My goal is to read & learn new things, on varying topics, then integrate the techniques into life, prior to reading more new material.
It’s very easy & addicting to constantly read books and hear new concepts, then never actually implement what was read.
Since too much information has many downsides, I hope that this list of my favorite books will help you out.
The book list is broken down into sections which you can view using the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
5 Books that Changed My Life
The books are listed in no particular order.
Each of the books contains techniques I use on a daily basis for my photography, writing, website, and business.
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- Getting Things Done by David Allen: You can’t just read this book, it’s also a must to build the GTD System out and implement it in everyday life. This takes time, but it’s well worth it. I recommend Evernote Pro for this.
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
Building Stuff that Matters, Creativity & Art
- Do the Work
- Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
- The Flinch
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups & How to Build the Future. I found this book to apply nicely to a one-man small business as well.
- Turning Pro
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
- The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?
- Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Mindset, Lifestyle Design & Minimalism
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Stoicism)
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
- The Big Leap
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. This book has a few paragraphs that discuss religion. I don’t believe in a God and still find this book to contain a lot of good info.
- Tools of the Titans
Science, History & The Human Mind
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins: I found this book to be a great way for my engineering mind to conceptualize Evolution.
- Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins
- Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character
- Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
- Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
- The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
- Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
- The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century
- Gulag: A History
- The Gulag Archipelago
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
- The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
- East of Eden: My favorite fiction book & writer.
- Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner: This is up there with East of Eden for the best writing on the American West.
- The Big Rock Candy Mountain
- Dune Messiah
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Of Mice and Men
- Travels with Charley in Search of America
- The Winter of Our Discontent
- A Fools Progress
Wilderness, Adventure & Outdoors
- The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abby
- Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
- Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
- The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey
- The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons
- Coming into the Country
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
- Encounters with the Archdruid
- Limits of the Known
- Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, 1810-1813
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
- Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey
- Fire on the Mountain by Ed Abbey
- Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America by Craig Childs
- House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
- The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild
- The Secret Knowledge of Water : Discovering the Essence of the American Desert
None of these books suffice for an in-person class on each of the topics. They should be used as supplemental learning material for reference, upon taking a class.
- Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
- NOLS Wilderness Medicine: It’s essential to take a Wilderness First Responder course to go along with this book.
- Swift Water Rescue: A course is also required for this material.
- Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
- Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete