Some of these books (maybe all of them) will overlap with the “awesome books” page (but that’s a tough list to get on to). If that’s the case, this page essentially serves as a filter for your convenience. As always, every book listed I’ve personally read, and I’m open to suggestions for future reading. Thanks!
Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill, 320 pages. Widely considered one of the most influential books of all time, this is a classic that I really enjoyed reading and greatly benefited from. We’ve all been told that if we want to be rich we need to work hard, save money, invest it, and so on (and those things are extremely important!). But this book reminds us that it’s not just about those things. It’s about desire, too. It’s about training our minds to attract the things we want. It’s about focusing our thoughts on what’s important. It’s not just an act, either; it’s a lifestyle.
Awaken the Giant Within. Anthony Robbins, 544 pages. Tony Robbins is certainly not known for being concise, but I think this book is well worth the read. A lot of meaningful perspectives, advice, suggestions, and cool little charts are continually offered throughout the pages. There are also points of interaction, with space set aside in the book for you to write in your responses to his prompts. I found this helpful in clarifying my own thoughts and felt a deeper connection to the work.
The Paradox of Choice. Barry Schwartz, 236 pages. America has a lot of choice, and most of our decisions come with a buffet of options and alternatives to choose from. Before reading this book (and watching the author’s TEDTalk), I would have thought that more choice is always better. But not anymore. Now I’m aware of the paralyzing effects of excessive choice and the psychological toll it can take on us. A very interesting book to read.
Predictably Irrational. Dan Ariely, 247 pages. This book challenges the assumption that we are in control of our decisions. Ariely has conducted a number of studies that he shares in this book, all of which suggest that we are not as rational as we may have previously expected. Many of the findings were quite surprising and left me wondering about the “hidden forces” that have been shaping my own decisions.
The Apology, Phaedo and Crito of Plato, Golden Sayings of Epictetus, Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Translators: Benjamin Jowett, Hastings Crossley, George Long, 345 pages. For all of you philosophy lovers, thinkers, and intellectuals out there, this is a great book for you. It contains three separate parts (made clear by the title) all of which can be found individually. Socrates’ apology was awesome, and I love how persuasive he is! Epictetus was great too; it was filled with dozens of highly meaningful and thought provoking messages. Lastly, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are brain-food for a lifetime. Many of his thoughts I’ve re-typed as quotes of my computer for easy reference. All three of these men are extremely intelligent and so much can be learned from them. Definitely a powerful read.
Rich Dad Poor Dad. Robert Kiyosaki, 201 pages. Kiyosaki had two dads growing up, one rich and one poor. Naturally, both of his dads gave him advice and offered their own viewpoints on various issues. In this book, Kiyosaki points out the fundamental differences in the philosophies of his two dads and what made one rich and one poor. He also shares a generous amount of his own advice, and outlines clear, money-making ideas and strategies that I found rather helpful.
Blink. Malcolm Gladwell, 254 pages. This book is about snap judgements: instant or near-instant decisions. Gladwell makes a strong case that these snap-judgements are often superior to the thought-out, time consuming, analytical judgements we often make. Along the same lines, he argues that quite often, only a small amount of information is needed to draw the same conclusions that sometimes eons of research is needed to produce. A lot of cool examples are given and it’s an interesting perspective to consider.
The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. Jeffrey Gitomer, 199 pages. Picture a typical book. This is not that book. Instead, Gitomer uses a variety of fonts, colors, bold, italics, quotes, and pictures to make reading a lot more exciting than I had been used to. I found his advice to be very good, and I loved the emphasis he put on his key maxims (through font and color changes). There are also attitude tests within the book to help you asses your own attitude. Lastly, Gitomer offers countless action steps you can take immediately to develop a YES! Attitude. Keep this one handy!