Books

Congratulations, you have just struck gold!

This is The Escape Artist’s recommended reading list for anyone that wants to get rich. All these books are potentially life changing. You don’t need to buy them (you can get them free from your library) but you do need to read them and then take action to put their ideas into effect.

You may think that many of these books have nothing to do with money…and yes, the books do cover all aspects of life.  But don’t be fooled, the secrets to money and freedom are contained within them. The one thing they have in common is that they all helped me to reframe challenges, think independently and solve life’s practical problems.

Don’t be put off by any anti self-help prejudice you may have based on the titles. There is no get rich quick bullshit here.  I regularly re-read these books; they contain so much wisdom that I get something new every time.

The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley, Danko)

There are lots of rich people around.  Its just that we don’t notice because they are not showing off.  Forget trying to keep up with the Jones’ – those suckers on your street with the 4×4 and the big mortgage deserve your sympathy not your envy.  As they say in Texas: Big Hat, No Cattle. This is the classic book on the reality of how most millionaires make it and keep it.  A wonderful combination of facts, data and insight into the mindset of the rich.

Manhood  (Steve Biddulph)

Step one is to realise when you have allowed yourself to become trapped in your own Prison Camp.  If you are a guy, this book might be the wake up call you need.  Biddulph explains how to think about mortgages, your mates, friendship and more.  I was lucky enough to meet him and he is ridiculously smart (and a lovely guy as well).  Female readers that want an equivalent should try On becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington.

Raising Boys / Raising Girls (Steve Biddulph)

OK, so these are actually 2 different books: Raising Boys and Raising Girls. Having kids prompted me to rethink my priorities. And it was Raising Boys that made me realise that being a father means more than just showing up at conception and then paying the bills – I needed to be there more.  Whether we realise it or not, we provide a role model to our children that helps shape who they become.  Biddulph offers practical advice for parents that is priceless.

The Intelligent Investor (Ben Graham)

Warren Buffet calls this “By far the best book on investing ever written”.  This book provided a framework for my active investing – both asset allocation and stock selection. Don’t let the slightly old world style put you off, this is as relevant today as it was when it was first written in 1949.  If value investing were a religion, this would be The Bible.

Winning the Losers Game (Charles Ellis)

The best argument for simple, low cost equity index investing that I’ve read. It’s written by a successful investing legend (who was also a director of Vanguard) who does not need your money and is not trying to sell you anything.  Ellis is like the rich and successful uncle you wish you’d had: the style is elegant, calm and soothing. He explains why shares might be safer than you think and why cash might be more dangerous.

The New Evolution Diet (Arthur de Vany)

This book showed me that the conventional wisdom can sometimes be 100% wrong. Turns out that its easy to be slim…and it costs less as well!  This is not another faddy diet book.  The benefits may vary between people but, boy, did this work for me.  As well as food, the book covers exercise and the benefits of living a natural life.  Originally published as The New Evolution Diet, it was retitled The de Vany diet in the UK.  Not only does it work, the book explains why it works with reference to evolution.

Status Anxiety (Alain de Botton)

Don’t be put off by the slightly high brow feel to this book. De Botton illustrates his ideas with classical references. But the content is powerful, high class common sense.  This will make you realise that the money concerns that you have in your head are relative. In other words, they are about worries about status and comparison to others. These feelings are universal and timeless and not specific to you. It suggests alternatives to consumerism which can help you cut yourself some slack.

What Should I do With My Life? (Po Bronson)

Once you have realised that you are living in the Prison Camp, its time to read this book.  This is a collection of true stories about real people who followed their heart and made big, brave changes in their life.  Most of them did this with little or no financial security.  The Escape Artist was not brave enough to do this and so waited to get to financial independence before pulling the trigger.  But I admire those with more courage than me.   Inspiring.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)

This book provides a framework for how to think and act effectively in every aspect of your life – its as applicable to relationships as it is to work.   It teaches you how to prioritise, focus on what you can control and be more effective at work.  This book can help you hold down a stressful job and earn more. This is the real deal: I wish I’d read this book in my early 20’s. Better late than never though.

The Magic of Thinking Big (David Schwartz)

If The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides the logic framework, this book provides the motivational turbo charger.  It has a recognisable tinge of the US in the 1950s about it and, probably as a result, is a little bit too consumerist in places but the motivational pyschology is timeless.  This book will challenge you to aim higher and cheer the fuck up, but is always grounded in reality.

Fooled by Randomness (Nassim Taleb)

Don’t let the writing style put you off., this is a work of genius.  Yes, the author can seem cocky at times…but that’s mainly because he is smarter than you or I… and he’s Right.  The book is best known for explaining the role that luck plays in investing…but it covers careers, office politics, financial independence, why the media is mostly rubbish and much more.  Essential reading for investors but not an investing book per se.  This book introduced me to the phrase “fuck you” money.

The Black Swan (Nassim Taleb)

This book will help investors avoid ending up like a turkey at Christmas. Its a book about the impact of large, unexpected events.  You should ignore most forward looking statements by bureaucrats, economists, brokers, bloggers and politicians because they do not know what is going to happen. Which makes it all the more impressive that Taleb predicted the 2008/9 credit crisis in this book. Yes, the book is a bit longer than it needed to be but there’s a lot of value in here.

Anti-fragile (Nassim Taleb)

In Anti-fragile, Taleb develops the ideas from Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.  But this is a more useful book in some ways.  FBR and TBS are all about how to recognise and protect yourself from hidden risks.  In Anti-fragile, Taleb sets out how we can actually benefit from volatility and there are more practical applications.  Taleb explains why self-employed cabbies are more robust to recessions than middle income cubicle slaves, why you should be sceptical of doctors and how what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Thinking fast and slow (Daniel Kahneman)

Not an easy read, this book summarises a life’s work by the guy that co-invented behavioural psychology and won the Nobel prize for doing so.  Kahneman proposes that we have 2 decision making systems. 1) an ancient hardwired reptile brain system for dealing rapidly and instinctively with threats and opportunities…this is how we feel fear and greed. 2) a more recently evolved human capacity for logical thought.  To get to FI, we need to use this second system a little more.

The Art of Thinking Clearly (Rolf Dobelli)

Easier to read and more practically focussed than Kahneman’s magnum opus Thinking Fast and Slow (above). This is like a simple guide how to apply the insights from the work of behavioural pyschologists such as Kahneman, Tversky in our everyday lives. For example, this is where I got the idea that no news is good news.  Dobelli identifies 99 cognitive errors that you will kick yourself for not having seen before.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

You can not really understand the human species, modern society or markets without first understanding evolution.  Everything we do has its basis in evolution, yet most people have no idea about it – they just think its something they covered in GCSE Biology to be ignored thereafter. But evolution explains our feelings and actions towards happiness, money, security, hope, fear, ambition, sex, altruism and so on…..all the important stuff.

The Rational Optimist (Matt Ridley)

This book may persuade you that maybe, just maybe, we are not all doomed.  Ridley explains human progress over through history into the modern day and the value created by trade, technology and the free exchange of ideas. Its an upbeat, optimistic companion to Jared Diamond’s excellent Guns, Germs and Steel. Ridley has a big picture perspective and a background in evolutionary biology and psychology (he’s an academic who also wrote The Red Queen, a leading book on evolution).

The Obstacle is the Way (Ryan Holiday)

An easy introduction to stoicism. This is philosophy at its most practical. We all know that shit happens in everyone’s life. What defines us is how we react to those challenges. Stoicism offers an operating system to ensure that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Holiday illustrates with stories from throughout history and features Marcus Aurelius – the only actual Roman emperor that wrote a self help book (Meditations), that you can (and should) read today.

Bring Home the Revolution (Jonathan Friedland)

You can get rich whilst being a good person. And in politics, we can combine freedom and capitalism with ethics, community spirit and environmentalism. Having the right framework matters. Because they got a clean slate on which to write their constitution, Americans were able to embed more checks and balances into their system.  This book explains we can move on from the old British class system and how politics can leave behind the traditional left vs. right Punch & Judy show.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Richard Carlson)

100 simple tips and tricks on how to re-orientate your thinking towards happiness, calm and optimism. Yes, it looks a bit self-helpy and a bit West Coast American but sometimes those dudes are Right and we need to pay attention. If you read it, you’ll probably think something like “this is all common sense, I could have written this and sold the 10 million+ copies“. But you didn’t.

The Road to Nab End (William Woodruff)

Do you remember the Monty Python Yorkshiremen sketch with the men boasting about how hard their childhoods were? They should read this and realise they had it easy. This is a life affirming true story about a working class childhood in a Lancashire mill town…and an ultimate escape to freedom and prosperity….continued in Beyond Nab End. Compared to doing what this guy did, I can assure you that getting to FI is a piece of cake.

Man’s search for meaning (Viktor E. Frankl)

This is not some poncey philosophy book; its raw, powerful and uplifting. Frankl was a Jewish psychologist imprisoned for three years in Auschwitz and 3 other Nazi concentration camps and this short book summarises what he learnt there.  Everyone has choices and the power to exercise them with dignity, however grim the circumstances. The secret is finding what is meaningful to you (a cause, a vocation, a passion). Like freedom and the path to financial independence perhaps?

The Inner Game of Tennis (Tim Gallwey)

How do you get better at tennis…or with money?…or any game? Answer: You get better both in your Outer Game and your Inner Game. Outer Game is what you do. In tennis, its the visible game that you see played on the court. Outer game includes the racquet that you use, the shots you play, the kit you wear, the tournaments you enter etc. Inner Game is what you think. Its the invisible game that takes place in the mind of the player and its played against obstacles such as nervousness, self-doubt and self-condemnation.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (T. Harv Eker)

This is the best book on the Inner Game of Money.   Eker understands the psychology of wealth building better than just about anyone else. Whether you realise it or not, you’ve been conditioned (a polite phrase for brain-washed!) in how you think about money from childhood onwards. Eker explains this via the concept of your money blueprint. He then explains how to control and eventually rewire our brains to build wealth.

Mindset (Carole Dweck)

One of the most useful books in understanding the underlying differences between complainers and people who get stuff done. The reason its interesting is that the concept underlying the book – that wherever you start from, you can always get better – is incredibly powerful and yet ridiculously simple.  So simple that my first thought was: why have I never thought of all this myself before? See my fuller review here.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (Erricson, Pool) 

The reality of how people go from the bottom to the top of their field.  Not so much in investing or business (where luck often means its hard to tell what the real causes are) but in fields like music, sport where there is greater objectivity in determining who is the best and what methods work.  The (main) answer is deliberate practice – whereby motivation is applied in the relentless and focussed pursuit of gradual improvement using the aggregation of marginal gains.

The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)

After you get to financial independence, you may need something to do. So how about starting a side hustle / lifestyle business?  This is the goto book in Silicon Valley on the Correct way to start a business. You can forget long business plans, having an MBA, 5 year forecasts, borrowing money from a bank and taking lots of risk…that’s all horseshit.  This book will show you a better way.  Using The Principles of Lifehacking you can start a business (either before or after financial independence) with minimal risk and minimal capital.

Spent (Geoffrey Miller)

spent

This book is hilarious in an under-stated sort of way.  Written by one of the world’s leading experts in evolutionary psychology, it delivers a killer hatchet job on consumerism.  The basic idea is that we’re wasting tons of money showing off because we’re programmed by evolution (reinforced by advertising) to chase status in our tribe to improve our chances of reproductive success…even if we don’t realise it. Miller suggests this is an inefficient strategy for getting laid. For a better way, see his next book Mate (below).

Mate (Tucker Max, Geoffrey Miller)

This is the book on attraction, sex and love that men will wish they’d read aged 16.  Recommended for getting other halves on board with the escape plan, its just as valuable if you are in a long term relationship or single. Grounded in evolutionary psychology, this book helped me understand my wife’s point of view on all sorts of things: cleaning, spending and what the neighbours might think about financial independence.  The accompanying podcasts are free and are even better than the book (the Q&A is hilarious) .

Your Money or Your Life (Domingez and Robin)

The title is a reference to Dick Turpin style highway robbers that used to give people the choice of giving up their possessions vs giving up their life. At gunpoint, most people prioritise their life over possessions.  So why can’t people see that, by getting trapped in consumer spending, they are choosing money over their life?   Written back in the day, this is the original bible of financial independence.  Other than the outdated section on investing, it’s as relevant as ever.

Your help needed! If you read any of these books, please leave a comment below to let your fellow FI-seekers have feedback on whether they helped you. Thanks!

34 comments

  1. Quite a few of these are on my list of favourites. Others I will be sure to check out (of the library that is). “The Millionaire Next Door” is what started it all for me. Thanks for sharing your list.

  2. F2P – No problem – these books are what worked for me but please do feel free to share any other books you think are worthy of highlighting to other readers via the comments section

    1. Happy to oblige. Here you go:

      How we make decisions & its impact on our happiness:
      – The Paradox of Choice
      – Predictably Irrational
      – Scarcity
      – Blink

      Stoicism (aka happiness and fulfillment is a matter of perspective):
      – A Guide To The Good Life

      How to value your time:
      – Your Money Or Your Life
      – The Overworked American

      Money & Investing:
      – The Richest Man In Babylon

      How to learn to go against the grain and focus on what truly matters, not on what society tells you to do and care about:
      – The Art of Non-Conformity
      – The News: An Owner’s Manual
      – An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth

      1. Thanks F2P, these books are a great addition to this page…readers take note!

  3. paullypips · · Reply

    I’ve just ordered number 2. Status Anxiety (Alain de Botton) for my Kindle. Many thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Currently reading fooled by randomness but wow… It looks like I have a lot of reading to do! Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. TheTurnaround · · Reply

    Hello T.E.A

    New reader of your blog here and loving it already. I especially love the writing style.

    I discovered Mr. Money Mustache a month ago and have since changed my whole perspective on life, fully believing I can retire with FI ahead of the standard 75 year old mark – albeit starting out at the ripe age of 28.

    I have since read all his blog, Monevator, the book Economics Explained recommended by MMM, and I’m currently working on Smarter Investing as per Monevator’s recommendation.

    I’m now going to read all of this blog.

    Question though, if I may…

    How intricate is the science or art to choosing buy and hold stocks?

    Reading through Smarter Investing, and knowing how MMM does it, I am almost certain I will arrive at index trackers only, and leave the individual picks to more economics savvy folk such as yourself.

    (Now I finally arrive at my point)

    If I wanted to read and gain a deeper insight into economics (there are still some terms and concepts that go over my head), are there any other books not on this list that will give me a deeper understanding? Economics Explained was enjoyable but felt like a primer.

    Time is of the essence as soon I will mostly be reading IT certification books in order to hopefully switch out my hotel duty manager mediocrity for an entry into the tech field to increase the all important earning power to combine with, and form the miracle triumvirate of, frugality and compound interest 😀

    Thanks for giving me another great blog to read!

    1. TheTurnaround

      You DO NOT need to read any more economics books at this point in your life. What you need is a Reader Case Study.

      The Escape Artist

  6. Thanks for the thought provoking list of books to consider. “Manhood” sounds like a must read. I imagine “Status Anxiety” to be similar in theme to “Affluenza” by Oliver James.

    One other book that I can recommend is “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Cain. Upon reading it, I am willing to bet that the majority of people that pursue FI are introverts on the basis of our “new brain” model of thinking that promotes thinking, planning and rationality ahead of emotions and instinct that dominate for extroverts. Susan argues that these qualities make us better equipped to delay gratification, one of the key tenets of the path to FI.

    Linked to this, introverts are also less “reward-sensitive” than extroverts. I interpret this as being more drawn to intimacy, authenticity and meaning rather than status and reward. Given that modern corporate life eschews many of the the values that drive introverts, it follows that we are the ones that dream of socking it to The Man, often very early in our careers.

    1. Sean – I think you are right about introverts / extroverts and the link to FI…thank you for the Quiet recommendation

  7. Stacey B. · · Reply

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list of recommendations with your readers 🙂 I have added quite a few of these to my “TBR” pile. I have a book that offers advice and helps both your career/business and personal life called “Life In Half a Second” by author Matthew Michalewicz (www.LifeinHalfaSecond.com <—you can download the first chapter for free on his website). It was recommended to me by a friend and although I went in a little skeptical, wow was I wrong. This book is a perfect example of what can be achieved by an author who is an expert at his subject and very passionate as well. He provides a fact based formula for achieving success not only in business but in life. It is not often that I come across a business book that also tackles self help too! Using real world examples and even science to relay the material, this book can really boost you into overdrive to achieve your goals and desires. I highly recommend it because it really can inspire anyone (students, CEOs, people who feel stuck in their jobs) check it out! Hopefully this will make it on a future list of yours

  8. I have to recommend a book I recently entitled “Mentor Me” by author Ken Poirot. Ken has worked in financial services for almost 20 years and his passion about the industry shines through his writing. I really liked how interactive the book was. There is a personality quiz, exercises and a journal so that you are learning and retaining information along the way. I am a much more hands on learner and found that this book and it’s message has stayed with me more than any other self help books I’ve read. This book has some really great insight into achieving your goals realistically and I find myself feeling much more motivated and prepared for the future after reading it. Its strategies can be applied to business or to everyday life and I really appreciate the effort and love that the author has put into this book. I hope you and your readers will check it out – (http://www.mentormegate.com/).

  9. Riese Jones · · Reply

    I read “Mentor Me” by Ken Poirot! Amazing book! One of all time favorites! Best self-help book I have read so far!

  10. A book that definitely deserves to be on this list is “Social Wealth” by author Jason Treu (http://beextraordinary.tv/). This book really spoke to me as I have always felt personal connections and relationships were the keys to success in all things. The author has gone above and beyond to educate and inform the reader with solid strategies to get them where they need in life. I love the way he gave me real world tools to put into action the plans outlined in his book. A great read that stresses the point that a personal transformation can be simple!

  11. I just finished reading The Black Swan. Definitely interesting and at times a compelling read, but Taleb seems to be working so hard to present himself as an iconoclast it was a bit off-putting. I couldn’t help noticing he seems to have immense disdain for the idea of investing money in the stock market. Have you taken this idea to heart with your own investments? Personally I’m intending to stick with my index tracking funds anyway, but I wonder if I’m being a fool. I don’t see any realistic alternative to equities or property, and if the global financial system does come crashing down then frankly there’s not much I can do to prepare myself for it beforehand anyway.

    1. Steve – I know exactly what you mean. Taleb has a cocky style that puts some people off. But that style point shouldn’t be allowed to obscure the quality of his ideas.

      Taleb is I think irritated by a lot of the comment associated with the stock market (predictions, false experts, lack of understanding of probabilities, behavioural biases, greed).

      I certainly do not let that put me off index tracking. Taleb would probably include some gold and some property in his portfolio. But you are right….if the entire capitalist system crashes down, then no portfolio will save us.

  12. Good list, I’ve read 13 of those and have had quite a few others on my to-read list.

    I couldn’t recommend Antifragile to anyone though. There were some interesting ideas in there, but I found it almost unreadable. It really needed some better writing and stricter editing.

  13. Austin Allegro · · Reply

    Hello there, I’ve been lurking for a while on this excellent site – so refreshing to finally see a British blog about financial independence.

    In 2011 I ‘downsized’ to part time work from home, so I’m not fully FI, but a lot of the same principles hold good.

    Here’s my list of books that ‘changed my life’. The good bit is they’re all free online.

    ‘The Quest of the Simple Life’ by William Dawson. Fascinating account of a clerk who gave up the hamster wheel of Victorian London and downsized to the country.

    ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau, particularly the chapter ‘On Economy’. Well known book about the American writer in the 1840s who lived alone in a cabin in the woods in New England.

    ‘Thrift’ and ‘Self Help’ by Samuel Smiles – the father of self-help. These mid-Victorian books can be a bit hard going in places, but are well worth at least skimming through.

    ‘Cheerfulness as a Life Power’ by Orison Swett Marden. Mr Marden was the father of American self-help books. He was part of the New Thought positive thinking movement of the 19th century.

    A couple of novels changed my outlook as well – both by George Orwell. ‘Coming up for Air’, about a 1930s salesman who realises suburban life is a con, and decides to revisit the village of his youth, and ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’ about an advertising executive who gives up a ‘good’ job to become a penniless poet.

    1. Thanks AA…please pay it forward and send the link to anyone who’d enjoy the site. Walden is currently on my book shelf awaiting reading….thanks for the book suggestions….I note a classical tilt to your taste

  14. Austin Allegro · · Reply

    Thanks, it’s not really a classical tilt, it’s just that they tend to be the free books!

    ‘Walden is good’, but it can be a bit hard going in places. The chapter on economy is the best one to read if you don’t have time for the rest. Apparently Thoreau wasn’t quite the wild-man he made himself out to be, and used to pop home to his mum’s quite regularly for baths and hot meals – but you can’t fault his philosophy.

    A more modern book (1960s) I’ve read is ‘Hovel in the Hills’ by Elizabeth West. She and her husband in the early 60s were able in two years or so, while working at middle-income jobs, to save up enough money to buy a farmhouse in Wales (imagine that nowadays!) to live a financially independent life based on frugality and odd-jobs.

  15. Some great suggestions here. I’ve read quite a few of them myself. One I’d suggest is The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman, which take a very amusing swipe at many of the self-help gurus while also being quite a serious investigation into the “happiness industry”. Fortunately for me, it turns out that being negative about the future is one good way to find contentment. Much as I admire Covey et al, their relentless positivity sometimes gets on my nerves!

  16. A world of my own by Robin Knox-Johnson, This one will probably be a bit like marmite to the PF scene.
    Man sets of on a race, to sail around the world solo nonstop (something which had never been done before) in the yacht he had, rather than the one he wanted.
    The enforced frugality and isolation, make it a fascinating read.
    Says a lot about preparing the best you can, and then just doing it.

  17. A few more to add to the list:
    1. Rich dad, poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki
    2, The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (check out his Podcast as well. Some great guests)
    3. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
    4. The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

    1. Another vote here for The Slight Edge! I’m working my way through a few different reading lists like this one, so far The Slight Edge is the only book I’ve gone back and re-read. Another I’d recommend on similar lines is The One Thing by Gary Keller.

  18. Sasha Cohen · · Reply

    I can’t wait to read some of the books on this list! I have a book to add. This is a great blog post. I have been struggling with personal issues for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had relationship issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. She has written two books but my favorite book is with Your Best Age is Now I have read it and loved it! I highly recommend it to anyone out there struggling.

  19. My life changing book on the health front was “Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog, Get Strong, Get Lean, No Bullshit” by Grant Peterson. It popped up in my amazon recommends … because I had read his previous book “Just Ride”. His reading list at the back contains some nuggets including “Convict Conditioning” by Paul Wade. All are excellent.

  20. Elizabeth Uglow · · Reply

    I think you should add “the chimp paradox” to your list

    You seem interested in behaviour and it’s evolutionary basis, as am I, and this book links how humans can manage but never lose their primative instincts

    I have this book on audio and have listened to it through a difficult time of my life.
    The models he uses make it so much easier for me to discuss my behaviour with myself and others.

    It’s not just a meandering tome. It is very thoughtfully put together with themes building up and up, and all being tied together

    I even found myself making notes and listening and relistening as if it were a lecture

    I have managed to successfully carry it through to modify and understand my behaviour.

    He has worked with elite athletes and a quick google shows he has a pretty good athletic record himself

    I have read most of the books on our list, agree with your philosophy about things and so, sorry if you already have read it, think you may want to consider adding it to your list.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth…I’ve not read that yet…sounds interesting

  21. DaveTMG · · Reply

    Have to agree that antifragile borders on the unreadable – Taleb is an insufferable p**k. So many good ideas in his books, he really needs a ghost writer.

    Your money or your life should be required reading for teenagers. And then set their browsers to only go to MMM until all pages have been read.

    I thought the four hour workweek was fantasy – simplistic, but like many cultish books draws a huge crowd of believers.

    Rich Dad Poor Dad is a typical American self help book – takes 2370000 words to divulge what he could say in one paragraph. What he would say in that paragraph is key though. Just don’t get drawn into his money grabbing machine!

    The Art of non conformity is good – a breath of fresh air. Make your own way in life!

    Quiet is the best non fiction book I’ve read in a decade. (The best fiction book is The Martian). I’m an ambivert but only because I forced myself to learn the extrovert hacks to allow me to succeed in business. Quiet reminds me who I am at my core and tells me it’s fine.

    I can’t read de Botton – way too far up his own a$$.

    The selfish gene – amazing idea and well argued, but dismissed by his equally clever peers these days. Gotta love an avowed atheist though.

    I found Thinking Fast and Slow to be a bit repetitive, too chatty, I just wanted him to get to the point. The point is incredibly important though – helped me to understand my differing reactions to threats and problems.

    Looking forward to reading Mentor Me.

    1. The Rhino · · Reply

      @DaveTMG – I’m largely in agreement there, although I can tolerate de Botton (only some of his books though).

      Kiyosaki and Ferris are snakeoil for me, although I know several non-stupid people who rate them.

      Just finished Millionaire Next Door and its classic American Bestseller material, very fluffy, very anecdotey and could be just as easily presented in an A4 pamphlet. The core of it is a reasonable observation though, i.e. rich people tend to save rather than spend.

      Biddulph is Christian claptrap. OK if you’re a Christian perhaps, unreadable otherwise.

      Frankl was a masterpiece. Hugely moving and very powerful.

      I’m after Rational Optimist next. I have found Ridley to be excellent.

      What a diet book is doing in there I have no idea?

  22. thedoffer · · Reply

    Excellent list. A lot of these are on my ‘to read’ list, which just gets bigger quicker than I can actually read the books.

    I loved the Rational Optimist. As you say, it gives hope that we are not totally messing up the planet as bad as people think.

    Two books which have been great for me recently are “Happy” by Derren Brown and Stumbling on Happiness” by Dan Gilbert. These two delve into the psychology behind happiness. There are so many examples that can relate to spending, consumerism and, well, happiness and money.

  23. …and we shouldn’t forget that we can read (most of) these books without buying them, without even visiting the library. My favourite source is OpenLibrary which is a non-profit that allows you to ‘borrow’ ebooks for free no matter where in the world you’re based. They have some of these books available. I have compiled a list of the titles that you can find in ebook libraries or subscription sites: http://elibsearch.com/the-escape-artist/ I have borrowed and read and enjoyed The Millionaire Next Door, Fooled by Randomness and Your Money or Your Life so far. Thanks TEA for the recommendations, I think I will eventually read them all.

  24. Ali Sutton · · Reply

    Marco LeRoc has a great one that would fit this list called Activate Your Untapped Potential. He discusses that we really can meet our goals and flourish. I find his book has helped me being on a better road to promoting at work and getting the things that I work so hard for!

  25. I’d recommend:

    1. “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up” by James Hollis. He is a hugely experienced Jungian Psychotherapist and it is a fascinating, thoughtful book.

    2. “Love’s Executioner” by Irvin Yalom. A series of case studies of Yalom’s clients (he’s an existential psychotherapist), in which he is so sensitive and brutally honest about their issues and his own. Hugely insightful into the human condition and how our essential needs drive us.

    The more we learn of ourselves, the better we can challenge unhelpful patterns which hold us back, including in respect of our learnt “money scripts”, attitudes of abundance or scarcity and the like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Mr. Money Mustache

You can escape to financial freedom...

Altucher Confidential

You can escape to financial freedom...

Monevator

You can escape to financial freedom...

Mad Fientist

Financial Independence

jlcollinsnh

The Simple Path to Wealth

%d bloggers like this: