So I found this top 10 book recommendations to read before 30. Coincidentally, I have read all of these books, and wow, they make for a fantastic read any day!
1. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck – Pretty much the granddaddy of all self-improvement books, it’s easily one of the best nonfiction works I’ve ever read. By melding love, science and spirituality into a primer for personal growth, Peck guides the reader through lessons on delaying gratification, accepting responsibility for decisions, dedicating oneself to truth and reality, and creating a balanced lifestyle.
2. Getting Things Done by David Allen – The ultimate ‘organize your life’ book. Allen’s ideas and processes are for all those people who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed. The primary goal of this book is to teach you how to effectively get your ‘to-do inbox’ to empty.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Covey presents a principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems by delivering a step-by-step guide for living with integrity and honesty and adapting to the inevitable change life brings us everyday. It’s a must-read.
4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – Schwartz gives the reader useful, proactive steps for achieving success. He presents a clear-cut program for getting the most out of your job, marriage, family life and other relationships. In doing so, he proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction in life.
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Easily one of the best and most popular books on people-skills ever written. Carnegie uses his adept storytelling skills to illustrate how to be successful by making the most of human relations.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse – A short, powerful novel about the importance of life experiences as they relate to approaching an understanding of self, happiness and attaining enlightenment.
6. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – The best book on money management ever written. Although only 145 pages, this book is packed to the brim with powerful, life changing information. I’ve read it three times and I still pull new pearls of wisdom out of it. Babylon should be mandatory reading beginning at the grade school level, then again in college, and should be given as a gift right along with a college diploma.
7. The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz – Faced with too many options or decisions in your life? We feel worse when we have too many options. This book will make you feel better and change the way you look at them. Schwartz discusses people making difficult decisions about jobs, families, where to live, whether to have children, how to spend recreational time, choosing colleges, etc. He talks about why making these decisions today is much harder than it was thirty years ago, and he offers many practical suggestions for how to address decision-making so that it creates less stress and more happiness.
8. The Art of War by Sun Tzu – One of the oldest books on military strategy in the world. It’s easily the most successful written work on the mechanics of general strategy and business tactics.
9. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath – An easy to read psychology book about real ways to make change last – both personal and organizational. So many powerful insights, based on fact not theory. Inspiring counterintuitive stories of huge organizational change against all odds. Highly recommended for people in all walks of life.
10. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – It is unfortunate that in America, arguably the greatest nation in the free world, few people including those with high incomes understand the value of investing and the proper use of money strategies. You can live off your income, but you can’t get wealthy off your income. True wealth is the result of using principles described in this book. This is a classic, must read for everyone.