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