All Robert Greene Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Robert Greene Books Cover

Most people think of Robert Greene as some sort of modern-day Machiavelli, an evil prince sitting in his castle, laughing maniacally as he sells more and more books to people telling them how they can take advantage of others. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Greene is a zen practitioner. Watch one interview with him, and you’ll see he’s actually a calm, reserved, all-around nice guy who just happens to love history and research. If you’re looking for the results of that work, a full list of Robert Greene books, this is the right place!

Greene was born in LA in 1959 and, after attaining a BA in classical studies, held over 60 different jobs (!) before becoming an author, including being a translator, editor, construction worker, and Hollywood screenwriter. In 1995, he pitched a book packager an idea about power while working at an art school in Italy, and that idea eventually became The 48 Laws of Power, his breakout success.

Greene’s books deal with topics like power, strategy, psychology, business, seduction, and relationships. Generally, they’re all about how to understand and work with the human mind, whether it’s our own or that of others. They have sold millions of copies and are often quoted by celebrities, especially musicians and rappers, like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, or even Michael Jackson. 

So far, we’ve summarized 4 of Greene’s 7 books as part of our 1,000+ summary catalog here on Four Minute Books, and today, we’ll compile them all for you in order of both publication and popularity. We’ve even included a section recommending in which order you should read Robert Greene’s books.

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each book, we’ll share an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ll also highlight the most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Learn More” or “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy. Alright, let’s get into the full catalog of Robert Greene books!


All Robert Greene Books (in Chronological Order)

1. The 48 Laws of Power (1998)

Robert Greene Books #1 : The 48 Laws of Power (1998)

Favorite Quote

“Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The 48 Laws of Power draws on many of history’s most famous power quarrels to show you what power looks like, how you can get it, what to do to defend yourself against the power of others, and, most importantly, how to use it well and keep it.

Why should you read it?

Co-authored with book packager Joost Elffers, this is Greene’s seminal work. Each law comes with a chapter and a story, many including famous people from history, thus really making the laws come to life. If you struggle with navigating society, if you get rejected a lot and feel like doors keep closing in your face, read this book. It will help you better understand humans. It will also show you how to get things done by getting others to cooperate with you. Literally an empowering book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Always make superiors look smarter than you.
  2. Confuse competitors by acting unpredictably.
  3. Don’t force others to do what you want, seduce them instead.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. The Art of Seduction (2001)

Robert Greene Books #2: The Art of Seduction(2001)

Favorite Quote

“When our emotions are engaged, we often have trouble seeing things as they are.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The Art of Seduction is a template for persuading anyone, whether it’s a business contact, a political adversary, or a romantic partner, to act in your best interest.

Why should you read it?

This isn’t just a book for bros looking for dating advice. It’s a compelling manual on getting others to see eye-to-eye with you. If you’re fighting for a good cause, why wouldn’t you try to convince as many other people as you can to join in? Thanks to the nine patterns and character types Greene outlines, this book will also make it easier for you to identify how you best convince others. If you’ve recently failed to get what you want in a big way, try reading this book as a first step to learning from that failure.

Key Takeaways

  1. The most important trait all seducers share is that they constantly surprise us.
  2. Seductive characters fall into nine categories, depending on which seduction technique they primarily use.
  3. There are nine anti-seductive behaviors you should become aware of and try to avoid.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. The 33 Strategies of War (2006)

Robert Greene Books #3: The 33 Strategies of War (2006)

Favorite Quote

“Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The 33 Strategies of War outlines principles and tactics one can use in life, business, and, yes, actual war, to overcome their enemies and achieve their goals.

Why should you read it?

If your job, hobby, or some other aspect of your life feels like a struggle, this book might help. In 33 strategies across five sections, from self-directed to organizational, defensive, offensive, and unconventional warfare, you’ll learn from countless historic examples what to do in which situation. The book deals both with inner and outer enemies, so it is valuable both as a self-help manual as well as a tool to better navigate society and its many demands.

Key Takeaways

  1. Clearly identify your opponent, even if it’s just an inner one, so you can declare war on them.
  2. Never lose your presence of mind, no matter how tumultuous events become.
  3. Pick your battles so you can manage your resources well.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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4. The 50th Law (2009)

Robert Greene Books #4: The 50th Law (2009)

Favorite Quote

“Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The 50th Law is a semi-autobiographical book tracing 50 Cent’s early days as a hustler and musician through ten factors of fearlessness, supplementing each of 50 Cent’s guidelines with lessons, anecdotes, and examples from historical figures like Sun Tzu, Abraham Lincoln, James Baldwin, and many others.

Why should you read it?

Co-authored with Curtis Jackson aka rapper 50 Cent, this book will inspire you to break the mold and chart your own path in life by recounting 50 Cent’s story. In addition, it’ll teach you how to be fearless via ten factors 50 considered particularly important to his meteoric ascent to hip-hop fame. If you’re trying to do something big, especially in the arts, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Always strive to maintain a sense of realism and see things for what they are.
  2. Stay connected to your environment and aim to know it well at all times.
  3. Honor the process — mastery takes time.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Mastery (2012)

Robert Greene Books #5: Mastery (2012)

Favorite Quote

“Become who you are by learning who you are.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

Mastery debunks the myth of talent and shows you there are proven steps you can take to achieve mastery in a discipline of your own choosing, by analyzing the paths of some of history’s most famous masters, such as Einstein, Darwin, and Da Vinci.

Why should you read it?

This might be Greene’s best book. It uses the same kind of writing and research but takes a less power-focused approach. It’s not about people vs. people, it’s about becoming your best self. This book will help you find your calling, be brutally honest about what it’ll take to become a master, find the right mentors, and then embrace your originality until you succeed.

Key Takeaways

  1. Trust your gut to find the right discipline to master.
  2. Take an apprenticeship and get paid to learn.
  3. Once you complete your apprenticeship, challenge everything you have learned.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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6. The Laws of Human Nature (2018)

Robert Greene Books #6: The Laws of Human Nature (2018)

Favorite Quote

“Rationality is the ability to counteract emotional effects, to think instead of react. It does not come naturally; it is a power we must cultivate, but in doing so we realize our greatest potential.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The Laws of Human Nature helps you understand why people do what they do and how you can use both your own psychological flaws and those of others to your advantage at work, in relationships, and in life.

Why should you read it?

Rather than trying to achieve a particular outcome, like seducing others or accumulating power, this book is a culmination and curation of everything Greene has learned over more than 20 years of research into human behavior. In 18 laws, you’ll learn how to see behind the masks people wear, why opinions are so hard to let go of, what it takes to not sabotage your own efforts, and a lot more. A great, broad read and some of Greene’s finest work.

Key Takeaways

  1. It’s usually not other people that stop us from succeeding, but ourselves. To combat this, we must stay positive.
  2. Each of us has both a feminine and a masculine side, and we must accept both to be our best self.
  3. A cycle of four trends shapes human generations, and there’s a high chance yours is influenced by one as well.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. The Daily Laws (2021)

Robert Greene Books #7: The Daily Laws (2021)

Favorite Quote

“Embrace your strangeness. Identify what makes you different. Fuse those things together and become an anomaly.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The Daily Laws is a collection of 365 short laws grouped into 12 themes, serving as daily reminders for you to reconnect to reality, reverse bad behaviors, and seize your destiny.

Why should you read it?

If you want an easy entry into Greene’s work or simply struggle to read a lot on the regular, this is the perfect book for you. Each daily entry is short and takes no more than a minute or so to read. You’ll get to know yourself better while simultaneously improving how you relate to and work with others. If you like The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, you’ll love this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Take time to study human nature to understand yourself and people fully.
  2. Know your task and purpose in life.
  3. The most dangerous thing in the modern world is people, not animals or some other natural phenomenon.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Robert Greene Books by Popularity

Want to know which Robert Greene books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. The 48 Laws of Power (⭐️ 55,000+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. The Laws of Human Nature (⭐️ 10,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. The Art of Seduction (⭐️ 8,700+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Mastery (⭐️ 5,000+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. The 50th Law (⭐️ 4,100+ Ratings ⭐️)
  6. The 33 Strategies of War (⭐️ 3,800+ Ratings ⭐️)
  7. The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature (⭐️ 2,400+ Ratings ⭐️)

As you might expect, Greene’s first, smash-hit book, The 48 Laws of Power, remains his most popular. With over two million copies sold of that one alone, many others of his titles have also become New York Times and other bestsellers. Fun-fact: The book is also popular with prison inmates, so much so that some prisons in the US have actually banned it.


In What Order Should You Read Robert Greene’s Books?

Which of Robert Greene’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. The 48 Laws of Power: This book is a broad enough collection of life lessons to provide value in almost any context. It is also Greene’s seminal and most famous work, so if you only read one book of his, make it this one.
  2. The Laws of Human Nature: Published 20 years after his first, this book is an excellent compendium on everything Greene has learned in between the two. It is also generally applicable to human behavior on all levels, and with just 18 laws, it’s easy to keep an overview of. A great follow-up!
  3. Mastery: Going from Greene’s more externally focused laws of power, relationships, and society, this book will teach you how to consistently apply his lessons in your own life as you chart your own, unique path to mastery. It’s his best outside of the 48 laws, we think.
  4. The 50th Law: Once you have discipline, you’ll still need courage and confidence. That’s what this book will provide, along with an account of 50 Cent’s underdog-to-big-shot story. 
  5. The Art of Seduction: This and the next book are more like add-ons, diving deeper into certain aspects already covered in The 48 Laws of Power. This one will help you communicate your ideas and mission efficiently and get others to support you.
  6. The 33 Strategies of War: This one might help you knock out the competition, but it is also one of Greene’s most criticized works in terms of quality. Browse it, pick a few helpful tips, and then see if you want to read it in full.
  7. The Daily Laws: Depending on your approach, you might want to read this book either last or first. If you’ve read everything else from Greene and loved it, this book will be a great way to recap everything with short, daily reminders. If you haven’t read anything from Greene yet and find The 48 Laws of Power too unapproachable, this book might provide a better entry into his world, as it’s the most lightweight format he offers on his body of laws.

If you’re only interested in a specific topic or idea, you can start with whichever one of Greene’s books appeals to you the most. Whatever you choose, we’re confident you’ll learn something new and, when in doubt, start with his most popular work first!

Conclusion

Robert Greene is one of the most celebrated business and self-help authors in pop culture today. Full of examples from both history and the recent past, there’s always a new story to find in his work, and he’s a master of understanding power dynamics. We hope this list will help you pick a book and start decoding human behavior!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists by topic we’ve made for you so far:


Jordan Peterson Books: All Titles in Order of Publication + The 5 Top Books He Recommends

Jordan Peterson Books Cover

Jordan Peterson is one of the most famous psychologists, philosophers, and intellectuals alive today. While you may know him from his multi-million-copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life, his viral Youtube video in which he argues with students about gender pronouns, or his controversial views on various topics shared on his Youtube channel, a few short years ago, Peterson was just an ordinary college professor. If you’re looking for all Jordan Peterson books, both the ones he wrote and the ones he recommends, you’ve come to the right place!

Peterson was born in 1962 in Alberta, Canada. After a childhood that left him disillusioned with both religion and politics, Peterson turned more to psychology and philosophy. Still, he completed his degree in political science, adding another BA in psychology on top afterwards. He also holds a PhD in clinical psychology and has since taught at both Harvard and the University of Toronto.

Nowadays, post Youtube- and bestseller-fame, Peterson advocates for reason, meaning, and other conservative values through his Youtube channel with over five million subscribers, a podcast, and frequent media appearances. To give you an overview of all books written and recommended by Jordan Peterson, we dug into our index of over 1,000 book summaries and the web. Since Peterson has only published three books, we’ve decided to list those by publication date, then move on to some of the top and most important books he recommends.

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each book, we’ve included an image of the cover, a one-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We will also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” or “Learn More” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy. Okay, here we go! Let’s get to know the full range of Jordan Peterson books!


All Jordan Peterson Books (in Chronological Order)

1. Maps of Meaning (1999)

Jordan Peterson Books #1: Maps of Meaning (1999)

Favorite Quote

“The purpose of life is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.” ― Jordan Peterson

The Book in One Sentence

Maps of Meaning draws on 13 years of research in the fields of mythology, religion, literature, philosophy, and psychology, to explain how humans form beliefs, why those beliefs often lead to social conflict, and what we might do to come up with a better, universal system of morality.

Why should you read it?

If you struggle to understand some of your friends’, family’s, or colleagues’ beliefs, especially if they’re inspired by religion or ideology, this book is for you. It’s also a good read for any marketer or storyteller who wants to get better at making a compelling case for others to take action and change their lives. If you’re looking for a book that’ll help you make sense of how we make sense of things, this one’s for you!

Key Takeaways

  1. Science and myth are different, so we should look at them separately.
  2. The stories in mythology can be a great help to us in making sense of life, especially when it’s full of suffering.
  3. Real or not, myths are often full of wisdom and offer concrete advice to better our lives.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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2. 12 Rules for Life (2018)

Jordan Peterson Books #2: 12 Rules for Life (2018)

Favorite Quote

“It’s all very well to think the meaning of life is happiness, but what happens when you’re unhappy? Happiness is a great side effect. When it comes, accept it gratefully. But it’s fleeting and unpredictable.” — Jordan Peterson

The Book in One Sentence

12 Rules for Life is a stern, story-based, and entertaining self-help manual for young people that lays out simple principles that can help us become more disciplined, behave better, act with integrity, and balance our lives while enjoying them as much as we can.

Why should you read it?

Based on a Quora answer that went viral, this book might not be Peterson’s magnum opus, but with over five million copies sold, it is his most popular work by far. This book is quickly becoming a self-help classic. It is easily understandable, holds plenty of engaging stories, and yet offers simple, distinct advice for improving your life. The rules are easy to remember, and the book is fun to read. If you like self-help books in any shape or form, this one’s a must-read!

Key Takeaways

  1. Sweep in front of your own door before pointing out the street is dirty.
  2. Treat yourself like a child you’re responsible for.
  3. Aim to do what is meaningful, not convenient.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Beyond Order (2021)

Jordan Peterson Books #3: Beyond Order (2021)

Favorite Quote

“A certain amount of creativity and rebellion must be tolerated — or welcomed, depending on your point of view — to maintain the process of regeneration. Every rule was once a creative act, breaking other rules.” — Jordan Peterson

The Book in One Sentence

Beyond Order identifies 12 (more) rules to live by that will allow us to embrace the chaos we struggle with every day, showing us that too much order can be just as much of a problem as too little.

Why should you read it?

If you enjoyed 12 Rules for Life, this is the follow-on to get. Also, if you like self-help books in general but more (or also) appreciate “anti” self-help books, like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, for example, you’ll like this one. If you struggle to navigate the narrow line between order and chaos, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Have an image of the person you want to be, then do everything you can to become that person. 
  2. Find ways to incorporate beauty into your everyday life. 
  3. Try to express gratitude even when you are suffering. 

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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The 5 Most Important Books Recommended by Jordan Peterson

For this section, we took 5 of the 15 top books Peterson found “particularly influential,” as per his own website. He even posted a longer list of over 100 recommendations there too, which you can dive into if you feel like it. But the below ones seem to be some of the most important, so they’ll make for a great place to start.

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)

Jordan Peterson Books #4: Crime And Punishment (1866) Fyodor Dostoevsky

Favorite Quote

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Book in One Sentence

Crime and Punishment explores the moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, a poor student who plans to murder a corrupt pawnbroker in order to obtain her riches, but who quickly finds out that theory and practice are very different when it comes to ethics and morality.

Why should you read it?

Instead of droning on about why you shouldn’t do bad things, this book offers something much better: a concrete story. It’s a classic for a reason. If you’ve ever felt tempted by fate to do something unscrupulous, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Empathy is a crucial part of being human.
  2. It’s hard to change our inner lives, but we can consistently make amends for our mistakes.
  3. Remorse leads to amends which lead to growth and character — therefore, remorse is a critical function of our psyche!

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche (1886)

Jordan Peterson Books #5: Beyond Good and Evil (1886) Friedrich Nietzsche

Favorite Quote

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

The Book in One Sentence

Beyond Good and Evil is a classic of philosophy, asserting that humans do not simply fall into the two categories of good and evil but have the potential for both, and that we must constantly confront this potential in order to stay moral, virtuous beings.

Why should you read it?

If you want a manageable entry into Nietzsche’s philosophy, this is a good pick. This book will show you that life truly is not black and white, and that we must consistently monitor our potential for the negative in order to keep it at bay. If you’re tired of “it’s X person/group’s fault” assertions by the media and others and crave a deeper understanding of why people do things, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Human morality is culturally constructed rather than inherently true.
  2. A belief in nothing at all would be more dangerous than holding false beliefs.
  3. Moral systems generally curtail humans’ universal desire for power by elevating the group over the individual.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Jordan Peterson Books #6: Brave New World (1932) Aldous Huxley

Favorite Quote

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” — Aldous Huxley

The Book in One Sentence

Brave New World examines a futuristic society called the World State that revolves around science and efficiency, and in which everyone seems to be happy and content, but only at first glance.

Why should you read it?

This book explores the negative sides of utopia, an ostensibly prosperous world in which everyone appears to be content and satisfied but that, below the surface, has a lot of problems. Sound familiar? If you’re questioning our shiny, Instagram-happy world, get a copy of this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. If pleasure is your priority, you will live a meaningless life.
  2. A prison you enjoy is still a prison.
  3. Sacrifices are made not for their own sake but for the greater good.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (1946)

Jordan Peterson Books #7: Man's Search for Meaning (1946) Viktor Frankl

Favorite Quote

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Viktor Frankl

The Book in One Sentence

Man’s Search for Meaning details holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl’s horrifying experiences in Nazi concentration camps, along with his psychological approach of logotherapy, which is also what helped him survive and shows you how you can – and must – find meaning in your life.

Why should you read it?

If you’re going through difficult times, this book will help you persist. It’s also a good read for anyone who wants to peek behind the curtain of national socialism in Germany in the 1930s and 40s or who wants to learn about the atrocities committed in the Nazi’s concentration camps. If you’re looking for a light in the dark, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sometimes the only way to survive is to surrender to death.
  2. Your life has its own meaning and it’s up to you to find it.
  3. Use paradoxical intention to make your fears go away.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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8. 1984 by George Orwell (1949)

Jordan Peterson Books #8: 1984 (1949) George Orwell

Favorite Quote

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell

The Book in One Sentence

1984 is the story of a young man questioning the system that keeps his futuristic but dystopian society afloat, and the chaos that quickly ensues once he gives in to his natural curiosity and desire to be free.

Why should you read it?

If you enjoy books in a dystopian setting that challenge our structure of society, then you’ll be an instant fan of Orwell’s. This classic is a good reminder of what can happen when governments go too far. If you’re worried about freedom and sovereignty, this is a great book for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Language can be abused like a drug, putting our conscience to sleep.
  2. It’s not easy to buck societal norms, but it is the first step to being truly free.
  3. Any society’s citizens should always remain curious, critical, and not let the system silence their voices.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Jordan Peterson Books by Popularity

Since Peterson has only written three books so far, this list is easy and quick to assemble:

  1. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (⭐️ 59,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life (⭐️ 14,400+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (⭐️ 3,000+ Ratings ⭐️)

Actually, he’s written one more: An ABC of Childhood Tragedy. This book is a short collection of dark poems, one for each letter of the alphabet, outlining how various (fictitious) children found their demise through bad deeds or influences. The book is based on Peterson’s work as a clinical psychologist and opens a window into the darkness of the human psyche. The book came out in October 2022 and has 50+ ratings, but Peterson has deleted all his videos and promotions of it, so we’re not sure he wants it to be sold. He might be removing it from circulation soon. Hence, we excluded it from this list.

At five million copies sold, 12 Rules for Life is Peterson’s most popular book by far.


In What Order Should You Read Jordan Peterson’s Books?

Which of Jordan Peterson’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most sense based on their topics, popularity, and connection with each other:

  1. 12 Rules for Life: Since this is Peterson’s most popular and also most approachable book, it makes sense to start with this one first. If you only read one, make it this one.
  2. Beyond Order: As a direct follow-on to 12 Rules for Life, it makes sense to keep going with the next 12 rules. Also, this book is the black “chaos” to 12 Rules for Life’s white “order,” so the two balance each other nicely.
  3. Maps of Meaning: This book is written in a much more academic tone and thus harder to access language-wise. It’s also a special topic with many complex interrelations, so it’s not for everyone. Try the audiobook, perhaps, that one was really popular when it was released in 2018!

Yes, Peterson is a direct person with lots of opinions. But if you’re looking for books that include foundational life strategies for personal growth and will help you develop empathy for others, his works are a great start!

Conclusion

Reactions to Jordan Peterson range from “he saved my life” to “total crook.” He’s a controversial figure, for sure, but from where we sit, we think he has good intentions. We hope you found this list helpful and that you’ll find a good pick to get familiar with his work and ideas.


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


All Walter Isaacson Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Walter Isaacson Books Cover

Walter Isaacson might be the best and most celebrated biographer alive today. His books detailing the lives of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, and others feel more like novels than boring lists of facts and accomplishments. Perhaps it is no wonder then that his biography of Leonardo da Vinci is being made into a Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio! For now though, we’ll have to make do with his excellent writing, and if you’re looking for a full list of Walter Isaacson books, you’ve come to the right place!

Isaacson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1952. He enjoyed an excellent education and graduated both from Harvard and Pembroke College in Oxford. Isaacson started his writing career at The Sunday Times in London, eventually becoming Time magazine’s editor in 1996. After a brief period as CNN’s chairman and CEO in the early 2000s, he became president of the non-profit organization Aspen Institute, a position he held for 15 years. Currently, Isaacson is a professor of history at Tulane University in his hometown, New Orleans — next to writing books, of course.

Walter Isaacson has been publishing books for almost 40 years, but his big breakthrough came with his biography of Steve Jobs, released in 2011, shortly after the legendary Apple founder’s sad and early death. Based on more than 40 direct interviews with the billionaire genius behind the Apple II, the Mac, and the iPhone, Isaacson’s book broke all sales records for biographies, selling well over three million copies in the first four years alone.

So far, we’ve summarized over 1,000 books here at Four Minute Books, most of Isaacson’s works among them. Today, we’d like to give you a comprehensive overview of his writings. For each title, we’ve listed a one-sentence summary, our favorite quote, three key takeaways, and a few reasons why you might want to read a particular book yourself.

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the table of contents below. If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” or “Learn More” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy, thus supporting us at no extra cost to you.

Okay, ready for some amazing biographies of great, fascinating people? Let’s get into Walter Isaacson’s books!


All Walter Isaacson Books (in Chronological Order)

1. The Wise Men (1986)

Walter Isaacson Books #1: The Wise Men (1986)

Favorite Quote

“In their time, they operated largely behind the scenes, little known by the public. But they achieved great things: the shaping of a world order; the creation of international institutions; the forging of a lasting peace in a perilous time.” — Walter Isaacson

The Book in One Sentence

The Wise Men is part biography, part gripping historic tale, telling the stories of six key, underrated, often behind-the-scenes statesmen who decisively contributed to America’s prosperity post-WWII both as individuals and through their interconnected actions.

Why should you read it?

If you like stories about unsung heroes and underrated personalities that, for some reason or other, ended up mostly behind the scenes where others took the credit, this book is for you. It’s a fascinating door into the world of the elites, but also into what they struggle with, and how they try to ethically and nobly navigate an environment that often wants to seduce them into corruption. Plus, it’s a great behind-the-scenes look of America during the Cold War, and how some of the policies that still heavily influence its strategical direction today came into being back then.

Key Takeaways

  1. Like people, nation’s make decisions on a case-by-case basis — it’s just that the process is even more chaotic than in humans.
  2. Leaders should hold their governments accountable, push them to act honorably, and demand clear perspectives after the inevitable clashes of ideas.
  3. It’s important to think hard about policy, draw fine distinctions, and not over-simplify foreign guidelines.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Kissinger (1992)

Walter Isaacson Books #2: Kissinger (1992)

Favorite Quote

“If I had to choose between justice and disorder on the one hand, and injustice and order on the other, I would always choose the latter.” — Henry Kissinger

The Book in One Sentence

Kissinger is a well-written account of Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger’s public life and career, retelling his achievements from a balanced perspective while also offering a glimpse into his personal life.

Why should you read it?

If you want to be a leader, especially in politics, this book is for you. Kissinger is an inspiring individual, but he’s also a realist, knowing it takes compromise, communication, and balance to get things done on a global stage. Learning about his story and how he navigated highly sensitive situations will give you a better sense of how to balance your own goals with those of other people, and why the most important words are sometimes those you don’t say. A great read for anyone interested in history, politics, or, well, Henry Kissinger.

Key Takeaways

  1. Most politicians are idealists, but Kissinger is a realist, and that helped him have a greater impact.
  2. Being in a position of power will always force you to make uncomfortable decisions.
  3. Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a ceasefire in the Vietnam War, but the decision was controversial.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Benjamin Franklin (2003)

Walter Isaacson Books #3: Benjamin Franklin (2003)

Favorite Quote

“Knowledge is obtained rather by the use of the ear than of the tongue.” — Benjamin Franklin

The Book in One Sentence

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life takes a thorough look at the life of one of the most influential humans that ever lived and explains how he could achieve such greatness in so many different fields and areas.

Why should you read it?

By both collecting and commenting on Franklin’s achievements in various fields, Isaacson sheds some light on how one individual can not just be creative but succeed with their creations in more than one arena. If you’re an artist, entrepreneur, or simply interested in America’s founding story, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Benjamin Franklin was a self-improvement nerd.
  2. If you really want to learn something, you’ll find a way.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be 20 years ahead of your time.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Einstein (2007)

Walter Isaacson Books #4: Einstein (2007)

Favorite Quote

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” — Albert Einstein

The Book in One Sentence

Einstein: His Life and Universe takes a close look at the life of Albert Einstein, covering how his childhood shaped him, what his biggest discoveries and personal struggles were, and how his focus changed in later years but how, through it all, his genius never faded, including up to his very last days.

Why should you read it?

Half biography, half lessons for living a good life, this book will inspire you to chart your own path in life. Some of Einstein’s theories were proven right 100 years later, once we finally had the technology to collect the evidence he already knew would be there. But when he formulated them, they weren’t all just immediately accepted. If you want to learn how to persist against the odds, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Einstein always preserved his sense of childhood curiosity, which is a key part of his success.
  2. He did not get his Nobel prize for his theory of relativity.
  3. Your journey through life never stops, until you die.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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5. American Sketches (2009)

Walter Isaacson Books #5: American Sketches (2009)

Favorite Quote

“There should be an honored place in history for statesmen whose ideas turned out to be right.” — Walter Isaacson

The Book in One Sentence

American Sketches is a collection of essays profiling noteworthy Americans, written by biographer Walter Isaacson over his own illustrious career as a journalist and writer, tied together via personal reflections on his professional journey.

Why should you read it?

If you are looking for some simple, snapshot biographies of significant figures in history, this book is for you. You’ll find inspiration from various people’s stories as well as insight into Isaacson’s own life and interesting career. Especially if you want to be a writer or journalist, don’t skip this one.

Key Takeaways

  1. History is shaped by people, not mysterious anonymous forces.
  2. The people who change history are usually led by a core value or quality that drives them to make their impact in a specific way.
  3. Creativity is more important than intellect.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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6. Steve Jobs (2011)

Walter Isaacson Books #6: Steve Jobs (2011)

Favorite Quote

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones, who do.” — Steve Jobs

The Book in One Sentence

Steve Jobs is the most detailed and accurate account of the life of the man who created Apple, the most valuable technology company in the world.

Why should you read it?

If you appreciate and admire Steve Jobs and his accomplishments, this is a book worth reading. It’s also reminder to “think different,” to go all-in on creativity and try to make something people will love — even if they might not know that they need it yet. This is a must-read for anyone aspiring to do any kind of entrepreneurial project.

Key Takeaways

  1. Steve Jobs’s team invented a name for his most important skill, the reality distortion field.
  2. The Apple name was chosen for a very specific reason.
  3. Apple didn’t make Steve Jobs a billionaire, Pixar did.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. The Innovators (2014)

Walter Isaacson Books #7: The Innovators (2014)

Favorite Quote

“Progress comes not only in great leaps but also from hundreds of small steps.” — Walter Isaacson

The Book in One Sentence

The Innovators walks you through the history of the digital revolution, showing how it was a combined effort of many creative minds over decades that enabled us to go from huge, clunky machines to the fast, globally connected devices in our pockets today.

Why should you read it?

The more familiar you are with what it was like to listen to music before smartphones and Spotify, the more you’ll appreciate the ubiquity of music we have today. The same is true for all kinds of technology, and in this book, you’ll learn how we made it into the computer, software, and then online age in the first place. Starting all the way from the beginning, Isaacson brilliantly connects the stories of brilliant minds, showing you what it takes to truly push humanity forward.

Key Takeaways

  1. The first programmer was a woman, and her program was a result of math and poetry.
  2. Hippies and hackers made the computer personal.
  3. The internet was a combined effort of universities, the military, and private companies.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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8. Leonardo da Vinci (2017)

Walter Isaacson Books #8: Leonardo da Vinci (2017)

Favorite Quote

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” — Leonardo da Vinci

The Book in One Sentence

Leonardo Da Vinci is Walter Isaacson’s account of the life of one of the most brilliant artists, thinkers, and innovators who ever lived.

Why should you read it?

Da Vinci might be the person with the single-biggest impact on humanity, especially considering how much of it happened across different fields, from biology to art to architecture. This is a human worth learning about, and especially if you’re an artist or are pursuing creative endeavors, you’ll benefit a lot from Isaacson’s wonderfully complete picture of a man who died over 500 years ago.

Key Takeaways

  1. Da Vinci elevated the status of artists as thinkers and innovators.
  2. Try to transfer your interests to your projects, even if they seem completely unrelated.
  3. Prepare your biggest ideas in a way that allows them to be published once you’re gone.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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9. The Code Breaker (2021)

Walter Isaacson Books #9: The Code Breaker (2021)

Favorite Quote

“The power to control our species’ genetic future is awesome and terrifying. Deciding how to handle it may be the biggest challenge we have ever faced.” — Jennifer Doudna

The Book in One Sentence

The Code Breaker details the life of Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, who embarked on — and successfully completed — a journey to invent a tool that allows us to edit the human genetic code and thus will change our lives, health, and future generations forever.

Why should you read it?

If you’re both fascinated and a little scared by what it might mean for us to be able to edit our own genetic code, read this book. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear, and in this read, you’ll learn about the origins of this humanity-shaping discovery. Plus, if you’re into science, chemistry, biology, and human performance, you’ll also get a lot out of this read.

Key Takeaways

  1. There are few greater joys in life than figuring out how something works — especially ourselves.
  2. Creating a new product or even industry does not make you an expert on how it should best be used.
  3. Creative people often feel like they don’t belong as children — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Walter Isaacson Books by Popularity

If you’re wondering which of Isaacson’s books are the most popular, here, we’ve listed them all for you based on their number of Amazon ratings.

  1. Steve Jobs (⭐️ 12,900+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race (⭐️ 11,300+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. Leonardo da Vinci (⭐️ 6,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Einstein: His Life and Universe (⭐️ 3,700+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (⭐️ 2,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  6. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (⭐️ 2,500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  7. The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (⭐️ 500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  8. Kissinger: A Biography (⭐️ 200+ Ratings ⭐️)
  9. American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane (⭐️ 100+ Ratings ⭐️)

With his Steve Jobs biography selling over three million copies alone, and the others combined selling millions more, Walter Isaacson is one of the most successful authors today, with a net worth of supposedly over $20 million. His books are incredibly well researched, inspiring, and enlightening.


In What Order Should You Read Walter Isaacson’s Books?

Which of Isaacson’s books should you read first? What’s the best order to read them all in? Well, honestly, given they are mostly biographies of individual people, the answer is clear: The best of Isaacson’s books to read first is the one about the person who fascinates you the most. That said, for anyone who’s at a loss which one to pick, we recommend going in chronological order of the time in which Isaacson’s subjects lived and created.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci: Starting in 1452 with who may have been the first true polymath in history, this is where Isaacson’s journey to chronicle the world’s most impactful people begins.
  2. Benjamin Franklin: Jumping around 200 years to the American Revolution, Franklin trod in Da Vinci’s footsteps — maybe not in the sense that he also picked up a brush, but in the sense that he masterminded many innovative breakthroughs across a variety of fields. 
  3. Einstein: Born in 1879, the crazy-haired theoretical physicist made most of his contributions in the first half of the 20th century, including his theory of both general and special relativity.
  4. The Wise Men: Overlapping between both Einstein and Kissinger, the “Wise Men” were six highly influential leaders in American politics between the 1930s and 1960s. 
  5. Kissinger: Born in 1923 with his peak impact happening in the 1970s during the Vietnam War, Kissinger was a man with a fascinating combination of both strengths and weaknesses, both of which Isaacson analyzed in detail throughout this book.
  6. Steve Jobs: A kid of the 50s, Jobs first shone brightly in the 80s with the invention of the Apple II, and then again in the early 2000s with what might be his biggest gift to the world: the iPhone.
  7. The Code Breaker: Doudna won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 for her 2012 CRISPR gene-editing discovery. The book ends with her work in fighting coronavirus and is thus pretty up to date!
  8. The Innovators: Since this is a compendium of everyone involved in bringing about the modern computer, it begins in the 1800s and ends around the time of the early internet. It’s a great way to round out the cast of individual, shining characters from Isaacson’s other books while learning about what might be the most important invention of the 20th (and 21st) century.
  9. American Sketches: Depending on your preference, you might want to read this essay collection either first or last. First if you want to get an overview of Isaacson’s writing style and subjects first, last if you want to round out everything you’ve learned with some additional takes on more significant people from history.

Walter Isaacson books are just a great addition to your reading list all around. Whichever one you’ll choose first, it won’t fail to both entertain and educate.

Conclusion

Walter Isaacson is the most celebrated biographer alive today, and if you ask us, for good reason. His books are absolute page-turners, combining the tension and excitement of a great novel with pure facts about some of the most interesting humans’ lives. It’s always a good time to pick up an Isaacson book when it comes to learning something new — and you’ll get a big heaping of inspiration on top for free. We hope this list will help you pick a title and get started!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


All Ray Dalio Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Ray Dalio Books Cover

Ray Dalio is an investor and philanthropist, born in 1949 in New York City. With a net worth of around $20 billion, Dalio is one of the top 100 richest people in the world. The founder and longtime CEO of Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, Dalio has pioneered many financial innovations and techniques, many of which have become industry standard in the 40 years since the company’s founding. In his later years, he started publishing his writing, and if you’re looking for a full list of Ray Dalio books, you’ve come to the right place!

From his early days as a golf caddie for Wall Street professionals, Dalio has come a long way. He started investing at the age of 12, when he bought some shares of Northeast Airlines and, by pure luck, tripled his money. He’s been hooked ever since. Growing his company, however, wasn’t always easy. In the 80s, Dalio sized up the economy wrong and paid for it dearly. He had to let go all of his employees and borrow money from his parents for rent.

Eventually, however, the Harvard MBA managed to turn things around and grew Bridgewater into the world’s largest hedge fund with over $100 billion in assets under management. As part of his “second half of life” giving back phase, Dalio has become a philanthropist, giving away billions of dollars and signing Warren Buffett’s giving pledge, vowing to donate most of his money  to charitable causes after he dies.

He also began sharing his many lessons about life, business, and investing, first in Tony Robbins’ book Money, in which he outlined his “All Seasons” portfolio allocation strategy, then through his project and eponymous book called Principles, which shares a philosophy for success and happiness in life and work.

Since Dalio has also published several fascinating reads about the economy, politics, and how the world at large works, we thought we’d collect and list all Ray Dalio books for you. We’ve summarized over 1,000 summaries to date, and Ray’s book Principles is one of our (and our readers’) all-time favorites. 

 

This list is sorted both by order of publication and popularity. You can easily navigate it by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the table of contents below. For each of Ray Dalio’s books, we’ve included an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ve also listed our most interesting takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself, as well as what order to read them in if you’re trying to read them all!

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy. Alright, now let’s look at the full list of Ray Dalio books!


All Ray Dalio Books (in Chronological Order)

1. Economic Principles (2015)

Ray Dalio Books #1: Economic Principles

Favorite Quote

“The economy works like a simple machine, but many people don’t understand it, or they don’t agree on how it works, and this has led to a lot of needless economic suffering.” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Economic Principles is a three-part compendium on how the global economy works, what role debt plays in this free market system, and how policy makers can use the tools at their disposal to ensure the people of their nations enjoy productivity growth and prosperity.

Why should you read it?

As you can tell from the “cover” of this book, this is not a title that was ever officially published. It was an early, free, PDF draft version of what would later become three distinct works: How the Economic Machine Works, Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises, and Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order. That said, this humble attempt by Ray to share his wisdom on the economy is still a whopping 300 pages long, and while the original PDF is no longer available on Ray Dalio’s official Economic Principles site, you can still find it online.

However, since parts two and three are already available as standalone works, the main reason you might want to read this one is probably How the Economic Machine Works, and that is basically just the transcript of a wonderful, animated, 30-minute Youtube video Ray already released in 2012. Both the video and text explain how, by combining graphic representations of the short-term debt cycle, long-term debt cycle, and productivity growth, we can see where the world economy is headed. If you want to understand markets, study macroeconomics, or be a better investor, this video and book might be for you.

Key Takeaways

    1. The economy is the sum of all transactions made in society.
    2. One person’s spending is another person’s income, and therefore, spending drives the economy.
    3. If debt rises faster than income, and income rises faster than productivity, that’s when things go wrong.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Principles (2017)

Ray Dalio Books #2: Principles: Life and Work

Favorite Quote

“My painful mistakes shifted me from having a perspective of ‘I know I’m right’ to having one of ‘How do I know I’m right?’” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Principles outlines and breaks down the set of rules for work and life billionaire investor Ray Dalio, CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, has acquired throughout his 40-year career in finance.

Why should you read it?

This book might be one of the best examples that, when you read a book, you can acquire the wisdom of an entire human lifetime in just a few hours. In three parts, Dalio tells his personal story, the principles for living a good life he’s learned as part of living that story, and the lessons he’s won through much pain and reflection about how people can work together to achieve great success. If you want to build more systems in your life and understand the well-oiled machines powering big companies, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Principles are powerful weapons in the fight against flawed thinking.
  2. Radical truth and transparency are two of Ray’s most important ideas.
  3. Great businesses use principles to create environments where the best ideas win.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Principles for Navigatig Big Debt Crises (2018)

Ray Dalio Books #3: Big Debt Crises

Favorite Quote

“Buying something you can’t afford means spending more than you make. You’re not just borrowing from your lender; you are borrowing from your future self.” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises is a complete, macroeconomic education in three parts, explaining the archetype of the big debt cycle, giving detailed case studies of historic inflation and debt crises, and sharing 48 more examples from history for anyone wanting to learn how to navigate times of economic turmoil.

Why should you read it?

With unlimited money printing and skyrocketing debt running rampant for almost all nations across the globe, Ray pulled back the curtain on the research and analysis process at Bridgewater. This 450+ page tome explains how debt has both made and broken nations and governments in the past, and if you want to learn how scenarios much similar to the ones we’re in today have, can, and will play out, this is a must read. Dalio covers the archetypal big debt cycle in just 50 pages, with the remainder of the book dedicated to detailed case studies of the German debt and hyperinflation crisis in the 1920s, the US debt crisis leading up to World War II, and the financial crisis of 2008.

Ray originally gave away the book for free through his email list, and you can still find it on the principles website. Alternatively, you can buy a nice hardcover or Kindle version on Amazon which, for a big book like this, is always a good idea, I find.

Key Takeaways

  1. Crisis and debt cycles are inevitable due to human nature.
  2. A big part of economic depressions is people discovering that what they thought was wealth was actually never really there.
  3. Debt isn’t necessarily bad, and in the long run, debt crises usually fade in the face of rising productivity.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Principles for Success (2019)

Ray Dalio Books #4: Principles for Success

Favorite Quote

“Unless you want to have a life that is directed by others and boxes you in, you need to decide for yourself what to do and you need to have the courage to do it.” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Principles for Success is an illustrated, shortened version of Dalio’s key life lessons that resulted in the unconven­tional principles which helped him become one of the world’s most suc­cessful people, including the 5-step evolutionary loop built around setting goals, learning from your mistakes, and collaborating with others to produce exceptional results.

Why should you read it?

This is the perfect, short, easy entry into Ray’s world of principles. Designed like a children’s book, it allows you to follow Dalio’s journey step by step and learn the same lessons he learned along the way. The illustrations are fun, and the takeaways powerful yet simple. I would recommend this to almost anyone, including teenagers. Dalio has also turned this into another animated, 30-minute Youtube video series, and it’s fantastic in that format as well.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pain + reflection = progress.
  2. Use the 5-step evolutionary loop to keep striving for better.
  3. Think for yourself while being radically open-minded.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order (2021)

Ray Dalio Books #5: Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order

Favorite Quote

“No system of government, no economic system, no currency, and no empire lasts forever, yet almost everyone is surprised and ruined when they fail.” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order explains how, historically, empires have risen and fallen through a combination of financial, educational, economic, and geopolitical factors, and how nation states can allocate their resources in order to move through this big cycle gracefully and without hurting one another.

Why should you read it?

Another three-part mega guide to global affairs, this book brings all of Dalio’s previous analysis on the economy, productivity, and debt cycles together. The first part explains “how the world works” and how nations become successful through a combination of money, credit, debt, and economic activity while ensuring inner societal order. In part two, Ray provides three case studies, outlining how the Dutch, British, and US empires, including their currencies, became world powers — and then lost that status. The third part takes a look at the future, particularly with regards to the latest rising power, China, and its relations to the US.

If you want to know what is going on in global markets, why we have certain geopolitical tensions right now, and where the world is headed, read this fantastic book. Oh, and as you might have guessed already at this point, Ray made an animated video about this too. It’s 43 minutes long but absolutely worth the watch.

Key Takeaways

  1. Global superpowers start with a focus on improving education which, following a long series of steps, will lead to that nation’s currency increasing in value.
  2. The life cycle of an empire usually lasts 80 years and consists of three phases: the rise, the top, and the decline.
  3. Right now, the US is declining, while China is on the rise — but the future is not decided yet.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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6. Principles: Your Guided Journal (2022)

Ray Dalio Books #6: Principles: Your Guided Journal

Favorite Quote

“If you recognize that the way to be great is to focus on improving, giving and receiving criticism should be motivating and welcomed.” — Ray Dalio

The Book in One Sentence

Principles: Your Guided Journal is a customized learning journey aimed at helping you discover your own, unique life principles while overcoming, learning from, and getting the most out of your mistakes.

Why should you read it?

Full of easy, quick self-assessments and fun, digitally extendable exercises, this book is an interactive experience. Ray will take you by the hand, walk you through his process, and provide the space for you to apply it to your own life situation. Since this book only begins shipping on November 22nd, 2022, we don’t know too much about it yet, but if it’s anything like the remainder of Dalio’s works, it’ll be well worth your time.

Key Takeaways

  1. Getting what you want out of life depends on mastering the 5-step evolutionary loop.
  2. Your two biggest barriers in life are your ego and your blind spots.
  3. Some changes you can’t anticipate — but you can always design your behavior around them after they happen.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Ray Dalio Books by Popularity

Want to know which Ray Dalio books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. Principles: Life and Work (⭐️ 12,200+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail (⭐️ 5,200+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. Principles for Success (⭐️ 1,300+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises (⭐️ 1,000+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. Economic Principles (⭐️ 200+ Ratings ⭐️)
  6. Principles: Your Guided Journal (Create Your Own Principles to Get the Work and Life You Want) (⭐️ No Ratings Yet ⭐️)

I can’t think of anyone who more qualifies as a role model for success yet presents their learnings so humbly and calmly. If you watch some interviews with him, you can clearly tell Ray is an introvert who’s just sharing his message because he thinks it’s important. He’s a good guy with the heart in the right place, and the fact that he’s sold more than five million books shows that people really support him and want him (and thus themselves) to win.


In What Order Should You Read Ray Dalio’s Books?

Which of ‘s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. Principles for Success: Since Ray wrote this book for his grandchildren, it is by far the easiest to understand and start with. If you enjoy this, it’s a great sign you should dive deeper.
  2. Principles: This is Ray’s seminal book, and while it’s long, it comes with a lot of pointers and help to make it skimmable. So even if you don’t read it in full the first time around, this will dramatically improve your decision-making and work relationships.
  3. Principles: Your Guided Journal: After understanding what principles are and which ones Ray has discovered, it’s time to find your own! What better way to do that than through some daily writing as part of this tour de force of self-awareness, full of useful exercises and insightful quotes.
  4. Economic Principles: If you’re interested in Ray’s insights on money, finance, and the economy on top of what life advice he can offer, this is a good primer to start with to understand the basics of how markets, transactions, productivity, and their global interrelations work.
  5. Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises: Once you know how the economy works in principle, it’s time to get a grasp on what happens when it breaks. With its detailed case studies of historic inflation crises and recessions, this book is the perfect way to do just that.
  6. Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Finally, it’s time to put everything together and get a full picture of what happens as empires rise and fall, given the complex web of markets, free trade, currencies, wars, and global politics. With this, you’ll also understand what’s happening right now on the world stage, and why China and US relations are rather tense these days.

Whether you want to master how the economy works or get some solid advice for your life and work, you could do far worse than reading Ray Dalio’s books. All of them are incredibly well-researched, generous, and simple enough to understand despite their complex topics. Start with his most lightweight book, Principles for Success, then climb the ladder from there!

Conclusion

Ray Dalio is one of the richest people in the world today. His writings are helpful, informative, and inspiring. We hope this list will help you pick your favorite and get started!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


Peter Thiel Books: A Comprehensive List of Books By, About & Recommended by Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel Books Cover

Peter Thiel is a German-American entrepreneur and investor. You might know the billionaire with a net worth of over $7 billion as the co-founder of PayPal, co-founder of big data technology company Palantir, or the first outside investor into Facebook, buying a 10% stake of the company for $500,000 in 2004, which would eventually net him over $1 billion. If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of Peter Thiel books, be it the ones he wrote, recommended, or that were written about him, you’re in the right place!

Thiel was born in 1967 in Frankfurt, Germany. When he was just one year old, his parents emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in California, where Thiel went to a strict high school but excelled academically, specifically in math. Thiel was “a nerd,” reading lots of science fiction and playing Dungeons & Dragons in his spare time. He read The Lord of the Rings over ten times and would eventually name many of his companies after items or places from the series, most famously Palantir Technologies (a palantir is a magical orb in which one can see events happening elsewhere, in the past, or even the future).

Thiel later went to Stanford and got a doctorate in law, but he only briefly worked in law and finance before starting PayPal in 1999, which went public in 2002 and sold to eBay for $1.5 billion only eight months later. He used his $55 million proceeds to really kick off his venture capital investing career and has made early investments into many famous companies since. He also taught a class about startups at Stanford in 2012, the notes of which went on to become his now famous book Zero to One.

To give you an overview of all books by, about, and recommended by Thiel, we dug into our index of over 1,000 book summaries and the web. Since Thiel has only published two books, we’ve decided to list those by date of publication, then move on to books about him and the ones he recommends.

 

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each book, we’ve included an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We will also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” or “Learn More” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy for yourself. Alright, let’s dive into the world of Peter Thiel books!


All Peter Thiel Books (in Chronological Order)

1. The Diversity Myth (1995)

Peter Thiel Books 1: The Diversity Myth

Favorite Quote

“How can one be certain that liberation from one particular form of oppression will not give way to another, more grotesque and hideous than the first?” – Peter Thiel

The Book in One Sentence

The Diversity Myth argues that a focus on political correctness and multiculturalism has had a detrimental impact on academic achievements in the United States, suppressing ideas instead of engendering them and using moral arguments to silence anyone who disagrees this approach.

Why should you read it?

This is a book Thiel co-authored with David O. Sacks, most likely after observing the evolution of diversity and multiculturalism at Stanford during his own time there as a student. The core argument, while presented to an extreme, is that inclusion and diversity, rather than the virtuous aspirations they should be, have become excuses to stop thinking, reduce expectations, and not ask any questions. Using Stanford as a specific example with global impact and consequences, the authors pull from many sources to show a lot of bad is done in the name of good, and what we can do to rectify these issues. If you’re skeptical about the long-term impacts of political correctness and “diversity at all costs,” this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

    1. Classics are classics for a reason and should not be removed light-heartedly from academic curricula.
    2. When you allow people so satisfy assignments any way they want, they’ll just choose the path of least effort.
    3. By making the silencing of disagreeing voices look like a legit academic activity, multiculturalism actually leads to less learning, not more.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Zero to One (2014)

Peter Thiel Books 2: Zero to One

Favorite Quote

“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.” – Peter Thiel

The Book in One Sentence

Zero to One is an inside look at Peter Thiel’s philosophy and strategy for making your startup a success by looking at the lessons he learned from founding and selling PayPal, investing in Facebook and becoming a billionaire in the process.

Why should you read it?

If you want to make it in business, be it as a solo creator, small business owner, or the CEO of the next unicorn startup, read this book. It’s full of uncommon sense, thoughtful industry analysis, and calls to action to focus on what matters most. The basic idea is that, rather than slightly improving the status quo, you’ll disrupt the market altogether, be it by creating a new segment of it or making something that’s 100x better than what we’ve known before. This is a radical, eye-opening book, and if you have even the slightest inclination to be an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to go from zero to one.

Key Takeaways

  1. The biggest leaps in progress are vertical, not horizontal.
  2. Monopolies are good, for both business and society.
  3. Founders need a vision to take their business from zero to one.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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All Books About Peter Thiel (Written by Other Authors, by Date of Publication)

3. Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday (2018)

Peter Thiel Books 3: Conspiracy

Favorite Quote

“It always takes longer than expected, per Hofstadter’s Law, even when—and this is the critical part—one takes Hofstadter’s Law into account.” – Ryan Holiday

The Book in One Sentence

Conspiracy is an account of Peter Thiel’s quest to take down Gawker Media, a blog and journalistic organization many might have considered predatory, exploitative, and unethical, for outing him as gay, which he accomplished nearly a decade later by funding former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the company over an illegally obtained and published sex tape.

Why should you read it?

There’s that saying that “money is power,” but we rarely get a full, behind-the-scenes account of just how much or what that might look like in practice. In the TV show Billions, billionaire Bobby Axelrod provides many examples, but those are all fictional. If you want a real account of what’s possible when you’re mega-rich, this book might be for you. It’s about how to wield money and influence, why even for a billionaire, not all doors magically open, and what makes good and ethical journalism. If you work in the media or want to see how billionaires exert their power behind the scenes, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Conspiracies come in 3 phases: the planning, the doing, and the aftermath.
  2. Sometimes, the worst thing you can do in the face of a media backlash is to try and contain it, thus only making it worse.
  3. Don’t wait to act on small threats, because once they grow into big ones, it might be too late to do anything about them.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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4. The Contrarian by Max Chafkin (2021)

Peter Thiel Books 4: The Contrarian

Favorite Quote

“Girard’s big idea—which Thiel would internalize and adopt as a guiding principle, both in investing and in life—was that people are motivated, at their core, by a desire to imitate one another.” – Max Chafkin

The Book in One Sentence

The Contrarian is a biography of Peter Thiel as well as an account of the history of Silicon valley and how one of its most prominent and powerful players ended up shaping it.

Why should you read it?

This is the only biography of Thiel available at this stage. Chafkin had access to Thiel, albeit in limited capacity, and also did a lot of research to make up for it. While some praise Chafkin’s attempts to not just describe Thiel’s journey but interpret it, including what his true beliefs and motives are, others say the book paints Thiel in a bad light, revealing more about the author’s thoughts than the subject’s. There are some hidden gems and good anecdotes in this book, but take its more speculative assertions with a grain of salt. If you want a biography of Peter Thiel, this is the book for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. While advocating for radical technological progress, Thiel may have encouraged a culture in which said progress often comes at the expense of society.
  2. Thiel was good at school but unpopular, causing him to develop a disdain for people and, perhaps, society in general.
  3. When you’re rich, almost anything is possible, and you’ll get away with many things average people can’t do.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. The Founders by Jimmy Soni (2022)

Peter Thiel Books 5: The Founders

Favorite Quote

“Both in the foreground and behind the scenes, PayPal’s alumni have built, funded, or counseled nearly every Silicon Valley company of consequence for the last two decades.” – Jimmy Soni

The Book in One Sentence

The Founders is a conclusive origin story of PayPal and the people behind it, often dubbed “the PayPal mafia,” many of which would later go on to become Silicon Valley’s most influential investors, power brokers, and multi-time entrepreneurs.

Why should you read it?

If you’re curious how some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, like Reid Hoffman, owner and CEO of LinkedIn, Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, and of course Peter Thiel found their beginnings and went on to shape the course of Silicon Valley and the world of technology, this book is the one to go for. Soni outlines the history of PayPal, the sale of which made most of its employees rich, in chess-style chapters, going into detail about each member of “the PayPal Mafia” and their journey. A fascinating read for anyone who’s trying to succeed in business!

Key Takeaways

  1. To succeed as a united business post a merger, you have to find more in common with one another than you can find differences.
  2. Not all of Silicon Valley’s cultural values are bad, but some have gone off track over the years.
  3. A small group who sticks together relentlessly can achieve a lot more than a large group of loose connections.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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The 5 Most Important Books Recommended by Peter Thiel (in Order of Publication)

For this section, we took the top 5 most commonly mentioned books by websites listing Thiel’s most recommended books. For more books Peter suggests, you can check out Most Recommended Books, Kevin Rooke, or Goodbooks.io.

6. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954)

Peter Thiel Books 6: The Lord of the Rings

Favorite Quote

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Book in One Sentence

The Lord of the Rings is the journey of Frodo, a Hobbit, who must take the One Ring, an evil device crafted by dark lord Sauron to enslave the world, into the depths of Mordor, Sauron’s dominion, in order to destroy it and liberate the many peoples of Middle Earth.

Why should you read it?

Do I really need to make a case for this? The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books (and movie trilogies) of all time, one of history’s greatest stories, and should be mandatory reading in all high schools, if you ask me — not for the genius of its insight or its prose, both of which are excellent, but for how well it conveys the importance of kindness, adventure, and friendship. This is a book anyone should at least try to read at least once in their lives.

Key Takeaways

  1. You never know what you can do until you go out into the world and try to do something.
  2. Friendship is the strongest bond in the world.
  3. Not all those who wander are lost.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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7. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

Peter Thiel Books 7: Atlas Shrugged

Favorite Quote

“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.” – Ayn Rand

The Book in One Sentence

Atlas Shrugged is a literary classic of philosophy, disguised as an action-packed thriller in which railroad and steel magnates fight against increased regulation and “looters,” people trying to exploit the productivity of their businesses for their own gain, unsure whether or not they should follow the lead of a mysterious “John Galt,” rallying business owners to abandon their current, defunct society and form their own.

Why should you read it?

This is another classic of modern literature, and, thankfully, instead of presenting dry economic arguments, it wraps all of its lessons into a single, riveting story. Whether you want to build a big business, worry about where civilization is headed, or want to learn more about the complicated interrelations of politics, economics, and philosophy, this book is a must-read.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your only moral obligation in life is to be happy.
  2. The mind determines everything: Where it is, productivity and happiness can flourish, and where it is not, only darkness will grow.
  3. Never compromise on your principles.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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8. The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg (1997)

Peter Thiel Books 8: The Sovereign Individual

Favorite Quote

“To dare a thought is to risk being wrong.” – James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg

The Book in One Sentence

The Sovereign Individual jumps into the future and presents a new world where life moves into the online environment, where the cyber-economy rules and governments are struggling to control people like they used to, all through a revolution more powerful than anything we’ve seen before.

Why should you read it?

If you are worried about the power of governments and wondering where and how much of our lives the nations we live in will or aim to control, this might be a good read for you. The book explains the world’s move into a global, ever-on, online economy and the consequences that has for our individuality, sovereignty, privacy, and more. If you find cryptocurrency fascinating, have concerns about privacy while browsing the web or using social media, or prefer to own things rather than just rent them, this book will be right up your alley.

Key Takeaways

  1. Technology is already shaping a new world where we communicate 24/7 and filter our information and news outlets.
  2. We will have to reorganize ourselves in the new technology era, as our dependence on governments decreases significantly.
  3. People are already expressing their wishes to be ruled by morality, sustainability, and a no-violence, free state.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (2014)

Peter Thiel Books 9: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Favorite Quote

“The only thing that prepares you to run a company is running a company.” – Ben Horowitz

The Book in One Sentence

The Hard Thing About Hard Things is an inside look at the tough decisions and lonely times all CEOs face, before showing you what it takes to build a great organization and become a world-class leader.

Why should you read it?

This is one of the most recommended books by CEOs and entrepreneurs of all kinds, and it is for good reason: The book somewhat prepares you for the thing no one can prepare for: Running a company. Talking about the struggles of leadership, what it takes to be a good CEO, and how to build a company that not just survives its first few years but lasts for decades and centuries, this book is a good “get your head on straight” read for any aspiring entrepreneur but also for managers and leaders in any capacity.

Key Takeaways

  1. The CEO should be the first one to shout when shit hits the fan.
  2. There are 2 types of CEOs, strategic and practical.
  3. Great CEOs must learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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10. Originals by Adam Grant (2016)

Peter Thiel Books 10: Originals

Favorite Quote

“Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.” – Adam Grant

The Book in One Sentence

Originals re-defines what being creative means by using many specific examples of how persistence, procrastination, transparency, critical thinking and perspective can be brought together to change the world.

Why should you read it?

This book is just chock full of creative inspiration. The sheer number of examples is ridiculous, and you’ll find yourself feeling uplifted and positive by the time you’re done reading a few pages. If you want to do better work or succeed as a creative, give this one a chance. A good place to start is Adam’s Originals quiz, which will tell you something new about your creative capacities in just a few minutes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Producing great ideas is a matter of quantity.
  2. Procrastinate on purpose to trigger the Zeigarnik effect.
  3. Repeat yourself and find common reference points to make your crazy ideas more familiar.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Peter Thiel Books by Popularity

Since Thiel has only written two books and we don’t want to compare apples to oranges by including books from other authors here, we’ll keep it simple:

The most popular book by Peter Thiel is Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. The book has over 15,000 ratings on Amazon (4.5 ⭐️) and has sold more than 1.25 million copies.

If you want to start with Thiel’s most popular book, look no further! Zero to One is the way to go.


In What Order Should You Read Peter Thiel’s Books?

The only and #1 must-read book by Peter Thiel is Zero to One. Thiel himself has claimed that he regrets some of the things he wrote in The Diversity Myth, and all the other books are just about him or titles he recommends. For those, you can start with whichever book seems most interesting to you, but they’re all optional, really.

The one read you shouldn’t miss is Zero to One. It’s a phenomenal book about business, startups, technology, the future, and, frankly, being a good person. Read that first, then decide what’s next!

Conclusion

Peter Thiel has greatly shaped the world we live in today. His work as a 17-year board member of Facebook alone has impacted billions of social media users, and his funds, charities, and other businesses all continue to grow and direct resources to some of our world’s most pressing problems. Thiel has also become more politically active and vocal in recent years, but while many criticize his political views, I think the most interesting things we can learn from him are about business, technology, and innovation.

If you want to build a business, change the world, or simply think like no one else around you can, I highly recommend you read Zero to One and try to understand how Thiel’s mind works. I hope our unconventional list of Peter Thiel books will help you in that regard. What are you waiting for? The future is yours to build!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


All Tim Ferriss Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Tim Ferriss Books Cover

The first time I heard about Tim Ferriss was from my statistics professor (of all people!) in 2013. Back then, the American entrepreneur and author’s 4-Hour Chef had just come out, and his original #1 New York Times bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek was still going strong. If you want a full overview of all Tim Ferriss books, look no further! This is the right place.

Ferriss was born in 1977, grew up in East Hampton, New York, and struggled to finish his degree in East Asian Studies at Princeton. After college, he briefly worked in sales before starting his own supplement company, BrainQUICKEN, which he eventually automated to the point of having to work only 4 hours a week — hence the title and content of his first book.

Since selling the company, Ferriss has published five books, all of them bestsellers. He also became an angel investor, notably investing in companies like Uber, Evernote, and Shopify. He was also part of an early group pioneering the “interviewing famous people” podcast concept, and his Tim Ferriss Show has garnered over 900 million downloads to date.

We still need one of his five books as part of our 1,000-summary roster here on Four Minute Books, but we’ve decided to compile all Tim Ferriss books in order of both publication and popularity for you in the meantime. We even included a section recommending which one you should read first.

 

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each book, we’ve included an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We will also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy for yourself. So, without further ado, here’s the complete list of Tim Ferriss books!


All Tim Ferriss Books (in Chronological Order)

1. The 4-Hour Workweek (2007)

The 4-Hour Workweek (2007) Ferriss Book 1

Favorite Quote

“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.” – Tim Ferriss

The Book in One Sentence

The 4-Hour Workweek is the step-by-step blueprint to free yourself from the shackles of a corporate job, create a business to fund the lifestyle of your dreams, and live life like a millionaire, without actually having to be one.

Why should you read it?

This book is all about optimizing your work so you can spend your life doing whatever is meaningful to you. More than just full of productivity hacks, however, it explains the process of starting a company from scratch, carefully guiding you every step of the way. It’ll show you what mistakes to avoid, how to test ideas cheaply, and how to not end up down a rabbit hole you don’t want to be in. Tim will help you identify what you want from work, eliminate the areas you cannot live with, and automate what you can. If you’re not yet fully satisfied with your career, read this book.

Key Takeaways

    1. Be effective, not efficient.
    2. Validate all of your business ideas.
    3. Charge a premium to make your life easier.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. The 4-Hour Body (2010)

The 4-Hour Body (2010) Ferriss Book 2

Favorite Quote

“The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit.” – Tim Ferriss

The Book in One Sentence

The 4-Hour Body is a complete guide to hacking your health, helping you achieve anything from rapid fat loss and quick muscle gain to better sleep, sex, and extreme athletic performance.

Why should you read it?

There is a wealth of information in this book, and it has helped people lose weight, get stronger, and run faster. Personally, I used the book to try a new diet, cure a Vitamin D deficiency, and bring my testosterone to healthier levels. This book is about getting the maximum benefit from the minimum input – but that ‘minimum input’ will still require effort and dedication. Don’t think of this as a book that you need to read from cover to cover. You can use it to optimize just one small part of your health, then set it aside and come back later if you want to tackle another area of your fitness. If there’s anything you want to change about your health, I’d recommend this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Make managing your health too simple rather than too complicated.
  2. Start tracking data points of things you want to improve.
  3. A Harajuku Moment is what really helps you commit to making changes.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. The 4-Hour Chef (2012)

The 4-Hour Chef (2012) Ferriss Book 3

Favorite Quote

“When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.” – Tim Ferriss

The Book in One Sentence

The 4-Hour Chef is not just a cookbook but a choose-your-own-adventure guide to the world of rapid learning, breaking down what it takes to learn and master any skill quickly, using lots of delicious recipes as examples.

Why should you read it?

The 4-Hour Chef is a guide on how to maximize your potential in life while having the most possible fun. It’s a speed-learning book that uses cooking as its main example. The first 100 pages are dedicated to “meta-learning,” and that might be the most fascinating section of the book. More than just making you a star in the kitchen, it’ll show you how to shine in other areas of your life. If you want to learn new things faster, this book will help you crack the code and take your learning ability to new levels.

Key Takeaways

  1. What you learn is always more important than how specifically you’re trying to master it. Eliminate everything you don’t need, and you’re halfway there!
  2. Use the “DiSSS” framework to learn anything: Deconstruct, Select, Sequence, and create real Stakes.
  3. To remember what you learn, use the acronym “CaFE:” Compress, frequently practice, and encode your knowledge.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Tools of Titans (2016)

Tools of Titans (2016) Ferriss Book 4

Favorite Quote

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Tim Ferriss

The Book in One Sentence

Tools Of Titans is a massive compendium of everything Tim Ferriss has learned about health, wealth, and wisdom from interviewing over 200 world-class performers on his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show.

Why should you read it?

If you know your field, what you need help with, or even some of the experts Tim has interviewed and want to pick individual people’s brains, Tools Of Titans is a great go-to resource. The book gathers the best ideas from over 200 of his podcast interviews, sorted by people. If you want to flourish in your personal development, health, starting a business, or your investments, then this book is highly recommended. 

Key Takeaways

  1. There is no formulaic path to health, wealth, or wisdom.
  2. One of the first things you should learn to combat is peer pressure.
  3. You can only be creative if your life offers you the space to be creative in.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Tribe of Mentors (2017)

Tribe of Mentors (2017) Ferriss Book 5

Favorite Quote

“Often, all that stands between you and what you want is a better set of questions.” – Tim Ferriss

The Book in One Sentence

Tribe Of Mentors is a collection of over 100 mini-interviews in which some of the world’s most successful people share their ideas about habits, learning, money, relationships, failure, success, and life.

Why should you read it?

This is described as a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ book, but it’s better than that. It’s a ‘flip-to-a-random-page-and-learn-something’ book, perfect for reading in short, daily doses. However, you can just as well filter the advice strategically if you want to come up with a more elaborate plan. If you are curious about some of the habits and preferences of successful people, chasing a certain, big goal, or want to create the life of your dreams, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Failure holds a lot of chances if you look for them.
  2. Learning to say no in new ways helps you make a long-term habit of it.
  3. Always check why you should not take someone’s advice, then decide if you’ll listen.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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Tim Ferriss Books by Popularity

Want to know which Tim Ferriss books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (⭐️ 19,100+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Tools Of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (⭐️ 7,700+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (⭐️ 6,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Tribe Of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World  (⭐️ 3,100+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life (⭐️ 2,800+ Ratings ⭐️)

The 4-Hour Workweek alone has sold over 2.1 million copies, and I’m sure the others have sold more than another million combined. As of 2022, Tim Ferriss has an estimated net worth of over $100 million, mostly thanks to some of his very successful, early startup investments. Regardless of his wealth, however, Tim always puts a ton of research and effort into his books, which makes him a must-read non-fiction author.


In What Order Should You Read Tim Ferriss’s Books?

Which of Tim Ferriss’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek: This book is written for all those who are delaying their life and happiness until retirement. Why not live right now?. In this book, Ferriss will show you how to reap the rewards of working without waiting until the end of your career. It is also his seminal book and thus worth starting with.
  2. The 4-Hour Body: After your work, why not figure out your health next? In this book, you’ll find the collective knowledge of dozens of doctors and elite athletes, and the results of thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. Pick a habit to build or problem to solve, and go!
  3. The 4-Hour Chef: Once you’ve learned how to thrive at work and stay healthy, it’s a good time to learn how to learn anything! Read the first 100 pages to master accelerated learning of any skill, then enjoy the practical cooking and recipe tips.
  4. Tools Of Titans: Since this is more of a collection of tips for when you need inspiration or to solve a specific problem, it makes sense to keep this on your shelf and go back to it as you need it. If you use it at the right moments, the many tips, tools, and tactics shared by Tim’s interviewees can help you answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.
  5. Tribe Of Mentors: This is a shorter, more inspiration-focused version of Tools Of Titans, and thus also worth keeping on your shelf and pulling out on occasion. Tim went out to ask 100 people for their advice when he turned 40 and found himself a bit directionless, and the resulting, short little quotes and tips never fail to inspire.

No matter which of these Tim Ferris books you pick first, you can expect exceptional ideas on how to better yourself and live a more fulfilling life.

Conclusion

Tim Ferriss is one of the world’s most influential voices today. His books help us improve ourselves in the best way possible — and then we can go out and help others! Whatever area of life interests you the most, be it work, health, or learning new things, pick one of his books, browse it a bit, and see what new ideas you will find. We hope this list will help you make a choice and get started!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


All Simon Sinek Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Simon Sinek Books Cover

Simon Sinek is one of the most influential American authors and inspirational speakers alive today. Born on October 9, 1973, in Wimbledon in the United Kingdom, you most likely know him from his TED talk with over 60 million views. If you’re looking for a full list of all Simon Sinek books, you’ve come to the right place.

In said talk, Sinek shared the main idea from his 2009 bestselling book, Start With Why (2009). Drawing three concentric circles on a whiteboard, he explained that the best leaders and organizations inspire others to take action by communicating first why they do what they do, then how they do it, then what — and most people and businesses do it the other way around! The success of the talk and book created a massive ripple effect around the world and catapulted him to near-overnight fame. Sinek is now one of the best-selling authors and key authorities on leadership and business.

Sinek lives in the US and holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University. He later pursued Law at London’s City University but left and instead studied advertising, beginning his writing career at ad agencies Euro RSCG and Ogilvy & Mather. Now he runs his own business.

Simon is known to be a diehard optimist who believes in everyone’s ability to build a great future together. Sinek’s “Just Cause,” a concept he introduced in The Infinite Game (2018), is “to build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.” That is his mission, and his personal WHY for that mission is “to inspire people to do what inspires them so that together we can each change our world for the better.”

 

So far, Sinek has written five books, many of them bestsellers. Leaders Eat Last (2014) landed on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller list. You can already find 3 of his 5 books in our 1,000-summary index here on Four Minute Books, but we thought we’d compile all of them for you, ranked by both publication date and popularity. We’ve even included a section where we recommend which one you should read first.

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each of Sinek’s books, we’ve included an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ll also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any given book, simply click the “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy for yourself. Without further ado, here’s the full list of Simon Sinek books!


All Simon Sinek Books (in Chronological Order)

1. Start With Why (2009)

Simon Sinek Books 1: Start With Why (2009)

Favorite Quote

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek

The Book in One Sentence

Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s mission to help others do work which inspires them and uses real-world examples of great leaders to show you how they communicate and how you can adapt their mindset to inspire others yourself.

Why should you read it?

If you want to do better work, further your career, or become a great leader, this book is for you. It’ll teach you how to inspire action in others. This book will help you find your WHY and HOW, giving you detailed explanations, case studies, and instructions on how to identify and embrace a powerful cause and mission. By the end of this, you’ll have a simple, concise formulation of your mission and purpose, usually no more than a sentence or two. Powerful stuff!

Key Takeaways

    1. If you want to inspire others, always communicate your why first.
    2. Excited employees are the best resource for any business.
    3. You don’t need sleazy sales tactics when you start with why.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Leaders Eat Last (2014)

Simon Sinek Books 2: Leaders Eat Last (2014)

Favorite Quote

“It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.” — Simon Sinek

The Book in One Sentence

Leaders Eat Last teaches you where the need for leadership comes from historically, what the consequences of bad leadership are, and how you can be a good leader in the modern world.

Why should you read it?

In this book, Sinek takes our understanding of organizations and why (or why not) they succeed to the next level. More than just knowing what makes good and bad leadership, you’ll get new perspectives on how people think in general. If you are looking for a book that takes a very human approach at leadership, a book that will not just tell you how to lead but how to become better as a person, you should read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Safety means progress.
  2. Responsibility means actually caring about people.
  3. Technology has turned us into performance addicts.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Together Is Better (2016)

Simon Sinek Books 3: Together is Better (2016)

Favorite Quote

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” — Simon Sinek

The Book in One Sentence

Together Is Better is a wonderful, uplifting story about change, growing up, and staying young at heart while not forgetting about the people around us, ideal to get some daily inspiration, say thanks to someone you admire, or give as a gift to someone you love.

Why should you read it?

Sinek wrote this book as a gift to those who want to inspire other people. It’s also for people who want to thank those who have inspired them. The book contains a simple story in just a few pages and pictures, but one that has a profound lesson and impact. It draws on the simplicity and effectiveness of children’s books. This little book is designed to uplift and make people smile. You can keep it for yourself to read, but it also works really well if you give it to someone you are grateful to and for.

Key Takeaways

  1. It takes courage to ask for help, not to try and do everything by yourself.
  2. A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.
  3. When we fight against something, we’ll focus on what we hate. When we fight for something, we’ll focus on what we love.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Find Your Why (2017)

Simon Sinek Books 4: Find Your Why (2017)

Favorite Quote

“Fulfillment is a right and not a privilege.” — Simon Sinek

The Book in One Sentence

Find Your Why is an actionable guide to discovering your mission in life, figuring out how you can live it on a daily basis, and sharing it with the world.

Why should you read it?

If you liked Start With Why, Find Your Why is a good addendum and extension. It’s more practical, with lots of exercises and real-world scenarios, so if you liked the message of Start With Why but felt stuck in applying it to your own life, this book may be the solution. Besides outlining the process for individuals, the book also includes ideas for team workshops and businesses, which rounds it all out nicely.

Key Takeaways

  1. You can find your WHY by going through events from your past that had a big impact on you.
  2. Knowing HOW you work will allow you to live your WHY as best as possible.
  3. After you’ve figured out your purpose in life, share it whenever you get a chance.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. The Infinite Game (2019)

Simon Sinek Books 5: The Infinite Game (2019)

Favorite Quote

“Our lives are finite, but life is infinite. We are the finite players in the infinite game of life. We come and go, we’re born and we die, and life still continues with us or without us.” — Simon Sinek

The Book in One Sentence

The Infinite Game explains that the world of work and business is an infinite game that requires a long-term mindset, and it will show you how to acquire this mindset and use it to advance your cause, support others, and win in life by being ethical, positive, and service-oriented.

Why should you read it?

This book will show you that poor businesses and leaders only focus on tomorrow, whereas great companies and teams focus on the next generation. It will instill a long-term perspective in you and help you build a healthy organization or contribute to one. Any leader that seeks to create a legacy will find this book eye-opening and extremely helpful. If you are looking to make a true impact through your work and leave a lasting legacy, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Infinite games are all around us.
  2. To succeed in the infinite game of business, one must have a Just Cause.
  3. There is no winning in an infinite game. The best we can do is to set ourselves and others up well so we can keep playing.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Simon Sinek Books by Popularity

Want to know which Simon Sinek books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (⭐️ 26,000+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (⭐️ 11,400+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. The Infinite Game (⭐️ 5,700+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team (⭐️ 3,700+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. Together Is Better (⭐️ 2,100+ Ratings ⭐️)

Sinek’s books have sold millions of copies. Start With Why has sold over one million units alone. Aside from his great advocacy in leadership, Sinek has used the success of his books to build The Optimism Company, a business aimed at making the world (and its organizations) a place where people believe good, do good, and help others. 


In What Order Should You Read Simon Sinek’s Books?

Which of Simon Sinek’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. Start With Why: This book will show you the core concept holding all of Sinek’s work together, and it’ll help you understand your inner, powerful, driving force. The Golden Circle lies at the heart of every remarkable organization and revolutionary movement. It all starts with WHY.
  2. Find Your Why: This book will help you identify your personal WHY, now that you understand the concept. It’ll also show you how to bring it to life both in your career and your life.
  3. Leaders Eat Last: This one will bring your understanding of WHY to the next level when it comes to your work and career. It shows you that, to be a great leader, you must understand your organization’s WHY, and the book will help you not just do that but also use this knowledge to spur your company on to success.
  4. The Infinite Game: In this book, Sinek will show you how to apply the ideas from James P. Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games to topics of business and leadership. It’ll help you take a long-term view without being swayed by short-term adversities. Learn to create an epic legacy in the infinite game of life!
  5. Together Is Better: This small book is a token of gratitude, ideal as a gift for family and team members, but also inspiring to read through for yourself! It is full of inspiration, reminding you that it’s okay to ask for help — and also help others discover their own courage. It’s a charming story about change and growing up while staying young at heart. A nice pick-me-up on any given day!

And? Do you already know which of Sinek’s books you’ll read first? We hope this list will help you decide. Regardless of which one you’ll pick up first, you’re bound to find some inspiration. All of Sinek’s books are made to inspire you so that you may inspire others in turn.

Conclusion

Simon Sinek’s writing is always uplifting, insightful, and forward-looking. You could do worse than to read a bunch (or even all) of his books. We hope this list will help you pick your favorite and get started! Happy reading!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far:


All Brené Brown Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Brené Brown Books Cover

Brené Brown is currently a professor at the University of Houston. Brown has spent more than two decades of her life studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy to share it with us. She has published six #1 New York Times bestselling books. 

Aside from being a writer, Brown is currently the host of two original podcasts, Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead on Spotify. She also has an excellent TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability. It is one of the world’s top five most-viewed TED talks, with over fifty million views. Brené Brown is also the first researcher to get her own feature documentary on Netflix. 

Back in 2009, Brown was voted in Houston Woman Magazine as one of the city’s most influential women. Brown has also received awards in teaching. This includes the Graduate College of Social Work’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In addition, in 2016, the Huffington Foundation pledged $2 million in her name for four years to endow a research chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. This is where she guides young social work students in grounded theory methodology and shows them her research into vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.

So far, we’ve summarized 7 of her 9 books as part of our 1,000+ summary catalog here on Four Minute Books, and today, we’ll compile all Brené Brown books in order of both publication and popularity for you. We’ve even included a section recommending which one you should read first.

 

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. In addition, we’ve included an image of the cover of each book, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ll also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy. So, without further ado, here’s the complete list of Brené Brown books!


All Brené Brown Books (in Chronological Order)

1. Women and Shame: Reaching Out, Speaking Truths, and Building Connection (2004)

Brené Brown Books 1: Women and Shame Reaching Out, Speaking Truths, and Building Connection

Favorite Quote

“We desperately don’t want to experience shame, and we’re not willing to talk about it. Yet the only way to resolve shame is to talk about it. Maybe we’re afraid of topics like love and shame. Most of us like safety, certainty, and clarity. Shame and love are grounded in vulnerability and tenderness.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Women and Shame is a compilation of interviews from over 200 women that presents an understanding of shame across topics, appearance, sex, body image, motherhood, parenting, health, and aging.

Why should you read it?

This book talks about the gender-specific concern of women as a matter of growth and empowerment. The book will reveal the bittersweet and poignant interviews with different women. This book is a must-read for women seeking a book that encapsulates how women face the same social issues. Aside from this, four key points that allow women to transform shame into attachment and acceptance are recognized and explained in this book. So if you are looking for a feminist book that tackles how women live with (and through) social norms and experience them, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

    1. Women can recognize their experiences of shame.
    2. Women can move through shame constructively while maintaining their true selves.
    3. We can establish stronger and more meaningful connections with people in our lives.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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2. I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) (2007)

I Thought It Was Just Me (2007) Brene Brown Book 2

Favorite Quote

“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) helps you understand and better manage shame’s complicated and painful feelings.

Why should you read it?

I personally read a summary of this book because I thought it would help me in a situation where I was, at the time, struggling with a work embarrassment. It did! The book itself holds plenty of more insights for various scenarios in which you might feel guilt, shame, or other negative emotions, based on interviews with people who went through those exact scenarios. If you struggle with shame and lack self-esteem, I recommend you check out this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. To understand shame, first learn to put it into words.
  2. Practice critical awareness to react better to shame when it happens.
  3. You’ll be tempted to turn your shame into anger. Don’t.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. The Gifts of Imperfection (2010)

Brené Brown Books 3: The Gifts of Imperfection (2010)

Favorite Quote

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

– Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

The Gifts of Imperfection shows you how to embrace your inner flaws to accept who you are, instead of constantly chasing the image of who you’re trying to be, because other people expect you to act in certain ways.

Why should you read it?

This book is about accepting yourself as you are. It’s about learning to live authentically – to be honest despite not being perfect. It’s a very comforting read, and as always, Brené’s wisdom lies in the details. Clever paragraphs, short alliterations, and even single lines can entirely transform your perspective on a topic. Best of all, it’s not like this happens just once but many times as you read. I’d highly recommend The Gifts of Imperfection.

Key Takeaways

  1. Trusting your gut and making rational decisions aren’t mutually exclusive.
  2. Comparing yourself to other people makes you boring, not better.
  3. The opposite of play isn’t work — it’s depression.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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4. Daring Greatly (2012)

Daring Greatly (2012) Brene Brown Book 4

Favorite Quote

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Daring Greatly is a book about having the courage to be vulnerable in a world where everyone wants to appear strong, confident, and like they know what they’re doing.

Why should you read it?

If you need courage, read this book. Whether it’s the courage to do something important at work, the courage to make your art, or the courage to lead others, be it a family or an organization, Brené’s honest yet insightful writing will help you take the next step. You can feel that, in her talks and writing, Brené practices what she preaches. She’s not a bullshit artist. She’s seen the dark side. And she’s here to tell us that, sometimes, we’ll see it too — but that we’ll survive and, ultimately, everything will be okay.

Key Takeaways

  1. Vulnerability means strength, not weakness.
  2. Understand and verbalize your shame to make it go away.
  3. Children can only become who you are, so be a role model.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. Rising Strong (2015)

All Brene Brown Books 5: Rising Strong

Favorite Quote

“People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Rising Strong describes a 3-phase process of bouncing back from failure, which you can implement both in your own life and as a team or company, in order to embrace setbacks as part of life, deal with your emotions, confront your own ideas and rise stronger every time.

Why should you read it?

Brené Brown is the Seth Godin of feelings. Her instructions are based on principles, and they are more strategy than tactic. So too with the 3-step Rising Strong process — but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. If you’re afraid of trying again because you’ve failed in the past, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Reckon with your emotions by noticing and investigating them.
  2. Rumble with the stories you tell yourself to uncover false beliefs.
  3. Revolutionize your attitude with the results, just like Brené changed hers about generosity.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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6. Braving the Wilderness (2017)

Brene Brown Books 6: Braving the Wilderness (2017)

Favorite Quote

“The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Braving the Wilderness offers a four-step process to find true belonging through authenticity, bravery, trust, and vulnerability since it’s mostly about learning to stand alone rather than trying to fit in.

Why should you read it?

If you feel rejected by society, this book might be for you. It’s about learning to be happy by yourself, to live alone “in the wilderness” and keep doing your own thing — but without rejecting others. You just…wait. You’re honest, brave, and vulnerable, and whoever wants to be a part of your little world will be invited in — but not at the expense of losing yourself. Brown will help you change through a series of stories. Her books work at the subconscious level more so than like IKEA instructions. If you want to start feeling like you’re on the right path, this book will be right for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. Once you stop working so hard on fitting in, you’ll find it’s easier to allow yourself to be you.
  2. The courage you need to be who you are comes from learning to trust yourself and others.
  3. Don’t swallow your anger, but turn it into a positive before it becomes resentment.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. Dare to Lead (2018)

Dare to Lead (2018) Brene Brown Book 7

Favorite Quote

“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.” – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Dare To Lead dispels common myths about modern-day workplace culture and shows you that true leadership requires nothing but vulnerability, values, trust, and resilience.

Why should you read it?

This book is about finding power from within. It will help you summon the strength to do the right thing, no matter how difficult it might be. It’s a comforting book that will give you calm and help you stay composed while moving on, even if the next step is a challenge you’ve never faced before.

Key Takeaways

  1. Courage and vulnerability always go together.
  2. If you can narrow your core values down to just two, you can navigate even the toughest of times.
  3. The seven behaviors that create trust can be summed up with the acronym BRAVING.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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8. Atlas of the Heart (2021)

Brene Brown Books by Popularity: Atlas of the Heart (2021)

Favorite Quote

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”  – Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

Atlas of the Heart maps out a series of human emotions and their meaning and explores the psychology behind a human’s feelings and how they make up our lives and change our behaviors, and how to build meaningful connections by learning how to deal with them.

Why should you read it?

This book will help you understand your emotions and how they affect your behavior. It provides a series of definitions for our most common feelings. It also includes examples of situations in which they influence our decisions, thus making it easy for readers to understand where things go wrong and how they can quickly improve their approach to similar situations. If you want to learn more about your feelings and become better at navigating them, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. Some of the most common toxic traits of all humans are comparison, internalizing anger, and disappointment.
  2. To let go of negative emotions, you have to become vulnerable and allow meaningful connections to form.
  3. Knowing our emotions makes it easier to turn them into strengths and do away with our weaknesses. 

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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9. You Are Your Best Thing (2021)

Brene Brown Books 9: You Are Your Best Thing (2021)

Favorite Quote

“Shame cannot survive being spoken. Shame only works if it can convince you that you’re completely alone, but once you know you’re not alone, that other people have lived through that or are experiencing that, it takes down shame at its knees.” — Brené Brown

The Book in One Sentence

You Are Your Best Thing is a collection of essays by Black writers, covering Black Shame and healing, showing how to create a safe space in which to see and process the trauma of Black people caused by white supremacy.

Why should you read it?

This book is created to let the voices of the silenced be heard. It is a compilation of essays to discuss the topics Brown and Burke have dedicated their lives to understanding, edited by those two authors. The book shows how Black people can be vulnerable and yet resilient to shame. It also explains that to heal, one must confront white supremacy and the racist systems in America so that all people, including Black people, can feel unsafe in our society. It’s an invitation to let go of the past and talk about the future – and what we must do in the present to make said future a reality.

Key Takeaways

  1. To balance optimism and realism well, we must acknowledge the Stockdale Paradox: Only when we confront the brutal facts can we have faith that we’ll persevere in the end.
  2. We have to develop empathy towards other people so that we can see the world as others see it.
  3. We have to extend the most generous interpretation possible to other people’s intentions, words, and actions.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Brené Brown Books by Popularity

Want to know which Brené Brown books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (⭐️ 29,900+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. (⭐️ 16,900+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience (⭐️ 15,500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (⭐️ 11,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone (⭐️ 9,300+ Ratings ⭐️)
  6. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead  (⭐️ 7,600+ Ratings ⭐️)
  7. I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” (⭐️ 5,500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  8. You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience and the Black Experience: An anthology (⭐️ 1,500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  9. Women & Shame: Reaching Out, Speaking Truths and Building Connection (⭐️ 10+ Ratings ⭐️)

Given that only about 1% of people ever leave a review for something they bought on Amazon, you can easily see how that many ratings amount to millions of books sold. In fact, Brené Brown has a net worth of at least five million, based on estimations.


In What Order Should You Read Brené Brown’s Books?

Which of Brené Brown’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection: This book will take you on a journey of ‘Whole heart’ living. Brown will give her ten guideposts to help us realize our real strength of character. This strength will be developed through how we accept their imperfections and create courage from them.
  2. Dare to Lead: In this title, Brené Brown will teach us what it means to take risks, rise strong, and have courage in the Wilderness. Based on her research on leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, Brown will show us how to put ideas into practice so we can move forward and lead.
  3. Atlas of the Heart: If you want to find the way back to yourself and one another, you need language and the grounded confidence to tell your stories and be stewards of the stories you hear. These books follow Brown’s takes on 87 of the emotions and experiences of being a human. She maps out the skills and a meaningful connection, language, and tools to get new choices and second chances—a life where we can share the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments.
  4. Daring GreatlyDaring Greatly is more than winning or losing. This book is about courage. This book will show us how to practice and have a powerful way to let ourselves be seen.
  5. Braving the Wilderness: This book is timely and essential to all the challenges we think we know about creating connections in our communities, organizations, and culture. Brown says that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection today. She also introduces four practices of true belongingness that challenge everything we all believe about ourselves. 
  6. Rising Strong: In this book, Brown tells us it takes some time to get back up. When we own our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak, these give us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle can be our greatest call for courage to rise strong.
  7. I Thought It Was Just Me: Brown stated in this book that aiming for perfection is unrelenting and exhausting. We constantly want to meet social expectations and think that being imperfect is inadequate. Where we go, we all see many messages of what and how we’re supposed to be. That is why we want to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, criticism, judgment, and blame by pretending to be flawless — but it just doesn’t work.
  8. You Are Your Best Thing: This latest book of Dr. Brené Brown brings together a dynamic group of Black artists, writers, organizers, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics of vulnerability and shame resilience.
  9. Women and Shame: This book is a compilation of interviews with over 200 women, in which they share ideas, strategies, and information for understanding shame across topics, such as appearance, sex, body image, motherhood, parenting, health, and aging, supported by poignant and relevant case examples.

If you’re only interested in a specific topic or idea, you can start with whichever one of Brené Brown’s books appeals to you the most!

Conclusion

Brené Brown is one of the world’s greatest authors today. Her writing is always encouraging, helpful, and inspiring. Moreover, you can always find a new perspective on life in her books. We hope this comprehensive list of Brené Brown books will help you pick your favorite and get started!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists by topic we’ve made for you so far:


All Malcolm Gladwell Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Malcolm Gladwell Books Cover

Malcolm Gladwell is an English-Canadian journalist and author, born in 1963. Since 1996, his day job has been as a staff writer for The New Yorker. He also hosts a podcast called Revisionist History. He has also published seven books to date, several of which have landed on the New York Times Bestseller List. If you’re looking for all Malcolm Gladwell books in order, you’ve come to the right place.

Gladwell is known for spotting the interesting where most people can only see the obvious. He uses a blend of carefully picked case studies, investigative journalism, and under-the-radar scientific studies to craft his creative, funny, and often enlightening stories.

Most of Gladwell’s books deal with human nature, both internally and externally. He draws from the fields of psychology and sociology to explain what makes both our minds and interactions tick. His books have sold millions of copies and are popular because they help us understand and navigate the world better. Some are also helpful when it comes to being successful in business or in your career.

We’re still missing two of his five books on our 1,000-summary index here on Four Minute Books, but we thought we’d compile for you all Malcolm Gladwell books in order of both publication and popularity. We even included a section where we recommend which one you should read first.

 

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each of Gladwell’s books, we’ve included an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ll also share our most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any given book, simply click the “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy for yourself. Without further ado, here’s the full list of Malcolm Gladwell books!


All Malcolm Gladwell Books (in Chronological Order)

1. The Tipping Point (2000)

Malcolm Gladwell Books The Tipping Point

Favorite Quote

“That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.” – Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

The Tipping Point explains how ideas spread like epidemics and which few elements need to come together to help an idea reach the point of critical mass, where its viral effect becomes unstoppable.

Why should you read it?

If you are trying to promote an idea in the world, be it through a book, a business, or a charity, you need people to support you. This book will show you how you can get that support at scale.

Key Takeaways

    1. Once an idea reaches the tipping point, it spreads like fire.
    2. Three kinds of people are responsible for getting ideas to tip.
    3. Without stickiness, no idea will ever tip.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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2. Blink (2005)

Malcom Gladwell Books Blink

Favorite Quote

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” – Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

Blink explains what happens when you listen to your gut feeling, why these snap judgments are often much more efficient than conscious deliberating, and how to avoid your intuition leading you to wrong assumptions.

Why should you read it?

We constantly make decisions that lead us to either success or failure. These decisions can be made quickly, or they can be made after thorough deliberation. This book will show you that the latter is not always the correct answer. You’ll learn that, sometimes, quick and instinctive decisions can be good as slow, deliberate ones. It will also teach you when to trust your gut and when to ignore it, and how to make the best use of it overall.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your unconscious is the world’s fastest filter of information.
  2. Stress can lead your gut astray.
  3. Put up screens in situations where you can’t trust your intuition.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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3. Outliers (2008)

Malcom Gladwell Books Outliers

Favorite Quote

“Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

Outliers explains why “the self-made man” is a myth and what truly lies behind the success of the best people in their field, which is often a series of lucky events, rare opportunities, and other external factors, which are out of our control.

Why should you read it?

Many of us believe that success is the inevitable result of hard work and dedication. What we often don’t see are the thousands of tiny factors that, taken together, also have a huge, sometimes even bigger effect on our outcomes. This book explores these factors in depth, explaining how attributes like location, income, culture, and even our birthday can have a tremendous impact on our careers and lives. If you want to get a deeper understanding of what really constitutes success, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. After you cross a certain skill threshold, your abilities won’t help you.
  2. The month you’re born in matters.
  3. Asians are good at math, because where you come from matters.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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4. What the Dog Saw (2009)

Malcom Gladwell Books What the Dog Saw

Favorite Quote

“Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

What the Dog Saw is a collection of adventures that covers a wide spectrum of topics from marketing and psychology to economics, social history, and sociology, all of which will teach you something new and interesting about life and your role in the world.

Why should you read it?

This book is a collection of 19 articles Gladwell previously published in The New Yorker, covering a broad range of topics in three parts. The first part highlights some very interesting experts you’ve probably never heard of. The second explains why intelligent people sometimes fail to do the right thing, and the third offers Gladwell’s classic psychological and social analysis via several scientific studies.

One big thing this book will teach you is patience. Everyone wants to achieve their goals. Reading this book will show you that it’s normal to experience ups and downs along the way. Pain is to be expected, and the important thing is to keep moving. You will grow, you will learn, and, eventually, you will get to the next level.

If you’re looking for a treasure trove of insights, read this book.

Key Takeaways

  1. One of the keys to reaching a higher level is patience.
  2. There are different problems in the world and each of them deserves a different solution.
  3. Success is all about getting yourself to the next level, it’s not about money, fame, or status in life.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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5. David and Goliath (2013)

Malcom Gladwell Books David and Goliath

Favorite Quote

“Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

David and Goliath explains why underdogs win in situations where the odds are stacked unfavorably against them, and how you can do the same.

Why should you read it?

In life, you’re bound to come across small challenges, big challenges, and even enormous challenges. This book will teach you how to make the size of the challenge, problem, or obstacle irrelevant and succeed against the odds. You will learn how to make use of the advantages of disadvantages and the disadvantages of advantages based on many fascinating case studies.

Key Takeaways

  1. Living in a privileged environment might hinder your success.
  2. You can turn your learning difficulties into advantages in other fields.
  3. Even if you’re the underdog, you can win against big competitors by relying on your unique skills.

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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6. Talking to Strangers (2019)

Malcom Gladwell Books Talking to Strangers

Favorite Quote

“Sometimes the best conversation with strangers allow the stranger to remain a stranger” ― Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

Talking To Strangers helps you better understand and accurately judge the people you don’t know while staying patient and tolerant with others.

Why should you read it?

We all believe that we know others better than they know us; that we have insight into them. Because of this, we tend to act with confidence in situations where it might be misplaced. This book will show you how hard it is to truly understand the intentions of strangers, and why we often make bad mistakes when we read people wrong. It will also improve your interactions with strangers and help you be more comfortable around the people you don’t know. If you want to up your social skills, this book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. You are overestimating your ability to read what people are thinking or feeling.
  2. Humans naturally default to believing that others are telling the truth and are incapable of telling when someone is lying.
  3. One reason you’re so bad at judging people is that everybody expresses their emotions and thoughts differently. 

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

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7. The Bomber Mafia (2021)

Malcom Gladwell Books The Bomber Mafia

Favorite Quote

“All war is absurd. For thousands of years, human beings have chosen to settle their differences by obliterating one another. And when we are not obliterating one another, we spend an enormous amount of time and attention coming up with better ways to obliterate one another the next time around. It’s all a little strange, if you think about it.” — Malcolm Gladwell

The Book in One Sentence

The Bomber Mafia explores the United States’ attempts to use high-altitude precision aerial bombings to limit casualties in World War II, showing how technology and good intentions can collide and even be at odds in the heat of war.

Why should you read it?

Every day, we make decisions. Sometimes, those decisions have a great impact not just on our lives but also the lives of those around us, even society at large. This book will give you insight into how people make choices when there are only difficult options to choose from and no perfect or even good result to be had. It’ll show you how to stay level-headed in tough situations and how the people around you affect you when you make big decisions.

Key Takeaways

  1. A good strategy is a powerful tool to disrupt an opponent’s capabilities.
  2. Sometimes, shiny ideas that drop down from the heavens do not really land softly on the ground.
  3. We often forget the messiness we’ve made when we look back at it.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

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Malcolm Gladwell Books by Popularity

Want to know which Malcolm Gladwell books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

  1. Outliers: The Story of Success (⭐️ 21,000+ Ratings ⭐️)
  2. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know (⭐️ 14,900+ Ratings ⭐️)
  3. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (⭐️ 8,400+ Ratings ⭐️)
  4. The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War (⭐️ 7,300+ Ratings ⭐️)
  5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants (⭐️ 7,100+ Ratings ⭐️)
  6. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (⭐️ 5,500+ Ratings ⭐️)
  7. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (⭐️ 2,000+ Ratings ⭐️)

Given that only about 1% of people ever leave a review for something they bought on Amazon, you can easily see how that many ratings amount to millions of books sold. In fact, Gladwell has sold at least five million books, based on estimations.


In What Order Should You Read Malcolm Gladwell’s Books?

Which of Malcolm Gladwell’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

  1. Outliers: This book will show you that success depends on more than just hard work and give you a better idea of all the factors you’ll need to pull together. It is also his most famous work and includes “the 10,000-hour rule,” an idea which Gladwell claims is often misquoted (and that others say he misinterpreted), but that is sticky and useful nonetheless.
  2. The Tipping Point: This book will give you a big picture strategy for accomplishing success. You’ll learn who the right people are that’ll help you spread your idea, and how you can reach them.
  3. Talking to Strangers: This is a good time to learn how to better approach and interact with strangers. After all, you’ll need to convince at least several people to help you reach the tipping point!
  4. David and Goliath: Despite success not only hinging on hard work, it’s good to know how you can play smart instead of just hard. Learn how to beat the odds when the wind is not exactly behind your sails.
  5. The Bomber Mafia: Staying on tough odds, it is now a good time to learn how to handle adversity while continuing to make the right decisions. That’s what this book will do for you.
  6. Blink: Going from slower, more deliberate decision-making into split-second judgements, this book will round out your education by showing you how to train your gut to be as reliable as it can possibly be.
  7. What the Dog Saw: Finally, this book will give you a jolt of inspiration through interesting people’s stories and help you avoid several pitfalls even smart people sometimes make along the way.

What do you think? Did we nail it? Of course, if you’re only interested in a certain topic or idea, you can start with whichever one of Gladwell’s books appeals to you the most!

Conclusion

Malcolm Gladwell is one of the world’s greatest thinkers today. His writing is always interesting, often helpful, and usually inspiring. You could do worse than read a bunch (or even all) of his books. We hope this list will help you pick your favorite and get started!


Other Book Lists by Author

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by author we’ve curated for you:


Other Book Lists by Topic

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists we’ve made for you so far: