Reading List

I consume books the way a starving man eats KFC. Then I review my favorite books here (starting really, really soon). Want to be informed when I post new reviews? Then sign up for my email when the sign up pops up in a few seconds.

Most of my reading, and therefore most of what I review here, is focused on becoming a better entrepreneur. That means a lot of books about strategy, marketing, sales, HR, and management. But I’m also interested in economics, philosophy, biographies, parenting, education, politics, countries, and cultures. And sometimes I just need a break from all that other stuff and I read some science fiction or fantasy. I don’t review every book I read–just those that stand out as the best of the best.

If you want to recommend a book, email me at josh@mwi.com.


Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker

Trying to figure out that whole virtual assistant thing?


Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I don’t have any tattoos and never will, but I can easily understand why Ryan Holiday has “Ego is the Enemy” tattooed on one forearm, and the title of his last book The Obstacle is the Way tattooed on the other.


The Power of Self-Confidence: Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life by Brian Tracy

What would you do today if a positive outcome were guaranteed?


Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody is a writer. Not everybody knows it yet.


Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

Want to give a TEDx talk? Read this first.


As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

The most quotable book, ever.


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Succeed or fail, it’s really up to you. If you don’t feel like it’s in your control, you will after you read this book.


The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

If you’re starting a company, this is THE BOOK on what to do and what not to do when creating your leadership team.


Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Want to do what you love, help others, and make money? This book shows you how.


The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

You can use these tools to manipulate others, just like you can use words to manipulate others, but you would never stop learning new words so as to not manipulate others.


Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

One of my top five business books of all time.


Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday

Want to do your own PR? Start here.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Control your habits so your habits don’t control you.


The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results is that you’re trying to do too much, and you need to do less. Specifically, you need to do one thing.


The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

If you provide great value, money and success will take care of themselves. If you don’t believe it, try it for a month and see what happens. But read the book first.


Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street

Everyone loves Good to Great and the part about getting the right people in the right seats on the bus. This is the book that tells you how to do that.


Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

I heard that Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure, said this is the only book entrepreneurs need to read.


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Not a fan of Stephen King’s writing, except for this book, which is the best book on writing–ever.


Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

HR doesn’t strike me as a fascinating topic, but this book is fascinating.


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

If you only read one personal productivity book, this should be it.


Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

I rarely read books more than once, especially business or work related books. But I read Scrum four times in a row, in four days.


Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

My #1 book recommendation when it comes to thought leadership.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Introverts have just as much to contribute as extroverts, but we listen to and trust extroverts more. Why? And how can we change? These and other questions are answered in Susan Cain’s book.


Boyd by Roger Coram

A most fascinating biography every startup entrepreneur should read, if he wants his business to survive.


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer

Tired of selling? Want customers to come to you, already sold? This book shows you how to make it happen.


Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

Money changes people. The life of John D. Rockefeller, oil magnate, is a warning to every entrepreneur.


Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

The best introduction and overview I’ve found to growth hacking or growth hacker marketing. A short, quick, easy read.


Smartcuts by Shane Snow

“Smartcuts.” Oh yeah, that’s clever, isn’t it? I wasn’t sure about the title either, but the book starts off with an intriguing story about a college student breaking the world’s record for defeating Super Mario Bros., and just gets better from there.


Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

You won’t believe how much of what we know about how people think came from the studies Kahneman and his buddies performed, and how relevant they are to your job.


Getting More by Stuart Diamond

Don’t let the title turn you off. Getting More is not about manipulation, control, or domination. It’s about effectively communicating and working with others.