Great books shift how you look at life and how you feel from when you pick them up to years after reading. The best books to read leave you tired but inspired – thirsty for more.
The first library I stepped into when I was a mere 6 years old had a large slogan above the door:
“Read to Succeed”
There are so many amazing books out there with so much great knowledge and wisdom, that you’re cutting yourself short if you do not read at least one new book every month. Finding great books can be a bit of effort, so here is my list of books that everyone should read- Really the best books I have read in my life.
Many are related to self improvement and personal development books, but since you are reading this article on Upgrade Reality (a blog about self improvement), these topics should be very welcome for you.
The Alchemist is among the best books I have ever read, so has to be top of my book list! I’ve also lots of people who have it as one of the best books they have ever read! It has sold millions of copies and is translated into many different languages.
It is not a book that preaches or commands. Instead, it is a wonderful story about a boy who goes through an incredible journey to seek a gigantic treasure and following where his heart leads him, only to find that the treasure was right in front of him all along. The story is so beautifully and cleverly written and contains many truths and wisdom about life!
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a classic and with good reason. The imagery in this book is vivid and powerful. It works on your gut and mind to hammer in a new understanding about yourself and society.
It will thump questions into your mind like ‘What am I capable of?’, ‘What do I fear?’ and ‘What would I pursue even if it may mean death?’ It will also take you through gut emotions like despair, helplessness and hope as few books can.
If you want a powerful book to read, this one puts the boot in.
A solid understanding how the world of money and investing works is essential these days.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the first of a very clear and informative series of books and should really be taught in schools. It is one of the best books to read for a base financial education which everyone should have.
As well as the foundations of money, Robert T Kiyosaki explains the way society and governments push you to compromise your life and he shows you that through following a disciplined approach, you can dramatically improve your finances, your happiness and your whole life.
Today, Robert has built up an empire giving financial and investment advice, and he got there because of the way he so clearly expresses his ideas both in the text and graphics. He is also quoted all over the world by Personal Development and motivational speakers
Linchpin – Seth Godin
I have mentioned ‘Linchpin’ before in my post, ‘Don’t Sabotage Your Own Dreams’. It is a book that reveals the truth about working for a boss, fitting in and following the rules. The only way to create a good life for yourself is to become indispensable, become an artist. Stand out and don’t fit in. Linchpin is really worth reading!
Tribes – Seth Godin
Tribes is another fantastic book by Seth Godin. I’m sure you have already read my recent post about it, but in case you haven’t, let me give you a super-quick review.
Tribes is a book about becoming a leader and building your own tribe of loyal followers. It explains how anyone can build up huge and powerful tribes with the use of the internet, which has opened a new world of possibilities for just a single person to reach millions. A very useful book in my opinion!
Humor is the highest form or intelligence and this book is one which I read years ago, and still think back on how mind-boggling funny/crazy/twisted it is. It is a true masterpiece which will have you laughing and crying as well as shaking your head in disbelief. Worth reading just to expand your mind let alone lift your mood.
This is a great and very funny book by any measure.
Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz
Written by a plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience who observed the effects of plastic surgery on his patients,this book will really give you something to think about if not change your life.
The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
It is written by Timothy Ferris who was able to create a business online that eventually made him $80 0000 a month with as little as a few hours of work due to all his automation and streamlining. The advice and principles he reveals are priceless and they are easy to understand and apply to your own life right away. Definitely worth reading!
Update: I saw Tim recently in a seminar. He has a new cookbook out now (more like a personal development book than a cook book) - The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
The Power Of Now – Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now is another one of those books that causes a complete mind-shift. Most people (myself included) spend most of their time either reminiscing about the past or worrying or dreaming about the future, while letting the present moment pass them by.
The only time that we actually live in, make decisions in and can feel emotions in is right now, the present moment. Those moments where you feel totally alive, those are all in the present moment.
The secrets and principles of this book can actually cause you to enjoy your life a whole lot more.
Fooled By Randomness – Nassim Taleb
Is success directly related to skill and hard work or is there something more to it? Why do some people succeed beyond belief and others never get anywhere? These are among the topics that this book addresses and while it may not necessarily teach you anything, it will definitely cause you to do some thinking.
I found it very enjoyable. [UPDATE]: The Black Swan” is really good too about rare events with massive impact.
The Way Of The Superior Man – David Deida
The Way of The Superior Man is the best book I have read relating to confidence, inner-strength and having trust in myself. While it is aimed at men, it contains many principles that women would benefit from and enjoy reading.
This book addresses many issues about relationships, your life purpose and how to be a man filled with integrity and passion. A must read book for 95% of the male population who struggle with women and with confidence or lack of purpose.
The Art Of War – Sun Tzu
He was believed to be responsible to authoring the book The Art of War, which contain many of his strategies and ways of thinking. Not only this, but how they can apply to your own life or business, specifically to business and marketing.
A very very interesting book to read!
The Book of Awesome – Neil Pasricha
Neil Paricha is the author of a website called 1000awesomethings.com. His site became so big and popular that he decided to write a full-size hard-cover book called ‘The Book of Awesome’.
We Love Awesome people and things at UR! (See post on the Awesome word Awesome)
It’s a nice book with short 1-3 page chapters, each chapter being about something awesome in life. It will really make you laugh a lot and brighten your day!
Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
Influence by Robert Cialdini is the best book I’ve read related to marketing and psychology. It explains in detail all the subconscious triggers we as humans have, and how marketers have been exploiting those built-in triggers for decades.
Things like the huge power of social proof can make us act where we normally wouldn’t, presenting us with a request then having you reject it and appear to compromise with a smaller request which you then feel obliged to accept. Very interesting and a must-read.
A few more I just couldn’t help including:
The Little Prince - Short but wonderful reading at any age.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Reading it for pleasure is not the same as at school.
A Fortunate Life - Such down to earth honesty and acceptance of life.
Anne of Green Gables - Another true classic. Freedom and high spirited growth.
The Source: A Novel - Everyone should read a Mitchener at some time.
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