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:
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
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 Manual – Steve Blank
The Education of Millionaires – Michael Ellsworth
The Art of the Start 2.0 – Guy Kawasaki
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
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
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – by Gary Vaynerchuck
Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath
BuzzMarketing – Mark Hughes
All Marketers Are Liars – Seth Godin
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout
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
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
Getting Things Done – David Allen
Spin Selling – Neil Rackham
Tell to Win – Peter Guber
What Great Salespeople Do – Michael Bosworth
The Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan Kennedy
Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t – Steven Pressfield
Authority – Nathan Berry
On Writing Well – William Zinsser
On Writing – Stephen King