I love to read. As a child I read all of the time but as I got older I stopped doing so and then came to see books as ‘boring’. What a mistake that was. Since my senior year of high school however, I have consistently read and rediscovered my curiosity about the world, as well as my role within it. It is hard to describe the complete shift in thinking that can occur through reading and thinking deeply about different ideas. Growth is a process, that is ever-changing, and always on the cutting edge. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The following list of books are ones that I have read that have either greatly influenced my thought or that I have simply enjoyed reading. I will update this list as needed, so it might be a good idea to bookmark this page, if you see some books that interest you.
Epictetus and the Tablet of Cebes, Guides to Stoic Living
This is an excellent explanation of Stoic thought and specifically the work of Epictetus. The author breaks down what is meant and how it applies to living the life of a Stoic.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ collections of thoughts and observations about life. I bought my copy when I was 19 and still return to this book all these years later.
The Inner Citadel
An analysis of Meditations. Interesting to read.
Discourses by Epictetus
Epictetus is obviously one of my favorite thinkers and reading his work has influenced me immensely.
The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims by Arthur Schopenhauer
50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent
Don’t let the whole 50 Cent is a rapper and couldn’t possibly have a great book idea deter you. The 50th Law is all about understanding and conquering fear. It’s not as long or detailed as Greene’s other books but is definitely a great primer and one that I have come back to numerous times.
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
This book along with The Brothers Karamazov were two books that I read during my freshman year of college that really stood out to me.
33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
Mastery by Robert Greene
Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina
Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan
The First and Last Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti
Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti
A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle
Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Tony Robbins
My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn
If you don’t know already, Errol Flynn was an actor who was popular in the 1930s and 40s. He was also a notorious ladies’ man for whom the phrase ‘In like Flynn’ was coined. This book is his autobiography and one of my favorite books ever. Sure, a lot of it is BS, but the stories are so damn funny and he truly lived an outlandish life.
The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro
The first volume of Caro’s epic and still yet unfinished biography of Lyndon Johnson. I learned so much history and details about Johnson and his quest for power from this first volume. Caro is a top notch biographer and never makes it boring.
The Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 3 by Robert Caro
Mammoth book. Brilliant history of the Senate and how government functions.
Caesar: Life of a Colossus
One of the books that got me on my Roman history kick. There is much to learn from the life of Caesar.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
Wow. This book is packed with life lessons and an overall story of redemption, overcoming adversity, and the evolution of a man. Haley’s narrative is fantastic. One of the greatest books ever written, in my eyes.
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller
Great biography of one of the 20th century’s most important tycoons.
The Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A ‘confessional’ of sorts by the great political theorist and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Though not entirely honest, it was sort of scandalous in its own times for its frank views on sexuality.
The Illiad by Homer
Epic poem that deserves to be read if only for its importance in the history of western culture. Plenty of lessons to derive from it.
Hermann Hesse novel about Harry Haller, who views himself as a sort of lone-wolf of the Steppes. Heavy philosophical bent.
Another Hesse novel about a man who goes through different phases in life (spiritual, materialistic) in order to try find enlightenment. Short book well worth the read.
The Art of Love by Ovid
Ovid had the ‘game’ down back in Roman times. He advises both men and women on the Art of Love, sexuality, and attracting the person you desire.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby is an interesting figure to me. He had all of the tools to succeed in his life and he did end up succeeding in the material sense. He created a persona, a lavish lifestyle, an air of mystery but he did all of this in the pursuit of the wrong thing. Daisy was an ideal that never truly existed and Gatsby could never get past the veneer and the nostalgia of the time he had previously spent with her.
The Seducer’s Diary by Soren Kierkegaard
The Seducer’s Diary isn’t really a standalone work, rather, a part of Kierkegaard’s Either/Or. It tells the tale of a young man in his pursuit of a young lady named Cordelia. The seduction occurs step by step, full of maneuvers, and is a pretty entertaining read.
The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing by Pat Dorsey
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant