10 Categories, 10 books in each, not in any specific order.
- Career & Financial Success
- Communication & Relationships
- Growth Through Habits
- Love & Happiness
- Health & Wellness
- Philosophy & Spirituality
There’s only one thing I want to say to you before you start blowing through all these absolutely amazing books.
This list represents a mere idea – that there is some topic you’ll be interested in. That somewhere out there is at least one book that will have an impact on you. There are few things in life more important than learning and opening your mind through reading.
I hope with all my heart that this motivates you to find a book that you love, which might spark a love for reading in you.
100 Books To Read Before You Die
The content of the book is based on over forty interviews conducted with Steve Jobs, his family, friends, competitors, adversaries and colleagues over the span of two years. It’s an intensely thorough book about the roller-coaster life of one of the greatest inventive minds ever to live.
Ever wondered what Einstein was really like? How his mind actually worked? This book delves into the life and mind of perhaps the most brilliant man the world has ever known.
In this absolutely unique read on what may be considered an overly saturated topic of Abraham Lincoln, Goodwin uncovers much of the truth behind Lincoln’s leadership and insightful understanding into human motivation and behavior.
“How he soothed egos, turned rivals into allies, and dealt with many challenges to his leadership, all for the sake of the greater good, is largely what Goodwin’s fine book is about.” – Shawn Carkonen
“Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as **The Snowball **makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.”
A riveting biography that explains the difficult and controversial relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The book discusses Helen’s love life, struggle through College and career as an advocate disabled individuals. Keller’s humanity, sexuality, relationships and career are all in question in this very special book.
“We meet an entirely unexpected Helen Keller—a woman with deep if concealed ambivalence toward her self-sacrificing teacher; a political radical; and a woman longing for romantic love and the fulfilled sexual life of a woman.”—Joan Mellen, Philadelphia Inquirer
Leo Tolstoy is largely known as one of the greatest authors of all time. This book trucks through Tolstoy’s life as a Russian aristocrat, acclaimed author, and ultimately the moral crises and spiritual awakening he underwent. In what seems to be a life characterized by contradiction, Troyat does an amazing job of explaining what Tolstoy, whose own writing had a profound impact on leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., experienced in his life.
Toland writes an objective account of the life of who will undoubtedly be one of the most feared and hated men in the history of existence. Toland conducted hundreds of interviews with people close to Hitler to find who this man that makes us cringe at the sound of his name really was.
A minister, leader, icon and criminal are only a handful of the words used to describe the life of a man who changed the world before being assassinated at thirty-nine. Known largely as a symbol of change, revolution and progress, Malcolm X is a legend whose remarkable life sheds light on what it means to be passionate.
Needless to say, Musk has become one of the icons of the day, and a clear symbol for progress. His story begins with living the beginning of his life in South Africa, and ends with…..
The life of Socrates, his philosophy, his inquiry into the nature of the human mind has existed since the 5th Century BCE. History erases the memory of most ideas in an instant, but the philosophical questions Socrates wanted answers to will likely exist as long as we do.
“One of the most important thinkers of all time”… what a title.
This book works like a personal career coach, putting you through multiple assessments to help you find a career path that makes sense for you as a person.
Warren Buffet calls this “the best business book he’s ever read.” If you want to understand the corporate structure of today based on the history of the world of finance as told by engaging stories, definitely pick this up.
There’s a reason thousands of people pay north of $6,000 every year to spend a week with Tony Robbins. He can help change your life and unlock the potential inherent in you through words, exercises, and changes of your perspective. In this book he provides you with the tools you need to become a leader, find self-confidence, and sheds light on what’s really important to an overall successful life.
With a 13-step program to find success & stories about massively successful people and how they achieved their status, this book has withstood the test of time (written in the 1930’s) because it is legendary.
This book is based on the premise that successful people exhibit similar habits (kind of what our whole website and company – Habit Nest is about). To live the life you want, you need to take actions on a daily basis that help you get there. This book teaches and thoroughly explains exactly what some of those habits are.
Through stories, McArdle explores the potential we have to learn from every failure. It can be a life-changing read for anyone who has trouble seeing the opportunity and lessons to be learned in any given situation.
The title pretty much sums this one up.
Amazing read to help you re-adjust your priorities and help you understand the very significance of money in life. This book can change your whole outlook on whats important, along with give you a step by step method for better spending.
No matter who you are, where you’re from or how old you are, this one can give you the practical information, knowledge and motivation you need to start making real-life investments that pay off.
Making money is just one part of financial success… deciding where to put your money is even more important.
Productivity and focus are essential to working effectively and enjoying the fruits of your labor. This is one of the best books ever written on time management and plowing through your work with focus and intensity.
Communication & Relationships
This is the book that got me into reading. It’s an artfully crafted and insightful read into relationships, communication, and using kindness to live a happy and successful life. Carnegie is called “the grandfather of people skills,” which you shouldn’t take likely. Might be the book with the easiest to implement actions on a daily basis for leading a happy and successful life.
- Living Non-Violent Communication: Practical Tools To Connect and Communicate Skillfully In Every Situation by Marshall Rosenberg
This book is absolute GOLD. Non-violent communication isn’t just an idea, its a practice, a way of living that ensures your growth, satisfaction of your needs, and the understanding you need to help satisfy the needs of those around you. This one is life-changing, and might be the most important book on this list.
A book that helps you understand the patterns that lead to divorce, and how to resolve issues in a healthy way. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship and specific actions for working on them.
Ever wonder how some people seemingly attract love, respect and authority from everyone they meet? Leil Lowndes gives her secrets for understanding exactly how to talk to different people in order to get what you want.
One of the most important aspects of connecting with others is making them feel understood. We all know what it feels like to feel as if we haven’t been “heard.”Nichols helps you understand what’s necessary to really re-connect with others through the way we listen.
Social science is legitimate, and this one is aimed at helping students understand interpersonal communication and motivating them to continue to learn through their relationships.
- Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What The Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell is a leadership expert.
In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, Maxwell shares the Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting, including:
– Finding common ground, Keeping your communication simple, Capturing people’s interest, Inspiring people, and Staying authentic in all your relationships.
Carl Rogers is mind blowing. This is another one of my all-time favorite books. Rogers helps us understand, through his sharing of his experience with clients, just how create an environment in communication that allows others (and ourselves) to grow.
- Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and In Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott
Here’s what Amazon has to say about the incredible Susan Scott:
“The master teacher of positive change through powerful communication, Susan Scott, wants her readers to succeed. To do that, she explains, one must transform everyday conversations employing effective ways to get the message across. In this guide, which includes exercises and tools to take you step by step through the Seven Principles of Fierce Conversations, Scott teaches readers how to:
- Overcome barriers to meaningful communication
- Expand and enrich conversations with colleagues, friends, and family
- Increase clarity and improve understanding
- Handle strong emotions-on both sides of the table”
Hendrix has helped millions of couples create and build insanely satisfying relationships. Regardless of where you are in your relationship, use this to help guide you and your significant other to new levels of satisfaction.
I love Tim Ferriss. This one guides you through taking entrepreneurship to new levels of comfort and success by making use of virtual assistants overseas. Make more money in less time is the theme, and his advice is really practical.
This is one of the top 5 selling business books of all time. Gerberg takes you through the life of an entrepreneur and dissects the stages of growth, along with sheds light on some of the myths regarding starting your own business. Must read for any entrepreneur.
Horowitz is one of the most successful and storied entrepreneurs Silicon Valley has ever seen. He has much to say about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship… what business school fails to teach you.
President of a number of multi-million dollar companies shares the common beliefs, habits and characteristics of the world’s elite entrepreneurs. He makes the experience of reading fun through his personal stories and stories about other insanely successful business owners.
The One Thing is another one of the best business books ever written. Develop a thorough understanding of how to formulate the lifestyle you want efficiently by building daily momentum towards your goals and staying focused.
There is a science to creating products people can get hooked on. Nir Eyal teaches you these critical steps through stories about other successful companies… pretty remarkable stuff.
Flynn helps you test your latest idea to see whether its really worth pursuing or not. He wants to help people stop running into businesses they just get excited about for a few minutes and start formulating real plans to get their businesses off the ground.
- #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take On Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk
This guy Gary Vee is one of the most motivating and real entrepreneurs I’ve ever heard talk. Everything he says is truth, coming from personal experience and it comes with a sense of honesty you don’t usually get when reading. He is unorthodox in his approach, but he will help change your life – both in business and personal.
Thiel preaches that the most important skill any business man or entrepreneur needs to have is the ability to think for yourself. He believes that anyone can revolutionize an industry, and helps you understand just how you can by opening your mind.
A model for doing something you love and making a difference all at once.
Growth Through Habits
1. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod is one of the people with the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. He’s defeated horrific life circumstances multiple times. In this book he provides you with morning habits to lead you to the life you want.
The science behind how habits are formed – both good and bad. Duhigg helps us navigate human nature and the potential for change. It is insanely practical. A lot of our company (Habit Nest) was built with this book as a foundation.
Stop wasting time and start focusing in the right places on a daily basis with the help of Drucker’s comprehensive guide.
This approach is SO important to actually creating the change you want to see. Learn how to make your habits too small to fail with this guide by Guise.
From happiness to faith, excellence, responsibility, discipline and others, Meyer delves into how to make good habits, break bad ones, and learn to love life in the process.
As someone who wants to work on his creativity, this book gives me a lot of hope. Tharp says that creativity can be cultivated through making it a habit on a daily basis. She provides you with 32 very real and practical exercises to boost your creativity and help you add the habit.
Tracy is one of the most well-known self help speakers and writers in the world. In this book he helps you understand the habits that help lead to successful living, along with helping you create an action-based plan to create the life you want.
Leo is one of my favorite self-help writers.
“The Power of Less will show you how to:
- Break any goal down into manageable tasks
- Focus on only a few tasks at a time
- Create new and productive habits
- Hone your focus
- Increase your efficiency
By setting limits for yourself and making the most of the resources you already have, youll finally be able work less, work smarter, and focus on living the life that you deserve.” – Amazon
Corley discusses the 10 habits that seem to show up in the routine of every massively wealth individual that he’s found through research and study of his clients. He’s also created a program to help you add these integral habits.
I wish I could explain just how important of a concept willpower is. If we had the ability to follow through on our word, we’d each have the lives we wanted. A strong will is what is standing in between you and your dream life. Baumeister and Tierney help you understand this, along with give you a strategy for working towards strengthening your own willpower.
Love & Happiness
I can’t say enough about this book. Every single person I’ve ever met who read it has says that its changed their life. Stop expecting and start loving with wisdom from Don Miguel Ruiz (one of my favorite authors).
“Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?”
3*. Unworthy: How To Stop Hating Yourself* by Anneli Rufus
Stop being your own worst enemy and learn how to provide yourself with the right type of attention – love.
Singer helps you learn how to navigate through your own voice in this masterpiece. Another one of the books that put me on a path to change my life. This one is extra special.
- A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson
Williamson teaches us how to accept love in our every day lives to put us on a path towards light and goodness in life.
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment And How It Can Help You Find – And Keep – Love by Amir Levine & Rachel S.F. Heller
This book is based on the science of relationships. These psychiatrists analyze different types of people, how they attach to relationships, and how to begin to attach in more constructive and fruitful ways.
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
Dan Harris is in my opinion one of the most thoughtful and learned minds today. This is his story about how he discovered that the voice in his head was his greatest enemy, and how anyone can come to overcome the prison of our mind.
The Dalai Lama is known as one of the happiest people in the world. He is very much a ray of sunshine, and the best part is just how well he conveys the reason for his happiness to others. In his book he helps us understand the day to day struggle towards positivity and happiness.
I had to include another one from Don Miguel Ruiz just because of how drastically he’s impacted my life. The Four Agreements are agreements each person can make with his or herself to live in understanding, compassion, love, and happiness. The book is short, sweet, and utterly comprehendible.
I distinctly remember when this book came out because my mom was crazy about it. In the end of the day, the law of attraction is very much real. We’re each living in completely different worlds – the world inside of ourselves. Byrne helps you understand what’s necessary to create the life you want by introducing you to the way you interpret and attract your life.
Going from nothing to all that exists today, Bryson craftily answers the question of how we came to be where we are.
A complete history of slavery and racism.
Exploring the truth of American history and an uncovering of the common myths that come with it. Includes a mind boggling analysis of Iraq and 9/11.
“Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn’s *The Structure of *Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work.” –Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement
“Full of wonderful, wrenching tales of a generation of heroes. Tom Brokaw reminds us what we are capable of as a people. An inspiring read for those who wish their spirits lifted.”—Colin L. Powell
I watched the movie, and I can’t wait to read the book. It’s a true story about an Olympic Runner who ended up caught and held by the Japanese in World War II. It’s an amazing story about triumph and honor.
Analyzing criminality and violence in different points in human history, Wilson provides an in depth analysis aimed at finding the place of crime in our history.
This one is another complete history of man in terms of progress from the very beginning of human life.
“Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world’s most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.” – Amazon
A history of the Civil War with astounding detail.
Health & Wellness
Analyzing what the world’s healthiest diets have in common, and the intricate relationship between health and food. What our ancestors knew that we’ve forgotten. For those of you looking to build a habit of healthy eating, this one is for you.
Here’s what Amazon has to say: “Anthony William, the one and only Medical Medium, has helped tens of thousands of people heal from ailments that have been misdiagnosed or ineffectively treated or that doctors can’t resolve. He’s done this by listening to a divine voice that literally speaks into his ear, telling him what lies at the root of people’s pain or illness and what they need to do to restore their health. His methods achieve spectacular results, even for those who have spent years and many thousands of dollars on all forms of medicine before turning to him. Now, in this revolutionary book, he opens the door to all he has learned in over 25 years of bringing people’s lives back: a massive amount of healing information, much of which science won’t discover for decades, and most of which has never appeared anywhere before.”
Haven’t read it yet, but really looking forward to it.
It’s about doing less and having more through de-cluttering your life and taking what Mckeown labels as “only important actions.”
Diaz shares her secrets to health, happiness and love for one’s body (both the way it looks and the way it feels). She’s struggled through it, came to the light, and now has this New York Times #1 bestseller to show for it.
A memoir of a food blogger that overcomes a food addiction to learn just how to love herself. It’s an amazing book about weight loss, getting through confusion in oneself, and acceptance.
Interesting read on how to become a master of organization and de-cluttering. Kondo provides a step by step analysis, along with illustrations and epic descriptions to help you tidy up your life.
I love the basic concept of this book. It provides you with real and practical strategies to combat the difficulties we each feel in life. The basic premise is that we each deal with this “stuff” – stress, anxiety, low energy, physical pain, hangovers, a lack of sleep, but that there are ways to combat them with basic habits.
Amazon says, “Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. You’ll learn to see through the lies your brain tells you. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain—counterbalancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, you can transform your brain into a refuge and power center of calm and happiness. You can hardwire in happiness.”
- Creativity, Inc. Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
“Over more than thirty years, Ed Catmull has developed methods to root out and destroy the barriers to creativity, to marry creativity to the pursuit of excellence, and, most impressive, to sustain a culture of disciplined creativity during setbacks and success.”—Jim Collins, co-author of Built to Last and author ofGood to Great
The science behind self-control and how to use it to your advantage. Mischel has proven with his Marshmallow test that delaying gratification is one of the secrets to living successfully, and he outlines why and how in this book.
Philosophy & Spirituality
This book incorporates philosophy, science, spirituality, and religion to help us better understand ourselves and the universe we live in. It is science based, and at the same time, delves into what science can’t really answer.
A psychological study of the potential that lies in man. This is one of the most important books ever written.
Ram Dass is one of the better known spiritual leaders and I believe it is because of how purely honest he is. He makes you want to face yourself in a way that allows you to grow. This book explains much of his life, and how he came to understand what he was meant to do.
Helping people see how pain is created in our lives, Eckhart Tolle takes you on a spiritual journey through yourself in an easy to digest way.
The Four Agreements are agreements each person can make with his or herself to live in understanding, compassion, love, and happiness. The book is short, sweet, and utterly comprehendible.
Explaining meditation and spirituality through the lens of neuroscience and psychology. Look up some of his videos, Harris is legit.
This one isn’t quite as easy to read, but is largely considered one of the most important philosophical works ever. Russell discusses basically every major philosopher from the beginning of time.
I read this one recently.. all I can say is WOW. Through analogizing a motorcycle to our human psyche, Pirsig beautifully explains through a turn-paging story of his life just how we can (and must) work on ourselves.
Can’t wait to read this. Here’s what Amazon has to say, “Incarcerated in San Quentin at the age of 19 for armed robbery, Jarvis Masters was accused four years later of participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of a prison guard. Finding Freedom is a collection of prison stories — sometimes shocking, sometimes sad, often funny, always immediate — told against a background of extreme violence and aggression. Masters’ commitment to nonviolence leads him more and more into the role of peacemaker as he tries to put compassion into action. We see Masters meditating amid chaos and squalor, touching the hearts and minds of those around him.”
“We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here Pema provides the tools to deal with the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. This wisdom is always available to us, she teaches, but we usually block it with habitual patterns rooted in fear. Beyond that fear lies a state of openheartedness and tenderness. This book teaches us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others, to accept ourselves and others complete with faults and imperfections, and to stay in the present moment by seeing through the strategies of ego that cause us to resist life as it is.” – Amazon