Top 10 Books you should read

Posted on: February 12, 2017, by :
Four Hour workweek book cover

Top 10 books you should read

A  list of the Top 10 books that are critical to anybody’s self improvement library.

The problem is not that there is no material to read and study, the problem is that there is so much of it!  The amount of material to sort through today on this topic should be accompanied by a surgeon general warning about causing blindness or something – it’s truly overwhelming.  What’s needed is a breakdown of what’s a great read, what’s the purpose, where to get it for the best price, and what to do with it (hint, do  more than just “read” it).  The list below hopefully provides this info in an easy to digest manner.  Enjoy!

Top 10 books – The Classics

These books have led the Personal Development revolution and just about any recent book dealing with this subject can be traced back to one of these.  Just about any successful person will tell you that one or more of these books had an impact on their lives.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937).  Probably the single most important work in the Personal Development arena and arguably the basis for most of what has followed.  Inspired by a suggestion from the great Scottish American businessman Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill spent most of the rest of his life documenting the philosophies and activities of the rich and successful of his day.  His writings have, to this day and certainly for the foreseeable future, been instrumental in guiding countless numbers of people to ultimate succes…whatever their individual definition of success may be.

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (1902).  This book is short enough to be read in an hour or so, but is powerful enough to have launched entire self-improvement movements since it was published.  James Allen has put together, in a relatively short amount of space, a book the delves right to the heart of the power behind how a person thinks and how those thoughts shape their lives.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1937).  This is the classic book of people skills…time tested and proven to be the best of it’s kind.  A must read.  This is number one on most successful people’s list of “must read” books and with good reason.

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles(1910).  This is a book that many have never heard of yet it pre-dates most of the above.   Published in 1910, it sets the standard and lays the groundwork for many later successful efforts.  In 2006, “The Secret” became insanely popular yet was “old news” for anybody that had read The Science of Getting Rich.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (1926).  This fantastic book provides advice and wisdom through a succession of parables that teach the importance of “…a part of all I earned was mine to keep”.  Truly, the Road to Wealth.

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  This is an essay, not a book and as such you won’t find it specifically unless it’s one of  those “annotated” editions.  My recommendation would be to simply download a copy of it – it’s available all over the internet as well as our own site.  Click here for a copy.  In this essay, Emerson strongly re-iterated his lifelong recurrent themes – namely avoiding conformity and false consistency while also following your own instincts and ideas.  One of his most famous quotes came from this essay: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds“.

Top 10 books – Contemporary choices

How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins (2005-updated).  This book takes awhile to get through and covers just about every aspect of sales you can imagine…this is the true Sales Bible.  The sections on closing are worth the price.  You do not have to work in Sales to appreciate the value of this book…we all sell something every day.  You might be selling an idea to your boss, or you might be selling the desire to buy that new Mustang to your wife.  This book provides incredible insight into all aspects of “selling”.

Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer(2004).  This small-ish book is a quick read but will become a handy reference and reminder that is easy to carry along with you.  This was my first Gitomer book, and I was immediately hooked by his quick hit tips, “in your face” style of getting his message across, and his focus on NOT doing things that don’t make sense.  Great book…highly recommended (and read his other books too!)

Four hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris(2009).  This gem of a book outlines how the “new rich” live, and how you can…and should…join their ranks.  The author’s story itself is inspiring and the advice he dispenses in his book is well worth the time and money investment.

Seven habit of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey(1990).  If it were a little older, this would certainly fall into the “classics” section.  The information provided in this book will keep you on track towards attainment of your goals and eventual success.  Learn the difference between doing what is urgent and what is necessary.

Bonus offering…book #11:  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  One of the most inspiring books you’ll read. Well written and full of great examples and advice from the man who truly went from rags-to-riches, and so much more.


Well, there you have it.  I have a hard time with lists…especially limiting lists, but I tried.  There are many I left out that I would have loved to include – maybe next time I’ll start by writing the “top 50” or something like that.

I hope you enjoyed the read – best wishes!!