For anyone who knows me in real life or follows me on the interwebz, it’s no secret I have a problem. You see… I’m a junkie. Every day I wake up and live a life of servitude to my addiction. It’s all consuming. It’s obsessive. And at times, it’s truly a burden for those close to me. I’m a remorseless education junkie. At this point in my life, I like to diversify my education portfolio. As a speaker or attendee, I’m usually at one or two conferences per month. I also sign up for courses and hire coaches for myself (and the MFF team) when I want more targeted help. Most important of all, I learn from the school of hard knocks; this often takes the form of candid feedback about where I’m getting in my own way and negatively impacting Mark Fisher Fitness (thanks MFFers!). But my first love has always been, and always will be, books. In addition to spending time reading each day, audiobooks are a pillar of my book consumption. I’ve trained my ear to be comfortable with 1.5x – 2x speed, which has been a large part of my ability to consistently get through 8-12 books per month. A few thoughts on this list:
- Want to learn more about how I get through so many books? Lucky you! Since writing the original version of this post, I’ve outlined my entire system in this post HERE.
- After I prepared this list, I realized I’d read (or listened to) 28 of the 48 books at least twice. Repetition is the mother of mastery.
- I’ve read (or listened to) the following books three times:
- This is exclusively books I’ve found directly useful for my business pursuits. That said, I did include a small personal development section, as this is always a rate limiting factor on professional development. This is the section that feels most arbitrary, as I could have easily added another 10-15. But… CONSTRAINTS.
- I purposely excluded some of my favorite topics if they didn’t relate directly to business: psychology, social philosophy, sociology, personal finance, and biographies. While I could (and do!) make the case these are foundational topics for business success, in the interest of focus, they are not included.
- If you want to see a list of my most recent All Time Top 20 (including the above excluded subjects), you can check it out on this Instagram post HERE. You can also follow me while you’re there.
- My speed and volume of consumption isn’t something that will make sense for most people. I realize some people may find a list like this overwhelming. My suggestion is to focus on the topic you think would have the biggest impact on your professional effectiveness.
- And finally, books are awesome, but they’re really just one piece of the puzzle. Most adults don’t truly learn without putting their knowledge into action. This usually requires some kind of “learn-by-doing-with-feedback” component.
Would love for you to leave a comment and let me know if there are other must-reads you’d add.
Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Mindset – Carol S. Dweck Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday
Business Strategy & Operations
Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek The Lapsed Anarchist’s Guide to Being A Better Leader – Ari Weinzweig Extreme Ownership – Willink and Babin Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute
First Break All the Rules – Gallup Press Growing Great Employees – Erika Andersen The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz Principles – Ray Dalio What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith