexibility, quiet, and focused work we had from our remote locations. We all realized how big a distraction the office really was.

    Linchpin – Seth Godin

    In Linchpin, Seth shows you what it takes to become a transformative member of a company and shows managers how to cultivate and encourage the development of linchpins (rather than cogs) in their organization, rather than letting your employees outgrow you and leave like most talented, hard-working people do.

    Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations – David McAdams

    Game-Changer helps you realize that you can reframe every situation (personal or business) in the context of games being played and helps you realize how to not just play the game, but turn the tables by changing the game itself to rules by which you can win.

  174. Danny

    Let My People Go Surfing
    Candice Millard(River of Doubt, Destiny of the Republic, Hero of the Empire)
    Tribe
    Shoe Dog
    Code of the Extraordinary Mind
    The Truth
    Essentialism
    Anything You Want
    Smartcuts
    The Story of the Human Body

  175. Akbar R Muhammad

    Ramit,

    I loved When Breath Becomes Air. Awesome and one of the most thought-provoking book I have ever read! You will look at life totally different. Happy readings!

  176. Kevin

    Kids:

    First National bank of dad
    Smart money, smart kids by Dave Ramsey.

    Pf.
    Family, inc. unique perspective on pf. Wonky.
    The value of debt. also wonky.

    Business:
    Play bigger by al Ramadan. Recommended by techstars md.

  177. steve sims

    Not sure if you recall interviewing me but i now have a book out, can i send you a copy?

    Bluefishing – the art of making things happen

  178. Chris Bridges

    I've read about half of those this year…and several are on the to be read pile.

    Anything by Joe Sugarman would be a great addition

  179. Bob

    Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
    Awesome book taking the lessons learned on the battlefield and applying them to the boardroom.
    Great read, even better listen as the authors read their own audio-book. You can hear the passion and excitement in their voices and they recount their experiences in Iraq, then they apply it to situations many of us face on a daily basis in our own battlefields.

  180. John

    Read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less: Greg McKeown!

  181. Matthew C

    Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNabb, a military nonfiction book about a British SAS squad(their SEAL equivalent) behind enemy lines in Iraq during the Gulf War. They are discovered and have to flee and some, including the author, are captured and imprisoned and some are killed. It is an unbelievable story of personal human strength and is my go-to book recommendation.

  182. Shiva Bhaskar

    Definitely something by Seth Godin "All Marketers Are Liars" was one of my favorites. Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahenman should also be on there, and I'd say Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein as well (some overlap with Kahenman but both are great.

  183. Alessandro Olla

    This is a great list and while I see some known staples I see that I may be lacking some paperwork in some areas, will certainly adjust my "marketing" section using this list.

    Whenever I see some interest in human psychology, I always recommend Steven Pinker.
    Basically I believe there is a giant taboo today with "if anything is biologically innate or genes related, it means the racists have it right" so nobody dares to discuss behavioral psychology. They are missing out on practical knowledge of utmost importance for a marketer, expecially in your field where basically you develop products around universal human instincts.
    Bring yourself "The Blank Slate", "How the Mind Works" and "The Stuff of Thought".

    Just as some people with no financial background believe you only get rich by scamming people or being greedy, there is a similar sense that humans MUST be tabula rasa at birth or otherwise all hell would break lose.

    Since the pandora box is already opened I'll also recommend Jeffrey Miller's The Mating Mind: it's a brilliant exploration of the gap of every human behaviour non strictly survival-related and Darwin's theory. He won the ignobel prize by observing that strippers earn more in their most fertile week!

  184. Charli

    1. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

    2. Transforming Feminist Practice by Leela Fernandes

    3. Blindness by Jose Saramago

    4. Blood, Bread, and Roses, by Judy Grahn

    5. Creating a World the Works for All by Sharif Abdullah

    6. A Little Truth on Your Shirt by Sonya Renee Taylor

    7. N Search of H.E.R. by Lee Bennett

  185. Dan

    Trust me I'm lying
    Spy the lie
    The Now Habit
    David and Goliath (Gladwell)
    Sway (Brafman)
    Think Like A Freak (Levitt)

  186. Jonathan

    Love the list – I've read a number of these, many of them because you've recommended them before! Here are my recommendations, one for each of your 4 categories:

    Finance: Anti-Fragile by NN Taleb
    A number of other people mentioned this book. His series have had a massive impact on how I view most of life, even though they're focused on finance. Can't say that about most books in general. That's the most glowing short review I could give.

    Psychology: Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson
    I know you're not a sports guy, thankfully this book isn't about sports. This is the background behind how Phil Jackson developed the teamwork, leadership, and mental frameworks that allowed him to lead the best players in the NBA to eleven championships, the most any head coach has achieved in the league. It's rare that someone at the top of their profession ever passes on their wisdom – this is one of those gifts.

    Entrepreneurship: How to Get a Meeting With Anyone by Stu Heinecke
    As someone who's worked in sales and marketing for over a decade, this was the most thought provoking book I've read on connecting with important people in my life. Stu breaks down how he's connected with important people. He's done this so well that he's built an agency to help others do the same using his personal method. It's full of other's stories and ideas – like a greatest hits of how to connect with people in a way that's personal, well-received, and develops genuine relationships.

    Miscellaneous: Wool / Silo / Dust by Hugh Howey
    This series has you thinking deep about human behavior, psychology, authority, and invisible scripts. Set in a post apocalyptic world where it everyone is living in an underground silo with no way of leaving without dying minutes later, a few inhabitants start to wonder what's real and what's mythology. As the story unfolds you see how generations have lived (and died) because of these beliefs, and what they'll do when someone challenges them. So good it's too bad it's only 3 books!

    • Ramit Sethi

      Awesome recommendations! Thanks!

  187. Rob Schmidt

    Some older books that not many people talk about, but are still relevant, and some of my favorites:

    Competition Demystified (2005) – this one is dense but probably the best business book I've ever read. It cuts right to the heart of competitive strategy, which is to create barriers to entry. Surprisingly most other strategy books gloss over or completely ignore creating barriers. Probably because this is what gives business a bad rep (but also lots of profit).

    SPIN Selling (2000) – hands down the best book on sales backed by research. High pressure sales tactics only work in one time sales like mall kiosks. Any sale that requires a relationship will do better by taking a low pressure process based approach.

    Visionary Leadership by Burt Nanus (1992). Leadership can't exist without a vision. This book tells you how to create a compelling and unique vision, widely shared.

    High Output Management (1983) – The best management book hands down because it takes a systems approach to understanding and improving business processes.

    • Rob

      One other one worth mention here, despite the bad title:

      The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco. The punchline of this book is that no billionaire become a billionaire by using 401ks, IRAs, dollar cost averaging, or index funds. Index funds and diversification are how they STAY rich, but they get rich by starting scalable business systems. The title here is definitely deceptive but this is worth the time.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Questions people should ask:
      – Should people learn from billionaires or millionaires? Why?
      – How do most millionaires actually make their money?

    • Ramit Sethi

      Just bought a couple of these. Thank you, Rob.

  188. Arvid

    Recommendations from Ryan Holiday for essential reads about war
    http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/12/02/books-about-war/

  189. Dubravko

    Hi Ramit.

    First, about what I read from your list: I read the two books of yours. Both are great.

    Now, the books I recommend to you and everyone else:

    1. Keith Richards' autobiography, titled Life. It's a lot of fun, and you can learn much from it about many aspects of life. A great guy.

    2. Cosmos, by late Carl Sagan. A master piece. You can read it regardless of your age.

    3. In the end, I recommend you to go to MIT Opencourseware and watch Linear Algebra lectures by Gilbert Strang. I know people hate math, but this guy is really interesting. :-)))

    By the way, the Burton Malkiel book from your list is a great piece of work. Do read it.

    Best regards,

    D.

  190. Devon

    The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee.

    This book is a must for anyone who is in a serious relationship, getting married, getting remarried, getting divorced, is divorced, whose parents are divorced, whose parents are remarried, pretty much everyone in modern day America.

    It's the only long-term study done on divorce in America, and it is so profound that it took me 4 months to read because so many passages were so overwhelming that I (as a child of divorced parents and divorced myself) took days to internalize and recover.

    I confronted uncomfortable truths about my own relationship weaknesses (e.g. avoiding discussing unpleasant things because I "knew" it would be the first step towards breaking up). It explained so much of how my siblings and I all reacted differently to our parents' divorce. I cannot recommend this book enough to literally any person who is in or plans on being in a relationship.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Just bought it — thank you.

  191. Shane

    Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is one of those books you'll love while reading and still be thinking about 10 years later.

    Dan Ariely studies "behavioural economics," which is the field he created when he realized that people don't behave as if they understand economics at all. At a surface level, our decisions appear to be irrational most of the time. But they aren't.

    It's a book about how to truly understand people, whether they're your customers or your friends.

    • Peter

      That his most popular book (and for good reason) but The Truth About Dishonesty is his most useful. If you have Netflix, they did a good documentary that is basically the movie version of this book.

  192. Nathan

    I see that you have a few military (Navy Seal) books on your list. I have read a handful of them and my absolute favorite is:

    "Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown" by Eric Blehm.

    I laughed, cried, and then wanted to go conquer my next goal.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Never heard of this one. Thanks, Nathan.

  193. Phil A

    Off on a tangent from your inclination for military books..

    Countdown to Zero Day – Kim Zetter

    Opened my eyes about how exploit kits are trafficked and how governments can probe each other. Also works as a fast-paced detective story.

  194. Jan

    Dear Ramit and fellow followers,

    did you ever strive for success, but then you ended up unhappy when reaching your goals?
    A psychiatrist created this book about Happieness in cooperation with the Dalai Lama – it worked great for many people out there – including me 🙂

    "The Art of Happiness"

    Have fun reading – and far beyond!
    Best wishes from germany
    Jan

  195. Mich

    Along the lines of Bringing Up Bebe, French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon was a fascinating look at cultural differences around food and upbringing between French and American families. I found myself annoyed by AND rooting for the French all at the same time.

    On a different note, Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One was both informative and actionable while also being entertaining and inspirational. It put me on a path of learning and doing! It made me realize that it's not just career change and advancement that will make me happy and fulfilled. This book works at a personal level as well, to help you pivot to a place of fulfilment and satisfaction.

    Glad to see Setting the Table on your list. I think it's brilliant.

  196. Neil

    Not a business book but read check out American Pain.

  197. Elizabeth

    Move your DNA. By katy Bowman

  198. Bob

    Disturbing the Universe by Freeman Dyson – interesting view of science and its impact on the world.

  199. Jack

    I see quite a few recommendations for Principles by Ray Dalio and I think another worth one to add to the list is The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. You already have two of his books on here and the title is a bit misleading, while the book does talk a lot about cooking it also shows Tim's system for breaking down how to learn. I feel like that's something that is sorely missing for a lot of people. We all go through our respective school systems to learn the basics but progress is far more amazing once you figure out the best system for learning.

  200. Thomas

    Hello Ramit,

    Based on your "usual" topics I was a little bit surprised to see "The Gift of Fear" on your list. If you are interested in other books about self-protection I would recommend "Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected" by Rory Miller.

    (https://www.amazon.com/Facing-Violence-Unexpected-Rory-Miller/dp/1594392137)

    As I write this 280 reviews on amazon, 4.7 /5, only 5% below 4 stars. The author has no email-list, does almost zero marketing and in the end it's a niche topic, just to add some background to these numbers.

    Deep thoughts on a harsh topic combined with experience. Especially his thoughts on violence dynamics (which reasons/patterns may lead to violence) – are the best I've read on that topic.

    Would have never thought to recommend this type of topic to your list of books, but personal protection is a topic close to my heart and Gift of Fear + Facing Violence would be my first recommendations in this area – thus this comment.

  201. Selena

    Some great titles on this list. Here’s the three you’re missing:
    1. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future by Kevin Kelly — this book will change your framework of evaluating new technologies. It’s like discovering you can see infrared now.
    2. The 12$ Million Dollar stuffed shark by Don Thompson —fascinating view behind the scenes of the modern art market
    3. The black swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb — never have I seen probability and how it applies to life and society as a whole narrated in such an enjoyably readable manner

  202. Melissa

    Thanks Ramit, there are some great titles on there. My Dad made me read : "The Millionaire Next Door " and I am so glad I did

    The book of the year for me and my book club is:
    "Ten Ways to Destroy Your Child's Imagination" BY Anthony Esolen.
    You would love this book Ramit because it is a complete satire.
    It is the childhood we all wanted but failed to get, read it , learn, and spread the word : )

  203. Mario Depicolzuane

    The three latest books by Ryan Holiday: Ego Is The Enemy, The Obstacle Is The Way, Perennial Seller. In that order. If you need to pick one, Ego Is The Enemy, for sure.

  204. Gianni D'Alerta

    I created a goodreads shelf of all Ramit's books.
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/37322008?shelf=ramit

  205. Martin

    Hey Ramit! So enjoyed being at Forefront in Chicago and meeting you briefly at lunch on that Saturday!

    Here's my five recs you don't have on this list!

    The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz – game changer on personal responsibility and mindset
    The Way of the Peaceful Warrior (and its sequel books including The Journeys of Socrates) by Dan Millman – learning to let go of your mind and embrace the brilliance of today and now
    The Ultimate Introduction to NLP by Richard Bandler – if you don't know anything about NLP this is a fantastic resource and a super easy read
    There I Go Again by William Daniels – the memoir of the actor who played Mr Feeny, John Adams, and KITT on Knight Rider, it's a great look at the life of an incredibly talented actor who has had amazing longevity
    What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Dr Shad Helmstetter – the seminal title from the pioneer of the Self Talk concept and my mentor Shad Helmstetter, this book will make you more effective in managing yourself and communicating with others, guaranteed

    Enjoy!!

  206. Jeff King

    Great list, I'll be purchasing a number that have been on my "To Read" list like All Quiet on the Western Front and Playing to Win.

    One that I'd recommend is 'Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise' which comes from two researchers studying what goes into becoming an expert. It corrected some previous held beliefs about the 10,000 hour rule among others.

  207. Candace

    ASK by Ryan Levesque and The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani

  208. Cary Hokama

    Ramit,
    Since you thought Japan was dope and you told me (at Chicago FF) you're planning to go again, I'd recommend "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi Miyamoto. He was the greatest samurai who ever lived and his mastery of swordsmanship and undefeated battles showcases the direct analogies to mastering the strategies of business, life, and virtues.

    -Cary

  209. Heather

    The Myth of Human Supremacy, by Derrick Jensen

  210. Jeshan

    The first one that comes to mind is hands-down Cialdini's Pre-suasion. One of the most fantastic books I've read on psychology, I'm sure you will love it too. It's about the persuasion tactics that you use before you deliver the message.

    Other books I love:
    The 7 habits of highly effective people (most life-changing for me)
    The 5 elements of effective thinking (sweet little book about reasoning)
    Mastery by Robert Greene
    Finally, any or all of Cialdini books!

  211. Heidi

    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez . This book has my heart.

  212. Kelley

    I have suggested this to you before and will again. Kevin Hart’s autobiography. There is a reason he is as successful as he is and he lays it all out in this book. From a strict upbringing to bad relationships, bad life choices, and unending and relentless hustle. Please read this book.

  213. Nate

    This is a book that is more of a "How To" in the Psychology category. It WILL change any parents' life. It changed our lives and improved our family life immeasurably.

    It's called 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas Phelan. Some of the same principles also work on adults.

    I really can't recommend it enough for parents with young children. I've read it at least twice.

  214. Erick

    Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
    Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse

  215. Elizabeth

    Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
    How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert)

  216. Jon

    A few I really have enjoyed:

    – The three-part biography of Teddy Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
    – Kevin Fedarko – The Emerald Mile – about a speed run on a dory through the Grand Canyon
    – Robert Andrew Powell – This Love is Not For Cowards – about living in Juarez during the height of the violence and problems there

  217. Peter

    Some books I've found particularly good/helpful.

    The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey. The best all-around productivity book out there. Covers all of the big wins.

    The Drunkard's Walk – Leonard Mlodinow. A good read on how pervasive random luck can be (self-development is full of survivorship bias, Ramit's rigorous testing is one of the ways he stands out, not just showing how it worked for only him).

    A Mind For Numbers – Barbara Oakley. A book turned into a smash-hit (Free) Coursera class, its a great book on how humans learn and a great way to understand how to learn new things/tackle complex projects etc…

    Mate – Tucker Max, Geoffery Miller. The best dating/human sexuality book I've found. Very accessible (aimed at meathead young men). One of the rare books that has really changed how I see people/the world (its stunning how much of what we do really is aimed at improving our 'mate' value/social status). You can also listen to podcasts with the authors on MatingGrounds.com (no longer update), which are more indepth than the book (and free). This also answers the question "why are their no good men?" in a very eye opening way.

    The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman – A daily book of Stoic quotes. A very practical, versatile, non "spiritual" philosophy. Its important to keep yourself grounded because there is always more, nothing is guaranteed, and its easy to stay on the hedonic treadmill as miss the point of life.

  218. Kerry

    The Richest Man in Babylon

  219. Scott W

    In the range from Skills to Tactics to Strategies to Principles to Values to Philosophies, my general recommendations fall more on the latter end of the spectrum. Five books I recommend frequently are:

    "MORE MONEY THAN GOD: HEDGE FUND AND THE MAKING OF A NEW ELITE"
    by Sebastian Mallaby
    Fascinating history of the hedge fund industry and the thinking from which it arose.

    "THE MYSTERY OF CAPITAL: WHY CAPITALISM TRIUMPHS IN THE WEST AND FAILS EVERYWHERE ELSE"
    by Hernando Desoto
    Many "poor" people in "poor" countries have plenty of assets, but they struggle to turn assets into capital – the kind of capital that generates new wealth. De Soto asks and answers, "Why?" And while his perspective is more government/regulatory/political than business, many of his concepts have been extremely valuable in my own effectiveness working with and in businesses outside "the West".

    "THE SOUL OF MONEY: TRANSFORMING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY AND LIFE"
    by Lynne Twist
    Fundamentally about having a rich life. No amount of money can overcome unhealthy attitudes about money, so a rich life depends on more than just your bank account. From the cover: "…examining our attitudes towards money – earning it, spending it, and giving it away – can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity."

    "MONEY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE"
    by Jacob Needleman
    Fundamentally about the relationship between the quest for money and the quest for a rich life, starting with the idea of money as a tool to realize human potential. This is much more historical and philosophical than the above, and more sociology than psychology, so the ideas presented are different too.

    "CHANGE BY DESIGN: HOW DESIGN THINKING TRANSFORMS ORGANIZATIONS AND INSPIRES INNOVATION"
    by Tim Brown
    "Design thinking" is not about design, per se, but is, instead, an approach to thinking about, addressing, and working with others to solve problems and pursue opportunities. Whether the focus of your enterprise is launching new products, researching and solving scientific challenges, or effectively addressing climate change, "design thinking" is a way to infuse creativity and innovation into the DNA of your enterprise.

  220. Mike Voyevodskiy

    If you were to read ONE book, read this one:

    The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

  221. Hesham

    I can see how its possible to read 2 books a week and even 1 book a day with some software help. I find is lots of ideas and I feel overwhelmed and stop reading anything for weeks.

    How do you deal with so many ideas?. How do you make reading worth the time invested ?
    I can skim read and mark it to review if I decide its something I want to use. But I often forget about it.

  222. Sal

    Rramit do you have the actual books or do you read them using a gadget (kindle or kobo)?

  223. Dhaval Prajapati

    I have 3 recommendations:

    1) The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
    Being an Analyst by nature I'm always looking to make things more efficient. This book taught me that just because I did things well didn't make them important especially in business. It taught me to be efffective before I can be efficient.

    2) Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    Growing up in a traditional Indian household I prided myself on doing a lot especially when it came to business instead of focusing on essentials. This book taught me less is more. Also The philosophy in this book about how to value something you're looking to get rid of enabled me to make the tough decision to sell my business.

    3) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Caine
    After reading this I realized the difference between being shy and just being introverted. Also found the philosophy of managing people based on your personality to be useful in my business.

    • Mary

      I thought Quiet was really good for relationship insights… whether self, business or personal relationships with others… still working to get my husband to read to better discuss some of our both introverted but differently so styles/needs. Figured this was one likely to have already been read, but if not, could be insightful regardless of whether one is an introvert, extrovert, or situationally either/both…

  224. Brittany Hagedorn

    You should add Originals by Adam Grant, especially considering your audience. He explores the characteristics of individuals who have brought change to their industries and/or fields. It is a good study in how you can manage your life to promote creativity and sets realistic expectations for what originality really looks like (hint: hard work over the long haul is important).

    Also I'd be surprised if you haven't already read The Dip by Seth Godin. His business card says marketing, but I consider him a modern philosopher. Regardless of title, the book drove me to quit my high-paying job (where I was definitely in a "roundabout") and start my own company. Best decision I've made in my career.

    For cultural commentary, try Searching for Whitopia to hear the author's insights on what is driving the racial divisions in the USA.

    Also, bringing up Bebe and Checklist Manifesto are two of my favorite books, so I'm glad to see them on this list.

  225. Charlotte Chapman

    Looks like a good list of books. I've read #7, 15, 20 and 21 from your list. I'd recommend adding Jocko Willink’s books to your new list for recommended reading material.

  226. Mosik

    Wu tang Manual – The Rza

    A search in secret India – Paul Brunton

  227. De

    Here are some I read in the library and then bought:
    Younger (Sara Gottfried) if you like health books
    The End of Alzheimer's (Dale Bredesen) ditto
    Designing Your Life (Burnett and Evans)
    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up (Marie Condo)
    The Obstacle is the Way (Holiday)
    And other favorites:
    One Second After (Forstchen) Weirdly, I love post-apocalyptic novels, this is my favorite
    American Revolutions (Alan Taylor) not the history you learned in school
    Grit (Duckworth)
    Beartown, and A Man called Ove (Backman) novels
    Factory Man (Beth Macy) – goes well with Hillbilly Elegy

  228. Joy

    Thanks everybody – my goal for next year was to read more fiction but having just added 56 non-fiction titles to my wishlist I can see it's going to have to wait a while!

    Does anybody have any tips for how to get through books faster?

    My two additions (but I see they're both listed above already):
    Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse
    The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

    • Alibaba

      Audiobooks!

      Free- If you download Overdrive and sync up your library card to it, you can download a bunch of them and listen to them while commuting

      Paid- Audible

  229. Jay William Dugger

    I'll second Siegel, Goldratt, and Drucker as reading suggestions. I'll second a public library and inter-library loan as a source. Wyner's "Fluent Forever" isn't bad as a self-improvement manual.

    I recommend Vaclav Smil's 1999 "Energies" (ISBN:026219410), Daniel Yergin's 1992 "The Prize" (ISBN:0671799320), and David Friedman's 1989 "The Machinery of Freedom" (ISBN:0812690699). To cover both humor and fiction, I suggest Stanislaw Lem's 1985 "The Star Diaries" (ISBN:0156849054).

    Read old books. Put survivorship bias on your side.

    • Jay William Dugger

      Where are my manners?

      Thank you for asking my opinion, and thank you for posting this list.

      Happy reading!

  230. Stacy

    Two great short reads are 35 Dumb Things Well Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap by Maura Cullen and The Facts: Collection of Poems by Stacy St. Hilaire.

  231. Manuel Belled

    1. 7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey
    2. First things first – Stephen Covey
    3. The twelve steps of forgiveness – Paul Ferrini
    4. Work the system – Sam Carpenter
    5. Getting things done – David Allen
    6. Procrastinate on purpose – Rory Vaden
    7. Calm for life – Paul Wilson
    8. No! How one simple word can transform your life – Jana Kemp
    9. The power of a positive no – William Ury
    10. How to write and publish your own ebook – Joe Vitale
    11. The procrastinator's handbook – Rita Emmett

  232. Lee

    Ramit, I think you might interested to read this book: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. It is about a millionaire's money blueprint – mastering the inner game of wealth.

  233. C.J.

    I've only seen one comment decry the dearth of books on human spirituality, so I'll throw myself fully into her corner with a corresponding post. That we have souls, or that there is an "other" existence that is greater than a human being is an arguable point, true. Yet I think it's sufficient to turn on the local news each night for 2 weeks to sample the reality of life around oneself…sufficient to find that *something is wrong, badly wrong* in: our families, our schools, our cities, and our world. Many of us propose that there is a profound longing within the human person for meaning, belonging, & relationship that materialism & humanism cannot address; a longing that necessitates a serious examination of the possibilities to be found in authentic religion and human spirituality.

    Psychology:
    1. The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James
    Ah, yes. The father of American psychology. First published in 1902, this is James' attempt at 1.) examining the tendency for human civilizations to gravitate towards religious belief systems and 2.) explaining the forms of experience that these religious tendencies may assume. Increasingly relegated to private expression these days due to various hostile factors in secular life, it's that much more urgent for any psychology student to understand how and why humans find solace and meaning in religion. As a beginning point, this will always be highly relevant.

    Misc.
    1. Confessions – St. Augustine.
    4th Century AD. The first auto-biography. Ever. Lauded for its beautiful language, stylistic innovation, and heart-rending content, it is widely considered one of the greatest works of literature in the history of western civilization. Nothing to see here.

    2. The Four Loves – CS Lewis
    Humans fundamentally express themselves by loving in 4 ways. Lewis has a remarkable gift of speaking to adults as though they are children without being condescending. Simple, straight-forward, eloquent.

    3. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other – Sherry Turkle (Original publication: 2011)
    At the advent of the smart phone, this MIT professor (and best-selling author of the newer "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age) wanted to understand our mindset towards technology, and whether it fundamentally improves human life, or if it is rather causing serious, adverse consequences for our capacity to be healthy human beings. There is a prolonged detour into robotics that may have been better used as a separate book idea, but both collectively work in concert to elucidate that our connected ways ought not be adopted without careful consideration before, and deliberate reflection after.

    4.Telling True Stories: A NonFiction Writers' Guide – Misc (Nieman Foundation at Harvard University).
    What else is your sales approach than good copy and authentic story-telling? The accounts in this book will make you a better writer and probably a better salesman.

    Leadership/Psychology/Business:

    1. Judgment in Managerial Decision Making – Max H. Bazerman & Don Moore
    This is a university text book, and therefor is extremely dry. That said, it is extremely rich in case study analysis. This book is really useful as a tool to liberate the mind and put it on guard against the weaknesses of human finitude. When taken at a certain angle, it can legitimately make someone a better person, not just a better manager.
    Chapter titles include: Common Biases; Bounded Awareness; Motivational & Emotional Influences on Decision Making; The Escalation of Commitment; Making Rational Decisions in Negotiations; Negotiator Cognition…

    2. 1. The Go Giver – Bob Burg and John David Mann
    No analytics here, just short-and-sweet anecdotal point-making re: effective, fulfilling leadership. Possibly overly-idealistic. Possibly naive. Definitely worthwhile.

  234. Leia

    Ramit, thank you for the list; can't wait to check many of them out!

    I recommend Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud and John Townsend – it echos some of the things you've maintained over the years about people getting in their own way.

    The Urban Monk by Pedram Shojai was a good read too. It was more an overview of several concepts instead of digging deeply into one, but it was an interesting look at the pace of our lives and health.

  235. Tim

    Awesome list, Ramit. Unscripted by MJ Demarco. Very few books have shaken me quite like that book did.

    • CJ

      Could you explain more? Being shaken is a powerful testamonial, but the specifics of your experience would make this a more compelling recommendation.

  236. Stephanie

    Misc. — Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (and since it's a fast read, A Light in the Attic too)

    Second for Getting Things Done.

  237. Randy J

    I am a bit surprised that none of Seth Godin's books did not make the list. The Dip, Purple Cow and The Bootstrapper's Bible are must reads in my opinion but I think all of his books are.

    The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, Derek Siver's Marketing Guide, Smartcuts by Shane Snow, Deep Work by Cal Newport and this other one which I cannot think of the title are great ones too. I could probably add dozens more given the time to do so.

    While not in any of the categories above, Sapiens by Yuval Hurari is a book everyone should read to understand our species and how we became the way we are. I learned more in the first 100 pages of this book that I have in a long time. I tried to take notes and had to stop because the whole damn book is worth noting.

  238. Maryline David

    Hey Ramit, how about :
    "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George Clason
    Think & Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill
    The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
    The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
    Goals by Zig Ziglar
    Who Moved my Cheese?
    Go for the No by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton
    Law of Attraction
    Love is a Decision by Kiran David
    A Book of Threads by Kiran David

  239. Paul Davies

    Proust. It'll keep you occupied for a while and teach you about a ton of psychological things in a very beautiful way.

  240. Dilip Shaw

    The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

    by MJ DeMarco

    Its strange that this book is not in your list

    Read it Ramit

  241. Rachel

    In the realm of psychology:
    1- Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
    2- What Doctors Feel by Danielle Ofri
    3- Deep Work by Cal Newport
    4- So Good (they can't ignore you) by Cal Newport

  242. Rob

    Actionable Gamification by Yu-kai Chou. Looks pretty long but is easy to read through and has exercises to make it very practical as well. It is meant for business and how to use the psychology learned in decades, even centuries, of game design to other areas of business.

  243. Joanne Rudling

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She discusses how negative and uncreative group-thinking, brainstorming, Harvard Business School, open-plan offices, education can be. It's a life-changing book for introverts who think they are 'strange' for being who they are, and for business owners to get the most out of 'introverts' and their creativity.

  244. Jordan

    Hello Ramit,

    I like your sites very much ( since April 2017 ), extremely input, well written.

    I highly recommond following books to you from Stefan Merath ( Business / Entrepreneurship ) :

    1. "Der Weg zum erfolgreichen Unternehmer : Wie Sie und Ihr Unternehmen neue Dynamik gewinnen"
    https://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Stefan+Merath&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AStefan+Merath

    2. "Die Kunst, seine Kunden zu lieben : Neurostrategie für Unternehmer"
    https://www.amazon.de/Kunst-seine-Kunden-lieben-Neurostrategie%C2%AE/dp/386936176X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1509784667&sr=8-4&keywords=Stefan+Merath

    3. "Dein Wille geschehe : Führung für Unternehmer. Der Weg zu Selbstbestimmung und Freiheit"
    https://www.amazon.de/Dein-Wille-geschehe-Unternehmer-Selbstbestimmung/dp/3869367512/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509784762&sr=8-3&keywords=Stefan+Merath

    Unfortunately the books are not available in english.

    His Website > http://www.unternehmercoach.com

    For me the best entrepreneur / business books – with a few others – here in germany.
    Because he`s not a manager, who has never been an entrepreneur by himself.
    He`s an entrepreneur in the way that it means.
    And that`s a great difference …

    More books > Steven R. Covey ( div. ), Seth Godin ( div. ), Robert Kiyosaki ( div. ), Anthony Robbins ( div. ), Tim Ferriss ( div. ), Arnold Schwarzenegger ( div. ), Mark Divine ( Unbezwingbar wie ein Navy Seal ) , Rory Miller ( Meditations on Violence ).

  245. Silviu

    Hi Ramit and thanks for putting this out.
    I really recommend you Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb, The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. If you're into literature, try José Saramago.
    Really enjoyed The Power of Habit by Duhigg.
    Have a great weekend, man.

  246. Daniel

    I used to get pissed whenever someone mentioned spirituality. I even got kicked out of church for throwing a pen at the priest. When my life collapsed I would consider anything, even spirituality. I discovered that I been a dumbass that hadnt even got the slightest idea of what spirituality meant. Im still quite new to it but I already noticed shifts in my life and levels of peace I could never imagine before.

    There are several good Eckhart Tolle books where A New Earth is my favourite followed by The Power Of Now. If you want a quick read to see if you like him Stillness Speaks and Practicing The Power of Now are good options. A Return To Love is one of my all time favourite books that I read in a time where I thought I would rip my family to pieces during Christmas but the book switched my mind and energised me in a way I thought impossible, It turned out to be my best parental visit ever. If you like A Return To Love I think you need to dig into A Course In Miracles which is a beast but I think worth it.

    Those are the biggies I came across. Waking up with Sam Harriss is interesting especially if you are more logically minded and have a hard time relating to other spiritual books. The Unfettered Soul is also a good book similar to Eckhart Tolle.

  247. Steve Vinay Gunther

    Systemic thinking is what is lacking in the world – of both business, as well as family. So the best person to read is Bert Hellinger, developer of Family Constellations. You can start with his first book, Love's Hidden Symmetry. But you have to read it with a systemic frame of mind – otherwise he just sounds dogmatic and authoritarian. His insights into intergenerational family dynamics are the most profound I have come across in my 40+ years of practicing psychology, and changed my way of thinking.
    Robert Kegan has been developing his understanding and theory of meaning making and change in human life for 50 years. How the way we talk can change the way we work: seven languages for transformation is a fantastic book – very clear, and a distillation of much of his thinking to date, presented in a very practical framework.
    Its not on your list, so I assume you have not read Care of The Soul by Thomas Moore (the contemporary dude, not the medieval one). Its a very beautiful book, full of deep compassion, the notion of 'soul care', and another window on 'change' (be with what is, not with what 'could' be). His ideas resonate with existential philsophy (and psychology), but come from a Jungian perspective. His writing is accessible and delicious to read.
    I am not a Jungian, but I will mention another great book by one: Kinds of Power: A Guide to Its Intelligent Uses by James Hillman. Hillman is a fantastic writer, as well as a generator of many original psychological insights.
    While on the topic of power (ah, its the subject of my Phd), I will recommend two other excellent books. 1. The Right Use of Power by Cedar Barstow (a Hakomi teacher). She has spent 40 years developing this theme. The book is a summary of her framework of the ethical uses of power. 2. A book just out by Julie Diamond called Power: a Users Guide is a great summary of the contemporary research into power, and a succint presentation of 'what to do' with this knowledge.
    And…I am showing my age, but hey, this is a timeless classic as far as I am concerned – Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I read the book 6 times, savouring it each time. Its a great spiritual adventure story; a journey through through the eyes of a master yogi, describing a culture which is deeply rooted in the quest for mystical knowledge.
    Finally, theres the balm for those in pain (and a great help to me at difficult junctures in my life): When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. Theres only a few spiritual teachers I have much time for. She is one. Very grounded, very humble, and speaks directly to our brokenness.

  248. Ravi

    Hello sir and by the way i can't read even single book in my time so that's why i'm not looking for any book i want a work not book because i don't have time even to read and follow the step that are given in any book's so i can't follow the step that are giving in any book Yes i want to concentrate the "words and all" are given in the book's i mean THERE IS A TIME TO READ FREELY but once again i don't have that time to read and concentrate okay then
    sir i like your three books from the list of you'r
    1 THE SMARTEST INVESTMENT BOOK
    2 I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH
    3 THE BOGLEHEADS GUIDE TO INVESTING.

    thank's for the book's.

  249. Rollie

    Hello Ramit !

    If you want to read one of the best writer (novelist) of the last century, read Louis-Ferdinand Céline:

    You can start with this one: Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit, 1932).

    • Ramit Sethi

      Tell us why. Let's get specific.

  250. Matt Schouten

    Probably more than a bit different than your usual reading, Ramit. "Deep and Wide" by Andy Stanley. It's a look at the thinking and systems that have built and sustained North Point church in Atlanta, one of the biggest churches in the country. He gives away all of their "secret sauce" in the book.

  251. Tom

    An unknown but fun book… "No Brown M&Ms!:And Other Entrepreneurial Lessons from over 300 Legends of Rock & Roll" (only in Kindle). It provides a range of entrepreneurial advice from what rock stars did to reach success. It's part basic-intermediate entrepreneurship, part fun trivia, part rock history.
    http://a.co/dFmmxbH

    Also, I echo the others who are surprised that no Seth Godin book made the list. (Though all good, my preference is "The Dip.") http://a.co/bNwWCOi

    Last, I've listened a hundred times to Derek Sivers's "Anything You Want." I highly recommend the audio version because he narrates it himself and does a fantastic job.
    http://a.co/glydNdz

  252. Fred

    Thanks for sharing your list Ramit.

    At this stage you got quite a lot of suggestions to read for this week-end so here is one you can keep for the next weeks 🙂 I mean weekS because it is the kind of book you sip like a good Cognac, not swallow like a glass of water.

    The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, is an extraordinary journey into the brain and the universe. I know from your posts that you are not too much into spirituality but this book goes much beyond that, questioning you own perception of reality. This is just mind blowing so, as you say, if it can get you an idea "to challenge long-held beliefs you’ve always had", go for it !
    You can buy it in Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=holographic+universe

  253. Amber

    The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Changed my life.

    https://www.amazon.com/ONE-Thing-Surprisingly-Extraordinary-Results/dp/1885167776

    • Ramit Sethi

      How did it change your life? I'd love to hear some specifics!

  254. Sara T

    Uncommon Service by Francis Frei who teaches " we must dare to be bad in order to be great".

  255. Sara T

    Uncommon Service by Francis Frei who teaches us "we must dare to be bad in order to be great".

  256. Mandy

    Thanks for the recommendations… and the comments are awesome too! I also try to get through as many books as possible, and there are quite a few here that I've added to my list. The library suggestion was a good one – personally, I'm a fan of buying used books so I don't have to stress out about returning them.

    For many years, I said I was too busy to read… working full time, hustling on the side, mom of two, etc. A co-worker suggested audiobooks and pointed out that if you can train yourself to concentrate and listen at the 2.0x speed, you can get through twice as many books in the same amount of time. 🙂

    Here are a few of my favorites:

    Multigenerational finance:

    Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family–How Family Members and Their Advisers Preserve Human, Intellectual, and Financial Assets for Generations
    by James E. Hughes Jr. (he was featured in Jamie Johnson's documentary, "Born Rich")

    Seeds of Wealth, a Step-by-step Program to Help Young Children Begin to Build Wealth and Sound Money Habits From an Early Age
    by Justin Ford (I used this with my son, who just started college this year, and should be able to get a 4 year degree with almost no student loans.)

    Influence:
    Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
    by Chris Voss (former FBI hostage negotiator)

    Prioritization/getting stuff done:
    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
    by Cal Newport

    Leadership:
    Leaders Eat Last
    by Simon Sinek (eating last is a distinctly USMC leadership principle- being a career Naval officer with many friends who are Marines, I didn't expect Simon Sinek to effectively relate that unique practice to "regular life," but he did a FABULOUS job)

    I also loved Team of Teams by Stan McChrystal, but that could be due to the fact that I have been suffocated by the hierarchical structure of the military. It's probably more applicable to people who need to network to build a functional team.

    Currently reading:
    Principles- Life and Work by Ray Dalio (not sure what I think about it so far, but it's interesting)

  257. David

    I'll post two books that might be up Ramit's alley.

    These would fall under Psychology or Miscellaneous

    1. Leaders by Richard Nixon
    Ramit always speaks about top performers. Richard Nixon interacted with every major Post WW2 leader aside from Stalin. This book highlights the men that shaped the 20th century. The book is part biography, part memoir, and part philosophy. All in all, it's a great read.

    2. Let Our Children Go by Ted Patrick
    This book highlights the motivation and methods of Ted Patrick, a man that helped families rescue individuals from cults. The psychology and techniques in this book demonstrate the dark side of persuasion.

  258. Krista

    Thanks Ramit! My to-read list was getting short too, this list came just in time!

    I think you’ll really like:

    Contagious by Jonah Berger. It is a quick read, bur a fascinating look at what elements in a product/service/idea will cause it to go viral.

    Pre-Suasion by Robert Caildini. We all know that his book Influence is good, in this one he explores how what we say and do right before we try to influence someone can impact their decision.

    Thanks again!

  259. Susan

    Great list, thank you, Ramit. I've ready many of them, but was so thrilled to see "On Writing" in there. It's one of my favorite writing books, so full of practical and entertaining advice.
    A couple of other fun reads than can be viewed as psychology and marketing books, although they don't seem that way at first:
    Magic and Showmanship, by Henning Nelms;
    The Secret Lives of Color, by Kassia St. Clair, which details the history of colors, dyes and shades. Some of the facts about industry competition in the dye trades throughout history were really eye-opening. It's all about advertising and influence.

  260. michael bentivoglio

    The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, excellent for creativity in any capacity.
    Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim

    Also, check out @whatdavereads on instagram for excellent reading recommendations. Met him over instagram and just about every book he recommends is dynamite.

  261. Mor Orman

    The 14 Day Stress Cure–Best book on stress ever!

  262. Mike Canaday

    One of my favorite financial books is: Start Late Finish Rich, by David Bach.
    And one of my favorite WW2 POW books is: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.
    And a great adventure / survival book is: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing.
    Current read is amazing non-fiction story that has greatly affected medicine: The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks (about HeLa Cells), by Rebecca Skloot (Oprah Winfrey plays her daughter in the DVD movie).
    I highly recommend people to read all of the above books !!

  263. Tony Orvidas

    Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl
    About survival in a Nazi Death Camp and ultimate purpose of life

  264. Bran Beckett

    Derek Sivers has a great list of books to read here: https://sivers.org/book

    Working my way through all of the top rated books now and they're amazing.

  265. Anne Nylander

    Hi Ramit,

    I use pinterest for my book lists, seems like we have similar tastes in books. I'm excited to move some of yours from to-read to i've-read :).

    https://www.pinterest.com/afnylander/books-ive-read/

    This year, Evicted and The Sports Gene were some of my favorite reads.

  266. Ariana

    Under the miscellany category (nutrition and disease prevention):
    "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell

  267. Paul

    I suggest you read the following:

    1. The Wright Brothers – David McCullough
    2. Saving Capitalism – Robert Reich
    3. Defending Beef – Nicole Nimann
    4. A Higher Call – Adam Makos & Larry Alexander
    5. The Tinkerers – Alex Foege

  268. Tim

    Huh, looks a lot like my reading list!

    I'd add The Righteous Mind and A History of the World In 6 Glasses to that, along with Ben Franklins Letters From a Self-Made Merchant.

  269. johnboy

    The 5 books that had the biggest effect on me over the last year:

    Derren Brown – Happy
    Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens
    David Eagleman – Incognito
    Oliver Sacks – On The Move
    Neil Strauss – The Truth

  270. Jonathan Wallenberger

    Thank you sir. As far as I can tell, your free stuff actually is better than other people's paid stuff. I know it's a part of your story that you started learning your principles and techniques when you needed to do well on interviews for college scholarships. If you ever were to do a course for high school students on the college admissions process, I would sign my daughter up in a microsecond and recommend it to everyone I know.

    All that having been said, I highly recommend Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. If you can get past the 18th-century English, it is so up your alley!

  271. Jonathan Wallenberger

    PS a very interesting gentleman named Russ Roberts at the Hoover Institution recently published a very user-friendly book on Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and its contemporary relevance.

  272. Kate

    For a Stanford alum, I'm surprised you don't have Carol Dweck's Mindset on this list, or her protege Heidi Grant Halvorson's Succeed, which expands and builds on Dweck's work.

    Two more must-read works by psychologists — not at Stanford, but still doing really useful work — would include Grit by MacArthur Award winner Angela Duckworth and Gabriele Oettingen's Rethinking Positive Thinking.

    The theories each of these scientists are exploring and testing have been *invaluable* to me as I develop and master new skills, but almost as importantly, reading about their field studies — and the things I have in common with many of their test subjects — have made me feel significantly less alone and/or weird.

  273. Lou

    Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

  274. Ali

    Simplicity Parenting – hands down favorite parenting book so far

    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  275. David Rische

    Dear Ramit,

    Thank you for posting this list – now I'm backlogged even further with books I need to read 🙂 For military history/leadership – Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose impacted me more than the majority of leadership books I've read. My all-time favorite book is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren in regards as to why are we really here for this incredible journey. Thanks also for your generous spirit in how much you give away on your site and in emails.

    Sincerely,

    David Rische
    www.davidrische.com

  276. Debbie

    Recently finishing "The Simple Path to Wealth: Your roadmap to financial independence and a rich, free life" by JL Collins and thought it was quite good for beginners financial book. Also, would add "The Automatic Millionaire" by David Bach.

    For general life improvement would add The Big Book of AA or "How Al-Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics". Life changing for those that need it.

  277. Pam

    When Breath Becomes Air. It is a book about a neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with cancer towards the end of his training. At a time when he should be reaping the rewards of his hard work, he instead reflects on his life and the process and people that led him to this point.

  278. WTZ

    1. An Economist gets lunch : New rules for everyday foodies
    by Tyler Cowen

    2. The Genius of Birds
    by Jennifer Ackerman

    3. A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age
    by Daniel J. Levitin

    4. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future
    by Gretchen Bakke

    5. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
    by Joshua Foer

    6. The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
    by Leonard Mlodinow

    7. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
    by Dr. Dan Ariely

    8. How to write like Tolstoy : a journey into the minds of our greatest writers
    by Richard Cohen

    9. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
    by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD ** was already on your list… whoops

    10. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
    by Carlo Rovelli

    11. Black Box Thinking ** also on your list
    by Matthew Syed

    12. Guide to the Good life
    by Willian B Irvine

    13. Change your Thoughts, Change your mind
    by Dr Wayne W. Dyer

    14. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman
    by Richard P Feynman

    15. Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
    by Steven Johnson

    16. Lying
    by Sam Harris

    17. Proof: The Science of Booze
    by Adam Rogers

    18. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A collection of Zen and pre-Zen writings
    by Paul Rep

    19. How not to Die;
    by Michael Greger

    20. Never Split the Difference
    by Chris Voss

    21. Future Crimes
    by Marc Goodman

    22. Living with a SEAL
    by Jesse Itzler

    23. Relentless
    by Tim S. Grover

    24. A house in the Sky: A memoir
    by Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett

    25. Titanic Thompson: The Man who bet on everything
    by Kevin Cook

    26. Devil in the White City
    by Erik Larson

    27. The Massey Murder: a Maid, her master and the trial that shocked a country by Charlotte Gray

    28. Inside Scientology
    by Janet Reitman

    29. Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography
    by Charles R. Cross

  279. Mathew

    How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
    by Scott Adams
    The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
    by Gretchen Rubin
    Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
    by Angela Duckworth
    Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader
    by Herminia Ibarra
    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
    by Carol S. Dweck
    Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
    by Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordon
    If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy?
    by Raj Raghunathan
    Rejection Proof: 100 Days of Rejection, or How to Ask Anything of Anyone at Anytime
    by Jia Jiang

  280. Nam

    I'd recommend Cal Newport's Deep Work for anyone that works with ideas or is generally a knowledge worker. I'm finding the ideas invaluable as a student and as a programmer.

  281. Joel

    1) “The Most Important Thing” — which shows there are actually multiple “most important things” to consider when investing, and reasons we often get them wrong

    https://www.amazon.com/Most-Important-Thing-Uncommon-Thoughtful/dp/151138347X

    2) Not a book but rather a blog post on how to be both financially well off and HAPPY without making a ton of money
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/22/getting-rich-from-zero-to-hero-in-one-blog-post/

  282. AD

    Great list. Here are some I’d suggest:

    Relationships:
    Things I’d Wish I’d Known Before I got Married – good lessons on marriage and relationships
    The Five Love Languages – breaks down how people express love differently to help understand how to connect with one’s partner, family, etc.

    Finance/Investing:
    The Intelligent Investor – Investing classic from Warren Buffett’s mentor and founder of modern investment analysis, Ben Graham
    Hedge Fund Market Wizards – extensive interviews with many leading hedge fund investors
    Fooled by Randomness + Black Swan – a deep dive on probablity, the power law, and their impact on world events and investments
    Zero to One – Peter Thiel’s principles of startups and venture investing
    Money: Master the Game – Tony Robbins’ book on personal finance based on interviews with leading investors

    Marketing:
    22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – great book on marketing with longstanding principles

    Military/Leadership:
    Principles – autobiography and life principles from Ray Dalio
    Turn the Ship Around – story of how Capt David Marquette took a sub he wasn’t qualified to command from worst to first in the Pacific fleet in 6 months and with changing only one crew member
    About Face – autobiography of a top Colonel from the Vietnam war
    Beyond Band of Brothers – autobiography of Major Richard Winters the CO of Easy Company profiled in Band of Brothers book and movie
    Rogue Warrior – autobiography of the man who founded SEAL Team Six

  283. Parky

    Hey

    Yes there are few books you must read.
    1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    2. The republic (Plato)
    3. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawkins
    4. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    5. Flow by MIHALY Cskzentmihaly
    6. Fight Club by Chuck palhanuik
    7. Steal like an artist by Austin Klein

    Hope I helped 🙂

  284. Tobias

    Hi Ramit, thank you for this list! Awesome!

    PSYCHOLOGY

    Please check out this book:
    Peter K Elkus: The telling of our truths – the magic in great musical performance.

    Peter Elkus is an opera singer who teaches master classes helping singers on their path to mastery.

    What he discovered after years and years: What hinders most singers in expressing freely is fear stemming from experiences in early childhood (think of the poor little prodigy who just was never good enough for his parents).

    This book is a great tool to understand the crucial role of parental approval in a human's life and the consequences of its lack (even generations later).

    There also is a 10-minute youtube video that explains it in a nutshell.

    Best,
    Tobias

  285. Tobias

    PSYCHOLOGY:

    Rainer Zitelmann: Psychologie der Superreichen: Das verborgene Wissen der Vermögenselite
    (Psychology of the ultra wealthy: The hidden knowledge of the wealthy elite)

    This is not (yet?) available in English. Zitelmann interviewed 45 super wealthy Germans with a net worth of 7 and 8 figures to detect patterns in their psychology.

    Especially the second part features anonymised original excerpts from the interviews. Example of a nugget (paraphrasing here): When hearing a 'no' in a negotiation what they hear is 'give me a better reason why I should buy from you'.

  286. Florian Mänz

    Hello Ramit,
    Having read your inspiring list of the 50 books to read, I have to admit I only ever read one of them – all quiet on the western front was a have-to-read in german school too, obviously. Still, I managed to listen to two books in audio format, the four hour work week and the power of habit.
    Also, i would have loved to get the early birds pick of the underdogs guide, but my kindle was obviously not suited to the task so I had to leave it for the moment. It’s still on myth-read list, though.

    My recommendations for you would be
    1. Robert Greene – Mastery ; explains you how to become a master on your field of expertise and how to distinguish the real masters from wannabes and amateurs.

    2. Andy Mcnab and Kevin Dutton – the good psychopath’s guide to success ; Andy Mcnab was one of the marines fighting in the second Iraqi war, absolutely cold blooded, yet warm hearted, and psychologist Kevin Dutton explains how his behaviours can help in everyday life. A great, thrilling book with lots of war stories, scientific insights and valuable advice.

    3. Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzgerald – the art of social media. ; Insight on how to rule social media and use it for the growth of your persona and business

    4. Michael Port – Book yourself solid ; A more conservative way of making money than your favourite book, still very hands on with lots of practical tasks and exercises to home in on your goals.

    5. Terry Pratchett and Neill Gaiman – Good omens ; Not a serious book, just an extremely fun novel about the biblical apocalypse as described in the book of revelations , happening today, with the four riders of the apocalypse on motorcycles and tons of hilarious things going on. Alone the idea of the modern Famine owning a fast food chain deserves a prize.

    6. not yet published in English – I am busy helping with the translation at the moment (recommended also by Ben Greenfield and Ana Mangot)-
    Teemu Arina, Jaako Halmetoja and Olli Sovijärvi – The biohackers handbook. ; The Guide on how to improve your sleep, productivity, exercise, nutrition and overall life with the help of science, nature and technology. In-depth analysis of factors that influence our life deeply, and how we can use them to improve the quality and well-being of ourselves and others.

    I hope you have fun checking them out and am curious to hear your review on the answers your readers gave you.

    Greetings,
    Florian

  287. Bill H

    If you knew an asteroid was going to obliterate the Earth in a few decades, these other topics wouldn't matter so much.

    The asteroid is aging. No one survives. Unless we figure out how to stop it.

    Here's one step towards understanding it:

    Cracking the Aging Code, by Josh Mitteldorf and Dorion Sagan
    https://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Aging-Code-Science-Growing/dp/1250061709

  288. Martina

    Hey Rámit,

    Under the heading of "psychology" I would recommend "The Stress Test" by cognitive neuroscientist Professor Ian Robertson.

    He seeks to understand the Nietzche theory of "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger" by analysing the differences that separates those who flourish under pressure and those that crumble.

    It reveals how the right level of Challenge, and Stress can help people flourish. Very good, and interesting read.

  289. Carolyn

    What a great list; I've enjoyed a few of them and am adding to my to read list now!

    Here's a recent one I enjoyed (and it also made me a little uncomfortable):

    Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari- a foundation shaking look into the history of humankind that made me nostalgic for my cultural anthropology class in college (#nerd.) It has me questioning things I've held true and also looking more carefully at points of view I previously found remote and alien. Not a book for everyone, but if you’re open to looking at humans from different perspectives (he presents more than one at any given point) and want to critically examine the world, this book is a good launching point.

    Two books I think everyone should read:
    Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (I loved the Checklist Manifesto also)
    I was sitting in Panera, eating an asiago bagel in a booth and engrossed in this book when a couple in their 60s stopped to ask if I was enjoying it (this almost never happens to me.) They said it was amazing and recommended it to everyone and I have to say, I agree.

    When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi
    Another exploration of mortality, but in a (somewhat unfinished) memoir that explores what changes when you know you will die sooner than you thought.

  290. Dana

    Nice list. I too recommend Gretchen Rubin on Habits and The Four Tendencies.
    I didn't see Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by MacArthur Genius Angela Duckworth. Important read, especially for leaders and parents.

    Also the No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
    by Robert I Sutton (title speaks for itself)

    New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson (climate change novel about NYC: the new Venice) Sea levels 50 feet higher. One can appreciate the innovation required, as well as the resilience of New Yorkers.

  291. Leigh Baker

    If you're interested in $74 trillion in opportunity, Drawdown's list of 80 top solutions for drawing GHG out of the atmosphere can be read as an entrepreneurial shopping list.
    www.drawdown.org/solutions

  292. Candice

    One of my (new) favourite books I read this year was "Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be" by Steve Chandler. Well worth a read from a psychology/self-development point of view.

  293. Melanie

    The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp. Some of the ideas in her book are reflected in your work, to the point that I wonder if you haven't read it already. She's a choreographer, but she takes a strong personal-development approach in this book.

  294. Trey Roady

    Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist takes to the Streets by Venkatesh
    This one gives a really great scope into the social structure and economics behind why crime-ridden neighborhoods operate the way they do. What's particularly valuable is the respect for the people that he's interviewing. He's seeing their situation from their own perspective, and it gives you an idea of how individuals are doing the best with their own understanding and how things might be changed.

    Freeway Rick Ross: The Autobigraphy
    Similar to the above, but keep in mind that Rick Ross is essentially the king of black market business. While one part of it is really interesting in a sociological and historical level, it's really a great business book in understanding how Ross grew his business empire so fast and so far, and can largely be credited as the primary creator of the crack epidemic.

    The Information by Gleick
    This book is both incredibly engaging and a dense read. This is *really* useful to people who want to understand what role science and technology have in shaping our society. I find it useful in providing context for how new services and products can impact society and the economics of shifting markets.

  295. Al

    The Red Market by Scott Carney, about a global underworld where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market. Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, he breaks down the universe into an easy to understand format chapter by chapter. Everything All At Once by Bill Nye, his latest book.

  296. Al

    1. Extream Ownership – Jocko Willink
    2. Story Brand – Donald Miller
    3. The Creativity Code – Alex Gore

  297. Bernice G

    I recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey.

  298. Meenu

    1. The four agreements – Don Ruiz
    2. Cowspiracy – Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
    3. Deep work – Cal Newport

  299. Anthony C

    Read 'em and Reap by Joe Navarro (FBI Special Agent)

    Describes subconscious physical tells caused by the brain's limbic system for use at poker but can be used in sales and negotiations as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MAH74K/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  300. Eduardo

    Principles / Ray Dalio
    Hard thing about hard things / Ben Horowitz
    GRIT / Angela Duckworth

  301. Michael Taylor

    Pre-Suasion – Robert Chialdini
    Grit – Angela Duckworth
    The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Dr. Joseph Murphy
    Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

  302. Robyn G

    Games People Play is a classic, but still defining – like The Gift of Fear. I've recommended The Gift of Fear to so many people in so many difficult situations and no other book has addressed stalking in such a straightforward manner. Games People Play cuts through all of the white noise and changing theories in behavior to the basic "why" essence. It's brilliant in dealing with difficult people, whiners, bullies and (especially) people suffering from addiction.

  303. Maria

    The One Thing by Gary Keller is a must read.

  304. Dominic

    Hi Ramit,

    I'd recommend 1. The Art of Learning (Joshua Waitzkin) & 2. Better Than Before (Gretchen Rubin)

    Art of Learning – Joshua was a champion Chess player, had a mental breakdown & quit, then became a champion in Push Hands Tai Chi. He writes about the core strategies to becoming a champion and how they are the same for any learned skill.

    Better Than Before – Gretchen (whom I learned about from you Ramit) talks about how to use habits, her 4 tendencies framework of how to create and maintain habits, and, gives dozens of examples of interesting ways people have successfully changed their habits.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Art of Learning is amazing and Gretchen is very smart. Thanks for this comment!

  305. Jeffrey Boman

    My list of 50 categorized into Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Habits. http://highestlevel.com/bibliography/

  306. Padraic

    The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin

    The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey

  307. Rodrigo Santos

    I think most readers at IWT are in the same page. So, the majority of books I would suggest someone did. I will only call your attention to "Superconnect," from Greg Lockwood & Richard Koch.

    They make a interesting treatment about the "six degrees of separation" theory and a great case for their approach to networking, with examples and scientific research

  308. Max Chiossi

    I will definitely add many of those to my queue. Some of them I have already read.
    I would recommend author Cal Newport, in particular two of his books are very good:
    – "Deep Work"
    – "So Good They Can't Ignore You"

    • Ramit Sethi

      Cal and his books are awesome.

  309. Kayll

    Ramit, what would you say if I told you after learning about these Three Principles, you could throw away all of your self-help books? After learning about the Three Principles, I can't look at anything about psychology in the same way.

    Some key books in the field are:
    – Modello: A Story of Hope for the Inner City and Beyond: An Inside-Out Model of Prevention and Resiliency in Action by Jack Pransky. Amazing story how this simple understanding transformed this crime ridden neighborhood into a place people felt safe to call home.

    – The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationships – Anniversary Edition
    by George Pransky. The only relationship book I'll ever recommend.

    – One Thought Changes Everything by Mara Gleason The description may sound like woo woo garbage (since I know how much you **love** life coaches), but just read it.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I don't believe in learning 3 principles, I believe in learning them all.

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  311. Matt in UT

    It's been overdone, but Rich Dad/Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a great read/re-read just for the part about defining assets as money making and liabilities and money taking. It helped me see my house and car in a new light many years ago.

  312. Matteo Pezzi

    Since you're reading books about parenting, check out an excellent guide on how NOT to be a good parent:
    "Stories I tell myself. Growing up with Hunter S. Thompson" by Juan Thompson, HST's son.
    Knowing what to avoid is sometimes more important than knowing what to do.
    (And this comes from a die-hard HST fan)

  313. John Garvens

    Here are my top five recommendations:
    – The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian
    – The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    – Originals by Adam Grant
    – Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff
    – Mindset by Carol Dweck

  314. Chris

    In addition to books like Good to Great, Essentialism, Start with Why and the Millionaire Next Door that I read every year, I recently read and enjoyed The Triple Package which I didn't see on your list. It was an interesting read about both psychology and success linked to cultural groups.

    I think you'd enjoy it if you haven't read it yet.

  315. Kate DeMers

    I second "Spy the Lie". It's one of my favorite books: Three former CIA officers–among the world's foremost authorities on recognizing deceptive behavior–share their proven techniques for uncovering a lie.

    I especially love the scripts (your favorite!) in the Appendices for specific scenarios, including scripts to reveal infidelity and if your child is using drugs.

    There's a follow up book, "Get the Truth", which is also excellent: Get the Truth is a step-by-step guide that empowers readers to elicit the truth from others. It also chronicles the fascinating story of how the authors used a methodology Houston developed to elicit the truth in the counterterrorism and criminal investigation realms, and how these techniques can be applied to our daily lives.