I have always been an avid reader. I remember there were times in middle school where I would get into a good series of fiction books in the summer and pretty much just read the books for hours and hours at a time. I think it was a way for me to escape and enter into another world.
In college, I had a professor who was a voracious reader. His goal was to read 100 books a year. But he really challenged me to read non-fiction books. He would be reading 3-5 books at any given time and maybe one of them would be fiction.
More and more frequently, I would hear successful people say how important reading was. They were talking specifically about non-fiction. I never reached 100 books a year but there have been times when I would read 3-4 books in a month.
Currently, I read 1-2 books per month and usually one of those is a fiction book. Most of my book reading is in the evening before going to sleep. Most of my reading during the day is online as I do research for my blog and as I write.
Below is a list of some of the books that most stand out to me. They are books I would read again (I have read some of these more than twice). If you are looking for a book to read…I would start here.
Most of these are of a financial nature. I know that some of you aren’t really interested in that. But please, you owe it to yourself and to your family to gain a better understanding of the way money works. School may have taught you a lot, but not about money and how it really works.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – If you have never read anything about money and finances, I would recommend this book. I have read this book at least three times over the last several years. This is not a technical book. It is easy to read. It challenges the premise that all you have to worry about is getting a college degree and you’ll never have to worry about money again. It’s interesting too that this book was written in the late 90’s and I think we are now really seeing the consequences of overselling higher education. Massive student loan debt and many college students graduating with no real job prospects.
The Millionaire Next Door – I have read this book at least twice. There are a lot of numbers and percentages in this book but don’t let that scare you away. The book was written from the perspective of a researcher so it isn’t quite as fun or easy of a read. But I’ll give you a secret, you can pretty much just skip over the numbers and explanations and still get a whole lot out of this book. As the name suggests, this book highlights the habits of the everyday millionaire. You may be surprised to find out how many millionaires there are out there that operate “under the radar”. Chances are, there is one on your street and you would never know it.
This book helps to redefine what “rich” looks like.
The Millionaire Mind – A follow-up book to the Millionaire Next Door. Readers wanted to know how millionaires lives changed once they got past $5 million. If you liked the Millionaire Next Door, you’ll probably like this book too.
Rich Like Them – This was a pretty interesting book to me. The author looked up some of the most expensive zip codes in the U.S. and then went door knocking. This is basically a collection of interviews with people who were willing to talk to him. It was so interesting to me to read about the reasons and motivations people had to move into these neighborhoods. This is an easy read.
Dave Ramsey – I am a fan of all things Dave Ramsey. Some people are turned off by his black and white mentality but I find it refreshing. I should point out that I agree with just about everything he says and teaches except one thing. I go into debt to buy real estate. He believes in no debt for anything. He gives people a pass on a mortgage for their personal residence but that is all.
But, that being said, I find no fault in what he teaches. I believe it is biblical. I believe it is wise.
Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover – The Total Money Makeover is really the starting place I would recommend to anybody looking to get a handle on their finances. I have given away these books to friends, family, and even several of my tenants. There are many books by Dave Ramsey and his team, but this is the foundation to it all.
Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University – Dave’s team puts on a 9-week series that goes through all the basics of finances. The course addresses debt, credit cards, investing, saving, retirement, insurance and more. There are thousands of classes being taught all over the country. The classes offer an opportunity to connect with others who are going through the same process. It provides accountability and encouragement.
You can also order the home study kit that comes with all the DVD lessons, workbooks, budgeting sheets, etc. This was the way I went through the course and then later led a couple classes.
Dave Ramsey Legacy Journey – This is probably my favorite material put out by Dave Ramsey. It is more focused on what the Bible has to say than any of his other works. But the premis of the book is that we want to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren. It is baby step 7. (The baby steps are outlined in the total money makeover and/or financial peace university. Baby step 7 is “Build Wealth and Give a Bunch of it Away). The Legacy Journey tells you why it is all worth it
The Legacy Journey DVD Home Study – This is the follow up to the FPU home study kit. If you are looking to save money, just buy the book. It will give you all the information you need and you can always get the DVD series later. If you are looking to dive deeper and really get inspired about leaving a legacy,
But if you are looking to dive deeper and really get inspired about leaving a legacy and you can afford the $180, then the DVD series is a really great opportunity. Go through it with your spouse and your closest friends who have the same financial beliefs as you do.
C.S. Lewis – C.S. Lewis has written many, many books. He was a brilliant atheist who became convinced by his own study of scripture that Christianity really had the only answers. Some of his books are beyond my comprehension level but his Chronicles of Narnia Series was written for young people.
It’s been a while since I have read any of this series but my favorite of all is “The Last Battle”. I suppose it touched the same part in my spirit as the “Legacy Journey” that is listed immediately above. When I realize that there is more to life than just today it helps motivate me. It shows me that some sacrifice is worth it because there are much greater things to come.
P.S. This book has nothing to do with money or finances. If you’ve never read these, I suggest you do. If you have children, this would be a great series to read together.
Ted Dekker – Ted Dekker is my favorite fiction author. He writes thrillers. I like his books because they are a break for the financial and business side of my brain but they still challenge my thinking. I don’t feel like I have wasted my time after reading his books.
The Four Hour Work Week – I hesitated about putting this book in here. I can’t say that I have taken much of what the author has said to heart. However, he presents a totally unique perspective and for that reason alone I would suggest you read the book. Like many other books on this list, the reason that I like it and the reason that I recommend it is because it proves that there are more than one ways to do things. If you are in a rut and are looking for something different, this will help show you another perspective.
This is an ever growing list and I add to it as I read new books or think of ones that should be added. Below are books that I recommend but haven’t had a chance to write a blurb about yet.