I am very fussy when it comes to reading books. To read a book properly and digest the information takes up valuable time. I have a 50-page limit. If a book does not grip me after reading fifty pages, then I put it down and move on. Forget persistence, this is a case of not flogging a dead horse. The following books I have read, and they have gripped me. Also, I have left t some time since reading them before including them in the list. They are all packed full of top class information, and the Charlatan count is Zero! Enjoy.
My Top 10 Books – All Genres
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
by Robert M. Pirsig ( link to Wikipedia )
This book is quite simply a work of genius. To summarise it is almost impossible. It’s a fantastic read for “recovering” scientists who are leaving academic science and want to retain the value of everything they have learnt and apply it to an unscientific world. The book changed my perception of the world at age 17 and rarely a month goes by after 25 years that I don’t think about it.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ( link to Wikipedia )
The first book that I read that made me consciously aware of the importance of luck, randomness and good fortune in many lives and events. It also highlights the human need and vanity to create a narrative of causality around events and outcomes that are essentially random.
Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell ( link to Wikipedia )
A fantastic gripping book that details many of the scenarios that create outlier success. The book covers how in some cases the environment required for outlier success is difficult if not impossible to duplicate. He also details that some outlier successes are also due to unusual levels of practice or exposure.
Brawn: Bodybuilding for the Drug-free and Genetically Typical
by Stuart McRobert ( link to Wikipedia )
I purchased this book in 1993 and it revolutionised my workouts and helped me build a 300 lb benchpress. It also has some fantastic thoughts on outlier success, nutrition, treating injuries and training strategy. A fantastic book.
The Motivated Mind
by Rajendra Persaud ( link to Wikipedia )
Raj Persaud is a very credible academic and broadcaster. This is an erudite book on the subject of motivation and a must read for anyone managing a team or an organisation.
Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules
by L. David Marquet ( link to Author )
Probably the best book on modern management you will read. Lots of fantastic ideas that challenge conventional thinking, many of which I have implemented. Can’t recommend this book enough.
by Tom Bower ( link to Wikipedia )
This book made me realise that most modern autobiographies and authorised biographies are just glorified marketing and public relations. Anything by Bower is worth reading as he focuses on delivering the hatchet job with high entertainment value. I loved this book.
Against The Odds
by James Dyson ( link to Wikipedia )
A fantastic contrast between Branson’s AutoBios and Dyson’s. This book is a reminder of the great scientists, designers and engineers that built Great Britain in the Industrial Age. If only more credit and a bigger platform was given to this man. The book is superb. The book comforts and reassures us all that nothing great comes easy.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter ( link to Wikipedia )
Although he has his critics and many would look to expose Kiyosaki as a charlatan, the reality is that this is an important book. Kiyosaki’s true message is not that you read this book as a lesson to get rich. The book focuses on getting the average person to wake up, focus on learning about money and encourages them to start investing if they have any intention of getting rich on purpose. I would say this is a starter book for would-be investors. It sets the scene. After that, you need to become an expert in asset classes by reading elsewhere.
by Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein ( link to Wikipedia )
A terrific book on the now popular subject of health and behavioural psychology. The book helps you understand your instinctive biases and how to combat the built in but sometimes misguided behaviours we all succumb to. I would strongly advise reading this book if you want to make better lifestyle and business decisions.