Here Are the 40 Books That Have Changed My Life

No one book has inspired me the most. Pexels

This post originally appeared on QuoraWhich books have inspired you the most?

No one book has inspired me the most.

Books inspire me.

When I read a book, it’s like I get the curated thoughts of another person’s entire life.

It takes me five hours to read a book, give or take. In five hours I get to absorb what another writer thinks are the most important 4,000 thoughts of their life.

A book changes my life when I think to myself, you know what: my life would be better if I try this ONE thing I learned in this book. With each book, if you get just one takeaway that makes life better, then it’s a good book.

For instance, in Antifragile I learned that even more important than being “resilient” is to teach yourself how negative things that happen to you can make you stronger.

In Man’s Search for Meaning I learned that even in difficult times, if I find meaning in my life, it can push me forward to the next day and even make the next day much better.

In Mastery of Love I learned it’s important to never give my self-esteem to someone else.

In Old Man and the Sea I learned how to tell a story that’s potentially really boring.

And so on:

Here’s my “top 40 countdown.”

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (and The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness by him)

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Master of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

Mindset by Carol Dweck

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Sapiens by Yuval something.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson (a collection of short stories, not a religious book)

The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley (and the Evolution of Everything by him)

Bold by Peter D. and Steven Kotler

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Peak by Anders Ericsson

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer (along with The Untethered Soul by him)

Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

Mastery by Robert Greene

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

War of Art by Stephen Pressfield (and Turning Pro)

Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Maus by Art Spiegelman

On Writing by Stephen King

How We Got to Now by Stephen Johnson (and his book on ideas)

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull

Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (and Practicing the Power of Now by him)

5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What We Talk About When We talk about Running by Haruki Murakami

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

The New Evolution Diet by Art Devany

Poking the Dead Frog by Mike Sacks

Socrates by Paul Johnson

Small Victories by Anne Lamott

Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Lorette Breuning

Related links:

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James Altucher is a hedge fund manager, entrepreneur and best-selling author. Subscribe to his email by clicking here. Or visit his website to read free blog content.

Here Are the 40 Books That Have Changed My Life