never ending book list

Secret Weapons

Cut to the chase – my secret weapons are books, and this is a book list.


The smartest man I know always had a book in his hand – a tattered paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged jammed in the crux of his thumb and forefinger – the yellowed pages, bent corners, and front cover torn off.

I wanted to do more in life, but all I knew was that I had a ton of downtime while working surveillance cases. So, I started reading books. I read books that interested me, books that were boring, books that had told me that reading more books was the way to get smart. My downtime became my alive time.

After a while, I figured out I could learn the collective wisdom of the greats by just opening the books that great men and women had written. If you had a library card, the greats were giving away that knowledge for free.

It’s standard protocol when talking about books to cite the many people who’ve told us how important it is to read books…

…in Malcolm X’s autobiography, his education came from the books he read while in prison.

…Warren Buffett didn’t know a single person who was wealthy who didn’t read books. (He personally reads 500 pages per day).

…both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett separately wishing for the superpower of speed reading.

…one of my favorite authors, Ryan Holliday, always carries a book.

…author Stephen King prescribes one thing for future writers: read a lot.

…Malcolm Gladwell reads three times as much as he writes.

…even actor Will Smith telling young people the key to achieving their goals was “running and reading.”

So, I took their advice. In 2011, I picked up my passion for reading. And after five years of dedicated reading, I achieved two goals of mine: I started my own business and finished my Master’s degree.

Now, I’m passing the torch to you. Below you’ll find a good chunk of the books I’ve read since 2011 with the notes I’ve taken from each book.

But, that’s not all. Since I love reading so much, I’ll continue to update this list with new books and notes as time passes. Which means you’ll have to check back constantly to see what’s new. Or you can sign up for my newsletter by clicking here and get the books sent to your inbox each month. And if you have some books that you think I’d like, feel free to share those with me as well.

Reading has taught me more than I know how to explain. It’s the only way I know how to be like the smartest man I know. The one with the tattered book in his hand – my Dad. I hope you enjoy my list.

Here’s the list:

BUSINESS

The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman

Built to Last – Jim Collins

Good to Great – Jim Collins

Rework – Jason Fried

Networking with the Affluent – Thomas Stanley

Never Eat Alone – Keith Farrazzi

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk

Zero To One – Peter Thiel

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber

The Seven Day Startup – Dan Norris

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

Pour Your Heart Into It – Howard Schultz

The Startup ManualSteve Blank

The Education of Millionaires – Michael Ellsworth

The Art of the Start 2.0 – Guy Kawasaki

FINANCE

The Billionaire Who Wasn’t – Conor O’Clery

I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit Sethi

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

The CashFlow Quadrant – Robert Kiyosaki

Two Income Trap – Elizabeth Warren

Debt-Free U – Zach Bissonnette

A Random Walk Down Wall Street – Burton Malkiel

The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley and William Danko

LEADERSHIP/MANAGEMENT

Best Practices: Motivating Employees – Barry Silverstein

The Alliance – Reid Hoffman

It’s Your Ship – audiobook by Captain Michael Abrashoff

Tribal Leadership – David Logan

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

Linchpin – Seth Godin

Tribes – Seth Godin

Eleven Rings – Phil Jackson

MARKETING

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – by Gary Vaynerchuck

Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath

BuzzMarketing – Mark Hughes

All Marketers Are Liars – Seth Godin

No. B.S Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses – Dan Kennedy

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout

MISCELLANEOUS

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell

The Start-Up of You – Reid Hoffman

Lean Analytics – Croll and Yoskovitz

Beyond the Storms – Dane Egli

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug

Choose Yourself – James Altucher

The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer

The Innovators – Walter Isaacson

MINDSET/PSYCHOLOGY

Drive – Daniel H. Pink

Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Focus – Daniel Goleman

Influence; the Psychology of Persuasion  Robert Cialdini

The Art of Seduction – Robert Greene

The Power of Now – Eckart Tolle

Mindset – Carol Dweck

Willpower – Roy Baumeister

Ego is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday

Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin

The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle

The Art of Learning – Josh Waitzkin

Man’s Search for Meaning –  Victor Frankl

Daring Greatly – Dr. Brene Brown

PRODUCTIVITY

Getting Things Done – David Allen

SALES

Spin Selling – Neil Rackham

Tell to Win – Peter Guber

What Great Salespeople Do – Michael Bosworth

The Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan Kennedy

WRITING

Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t – Steven Pressfield

AuthorityNathan Berry

On Writing Well – William Zinsser

On Writing – Stephen King

Comments 1

  1. Enjoyed your list of books and will check out some of them. My great-grandfather, Charles Sanford Diehl, (retired as General Manager, Associated Press –1904? somewhere around there–writes about the effect of reading on the quality of his accounts as a war correspondent: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b663394;view=1up;seq=23 (p. 15). He was 74 when he wrote the book. Totally self-learned through books. There were no journalism schools then. Plus the fact that he sold papers on Chicago Street corners beginning at least by 9 years old. My cousin (Dr. Andy Diehl, recently deceased due to brain cancer right after he died) commented that CS Diehl was the “Forest Gump of journalism” lol: great San Francisco Earthquake, Great Chicago Fire (sold copy of account to magazine print-setting company when he was 17 years old), American Army Native American Indian War Campaign correspondent embedded in the regiment like they do it today, second reporter to show up post-Custer’s Last Stand, and on and on. I get carried away talking about him, but I mention it re your observation of the impact of a person’s reading on the outcomes of one’s pursuits.

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