Books that made me 20 times more capable
Why and how I listen to 791 hours of audiobooks every year
Several people asked me for my favorite books recently, so I thought I’d make this post public.
I want to start with a plug for the power of audiobooks. In 2015 alone, I listened to 791 hours of audiobooks or roughly 100 books, simply by listening when doing other tasks like making dinner, walking to class, cleaning my room, riding the bus, etc. I am 20 times more competent and more intelligent today, than I ever could have been without audiobooks. If you are an auditory learner, and especially if you find reading difficult, you should listen to audiobooks using Audible, they are running a deal right now that gives you two audiobooks for free. Download the iPhone App here. Are there books you want to read that don’t have audiobooks? No problem use Speechify to turn any text into an audiobook. I picked some of my favorite books I’ve read and included them below. Many of them are the first in a series so you can go in deeper from there if you’d like.
The 4 Hour Work Week Best book about entrepreneurship I have ever read. Stick out the first chapter. Then it will start blowing your mind.
How to Win Friends and Influence People I read this book every year. It has taught me so much about interacting with strangers, making friends, and being persuasive in real life and over email.
The Lean Startup The Silicon Valley bible for product building and building minimum viable products.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich Best book on personal finance I’ve ever read.
Outliers Best inspirational book and handbook on how to become exceptional at a skill.
Abundance Written by founder of singularity university and the XPrize. on exponential technologies.
Traction On how to achieve explosive growth with your startup.
Theodore Roosevelt’s best biography I’ve read.
Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s one of the most inspiring stories I’ve read. Inspired me to write this.
Founder of Nike written like a travel novel. So much to learn from this story.
Historical Fiction and Fantasy:
Pillars of the Earth This series has about 5 books. Each is a master piece. Read everything by Ken Follett to learn about history and enjoy the best story telling ever. He is my favorite author. I learned more history from this series than from any history class I’ve ever taken. Fall of Giants, another book in this series, is one of my all time favorites.
Harry Potter 1 My first audiobook. I learned english by listening to this book 22 times in a row.
The Way of Kings The main character is my favorite of any I’ve ever encountered. He has more determination and perseverance than any character I’ve come across, has excellent morals, and protects and cares for those around him.
The Name of the Wind, the best fantasy book I’ve read. This book is like Harry Potter, if Harry was brilliant and a badass. I was so sad when I finished the series (Second book is A Wise Man’s Fear). Stick it out through the first chapter, after that, it gets amazing.
Dawn of Wonder a close second to Name of the Wind.
Daemon The billionaire founder of a video game company gets neural cancer, but before he dies, he builds and AI that uses 3D printing and CNC to build technologies that are limited by patent laws, next the AI distributes this advanced technology to people it recruits to it’s mission, etc. Excellent series, great view of what technology could do/how powerful it is and how it could take over the world. It was written in 2006 before the iPhone was even released, and yet it prominently features, heads up displays, haptic shirts, self driving cars, 3D printing etc. The next books by Daniel Suarez are about a 24 year old who invents a way of reflecting gravity waves, and about computer vision enabled drones that can decipher context and make kill decisions on their own without human approval.
Ender’s Game Excellent sci-fi about a prodigy boy who heads a war as general agains an alien invasion. After this read the Shadow Giant series that branches of.
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