2014 Book Recommendations

We received a few requests via email, twitter and the blog for additional book recommendations. Instead of giving out loads of financial analysis books and self improvement items we complied seven books for improvement and an additional seven for fun and entertainment value.

Seven Must Read Books for Improvement

1) How to Get Rich: Simply put, this should be the first book on your list if you’re interested in becoming wealthy. This is not for people who believe that $1,000,000 is a lot of a money, it is for people who truly want to approach the nine figure net worth area. You’ll learn quite a bit, from a high level, regarding wealth creation. If you don’t want to pick up the book here are the key highlights: 1) you’ll never be wealthy working for someone else, 2) America is still a power house – look up GDP numbers for proof, 3) if you are not willing to suffer through tremendous amounts of pain, you’ll never be wealthy, 4) you will lose friends and even family members on your path to wealth and 5) even if you complete all four steps you might not make it.

2) How Rich People Think: This is second in line. We listed How to Get Rich first because everyone should aim as high as possible and they should understand the amount of sacrifice it takes to become wealthy. How Rich People Think is more example oriented and is tailored to people who are interested in becoming multi-millionaires. You will find that many people (see average people who don’t matter) will dislike this book. Overall, you’re picking this up for the following reasons: 1) to destroy a poverty mindset, 2) force yourself to become someone of value, 3) improve your ability to distinguish between poor and rich people upon hello, 4) eliminate some poor financial planning ideas and 5) gain inspiration to start a business <– noticing a trend?

3) Guide to Rational Living: We have read this book a few times and it is particularly important for a young twenty something male to read. Today, everyone attempts to make a mountain out of a mole hill. If someone dislikes your post on Facebook many youngsters act as if the world is ending. This is not only unhealthy but completely irrational. We recommended this book, in particular, for people who are struggling with depression. The truth of the matter is that the modern world has very few life threatening issues so our minds create stress over things that do not matter one bit. Remember… If a person you do not know can ruin your day, you’ve lived a privileged and pampered life (ie: you’re being irrational).

4) What Every BODY is Saying: This book will help you in both the workplace and in social settings. It is said that 80% of all communication is body language driven and 20% spoken. This book will change how you carry yourself from a primal standpoint. You won’t walk the same, you won’t talk the same, you won’t sit or stand the same ever again. You become conscious of the room/environment and you’re now able to get messages across in a much more intelligent manner. As stated in the first sentence of our review, if you’re looking for a book that is going to help you in both the work force and in your personal life, this book is for you.

5) Trust Me, I’m Lying: It is one thing to read the news it is another thing to believe it. If you’re reading this blog you are likely of above average intelligence and realize big media is a large scam where they simply come up with new fads for diets, products and services you don’t need. This will open your eyes even wider. You’ll go through new blogs, products and services and laugh at all the lies they are trying to make you believe. You’ll find that many top tier websites have articles written by people who have accomplished absolutely nothing. The most glaring and obvious ones are in 1) personal finance where the writers are all broke, 2) diet where the authors are selling magic pills and 3) economics where people make macroeconomic commentary but can barely make $10,000 a month. Simply put it is a joke. They use the platform which has established trust, abuse it and sell you products you don’t need. Before we continue rambling here, simply pick up the book and begin questioning where you are obtaining your information.

6) How to Win Friends & Influence People: Many people prefer a book titled “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” however we prefer Dale Carnegie as it allows you to build a framework. Both books are great but this is our choice. After reading this book you’ll change your word choice and you will definitely see an improvement in your game. Instead of ruining the book for you, since it is also a must read, one major tenant is this “the vast majority of people do not like criticism”. Needless to say, you can use this as a measuring stick for finding out who will be successful in life… those that enjoy receiving criticism and thrive in stressful environments.

7) Steve Jobs: Likely the most influential inventor of our generation, Steve Jobs highlights a lot of working principles of success: 1) sickening work ethic, 2) perfectionist and 3) clarity of vision. After you read this book you will realize that if people call you extreme or crazy or too much to handle… You’re walking down the path to success. The only way to be successful is to be extreme, that is how a bell curve works. To be at the right tail of the bell curve means you are an extremity. If you are a sports fanatic, we suggest reading a biography of a top athlete (Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras.. etc) and reading this book immediately after. You’ll find a startling amount of overlap in mindset and work ethic.

Seven Entertaining Books

1) Al Capone: Say what you will about criminals but they are generally some of the smartest people on the planet. They are not nice and you certainly do not want to end up in jail but these books can teach you a lot about human nature and are certainly entertaining. If you have an interest in how a criminal enterprise is run (see an intricate business) and want to be entertained, this is a great book for your long, legal, business flights.

“When I sell liquor, it’s called bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on silver trays on Lake Shore Drive, it’s called hospitality” – Al Capone

2) The Accountant’s Story: No mainstream media website is going to tell you this but… the vast majority of successful people have used drugs to get ahead. With that said, you’ll likely become interested in how illegal drugs are made/processed/sold and how this multi-billion dollar business can continue without being shut down. Well… look no further, since Pablo Escobar is the undisputed king of the cocaine business. While the book is choppy (jumping time periods multiple times – ie: it is not chronological). You’ll learn a lot of startling facts and you will no longer knock on the IQ of high end criminals. They are smarter than us and smarter than you as well.

3) Catch-22: Sticking with our non-chronological theme from book two, we also recommend Catch-22. We all know you cheated in middle school/high school by using cliff notes to pass the examination so pick up the book and read it cover to cover. Any book that is able to enter the English language is certainly going to grab your attention, remember to read carefully as the chapters will intertwine.

“A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.”

4) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Title is self explanatory. Drugs, partying and delusion. Really gotta stop reading all these drug related books… Needless to say it’s entertaining. If you’re looking to turn off your brain and relax this is the best step down from a television (which you shouldn’t own). At least you can tell people you’re reading.

5) Brave New World: Another book off the reading list you never actually read, Brave New World should make you appreciate the ups and downs in life. If your life is truly a utopia where specific medications are made to make you happy, you will feel that something is missing. Without the downs in life you will never appreciate the up times. This is quite appropriate today, where people are unable to go a single day without their Smartphones.

6) Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee is known for being a martial artist however he is also a prolific philosopher. This is in between self help/improvement and entertainment since the book is written by an outstanding athlete. If you are into zen type readings, not sure how else to describe it, you’ll enjoy this book.

7) King of the World: Follow the intensity to find the answer. Simply put if an athlete is both charismatic and on top of the world, you should listen. Muhammad Ali is another great athlete who should be recognized more for his mental strength and views of the world. Like all great athletes and successful people he is inspired by competition and does not allow people to tell him what can and cannot be done. Instead of spanning his entire life the book focuses on his life during the 60’s but it is a great read nonetheless.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.” – Muhammad Ali

Note: If you have outstanding book recommendations please feel free to leave it in the comments. As a side note we have no interest in television or movie recommendations


    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Cool haven’t read it want to throw up a TL-DR of the book overview?

      Sounds similar to “Good to Great” but more early stage.

    • @frenchdna says

      Ryan Leslie, who certainly reminds me of Wall Street Playboys in the attitude, would approve.

      He made an inspirational speech not too long ago about building your own success and how he got where he is now. Takeaways? Hard work & dedication. Taught himself C something scripting to code his own website/app to get rid of iTunes/youtube/etc, to get closer to his audience, and to earn more royalties on his music sales by removing unnecessary people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I5bj4LfDZE

      If you have one link to click in my post select this one below. Listen to the lyrics, watch him answer questions during a WSJ interview, get a peak of his speech at Harvard (entered at 16, graduated at 19). The kind of dude i’d like to have a beer with.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Taleb is a good writer. Overall it is a bit too much negativity and doom and gloom seeping out in his commentary (opinion)

  1. RxBanker says

    Mike Tyson – Undisputed Truth: Autobiography of Mike Tyson, one of the best boxers of our generation. Great insight into his training and his methods. Shows you need to tunnel vision to achieve success, and ignore the haters. Most interesting aspect was about hearing his psychological approach to fear, success, and what caused his downfall. Even Mike Tyson experienced fear and doubt.

    Roberte Greene- 33 strategies of war: Modern day adaptation of Sun Tzu art of war, provides analysis, historical context, and actionable steps.

  2. Eh... says

    Charisma Myth is better and more practical than ‘Every BODY is Lying’. Also, I’d recommend reading ‘Titan – The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.’ – much better than most athletes’ biographies.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Cool haven’t heard of charisma myth, sounds like the Rockefeller book may be more of a self improvement/biz book.

  3. Gecko says

    This is unrelated but can you do an article on different personality types (myer briggs)? Info with best jobs for them, social settings, dealing with others, etc…

  4. Nick says

    Heard of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius? It’s a book on the thoughts and beliefs of the roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He also happened to be a stoic, or in today’s terms, a minimalist which was rare for emperors. Definitely was on the extreme side in his day.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Read the book but didn’t like it as much as others.

      The main takeaway in the book is this “We are the product of our thoughts” = State control.

      Agree but beyond that think the other books mentioned here are better. Our opinion though.

  5. IJP says

    Felix Dennis (author of ‘How to Get Rich’) is a very interesting person in general and I highly recommend his book. An incredibly successful entrepreneur and an accomplished poet. For anyone interested in getting a feel of what his book is about, check out this video which has the audio from a speech he gave about ‘How to Get Rich’. Very motivating:


    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Another one that was read and didn’t like.

      The reason why Felix Dennis trumps is because he does not tell you “you can all be rich!” In reality he tells you point blank the chances of you reading his book and actually becoming rich are next to none.

      Glad you got something out of DeMarco though.

      Besides “scale scale scale” didn’t see anything actionable in there. Everyone reads differently of course.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Haven’t read either.

      Will poll the writers, but Atlas Shrugged is still on the to do list because it is a fiction book (eg: not actionable information) so it is difficult to read for pleasure at 1000+ pages. Could spend more time improving our immediate lives.

  6. TylerVin says

    Have you ever read “The Power Broker” by Robert Caro? One of the best bios I’ve ever read. Follows the life of Robert Moses and gives a really good insight into the history of New York City.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Nah, most broker stuff is too stale + unrelated to Wall Street and or any real career advancement (eg: review on wolf of wall street)

      If it is entertaining will take a glance for a fun read one day.

  7. Jane says

    “What Every BODY is Saying” is a fine book, but Allan Pease’s “Body Language” is the definitive source on the subject if you’re starting out. “Every BODY” tends to gloss over the finer details, but the author’s FBI background gets people interested.

  8. NickL says

    I’m going to try to use some of Dennis’s philosophy here. Reading books is a great idea but execution is more important. There are better and worse ways to get knowledge from the book and make it yours. What are some of the better ways to ingrain the knowledge into your brain and make it yours? Thanks for the amazing list by the way! They are all on my reading list now.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Generally books are guidelines. You’re reading to try and change your thought process. After that you simply need to find something you are good at and begin executing.

      In an ideal situation you read Dennis’s book at a young age and take copious notes. Then you read the 21 ways rich people think and check yourself if you’re thinking like a poor/average person.

      In terms of coming up with business ideas that is entirely up to you and your motivation. No one is going to simply hand you a great business idea and execute at the same time.

  9. Adam says

    Excellent list. Most manosphere lists I look at, think about, shrug, then forget, but your book descriptions made me look some of these up in my local library to add to my reading list. That’s what I like so much about this blog, the advice is real and the writing reflects that.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Cool, everyone has different tastes (as you can see from the comments) but hopefully you’ll like one of them. Library card = legit free information, used to live in them.

  10. I LOVE WSPB! says

    Looking forward to the book written by WSPB. I’m sure it will be a New York Times Best Seller! Any plans on the release date?

  11. LawToFinance says

    Looks like a good list. There are so many amazing books out there that there is really no excuse not to be reading something all the time that either helps you improve yourself or opens your horizons somehow (even if it is just to new knowledge).

    Also, I couldn’t agree more with the points you highlighted from “How To Get Rich,” especially #1 and #3. If you look at the true elites, they either inherited the money or went off on their own (whether in be finance, business or RE) and they BUSTED their asses while doing it. This actually makes me think of your latest post on “Passive Income.” Everyone wants that secret and easy way to make money…not only do they fail to realize that those who are truly successful are workaholics, they also help create the market for countless get rich quick schemes (legal or not).

  12. Derek L says

    I recently read a great novel by author Lubos Borik called “Human Source Code” (www.lubosborik.com). Michael Crichton has always been one of my favorite authors and this book has themes that seem very “Crichtonesque”. Exploring the frightening aspect of gene and DNA manipulation, the author gives us a window into what could very well be the future of “control” over human beings. An organization “profiling” people because of their DNA and a detective eager to expose them, this one is a fast paced and cerebral read. Highly recommend

  13. ello@mailinator.com says

    Number one was a great read. Consumed it.

    Contender for the best book I’ve ever read. And I read a lot.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Read this one and didn’t like it to be honest. Didn’t leave a big impression on us.

      If you got something good out of it, that is fantastic.

  14. Jackson says

    Great post.

    I think you may have missed out on a few good sales books I’ll chuck in a few these are absolutely mandatory reads because everyone needs to be able to ‘sell’ i.e to their future wives, potential investors, employers, colleagues etc.

    1. The Jelly Effect – Written by a man whose mother was blind. Read it, absolutely solid actionable advice you can implement today.

    2. To Be or Not to Be Intimidated?: That Is the Question – This book is unbelievable. You’ll see a lot of cross over with selling with intimidation and picking up women by being a jerk amongst many other things. Buy this book and it will tell you about many people you will face in the real world of sales.

    3. SPIN-selling by Neil Rackham – A classic book. Another buy recommendation.

    4. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships – Again, this is actionable advice on being likeable and getting along with people. You will 100% find many things in this book that you can do immediately.

    5. Perfect Pitch – Written by a very senior ad man from WPP Plc. He has closed over $1bn in business for the conglomerate and talks about the art of putting together pitches. In any industry as you go higher up the ladder you will be involved in this kind of ‘selling’ and presenting. Buy this book (the bibliography alone is worth the sticker price).

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