The Best Books: Recommended Reading List

[toc] I’ve read at least one book per week for 7 years now, and I’ve never missed a week frankly if I take the average consumption of books that I might have read so far. Recently, there are times when I have even touched down the habit of completely almost 2 books per week. I know that’s crazy, but I love books. This list is a snapshot of some of my favorite books in multiple categories. Some I have already read, some still to be read. I didn’t try to list every book I’ve ever read, because frankly I’ve read some real duds. Instead, I’ve listed the ones that made the most difference to me at critical junctures in my life. I’ve actually ranked the books here, not based on how great they are necessarily in terms of writing, but in terms of their impact on me personally. I hope you enjoy the list and share your own list with me on Facebook or Google+. I love hearing about good reads. Two closing thoughts: 1. Read. 2. Write things others want to read.

Personal Growth (Nonfiction)

The Charge by Brendon Burchard Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tsu Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Brandon The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson Self-Matters by Philip McGraw Group by Paul Solotaroff How Good People Make Tough Choices by Rushworth Kidder The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale Secrets for Success and Happiness by Og Mandino Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman The Art of Possibility by Ben Zander The Worry Cure by Robert Leahy The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama How to Practice by Dalai Lama Drive by Dan Pink Therapy for the Sane by Lou Marinoff Switch by Dan/Chip Heath Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey The Passion Test by Chris/Janet Attwood What Does it Mean to Be Human by Franck/Roze/Connolly The Success Principles by Jack Canfield Anyway by Kent Keith Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch / Jeffrey Zaslow It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong / Sally Jenkins The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert Willpower by Roy Baumeister / John Tierny Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Mastery by George Leonard

Personal Development (Parables/Fiction)

Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus (a children’s book, but a must-read) Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino Return of the Ragpicker by Og Mandino The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom Aleph by Paulo Coelho The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans For One More Day by Mitch Albom The Holy Man by Susan Trott


Satisfaction by Gregory Burns Mindsight by Dan Siegel How We Decide by Johan Lehrer Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel Amen Train Your Mind Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley Buyology by Martin Lindstrom The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge The Tell-Tale Brain by VS Ramachandran The Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman A Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor


The Holy Bible The Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tsu The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Your Sacred Self by Wayne Dyer 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent The Spiritual Life of Children by Robert Coles Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom The Best Spiritual Writing (released each year, all amazing)

Psychology (A little heavier reading than Self-help)

The Evolving Self by by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Intelligence Reframed by Howard Gardner Cognitive Psychology by Eysenck and Keane Handbook of Social Psychology by Fiske/Gilbert/Lindzey Leading Minds by Howard Gardner The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology by Lopez/Snyder Handbook of Personality Abnormal Psychology by Thomas/Cindy Bradbury Morality and Moral Controversies by John Arthur The Psychology of Attitudes edited Alice Eagly and Shelly Chaiken 50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology by Lilienfeld/Lynn/Ruscio/Beyerstein


Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman Collapse by Jared Diamond Join the Club by Tina Rosenberg Connected by Nicholas Christakis / James Fowler The Moral Intelligence of Children by Robert Coles The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Edward Hallowell Freakonomics by Steven Leviitt / Stephen Dubner The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman 1776 by David McCullough An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore Nutureshock by Po Bronson / Ashley Merryman


The China Study by Campbell/Lyman/Robbins Thrive by Brendan Brazier Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel Amen Clean by Alejandro Junger Staying Young by Mehmet Oz / Michael Roizen You: The Owner’s Manual by Mehmet Oz / Michael Roizen The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss Body for Life by Bill Phillips The Omnivore’s Dillema by Michael Pollan In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan


Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman Together by John Stewart / Carole Logan Understanding Family Communication by Yerby/buerkel/Bochner How Can I Get Through To You by Terrance Real Relationship Rescue by Phillip McGraw The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman


How to Argue and Win Every Time by Gerry Spence Artful Mediation by Bill Wilmot Beyond Reason by Roger Fisher / Daniel Shapiro Crucial Conversations by Patterson/Grenny/McMillan/Switzler That’s Not What I Meant by Deborah Tannen The Argument Culture by Deborah Tannen


Writing to Learn by William Zinsser The Substance of Style by Virginia Postrel Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

Quote Books

(The best thing I’ve done in my life is learn to read quote books like most people read fiction. I immerse myself in the brilliance of those who have gone before us, all summed up nicely in just a few lines of their best quotes. My faves below.) Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History edited by William Safire The Book of Positive Quotations edited by John Cook Great Secrets of the Universe: A Compendium of Caring Thought edited by Val J. Halamandaris The Forbes Book of Business Quotations Life 101 Quote Book edited by Peter McWilliams The Meaning of Life edited by Kinnier/Kernes/Tribbensee/Puymbroeck

Business – General

Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel Blue Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim / Renee Mauborgne The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink Be Excellent at Anything by Tony Schwarz The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker Overcoming Organizational Defenses: Facilitating Organizational Learning The Power of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz The Innovators Dillema by Clayton Christiansen The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham / Daniel Clifton Smart Choices by John Hammond / Ralph Keeney Imagine by Johan Lehrer The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley The Inspired Executive by Granville Toogod Great by Choice by Jim Collins Good to Great by Jim Collins Confidence by Rosabeth Moss Kanter Influence by Robert Cialdini New Ideas from Dead CEOs by Todd Burchholz Beyond Reengineering by Michael Hammer Delivering Happiness by Tony Tsieh Linchpin by Seth Godin The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell What Really Works by Nitin Nohria / William Joyce In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker Sway by Ori/Rom Brafman 5 Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner Theory in Practice by Chris Argyris and Donald Schon The Change Handbook edited by Holman/Devane/Cady Judgement by Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis Reasonate by Nancy Duarte Execution by Charan/Bossidy/Burck The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton Know-how by Ram Charan The Money Class by Suze Orman

Business – Marketing

The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard Made to Stick by Dan/Chip Heath Pyro Marketing by Greg Stielstra The Influentials by Ed Keller / John Berry My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy


Leadership for the Twenty-First Century by Joseph Rost Leadership by James MacGregor Burns On Leadership by John Gardner Credibility by James Kouzes / Barry Posner Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute Visionary Leadership by Burt Nanus The Leader’s Companion by J. Thomas Wren Stewardship by Peter Block Building Leaders by Jay Conger Insights on Leadership edited by Larry Spears Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey Nothing to Fear by Alan Axelrod When the Buck Stops with You by Alan Axelrod Coaching for Leadership by Goldsmith/Lyons/Freas Hesselbein on Leadership by Frances Hesselbein The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell The Leadership Engine by Noel Tichy Practicing Servant Leadership edited by Larry Spears / Michele Lawrence Learning to Lead by Jay Conger Values at Work by George Cheney The Organization of the Future edited by Hasselbein/Goldsmith/Beckhard The Responsibility Virus by Roger Martin The Power of Followership by Robert Kelley Leadership by Rudy Giuliani / Ken Kurson The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

End Notes

Whether you are an avid reader like myself, or you are just getting started incorporating the habit of reading one book a week. I truly recommend that you go through speed reading course early. Because this will not only allow you to accelerate your learning on different levels. But, also help you optimize your learning process by retaining more information over the long term. Here’s the list of Speed Reading courses that I recommend and had my personal experience with: Paul Scheele – Photo Reading Course Kwik Learning – Speed Reading, Memory & Brain Performance Training by Jim Kwik  ]]>


  1. Awesome habit to read one book in one week! I’m really impressed by your list and going to start reading some books about personal growth. Lots of people also recommended me What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson.
    Thanks a lot!

  2. Awesome habit to read one book in one week! I’m really impressed by your list and going to start reading some books about personal growth. Lots of people also recommended me What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson.
    Thanks a lot!

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