One of the most important things to do in life is to remain a student and learn from people smarter than you. That's why it's a good idea to read books that smart people, such as Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway, recommend.
I recently learned about another smart person, James Altucher, and dived deeply into his articles, podcasts and books.
For those unfamiliar with Altucher, here is a short bio:
He is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, best-selling author, venture capitalist, and podcaster. He studied at Cornell University and Carnegie Mellon University, and founded or co-founded more than 20 companies. He’s also written over 10 books. Here are a few of his best-selling books:
Now that’s an impressive resume.
Altucher attributes part of his success to reading many books. In fact, here is what he said:
So without further ado, here is his list of books worth reading:
- “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
- “Antifragile” by Nassim Taleb (and “The Black Swan” and “Fooled by Randomness” by him)
- “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed
- “Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz
- “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers
- “Mindset” by Carol Dweck
- “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari.
- “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
- “Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
- “Jesus’ Son” by Denis Johnson (a collection of short stories, not a religious book)
- “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley (and the Evolution of Everything by him)
- “Bold” by Peter D. and Steven Kotler
- “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
- “Peak” by Anders Ericsson
- “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer (along with The Untethered Soul by him)
- “Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist” by Stephen Batchelor
- “Mastery” by Robert Greene
- “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel
- “War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield (and “Turning Pro“)
- “Post Office” by Charles Bukowski
- “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin
- “Maus” by Art Spiegelman
- “On Writing” by Stephen King
- “How We Got to Now” by Stephen Johnson (and his book on ideas)
- “Creativity, Inc” by Ed Catmull
- “Sick in the Head” by Judd Apatow
- “Born Standing Up” by Steve Martin
- “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (and “Practicing the Power of Now” by him)
- “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
- “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” by Harry Browne
- “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
- “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey
- “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
- “What We Talk About When We talk about Running” by Haruki Murakami
- “The Stranger” by Albert Camus
- “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo
- “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner
- “The New Evolution Diet” by Art Devany
- “Poking the Dead Frog” by Mike Sacks
- “Socrates” by Paul Johnson
- “Small Victories” by Anne Lamott
- “Meet Your Happy Chemicals” by Loretta Breuning
"Everyone worries. 20 million people in the US suffer from some sort of untreated clinical anxiety disorder.
Worry is ok. It helps me make deadlines, care about people, care about improving myself. But “toxic worry” is when things spin out of control.
When you wake up at 3am and can’t get that thought out of your head: why did they do that? How will I live? Does she/he love me? And on and on and on and on.
The book, “Worry” helped me."
"First, Judd is one of the most comic directors of all time. So anything he says about comedy is a must-read.
Second, why comedy?
Learning the skills of standup comedy has helped me in so many other areas of my life: insights into life, dealing with others, overcoming fears, negotiating, sales, influence, confidence, and least of all…humor."
"Just look at the table of contents:
Read this book."
"The idea: if you have “skin in the game” on major life decisions (and even smaller ones), that means you take both risk and reward on your decisions.
You’ll do more research, you’ll take better care of yourself to have the energy to make good decisions and be creative, and ultimately you will live a more real and brave life.
The title alone is worth it. And the rest of the book is a good read."
"It’s about when I went totally broke and lost everything and had to bounce back.
It doesn’t tell you how to bounce back. It describes how I bounced back.
How I internally had to strengthen physically, emotionally, creative, and spiritually.
But also it’s about the most important topic: Freedom.
We only get one life to be free, to make the decisions we want (not in a selfish way, but in a way that can allow us to create the life with the biggest impact).
The path to freedom, for me, was learning to “choose myself”: not allow anyone else to make the decisions that would define my happiness and well-being.
The actions we make today, become our biography tomorrow."
Altucher ends his article by saying:
And I agree.
For literally 5 bucks and a few hours of time, you get an enormous amount of valuable information that can help you in life. It’s practically high-robbery. So take advantage of this and read as much as you can.
Also, if you want to check out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.
*The links of this site are Amazon affiliate links. Amazon pays me a small fee from each purchase which helps keep this website up and running ad-free. It does not affect the price of your purchase in any way.*