Reading For Success

I’ve had a few people ask me for book recommendations, and I have a short list here of books I highly recommend. These are the best of the best in my opinion, and I would say each one of these is a must-read. You should watch this video to hear why I think devoting all this time to reading is worth the time and effort, and why it’s one of the best investments you can make. Reading only one book, as long as it’s the right one for you, can make a drastic change in your life, and the more you read the more likely you are to find an idea that will make that change. So here goes…my top five book recommendations:

5) Civilization and its Discontents – Sigmund Freud

Civilization and its Discontents

If you see Freud’s name and think, “no way, that guy’s crazy,” take a second to reconsider. His theories might be a little against the normative when it comes to psychoanalysis, but this book largely discusses man’s connection to the world and a possible purpose, especially in relation to the way we go about finding happiness. This is philosophy, not psychology, and a lot of the ideas here will be pivotal to your search for happiness and success.

Buy this book on Amazon  (Here is a different copy that is half the price, but independently published)

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I’m currently working on notes for this book

4) Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy

This is really a book that is geared more towards the entrepreneur, but I think the ideas in here could be applied to several different areas of life. If you are starting or running your own business, working toward growing a following online, or doing anything that involves competition in business, it is imperative that you read this book. The idea are so simple and will seem obvious to you after reading them, but they’re ideas and practices that most people never put into action. It’s not about eliminating competition, it’s about rendering them unimportant.

Buy this book on Amazon          You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

3) Managing Oneself – Peter Drucker

Managing Oneself

This was actually an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review, so it’s a very quick read…but it’s worth every penny you spend on getting it into your hands. I wish I had been handed this book when I graduated high school, or even undergrad. Drucker talks in depth about learning how you learn as an individual, and applying that to your life. He also discusses how you need to learn how you work most efficiently and happily, and using those methods throughout your life as well.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

2) Grinding It Out – Ray Kroc

Grinding It Out

This one is changer. Ray Kroc, the man who built McDonalds into the empire it is today, the man who pioneered the fast-food industry, tells all about how he did it. Aside from being a really interesting narrative, this book is full of a wealth of knowledge and ideas that you can and should apply to your life, success, and happiness. You’ll see that perseverance and determination trump all else…you’ll be inspired, definitely, but more importantly, you’ll have a better idea of how you can get where you want to go.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

Hear me talk about one idea in this book          Read a post of mine about another idea in this book

1) The Lessons of History – Will & Ariel Durant

Lessons of History

This is the #1 book I recommend to most people with whom I speak. It’s an incredible look into what it means to be human, into what makes us think and act the way we do, and a commentary on mankind as a whole as opposed to an individualistic approach. The lessons we learn throughout the book are directly applicable to success, happiness, instinct, and, in a lot of ways, learning to connect to who you are as a human being and how you function under that title. This is somewhat similar to “Managing Oneself,” but it offers a more holistic view of human nature, and is deeply philosophical.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I have a few videos on this book. You can find them on my YouTube channel.

So that’s it, my top five book recommendations. I really would suggest these to everyone, because they all make you think about life, success, happiness, and human nature. Fascinating books. And four of the five you can get for free with a free trial of Amazon Audible…definitely worth it! I hope you enjoy them.


  1. controversialcook · April 12, 2015

    None of my books have been mentioned :-(( As usual geniuses are always overlooked by the people of their generations. Never mind I will be rich and famous and awarded with tons of literary prizes when I will be dead :-)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • irrationalliving · April 12, 2015

      Haha sorry! If it makes you feel any better, my book isn’t on there either! Where can I find your books? I’d love to review them.


  2. controversialcook · April 13, 2015

    Many thanks! I’ve published three so far. You can find the page headings of my blog called “My Books” with the links. Anyway you can review the last one if you wish with absolutely no obligation to do it of course. Don’t feel that you have to . Anyway it’s title is: “The Lioness Pastry Cook” an African Dream-Tale” which incidentally is the greatest masterpiece of literature, music and poetry combined ever written. composed and illustrated by a human being, modesty aside…..
    In all fairness it deserves at least 20 stars but five would do :-))
    By the way you can read the first chapters of any of my books for free without buying any of them it should be enough for the review.
    This is my amazon page anyway:


  3. zackshier · April 13, 2015

    I am two chapters into Blue Ocean Strategy, eye opening so far! Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • irrationalliving · April 13, 2015

      Awesome! I’m glad it’s working for you. I definitely agree…the ideas are so simple and make so much sense, and yet I never thought of them before. Hope you put it to good use!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pippa Crawley · June 10, 2015

    Great review – putting a few on my ‘to-read’ list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • irrationalliving · June 10, 2015

      Awesome to hear 🙂 let me know what you get out of it if you remember! I love to hear how books influence people in different ways.


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