11 Awesome Books That Will Improve Your Life

For Entrepreneurs and People who want something to read this Fall…

Jonathan G. Chew
Aug 1, 2017 · 10 min read

If you’re looking for some great books to read this fall and are particularly interested in entrepreneurship, building life skills, positivity, sci-fi, or futurism. Then you can surely join me in finishing up the last 5 months of the year with some of these recommendations.

These are the books that I’ll personally be reading slowly over the next few months. I signed up for a yearly challenge on Goodreads and am determined to meet it!

I try to keep a diversity of non-fiction and fiction in my collection at once so I can let my brain stretch and expand in both a narrative sense and a realistic life sense. You don’t have to read one book at a time, but can hop around. The important thing is to just build a daily reading habit and feed the best food you can to the best resource you have (aka your mind).

1. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

This book by far has been seriously life changing. I’ve learned so many life hacks, tips and tricks, and just wonderful strategies for approaching life. From better sleep, to improving morning routines, to writing better stories, it’s just chock full of some of the best advice that I’ve ever seen. If you love seeing and hearing about what makes other people tick and how they live their life, then I would start with this book! It’s organized into 3 sections: Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise. Just like Benjamin Franklin said. It’s absolutely brilliant!

I’ve been reading 1 chapter/person a day for the last 3 months and it’s been super enlightening and insightful!

2. The Second Law by P.W. Atkins

Elon Musk always talks about his “physics first” principle. I read this recommendation in Tools of Titans by Chris Young, CEO of ChefSteps, who’s also a tinkerer, inventor, and innovator, so I figure there really must be something to this perspective on life. It’s what he calls the “anti-bullshit manual” because it’s helped him “understand how to do something, how to make something work, [and] whether something something’s even possible.” Maybe it’s time to break out my old physics text books and start doing one problem a day!

3. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Apparently this was the book that single handedly influenced Warren Buffet when he was just a child and taught him the investing principles he uses today to make his money grow and work for him! This kind of knowledge seems to be quintessential if you want to build wealth in your life!

If you were given $10 million dollars, what would you do with it?

This question was asked to me by a million-dollar net worth director from a venture capitalist firm, and at the time, I seriously couldn’t answer him beyond the usual, “Start my own company… or… go on a great vacation… buy an island… invest in bitcoin…” and those were just some of the things I came up with after thinking for a good 20 minutes. SO, if you were to ask yourself that… what would you say? I want to learn how to make my money grow and do it correctly, so this book is on my reading list for helping me to learn more about wealth because I definitely did not learn very much when I was younger.

4. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

I’m not sure why, but while reading through Tools of Titans, this book has apparently been recommended to Tim Ferriss by several billionaires. SO, I of course bought the audible version and decided to listen to it on my drive to work. Just within the first 30 minutes, I already learned some amazing things about this man that made the eastern world into what it is today. The fact that he brought an entire mobile engineering task force so he could repair without returning to a singular location. The fact that he was a continual learner and never attacked the same way twice since he used his knowledge he gained from the last battle to improve the next. It’s almost like a guide to life. This and The Last Lion series, which is a collection of books about Churchill, are great reads if you want to become a better leader.

It’s important to always include a Biography somewhere in your selection of books because finding out more about a person’s life and how they lived it is super helpful in helping you live your life as best as possible!

5. The Time Traveler’s Almanac: A Time Travel Anthology by Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer

I’m a BIG fan of Time Travel, so this collection of short stories is great to read towards the evening or if you just want a good new way of thinking. These time-travel stories help to break me out of my current mold and think about the near future and the possibilities it holds. Some of the stories don’t fit my reading preference, so I just skip ahead, but there are some real gems in here that have really left me with a feeling of awe and thought-provoking questions. “This marvelous volume includes nearly seventy journeys through time from authors such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, H. G. Wells, and Connie Willis, as well as helpful non-fiction articles original to this volume (such as Charles Yu’s ‘Top Ten Tips For Time Travelers’).”

6. Your One Word by Evan Carmichael

I follow Evan Carmichael through his YouTube channel. This man has created all those wonderful Top 10 videos combining clips of famous people through their speeches and interview and some of the best life tips they have to offer. If you’re looking for good mentors, this is a great place to start because you’ll seriously learn so many life lessons in just a few hours of watching his content.

This is his recent book that he just published and it’s fantastic. Easy to read and understand and chock-full of great life advice. If you’re thinking of starting a business, you need to really ground yourself in your WHY as Simon Sinek says. Your reasons for doing something can be summed up in ONE WORD. It’s a word that you secretly have been using all your life, now you just need to identify it and give it a name. Evan helps you do that. (P.S. mine is HOPE)

7. The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

Since my wife and I are going on this Positopian journey and building a more hopeful and optimistic world through stories and resources, this was a suggestion by one of my relatives who had just finished it. It’s by the same guy who wrote “The Book of Awesome” and wrote about 1 awesome thing for 1000 days. It actually topped the New York Times best seller’s list and got national acclaim. This is his book following that journey and what he learned about making himself happy.

8. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

This is a sci-fi book that I found in Tools of Titans as well. Apparently it’s also highly recommended by several billionaire friends that Tim Ferriss interviewed, so I’m interested to see why they like it and find it so interesting. Since my wife and I are in the midst of writing a sci-if novel ourselves, we’re busy doing our research and really getting the breadth of writing style and stories! It’s always good to balance a heavy workday with something light at the end that you can use to just let your mind wander and get lost by immersing yourself in a story.

His other popular book is called The Diamond Age which follows a strong female protagonist set in the 21st century Shanghai.

9. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

I read this book last fall and I absolutely loved it. It might be one of my favorite books of all time. Though the book that it’s based on which is Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is one of the most brilliant compilations of knowledge in the history of mankind (in my opinion), its something that millions of people can read and yet get different nuggets of wisdom out of and points of view. It’s brilliant. It’s based on the philosophy of Stoicism. I’ve signed up for his newsletter which comes monthly and is filled with the books that he’s read that month and what his thoughts are. If you’re looking for other books to read, that’s definitely a good place to find them. Throughout my life, I’ve seen obstacles get in the way far too often, I’m hoping to turn that around and use them to my advantage.

Ryan has a new book that just came out too called Perennial Seller that’s about making marketing that lasts so if that’s one area of your life you would like to improve, he’s probably the person to look into because he was one of the lead marketing advisors for American Apparel for a while.

10. The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This book technically hasn’t come out yet (due for October 3rd), but the books by these two guys are always fantastic. Their first book called “Made to Stick” literally helped me get my current job. Their perspectives and ways to remember things are priceless. They word things in a way that’s easy to understand and apply. I’m excited to read this one because I think storytelling is at the heart of everything we do as humans, so if we can make moments even more powerful and understand them, then we have a chance to really make an impact. As Tony Robbins says, “Life is remembered in moments.” So let’s make them the best we can! I would love to create that kind of memorable impact moment for others.

11. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

This is actually a children’s book, but it’s recommended by so many millionaires and billionaires, that it must contain some sort of secret wisdom that we should be passing on to our children. If you don’t get it for yourself, buy it as a gift for one of your nieces or nephews and instill in them a good business mindset before they grow up and learn other things!


If you strive to read about 2 or 3 books a month until the end of the year, that’s maybe a one every couple weeks, then you can totally accomplish 10 books by the end of December! The sizes of these books range from super short to medium to a little bit on the longer side. As Tai Lopez has taught, you don’t need to read a book cover to cover in order to “finish” it — if you can get 3 good nuggets of wisdom from it and apply them to your life, you’ll be far better off because of it, and you’ll have gained much more from the books than most people who just read it for a completions sake.

Happy Reading! :)

P.S. If you enjoy Board Games, here are some suggestions to play with family and friends this fall too!

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The Positopian is Medium publication for positive fiction…

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The Positopian is Medium publication for positive fiction, resources, insights and anything that helps someone to become the best version of themselves! …We still have our newsletter filled with tons of positive resources that you can subscribe to as well :)

Jonathan G. Chew

Written by

Disney Imagineer. Startup enthusiast. Sci-Fi/Self-Help novelist on a mission to build a Positopian world. Follow me @JonathanGChew or go to: www.chewsjoy.com

The Positopian

The Positopian is Medium publication for positive fiction, resources, insights and anything that helps someone to become the best version of themselves! …We still have our newsletter filled with tons of positive resources that you can subscribe to as well :)