What I Read 2018

Hi All, 

Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! With 2018 behind us it’s a time to reflect and also to plan. This will be the third year of this email where I share the books I read over the past year and include a short summary and ranking. Sorry for the length this year, I burned through 40+ books. 

Simply reading for 1 hour per day puts you in the top 1% of the world. If you can average 20 pages per day, that amounts to over 30 books in a year! Personally, I buy hard cover books and treat them as a trophy once completed (special thanks to Mom + Dad for the free storage space for my growing library). Reading has expanded my perception and improved my life on every front. I highly suggest making it a habit. This year I’ve grouped the list into the following categories: 

  • Performance Enhancement
  • Career
  • Self-Understanding
  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Health & Wellness
  • Just For Fun

I’ve ordered the books in each category from best to worst in my opinion. 

** Don’t want to read all of this and just want my top picks? Skip to the bottom. **

All of these books were recommended by top performers (chess masters, political strategists, hedge fund managers, CEO’s, polymaths, etc.) as must reads. If this was helpful, I’m happy to send a lists from 2017 and 2016. 

Cheers,

Rob 

(Scroll down for list)  

Self Understanding

The Coddling of the American Mind – Jonathan Haidt (352 pages) – This is the best book I’ve read this year. Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising—on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen? The authors focus on what they call the Three Great Untruths, which are becoming the foundational operating system for portions of Generation Z.  These include ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,’ ‘Trust your feelings,’ and ‘Life is a battle between good people and evil people.’  Fascinating read on how the world has changed and how it’s affected the segments of the next generation. (Same author as The Righteous Mind)

 Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari (464 pages) – How did Homo sapiens evolve from an unexceptional savannah-dwelling primate to become the dominant force on the planet, emerging as the lone survivor out of six distinct, competing hominid species? He looks at how humans managed to build astonishingly large populations when other primate groups top out at 150 individuals. Much of this viral success stems from our ability to story-tell. Other species are bonded by family, but humans can be motivated by stories which allow them to mobilize large groups behind a shared mission (think religion or political parties).  This is one of my top 5 this year.    

The Happiness Hypothesis – Jonathan Haidt (320 pages) – This book looks at the question of happiness. Like Stumbling on Happiness and others, it examines the dichotomy between what we believe will make us happy and what actually does (spoiler, there’s a large difference and the former is largely driven by mass media and big advertising). In this one Haidt looks at 10 “Great Idea’s” discovered by several of the world’s civilizations to challenge some ideas, and distill the tactics and practices that actually lead to happiness. A great read but plenty of overlap with The Righteous Mind, and The Coddling of the American Mind

Mindset – Carol Dweck (320 pages) – A major theme from many of the books on this list is that perception is reality. Our mindset is our established set of attitudes. These attitudes are very malleable. This book looks at the process through which we create our self-narrative. It then explores the tools and habits for adjusting our mindset in the context of business, school and relationships. If I’d read this book earlier it might have been an A, but since I found little new info in it, I give it a B.  

Just for Fun

The Third Door – Alex Banayan (320 pages) – I haven’t enjoyed a book this much since first reading the Four Hour Work Week in 2015. At 18, Alex skips studying for his freshman biology final to instead ‘hack’ the Price Is Right. He games his way on to the show and finds a way to win the whole thing! This story alone was incredible and hilarious. But he doesn’t stop there. He takes his winnings and goes on a quest to track down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and dozens more of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers. This story is a perfect example of what it takes to make it to the top of any field and how to do what you love.
Title Defined: There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always . . . the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen – there’s always a way. 

Thanks 1000 – AJ Jacobs (160 pages) – A friend of mine, Chris Gaylord, has always trumpeted that the key to happiness is being grateful. What Gaylord also knows, that many of us miss, is that gratitude is a muscle that requires focus and practice to strengthen. In this book, AJ seeks to thank everyone who helped make his morning cup of coffee a reality. As Jacobs writes, humans are programed to spot whats wrong, dangerous or going poorly. This is because our ancestors who were overly optimistic about a sabretooth tiger’s empathy didn’t pass along many genes… But just because that’s our default setting, doesn’t mean we’re doomed to be cynical Larry Davids. We can retrain our habits, change our perception, and improve our overall happiness. Jacobs is a great and funny writer. This is a must read.  

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt- Edmund Morris (960 pages) – Don’t let this mammoth intimidate you. It won the Pulitzer and National Book Award for a reason. It’s exceptionally written and vividly depicts the life of an American icon from birth to Presidency. Teddy Roosevelt is an exemplar of American fortitude and should the mold by which we model our own character. He built himself from a sickly young child to a steel-bodied statesman. He was a world famous author of books on technical naval battles and stories of his life on the prairie. He was a war hero (literally charging up hills into oncoming fire to secure hills and save lives), and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He was a man from wealth who chose to fight against his own class for the lower and middle classes, cleaning up massive corruption in NY in the process. TR encapsulates everything it means to live life to the fullest.Side note: Try to imagine a modern day president going into Yellow Stone National Park on his own and disappearing for 6 weeks in the summer to live off the land, completely unreachable to the outside world.  

Living With A Seal – Jesse Itzler (288 pages) – Jesse is the creator of Marquis Jets, Zico Water, and part owner of the Atlanta Hawks. In this book he recruits David Goggins, a Navy Seal, Army Ranger, and Ultra Endurance Athlete, to live in his house for a month and train him. When David isn’t making Jesse sleep in a chair or jump into frozen lakes in December, he’s waking him up in the middle of the night to run or forcing him to do sit-ups and pushups between business meetings at his office. This book is hilarious and reminded me how soft my life is… It was a nice reminder that we don’t know our true capabilities until we are pushed beyond our perceived limits. 

It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong (288 pages) – Say what you will about the guy, you don’t get 7 Tour de France titles without being an exceptional competitor at every level. I’ve watched enough documentaries to comprehend his use of PED’s and yet when you read this book you can’t help but admire his tenacity. His training regimen as a young kid matched that of professional athletes and he was competing with men twice his age (and often beating them). Yes, his cancer was likely self-induced, but it’s still cancer! To battle back from the brink of death to ultimately compete at the highest level is still astonishing. They say the life of a rider is a grind – riding in freezing rain, living on the road in crappy motels, suffering through the most physically grueling sport on earth – and yet Lance seemed to love every second of it. He loved the grind, and that’s something to strive for. 

The Year of Living Biblically – AJ Jacobs (400 pages) – A.J. Jacobs is an author who specializes in full emersion experiments (learning everything in the world by reading the full volume of encyclopedias from A to Z, or trying a month of radical honesty – this is a hilarious 10 min read). In this book he aims to follow all the rules of the Bible as closely as possible for a year. This includes letting his beard grow (thou shall not trim the corners of his beard – he wasn’t sure where the corners were so he just let it run) and ‘stoning’ gentiles (lightly pegging people in Central Park with pebbles who were violating rules on the Sabbath). This book was hilarious and incredibly informative. I learned more about religion than 4 years of Catholic school.

Out of the Rough – Steve Williams (272 pages) – Steve is best known as the caddy who worked with Tiger Woods from 1999-2011 when Tiger was redefining the sport. Steve also caddied for Greg Norman in his prime and Adam Scott (helping to his first Major in 2013). Steve has 150 wins to his name which makes him, by all accounts, the greatest caddy in the history of golf. After randomly bumping into Steve on a range in Bend, OR, and getting an earful about how pitiful my swing was (“golf may not be my game,” – he told me), I had to read up on him. (In true Steve fashion, after the shouting and utter destruction of my ego was completed, he proceeded to give me a 45min lesson). In this book Steve recounts the stories his entire career on the course. It was great to see many of the great moments in golf, told through Steve’s eyes. Steve also provides a rare glimpse into the minds and practices of several exceptional athletes.  Steve, like all elite performers, had a no-nonsense, steel-eyed focus to do his job as perfectly as humanly possible, and never made excuses. That’s what made him the best. Very fun read.  

Moonshots By Naveen Jain – Naveen is a Billionaire who’s founded several companies including Moon Express and Viome. His mission is to improve people’s lives, and he believes entrepreneurs don’t just start a business, they solve a problem. This book combines philosophy, abstract thinking, advice from Navy SEALS, futuristic tech, economic principles, and history; and looks at space travel, mining the moon, making illness optional, living to 200, and reinventing education. It was awesome to get a glimpse into the future and learn the skills and mentality we will need to thrive in this new utopia. For those who need optimism for the future, this book is a great remedy. This was longer than it needed to be but the emerging science was cool to read about. 

Ice Age – John and Mary Gribbin (105 pages) – Most can probably skip this one. The core ideas about ocean currents impacting global climates was interesting – if ocean temps change even slightly, it effects the movement of currents and ultimately weather patterns, melting of the polar caps and the end of livable climates. Understanding how oceans flow and the delicate balance and cycles that keep our earth habitable was great. But, the science was dense and dry… I’m sure the same info is in a 5 min Youtube video somewhere. 

Career

Principles by Ray Dalio (592 pages) – Ray built Bridgewater Associates, the largest and best performing hedge fund in the world (larger than the next 3 competitors combined). Ray is a student of systems thinking and radical candor. His success is the result of principles he’s learned, codified, and applied to his life and business. This book details these principles and step by step instructions for implementing these systems in your life or business. For those looking to objectively review their thought processes and elevate their game at every level, this book is a must! 

The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss (416 pages) – I read this every year from cover to cover. I’m amazed how relevant this remains each and every year! We can often get bogged down in the routines of traditional work environments and how the ‘world’ operates. This book is my reset to remind me to question assumptions, test the efficacy of my procedures, and to focus on effectiveness and not efficiency – just because I do something well, doesn’t make it important. 

To Sell Is Human – Daniel Pink (272 pages) – Pink rewrites the book on sales and adds to his list of bestsellers! This is not just for salesman. Each of us sells. Anytime you are looking to persuade, convince or otherwise influence someone’s actions, you are selling. This book reexamines what that means in the modern sense. Formerly, salesmen had all the info and disseminated it to the prospective client in a way that led the client to their product. This could be deceptive due to the asymmetry of the informational ownership (hence the ‘sleazy salesman’). Today, with the internet everyone has access to the same info (largely speaking), so that asymmetry is gone! So why do we need salesmen? We need people who understand others’ perspectives, make messages clearer and build lasting relationships. This book looks at the science of selling, which is really the science of human behavior and interaction. As we learned in Sapiens, storytelling and persuasion is what allowed humans to conquer the earth. So best learn how to do it right. 

The Power of Moments – Chip and Dan Heath (320 pages) – How often do you experience defining moments? How often do we miss opportunities to create such defining moments for others? Certain brief experiences can jolt us and move us to action! They can change our perspective and our behavior. This book explores how we can learn to create such extraordinary events in our life and work. For anyone managing people or a business, or providing customer experience, this book is essential. 

Tell To Win – Peter Guber (272 pages) – Storytelling is essential to our existence. It’s how we entertain, persuade, inspire, and connect with others. Great stories invoke emotion and call people to action. Great speakers and great leaders know the power of anecdote and analogy. This is the best book I’ve read on storytelling. It breaks down the science of why humans use and love stories. It looks at proper construction and why particular elements become so powerful while others can flatten your momentum. This is a must read for anyone who communicates with others.    

Rework – Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (277) – DHH is the guy who largely designed the internet as we know it. He’s also a champion Formula 1 driver. This is a reread from 2017 and after two passes roughly 75% of this book is underlined or annotated… It’s written as a guide for building a business but I found it more of a guide to building yourself. It reshaped my thinking on so many things. It questions almost every principle that we abide by in a traditional corporate setting. If you’re in management this is a must read! It’s a VERY easy read and filled with gems (40% of the pages are pictures 🙂).

Purple Cow – Seth Godin (160 pages) – Remarkable means worth making a remark about. If you see a purple cow, it’s worth mentioning to someone. Godin takes this principle to the extreme: you’re either remarkable or you’re invisible. Now everything or everyone can’t be incredible to everyone. But the question Seth raises is, “Can you be remarkable to a small group?” Can you create 1000 True Fans?  This book looks at how to strive for the extraordinary, and then how to find the people who truly value what you do. You don’t build a tribe, you find a tribe to service – “People like us do things like this.” This is a classic for anyone building a product or service. I’m a huge fan of Seth – check out is daily blog for exceptional content. 

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko – Daniel Pink (160 pages) – This is a cult classic so as a fan of Pink I had to grab it. For young people seeking career advice and a roadmap for ‘finding your passion,’ this is a great read. It’s also a comic book. This has great lessons for anyone looking to make a career change. This should be required reading in high school and then again in college. 

Buck Up, Suck Up… and Come Back When You Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room – James Carville & Paul Begala (224) – Regardless of your political allegiances, these guys know how to craft a winning strategy. Here, they lay out 12 of the rules they developed while separately and jointly masterminding some of the hottest political races in recent years. Each of these lessons is fundamental for success in any field. 

The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy (220 pages) – This is a classic book on sales techniques and was recommended by Seth Godin (author of 18 bestsellers). For those in sales or looking to move into sales, this is a good book to mix into your repertoire (although I would read To Sell is Human first).  

Self-Improvement

Tribe of Mentors – Tim Ferriss (624 pages) – Another encyclopedia-sized juggernaut from Ferriss that I devoured. In this one Tim reaches out to top performers (everyone from Navy SEALS to Venture Capitalists to Musicians and Actors), and has them answer a variety of life questions that he himself was grappling with (“In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?”, “When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)”). So this book is actually written by the best in the world (Maria Sharapova, Ben Stiller, Arianna Huffington, Bear Grylls, Tim McGraw and many more!). No need to read this cover to cover, but I did. J This might be his best book since the 4Hour Workweek. 

Mind Gym – Gary Mack (225 pages) – I’ve read a lot of sports psychology books and this is one of the best! Mack is a sports psychologist who’s worked with the world’s best (teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Cardinals, and athletes such as Alex Rodriguez). This book looks at mental processes and how to shift our state depending on the circumstances. There are so many actionable practices for success in this book! This book will be a perennial reread going forward. “Everything gets interpreted. Pressure is in the brain of the beholder. Learn to view pressure as a challenge to meet rather than a threat of defeat.” 

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday (224 pages) – I recently sent this book to a friend who was headed to BUD/s (Navy SEAL training) and in doing so felt the need to crack open my old copy and zipped through it. This became a cult classic among NFL coaches and is required reading in the Seahawks organization. Holiday examines several of history’s most successful and influential figures (Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Bill Belichick, and others) and illustrates how they succeeded not in the face of adversity, but because of it. Holiday is a student of stoic philosophy (as are most of the characters in the book) and many of the lessons build off classic stoic maxims.  This book will change your perspective.

The 12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson (409 Pages) – Like Peterson’s lectures this book begins with incredible insights and tangible life lessons, then meanders in a million chaotic directions, only to be succinctly tied together at the end. Peterson might be the most controversial public intellectual right now but his message is simple and direct – life is hard, harder than you think, and our job is to do something productive to lessen that burden for ourselves and others. That work starts at home — working on ourselves by starting with the smallest positive action possible and then building from there. In this book he discusses human nature, psychology, evolution, tribalism, and religion. He draws on the works of so many philosophers, scientists, economists and other modalities that the text can become dizzyingly complex. But if there’s a book that everyone should read to get a swift kick in the ass to get moving in the right direction, it’s this.  

Thinking in Bets – Annie Duke (288 pages) – Annie is the first female to win The World Series of Poker and is a future Hall of Famer in the sport. She has since retired from poker and now coaches top individuals on how to make decisions when you have incomplete information. In chess, all the possible moves are known and all the board information is visible. For that reason, a novice could never beat a Grand Master. But in poker, so much of the info is unknown and luck plays a bigger role. In this arena, a top professional is always subject to losing to a novice. Life is more like poker and less like chess. For that reason, Annie looks at the common decision-making flaws (like ‘Resulting’ – basing the quality of a decision on the results, rather than the logic – think Pete Carrol and Super Bowl XLIX) and how to build better systems for problem solving. This book was awesome! 

The TB12 Method – Tom Brady (320 pages) – After nearly two decades in the NFL, Brady has played in 8 Super Bowls, winning 5 and named MVP of 4. He’s been the league MVP twice and has been selected to 12 Pro Bowls. He’s lead his team to more division titles than any QB ever (14), and as of the end of the 2016 season, Brady is fourth all-time in career passing yards, fourth in career touchdown passes, and third in career passer rating. With a career postseason record of 25–9, he has won more playoff games than any other quarterback, and appeared in more playoff games than any player at any position. This book outlines his practices/routines to achieve physical and mental elitism. If you want to improve your health and are new to the wellness game, this book is a perfect first stop. 

Antifragile – Nassim Taleb (544 pages) – Taleb is the author of Black Swan and several others which changed the way investors and behavioral economists view markets. In this one he looks at how to build operating systems that are Antifragile. Some things, like tea cups, are delicate and break when they are stressed. Some things are robust, like Rubbermaid garbage cans, and can withstand lots of stress/use. Finally, some things are Antifragile, meaning they get STRONGER from stress. Think about your muscles or your immune system. Here, Taleb outlines the differences between the three and explores how we can become Antifragile in our thinking and our actions. WARNING: Very dense and tough to slog through. Luckily so many of the anecdotes are incredibly potent and make it worth the work. 

Heart of a Champion- Bob Richards (144 pages) – Tim Ferriss recommended this book. He read it in high school and attributes it to his success as an All American wrestler (along with his internal mantra: “love the pain”). This book looks a number of athletes who overcame great odds to achieve incredible success in their sport. The stories were inspiring but compared to other books on this list, I didn’t find much else here.

 Do The Work – Steven Pressfield (112 pages) – Often, it’s not a need for better ideas but rather, just to get to work. This book is a reminder to put on the blinders, focus on the task at hand, and run your own race. Quick read but offered few actionable items. This book could have been 10 pages. The core idea is easily summed up in the title but then hammered on from every angle for the subsequent 100 pages.  

Battle of the Sexes

The Red Queen – Matt Ridley (416 pages) – This book is a cornerstone of evolutionary theory and was groundbreaking for its time (’92). It’s hypothesis is that all of our traits stem from a place of sexual competition. That is, our operating system is designed for procreation (even prioritizing it over self-preservation in many instances). Ridley makes the case that each trait that exists was in some way beneficial to our ancestors procreation effort. He starts by looking at cells and the symbiotic relationship that developed as single cells teamed up to create multi-celled organisms. Then he works his way through the mating and behavioral patterns of several species before applying this foundation to human behavior. Once you read this, you’ll see people exhibiting animal-like behavior (staking territory, forming hierarchies, mate guarding, hoarding resources, etc.) in seemingly ordinary daily activates. 

The Way of Men – Jack Donovan (192 pages) –  A must read for guys everywhere (and women if you want to understand men). It begins with the question of “What is masculinity,” and then traces our existence back to the beginning as a tribal/hierarchical being to try to explain male behavior – traits that earn respect from other men, the importance of male bonding/ally cultivation, gang culture and risk taking. 

Mating In Captivity – Esther Perel (272 pages) – Ester is a prominent expert on relationships. I saw her speak at a conference last year. Her dissection of human behavior and interaction prompted me to immediately buy this book. Here she breaks down the differences between men and women (thought processes, motivations, hormonal impacts, etc.) in the context of intimate relationship to explain behavior.  She offers actionable advice for strengthening relationships of any duration.  For anyone in, or planning to be in a relationship, this is a must read. 

The Truth – Neil Strauss (448 pages) –  This makes Neil’s 8th NYT Bestseller and for good reason. This story is Neil’s search to understand relationships, intimacy and himself. Neil became famous as the author of The Game, when he infiltrated the underground world of Pickup Artists and became infamous in his own right as a world class seducer. “The Truth” begins with his primary relationship falling apart. Neil then goes on to question everything surrounding modern relationships. During this quest he dives into spirituality, monogamy, polygamy, and just about every other ‘gamy’ out there. He’s forced to confront the demons of his childhood and in the course of exorcising his pickup artist demons, Strauss learns and exposes the barriers to intimacy that so many of us are carrying around. Hell of a story with plenty of profound insights. 

You Play the Girl – Carina Chocano (304 pages) – Chocano reviews examples of women’s roles in the most popular movies and TV shows through history. She illustrates how the roles don’t deviate from a particular mold. More interesting were the women who’s exceptional careers were cut short after they tried to expand the definition of “a woman’s role in TV.” After reading this I cannot help but notice the types of roles/characters women are placed in (even in modern day). This is starting to change with more leading roles for women, and more dynamic characters. Once you know what to look for, it’s fascinating to see the shift. (Also, reading this just before the MeToo movement began was perfect timing).

Health & Wellness
10% Human – Alanna Collen (336 Pages) – This was the best health book I read this year. In terms of first principles for wellness, Collen nails it. 50% of Americans have allergies. The explosion of autism, diabetes, obesity, metabolic disease (cancer) and autoimmune disorders  in recent history is unprecedented. But this isn’t happening everywhere. This explosion is contained in developed countries. More interesting, is that American children living in poverty are historically less likely to suffer food allergies and asthma than their wealthier counterparts. All of these illnesses seem to be growing fastest with the wealthiest groups of people. This book builds a strong case that our new lifestyle is impacting our microbiome and subsequently causing this outburst of disease. Collen also provides a solution. She shares study after study that indicate how repairing the microbiome (through probiotics or Fecal Microbial Transplants) has the capacity to improve or even reverse everything from autism to MS to diabetes. Everyone should read this. 

The Human Superorganism – Dr. Rodney Diet (352 pages) – Genes determine much of our lives – eye color, height, which diseases we could develop and which medicines will work better for us. Humans have roughly 20,000 possible genes within our DNA. That may seem like a lot, but when you consider how complex our species is, 20k genes is not nearly enough variation to explain our complexity. Recent research (last 10-20 years) has found that there’s more to us than just our human genes. It turns out that our microbiome (the microbes in our gut, skin and other organs) also express genes. We have 2-20 million microbial genes. This means we’re actually only about 1% human and 99% microbial. This book looks at the enormous impact of the microbiome and how it contributes to everything from disease to our personality. This was easy reading and explores arguably most game changing discovery in recent medicine that will drive healthcare for the next several decades. It’s not in my top 10 but if you’re going to read a book on health, this is a great choice. 


The Disease Delusion – Dr. Jeffrey S. Bland (432 pages)– Modern medicine has made great strides in the past 80 years. But its method has been to isolate a symptom from the complex collection of biological processes at play and treat that symptom independently. In the short run this has proven very effective. But failing to look at the larger picture and ask why the symptom is occurring leads to long-term issues like the largest explosion of Non-Communicable Diseases in human history. Americans love a villain, someone or something specific we can point to as the singular culprit. That allows for silver bullet solutions, which are neat and simplistic to follow. But our health is so immensely complex that silver bullets are rarely long-term solutions.  This book reexamines how we should approach human health by looking at how all our bodily systems work together in balance.  It was longer than it needed to be, but the core concept and subsequent evidence illustrates a powerful message – we need to ask ‘why something is happening’ and address the macro rather than simply putting bandaids on symptoms. 

Bad Science- Ben Goldacre (304 pages) – We are constantly inundated with new ‘science’ – “New study shows coffee is great for you;” “Study shows coffee kills!;” “Science says alcohol extends life;” “Is alcohol killing you? Most likely.” Most of these studies on both sides are junk (except the alcohol one… ethanol is yet to show benefits in empirical data…). Goldacre walks through how to studies should be done, what P-hacking looks like, and how to spot bad science. This was generally helpful when reading the news. What I learned is that if you want real science, ignore 99% of Business Insider and Huffington Post references and head to Pubmed (but even then you need to be discerning).  

Favorites (in no particular order):

1.The Coddling of the American Mind

2.Thanks 1000

3.Principles

4.Mind Gym

5.The Red Queen

6.Thinking in Bets

7.To Sell is Human

8.The Third Door

9.Tell to Win

10.The Power of Moments

11.10 % Human

 Perennial Rereads:

1.The Four Hour Work Week

2.The Obstacle is the Way

3.Rework  

Can’t read? Looking for other mediums to consume information? All these books are on Audible. Or check out these podcasts: 

1. The Tim Ferriss Show – he interviews the best of the best in every field imaginable. If you don’t want to read Tribe of Mentors, listen to the long version, original audio. The best Podcast I listen to.

2. Econ Talk with Russ Roberts – as Nick Pellow says, you can get a full undergraduate education in economics from Russ. He interviews the best in his field on public policy and economics. He’s amazing at taking complex topics and making them very approachable. It’s like listening to a story.

3. Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn. He breaks down long form interviews with the best in tech and startups and dilutes their lessons into 30 min clips. Think Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Theil, founders of AirBNB, and many others! A must for any CEO or manager.

4. Waking Up with Sam Harris – Harris is a neuroscientist by trade but now operates as a modern day philosopher. He’s also a best-selling author several times over. He talks with guests like Eric Weinstein, Jonathan Haidt and Charles Murray about politics, public policy and human consciousness.

5. The Joe Rogan Experience – Joe can talk intelligently about more wide ranging concepts than anyone I’ve seen! Politics, bow hunting, keto, paleo, psychedelics, philosophy, writing, biology, etc. He’s like a funny Charlie Rose. He hosts a lot of comedians and MMA fighters (which I personally skip) but sits with plenty of intellectually stimulating guests as well (Elon Musk, Eric and Brett Weinstein, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Sam Harris, Sebastian Junger, Neil Straus)

6. Found My Fitness – Dr. Rhonda Patrick speaks with leading scientists on topics such as epigenetics, health span, and physical performance. This is VERY technical and can get in the weeds but its like getting a biology degree that you can actually use in your daily life.

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