2021 Recommended Reading List
Chalk it up to age, upbringing, or disposition – I prefer learning by reading over watching videos or listening to podcasts. A good book, read at the right time, can stimulate the mind, spark creativity, and change how we think, act, and view the world. In a world where work and recreation increasingly happen via screens and endless feeds of email, social media, and streaming, reading provides recreation that requires little more than a quiet room with adequate light.
Below is a short list of books, along with brief descriptions, that have been important and influential in my life. There are certainly other excellent titles that are not mentioned, and some may already be on the large stack of “books to read next”. There is always more to learn with limited time in which to learn it, and I hope that some of the books mentioned will resonate with you.
Please reach out directly at email@example.com or (919) 666-7604 if you would like to discuss any titles listed below – or make suggestions for next year’s list!
“The Psychology of Money” – Morgan Housel
Subtitle: “Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness”
Housel has a way of writing about money, personal finance, and business that is relatable, understandable, and actionable. By understanding the roles that risk, luck, fear, and comfort play in one's life, a person can better navigate the fog of uncertainty that often surrounds financial decisions. Recommended for people at any age or stage of life.
“The Simple Path to Wealth” – J L Collins
Subtitle: “Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life”
“The Simple Path to Wealth” is a no-nonsense approach to saving and investing, with a priority placed on financial independence – affording one’s lifestyle without relying on earned income or dependence on another. Originally written as a series of letters to his daughter, Collins’s book is an excellent choice for graduates or people about to join the workforce.
“The Power of Habit” – Charles Duhigg
Subtitle: “Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”
Duhigg digs into the neuroscience of how habits determine the bulk of all decisions made in a day, how new habits can be formed to "overwrite" old ones, and includes sections on individuals, organizations, and societies. Much of what seems like deliberate, rational decision making is driven by automatic responses buried so deep in the brain that we hardly notice them.
“The Four Agreements” – Don Miguel Ruiz
Subtitle: “: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”
“The Four Agreements” is a great book for recognizing the stories that we tell ourselves about reality. The beginning, which covers Toltec beliefs, takes a bit of patience for the sceptic. However, a little patience for the mystical pays off and the chapters on the agreements themselves are great. The book provides four easy to remember guideposts for knowing which actions and beliefs are helpful and which are based on obsolete stories that have been told and retold throughout life.
“The 4-Hour Workweek” – Tim Ferriss
Subtitle: “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”
“The 4-Hour Workweek” has dramatically influenced how I move through the world, prompting me to examine my motivations for working, earning (not always the same thing), and lifestyle choices. It is full of challenges, thought prompts, and ideas for defining or refining a “dream life”, as well as suggestions for how one might generate passive income to fund that lifestyle.
“I Will Teach You to Be Rich” – Ramit Sethi
Subtitle: “No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works”
Full disclosure – I enjoy listening to Ramit Sethi being interviewed more than I enjoy his writing. However, there is no doubt that all of the suggestions in this book will lead to better financial health and, over time, to financial independence. Much like “The Simple Path To Wealth”, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” is a great book for people entering the workforce.
“The Motley Fool Investment Guide” – David & Tom Gardener
While The Motley Fool has avid supporters and detractors, the company that brothers David and Tom Gardener founded over 20 years ago has done a tremendous amount to educate and encourage people participating in stock market investing. “The Motley Fool Investment Guide” is a great primer for anyone interested in understanding a business-centric investment approach and can help novice investors avoid some common pitfalls.
“Deep Survival” – Laurence Gonzales
Subtitle: “Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why”
A friend introduced me to this book with the following intriguing endorsement: “I have read this several times, and each time it applied exactly to what was happening in my life.” “Deep Survival” explores the neuroscience behind why some people make bad decisions despite good information, how seasoned experts make rookie mistakes, and why some people seem to make the same poor choices again and again. I recommend keeping a copy to review every 5-10 years.
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