Hi, and welcome to the February 2019 update here at AidanBooth.com, thanks for visiting!
UPDATE: 1st April 2019
I’ve decided that I’ll continue to update this post as I read new books. It’s a nice way for me to keep a record of what I’ve read, and also an easy way for you to stay up to date with what I’m reading. Below you’ll find a section titled ‘Recent Books I’ve Read – 2019’, that’s where I’ll add the new books I’ve read in 2019 (technically from March 2019 onwards). So bookmark this site, and check back soon to stay up to date with what I’m reading, and also, PLEASE share what you’re reading in a comment. THANKS!
The original purpose of this post was to share:
Every book I’ve read over the past 5 years.
As mentioned in the update at the top of this page, it now goes beyond those 67 Books, and is more of a constantly updated reading list.
After reading this post, please leave a comment with the name of a book you’ve read which you’ve enjoyed or found useful… can be fiction, non-fiction, whatever. THANKS!
So what is this post about?
It’s an answer to one of the most common questions I get… “can you recommend a good book that has helped you grow your business?”
Here’s the list of every book I’ve read over the past 5 years (I’ve removed the “how to raise a happy baby” books and travel guides from the list!).
The books are broken up into three categories:
- Marketing, Planning and Business Books
- Mindset, Motivation and Lifestyle Hack Books
- Other Books
The books are NOT listed in any special order.
The BEST 5 Books I’ve Read In The Past 5 Years?
At the very end, I’ll share my favorite 5 books… which have been almost impossible to choose, but are 5 that have had a real impact on me, for one reason or another…
I hope you find this list useful, and I’d LOVE to get a recommendation from you on what to read next, so leave a comment!
Recent Books I’ve Read – 2019
Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu
A deep dive into the root causes for the success and failure of nations. As the author explains, most problems (in failed states) come back to extractive institutions (including politics) and authoritarian regimes. The author does a great job of logically joining up key historic events and explaining how they shaped countries today. Very interesting.
Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink
I read this based on the amazing Amazon reviews it received. I didn’t get anything amazing out of it, but it did serve to remind me of key principles used by successful leaders. Lots of surreal war stories to keep you hooked throughout.
How to Win at the Sport of Business, Mark Cuban
A quick read (you’ll blast through it in an hour or two) that shares key business lessons from mega-successful entrepreneur, Mark Cuban. I didn’t find anything earth-shattering in this book, but it’s packed with lots of good reminders, and is an easy book to blast through quite quickly.
Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss
I love this book, so much so, that I listened (audible) to it TWICE! Chris Voss shares what works and what doesn’t work in the world of negotiation, based on decades of experience including being the FBI’s lead hostage negotiator. Each chapter starts with a story, and shares key lessons learned. This book has forced its way into my TOP 5!
Born A Crime, Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah shares his story from humble beginnings in South Africa to stardom in the USA. The book is entertaining, sobering, and heart-warming all at the same time. Great book, and it lends itself nicely to Audible, very easy to listen to, you’ll find it hard to put down.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, Robert Cialdini Ph.D.,
Classic Cialdini. Read this AFTER you’ve read Influence (which is Cialdini’s best book in my opinion). More social experiments, more interesting data, and lots of take-aways.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Jordan B. Peterson
Jordan Peterson is a divisive character, some people hate him, others love him, so I was intrigued to check this out to form my own opinion. I thought it was a good read (a good listen in my case, via Audible) if a little long-winded in places. It’s an interesting look at one psychologists opinion as to why we do the things we do and why we behave the way we behave, much of which is based on animal instinct, and habits built up over millions of years (according to Peterson). I can’t say I agree with everything Peterson preaches, but the book had me deep in thought on more than a few occasions.
Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World; Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
I’m moving this into my top-5 books on this list, quite simply it is brilliantly written and an unbelievable story. In fact, if you didn’t know this was a true story, you’d think it was fiction. The events in this book are so far out there, with so much corruption, literally BILLIONS of dollars being stolen from governments and banks, shifted through shell companies, used for extravagant parties (with Britany Spear, DiCaprio, Alicia Keys and other Hollywood icons), for buying mansions and mega-yachts… the mind boggles. This is a must read!
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, John Carreyrou
This book had me hooked from start to finish… a look into a Silicon Valley startup that built a billion dollar business based on lies, and how it all came crumbling down. This, along with Billion Dollar Whale, is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!
What Doesn’t Kill Us, Scott Carney
This was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and is quite different to anything I’ve read in the past. Basically, it’s a light-hearted insight into ‘body hacking’, using many of the methods taught by Dutch ‘ice man’, Wim Hof.
The book was entertaining and somewhat educational, although I felt like the infomation presented needed to be taken with a grain of salt… good read overall!
Pour Your Heart Into It, Howard Schultz
An easy (quick) read about the history of Starbucks, one of the most successful companies on the planet. Howard Schultz explains the culture he built at Starbucks that helped later drive massive success. He also shares the key decisions and forks in the road that eventually saw him take control of and grow his business.
New York: The Novel, Edward Rutherford
I listened to this (Audible) in February 2019. It shares the story of the growth of the New York City empire from its earliest days right through until 2009, through an intriguing story based on actual events in New York’s colorful history. As an Investor in New York City, and someone who has always been inspired by New York City (one of my favorite cities in the world), I found this an educational eye-opener into how the empire that it is today came to be.
Below is the original blog post, with the 67 books (as published in February 2019).
Marketing, Planning & Business Books
Influence, Robert Cialdini
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
Positioning, Al Ries and Jack Trout
In spite of billions of advertising dollars spent every year, perceptions about leading brands as well as their market shares seldom changed. All that advertising was not doing very much communicating.
Permission Marketing, Seth Godin
The man Business Week calls “the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age” explains “Permission Marketing”—the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.
Getting Things Done, David Allen
Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.
No Man’s Land, Doug Tatum
If starting a company is difficult, leading a company once the business has caught fire is infinitely more so. Thousands of startups each year approach the dangerous transition that Doug Tatum calls No Man’s Land—when they are too big too be considered small but still too small to be considered big.
Tribes, Seth Godin
Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.
How To Deliver A TED Talk, Jeremey Donovan
A nonprofit dedicated to ideas worth spreading, TED challenges the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers to give “the speech of their lives” in 18 minutes or less. The more than 14,000 talks on TED.com have been viewed over 1 billion times and include those by such luminaries as Tony Robbins, Dan Pink, and Sheryl Sandberg.
Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book—a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world’s top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.
Making Ads Pay, John Caples
Why does one ad succeed, while another fails? This classic by a veteran copywriter analyzes hundreds of profitable ads, offering many side-by-side comparisons between similar but not equally effective ads. These analyses yield principles, procedures, tips, and practical suggestions — each tested with decades of experience — that can be immediately applied to every medium and style of advertising.
Making Money Is Killing Your Business, Chuck Blakeman
Making Money is Killing Your Business is built on profoundly simple ideas that have been around forever and ignored as being too simple to work. Chuck Blakeman has learned the hard way that profound things are always simple. These few things will revolutionize any business willing to give up complexity for effectiveness.
The One Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
The ONE Thing has made more than 350 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 Wall Street Journal, NewYork Times, and USA Today. It won 12 book awards, has been translated into 27 languages, chosen as one of the Top 5 Business Books of 2013 by Hudson’s Booksellers and one of Top 30 Business Books of 2013 by Executive Book Summaries.
The 12 Week Year, Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
The guide to shortening your execution cycle down from one year to twelve weeks.
Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a twelve-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your “year” to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn’t enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound.
To Sell is Human, Daniel H. Pink
From the bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind comes a surprising–and surprisingly useful–new book that explores the power of selling in our lives.
Essentialism, Greg McKeown
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
All Marketers are Liars, Seth Godin
As Seth Godin has taught hundreds of thousands of marketers and students around the world, great marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story—a story we want to believe, whether it’s factual or not. In a world where most people have an infinite number of choices and no time to make them, every organization is a marketer, and all marketing is about telling stories.
Repositioning, Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin
Thirty years ago, Jack Trout and Al Ries published their classic bestseller, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind―a book that revolutionized the world of marketing. But times have changed. Competition is fiercer. Consumers are savvier. Communications are faster. And once-successful companies are in crisis mode.
Repositioning shows you how to adapt, compete―and succeed―in today’s overcrowded marketplace. Global marketing expert Jack Trout has retooled his most effective positioning strategies―providing a must-have arsenal of proven marketing techniques specifically redesigned for our current climate.
Triggers, Joseph Sugarman
Dramatically increase your ability to sell by learning how to control the mind of your prospect using 30 powerful psychological triggers to motivate, influence and persuade. Discover the one secret very few sales professionals know, yet it doubled response to a simple offer. Discover how to make your prospects feel so guilty that they can’t help but buy from you. Discover how to take an impossible situation and turn it around to your advantage through a simple sales technique. Buy this book now to improve every aspect of your selling and marketing skills.
The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier
THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a “charismatic brand”—a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries and Laura Ries
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is the definitive text on branding, pairing anecdotes about some of the best brands in the world, like Rolex, Volvo, and Heineken, with the signature savvy of marketing gurus Al and Laura Ries. Combining The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, this book proclaims that the only way to stand out in today’s marketplace is to build your product or service into a brand—and provides the step-by-step instructions you need to do so.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout
As Al Ries and Jack Trout—the world-renowned marketing consultants and bestselling authors of Positioning—note, you can build an impressive airplane, but it will never leave the ground if you ignore the laws of physics, especially gravity. Why then, they ask, shouldn’t there also be laws of marketing that must be followed to launch and maintain winning brands? In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Ries and Trout offer a compendium of twenty-two innovative rules for understanding and succeeding in the international marketplace. From the Law of Leadership, to The Law of the Category, to The Law of the Mind, these valuable insights stand the test of time and present a clear path to successful products. Violate them at your own risk.
The Ultimate Sales Letter, Dan S Kennedy
In the age of e-mail and instant communication, great sales copy is indispensable to closing a deal. But too many sales letters end up in the junk file or the wastebasket. In this new edition of his top-selling book, author Dan Kennedy explains why some sales letters work and most don’t. And he shows how to write copy that any business can use.
Covert Persuasion, Kevin Hogan and James Speakman
There’s more wisdom in this book than in 500 pages on the same subject. Whether you need to persuade your lover, your spouse, your boss, your clients, your friends, or yourself, this powerhouse collection of mind tricks and secrets will give you the upper hand. In today’s competitive world, this is the persuasion wizard’s manual you need to control circumstances and get what you want.
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, Joseph Sugarman
Great copy is the heart and soul of the advertising business. In this practical guide, legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman provides proven guidelines and expert advice on what it takes to write copy that will entice, motivate, and move customers to buy. For anyone who wants to break into the business, this is the ultimate companion resource for unlimited success.
Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield
Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice. “You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” –Steven Pressfield TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT’S NOT EASY. When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own.
The Lean Startup, Eric Ries
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.
Differentiate or Die, Jack Trout and Steve Rivikin
Differentiate or Die, Second Edition shows you how to differentiate your products, services, and business in order to dominate the competition. Veteran marketing guru Jack Trout uses real-world examples and his own unique insight to show you how to bind customers to your products for long-term success and loyalty. This edition includes new case studies, new research, and updated examples from around the world.
Words that Sell, Richard Bayan
Looking for a better way to say “authentic?” Words That Sell gives you 57 alternatives. How about “appealing?” Take your pick from 76 synonyms. You’ll even find more than 100 variations on “exciting.” Fully updated and expanded, this edition of the copywriting classic is packed with inspiration-on-demand for busy professionals who need to win customers–by mail, online, or in person.
Yes!, Noah Goldstein and Steve Martin
Every day we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say yes to our requests? Persuasion is not only an art, it is also a science, and researchers who study it have uncovered a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction. Based on more than sixty years of research into the psychology of persuasion, Yes! reveals fifty simple but remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life, too.
Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
In this perennial bestseller, embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.
Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk
Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand.
The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
This ground breaking New York Times bestseller has helped hundreds of thousands of people at work and at home balance stress and recovery and sustain high performance despite crushing workloads and 24/7 demands on their time. “Combines the gritty toughmindedness of the best coaches with the gentle-but-insistent inspiration of the most effective spiritual advisers” (Fast Company).
Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini
The acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller from Robert Cialdini—“the foremost expert on effective persuasion” (Harvard Business Review)—explains how it’s not necessarily the message itself that changes minds, but the key moment before you deliver that message.
The Emotion Thesaurus:, Becca Puglisi
The bestselling Emotion Thesaurus, often hailed as “the gold standard for writers” and credited with transforming how writers craft emotion, has now been expanded to include 55 new entries!
One of the biggest struggles for writers is how to convey emotion to readers in a unique and compelling way. When showing our characters’ feelings, we often use the first idea that comes to mind, and they end up smiling, nodding, and frowning too much.
Uncertainty, Jonathan Fields
Jonathan Fields knows the risks-and potential power-of uncertainty. He gave up a six-figure income as a lawyer to make $12 an hour as a personal trainer. Then, married with a 3-month old baby, he signed a lease to launch a yoga center in the heart of New York City. . . the day before 9/11. But he survived, and along the way he developed a fresh approach to transforming uncertainty, risk of loss, and exposure to judgment into catalysts for innovation, creation, and achievement. In business, art, and life, creating on a world-class level demands bold action and leaps of faith in the face of great uncertainty.
Made to Stick, Dan Health and Chip Health
In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
Mindset, Motivation & Lifestyle Hack Books
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
The most famous of all teachers of success spent a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort to produce the Law of Success philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized and explained for the general public in this book.
The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz
Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and—most important of all—find greater happiness and peace of mind.
Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss
This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.
How to Get Rich, Felix Dennis
Felix Dennis is an expert at proving people wrong. Starting as a college dropout with no family money, he created a publishing empire, founded Maxim magazine, made himself one of the richest people in the UK, and had a blast in the process.
How to Get Rich is different from any other book on the subject because Dennis isn’t selling snake oil, investment tips, or motivational claptrap. He merely wants to help people embrace entrepreneurship, and to share lessons he learned the hard way. He reveals, for example, why a regular paycheck is like crack cocaine; why great ideas are vastly overrated; and why “ownership isn’t the important thing, it’s the only thing.”
The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson
The Slight Edge, shows how you can create power-house results from simple daily activities.
How Rich People Think, Steve Siebold
This book will teach you how rich people think. It compares the thoughts, habits and philosophies of the middle class to the world class when it comes to wealth. The differences are as extreme as they are numerous. The strategy is simple: learn how rich people think, copy them, take action and get rich. This book hits hard and never lets up. It’s based on a quarter century of interviews with millionaires. It’s written in unfiltered, politically incorrect language that makes the point crystal clear and easy to follow.
Think Bigger, Michael Hill
A motivational guide by successful entrepreneur Sir Michael Hill – this bestselling step-by-step guide will help fulfil your dreams. Internationally successful businessman Michael Hill outlines the key lessons he has learned over the years. His wisdom covers these topics in great detail, with lots of helpful examples: Clearing the clutter of your mind; Positive day-dreaming; Letting go and thinking bigger; Change – Making a negative a positive; Working smarter not harder; How to keep motivated; The power of the spoken word; Smarten up; Great health; Having fun; Thinking outside the box and Helping others.
Principles, Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.
The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
Atomic Habits, James Clear
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler
In this ground breaking book, New York Times–bestselling author Steven Kotler decodes the mystery of ultimate human performance. Drawing on over a decade of research and first-hand reporting with dozens of top action and adventure sports athletes like big wave legend Laird Hamilton, big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and skateboarding pioneer Danny Way, Kotler explores the frontier science of “flow,” an optimal state of consciousness in which we perform and feel our best.
The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod is a genius and his book The Miracle Morning has been magical in my life. What Hal has done is taken the best practices, developed over centuries of human consciousness development, and condensed the ‘best of the best’ into a daily morning ritual. A ritual that is now part of my day.
How the World Sees You, Sally Hogshead
In How the World Sees You, author and personal branding expert Sally Hogshead applies the principles of fascination triggers to understanding “personality brands” – how individuals use different triggers to influence, persuade, and captivate others.
You already know how you see yourself and the world. But how does the world see you? If you want to be heard and remembered, if you want people to take action on your ideas and opinions, then you need to get the full picture. Effective messages build a cause-and-effect cycle that creates action. Each time you communicate, you will either be heard, or you will be ignored.
The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ DeMarco
Demand more. Change lanes and find your explosive wealth accelerator. Hit the Fastlane, crack the code to wealth, and find out how to live rich for a lifetime.
How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time.
Fascinate, Sally Hogshead
This book explores one of the most powerful ways to attract attention and influence behavior—fascination—and how businesses, products, and ideas can become irresistible to consumers.
In an oversaturated culture defined by limited time and focus, how do we draw attention to our messages, our ideas, and our products when we only have seconds to compete?
Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins
For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare – poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.
Sapiens, Noah Yuval Harari
From a renowned historian comes a ground breaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.
Open, Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his moody and demanding father, by the age of twenty-two Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth, celebrity, and the game’s highest honors. But as he reveals in this searching autobiography, off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent. Agassi writes candidly about his early success and his uncomfortable relationship with fame, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his growing interest in philanthropy, and—described in haunting, point-by-point detail—the highs and lows of his celebrated career.
Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
In this instant and tenacious bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight “offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Marching Powder, Thomas McFadden and Rusty Young
Marching Powder A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South Americas Strangest Jail!
The Girl Who Played With Fire, Steig Larsson
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.
But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.
He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.
The Redbreast, Jo Nesbo
The Redbreast is a fabulous introduction to Nesbø’s tough-as-nails series protagonist, Oslo police detective Harry Hole. A brilliant and epic novel, breathtaking in its scope and design—winner of The Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel and selected as the best Norwegian crime novel ever written by members of Norway’s book clubs—The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal that ranges from the battlefields of World War Two to the streets of modern-day Oslo. Follow Hole as he races to stop a killer and disarm a ticking time-bomb from his nation’s shadowy past.
The Redeemer, Jo Nesbo
Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in Oslo, leaving one of the singers dead in the street. The trail will lead Harry Hole, Oslo’s best investigator and worst civil servant, deep into the darkest corners of the city and, eventually, to Croatia.
An assassin forged in the war-torn region has been brought to Oslo to settle an old debt. As the police circle in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate and the danger mounts for Harry and his colleagues.
The Devil’s Star, Jo Nesbo
In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat—with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner. When another woman is reported missing five days later, and her severed finger turns up adorned with a red star-shaped diamond ring, Harry fears a serial killer is at work.
The 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss
The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:
For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
Isolated by Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
Here’s a summary list:
Marketing, Planning & Business Books
- Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss
- Influence, Robert B. Cialdini, PH.D
- Positioning, Al Ries and Jack Trout
- Permission Marketing, Seth Godin
- Getting Things Done, David Allen
- No Man’s Land, Doug Tatum
- Tribes, Seth Godin
- How To Deliver A TED Talk, Jeremey Donovan
- Making Ads Pay, John Caples
- Making Money Is Killing Your Business, Too, Chuck Blakeman
- The One Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
- The 12 Week Year, Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
- To Sell is Human, Daniel H. Pink
- Essentialism, Greg McKeown
- All Marketers are Liars, Seth Godin
- Repositioning, Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin
- Triggers, Joseph Sugarman
- The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries, Laura Ries
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries, Jack Trout
- The Ultimate Sales Letter, Dan S Kennedy
- Covert Persuasion, Kevin Hogan and James Speakman
- The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, Joseph Sugarman
- Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield
- The Lean Startup, Eric Ries
- Differentiate or Die, Jack Trout and Steve Rivikin
- Words that Sell, Richard Bayan
- Yes!, Steve Martin
- Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk
- The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
- Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini
- The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca Puglisi
- Uncertainty, Jonathan Fields
- Made to Stick, Dan Health and Chip Health
- The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
Mindset, Motivation & Lifestyle Hack Books
- The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz
- Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss
- How to Get Rich, Felix Dennis
- The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson
- How Rich People Think, Steve Siebold
- Think Bigger, Michael Hill
- Principles, Ray Dalio
- The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
- Atomic Habits, James Clear
- The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler
- The Miracle Morning, Hal Elro
- How the World Sees You, Sally Hogshead
- The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ DeMarco
- How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- Fascinate, Sally Hogshead
- Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
- Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins
- The Omnivore’s Dilemmas, Michael Pollan
- Open, Andre Agassi
- Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
- Marching Powder, Thomas McFadden and Rusty Young
- The Girl Who Played With Fire, Steig Larsson
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
- The Redbreast, Jo Nesbo
- The Redeemer, Jo Nesbo
- The Devil’s Star, Jo Nesbo
- The 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss
- Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
The Top 5?
I’m reluctant to give a top 5, as it’s inevitable that I’ll miss so many brilliant books, and the books have all had different impacts on me at different times over the past 5 years… but here goes:
Top 5 – Can’t Hurt Me
I’ve only just finished with this one, perhaps that’s why I’m still raving about it. BRILLIANT book… raw, hard hitting, motivating.
Top 5 – The 12 Week Year
This makes top 5, because I use the system every single day, and it has allowed me to get so much more done. I am an efficiency machine, and much of that is thanks to this book.
Top 5 – Think Bigger
This one will surprise you as you’ve probably never heard of it before. It only has one review on Amazon (I have no idea why this is!), but came at a time (actually a bit over 5 years ago) when I needed it. It helped me up my game, raise my goals, and because of that, my property investment portfolio exploded. Will this book resonate with you? I’m not sure… but it came at an important time for me, and has made a lasting impact on my life.
Top 5 – Open
I love tennis, and this book gave me an insight into Andre Agassi’s life… it was hard to put down. I could have easily had Shoe Dog, or Born to Run listed here… but I had to choose one, so I chose Open, the Agassi story.
Top 5 – Blue Ocean Strategy
I was debating whether to put Blue Ocean Strategy here, or Differentiate or Die, or Positioning. All three are great books, but I think I read Blue Ocean Strategy at the perfect time… right around when certain areas of my business were exploding. It left a lasting impact on me, and the way I think about building businesses and marketing in general.