Recommended Reading

This list of books and resources is always growing. I consider all of these worthy of reading and re-reading. There are two sections: Non-Fiction Books and Children’s Picture Books. The latter is just a list of titles and authors, no explanations provided.

If you believe I’m missing a banger from these lists, please email or direct message the missing book and the reason for reading & re-reading it.

Non-Fiction Books

I have read and re-read all these books. Some I re-read on schedule (e.g., every two years), others on an ad-hoc basis. In addition to cover-to-cover reading, I return to many of these books to remind myself of a specific section or to get a proper reference for something or someone.

While there are magnificent non-fiction books, I cannot think of one I recommend reading repeatedly. There aren’t many fiction books that I have (or would aspire to) read repeatedly.

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Like many of Ryan’s books, Ego Is the Enemy has its foundation in Stoic philosophy. As the title suggests, the focus is on the ego and its harmfulness. If you don’t resonate with the preface, ego isn’t a meaningful problem for you, and you should stop reading the book. If it does resonate, you’re in for a treat!

I re-read this book every two years. I could argue that I should read it annually to ensure my head stays appropriately sized for my torso.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

In this practical and funny how-to book, Scott1 dives into all sorts of ways he has tried to trick himself into things, how he approaches self-improvement, and the most effective ways he used to become an ultra-successful creator.

I re-read this book every two years. For about six months after I read this, I am a sucker for constantly using ideas from the book and incessantly quoting the book for close companions.

Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

This book is a daily dose of stoicism with commentary from Ryan. On average, it fits on less than a page per day. You get insights from all the big names: Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus. I highly recommend getting the ebook and reading today’s page as one of the first things you do in the morning. I use a combination of the ebook and a 6 a.m. reminder to ensure I don’t miss it.

I re-read this book every year. I have 55 pages of highlights and notes from this book (at the time of writing). 2023 is my sixth time reading the book — one page per day.

Non-Violent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Marshall was a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and peace mediator. Unlike most people with a Ph.D., he spent plenty of time in prisons training criminal thugs on non-violent communication skills. Marshall shares heaps of actionable advice and word-for-word scripts you can use daily. The more charged the conversation, the more this book helps you. If someone needs to improve their communication skills, this is my #1 recommendation.

I wish I had found this book earlier. I desperately needed this in my teens and early twenties, but I still benefit from it today. NVC isn’t on my official re-read list, but it should be. My wife was noticeably happier for a couple of months after I read this.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The book on habits. I have read over a dozen books on habits and pretty much anything original and credible available online. Many books have little nuggets, but Atomic Habits has everything you need. Even though the book doesn’t introduce many original ideas, it’s easier to read than its predecessors and covers more. Atomic Habits and How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Succeed is the 20% that covers 80% of what you need to know about improving in life.

I have not yet added it to my official re-read schedule. Whenever I read the book, I find details I had forgotten. The Tim Ferriss Show episode with James Clear is an easier entry into the book in a conversational format (warning: the podcast is more than two hours long and touches on more than the book!).

Other great books

Below are a few more excellent books that have impacted my life. They don’t quite match the level of the titles above, so they get relegated to this section.

The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

One of the best-selling business books of all time — for a good reason.

While I have re-read this a handful of times, I don’t re-read this on a schedule. I have read, listened to, and tested much of Tim’s content over the years, so I feel confident recommending the book that started it all.

Shortness of Life by Seneca

A great way to begin reading the original Stoic books. Letters written by Seneca that are still shockingly relevant to our everyday lives.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

My second most recommended book as it is universally fascinating for people. Despite explaining topics like the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, this is an easy-to-read book. Carlo is a master at explaining these concepts to curious beginners. A reminder that experts can make complex topics easily understandable for beginners!

It isn’t a book most would read more than once. That’s why I recommend checking if your library has this, as you don’t need this on your bookshelf. It is my kind of holiday read — easy to read and outside my field!

Children’s Picture Books

The qualifications for these books are I must have enjoyed reading the book and my daughter must have enjoyed listening to me read the book. These are viable for at least kids under 3-years. Some will make you roll your eyes, while others make you want to censor (I should not be reading this aloud!). The books are listed alphabetically, as ranking in any other way is too hard.

  • Animal Numbers by Christopher Silas Neal
  • Baby Changing Station by Rhett Miller
  • Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen
  • Henry the Snail by Katarína Macurová
  • Never Grow Up by Roald Dahl
  • Penguin Problems by Jory John
  • Somewhere in the Bayou by Jarret & Jerome Pumphrey
  • Superluminous by Ian De Haes
  • What Is the Way by Katrin Davidsdottir & Annie Thorisdottir
  • Who’s Afraid of the Light by Anna McGregor

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  1. I have understood that Scott Adams was “cancelled” in 2023. I don’t know the details because I don’t follow the news. Whatever the incident, it takes nothing away from the brilliant book. ↩︎