One of my most popular posts from a few years back was this one, where I listed the 17 most useful books I have ever read. Many of you have asked for a follow-up to this, and I’m here to please.

The below ten books are the best ten non-fiction books I have read outside of the 17 I already listed in the prior article. They are listed in no particular order; I strongly recommend all of them.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

This is the best book on overcoming fear and taking action that I have ever read. The science and psychology is sound. Like all the other books on this list, I highly recommended it.

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

One of the best core business skill books that has ever been written, written by a business genius. Lots of good time management techniques as well.

The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

The single best book on sales I have ever read, and I’ve read many. This is a hardcore, nuts and bolts, how-to guide on how to be the best salesperson in your industry.

How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People by Les Giblin

I consider this required reading along with How To Win Friends and Influence People. That book plus this book is pretty much all the basics on social behavior with other humans that you’ll ever need.

Rich Dad’s Prophecy by Robert Kiyosaki

This was the first book that really woke me up to the fact that economically speaking, the USA is totally screwed financially in the long-term… and how to profit from this instead of complaining about it. If you can’t save it, you might as well make money on its insanity. (Kiyosaki’s book Second Chance is essentially an updated sequel to this book and is just as good.)

Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

I include this book more for the sake of completeness rather than anything else, since I know most of you have already read it. If you haven’t read it, you need to, even though some of his specific examples are a little dated now. It’s a core Alpha Male 2.0 book.

Flash Foresight by Daniel Burrus

Fantastic book on how to predict future trends and profit from them. A must read for any business owner or investor in my opinion. Dan is fucking amazing; I’ve always admired him and consider him a genius. (I’ve spoken with him several times at business conventions.)

Transcend by Ray Kurzweil

Another futurist, though one more controversial. This book is about aging and longevity; the best book I have ever read on the subject.

Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

While the USA and the West are screwed, this book will demonstrate why the human race as a whole has a very, very bright future. Seriously; this book will change how you view the world. Great for developing a positive attitude, abundance mentality, and outcome independence.

Bag the Elephant by Steve Kaplan

Another core business book that I consider required reading for at least most business owners. It shows you exactly how to snag gigantic customers or clients. 100 new small customers is fun, but one new giant customer can literally change your entire financial life.

I’ll post more recommended book articles in the future. Feel free to give your own recommendations in the comments.

46 Comments on “10 Books You Should Read

  1. any recommended books per year speed? sometimes I get a little excited and get a bunch before truly finishing the few that I have.

  2. Grant Cardone:

    1. The 10X Rule

    2. Be Obsessed or Be Average

    3. 101 Ways to Stay Motivated

     

    You’re Welcome  ; )

  3. Do you really need to know all that stuff?  How much information do you really need?

     

  4. I liked How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, but I suspect it’s mostly because it made me more cavalier about ignoring laws I don’t like provided it’s unlikely to get caught (entirely hypothetical of course, gotta cover myself here :P)

    Otherwise and on a nerdier, less pragmatic level, I’ll do the usual and recommend the two evobio masterpieces by Dennett and Dawkins: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and The Selfish Gene. Doesn’t matter that one is over two decades old and the other four decades, and that there’s new science to it nowadays: those two are dynamite. They destroy a fuckton of SP and what they build from its ashes makes that much more sense rationally.

  5. The Manual by an Anonymous Author

    Mode One by Alan Roger Curie along with his other 3 books are really awesome too!

  6. @BD

    I know these are in no particular order, but if you had to pick the top 3, what would they be?

     

  7. Most of these are boring business books. Do you read anything fun?

    Do you really need to know all that stuff?  How much information do you really need?

    What the hell? Are you guys sure you are on the right blog?

  8. Most of these are boring business books.

    Correct. That’s the entire point of the article; to help you improve. Reading Harry Potter is nice but it isn’t going to help you get laid or double your income.

    Do you read anything fun?

    Yes, every month. You can always go to this blog and look on the sidebar to see which fun fiction book I’m currently reading. I’m always reading one fiction book and one non-fiction book.

    any recommended books per year speed? sometimes I get a little excited and get a bunch before truly finishing the few that I have.

    I don’t understand the question.

    Other life changing books:

    think and grow rich

    the magic of thinking big

    Agree. Magic of Thinking Big is in my first article on this.

    Grant Cardone:

    1. The 10X Rule

    10X Rule is on my reading shelf and I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will. I don’t relate well to Grant Cardone (the same way I don’t relate well to guys like Tai Lopez); guys like that are way too emotional and extroverted, but I’m going to read that book to give him a chance.

    Do you really need to know all that stuff?

    No. You don’t need to know anything other than how to feed and dress yourself. The question is how happy you want to be.

    How much information do you really need?

    If you want to live an amazing life and be long-term consistently happy (and I realize not all men want these things), then you’ll have to know far more than just the false Societal Programming you were taught in school.

    I know these are in no particular order, but if you had to pick the top 3, what would they be?

    That depends on where you are in life. For me they would probably be Psychology of Selling, Flash Foresight, and Transcend. For the typical young guy in his twenties, I would probably pick Feel the Fear, Psychology of Selling, and 4-Hour Workweek.

  9. 1. Economics In One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt

    2. Post Human Series – David Simpson

    3. Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

    4. The Unchained Man(honourable mention)

    One thing I find useful: keep notes from your books in a summary book or commonplace. Ludvig Sunstrom’s a good resource on this.

  10. Thanks for the recommendations!!

    Here are a few I’d recommend for what it’s worth:

    1)  Triumphs of Experience — kind of boring, but a fascinating longitudinal study of roughly 250 men’s entire lives starting from the harvard class of 1940-something until (most) of their deaths.  An study of happiness and truth at it’s finest.

    2) The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work — Fairly short, really good.  I think applicable to mono or poly couples.  Gottman runs one of the only labs of his kind.  He invites couples to spend a weekend in an ‘apartment’ outfitted with cameras and mics, psychologists look at the footage afterwards, and diagnose the relationship to the couple.  He’s reportedly able to diagnose divorces with 90% accuracy.  I don’t know if I believe his forecasting abilities to that extent, but a great book nonetheless.

    3) How of Happiness — A seriously excellent book on scientifically validated behaviours that happy people tend to engage in.  No filler or BS.  One of the most useful books I’ve read.

  11. Sachmo – Very interesting book recommendations. I’ve only heard of the first one. I’ve placed all three of them on my to-read list.

  12. Do you really need to know all that stuff?  How much information do you really need?

    Actually I get his point. How many business techniques can you realistically learn before it gets repetitive?

    There are thousands of books on business, sucess and personal development. There are also hundreds of blogs, websites and podcasts on the same topic. My guess is more than half of the information out there is just the same core principles phrased in a different way.

    Blackdragon says he has read over 600 books on business. I wonder, after you have read 300 books on the topic, do the other 300 really add relevant information? Seems to me like there has to be a limit to it.

  13. Actually I get his point. How many business techniques can you realistically learn before it gets repetitive?

    The problem with his comment is that I only listed ten books, and not all of them were business-related. Ten books is too many? Really?

    He’s acting like I listed 200 books instead of ten.

    Blackdragon says he has read over 600 books on business.

    Many more than that now, but only some of those were regarding business. Others were on things like taxes, investing, success, goals, economics, history, international, etc. Again, I always list the books I’m currently reading over at the Caleb Jones Blog so anyone can go there and look. For example, the non-fiction book I’m reading now is on brain health, not business.

    I wonder, after you have read 300 books on the topic, do the other 300 really add relevant information?

    No, but I have not read 600 books on any one topic, nor will I ever.

  14. Hey Caleb!

    thanks for the list

    What are your opinions of Dan Kennedy? I love his time management philosophy, very similar to yours.

    His NO B.S. books and marketing materials are gold

    Jaime

    Quipro

  15. Hey BD,great post,you should post book recommendations more frequently.

    Do you know some great books or studies that cover the subject of “Natural Law”, subject that you talk in Unchained Man?Books about this subject or books that help you to overcome OBW?

    Also,in the future when you got time,another podcast will be great!

  16. Great idea and email for the book list

    I’d suggest the Daily Stoic and Meditations – pretty much staple for stoic philosophy

     

    LieSpotting by Pamela Meyer – She does a great job of combining tactics and strategies with a solid understanding of how to tell when people are lying, it focuses more on business, but it applies pretty much everywhere

     

    Also – for fiction – John Dies at the end is a pretty interseting and twisted read

  17. Wow, I’ve read a bunch of great books lately, and surprised none of them are on this list.  This is good news, since I can read more good stuff.

    I don’t understand the guys complaining about 10, holy shit look at them all, 10 books!  “you mean I gotta read ALL of these????”

    If this shit’s boring to you then follow a different blog.  This place is for men that want to optimize their careers and sex life, not for children to complain about reading “boring business books”.

     

     

  18. Blackdragon…

     

    I liked your alpha 2.0 book…  I heard some of your postcast as well, your voice is very nice… Why don’t you make your books audiobooks for guys like me that are into audiobooks… And then discount it to the guys that bought the paper… just biz idea since you like money..

  19. Many stoic recommendations. I’ve thought about Blackdragon’s philosophy (you should found your philosophy school, BD) in relation to stoic ideas and I think they have similarities, but one fundamental difference that breaks stoicism for me in favour of BD’s.

    Similarity: both emphasise the need for outcome independence.

    Fundamental difference: BD starts from the premise that your own happiness is the final purpose of your life and you should make changes and strive for that with all you got. Life is in the minding of your happiness. Stoicism argues that you shouldn’t work towards your happiness, or, at best, you shouldn’t care about it. If you are happy, good. If you are miserable, good. Happiness is a byproduct of your not minding.

  20. I believe it’s important to find out as much information about human relationships as possible as our livelihood depends so much upon others, as Harry Browne once stated that to get what we want you must first help other individuals get what they want. I would add the following books to this list

    1. Influence by Robert Cialdini

    2. Leading an inspired life by Jim Rohn (or listen to the Power of Ambition on Audible)

    3. Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

    4. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

    5. Rule Your World by Harry Browne

    6. Unscripted by MJ DeMarco

  21. I just read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, primarily because to avoid confirmation bias I’m highly interested in non-BD sources, but they have to be evidence-based. This one is decent but very much inside-the-box. There’s absolutely no mention of open relationships, or not living together, and separate finances are the exception rather than the rule. I guess within the constraints of TMM the advice given can go a long way, but why such a silly constraint?

    But here’s one big thing. To quote the book:

    In a re­cent study of young pro­fes­sional cou­ples, re­searchers in Los An­ge­les cal­cu­lated (after mon­i­tor­ing them 24/7) that the av­er­age amount of time they ac­tu­ally en­gaged in con­ver­sa­tion was thirty-five min­utes. A week!

    BD, much of your advice is to stop being an “anything you say, dear” beta. But so much of relationship trouble, and I guess source of most divorces, is just never caring to hear what the darling has to say! You claim, and rightfully so, that succumbing to betaization is death to the relationship, but never actually hearing one another is hardly better, and that’s what’s happening most of the time!

    Communication is extremely important, and maybe you should write something on this subject as well. Primarily aimed at recovering Alpha 1.0s, I think. While it’s true that the right frame and judicious usage of soft nexts go a long long way, understanding women’s concerns and reacting appropriately is still a skill.

  22. Although I agree that reading is very important and has paved the way for my success especially in dating, we must be careful not to use it as a crutch in order to postpone action and procrastinate. Too much information can cause overload and sometimes even confusion and mental exhaustion. You must be careful not to jump from one book or topic to the next without first digesting the information you just read, that would be like throwing up the food you just ate. I believe too much reading is the same as watching TV or surfing the web, it can be a waste of time and like any bad habit will create problems. With that said, find out what your topic of interest is in and dont become an encyclopedia or a jack of all trades but learn to specialize in a certain area of your life that needs immediate attention like the phases Caleb speaks about above. In dating these are the books that have helped me tremendously, there is no way you can read these and be the same man.

    1. 21st Century Fox Space age Pimping by Paradise – I could sit here and tell you how this is perhaps the most important book I ever read and how it changed my perspective on dating and life in general but just read it. its at the top of the list. You can buy the book or read an edited washed out PDF version online but try and get the revised edition in book format.

    2. Practical Female Psychology for the Practical Man By Joseph South – This book is loaded with game, biology and psychological concepts that will make sense of everything else on the list

    3. The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi – Crucial Book, explains gender dynamics, mindsets and everything else

    4. She Comes First – By Ian Kerner – You gotta know how to please her in the sack once you hook up right? Yes the tongue is mightier than the Sword, Practice good Cuninglingus and they’ll keep coming back for more. You’ll be amazed at how many men don’t go down or have no idea how to properly do it. This idea first caught my attention by a book called called under the clitoral hood by Marc Rudov. Once you become a master trust me they’ll be lining up.

    5. Attraction Formula by Paul Janka – This book made me take massive action and go out and hustle women. Reading through this book a few times and I was going out and getting numbers day and night no matter where. Coffee Shops, Streets, Grocery Stores, Clubs just anywhere. It gave me that much confidence to do it.

    Of course you can learn plenty from this site as well and one of my favorite articles was about the no contact rule which is crucial to the inevitable breakups and maintaining a strong frame.

    Other books I recommend on the side are more red pill psychology and not putting women on pedestals they are a bit harsh but you’ll learn plenty.

    * Sex-ploytation by Matthew Fitzgerald

    * The great female con by Andey Randead

    * The manipulated Man by Esther Vilar

    Also if you can get a hold of Tariq Nashee’s “The mack lessons podcast” which are about 200 episodes those are absolute Gold and funny as well.  Those were recorded back in 2006 – 2009. Ignore his new podcast because its all political BS that so many bloggers fall into nowadays.

  23. Most of these are boring business books. Do you read anything fun?

    You know what’s fun, more so than reading fiction books? Fucking hot girls.

    The books above will give you the means to do that. Until you’re doing that on the regular, why turn to books for mindless entertainment?

  24. Thanks BD, maybe I have to spend a huge amount of time just to read all them. I’ve read “Feel a fear and do it anyway” and found its valuable concepts.

  25. BD, great post

    do you have any posts on bio hacking,nootropics, cognitive enhancers, and smart drugs

    over and over I am amazed by how many literate people who can read but do not. As people age focus memory concentration and vision decline so

    Even fewer people read anything and certainly nothing challenging

    very scary
    Developing and maintaining critical thinking skills will improve a man’s life

  26. Read “The Bitcoin Standard” by economist Saifedean Ammous, and don’t miss out on the biggest revolution in the world of money + building and retaining wealth since the time when gold was still the standard of money.

  27. Recommendations. Books that I have read so far this year that have helped me a lot:

    Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith

    Marshall Goldsmith is a high level high performance coach. To show you how good he is, he doesn’t get paid when the person who hires him approves of the performance improvement. He gets paid when all the other people surrounding the person he’s coaching say that there’s a performance improvement. Plus the laundry list of high level performers endorsing this book is insane.

    This book is how environmental triggers affect performance and how to deal with them. It’s a book about how to change your environment to change yourself.

    What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith

    This is another great book by the Marshall that explains unconscious annoying habits that people adopt to succeed up the business food chain, but then turn into things that hold you back. Huge book that helped me fix a lot of small problems I wasn’t aware of.

    Ryan Holiday – Perennial Bestseller

    Interesting book if you write books or create any form of IP. It breaks down how to target your books/IP. How to think about what makes anything successful long term.

    Sam Carpenter – Work the System

    Great business book that breaks down how to think of business systems. This is like the practical version of E-Myth Revisited (which explains what types of systems are common in business).

    Nassim Taleb – Skin In The Game
    His latest release. Another interesting way to think about and analyze risk and risk takers. His theory is simply people who don’t have skin in the game tend to be bad decision makers since they don’t have consequences or “skin in the game” to correct for bullshit.

    Nick Winter – Motivation Hacker
    A book by a programmer that breaks down how motivation works and how to improve it. Super technical in some ways, but useful to find ways to fix any motivational problems

  28. What are your opinions of Dan Kennedy?

    He’s one of my primary mentors and I’ve modeled most of my business models from his.

    you should post book recommendations more frequently.

    Agreed; I will.

    Do you know some great books or studies that cover the subject of “Natural Law”, subject that you talk in Unchained Man?

    Various libertarian sources. Start with the Cato Institute.

    Also,in the future when you got time,another podcast will be great!

    I’ve got another podcast for the Alpha 2.0 Community coming very soon.

    Why don’t you make your books audiobooks for guys like me that are into audiobooks

    I’m going to, for all of them, starting later this year. It won’t be my voice though; I’m way too busy to read thousands of pages of text into a microphone.

    BD, much of your advice is to stop being an “anything you say, dear” beta. But so much of relationship trouble, and I guess source of most divorces, is just never caring to hear what the darling has to say! You claim, and rightfully so, that succumbing to betaization is death to the relationship, but never actually hearing one another is hardly better, and that’s what’s happening most of the time!

    Correct. Sometimes you need to to shut up and listen to her talk about her day. It’s critical. You don’t have to comment or even be interested in what you’re hearing, but you do have to listen.

    PF is extremely feminine, thus very emotional and talkative, and her primary love language is quality time, so while I don’t obey her orders like a beta, I do sit and listen to her talk often. You can do one without the other.

    I’ll have more to say about this in 2.5 years when I write the book on living-together OLTR relationships.

    Although I agree that reading is very important and has paved the way for my success especially in dating, we must be careful not to use it as a crutch in order to postpone action and procrastinate. Too much information can cause overload and sometimes even confusion and mental exhaustion.

    Correct!!! Learn, then execute. Then learn, then execute. Don’t fall into the pattern of learning, learning, learning, learning…

    do you have any posts on bio hacking,nootropics, cognitive enhancers, and smart drugs

    No, not an area I’m well versed in nor have any great interest.

    The rest of you… great recommendations! I’m adding many of these books to my list.

  29. I’m surprised, shocked, that Robert Greene has not been mentioned, all of his works are fantastic!

    The Art of Seduction

    The 48 Laws of Power

    Mastery

    and lastly the one I am working on now, and right there at the top

    The 33 Strategies of War

  30. I’m surprised, shocked, that Robert Greene has not been mentioned, all of his works are fantastic!

    Yes, Robert Greene is definitely on that list. I’m excited on the announcement of his new book, The Laws of Human Nature due in October. I believe it’s going to be a game changer.

  31. Rich Dad’s Prophecy by Robert Kiyosaki

    Kiyosaki’s book Second Chance is essentially an updated sequel to this book and is just as good.

    So I’m guessing Rich Dad Poor Dad and his other books are not as good as these two, and maybe not worth reading? That dude has lot books, I’m thinking he probably rehashes a lot of the same themes and has a lot of overlap in them.

  32. @Rick on what list? I do not see him mentioned at all when I do a word search on this page..

    Yes I am excited for that new book as well, hopefully I can finish The 33 Strategies of War before it comes out, that book is like 900 pages!

  33. So I’m guessing Rich Dad Poor Dad and his other books are not as good as these two, and maybe not worth reading? That dude has lot books, I’m thinking he probably rehashes a lot of the same themes and has a lot of overlap in them.

    No, the first 2-3 books in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series are very good and I do recommend them strongly. After that, yes, he starts to repeat himself in many of his later books.

    FYI I don’t agree with all of his advice (he’s very pro-debt, for example), but his core messaging is very good.

  34. Is there a book (or process or advice) on how to detach from the US government as much as legally possible while still being a citizen? Like unregistering to vote?

  35. I think that the majority of people on here want to be successful and if you’re stuck in a rut in life, don’t know what to do or can’t find inspiration then I believe truly in my heart that it’s best to keep things extremely simple at the very get-go. As mentioned on here by a few people, books can sometimes get in The way when finding answers Because many books tend to contradict each other and you’ll get conflicting information.

    If you’re at the starting line or even a breaking point in your life, I believe there are a few resources that can be extremely helpful but bear in mind that most of us already have the ingredients of what it takes to be successful all we need is to lay down the recipe and follow through with focus and discipline and consistency. I believe that to get from where you are now to where you want to be is not so much getting more answers or more stuff in life but rather what separates you from your ideal self is Discipline and more discipline.

    The following resources have helped me tremendously.

    1. Two audio programs by Sybervision called the neuropsychology of self discipline and the neuropsychology of achievement, two separate courses which lay down the Fundamentals of what it takes to be successful. Both can be found for free on YouTube.  They’re the best I know of as far as laying down the groundwork.

    2. The law of success original 1925 manuscripts by Napoleon Hill. I find this original to be even better than think and grow rich!

    3 . How to Win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. Let’s face it in order to be successful in life we are going to need lots of help, what some call a mastermind. Knowing how to deal with people is absolutely crucial for your success. Especially if you have no tangible things to offer then your attitude has to be your absolute best asset.

    4. A Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Gikandi. Absolutely powerful book on the law of attraction of keeping your spirits high. The best book on metaphysics in my opinion.

    5. The E-Myth Seminar by Michael Gerber on Audible. Crucial business dollars information that will help you along your way.

    That’s it, in my opinion those are the only resources you need to start off and be successful. Of course everyone is different but like I said you have to keep it simple and learn to study and Digest the information of those books and audios. They will require numerous readings until it’s ingrained into your mind and becomes a part of you. Of course down the road you will need more resources but to start off those are honestly the resources that worked for me for the first year on my journey. Everything else revolves around specialized knowledge which you can get from Udemy or other online courses. The point is not to become an encyclopedia  but to specialize in a certain trait something most books will not teach you. Books will steer you in the right direction and Can be used for motivation but most will not give you a step-by-step instruction on what needs to be done in your specialized field. You need online training courses for that. God speed!

  36. @Rick on what list? I do not see him mentioned at all when I do a word search on this page..

    @Natedogg, I didn’t put Robert Greene on the list but he definitely belongs there. I think his philosophy has helped me expand my mind and worldview to a great extent. His books are those you can reread every couple of years to gain fresh insight and it never gets old. I always learn something new.

  37. Hey BD –

    Would you listen to books on tape, or are they not as complete as the full books?

    Any top Sales Trainers/Training Seminars to recommend, or will the book you recommended be enough?

     

    thanks!

  38. Blackdragon, after reading Unchained, I followed up by getting hold of some of the books you recommend here.

    Feel the Fear was … interesting. Challenging. I used it as a prompt for Journaling, looking at fears I’ve overcome and those that I still haven’t confronted. I’m now doing something similar with Giblin’s Confidence.

    Some of these books expand on ideas that you cover in Unchained.

    Have you got any specific recommendations on formulating a Mission?

    I found Covey’s short book, which wasn’t bad, but a bit light on specific exercises and processes for formulating it. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!

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