25 Books On Personal And Professional Development – My Reading List This Year
I’ve made a commitment to myself to read more this year. Specifically I’ve made a pact to read 25 books on personal and professional development that fit my interests.
That’s less than 1 book every 2 weeks.
I was a “mildly prolific” reader as a kid and that continued into my young adult life. Whether it was in between classes in university, on the lakeshore during a vacation or during lunch break at my summer jobs, I was turning pages.
Entrepreneurship books, business and marketing books, self-improvement books, biographies, historical epics, true crime and more.
Over the last 5 years my reading habit has really slowed down.
What changed? Podcasts.
My Book Reading Flipped To Podcast Listening
I had started listening to Podcasts in 2009/2010 during university. This new habit started with listening to mostly comedian’s podcasts like Joe Rogan, Bill Burr and Marc Maron, as well as some other early adopters in the business and sports space.
Podcasts delivered free advice, stories and tips from some of the most successful people in the world just a tap of my finger away. It was like I had snuck into the boardroom or office of these inspiring people and hid behind the bookcase while I listened in on a private mentoring session.
However, I’ve missed that page turning feeling and the full immersion I have when diving into a book. Therefore, I’ve made that pact to read 25 books on personal and professional development this year.
Increased Priority On Books This Year
Am I giving up on podcasts? Not a chance.
I will just be dialing back on podcasts at specific times to peak my reading. A little less time with the earbuds in and a little more time with pages in hand.
According to Thomas C. Corley of Rich Habits, “85% of self-made millionaires read two books or more every month. They read books that help them grow and learn: career, how-to, biographies, self-help, health, leadership, history, current events, and more.”
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the 25 books on personal and professional development that are on my checklist to read this year.
Personal Finance Books
The Simple Path To Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life by JL Collins
The legendary JL Collins. The Simple Path To Wealth is well respected and often mentioned as one of the essential personal finance books for anyone exploring financial independence. JL Collins provides an easy to digest framework focused on low-cost index fund investing.
From the author, “this book grew out of a series of letters to my daughter concerning various things—mostly about money and investing—she was not yet quite ready to hear. Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created, understanding it is critical.
The simple approach I created for her and present now to you, is not only easy to understand and implement, it is more powerful than any other.”
You Can Retire Early!: Everything You Need to Achieve Financial Independence When You Want It by Deacon Hayes
I am a big fan of Deacon Hayes blog Well Kept Wallet and podcast, I am sure his personal finance book keeps the same high quality of work and delivers the practical, actionable advice he’s known for.
From Amazon on You Can Retire Early, “the definitive guide to financial independence at any age! Retiring early is not limited to lottery winners or the super rich. In fact, with proper planning, we can all retire at a younger age than we ever dreamed—but only with the right plan.
Personal finance expert Deacon Hayes explains the practical, concrete steps you can take to start your retirement when you’re young enough to thoroughly enjoy it.”
The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders
This personal finance book by fellow Canadian Cait Flanders has been blowing up all over my social media since it’s release.
The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping.
The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food-and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.
The NY Times bestselling book with over 1.5 million copies sold, but this personal finance book hasn’t made its way into my hands yet.
From Amazon on The Automatic Millionaire, “David gives you a totally realistic system, based on timeless principles, with everything you need to know, including phone numbers, websites and apps, so you can put the secret to becoming an Automatic Millionaire in place from the comfort of your own home.”
Given the number of reviews and longstanding success of this book, I’m sure it will be a valuable read.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
I’ve read 4-Hour Workweek and Tribe of Mentors, but managed to skip over reading Tool of Titans when it was released in 2016. I’ve already purchased this book so it will be one of the first off my 25 books on personal and professional development that I will read this year.
Tim spent 2 years interviewing 200+ world-renowned masters from all walks of life on his podcast. This book is the culmination of those tools, tactics and tips that have made those 200+ masters successful and it has all been distilled into 736 pages of amazing advice.
Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher
I’ve been a fan of James Altucher’s podcast for over a year now. It’s time to read his wildly successful business/finance/entrepreneurial/motivational book from 2013.
With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples – including the author, investor and entrepreneur James Altucher’s own heartbreaking and inspiring story – Choose Yourself illuminates your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old.
No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself.
I really enjoy James’ podcast and I’m certain those same thought provoking ideologies live within this book.
The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History by David Enrich
Considered one of the best books of the year in 2017, this is another one high up on my books to read this.
The Wall Street Journal‘s award-winning business reporter, David Enrich, unveils the bizarre and sinister story with The Spider Network of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history.
Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?! Plus it has great cover art.
I’ve read Chris’ 2012 NY Times bestselling book The $100 Startup and am an avid listener to his podcast, Side Hustle School.
Chris describes his new startup and entrepreneurship book, Born For This, as follow, “my new book is the culmination of years of research on people who’ve found or created their dream job. From the outside, it looks like these people have been lucky. But in reality, they’ve followed a process of trial-and-error to get exactly what they want.”
Another ultra successful and popular entrepreneurship and business book that I haven’t read yet. The 2011 release by Eric Ries, The Lean Startup.
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
From the author of the bestselling The Art Of Work, the latest release by Jeff Goins got on my radar through…you guessed it, a podcast!
From graphic designers and writers to artists and business professionals, creatives already know that no one is born an artist. Goins’s revolutionary rules within Real Artists Don’t Starve celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways.
He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity.
Startup Opportunities is the go-to guide for anyone with a great business idea.
Whether it’s your first business or your fifth, realistic assessment from the outset can save you a lot of time and money; why pour your heart and soul into a venture that is doomed to fail?
Instead, position yourself to win from the very beginning.
I enjoyed Duhigg’s bestselling 2014 book, The Power of Habit, so I have his latest work, Smarter Faster Better, near the top of my 25 books on personal and professional development to read this year.
Smarter Faster Better looks to be part self-help book, part social science book and part productivity book.
Real productivity relies on managing how we think, identify goals, construct teams and make decisions. The most productive people, companies and organizations don’t merely act differently–they envision the world and their choices in profoundly different ways.
Ray Dalio, the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Ray now shares the unconventional Principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.
That forty years plus of uber success has been compiled into his book, Principles.
I had seen this mentioned on a National Post article featuring the must read books of 2017.
Using captivating stories to illustrate research in psychology and management, Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein examines why some people and organizations succeed with so little, while others fail with so much.
Stretch shows why everyone—from executives to entrepreneurs, professionals to parents, athletes to artists—performs better with constraints; why seeking too many resources undermines our work and well-being; and why even those with a lot benefit from making the most out of a little.
Motivation & Happiness Books
You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
I’d heard Jen Sincero on a few different podcasts over the years and this book was always referenced of course.
It’s time to read it and after reading the reviews, I am sure I will enjoy it.
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
In a similar grain as You Are A Badass, comes this refreshing, BS-free, self-empowerment guide that offers an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love approach to help you move past self-imposed limitations.
I like the positive, upbeat approach of most motivational, happiness and self-help books but sometimes the kick in the pants approach is more effective.
That’s why Unfu*k Yourself makes my list of 25 books on personal and professional development to read this year.
Another New York Times bestselling book from 2017 to make the list. Brene Brown is the prolific author behind Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection.
In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
After reading Jocko Willink’s Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, I realized the military provides an abundance of learnings on organizational skills, leadership and hardwork.
These lessons apply to all walks of life not just the battlefield. In light of how much I enjoyed that book, I’ve added another book from a military personnel to my reading list.
From the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Team of Teams, One Mission is a practical guide for leaders looking to make their organizations flatter and more interconnected.
Fussell channels all his experiences, both military and corporate, into powerful strategies for unifying isolated and distrustful teams.
Why do some people perform better at work than others?
After a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance.
Great at Work made my personal and professional books reading list as I am trying to better shape my career currently and for the future this year.
I’ve read Nomadic Matt, aka Matt Kepnes, blog since 2013 (he started writing on it in 2008). Safe to say he’s one of the most popular and respected travel bloggers on the face of the earth.
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day reveals Nomadic Matt’s tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel based on his experience traveling the world without giving up the sushi meals and comfortable beds he enjoys.
I am hoping to do some longer term travel adventures in the next 1-2 years, so a second travel hacking book should be beneficial. Check out my post on Travel Hacking 101 – A Beginner’s Guide To Travel More For Less.
Ryan Shauers’ book Big Travel, Small Budget helps you look at long-term travel in a whole new way.
Based on the lessons learned in nearly three years of travel, this book will show you how to save money traveling and provide you with an inexpensive path to a rich life.
Health & Fitness Books
I want to add a book on nutrition into my mix of 25 books on personal and professional development to read this year.
Nutrition is something I am always looking to improve upon and if a book as well reviewed and respected as Deep Nutrition might help me, I’ll give it a try.
A self-published phenomenon examining the habits that kept our ancestors disease-free ― now with a prescriptive plan for “The Human Diet” to help us all live long, vital, healthy lives.
I can’t recall where I first heard this book mentioned, but it might have been Joe Rogan’s podcast. However, I added it to my “Books” note on my iPhone.
So when pulling together my list of 25 books on personal and professional development, I did some research on the book. After checking the reviews, it made the cut.
Improving my fitness in a time efficient manner always remains a key goal.
Including the eight best basic interval workouts as well as four micro-workouts customized for individual needs and preferences. The One Minute Workout solves the number-one reason we don’t exercise: lack of time. Because everyone has one minute.
The Terminator! Conan! Mr. Olympia! The Governator!
Arnold’s biography Total Recall has been out since 2013 but it wasn’t until I recently listened to his two appearances on Tim Ferriss’ podcast that I was more intrigued with Mr. Schwarzenegger’s book.
In what has been dubbed, “the greatest immigrant success story of our time”.
It’s hard to argue with that considering the fame, success and impact Arnold has achieved in bodybuilding, acting, politics, philanthropy and more.
I’m excited to read this one.
The man, the myth, the legend – Elon Musk.
Veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur.
To complete this book, Elon Musk, Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity.
In Closing…Personal and Professional Books
I am excited to get back on track with my reading this year and am already off to a good start. These 25 books on personal and professional development offer a broad topic range to hopefully keep me engaged and actively learning.
“Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Addison
I included some of these books and my other all-time favourite reads on my book recommendations page.
Here are some other posts to take control of your money and life:
- The Personal Finance Resources And Content That Saved My Financial Life
- Waking Up At 5AM Changed My Life – Win The Morning, Win The Day
- 55 Great Online Udemy Courses For Millennials, Entrepreneurs and Side Hustlers
- 30 Small Wins Challenge – Make Momentum With Your Money And Life
- Top 75 Podcasts To Improve Your Life, Finances, Business, Health And More
- Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Own Money Momentum
Have you read any of these books already?
Let me know what you thought of them and the biggest takeaways you got.
What books are you planning on reading this year?
Are any of these on your list? Or do you have others in mind? Tell me in the comments below.