Someone tagged me on twitter as someone they’d like to know their top ten books. In their interest and to answer that question for myself I decided to write this post.
I’m busy so It’s a quick list, but I also figured there’s really not much to it, if a book is in my top 10 i should know it quickly. I won’t explain them thoroughly (after all you should read them) and i won’t include any of those common books everyone agrees you need to read to look or sound smart even if you don’t really read them. So all that aside, here’s my top ten books:
1. The Bible
First yes I’m a Christian but even when I wasn’t, I was fascinated by the Bible. I’ve read the Quran, translations of the Vedas, several philosophic texts and I have gained from all of them. But none of them rival the Bible in wisdom, power, it’s ability to explain reality and teach you about life. 10/10 Greatest book of all time.
2. The Alchemist x Paulo Coelho
It’s a simple but beautiful allegorical story about life, the power of belief and purpose. Easy read but profound and thought provoking.
3. Security Analysis x Graham and Dodd
This book got me to where I am today as an investor and business person. I still read it as often as I can just because I’m not nearly as good as the authors or as I need to be. Numbers heavy and a bit dated, but fundamental to any investor.
4. Thé Intelligent Investor
This is like Security Analysis but in layman terms and with additional emphasis on mindset and investment principles as well.
5. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus x Ludwig Wittgenstein
This book took SO LONG to read because it’s so intricate, mathematical and hard to understand, for me. But it revolutionized my understanding of reality as a whole, of the metaphysical, of meaning and eventually got me to a place where I could reconcile that God exists even if He’s not immediately apparent to us. And it’s not a religious text. It’s a philosophy book. Wittgenstein to me is the most important philosopher of the modern era. Your fave does not even come close.
6. Provocations x Sören Kierkegaard
Every book by Kierkegaard if we’re being honest but provocations is my favorite because it takes on many different concepts all at once. The writer is a Christian Existentialist so if I was a non-Christian I don’t know if I might have enjoyed his thoughts as much. Worth every read though.
7. Thus Spake Zarathustra
Nietzsche is one of my favorite philosophers that I don’t agree with. His take down of Christianity is the most well reasoned and he’s one of the few atheists that actually understand the faith they denounce. Most others argue against straw men and aren’t worth engaging with. But Nietzsche doesn’t critique Christianity in this book, he upends the social understanding of his era in this. He blew everything apart and forces the reader to look at everything and everyone with Fresh eyes. 10/10 will recommend.
8. Dune Chronicles (First Three Books) x Frank Herbert
This is a fiction book. Science fiction technically. But I learned so much about life, leading, power and the abuse of it, family, love, self mastery, social systems and what have you from it. But aside all that, it’s a bloody great story with one of the most interesting antihero characters I have ever seen. I first a few pages it in my secondary school library and I had to find the whole thing years later. I still reread it twice a year roughly.
9. 33 Strategies of War x Robert Greene
I tried to read Art of War several times and found it too bloody hard. This book on the other hand reads in plain language and teaches you how to win wars. Considering that life and business has many similarities to war, it’s a go to for me.
10. Meditations x Marcus Aurelius
This book is another one I read many times in a year. I learned to be stoic from it, to look at life as it is and not be too affected by the good or bad. I learned that the things under your control or responsibility should be handled with utmost care and discipline while not agonizing, worrying or grieving about the things you cannot control.
Honorable mention: If x Rudyard Kipling. Poem, not book.
Caveat: if I write this list ten times, the books will change except for perhaps the Bible, Meditations, Tractatus, Security Analysis and Dune. Those are my true top 5. Outside those, I read a lot and there are way too many great books out there for ten to suffice.
If you can share yours in my comments or On twitter, please do. I’m always looking for more good books to read.