If you were ever going to develop a reading habit or pick up a book – now is probably the best time.
Gone are the excuses that typically sound like:
- “I don't have time to read.”
- “I can't sit and read with the kids always running around.”
- “I can't find something I enjoy reading.”
However, there is no better time than now to pick up a book (stop telling yourself you're too busy), practice some social distancing, and start reading to improve yourself and give your eyes a break from the computer/phone screen!
Here is a list of books I highly recommend reading broken down into five categories:
- You Development Books
- Financial Books
- Leadership Books
- Psychology & Sociology Books
- The Occasional Fiction
Enjoy, and be sure to start by picking out two or three books to read during the Coronavirus pandemic!
You Focused Books
I find personal development a must if you're a parent, spouse, leader, entrepreneur, teacher, friend, person, human – AKA everyone should read a few “You get better” books each year.
Books expose realities to ourselves that we may not ever notice. That being said, here are the best “You” focused books to checkout during the social-distancing pandemic:
1. The Third Door
Written by Alex Banayan, recognized as one of America's top business authors, Banayan is recognized as the youngest top-selling business author with his book The Third Door.
Here is the skinny:
Banayan, a freshmen pre-med student decides to drop out of school and write a book about interviewing successful people. To do so, he needs money. So he hacks The Price is Right. From there he sets out on a quest to interview the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Tim Ferriss, Lady Gaga and many more.
My biggest takeaway: Just set out on a path of action and figure things out as you go because remember, there is always a third door….!
2. Atomic Habits
Hands down, James Clear's book Atomic Habits is the best book on habits out there. I have read Compound Effect, The Slight Edge and many more habit-based books, but if you need a straight to the point actionable advice habit book, Atomic Habits is your best bet.
Our habits only change when we align them with our values. We don't create the habits to lose weight if we don't value our health SO THAT we can live longer SO THAT we can spend time with family. When your haits align with your values, you start to make changes.
My biggest takeaway: Habit Stacking. Taking your already existing routines like making the coffee or walking the dog and adding a new positive routine – like one sales call or 10 push-ups – to that habit!
3. Rejection Proof
Are you someone who is afraid of taking that leap of faith or perhaps you struggle with something simple like just asking your boss for a raise?
Either way, Rejection Proof is worth the read. Jia Jiang's 100 Days of Rejection is a hit YouTube TED Talk and here is what he did: For 100 days in a row he would simply go out into the public and look for rejection!
Whether he was asking for a “Burger Refill” or peddling things on bustling street corners, Jiang did some INTERESTING things.
My biggest takeaway: This book is wildly entertaining and if you go for rejection, you will end up hearing “Yes” more than no because you learn every time! Must read for those in sales or who want to get out of the comfort zone!
4. Tribe of Mentors
If you haven't read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, perhaps you should start there. However, having read that already, during this social distancing movement I decided to dig into the 550+ page Tribe of Mentors.
Ferriss sends interview requests to some of the top performers in just about every industry and asks them 10 simple questions. From the likes of Ben Stiller (I was sold) to Ray Dailo, Ferriss asks them the questions that guide their lives – so you can do the same.
My biggest takeaway: Don't let the number of pages scare you, this book reads as almost something similar to the Daily Stoic where you read a few pages each day over the course of a few months. There are tons to absorb and I think starting meditation might be the biggest message I have received! That and when you set out on a path (like being an entrepreneur) stick with it and don't let the voices deter you!
Leadership Focused Books
5. Culture Code
If you're in a leadership role or looking to make it to one – this book is for you!
Written by Daniel Coyle, Culture Code is an in depth review of some of the most successful culture there are. From the Navy Seals to the San Antonio Spurs and a Bronx Charter School, Coyle describes how successful cultures work for a common cause.
My take: The stories are amazing in this book and Coyle does a great job giving actionable advice in addition to giving readers a lot to consider when it comes to leadership!
Considering reading a book that is long, deep, and thought-provoking?
Then consider the book Principles by Ray Dalio, the legendary founder and hedge fund manager with Bridgewater Associates. Dalio shares everything he knows in this tell-all book of how he grew Bridgewater Associates including is ideas of “Radical Transparency” and unconventional thinking.
7. Work Less, Make More
Most money and finance books are focused on saving money, budgeting, or investing. But Work Less, Make More is all about how to make money efficiently.
If you have ever considered starting a business, you have a business, or you're just sick of your job, then this might be for you. From the simple efficiency hacks to expanding your thinking when it comes to making money, learning from Australian millionaire James Schramko is eye-opening.
8. Automatic Millionaire
Don't confuse my last message, saving and budgeting is essential to you financial success, and there is no better person to listen to than David Bach himself.
The O.G. of teaching people how to save their money, Bach describes what might be the simplest personal finance tip ever: Pay Yourself First.
Put another way, if you work 40 hours a week, you better save (or “Pay Yourself”) at least a few hours every week. What is the point in working? Bach offers very simple, actionable financial advice in this one!
Psychology & Sociology Books
9. Grit (Great for Parents & Teachers)
Educators who gripe about kids not having GRIT finally have their book, it just so happens to be called Grit.
Written by Angela Duckworth, a renown psychologist, Duckworth implements what she calls the ‘Grit Scale.' An assessment designed to determine who is mentally resilent and who isn't.
My take: While it can be dry at points (I had to GRIT through it) and prove to myself I was mentally tough! I especially liked some of the actionable parenting ideas!
Bach had the O.G. finance book, Carol Dweck has the O.G. psychology book – Mindset.
The thought process behind her book is simple:
- Fixed Mindsets
- Growth Mindsets
Once I got into this one it was very apparent which areas I had a “Fixed” mindset. Additionally, it's very easy to quickly recognize those people in your life that are growth orientated vs fixed!
Not encouraging classifying people, but this is a fun one to quickly understand the psychology behind most of your association!
Malcolm Gladwell is by far one of my favorite authors. Whether it's David & Goliath, Blink, or Tipping Point – I have found each and every single one of his books amazing… and Outliers might be his best (or just my favorite).
If you have ever heard of the 10,000-hour rule, here is where it originated. Perhaps a bit older, Gladwell describes what really sets apart those outliers in our world – the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world!
Fiction for Fun:
If you have never heard of Joe Pickett, he is the fictional game warden that author Cj Box follows in is 23 book series. Wolf Pack is number 22 of 23 in the Pickett novels.
I found this book when I was at Barnes & Noble and started listening to it when I ran on the treadmill. Long story short, I decided to get into the series and I am now on #3.
The premise is simple:
Joe Pickett is a game warden that finds himself dealing with real-life wildlife issues in every book while also somehow getting immersed in bizarre mysteries in every book. Wolf Pack takes drone hunting, witness protection, gun laws, Fetanyol, and The Cartel and mixes them all in one wild book!
13. The Bitter Roots
Cj Box started what seems like be a new series following former sheriff’s investigator Cassie Dewell, a female power character!
Busy trying to start her life over as in private practice after the past few tumultuous years, Dewell's certainty changes when an old friend calls in a favor:
She wants Cassie to help exonerate a man accused of assaulting a young woman from an influential family.
14. Long Range
OK, I am going to admit it – I am still in the process of reading this and by reading I mean listening! I find the Joe Pickett novels super easy to listen to while doing work from home activities, chores, or running!
Long Range is the latest installment in the Joe Pickett series that originally started with Open Season back in 2001 (I recommend Open Season too!)
Game Warden Pickett is tasked with solving a string of ugly grizzly bear attacks while figuring out who tried to assassinate a local judge, all while his friend Nate is being falsely accused.
Even during a quarantine, I find it funny that the same neighbors who don't cut their grass – still don't cut their grass! Basically, their circumstances might have changed while in isolation mode – but not their habits.
I will scream this from the mountain top, but there is not a better time than right now to stop wasting your time and you start creating positive habits.
Reading be one of them!
Pick three books from the list above and order them or you can go to Amazon and download Audible and use their program to listen to a few books while social distancing/on quarantine.
Here is to staying safe during this pandemic and all contributing by doing what is recommended in your locality and practicing social distancing!
P.S. You might need some AirPods (Yes, I am super bias) but it's certainly essential to reading if you're the listener type! Here are the ones I use and feel free to pin this article!
Q: What book would you add to the list above? Comment below!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.