Can you read? Good. If not, you’re in the wrong place.
There are literally thousands of books about business and finance out there. Some are great, others good, and others still are pretty bad. If I wrote one, it’d probably be in the very bad category, mostly because I spell worse than a drunk 9th grader. Luckily for you, all the books I’m about to recommend were written by people other than me.
In all seriousness, if someone stops learning, they might as well be dead. Reading is important in my life, partially for entertainment and partially to broaden my horizons. Reading has taught me to think critically and to question what I hear from traditional media. I’ve learned so much from the books I’ve read over the years, agreeing completely with some of them and dismissing others as pure BS. The point of reading and learning isn’t to blindly believe what you’re reading, but to take everything with a grain of salt. This is why I can hate your favorite book and vise versa.
These are my favorite books. If you buy through one of these links, I’ll collect a small referral from Amazon. Why stop at one? Daddy needs a new pair of shoes…
1. The granddaddy of all investing books for me, Contrarian Investors 13 by my favorite investor, Benj Gallander. Benj outlines the investing philosophy of his investing newsletter, Contra The Heard.
2. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing is written by Warren Buffett’s mentor Benjamin Graham, and it deserves a spot on every investor’s bookshelf. I also apparently like books written by guys named Benjamin.
3. The Wealthy Barber is an oldie, but a goodie. Not much in it for actual investment information, but a great common sense guide to get the average person starting to save. This is the first book I read on business, so I may be biased.
4. The Millionaire Next Door outlines how millionaires aren’t very much different than you or I, they’re just much better at handling their money.
5. Richest Man In Babylon is another classic. A little basic for you advanced types, but a good start for newbies.
6. Atlas Shrugged plain and simple, Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book. It changed my life. It explained things I felt but couldn’t put into words. In fact, I’m reading it for about the 4th time as I type this.
7. The Fountainhead Not quite as good as Atlas Shrugged, but still great. Focuses less on the financial stuff on Rand’s philosophy.
8. The Big Short by Michael Lewis outlines the story about investors who bet against toxic mortgages and profited immensely from their fall.
9. Moneyball is the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, who changed the way baseball teams viewed talent forever.
10. The Ascent Of Money is a great look at the history of our capital markets and their evolution over hundreds of years.
11. The Tipping Point I heart Malcolm Gladwell.
12. Blink more greatness from Malcolm Gladwell.
13. Outliers probably my favorite Malcolm Gladwell book. It’ll change the way you look at success.
14. Freakonomics One of the only economic books you’ll ever read that’s equal parts informative and hilarious.
15. Superfreakonomics Not quite as good as the first, but still solid. You’ll love the prostitution chapter!
16. As a former grocer, I can say Paco Underhill knows his stuff. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping is an insider’s look at the ways a grocery store sets up things to maximize the amount of stuff you buy.
17. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life is a fantastic look at the billionaire’s life, really cracking the shell of what makes him tick.
18. Sam Walton: Made In America A very good book which outlines Walton’s journey from small town retailer to behemoth.
19. McDonald’s: Behind The Arches is the authority on the early days of the company, taking the reader on a remarkable journey.
20. Purple Cow Seth Godin is a terrific marketer. He talks about the importance of building a remarkable business or product, comparing it to a purple cow. This book will change the way you look at marketing.
Stay tuned, this list will expand over time as I read more and/or get more ideas. And if you can’t read, I’m sure there are audio versions of all the books mentioned here.