Have you had the urge to flip off the television and read a good book lately? Well, maybe you haven’t,
if the abundance of news reports talking about how dreadfully illiterate the general populace has
become are at all accurate. Prove them wrong and do yourself a favor by picking up a couple of the life
changing books described below.
1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
If you were to choose to read only a single book from this list, Influence would be an excellent choice.
In it, Cialdini describes at length six distinct methods of persuasion. Not only will you be provided with
explicit details on how to apply these principles in your own interactions, but also how to recognize
when you’re the one being influenced, be it from an unscrupulous marketeer, your significant other, or
even your boss at work.
Cialdini provides interesting stories and anecdotes for each principle of persuasion, which give you
the opportunity to see how the concepts are applied. This is a welcome departure from being forced to
wade through page after page of theory (as is the case with a number of other pop psychology books).
While this book is well known among circles of professional marketers, the information within will
be useful to just about anyone who reads it. The author backs up his claims with extensive citations of
real-life studies and psychology publications, but he manages to make the book incredibly entertaining
and easy to digest. After reading Influence, you’ll become a smooth operator, avoid being manipulated,
and never look at a sales pitch the same way again.
2. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco
Despite the incredibly tacky title, Fastlane is actually one of the few "get rich" books worth reading –
the second half, anyway. DeMarco spends the majority of the first half of the book detailing his own
story of how he escaped the bondage of a nine to five and became a self-made millionaire. While it isn’t
boring by any means, it comes off as more than a little self congratulatory, particularly his oft-repeated
obsession with Lamborghinis that borders on the sexual.
So, what does make this book worth reading?
The incredibly well written, eye-opening, exquisitely informative second half. It’s not hard to see why
DeMarco became a millionaire when you reach this portion of the book. The details he provides are
given to the reader with a concise, take-no-prisoners attitude, at which point, it becomes clear that
Fastlane isn’t just another feel-good, no-substance book about making money with fairy dust and
unicorn tears. This is one of those books that should be required reading before anyone even considers
starting a business – do yourself a solid and pick it up, flip to the middle, and prepare to see how a real
millionaire views the world.
3. The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss
This book should be given to every young man on his 18th birthday. It details the real life account of
author Neil Strauss’ two year journey in which he transformed from a beta-male chump into a bonafide
player in the company of professional pickup artists. This is a guy who, before writing The Game,
wrote other books about Mötley Crüe and Marilyn Manson – and still couldn’t get any female attention,
even with his VIP backstage pass.
While the book isn’t a traditional "pickup artist" guide, it tells a fascinating tale and serves as
an excellent gateway to the realm of seduction. In it, you’ll meet a host of interesting characters,
including "Mystery," during the days before he sold out with that ridiculous show on VH1. Strauss
is a particularly good writer who imparts a surprising degree of honesty, allowing the book to be
captivating as a story alone, but also educational for budding pickup artists.
4. The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
"Wait a moment," you might be thinking. "What does this have to do with money, power, or
influence?" Well, everything, if a bit indirectly. The condition your body is in has a lot to do with the
condition your mind is in, and your mind needs to be in pretty good shape to get any of those things.
The especially nice thing about The 4-Hour Body is that as a health and fitness book, it covers all the
bases. It isn’t geared exclusively toward an audience interested in weight loss, but also those interested
in achieving muscle, building stamina, and, yes, having better sex. The book is laid out in such a way
that you’re encouraged to pick a starting point that best matches your needs, and move forward from
Considering the price of most fitness programs or products, The 4-Hour Body is a steal. If you have any
interest at all in improving the condition of your body, you need this book – and it’ll be the last of its
kind you ever have to buy.
5. The Singularity Is Near, by Raymond Kurzweil
If you’re like most guys, chances are you’ve dreamed of becoming an inventor. If that’s the case, it’s
time you become acquainted with Ray Kurzweil, who has been likened to a modern-day Thomas
Edison. Reading The Singularity is Near will blow your mind about what the future holds – and give
you an insight into the controversial mind of the multi-millionaire who holds a spot in the National
Inventors Hall of Fame, received the National Medal of Technology from Bill Clinton, and is a member
of the Army Science Advisory Board.
This guy keeps busy.
The Singularity is Near is full of charts, graphs, and extensive research which purports to predict the
massive leaps technology will make in the coming decades and what it all means for you. If that’s not
important, what is?