Reading is an essential asset for anyone interested in self-development.

It’s a process where we can take someone else’s experiences and ideas, and apply them to our own lives.

Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and host of one the most downloaded podcasts on earth, The Tim Ferriss Show, where he was called the “Oprah of audio”.

On the podcast, Tim deconstructions world-class performers in all fields including, speakers, teachers, chess prodigies, athletes, comedians, and more. He teases the habits and routines of these individuals, laying a roadmap for the rest of us to help optimize all parts of our lives. During many episodes on the show, Tim often asks his guests, “which book have you gifted the most to other people?” By asking this simple question over the years, he’s able to dig up incredible gems from some of the smartest people on the planet, that we all could benefit from reading.

Here’s a small fraction of some of the most amazing books that he uncovered and recommends. Whether it’s growing your business, changing your mindset, or just becoming a better human, these books will encourage you to improve in all facets of your life.
Believe it or not, I am not Tim Ferriss. Nor do I work for Tim or know him personally. I’m just a fan of his books and podcast. Below, I’ve listed out some of the best books that he recommends on his show. Some of the links are affiliate links, so if you click and make a purchase I will earn a small commission, but there’s no extra cost for you.
So load up your bookshelves and kindle with the books from this list and you’re all set to change your life forever.

1. Vagabonding

This book provides inspiration and direction for discovering the world through independent travel. It teaches the budget traveler how to choose his destinations, finance his journeys, handle travel difficulties, travel and do volunteer work, and eventually go back to “ordinary” life.

You constantly hear Tim Ferriss recommend this book over and over again in his books and podcast episodes. He even credits this book for inspiring him to write the 4-Hour Workweek.

2. The Five-Minute Journal

This journal applies a simple and effective format to encourage readers to use positive psychology to enhance their mental and emotional well-being. It prompts you to focus on the positive things that bring joy so that you can feel and do better in all aspects of your life.

Countless high-performing individuals credit The Five-Minute Journal for changing their life. I think it’s safe to say we should all implement this one into our lives.

3. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

This book presents a collection of engaging reminiscences by physicist/author Richard Feynman. The stories are highly entertaining, hilarious, and smart-alecky in tone. Readers will see through the light-hearted tone and discern the author’s width of knowledge, his grit, his verve, and down-to-earth disposition.

This one, too, is a book you hear Tim recommend over and over again.

4. The Magic of Thinking Big

This book provides useful techniques to help readers achieve personal satisfaction and success in all aspects of their lives. It inspires readers to think and act in positive ways and cultivate the daily habit of reaching out for excellence and lofty goals.

This book teaches that the size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and you will achieve little. Think big goals and obtain big success.

5. Radical Acceptance

This book provides the opportunity to learn from case histories, personal anecdotes, new and deeper understanding of Buddhist accounts, and guided meditations.

It will inspire readers to get past crippling self-criticism and judgments, loneliness, and an unfulfilled life by accepting who they really are. It speaks of the importance of fully embracing your life and teaches readers to trust their inherent goodness.

6. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Published in 1936, this book is the prototype of many of today’s books on successful human relations. This book provides solid, tried-and-tested, and practical techniques on how to deal with people effectively.

This book is one of the most successful self-help books of all time and has even been credited for “changing the life” of Warren Buffet himself, for the better.

7. As a Man Thinketh

This literary essay focuses on the power of thought in order to transform life. It points out how using and applying the right thoughts can lead to a pure, happy, and enriching life.

The author believes that every individual is responsible for every situation, positive or negative, that fills his life. The knowledge that you will obtain from this book will help you learn to control your thoughts and mind.

8. Lying

This book shows that lies kindle and sustain most forms of evil and vice. It puts forward that the readers can drastically improve and simplify their lives and make society better by the simply telling the truth.

In this book, Sam Harris give the goods on the impact of being brutally honest. Tim Ferriss says that “It’s a compelling little book with a big impact.”

9. Man’s Search for Meaning

This book describes the lives of prisoners in Nazi death camps – and provides deep insights into their desire to survive.

The author maintains that you cannot prevent suffering, but rather you can look at the meaning behind it and decide how to cope with it while continuously discovering your purpose in life.

10. The Effective Executive

This book identifies the fundamentals of business effectiveness. The effective executive, the author maintains, is one who can do what needs to be done. He knows how to manage his time and what he can contribute to help make his organization, essentially, more effective. He knows how to set priorities and mobilize his strengths.

This is truly one of the best books on productivity and time management.

11. The Gifts of Imperfection

This book inspires readers to find the means to develop the compassion, courage, and skills necessary to accept their imperfections. It encourages readers to believe that they are enough and worthy of love, regardless of their vulnerabilities.

This book truly will help you let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you really are.

12. The Checklist Manifesto

This book provides truly provides profound wisdom on how the world works. It tells of the vast degree of knowledge and technology within reach – and we as humans will continue to commit errors that can easily be avoided.

The author maintains if you can’t get things right, you can always use the most basic technique, and that is, creating a checklist.

13. The War of Art

This book offers inspiration, support, and techniques to help people who feel that their creativity is being stifled.

It provides helpful techniques to overcome the “resistance” that usually dampens the effort to unleash our creative juices – or in a greater and more universal perspective, unlock the creative life within us.

14. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

This book provides engaging stories and insider views surrounding the field of contemporary marketing. It provides a collection of innovative and undisputable marketing laws intended to help readers understand and succeed in the world of business.

This book has definitely become an invaluable resource for both aspiring and established marketers who want to improve their marketing abilities.

15. So Good They Can’t Ignore You

This book challenges the belief that the guarantee for success is to have a passion for what you do. Rather, it puts forward the conviction that hard work comes first.

In this book, you’ll learn how to invest in yourself in order to stand out from the crowd. It serves as an important guide to starting up an exceptional career or to help you find meaning within your current career.

16. Free to Choose

This book espouses free-market capitalism. The authors argue that laws and regulations tend to undermine prosperity and erode freedom. They give recommendations about what you can do to strengthen your freedom of choice and increase economic prosperity.

It’s pretty remarkable how a book written so many years ago can still represent essentially some of the same issues that our society is facing today.

17. Influence

This book tries to elaborate on the psychology of persuasion and how you can apply its principles in your own life. It explains what you can do to motivate people and influence change in their behavior.

This book gives great insights into human behavior and the reasons behind our actions and decisions.

18. What Makes Sammy Run?

This book is a probe on Hollywood, the frontier town where people get rich fast – and lose their money just as quickly. It is the rags-to-riches story of Sammy Glick – his rise and fall. It’s as relevant now as when it was written.

The author gave a glimpse into how old Hollywood existed and now if you can imagine the stories described in the book still exists today.

19. 10% Happier

This is a book with a courageous, insightful, and deeply personal perspective. It narrates how the author eventually realized what many top executives, marines, and scientists have long discovered as an effective way to achieve focus, serenity, and happiness.

It also tells us how the author discovered meditation to help him steer his way through the stressful demands of his work.

20. Blue Ocean Strategy

This book seeks to challenge existing beliefs about how to dominate the current over-crowded marketplace. It argues that you have greater chances of success if you create your own “blue ocean,”  which is a new market space that is untapped and ripe for development.

It’s a very well thought out and an effectively organized book that contains ideas that you can immediately apply to your business.

21. Freakonomics

This book takes an unconventional approach to the study of economics. It uses dynamic storytelling, cynicism, and wry insight to show the readers that economics is basically a study of incentives.

The author uses the dull methods of economics to give answers to the world’s most interesting questions. It’s a very interesting read if I say so myself.

22. Getting Past No

This book provides state-of-the-art techniques for negotiating effectively in the 21st century. It provides penetrating ideas to help you turn your opponents into your negotiating allies.

It will teach you how to “get past no” which requires breaking through each of the five barriers to cooperation: your reaction, their emotion, their position, their dissatisfaction, and their power. It’s a very insightful book on negotiation.

23. The Ultimate Sales Machine

The book gives advice on how to dominate your field and blast your sales numbers through the roof. You just need to focus your energy and resources on developing the essential areas that have the greatest impact on performance.

If you are wanting to improve sales, market, and management in your work or business, then this book is a must-read.

24. Fooled by Randomness

This book is an intellectual discourse on luck and randomness and what they mean in business, as well as in life. It explores the aspects of failure and success.

It takes an insightful look into the nature of randomness and examines why you are strongly inclined to misguidedly perceive plain luck for skill. It definitely challenges the natural way of thinking that success does not always stem from hard work, but sometimes from luck.

25. Mindless Eating

This book provides a fresh and illuminating look at food and the factors that affect how we respond to it. It gives you useful insights to help make healthier, smarter, and more mindful and pleasant food choices.

It’s true that any diet can help you lose weight. This book helps give you the insights behind the psychology of why we eat certain foods and will help you get rid of bad habits in your diet.

26. Outliers

The book takes a look at the “outliers” – the most successful, the best, the most famous, the brightest – the people who stand out among the many. What makes these individuals different? The answer does not lie in scrutinizing what these outliers are like.

The key lies in looking at where these people are from – their family, their generation, their culture, and the peculiar experiences they had in their upbringing.

27. Moonwalking With Einstein

The book tells about the author’s yearlong quest for ways to strengthen his memory. He goes on his quest supported by the guidance of people reputed to have great mental prowess. The author charts a remarkable journey that results in a revolutionary concept of memory. With the use of time-honored techniques from the mentalist’s trade, an amazing cultural history of recall, and progressive research, he is able to alter our understanding and appreciation of human memory.

Conclusion

I hope this list helps you improve in all walks of life. If you weren’t aware, Tim Ferriss is a pretty intelligent dude and the books on this list are some of his most highly recommended. Pick and choose the ones that seem interesting to you, and remember that the knowledge you gain from these Tim Ferriss book recommendations can change your life forever.

If you’re interested, be sure to check out my very own Reading List where I list out all the books I’ve read along with a short review about each of them.

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