The 135 books I have read over the last three years

Three years ago I studied the most successful people I knew or have met (this included entrepreneurs, technology billionaires, professional writers, mathematicians, doctors and professors) and looked for what they had in common. Some of them had a tremendous work ethic, surprisingly others did not. You could call them “lazier”, but their talent made up for it. In general, society is not comfortable talking about lazier people being highly successful . We want to constantly believe it is hard effort that will get us there and that is very true most of the time, but some people just have the talent. I’m not saying they don’t put time into their chosen fields, they just get way more out of the time than most people do.

However, the one thing that I found that they all had in common was that they never stopped reading! I figured that I could replicate that so I started reading voraciously in an effort to catch up and hopefully overtake them at some juncture.

Here are the 135 books I have read in the last 3 years:

(My thoughts on all of this continue under the list:)

The Science of Interstellar
Running by Ronnie O Sullivan, 
Joy Inc, 
The Insanity of Advertising, 
The Art of War, 
SAS Survival Handbook,
Abundance by Peter Diamandis, 
Understanding Media by Marshall Mcluhan, 
A will to win by Alex Ferguson, 
My Lunches with Orson, 
My Cosmic View by Albert Einstein,
Tycoon by Peter Jones, 
How not to be a professional footballer by Paul Merson, 
Charles Babbage Autobiography,
Founders at Work,
Elon Musk by Ashley Vance, 
Venture Deals by Brad Feld, 
So Anyways by John Cleese, 
Rise of the Robots by Ford, 
The Way we Never Were, 
Threadless, 
Cartoons of World War 2, 
A Guide for the Perplexed by Werner Herzog, 
The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, 
My Life and Work by Henry Ford,
Zero to One by Peter Thiel, 
Traction,
Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff, 
Lynch on Lynch by David Lynch
Interviews: Jean Luc Godard, 
Things Hidden Since the Foundations of the World by Rene Girard, 
David Ogilvy Advertising, 
The International Bank of Bob,
Born on a Blue Day, 
Paris France Gertrude Stein, 
The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, 
Slingshot by Hector Ruiz, 
Confession of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, Talking with Sartre by John Gerassi, 
Future Science, 
A Life too Short Ronald, 
What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, 
The Idea Factory, 
Full Upfront and Locked Position, 
The Female Brain, 
The Numbers Game, 
What we see when we read by Peter Mendelsund,
 Civilization and its Discontents, 
I Steve by Steve Jobs, 
Remote, 
Rework, 
All you can Pay,
 Term Sheets and Valuations,
 Startup Boards, 
The Business of Venture Capital, 
The Intelligent Investor, 
The Tragedy of the European Union by George Soros, 
Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton, 
Open by Rod Canion, 
The Essays of Warren Buffett , 
The Google Boys, 
The Value of Art by Michael Findlay, 
Keep it Simple by Hartmut Eshlinger, Screenwriters Masterclass, 
The $12 million Stuffed Shark, 
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, 
The Hacienda, 
Chatting with Henri Matisse, 
Stanley Kubrick Interviews, 
Stephen King on Writing, 
Ernest Hemingway on Writing, 
Tales from the Script, 
Roman Polanski Interviews, 
The Art Life: On Creativity, 
Acting in Film by Michael Caine, 
The Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, How to find a habitable planet by Kasting,
 The Storytelling Animal, 
The 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852–1958,

Tested Advertising Methods, 
Tell me something: Documentary Filmmakers,

Serve to Win by Novak Djokovic, 
Ogilvy on Advertising, 
Cubed, 
Conversations with Frank Gehry, 
Paul Smith A to Z, 
Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Alex Ferguson, 
Toughness by Jay Bilas, 
Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson
Earn the Right to Win by Tom Coughlin, 
The Score takes care of itself by Bill Walsh,
Nail it then Scale it
Onwards by Howard Schulz, 
The Last Season by Phil Jackson, 
Conversations with Ingmar Bergman
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 
Wooden, 
Made in America by Sam Walton, 
Finding the Next Steve Jobs by Nolan Bushnell, Powering the Future, 
Writing on the Wall: Social Media the first 2000 years, 
Facing Mariano Riviera, 
Dataclysm by Christian Rudder, 
My Fellow Prisoners by Mikhail, 
Be a Great Stand Up, 
Insanely Simple by Ken Segall, 
Makers by Chris Anderson, 
Soccernomics, 
As I See It by JP Getty, 
Tackling Life by Jonny Wilkinson, 
The Patron Way.

Bowie on Bowie 
Creativity Inc by Ed Catsmull
Idea Makers by Stephen Wolfram
Smokejumper by Jason Ramos
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
The Economics Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes
The Great Illusion: A Study of the Relation of Military Power to National Advantage
Life at the Limits: Triumph and Tragedy in Formula One
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall 
Game, Set and Match by Mark Hodgkinson
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight 
Dior by Dior: The Autobiography of Christian Dior
Lunch with the Financial Times: 52 Classic Interviews
Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
The Man who could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz 
Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre
Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
James Cameron Interviews
Billions to Bust and Back: Thor Bjorgolfsson
Mozart: the man and the artist, as revealed in his own words
The Invisible Hands by Steven Drobny
Call me Ted Turner
Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter
50 Years of Playboy Interviews
The Secret Race by Tyler Hamiton
Leading by Alex Ferguson with Michael Moritz 
Edison as I know Him by Henry Ford
Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel
The Psychology Influence of Persuasian by Cialdini
Globalization by George Soros
Wikileaks by Julian Assange
Zeckendorf by Zeckendorf

I did this to see what I’ve done and what I haven’t done to see what I want to learn about in the next period of time.

The first thing that stood out for me is how few books I have written by women, that will change in the next 3 years.

I tend to like to read books done by people who don’t make a living from writing books. There is a stark difference between sounding intelligent and being intelligent and I don’t think it is too difficult to say things that sound solid enough to make a living out of writing books. However, the greatest insights aren’t from those people most of the time.

I would not necessarily recommend all of these books listed.

When I decided to read any book it was all about my personal interests at that moment or something that could help me with my work or it was recommended to me by a friend.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts even if you think my thoughts are completely in the wrong direction. If you have any book recommendations please message them to me.

Best Wishes and Stay Pathologically Optimistic

Tom