My Top 10 Books of All Time … so far

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Now that the “ice bucket challenge” has died down, there’s another challenge going around my Facebook feed this week.

People are asked to share 10 books that have “stuck with them” through the years, fiction or non-fiction, and tag their friends to post their list next.

(So I guess it’s not technically a TOP 10, but more like 10 of the most memorable or impactful.)

It’s been fascinating to see some people’s title selections, including many new books I’ve never heard of.

Time to add them to the reading list!

Here are mine, in no particular order:

Rich Dad Poor Dad

This was the book that started it all off for me. My roommate recommended it to me in college, and it was the first “business book” I ever read.

Even though there’s some drama about the author’s financial dealings and whether or not “Rich Dad” even existed, the message of investing for cash flow, building or buying assets, and working toward the B/I side of the “cash flow quadrant” all resonated with me.


The Go-Giver

This is a powerful parable about seeking first to deliver value in the world, rather than chasing dollars.

I thought it was going to be super cheesy, and maybe it is a little, but it’s really good! Definitely one of my faves.


The Millionaire Fastlane

This is another one I was initially turned off by, because of the scammy-sounding title and the car on the cover. If you can get over the author’s obsession with exotic cars (something I don’t have much interest in), the content is excellent.

He explains why the “traditional” method of investing in mutual funds for 40 years is a poor wealth accelerator, and why you may be better off investing in yourself/your business.


Great by Choice

I had two big takeaways from this Jim Collins book.

The first is the concept of the 20 Mile March, which uses a turn-of-the-century South Pole expedition as a metaphor for making consistent progress toward your goals, day in and day out.

The second idea I loved in this book is the concept of “firing bullets, then cannonballs.” Collins uses this to describe taking small, testing, calibration-sized risks before going all-in on an unproven strategy.


The Rational Optimist

There’s plenty of gloom and doom to go around, but in this book author Matt Ridley makes the case for a more positive future.

He looks back at the crises of every era and how none of them came true.


An excellent supplement to this is Peter Diamandis’ TED Talk, on a Future of Abundance. He’ll definitely get you excited and feeling good about the future!

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class

This is a short and sweet read that can help you identify some of your “poor” or “middle class” mindsets.

My biggest takeaway was related to evaluating risk. If the most likely outcome is positive, and you can live with worst-case outcome, maybe it’s worthwhile to take that calculated risk.


The E-Myth Revisited

Work on your business, rather than in it.


Ball Four

A hilarious account of a baseball season, told by the knuckleballing former Yankee Jim Bouton.

Had to have at least one baseball book on the list!


This was one of my favorite books as a kid. It’s about climbing an “unclimbable” peak and not letting anything get in your way.

I’ve made a few summits, literally and figuratively, and this is a fun one.


Angels and Demons

Maybe this fast-paced thriller from Dan Brown is my guilty page-turning pleasure.

I loved all the history nerd stuff, the adventures around Rome and the Vatican, and the whole science vs. religion debate.


Honorable Mentions

The Four Hour Workweek

For me, this was all about the 80/20 rule of effort to output. What activities are REALLY driving the most results?


The “less is more” reminder of business books.

What I’m Reading Right Now

I’m about two-thirds through The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. It’s excellent and will definitely get your brain spinning on how to land your dream 100 clients and grow your business.

The last book I finished was Talk Like TED, which goes through the lessons and patterns of the most powerful TED talks.

(I spoke at a local TEDx event this weekend!)

What books would make your list? Which favorites did I miss?

Always looking for more great titles to add to my reading list!

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

10 thoughts on “My Top 10 Books of All Time … so far”

  1. Great list. Angels vs. Demons was so good until the movie came out…book is so much better, but don’t we always hear that. I always wonder the background of the authors. Do they live what they believe financially or are they just writers on a subject and hoping to make money off a book?

    • That’s a good question. I think in Dan Brown’s case, with the amount of research that’s required to put these kind of works together, he’s got to be at least somewhat interested in the subject matter!

  2. Just started The Millionaire Fastlane (and I agree with you, terrible cover)…so far so good. I heard MJ DeMarco on a few podcast interviews and he seems like a pretty sane dude. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two.


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