Book Wish List 2016

12 Books for Your Christmas List This Year

Gen Y Finance Guy Words To Live By 19 Comments

I wasn’t and avid reader growing up, in fact I really didn’t start reading (voluntarily) until 2011 (I was 25 then). Now I read 40-50 books a year and spend about $1,000 every year on books (I actually just paid $1,000 for ONE book, but we will save that for another post). I’m currently working to put together a new resource for you guys, it will be a detailed reading list by category that currently contains the 230 books I have read over the past 5 years.

Buying books is one of the best investments you can make!

Jim Rohn said that “if you want more, then you must become more,” and one way to do that is to fill you mind with new ideas. The most successful people in the world are avid readers, as they understand the value of CONSTANT AND NEVER ENDING IMPROVEMENT!

You can learn just about anything from a book. Not convinced?

In 2013, I was interested in starting a web analytics consulting practice, because it just seemed so fascinating. Do you know what the first thing is that I did? Yes, I went right to Amazon and put $100 worth of books on the topic in my cart. I knew this would be the fastest and most organized to get up to speed on the topic. I read through the books, my new knowledge empowered me to make a career change out of finance, and onto a new global analytics team supporting a $100M eCommerce business (it was an internal transfer at the company I was working for at the time).

This allowed me to get hands on experience on what I had just learned in the books I had read. After 3-months I decided I was ready to go after some clients as a freelancer on the side. Over the next 12-months I acquired 3 clients earning $18,000 (at an effective rate of $100/hour).

I earned $18,000 due to a $100 investment, that’s an astronomical 180X return on my money.

This is just one example. I truly believe that my income and net worth are at least in part where they are because of what I have learned from the 230 books I have read over the past 5 years. That’s right, I attribute the fact that we’ve been able to grow our income by a compounded rate of 36% per year and our net worth at a compounded rate of 85% per year, to expanding our knowledge and skill sets through reading books.

I hope I have your attention now!

You have probably seen peoples reading list flying around all over the internet. I love leveraging those lists to crowdsource books to add to my personal reading list (I use Amazon’s wish list to keep track of all the books I want to read).

12 Books I will Be Getting From Santa This Year

As I write this, I have already placed my order for these books, and because of Amazon Prime they will be here in two days (Thank You Santa!!!).


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike


by Phil Knight
“In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.”

How to Think About Money


by Jonathan Clements

“There are those who think the goal of investing is to beat the market and amass as much wealth as possible, that street smarts and hard work ensure investment success, and that the road to happiness is paved with more of everything.And then there are those who get it.Want a more prosperous, less stressful financial life? Jonathan Clements, longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, is here to help. His goal: to provide readers with a coherent way to think about their finances, so they worry less about money, make smarter financial choices and squeeze more happiness out of the dollars that they have.”

Are You a Stock or a Bond?: Identify Your Own Human Capital for a Secure Financial Future


by Moshe A. Milevsky

“You must be aware of the value, potential return and risk of your own human capital (your job, career and what you do for a living as opposed to stocks and bonds or other investment choices) as well as financial capital and investments to plan a secure future. Human capital is the most valuable asset that you will own over your lifecycle. You need to balance all financial decisions with the characteristics of your human capital. The key trends identified in the first edition of the book namely, the decline of Defined Benefit (DB) pension provision, the continued increase in human longevity and the risk of personal inflation, are as relevant today as they were five years ago. The financial crisis has taught us that all types of capital – human, financial and even social – are key to a secure financial future. If your career has “stock-like” growth and risk characteristics, Milevsky helps you balance your “portfolio” by tilting investments towards safer “bonds.” If your job is more secure but offers lower financial upside, you’ll learn to tilt your investments towards stocks that compensate for your lower earning potential. Either way, Milevsky shows you how to integrate investments, insurance, annuities, and retirement plans to generate the safe and reliable income you’ll need.”

The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything


by Jason Kelly

“Go inside the private worlds of founders Henry Kravis, Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman, and more in The New Tycoons, and discover how these men have transformed the industry and built the some of the most powerful and most secretive houses of money in the world.”

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers


by Tim Ferriss

“For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.

“This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind


by Yuval Noah Harari
“In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical — and sometimes devastating — breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?”

King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist


by Mark Stevens

“King Icahn is an unparalleled human drama. It is the story of a man who rose from humble beginnings to emerge as the most powerful, eccentric, galling, pugnacious and successful force in the business world. The Icahn drama is rife with contradictions, juxtapositions, paradoxes and epic power plays. All have led to a reshuffling of the business\financial landscape, to the electric fear on the part of CEOs when they hear the terrorizing words “Carl Icahn is on the phone” and to one of the world’s greatest fortunes. King Icahn is the only book written about Icahn, completely independent but with full access to the man himself. It reveals the back story of the greatest financier/pit bull of his generation, his multi-billion dollar epiphany, his real motive for taking on the CEO elite as well as his loves, feuds, idiosyncrasies and intellectual brilliance. Reading this book is the equivalent of earning an MBA squared!”

Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur


by Derek Sivers

“When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn’t planning on building a major business. He was a successful independent musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online. When no one would help him do it, he set out on his own and built an online store from scratch. He started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million. Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with what you have, care about your customers more than yourself, and run your business like you don’t need the money”

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking


by Jordan Ellenberg
“Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?”

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself


by Sean Carroll
“Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.”

Thinking, Fast and Slow


by Daniel Kahneman
“Kahneman’s singularly influential work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of behavioral economics and happiness studies. In this path-breaking book, Kahneman shows how the mind works, and offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and personal lives–and how we can guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.”

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow


By Yuval Noah Harari
“Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century – from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.”

Please if you have any other book recommendations leave a comment below. The best thing about Amazon and it’s wish list tool, is that you can add books to infinity and beyond…there is no limit.

– Gen Y Finance Guy

Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a 30-something C-Suite executive. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More

Comments 19

    1. Post

      Thanks for sharing your list of books Brian. How long have you had a dedicated site to keep track of your book list?


      1. I guess it was one of my post-college changes once settling it to the working world in late 2008, the biggest going vegetarian. That website was an old blog I kept for a couple years writing about whatever interested me without actively trying to grow readership.

  1. Some good books in here! I think at least half of these are on my Amazon wish list (close to 50 books on there right now haha)… Definitely excited to read Tools of Titans. I had never heard of King Icahn, but after reading the summary, I’ll definitely be picking it up.

    Thanks for the great list!

    1. Post

      Hey Nick – My Amazon wish list seems to grow by 3 every time I order a book. I think I am sitting at a little over 100 on my wish list right now. I tend to order 3-5 books at a time, there have been times I would be tempted to just order the entire list, but then I think about the level of anxiety it would give me seeing so many unread books on my desk. I have a system, that a book doesn’t get a spot on the bookshelf until I have read it, so it stays stacked on my desk…I couldn’t imagine 100 books stacked up.

      I currently have 7 books stacked up on my desk right now. As I have been gifted several books over the last few weeks.

      The Icahn books sounds super interesting. Especially, since it is the first book written on him, and the writer had full access to him.

    1. Post

      Josh – I am looking forward to reading Sapiens over my 10 day trip to St. Thomas at the end of the year. I saw your post on it the other day, your comment about “in 100 years all new people” has been on my mind a lot lately.

      The only book on your short list I have read is ”
      How to Get Rich“, I will have to check the other books out. Thanks for the additional recommendations.


    1. Post

      ESI – I assume you listen to the Tim Ferris podcast, and he said a audio book is coming, but will take some time because he wants to have some fun with it.

      I am looking forward to the Nike book myself.

      The #1 book I gift and recommend the most is
      The Slight Edge. I do give a FREE copy of “The Richest Man in Babylon” to my email list since it is in the public domain now.

  2. I am really excited to read Shoe Dog. It’s actually next on my list to get from the library 🙂

    I also am looking forward to reading Charles Duhigg’s “Smarter Faster Better.” I’ve heard some really amazing things about it.

    Thanks for sharing your list. I will definitely be adding a couple to my wish list.

    1. Post
  3. Thanks for sharing Dom! I can see this could be an opportunity for us to share all of the books i.e. through an online book club or forum, not sure on your thoughts on this?
    What I love is that you’ve mentioned books I mostly hadn’t heard of and I’ll add them to my list on GoodReads. Are you on GoodReads? If so I’d love to add you and it’s where I review/add my “book list”..

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to you building the list
    Would be interested to hear a review of Tools of Titans by Tim..

    Also I may have read a post on this although would be good to hear more about how you did this: “Over 12-months I acquired 3 clients earning $18,000 (at an effective rate of $100/hour).” That is epic 🙂

    A longer comment although hope you don’t mind 😉

    1. Post

      Jef – I will start with the book list as a dedicated page on the blog, and will allow for comments on that page (I usually turn comments off on pages). I am not on GoodReads, and honestly I don’t even know what that is (well now I do, because I just googled it). What are the benefits of joining?

      Glad to have mentioned some books that had not crossed your radar yet.

      Re: 3 clients at $18,000 in 12 months

      I got my first client by answering a help wanted ad on a job board. The 2nd client was for an owner of a business I used to work for (warm lead), basically set up the payment structure to be a pay for performance arrangement, so he really had nothing to lose (I ended up both saving him money on his marketing spend, and increased revenue by $50K). And the 3rd client ended up being a referral because of the results I got.

      1. Hey Dom, awesome, will keep an eye out for it then.. GoodReads is something similar to what Brian has and is great for keeping track of what others are reading.. Essentially it’s a crowd-sourcing reading platform

        Thanks for describing the clients situation as well suppose it genuinely is about figuring out what you want and going out and getting it!

  4. Definitely caught my attention with that opener! Books can certainly be life changing. This is a great list of books that I’ll have to check out. Lately I’ve been consuming podcasts more than reading, but I think it’s time to get back into the reading habit. Wow, certainly an impressive number of books you’ve read in the last 5 years!

    1. Post
  5. I read Sapiens last summer and really enjoyed it and can certainly recommend it. In fact – I even did a short review on my blog. here’s the link if your interested in checking out. Freedom 40 Plan Review of Sapiens

    Tim Ferris’s new book looks good too. I’ve been a fan of his books and podcasts for years now, so hopefully this one will not disappoint.

    On another note – how do you manage to read so much while working long hours, maintaining this site, and all the other things? Any specific strategies or techniques you can recommend? I’m a big reader too – but I don’t find myself able to approach 40 to 50 a year. Very impressive!

    1. Post

      Hey Freedom 40 Guy,

      First, thank you very much for the link to your review on Sapiens.

      Second, I have already started diving into the new Tim Ferris book and it has been great so far.

      Re: How do I manage it all?

      1 – I don’t have kids yet (I think I am good until 2018 🙂 )
      2 – I wake up at 5am almost 7 days a week. You can get a lot done from 5am to 8am.
      3 – 5-10 of the books are audio books.
      4 – I don’t watch much TV (maybe 1 hour per week on average)
      5 – I tend to take advantage of the Ebb and Flow nature of my schedule. Allowing me to devour 2-3 books in a weeks time, when my schedule is Ebbing.
      6 – The more you read the faster you get at it. I have read almost 250 books in the last 5 years.
      7 – I always bring books with me when I am flying across the country for work. When flying from California to New York, this usually allows me to finish 1-2 books.
      8 – I always bring a stack of books with me when I go on vacation. My wife and I are headed to St Thomas in a couple days for a 9-day vacation, which I plan to bring 4-5 books with me.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks for the tips. I’ve recently been getting into audiobooks (again) and am now listening at 1.5x or 2x. You get used to it quickly enough and then you’re cutting the time to complete by 50%.

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