Add These 10 Books to Your Reading List: My Recommendations

One of the most common questions I receive as a published author of Optimal Happiness is what books I would recommend. Fair enough, I have a few titles to share with you today. As such, here is my personal list of the top 10 best books that I most recommend you to read:

Books, Image of a man holding a book with MacBook and phone

My Top 10 All Time Favorite Books

My top 10 all time favorite books include a book that I reread at least once per year, every year, simply because I consider them transformational, as they are packed with all sort of useful life changing information, meaning that every time I reread these books I get something new from these books:

  1. Optimal Happiness by Roman Russo – Ok, I did put my book on this list on the #1 list, just because I really believe its message and I do reread my own book yearly.
  2. The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young – is the best book about spirituality, religion, and enlightenment. It is transformational, enough said.
  3. 10x Rule by Grant Cardone – Grant Cardone is the boss, and he acts like one, all along sharing his secret for productivity, which, as the title suggests, is to act 10x all the time.
  4. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – Dave Ramsey saved lives with his financial advice. Simply said, The Total Money Makeover is a book about financial happiness.
  5. Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan – Ever wonder how we got to this mess called society? Christopher Ryan will tell you how it all happened.
  6. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz – A happiness book written by a plastic surgeon. Transformational. 
  7. Happiness by Matthieu Ricard and Daniel Goleman – A book written by the happiest man alive. Certainly, he has some life changing advice.
  8. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz – What to do in hostage negotiation and what lesson we can apply to negotiation in everyday life? Chris Voss has an answer.
  9. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg – The ultimate guide to conflict resolution. This book stops wars!
  10. Limitless by Jim Kwik – Jim Kwik redefines our mental limits.

50 Other Recommended Book

  1. Grinding It Out by Ray Kroc – Book about the founder of McDonalds, Ray Kroc, and international success of his brand. 
  2. Made in America by Sam Walton – Sam Walton is a legend in his approach to business, which resigns behind the success of Wall-Mart.  
  3. The Everything Store by Brad Stone – Book about the richest man alive, Jeff Bezos and his brand—Amazon.
  4. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – Elon Musk is often compared to a real-life Tony Stark, creating several multi-billion businesses including Tesla, SpaceX, and Paypal.
  5. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – A book about the success of Nike and its founder, Phil Knight.
  6. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – This fictional book that changed my life. Meet Ender Wiggin, a boy who will overcome incredible challenges and save the world. Mind blowing book with an unexpected ending.
  7. The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber – Stoicism is the philosophy of happiness that comes from ancient Roman Empire. It is timeless wisdom passed to us from the likes of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus.
  8. The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Inequality weighs heavily on our sense of justice and happiness. 
  9. Status Anxiety by Alain De Botton – Similar yet different to The Price of Inequality, I was surprised by the interesting and unexpected insight that came from this book. 
  10. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins – We all have an untouched reservoir of energy, which we rarely use. David Goggins reveals this reservoir and tells his incredible story.
  11. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – In my recommendation list, I try to stay away from classics, which most people know, but this one is a must read.
  12. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck – I didn’t love the whole book, but the first part of this book is transformational and highly recommended. 
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – This is a dystopian science fiction novel about a perfect society based on the idea of happiness. Ever wonder why I love this book?
  14. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan – People think they are good multitaskers, but this is not true. Most productive people alive focus on one thing at a time.
  15. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber – A bible of entrepreneurship. 
  16. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – Another bible of entrepreneurship. 
  17. The Milkshake Moment by Steven S. Little – A milkshake moment is a metaphor for a moment of perfection and creative glory every business should try to achieve. 
  18. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – A low of attraction book to getting money.
  19. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – Business is not always easy, fun, and straightforward. Sometimes it can be quite harsh, challenging, and demoralizing. This is when we need advice from Ben Horowitz.
  20. Poor Economics by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo – Ever wonder how “poor people” deal with money? It’s not what most would expect, with some interesting and unexpected insights coming out from this international study. 
  21. The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits – Ever wonder if rich people are happy? Certainly, most new rich people had to earn their position in life through merit, which is actually a trap, according to Daniel Markovits.
  22. Anything by Russell Brunson – Brunson, a true pioneer of entrepreneur and coach on business related advice.
  23. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda – Ever wonder if there is something more to life related to spirituality and God? Well, apparently there is way much more that what most people will expect. Yogananda explains this wonderful territory in his autobiography.
  24. Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson – Goleman and Davidson are international scientific powerhouses, whose names are now forever connected to the scientific world of spirituality.
  25. Mindful Work by David Gelles – This is a book about bringing mindfulness to your place of work.
  26. The Science of Mindfulness by Dr Stan Rodski – another masterpiece on spirituality. 
  27. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Book about ultra marathon runners.
  28. Becoming the Iceman by Wim Hof and Justin Rosales – Wim Hof is a legend who redefined how we look at health and our psychological limits.
  29. Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald – Different diets work. Yet, people defend their diets in a cult-like way, stating that if their diet works, then all other diets are incorrect, which is simply not true.
  30. How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov – Lessons about life from #1 chess player Garry Kasparov. 
  31. 10 Days to Faster Reading by The Princeton Language Institute – A book about faster reading, which will help you to read faster on this recommended book list.
  32. Secrets of Mental Math by Arthur Benjamin – Few easy mental shortcuts for math, which everyone should know.
  33. Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo – Best practices from the best public speakers in the world.
  34. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink – A book about winning by U.S. Navy SEALs.
  35. Atomic Habits by James Clear – A book on building good habits.
  36. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Similar book to Atomic Habits, with a similar, yet important, message.
  37. The Red Queen by Matt Ridley – Scientific book about puzzling nature of human interpersonal relationships.
  38. The Evolution of Desire by David M. Buss – Another science book about evolutionary psychology of human relationships.
  39. What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins – A book on reading body language. 
  40. The Six Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert – This unexpected treasure speaks about extinction of human species.
  41. Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining by Judy Sheindlin – A book by America’s toughest family court judge.
  42. The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick and Mikko Hypponen – The world’s most famous hacker teaches you how to be safe in the age of big brother and big data.
  43. Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature by Pamela Bedore – Meta-analysis on utopian and dystopian literature
  44. Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman – Another interesting book about how we can improve our society today.
  45. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Pure comedy by one of the funniest man alive, Trevor Noah.
  46. Simon Sinek – Author of books like Start With Why and The Infinite Game.
  47. Malcolm Gladwell – Author of books like Outliers and The Tipping Point.
  48. Brian Tracy – Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author of books like Eat That Frog! and No Excuses!
  49. Jim Rohn – American entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author of books like 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness and Leading an Inspired Life.
  50. Tony Robbins – American coach, speaker, and author of books like Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power.

Don’t Read This List

Additionally, I was highly disappointed with the following popular titles to the point that I would not recommend people to read them:

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson – This book is just horrible. It opposes happiness advice and tells people to feel bad, providing many reasons for why they should do so. After in-depth research about this author, I realized that he is a pessimist, and the only reason his books are known and popular is because in the end of the day he is a good writer and has catchy titles. Still, it is the content of the book we should be most careful with, preferably ignoring his books altogether, if you want to be happy.
  2. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson – Another popular horror show of literature. As this author states himself, the 12 rules of life don’t really have any logical reasoning. He wrote these rules just because they sounded nice. For example, two of his rules are 1) To be precise in your speech and 2) To pet a cat when you encounter one on the street. At the end of the day, anyone could have written this book. It’s not even well written, and I don’t recommend this book to anyone.  

38 All-Time Best Books About Happiness

Finally, I created a list of the 38 best books on happiness of all time. I’m also writing individual reviews for each of these books, which is still a work in progress, so stay tuned!

PS: What are your top 10 recommended books? Share them in the comments!

Picture of Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

2 thoughts on “Add These 10 Books to Your Reading List: My Recommendations”

  1. zovre lioptor

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  2. Dear Zovre, there is a great deal of knowledge to share in regards to good book about happiness and on other topics as well! I will keep updating this post. Have a great day!

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“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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