books that have changed my life

over the last 5 years, i’ve read 348 books – that’s an average of 1.3 books per week.

of the 348 books i’ve read, below (categorized) are the most impactful. books i return to time and time again, and can recommend with full confidence:


  • mastery
  • deep work
  • influence
  • antifragile
  • the hard thing about hard things
  • zero to one
  • crucial conversations


  • meditations
  • total freedom (by krishnamurti)
  • a guide to the good life
  • things hidden since the foundations of the world

motivation / inspiration

  • the war of art
  • turning pro
  • tuesdays with morrie
  • the alchemist

evolutionary psychology

  • the moral animal
  • the red queen
  • the selfish gene
  • the mating mind
  • the rational animal
  • the adapted mind

other non-fiction

  • losing the war (not a book, but an incredibly long piece of writing. probably my favorite piece of writing ever)
  • cannery row
  • godel, escher, bach (difficult, long but entirely worth the read)
  • why nations fail
  • the sovereign individual
  • seeing like a state
  • sapiens
  • the last lion
  • 33 strategies of war

sci-fi / fantasy

  • ender’s game
  • red rising (series – just incredible)
  • wool (and the entire silo series)
  • anathem
  • cryptonomicon
  • the entire “the name of the wind” series by patrick rothfuss
  • seven eves

other fiction

  • fight club
  • jitterbug perfume
  • the prince of tides (really anything by pat conroy)
  • the entire noble house series
  • atlas shrugged and fountainhead. if you have to read just one, make it atlas shrugged
  • the lies of locke lamora (series)
  • the rosie project
  • the martian
  • pillars of the earth
  • fall of giants (book 1 in series by ken follet. the whole series is fantastic)
  • a man called ove
  • stories of your life and others
  • ant farm (short story collection by simon rich)
  • zorba the greek

One response

  1. thanks for the list Justin, currently reading Traction -)

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