One Hundred Great Books

By Richard Reis

If you haven’t heard Naval Ravikant’s interview on Shane Parrish’s podcast, you’re missing out.

Many many quotes spoke to me, but one really got me thinking:

“I don’t want to read everything, I just want to read one hundred great books over and over again.” — Unknown

I feel the same way. No matter how many books I read, I keep coming back to the same great books over and over again.

So I wondered, what are my One Hundred Great Books?

After the interview, I spent all day yesterday assembling this list, of which I’m incredibly proud.

If you’re asking yourself “where’s the Principia? Or Plato? Or Freud?!”, keep in mind I am a 24 year-old entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley. These are the most important books to me. I am not trying to be a great mathematician, philosopher, or psychologist.

This is my list. Mine. Yours may and probably will differ. In which case I’d love to see it!

What does a philosophy major’s list look like? Or a Navy SEAL? Or a fiction writer? Or a painter? I would love to see everyone’s list. You can tell a lot about a person by their library.

Without further ado, here’s my list. I hope you enjoy.

(P.S. To everyone who asks me what books do I recommend, here’s the answer)

Ze list (in no particular order):

  1. Poor Charlie’s Almanack : The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger — Peter D. Kaufman

2. Autobiography of a Yogi — Paramahansa Yogananda

3. Stumbling On Happiness — Daniel Gilbert

4. Tao Te Ching — Lao Tzu

5. Atlas Shrugged — Ayn Rand

6. The Lessons of History — Will & Ariel Durant

7. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion — Sam Harris

8. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

9. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

10. Fooled By Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets— Nassim Nicholas Taleb

11. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies — Jared M. Diamond

12. The Foundation Trilogy — Isaac Asimov

13. Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light — Leonard Shlain

14. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari

15. Man’s Search for Meaning — Viktor E. Frankl

16. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah — Richard Bach

17. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion — Robert Cialdini

18. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade — Robert Cialdini

19. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles— Steven Pressfield

20. The Complete Story of Civilization — Will Durant

21. The Geography of Genius: Lessons from the World’s Most Creative Places — Eric Weiner

22. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves — Matt Ridley

23. Tools of Titans — Tim Ferriss

24. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! — Richard P. Feynman

25. God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment — Scott Adams

26. Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think — Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler

27.The Robber Barons — Matthew Josephson

28. Ender’s Game — Orson Scott Card

29. Thinking, Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman

30. How to Win Friends & Influence People — Dale Carnegie

31. Free Will — Sam Harris

32. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future — Peter Thiel

33. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right — Atul Gawande

34. Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom — Tony Robbins

35. Rework — Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

36. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined — Steven Pinker

37. Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae — Steven Pressfield

38. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind — Shunryu Suzuki

39. Think and Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill

40. Meditations — Marcus Aurelius

41. Napoleon — Vincent Cronin

42. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life — Walter Isaacson

43. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature — Matt Ridley

44. Einstein: His Life and Universe — Walter Isaacson

45. Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius — Hans C. Ohanian

46. Steve Jobs — Walter Isaacson

47. The Prophet — Kahlil Gibran

48. Dune — Frank Herbert

49. The Story of Art — E.H. Gombrich

50. Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships — Christopher Ryan

51. The Selfish Gene — Richard Dawkins

52. The Origin of Species — Charles Darwin

53. Snow Crash — Neal Stephenson

54. How to Fail At Almost Anything and Still Win Big — Scott Adams

55. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age — Paul Graham

56. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage — Alfred Lansing

57. Principles — Ray Dalio

58. Leadership the Outward Bound Way: Becoming a Better Leader in the Workplace, in the Wilderness, and in Your Community — Rob Chatfield

59. The Magic of Thinking Big — David J. Schwartz

60. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business— Charles Duhigg

61. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life — Tim Ferriss

62. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action— Simon Sinek

63. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination — Neal Gabler

64. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. — Ron Chernow

65. Andrew Carnegie — Joseph Frazier Wall

66. Morgan: American Financier — Jean Strouse

67. Sam Walton: Made in America — Sam Walton

68. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon — Brad Stone

69. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike — Phil Knight

70. Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul— Howard Schultz

71. Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire — James Wallace

72. The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: *God Doesn’t Think He’s Larry Ellison — Mike Wilson

73. Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966–2013 — Carol J. Loomis

74. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life — Alice Schroeder

75. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World — David Kirkpatrick

76. Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger — Peter Bevelin

77. Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur — Richard Branson

78. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future — Ashlee Vance

79. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future — Daniel Pink

80. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies — Nick Bostrom

81. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future — Kevin Kelly

82. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything — Joshua Foer

83. Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, And of Course, Surfing — Laird Hamilton

84. Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived — Laurence Shames and Peter Barton

85. Cry, Heart, But Never Break — Glenn Ringtved and Charlotte Pardi

86. Siddharta — Herman Hesse

87. The Power of Myth — Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers

88. The Hero with a Thousand Faces — Joseph Campbell

89. The Richest Man in Babylon — George S. Clason

90. The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life — J L Collins

91. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life — John C. Bogle

92. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies — Jim Collins

93. Outliers: The Story of Success — Malcolm Gladwell

94. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us — Daniel H. Pink

95. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative — Austin Kleon

96. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters — Matt Ridley

97. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics — Carlo Rovelli

98. A Little History of the World — E. H. Gombrich

99. The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers— Will Durant

100. The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time — Will Durant

Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.