The Best Books: Recommended Reading List


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


One Response to “The Best Books: Recommended Reading List”
  1. Samantha November 5, 2015

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