In order to write a book one needs to read 100 books, preferably on the subject they want to write. As a published author, I did exactly that, exceeding this call for pure information accumulation by including any and all sorts of information related to “happiness” including scientific papers, YouTube video, TedTalks, specialized websites, regular conversation with everyday people, and any other source of material related to the topic of “happiness.”
I learned a lot. Certainly, one should not overstate the power of reading as it is one of the most leveraging activities in life (meaning that it has the highest output per one level of input). To this degree, I finally composed my recommended book list, going as far as to include my top 10 favorite books, best books on different parts of life, not to read list, my favorite quotes about reading, and more.
My Top 10 All Time Favorite Books
My top 10 all time favorite books include 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:
- Optimal Happiness by Roman Russo – Ok, I did put my book in this list on the #1 list, just because I really believe its message and I do reread my own book yearly.
- The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young – Is the best book about spirituality, religion, and enlightenment. It is transformational, enough said.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha – another book by Christopher Ryan, who further explores misconception about civilization.
- Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz – A happiness book written by a plastic surgeon. Transformational.
- Happiness by Matthieu Ricard and Daniel Goleman – A book written by the happiest man alive. Certainly, he has some life changing advice.
- 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.
- 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.
List of Biographies
- Grinding It Out by Ray Kroc – Book about the founder of McDonalds, Ray Kroc, and international success of his brand.
- Made in America by Sam Walton – Sam Walton is a legend in his approach to business, which resigns behind the success of Wall-Mart.
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone – Book about the richest man alive Jeff Bezos and his brand—Amazon.
- 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.
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – A book about the success of Nike and its founder Phil Knight.
Books of Emotional Intelligence and Happiness
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg – The ultimate guide to conflict resolution. This book stops wars!
- 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.
- The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz – Inequality weighs heavily on our sense of justice and happiness.
- 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.
- Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins – We all have untouched reservoir of energy, which we rarely use. David Goggins reveals this reservoir and tells his incredible story.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Book on Money, Business, and Entrepreneurship
- 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.
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber – A bible of entrepreneurship.
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – Another bible of entrepreneurship.
- 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.
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – A low of attraction book to getting money.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Anything by Russell Brunson – Brunson a true pioneer of entrepreneur and coach on business related advice.
Books on Spirituality
In this session, I could have added countless other amazing book on spirituality, so I limited this list to a few really good books on this topic.
- 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.
- The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh – Read any and all books by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is all gold!
- 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.
- Mindful Work by David Gelles – This is a book about bringing mindfulness to your place of work.
- The Science of Mindfulness by Dr Stan Rodski – another masterpiece on spirituality.
- DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman – Spirituality explored with the help of DMT rich drugs in a scientific laboratory. Results are mind-blowing!
Books on Health
- Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Book about ultra marathon runners.
- Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan by Elliot Abravanel – Unexpected jewel, which will tell you a little bit more about your body type and the best respective diet.
- 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.
- 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.
Book on Productivity
- Limitless by Jim Kwik – Jim Kwik redefines our mental limits.
- How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov – Lessons about life from #1 chess player Garry Kasparov.
- 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.
- Secrets of Mental Math by Arthur Benjamin – Few easy mental shortcuts for math, which everyone should know.
- Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo – Best practices from the best public speakers in the world.
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink – A book about winning by U.S. Navy SEALs.
- Atomic Habits by James Clear – A book on building good habits.
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Similar book to Atomic Habits, with a similar, yet important message.
Books on How To Be Social
- The Red Queen by Matt Ridley – Scientific book about puzzling nature of human interpersonal relationships.
- The Evolution of Desire by David M. Buss – Another science book about evolutionary psychology of human relationships.
- What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins – A book on reading body language.
- Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi – Uncensored all you need to know book about relationships for men.
- Get Laid or Die Trying by Jeff Allen – Another book for men about relationships.
- Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski – A book for women about relationships.
Other Non-Fiction Books
- The Six Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert – This unexpected treasure speaks about extinction of human species.
- Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining by Judy Sheindlin – A book by America’s toughest family court judge.
- 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.
- Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark – Prepare for Artificial Intelligence, which will be the life 3.0.
- American Sniper by Chris Kyle , Scott McEwen – I love books about American army, probably because of their training and dedication.
- Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature by Pamela Bedore – Meta-analysis on utopian and dystopian literature
- Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman – Another interesting book about how we can improve our society today.
Of course, occasionally, I read books that don’t necessarily teach you something, which are commonly called “fiction books.” These can be good novels, stories, and comedy books including:
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – This series was the first books I read from cover to cover when I was just a kid, which jump started my love for reading.
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Pure comedy by one of the funniest man alive, Trevor Noah.
- I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart – Another famous comedian, Kevin Hart, killing it.
- I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max – You need to read this to believe it, as these stories are impossibly funny and unfortunately true.
Also Read Everything By
- Simon Sinek – Author of books like Start With Why and The Infinite Game.
- Malcolm Gladwell – Author of books like Outliers and The Tipping Point.
- Brian Tracy – Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author of books like Eat That Frog! and No Excuses!
- Jim Rohn – American entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author of books like 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness and Leading an Inspired Life.
- Tony Robbins – American coach, speaker, and author of books like Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power.
Don’t Read This List
- 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.
- 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.
Quotes About Reading
“A reader lives a 1000 lives.” – George R. R. Martin
A single new piece of information can change how a person thinks, acts, and behaves.
All education is therapy.
“Leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman
Millionaires spend 10-20hours weekly studying money.
Read a lot because you can’t meet enough people.
The reason I read over 700 books, listened to tapes, and went to so many seminars is that I understood the power of a single distinction.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” – Socrates
The more you commit to improving yourself, the more you like yourself.
The 21st century is a knowledge century, not a labor century. We work with our brains, with knowledge, creativity.
Your homework will make you reach!
Listen to everyone. They are trying to teach you something.
Learning is scary – it makes you feel like a loser.
The easiest way to feel stupid is to do something new.
Read a minimum of thirty minutes a day. Miss a meal, but don’t miss your reading.
Read in your field 20-30m a day.
Any limits that you have in your life result from limited references. Expand your references, and you’ll expand your life.
20% of people produce 80% of results. These 20% are using systems while 80% are not.
Constant growth means constant rejection of our past.
Universities are designed for the average.
What you learn at schools are fact, known facts. But what about imagination, problem solving, and goal setting?
“Don’t major in minor things.” – Jim Rohn
Money follows the knowledge.
We come into the world with most advanced brains but we have no idea how to get the most out of them.
My Future Read List
There are so many good books in the world and so little time to read them. As such, I still reading many different books, some of which I keep in my “future read list” or I have them saved on my Audibles / Amazon accounts, including but not limited to:
- Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
- Music and the Brain by Aniruddh D. Patel
- Creative Schools by Ken Sir Robinson PhD and Lou Aronica
- The IKEA Edge by Anders Dahlvig
- The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen
- Secrets of the UFO by Don Elkins and Carla Rueckert
- The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
- Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov
- Console Wars by Blake J. Harris
- Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden
- Citizen Coke by Bartow J. Elmore
Did I miss any titles that you think I absolutely MUST read? Do you want to share your book list or comment on my current list? Let me know in the comments! This article was last updated on: 01/03/2021.
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