Several people have been asking for a few of my favorite books based on my suggestions in the past. Here is a short list that I will update as I read more great books during our world travels. I love holding and reading a physical book but most of my consumption on the road comes on my Kindle or through Audible. I can ‘read’ so much faster through audio. It’s also very easy to get FREE books from your local library (physical, virtual, and audio) so be sure to take advantage of that.
Click on the book title to get a deeper description on Amazon.
Subject – > Foundational Thought Process, Mindset, and Self Talk:
These would be my START HERE books – the earlier in life, the better, but it’s never too late to get started. Without a strong positive mindset, the rest is useless. We talk to ourselves all day long…start telling yourself the right things.
As A Man Thinketh – James Allen – Amazing that this was written over a 100 years ago! A short read of about 45 pages that will change your life. I have read it several times and it is the only physical book that I have on our travels. Control your mind and you will control your life.
Mindset (The New Psychology of Success) – Carol Dweck – Decades of research by a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist. Mastering our mindset is critical for life achievement. There is a great focus on children in the book as well and it describes how we speak to them will determine how they overcome challenges in the future. If you work with children in any capacity, you should read this book.
The Art of Learning (An Inner Journey To Optimal Performance) – Josh Waitzkin – For anyone faced with a difficult task or work with kids that think something is ‘impossible’. I love this book and the inspiration it provides. The author went from being a chess prodigy as a child (Searching for Bobby Fischer was based on him) to Martial Arts champion while applying the same learning structure. He walks you through the mindset of these accomplishments and how he continues to use them today. Anybody that thinks they have reached a “peak” and needs reinforcement should read this.
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – ‘Rich’ in this case doesn’t just mean money but the riches of life – health, love, wealth, spirituality. Understanding how to control your thoughts will lead to great amounts of success. This book written in 1937 is still extremely relevant because it continues to change lives. It changed mine.
Love yourself like your life depends on it – Kamal Ravikant – Another short read that will impact your life. “I love myself!” – Self talk is critical. This book will help you understand how changing yours can drastically change your future.
Subject – > Self Improvement and Life Advice:
There are many self help books out there and it doesn’t stop with this list. Each of us is different in our gifts and talents as well as our weaknesses. I hope to continue to work on my weaknesses and strengthen my talents until I am no more. “If we aren’t getting better, we are getting worse”.
Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss – I am a dedicated Ferriss podcast listener. ‘The 4-hour workweek guy’, is an epic interviewer spending 2-3 hours with his guests. In this book, he summarizes the best thoughts and advice from his first 200 interviews. You get the tips, tricks, advice, and life hacks from billionaires, olympians, actors, and other successful icons. Big thick book…..thank God he took the time to pack it all in there. It’s even split into Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise sections. I gifted this book many times over during Christmas.
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield – For anyone that has struggled with focusing on whatever passion you might have or want to discover. The main topic of the book is writing literature but the framework can be applied to anything you might be wanting to tackle. Great book to help you get focused and understand what is keeping you from achieving the achievable. A favorite that I read back-to-back.
The Obstacle is the Way & Ego is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday – Holiday is an extremely talented author in how he breaks down ‘simple’ ideation into relevant and actionable ways of living. We get in our own way too often. These books help you understand how we can control this and give ourselves a chance to WIN. These books are known for making their way around locker rooms in the most successful sports organizations in the world.
Eat to Live – Joel Fuhrman & The China Study – Thomas Campbell – These books absolutely changed my health life! After reading both of them within weeks of each other and following the advice laid out, I lost 23 lbs in 6 weeks and significantly changed my blood results helping me to avoid medication for cholesterol. I love food, especially while traveling in foreign lands, and these books helped give me a lifestyle to live within (based on the biggest nutrition study ever completed) while still adventuring out once in awhile.
Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence & True to Form: How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness – Eric Goodman – these two books should be at the top of my list because HEALTH is WEALTH. These books and the principles that are written within them have changed my life! After a back surgery that replaced 3 discs and left screws, plates, pins, and rods in my lower back, the last thing that I wanted to do was get on an airplane or sit on a bus for 12 hours. It was actually after getting an epidural steroid injection before a work trip to India that I made the decision to have surgery because the voyage was so difficult. Now, three years later, I am as healthy as I have been in my adult life thanks to these books and doing the exercises every day. The training is exploding with popularity now, here are a few people that you may know that use it. Whether you have back, neck, or hip pain, or if you are competitive in athletics, these exercises will help you. I wish I had this knowledge when I played Division 1 basketball.
The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson – Small daily choices affect the biggest changes in our lives. This book focuses on determining how we handle those choices and the events that will follow. A classic read that will help teach the basic tools for a wonderful life.
Subject – > Travel Books:
The following are great books about travel or inspiring worldviews. As you can tell, I think travel is extremely important to opening the mind to other cultures and ways of seeing life.
Vagabonding – Rolf Potts – Wonderful book that lays out how to travel with the right mind-frame, to take in all the road offers. It’s inspiring and motivating. He really paints a beautiful picture of the road and all it brings…even the negative stuff.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho – A classic book, and one of the best selling novels ever, telling the story of how a young shepherd from Spain finds his way and calling during an epic trip in Northern Africa. I’ve read this more than once and each time it speaks to me a different way.
The Unthinkable – Amanda Ripley – We all think that “it will never happen to me”…..well, in preparing for our world travels, I wanted to understand how people reacted to crazy life tragedies – hotel fires, hostage situations, plane crashes – so that I could be better prepared mentally in case life comes at us quickly. This book does an excellent job of laying out what worked for survivors and the errors of those that did not.
Spy Secrets that can Save Your Life – Jason Hanson – Safety, security, and survival advice from a former CIA officer? I’m in! In preparing for our trip, we listened to this together and now use several of the key components DAILY like staying on ‘yellow’, carrying tactical pens, and making eye contact with potential predators. This is a great book for daily life no matter where you live. Security first!
Subject – > Great Reads of Discovery:
These are great books that helped me look deeper on subjects that I have interest.
Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari – A great book on the history of humans on our planet. The way it is written and laid out made it hard to put down (or turn off as I was listening to it). If you enjoy history or have questions on how it all came to be…..this book answers all that and more. Extremely fun read.
The Inevitable – Kevin Kelly – The author predicted much of what we are living through today from a technology perspective……30 years ago! In this book he is doing the same about the future. If you are a tech geek like me, you will likely love how he lays out the future and what is coming. If you are at a career change stage in life, get this book so you understand what direction you might want to focus on.
When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert – & Toxic Charity – Robert D. Lupton – Putting these two together as they both focus on charity and giving back. We all want to help the needy but can we be hurting them instead? These books have actionable steps to help you help others. If you are dedicating yourself to working with the underprivileged or if you are thinking about booking that volunteer trip to Haiti, you might want to pick up these books first. They will help you in your pursuit to do the right thing.
Money: Master the Game – Tony Robbins – A life strategist who has helped millions of people find a better life, Tony Robbins is a world renowned leader that has access to many of the top minds on the planet. He used this access to talk with some of the most high profile money strategists and fund managers to build a plan that the common man can follow. It is a well-covered topic (huge book) but if you want to understand what the super wealthy are doing to stay rich, this book gives you the insight that was never available before. The plans he lays out work no matter what your current earning power is.
Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster – Darren Hardy – If you have ever chased that dream of owning your own business, you know how crazy it can be. The highs and lows. This is a great book if you are thinking about entering the entrepreneurial world. Tools, tips, plans, and action that you can follow. Why try to reinvent the wheel when so many have failed for you? Focus on your idea and use this framework to help you be successful.
The Theory of Poker – David Sklansky – I am a poker and card junkie. It’s a universal language 😉 This book has theories that you can also apply to life. I think it is THE poker bible and only book you need on the subject…..or, am I bluffing?
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – Betty Edwards – I am traditionally a horrible drawer and artist. This book helped give me the basics to overcome this burden. If you are someone that might have an interest in getting better at drawing for a hobby or so you will not embarrass yourself playing Win, Lose, or Draw, pick this up and spend a few weekends getting better.
I am always open to suggestions and feedback. Please share ideas!