Welcome To My Library

I love to read and aspire to be a lifelong learner.
Non-FictionFiction

Non Fiction

Here are some of the best non-fiction books in my library. I typically read a couple books per month and I’ll add the good ones to this list. If you love learning and interested in business, personal finance, economics, behavioral finance, and investing – these books are a great place to start. 

As a disclosure, the book covers on this page are links which will take you to Amazon – from which some affilate revenue may be generated if you purchase something. Unlike nearly all other financial blogs, unFinanced Life is not monetized with paid content from financial affiliates – the Amazon links help me keep things going and cover the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support!

Reading Rework was some of the most fun I've had reading a business book. The authors put forth some contrarian business advice which challenges much of the 'traditional wisdom' being taught by others. Worth the read!

This is one the all time greats for business books. Jim Collins takes readers on a research driven journey to discover what's different about the truly great companies and how we can apply those things in our work. 

Another great book by Jim Collins. In Great by Choice, we look at why some companies thrive in uncertain and chaotic environments while others don't survive at all. Lot's of practical wisdom and strategies. 

Most startups fail, but many of those failures could have been prevented - at least that is the thesis of this book. It's a great read on embracing a process continuous innovation to adjust and adapt quickly. 

Whether we have a career in sales or not, I believe we are all frequently selling in some form or fashion. Therefore, this is a skill worth refining and this is one of the better books on the subject I've come across.

Negotiation is a core skillset to have no matter what line of work you're in. This book provides some deep insights into negotiation theory with practical applications that should be useful whether you're buying a car, reviewing a job offer, or working on a multimillion dollar deal.

This book challenges some of the conventional thoughts about the wealthy. The author examines habits and characteristics of 'average' millionaires and we see some really interesting results! This is one is definitely worth the read.

One of my all time favorite personal finance books! Definitely one to read in small chunks and you can certainly tell it was written by an engineer. Nevertheless, it is worth the read for anyone interested in acheiving financial independence and living differently than the norm.

A Dave Ramsey classic that has helped a lot of people get out of debt and start working toward financial independence. This book is a great starting point if you're looking to start the process of mastering money.

This is one of Dave's more religious books (in case that's not your cup of tea) and he's talking about an interesting topic - his view on how we can interpret what the Bible says about money and wealth in the context of our modern society. In an age where we are increasingly demonizing the wealthy, I found this to be an interesting read.

How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? This book is a collection of lectures from Milton Friedman which address this very relevant issue. I think this should be required reading!

So much of modern economics has been based upon the premise that humans are rational. While this may be useful for macroeconomics, we know these theories falter on an individual level because people are not always rational! This is a great book that can help understand your own physchology and behavioral bias.

Have you ever considered how you actually think and make decisions? This is an engaging book which explores the divide between the two systems which drive our thinking - the fast and the slow. Read this book and gain a deeper understanding of your mind which can lead to better self awareness and decision making.

 


One of the classics on leadership. Read it, learn, and become a better leader. The author uses examples from some of histories great leaders and dicusses everything from processes to servant-leadership.

Another book from Maxwell which takes a look at how we can bring about positive change through personal integrity and self-discipline. A simple definition of leadership is "leadership is influence." How we yield that influence can make or break our role as leaders. Version 2.0 released January 2018.

I found this to be an insightful book on business leadership. Dave Ramsey shares much of what he's learned in the course of building his brand into the success it is today. Topics include how to hire the right people, how to insipire those you manage, setting compensation structures, accomplishing goals, and more. 

If you are interested in real estate investing and haven't checked out the BiggerPockets website, you need to. This book comes from BiggerPockets and contains some great information. 

 A book about the long-term benefits of owning rental property. The author 'demystifies' the process of evaluating, acquiring, and managing property and landlording. The latest version also includes some practical insight into utilizing technology to help run your rental properties. 

It's been a while since I read this one, but I recall it having some valuable insights into how to find good deals on properties, REO strategies, and other less common ways of finding deals, along with cash flow maximazation, PSA negotiation, crafting leases, etc.

Fooled by Randomness "examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill" - from an Amazon review which sums it up nicely. 

If you're looking for a primer on investing, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. - this book has a lot of good information to build a foundational understanding of investing. 

Honestly, I've never really been into motivational books (probably not a good thing). But Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod was a fantastic read and really helped me change my perception of "I'm not a morning person" to help me get more out of my day.

This book helped me understand that there is so much more to sucess than working hard and acquiring knowledge and expertise in my field. While hard work and knowledge are good, they only get you so far. To really succeed, you have to approach life with an toward helping other people. "Your network is your net worth."

Fiction

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need to let my mind escape, relax, and run free. I love reading good fiction - reading a good story is more enjoyable for me than watching tv or movies. It's hard to explain, but some books bring me into the story and I see it happening in my mind instead of seeing the words on the page. Anyone else like that? Anyway, those are the books I've listed - along with some classics that everyone should read. You can probably tell by my book selection that I'm a little bit of a nerd - but that's ok!

I'll never forget going to Hastings with my Dad in elementary school and buying the Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit, of course) - it was the first book I purchased with my own money and I still have them today. The LOTR series is some of the best fiction ever written. The Hobbit Starts a little slow, but just go with it, enter Middle Earth, imagine all the details as you read them, and enjoy Tolkien's genius!

Yes, I am aware that Narnia is technically a children's series. However, only CS Lewis could write something engaging for children while at the same time packing it full of philosophical and theological ideas. I enjoy these more every time I read them and can't wait until my daughter is old enough to start reading these at bed time!

I cannot believe that Christopher Paoline starting writing Eragon when he was only fifteen! The Inheritance Cycle creates a whole world with its own languages and customs that draws you in and engages you the entire time. If you enjoy fantasy/adventure stories, you'll probably love this series.

The Mitch Rapp series is one of the best page turners I've ever come across. Written by Vince Flynn (and later Kyle Mills when Flynn passed away), the series follows the career of a CIA agent who is a patriot through and through - picture James Bond + Jason Bourne and then make the character even more awesome and you'll come close to the greatness that is Mitch Rapp. The books are listed in chronological order (as opposed to published order). Enjoy and be warned - these are hard to put down.

I first picked up a Sigma Force novel at an airport on a whim while waiting for a flight. I've since read all of the books in the series pretty much as soon as they come out. James Rollins is master in combining ancient history and mystery with cutting edge science, action, and adventure. The Sigma Force team is comprised of highly intelligent special operators who are tasked with repeatedly saving the world from some of the most dangerous criminal masterminds around by using their knowledge of history, science, medicine, and combat (of course). I enjoy how at the end of each book the author has a 'fact or fiction' section where he details some of the very real facts and scientific breakthroughs he's used to help him create the story. Hard to find a good page turner where you also learn - check it out and enjoy!

Dan Brown is most well-known for his series featuring Robert Langdon  (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, etc.) - the series now has five books and all are fun reads. I actually enjoy some of his other books even more - Deception Point and Digital Fortress were really entertaining and I'd recommend you check them out if you like this genre.

There's something about a good dystopian novel that gets me every time! And Orwell's 1984 is one of the best. Let's be glad the 80's came and went without this becoming our reality - and work hard to make sure it never does!

Every time my wife asks why I keep so many books, I refer her back to this classic from Ray Bradbury. Is this still required reading in school? I sure hope so! 

A wonderfully thought provoking examination of human nature - are we fundamentally good or is there a dark side 'built-in'? This classic is worth reading a few times in one's life. 

Looking for a good classic? Hard to go wrong with Dickens. Revisit the French revolution. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..."

I love how people used to speak English - we should bring back the vernacular of that day. Anyway, this book shouldn't need much explanation. It's a great and timeless horror story which still has relevance today.  

Not many books can bring me to tears, but this one will do it every time. It's a beautiful and powerful story of standing up for what is right even when it's not easy. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, it is "compelling, thought provoking, and poignant."

Some may argue with me whether this belongs in the 'classics' category and that's fine. Either way, this book is worth reading. It is LONG, and Ayn Rand's philosophies may not always be agreeable, but it is still a valuable and timeless piece of literature. Who is John Galt? Find out!

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