Book recommendations is by far the most common request that I get, so without further ado:
Life and Mindset
This book contains the teachings and sutras of Chanakaya, an Indian philosopher and an economist. This book is a must read for anyone interested in learning how to live a meaningful life. I warn you though, the translations are a bit iffy, and some of the teachings (and words) won’t make a lot of sense unless you know a bit about Indian culture.
You can change your life by changing your mindset. This is a great book on mindset, and it also gives you an overview of fitness, supplements, body language and posture. It contains a lot of actionable advice, and is more of a workbook than a theory book – which for a self-help book is a breath of fresh air.
Okay, so this is a children’s book. But, a lot can be learnt from this short book – change, adaptability, complacency, and preparation.
All big successes happen on the ashes of failure. Everyone has problems, but not everyone can use their problems as stepping stones and grow beyond them. Scott Adams, the author discusses perception and reality, systems and goals, and quite a lot more. It also has quite a few funny comic strips, which is an added bonus.
This is an interesting take on living life. The worst case situation never actually happens, and you don’t really need that much to live the kind of life you want. Also, the comfort challenges scattered across the book really helped me expand my comfort zone.
This book challenges the “thirties are the new twenties” thought that is common among the young adults of today. Your twenties are the most important decade of your life. This book discusses work, relationships, your body and your mind. Your brain fully develops around this decade, and your body changes significantly – these are not the years you want to waste on partying and ‘chilling’. The average YOLO people will hate this book.
Discipline and Habits
This is perhaps the best books when it comes to fixing your life with the power of discipline. If you’re lazy, procrastinate half your time away, or aren’t able to get yourself to take action even though you want to, then this book can change your life.
This is a great book on the science behind habits. Cue, routine, reward. It also delves into how habits are formed, how habits can be broken, how addiction works, how addictive products work, and has in interesting dialogue on free will.
The more important reason to read this book is that if you pay attention, you can learn how to build addictive, habit forming products.
Business and Startups
This is the best book that every entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur should read. Innovation matters more than competition. Competition actually sucks for business profits, and sucks especially for the survival of startups.
Written by self made billionaire Peter Thiel, this book will teach you how to think, and will challenge traditional lines of thought about starting a company.
Okay, so I read this book many years ago, and I don’t remember much of what it said. However, I found it to be a very insightful and inspiring book when I read it, and I recommend reading it. Another reminder to keep thinking differently.
Finance, Money, and Investment
Written by Peter Lynch, one of the most successful investors and mutual fund managers, this book will give you a great overview of investing. Notice that I didn’t say “for beginners”, because there is no beginner or advanced way of investing, just good investing and bad investing. If you read only one book on investing, make it this one.
This is a history of the hedge fund industry – from its origins to its highs and declines post the 2008 crisis, this is one of the most interesting finance books that I’ve read. Must read for anyone trying to enter into the finance industry – both for the buy side and the sell side.
If you liked More Money Than God, you should also check out The Greatest Trade Ever (India, UK, USA), a book that follows the stories of hedge fund managers and investors who made billions during the 2008 crash.
This is one of the best personal finance books that I’ve read. It’ll teach you about the importance of saving and deploying money. It’s written in the form of stories, and the morals and lessons are immortal. Healthy finances are at the cornerstone of a great life.
The other great book written by the great Chanakya. Arthashastra is one of the oldest books on Economics, and it also talks about statecraft, foreign affairs, military strategies, and laws. It was written as a guide for all those who govern.
Arguing and Debate
Written by a political commentator and a lawyer, Ben Shapiro, a man who is perhaps one of the greatest when it comes to making a point. Whether you like him or not, you can learn from him. This book will teach you how to argue and win, especially when you’re being hounded by a group. If you get your ass handed to you every time you have an argument – you need to read this book. Its a short read too.
This book will teach you how to win an argument (though this book is not as great as the one by Ben Shapiro), written by Gerry Spence, an American trial lawyer who never lost a single criminal case. The most important lesson I received from this book is that winning is getting what you want, not sabotaging other people form getting what they want.
Fitness and Bodybuilding
Another book written by Victor Pride, this is a great book for those who want to get fit and muscular but can’t afford a personal trainer. Full of pictures and information, this book will get you started in no time, and will give you some much needed knowledge about exercise and fitness routines
This is the autobiography of Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the worlds best known bodybuilders. Very inspirational book – it gives you an insight into the kind of passion, dedication, and self-delusion you need to get to the top of any industry. The book is divided in two parts: the first follows Arnold’s career as a bodybuilder, and the next gives you detailed information about various muscles, how to train them, which exercises work better than others, and also throws in some workout plans.
This book will teach you how computers work from scratch. Computers are all around us, and most of us don’t even know how they fundamentally work. I recommend reading this just because it’ll enable you to understand the technology behind literally the most pervasive machine on Earth.
An interesting insight into the female mind, it gives a great physiological (not psychological) explanation of why women are how they are, and how you should deal with them. It’s easier to psycho bullshit than to physio bullshit. Men should read this to understand women, and women should read this to understand themselves.
Some Entertaining Books
A very humorous book with a great style of writing. So good in fact that the title made it into the English language. Catch 22 describes a comical situation where an individual is stuck due to contradictory rules (example: You need experience to find a job, but you can’t get experience because they keep turning you down for not having enough experience).
This book can also teach you a lot about human behavior and motivations. Read this book carefully.
A very entertaining book featuring the tales of Jordan Belfort, a stock broker who went wild. You’ve no doubt heard of the movie, and the book is a lot of fun to read too. Very fast paced, and an exhibit of what can happen when smart men go out of control.
A story of Pablo Escobar, and how he conquered the drug trade, and how he manipulated politicians, governments, and the public, from his childhood to the exciting tales of him hiding in deep forests to evade law enforcement – written by his brother Roberto Escobar. It gives you an insight into the intelligence and mental toughness high end criminals have.
Although I don’t really care about wrestling (never watched a single game), I just happened to pick this book up. It’s the story of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and his history in the wrestling industry. What really stuck out to me was his work ethic. The most important lesson I’ve learnt form this book is that you should treat people how they treat you.
(I’ll periodically update this list. Last edited on 13/11/2018)