The 85 Best How-to Books of All Time

  • Post last modified:December 20, 2020
  • Post category:Books

Looking for the best how-to books of all time? You are in the right place.

How-to books are popular for teaching valuable skills and providing ‘how-to’ guides for almost anything.

In the list below, I’ve separated the books depending on the type of skills they offer, be it business skills, life skills, cooking, etc.

So, depending on your interests, you can scroll through the list and find the perfect book to teach you the skill you’ve always wanted to learn.

Editor’s Picks

1. Mastery by Robert Greene

2. How Not to Die by Michael Greger

3. Bobby Approved: The Ultimate Shopping Guide At the Grocery Store by Bobby Parish

4. The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer 

5. How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

#1 Mastery by Robert Greene

Mastery by Robert Greene book cover | best how-to books of all time

Overall best book on learning how to become an expert in your craft or job.

2. How Not to Die by Michael Greger

How Not to Die by Michael Greger book cover

Overall best book on living a better, longer, and healthier life. 

A fun guide for shoppers.

The Actor’s Life- A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer book cover

Every artist/actor should read this book.

5. How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

A personal favorite, best book for nonfiction writers and students.

Arts and Craft

  1. Origami 365 by Taro Yaguchi
  2. You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler
  3. Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis
  4. The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley
  5. Granny Square Crochet for Beginners by Shelley Husband

1. Origami 365 by Taro Yaguchi

Origami 365 by Taro Yaguchi book cover

Crafting origami shapes is a fulfilling hobby that helps creatives (writers, artists, etc.) build something tangible with their hands.

In this book, Yaguchi provides origami basics that anyone can master.

What’s in it for you:

  • 12 easy to follow models.
  • Develop the right skills to master origami.
  • A year’s worth of fun — 365 pieces of origami sheets.

Origami could be a fun pastime for anyone interested in building something with their hands.

2. You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler

It is rumored that everyone has an inner artist, but most people never discover theirs. 

Well, great news! Kistler promises that if you are willing to discover your inner artist, you could learn how to draw in 30 days — literally. 

Throw out the myth that drawing is a talent. In Kistler’s words, drawing is an acquired skill, and anyone can learn to draw.

 What’s in it for you:

  • Over 500 line drawings that will guide you through each step. 
  • Proven and tested techniques for drawing in 3D.
  • Easy-to-follow, simple instructions for drawing everyday shapes, such as spheres, to complicated shapes, such as the human face. 

This book is great for when you want to surprise your friends and family with a new talent — erm, acquired skill, I mean. 

3. Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

Written by a widely respected illustrator, Successful Drawing teaches the basics for mastering 3D drawing. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Expert advice and step-by-step instructions. 
  • The fundamentals needed to master 3D drawing. 

The audience for this book would be young artists who want to take their skill level up a notch. 

4. The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley

The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley book cover

The Drawing Lesson is a one-of-a-kind graphic novel that will teach you how to draw. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The fundamentals needed to master the art of drawing. 
  • A fun visual format to help you learn.
  • A fun guide with lessons on creating compositions, shading, etc. 
  • Exercises to help you practice. 

If you are an artist who loves graphic novels, you’d definitely love The Drawing Lesson.

Granny Square Crochet for Beginners by Shelley Husband book cover

This book is a beginner’s guide for anyone who has never picked up a hook and a yarn. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Easy, step-by-step tutorials with pictures. 
  • The ultimate guide to crochet knitting. 
  • Useful information on the nitty-gritty of crochet knitting. 

If you have ever wanted to try crochet, this book is for you. 

Business Skills

  1. How to Work for an Idiot by John Hoover 
  2. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss 
  3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau 
  4. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson 
  5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss 
  6. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
  7. This is Marketing by Seth Godin 
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz 

1. How to Work for an Idiot by John Hoover

This book aims to help you improve your relationship with a difficult boss. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to protect yourself and your inner peace from an idiot boss.
  • The difference between an idiot and a boss.
  • And so much more!

Although geared towards helping employees cope better with impossible bosses, this book could be helpful for anyone who works with people. 

2. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

Distilled from the wisdom of several world-class performers, Tribe of Mentors contains nuggets of wisdom that are geared towards helping the reader live a better, fulfilled life. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to succeed by overcoming your failures. 
  • The best way to realistically achieve work-life balance.
  • How to find your purpose and set your priorities.
  • Excellent advice from the world’s best, such as billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, tennis champion Maria Sharapova, and so much more!

Tribe of Mentors is an excellent book for entrepreneurs, creatives, and professionals. 

3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau book cover

In this book, Guillebeau will teach you how to build a profitable business with $100 or less. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to turn your ideas into real income.
  • Distilled knowledge and insight from 50 people who have turned their passions into a profitable business.
  • Easy-to-read, well-researched guide for building a profitable side-hustle.

This book is suitable for anyone who would love to turn their passion projects or side-hustles into profitable businesses. 

4. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

A business classic, Who Moved My Cheese will teach you how to deal with change in both your professional and personal life. 

The book uses simple parables to illustrate its main points and lessons. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Entertaining, easy-to-read book. 
  • The most important thing in our rapidly changing world.
  • How to manage your fears and anxiety about the future. 
  • How to manage change in a way that positively impacts your professional and personal life. 

I would recommend this book to professionals in all fields, as the lessons in it may prove to be crucial in our ever-changing world. 

5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss book cover

The 4-Hour Workweek will teach you how to work less, from anywhere in the world, and still make more money. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The blueprint to earning a six-figure yearly income with close to zero management. 
  • How to travel the world without quitting your job. 
  • How to work less, earn more, and live your best life. 
  • How to outsource a majority of your work for low-cut prices overseas.
  • Practical tips and case studies from people who have reinvented themselves, doubled their incomes, and lived the unconventional life. 
  • And so much more!

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to reduce their work hours without sacrificing their income. 

6. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne book cover

Blue Ocean Strategy will teach you how to carve a new, less competitive market for yourself in our overly competitive business world. 

The goal is not to beat the competition but to make them irrelevant. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A holistic approach for any organization to carve a market for itself and make the competition irrelevant. 
  • A new, unique pathway to approaching business. 
  • Practical tips and strategies to help you apply the ideas in the book. 
  • And so much more!

The audience for this book would be business organizations and entrepreneurs. 

7. This is Marketing by Seth Godin

In this book, marketing guru Seth Godin offers timeless wisdom that will help any organization thrive without succumbing to marketing fads. 

He will teach you how to do work you are proud of, market it with authenticity, and find your right audience. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A look at why old approaches and marketing techniques no longer work. 
  • The core of marketing. 
  • Timeless marketing wisdom.
  •  And so much more!

 Tech startups and business owners would greatly appreciate this book. 

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz book cover

The Hard Thing About Hard Things will teach you everything you need to know about running a business. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Crucial advice for starting and running a business. 
  • Practical wisdom for solving everyday business problems. 
  • Distilled wisdom and insights from a business expert. 
  • And so much more!

Novice and even veteran entrepreneurs would find valuable advice in this book. 

Food and Cooking

  1. The Beginner’s Guide to Cheese Making by Elena Santogade 
  2. Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa 
  3. Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsey 
  4. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
  5. The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters 
  6. The Shredded Chef by Michael Matthews

It is now possible to make your own handcrafted, delicious cheese — thanks to this book. 

In the book, Santogade promises to take you from a beginner to an expert cheesemaker who never has to settle for store-bought cheese. 

What’s in it for you:

  • An easy to follow, step by step guide that is friendly to beginners. 
  • Simple recipes that are easy to make. 
  • Become a master cheesemaker and experiment and create your own recipes. 

If you’d rather make your own cheese than buy from the store, then this book is for you.

 2. Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa book cover

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple promises to teach you a simple, easy way to bake bread at home. 

What’s in it for you:

  • An easy to follow, step-by-step guide.
  • Beginner-friendly recipe guides. 
  • 60 different recipes to bake bread for every type of need.
  • And so much more!

If you’d love to learn how to bake your own bread, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple will teach you everything you need to know. 

3. Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking book cover

Arguably one of the most famous chefs in the world, Ramsey has written a fabulous book to help novices, as well as experienced cooks, prepare sumptuous meals at home. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Simple and easy recipes anyone can prepare. 
  • Useful tips and tricks to save money, cook quality meals for less, cook for a crowd, etc.
  • An ultimate cooking guide with a wow factor. 

Cooking aficionados will love the recipes in this book. 

4. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver book cover

In this book, Jamie will teach you how to cook his-quality meals in the shortest amounts of time. 

What’s in it for you:

  • 50 exciting recipes.
  • Effective habits that will cut your time in the kitchen by half. 
  • How to cook more while spending less time.
  • Every type of dish for all occasions.

Professionals who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen will love Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals

5. The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters book cover

If you are a busy person, then you know the importance of an easy-to-cook, fast recipe. 

In The Art of Simple Food, Waters provides readers with a timeless list of recipes that mostly include locally produced and seasonal foods. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The ultimate resource for home cooks. 
  • The right way to stock your kitchen. 
  • How to master the fundamentals for preparing sumptuous meals all year long. 
  • And so much more!

Home cooks will greatly appreciate The Art of Simple Food

6. The Shredded Chef by Michael Matthews

The Shredded Chef by Michael Matthews book cover

The Shredded Chef promises to teach you quick and delicious recipes for building your ultimate perfect body. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Delicious breakfast recipes.
  • Mouth-watering, healthy snacks.
  • Sumptuous salads and dressings.
  • Guilt-free desserts.
  • And so much more! 

If you love to workout, this is the best cookbook for you. 

Health and Fitness

  1. How Not to Die by Michael Greger
  2. How Not to Diet by Michael Greger 
  3. Stretching to Stay Young by Jessica Matthews 
  4. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook by American Red Cross 
  5. Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body by Michael Matthews 
  6. Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body by Michael Matthews

1. How Not to Die by Michael Greger

Yeah, you read that right, How Not to Die.

In the book, Greger has compiled an encyclopedia of the best foods and routines to inculcate into your lifestyle that will prevent you from dying prematurely. 

The book’s premise is simple: prevention is better than cure. Put another way, a healthy lifestyle change can often trump prescription pills and pharmaceutical products. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to avoid the top 15 causes of premature death in America. 
  • How to live a longer, healthier life. 
  • Expert advice backed up by strong scientific proof. 

If you are health-conscious, then you should read this ultimate guide.

How Not to Diet- The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss by Michael Greger book cover

With so much information online about weight loss, it is understandable to get lost in the noise and find yourself jumping from the latest diet fad to another.

Greger cuts through all the noise and provides an in-depth, scientifically proven method for losing weight — permanently. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Cutting-edge research on the leading causes and remedies of obesity. 
  • Practical, actionable advice for losing weight. 
  • The crucial ingredients of an ideal weight loss diet. 

If you have been struggling to lose weight, How Not to Diet is the ultimate guide on the topic. 

3. Stretching to Stay Young by Jessica Matthews

Stretching to Stay Young by Jessica Matthews book cover

We often avoid exercise because it’s strenuous, and honestly, it’s not that fun to do. 

That is why Matthews has provided a simple guide to stretching that anyone can do. No excuses this time.

What’s in it for you:

  • How to alleviate aches and pains by stretching.
  • How to improve flexibility and motion.
  • An easy, step-by-step guide

Older people will find this book to be particularly helpful. 

The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook cover

This is the ultimate guide to handling the first moments after an injury. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Expert advice based on course materials used by the Red Cross. 
  • How to handle several types of first aid emergencies. 

Indeed, everyone needs a first aid handbook at home. 

Bigger Leaner Stronger book cover

Bigger Leaner Stronger will teach you how to build your best body ever. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to burn fat and build lean muscle. 
  • How to stay fit and healthy eating the foods that you love. 
  • How to build your perfect body without grueling hours at the gym and without spending a small fortune on supplements. 

If you are a guy and want the body of your dreams, then you have to read this book. 

Thinner Leaner Stronger book cover

Thinner Leaner Stronger will teach you how to get thinner, leaner, and stronger while helping you to achieve your dream body goals. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to burn fat and build lean muscle. 
  • How to get leaner and sexier without all the diet fads and ridiculous amounts of time in the gym. 
  • Debunks all the myths and lies about achieving the dream body. 

This book is geared towards women who want to achieve their dream body without all the unnecessary hassle. 

Home Decorating and Lifestyle

  1. The Home Edit by Clea Shearer 
  2. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker 
  3. Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson 
  4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 
  5. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White 
  6. 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg

 

1. The Home Edit by Clea Shearer

The Home Edit by Clea Shearer book cover

The Home Edit promises to make organizing your home a fun and easy thing to do. 

With a room-to-room guide, they teach you how to make every single space in your house look great and function effectively. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • The ultimate guide to decluttering your home.
  • Create a stunning, easy-to-find system for every single item in your home. 
  • Clear photographs and detailed tips to explain key concepts and ideas. 
  • And so much more!

Organizing your home could be such a dreary job. The Home Edit makes it look easy-peasy. 

2. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker book cover

If you are like me, then you should be obsessed with decluttering and minimalism. 

In our current consumer world, most of us have too many items than we actually need, and it’s starting to weigh us down.

In The Minimalist Home, Becker will teach you how to turn your home into a place of peace, joy, and intentional living. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A practical guide for simplifying your home life.
  • How to turn your home into a productive space that supports purposeful living.
  • The art of deciding what to get rid of and what to keep. 
  • And so much more!

If you’re looking to simplify your home life, then this book should be perfect for you. 

3. Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson book cover

Housekeeping can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be — with the right help.

In Home Comforts, Mendelson provides real and detailed advice on almost every aspect of housekeeping, such as choosing fabrics, ironing and folding, making sure surfaces are free of food pathogens, etc.

What’s in it for you:

  • Thorough, practical advice. 
  • A readable book for both beginners and experts. 
  • A comprehensive guide on the art of housekeeping. 

If you ever have to deal with housekeeping, then you have to read this book. 

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo teaches readers the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing — and it is truly magical. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The revolutionary KonMari method. 
  • A tidying up system that leads to lasting results. 
  • Thorough and detailed guidance. 

If you have tried all sorts of organizing methods to no avail, this book should be your last stop. 

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White book cover

With most people working a full-time job and having to manage their homes as well, they would be excused if they lost their minds over the hassle. 

However, White, in writing this book, promises to teach you a simple, effective way to manage your home — without obviously losing your mind. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The right habits to focus on. 
  • How to declutter with minimal emotional drama. 
  • How and where to start to tame the chaos in your home. 
  • Realistic cleaning and organizing techniques. 

I would recommend this book to professionals who are overwhelmed with the sheer task of managing their homes.

6. 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg

Is it possible to go zero waste — and save the world? 

Kellogg certainly thinks so, and she’s provided 101 ways to achieve that goal. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Practical guide for a realistic waste-free lifestyle.
  • DIY recipes for beauty and home.
  • Expert advice for responsible consumption. 
  • And so much more!

This book is for anyone genuinely concerned about our environment. 

Language Learning Skills

  1. Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner 
  2. Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis 
  3. How to Learn a Foreign Language by Paul Pimsleur

1. Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner book cover

What does it take to be fluent in a language forever? Well… Maybe you should read this book. 

In it, Wyner tackles the biggest challenge in learning a language: the challenge of memory. 

Remembering all the new words, rules, and whatnot could be a herculean task for any foreign language learner and is often the reason most people don’t even bother to learn a foreign tongue. Too much of a hassle. 

Well, in Fluent Forever, Wyner provides a simple learning system that will enable you to easily learn a language from the ground up.

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to train your brain and ears to recognize foreign sounds.
  • How to train your tongue to produce accurate foreign sounds.
  • How to memorize hundreds of words each month using a simple system.
  • Learn a language without all the tedious grammar drills and exercises. 

 

Fluent Forever is perfect for anyone who wants to learn a language and remember it …erm… forever. 

Seriously though, the book is perfect for you if you have only a few minutes each day to dedicate to language learning. 

2. Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis

Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis book cover

Fluent in 3 Months? Yeah, that’s the ultimate language learning challenge. 

Written by a language hacker who speaks over ten languages, Fluent in 3 Months promises to teach you how to speak a foreign language from anywhere in the world. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The ultimate blueprint for rapid language learning.
  • Better and effective methods for learning a language. 

This book should be a fun read for anyone curious about the fastest way to master a language. 

Written by a pioneer of audio-based language, How to Learn a Foreign language offers a simple, practical guide for learning almost any language in the world. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to speak a foreign language like a native. 
  • Tested and proven advice for learning a language like a pro. 

If you have been frustrated and bruised by your failed language learning attempts, this book will give you a sense of hope that it is still possible. 

Personal Finance

  1. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? by Cary Siegel 
  2. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason 
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki 
  4. Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen 
  5. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  6. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School? by Cary Siegel book cover

The lack of personal finance education in our school system is anything but shocking. 

In writing this book, Siegel is filling a dire need for sound personal finance education among the youth. 

What’s in it for you:

  • An easy to digest, quick read. 
  • 8 fundamental personal finance lessons. 
  • 99 personal finance principles to live by. 

This book is the perfect gift for high school and college graduates. 

2. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason book cover

Filled with entertaining anecdotes and parables, The Richest Man in Babylon will teach you the fundamentals of building personal wealth. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The secrets to keeping and making more money. 
  • Fascinating and entertaining stories that will put you on the path to prosperity and riches. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading stories laced with invaluable life lessons. 

3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki presents two opposing ideologies about personal finance and then explains the pros and cons of both of them. 

More importantly, he provides a simple path for the reader to attain riches with smart financial decisions and plans. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Differentiates between an asset and a liability. 
  • Debunks the myth that you need a high income to attain riches. 
  • Provides a solid personal finance foundation. 

I would recommend this book to young people and beginners in the personal finance genre. 

4. Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung

Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung book cover

Is it possible to retire early and with a million bucks in your bank account? 

Well, the authors of this book seem to think so as they have done it themselves. And now, they provide the exact formula for retiring at any age, financially independent. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to cut down on expenses without reducing your quality of life. 
  • How to build a million-dollar portfolio.
  • How to invest long-term and survive the ups and downs of the investment market. 
  • And so much more!

The audience for this book would be professionals who want to achieve financial freedom on their income — without becoming entrepreneurs or real estate gurus. 

5. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey book cover

The premise of this book is that you can take control of your money, instead of letting it take control of you — which is the case for most people. 

In The Total Money Makeover, Ramsey promises to teach you the right money skills to help you achieve your financial goals. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A simple, straight-forward game plan to help you take control of your finances. 
  • Tried and tested advice and tips.
  • A sure-fire plan for getting rid of debt.
  • And so much more!

If you are looking to build the right money skills and mindset, look no further than this excellent book.

6. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins

Money- Master the Game by Tony Robbins book cover

Written by a well-known name in the self-help genre, Money: Master the Game will teach you to achieve financial independence based on research and interviews with over 50 of the world’s greatest financial minds, such as Warren Buffets, Jack Bogle, and Steve Forbes. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Expert advice on crucial financial decisions. 
  • Step-by-step guidance to financial freedom. 
  • How to achieve financial independence by creating a lifetime income plan. 
  • And so much more!

This book is suitable for anyone at any income level who wants to achieve their financial dreams. 

Learning Skills

  1. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler 
  2. How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens
  3. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
  4. Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley 
  5. Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown 
  6. A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley 
  7. Ultralearning by Scott Young 
  8. How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport

1. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler

Initially published in 1940, this book has been the ultimate guide for readers worldwide who want to improve their reading skills. 

Truly, reading is an art, and thus there are levels of skill and mastery to it. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to read critically. 
  • How to judge a book by its cover.
  • How to identify the various levels of reading and learn how to practice them.
  • Learn different reading skills, such as elementary reading, systematic skimming, and speed reading. 

How to Read a Book is perfect for avid readers who want to take their reading skills to the next level. 

2. How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens

How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens book cover

This book aims to teach you how to intelligently organize your notes and ideas, and thus, help you learn more in the longer term. 

We all know how frustrating it is to read an entire book and forget what it was even about a few weeks later. How to Take Smart Notes will help you solve that problem. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Tried and tested practical advice drawn from psychological insights. 
  • How to spend less time searching and organizing notes and spend more time doing what matters: thinking and developing new ideas and concepts. 

How to Take Smart Notes is especially geared towards nonfiction writers, students, and academics. 

How to Read Literature Like a Professor promises to be an entertaining and fun guide to reading between the lines. 

There’s always more to a book than meets the eye. Most often, there’s a deeper story, filled with literary devices and symbols — that’s all just confusing for the average Joe to grasp. 

Won’t it be just cool if you could learn to analyze a book as though you were a college professor? Well….

  What’s in it for you:

  • How to read like a Professor and impress your friends with it. 
  • A fun intro to literary basics, such as themes and contexts, symbols, etc.
  • How to discover the hidden themes and messages behind a book. 

This is the perfect book for high school and college students who have to deal with literature. 

4. Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley

Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley book cover

You think you know how to learn, until boom, you have your mind blown after reading a book on the art of learning. 

Well, the premise of this book is that it will teach you how to succeed in school without spending all your time studying — who doesn’t want that? C’mon. 

Judging by its rating on Amazon, I’d say this book is definitely delivering on its promise for most people. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Understand the inner workings of the brain. 
  • The simple path to stop procrastinating.
  • How to avoid conventional thinking and learn to think outside the box. 

Learning How to Learn is mostly geared towards helping kids and teenagers develop the right learning habits, but the ideas in it are excellent for all ages. 

5. Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown

Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown book cover

Honestly, Make It Stick will revolutionize how you go about learning. 

Everything you think you know about learning… well, forget it. You are about to learn a whole new way to learn that is much more effective and long-lasting. 

In other words, you will learn how to make whatever you learn… stick — and for a longer period.

 What’s in it for you:

  • Learn the science of successful learning. 
  • Tested and proven learning strategies.
  • Learning habits that promote lifelong learning and self-development. 

The audience for this book would be students and teachers, but anyone interested in self-development and lifelong learning habits would also benefit from it. 

6. A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley

A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley book cover

I know how much I hated maths back in school — I still do. I wish I had found this book earlier in my life — would have definitely saved me from all the stress and hassle. 

In one sentence, A Mind For Numbers will equip you with the toolset needed to master complex material. 

For reference, the author is quite familiar with how it feels to flunk maths and science throughout high school. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • The secrets of learning effectively — secrets you’d wish you had known earlier. 
  • Build the creative mind to solve problems from different angles.
  • Learn to master subjects that do not come naturally to you. 

This book is particularly suited for students who are struggling with maths and science or any intimidating subject. 

7. Ultralearning by Scott Young

Ultralearning by Scott Young book cover

In this rapidly changing world, wouldn’t you just love to learn the necessary skill set to adapt to the changes in your industry? 

Well, that’s where Ultralearning comes in, teaching powerful strategies to help push you to the next level. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Latest, cutting-edge research about the most effective learning habits.
  • Distilled knowledge from ultralearners such as Benjamin Franklin, chess grandmaster Judit Polgár, etc.
  • How to harness the power of ultralearning to improve your studies, career, and life in general. 

Ultralearning is an excellent book for anyone who wants to acquire new skills and talents in a much faster, effective way. 

How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport book cover

Again, I wish I had found a book like this earlier in my life—so many missed opportunities. But it’s never too late I guess. 

In How to Become a Straight-A Student, Newport debunks the myth that in order to excel in school you need to go through the arduous process of cramming and painful all-nighters. 

His unique angle? He emphasizes that excellent students do not study harder. Instead, they study smarter.

 What’s in it for you:

  • The proven secrets of straight-A students. 
  • Simple, practical advice that anyone can master.
  • How to conquer procrastination.
  • How to learn more quickly and effectively.
  • The success blueprint that promises more free time plus remarkable results.

Whether you are in school or not, it is never too late to learn how to become a straight-A student. 

Self-development / Life Skills

  1. Mastery by Robert Greene 
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 
  3. How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price 
  4. The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi 
  5. Atomic Habits by James Clear 
  6. How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh 
  7. Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott 
  8. Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary 
  9. How to Skimm Your Life by The Skimm 
  10. How to Think by Alan Jacobs 
  11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey 
  12. How to be Everything by Emilie Wapnick 

1. Mastery by Robert Greene

What does it mean to master a craft? How are geniuses and masters made? Wait… Are geniuses born or made? Hmmm…

In Mastery, Greene breaks down what it takes and how long it takes to become a master in one’s field. 

By examining the lives of past greats — such as Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, etc. — Greene is able to distill the distinct features that helped all these legends climb to such great heights.

He also examines the lives of nine contemporary masters and shows how they, too, have applied similar strategies to get to the top. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • The secret path to greatness. 
  • Knowledge and insight distilled from past and present masters. 

If you are ambitious about getting to the top of your field, then Mastery is a must-read. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie book cover

I remember the first time I picked up this book and started practicing its advice. It literally changed my social game and helped me make way more friends. 

The advice in this book is time-tested and has helped millions around the world to drastically improve their professional and personal lives. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Six ways to make yourself likable. 
  • How to win people to your way of thinking. 
  • How to deal with people without creating unnecessary conflict and resentment. 

If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself — and your social life — a favor and pick it up. 

3. How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price

How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price book cover

On October 18th, 2020, I broke up with my phone. It has been almost a month now, and I feel liberated and way better than when I was attached to my phone. 

***

Have you ever felt as though you couldn’t live without your phone? As though you couldn’t breathe without it? 

It is the first thing you pick up when you wake up in the morning, and you often find yourself constantly lost in it for hours at a time?

If that sounds like you, you may need to take an extended break from your phone — possibly to discover who you are without it. 

This Book Will Teach You How to:

  • Spend less time with your phone without giving it up completely. 
  • Revolutionize your relationship with your phone, in a way that puts you in control. 
  • Put that phone down and live your life. 

If you are worried that you have an unhealthy relationship with your phone, then you know what you need to do. 

4. The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

Sometimes, it is easy to overlook the most important things in life while trying to put your life together and get everything done. 

Indeed, there is often a loud chorus of all the things you ‘should’ do, drowning you in a pool of an impossible to-do list. 

In this book, Adachi teaches you how to live a happy life while getting only the most important things done — the things that really matter to you. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to live well based on your own definition. 
  • An efficient way to approach your professional and personal life. 
  • Thirteen principles to help you design the life you want. 

The Lazy Genius Way is especially geared towards women who are overwhelmed with their home life. 

5. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits by James Clear book cover

“When talent is lacking, habit will often suffice” — James Clear

That is my favorite quote from the author of this book.

It shows the importance of the power of habit, as too often than not, we think that talent is enough to get us to the top. 

This Book Will Teach You How to:

  • Create and stick to a habit — even when life inevitably gets in the way.
  • Design the perfect environment for success. 
  • Sidestep your lack of motivation or willpower. 

If you have always found it difficult to stick to a habit, Atomic Habits will be immensely helpful to you. 

6. How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh

How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh book cover

Yeah, how to relax is a thing, and it will shock you to realize that most people do not even know how to relax and live a relatively stress-free life. 

Indeed, learning how to relax will positively impact your overall well-being and health. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Powerful meditation techniques to help you relax wherever you are. 
  • How to control stress, deeply relax, and renew your mental energy. 

If you often struggle with nonstop thinking and mind chatter, this book will help you find peace and relief. 

7. Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott

The premise of this book is that it will teach you how to stop worrying, relieve your anxiety, and get rid of your negative thoughts. 

It promises to teach you how to find inner peace and joy using simple mindfulness techniques. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Strategies to help improve your relationships. 
  • How to get rid of the distractions that cause anxiety.
  • How to practice meditation and focused deep breathing. 
  • And so much more!

I would recommend Declutter Your Mind to anyone who struggles with anxiety and negative thinking. 

Slow- Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary book cover

In a world filled with endless distractions, McAlary is making the case for simple, slow living. 

She argues that the simple life is a fulfilling one and that it offers the freedom to enjoy the little yet important things in life. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to change from a messy life to a more mindful, intentional one. 
  • How to declutter your life and discover what’s really important.
  • The path to slow living.

If you always feel overwhelmed by the things going on around you, Slow will help you reclaim your life from the endless distractions. 

9. How to Skimm Your Life by The Skimm

How to Skimm Your Life by The Skimm book cover

This book is chock-full of life-saving advice on various subjects, such as budgeting, career, health insurance, wine and food, etc. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to tip while abroad. 
  • Smart investment tips. 
  • How to negotiate your salary when offered a new job. 
  • And so much more!

Full of life hacks, How to Skimm is better suited for young people who have just entered the adult world. 

10. How to Think by Alan Jacobs

In this book, Jacobs discusses the power of thinking and the reason why most people are simply not thinking. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Debunks myths associated with thinking well.
  • How the thinking process works.
  • How to reclaim your mental life amidst the increasing distractions of this world. 

If you do not remember the last time you made time to just think, then you certainly need to read this book. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey book cover

The 7 habits will teach you the most important habits that will greatly improve both your personal and professional life. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A principle-centered approach to solving various life problems. 
  • A step-by-step guide for living a principle-centered life. 
  • Habits that will transform your life. 

This is a book everyone should read. 

12. How to be Everything by Emilie Wapnick

How to be Everything by Emilie Wapnick book cover

Targeted at young people, How to be Everything promises to teach readers how to follow their diverse passions without succumbing to the pressures of choosing one career path.

What’s in it for you:

  • How to thrive while working on multiple projects. 
  • How to structure your work life and make a living off multiple projects and interests. 
  • Why having different interests and passions is a leverage point in our current world. 
  • And so much more!

I would recommend this book to young adults with multiple interests who are still trying to figure out their career path. 

Work and Productivity

  1. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll  
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport 
  3. The One Thing by Gary Keller
  4. Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein
  5. Getting Things Done by David Allen 
  6. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

1. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll book cover

This book promises to teach you how to organize your life — both online and off — and how to live more intentionally. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to avoid distractions and focus on what really matters.
  • How to do less by focusing on the essential things.
  • How to track the past, order the present, and design the future.

The Bullet Journal Method is perfect for creatives and professionals who are overwhelmed with their to-do lists and need some structure in their lives. 

2. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport book cover

In a world filled with endless distractions, Newport argues that the ability to do deep work is becoming increasingly rare. 

What’s deep work? It is simply the ability to focus hard on a project for a long period. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to cultivate the brain muscle to focus hard. 
  • How to cultivate the right habits that support deep work. 
  • Practical, actionable advice to transform your work life. 

The audience for this book would be creatives and professionals who have lost their ability to focus on a project without getting distracted. 

Also, you can read a full summary of Deep Work here.

3. The One Thing by Gary Keller

The One Thing by Gary Keller book cover

If you were to choose one thing — a skill or craft — to master, what would it be?

That is the premise of this book: mastering your thing could bring tremendous results that will simplify all other aspects of your life. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to achieve more with less. 
  • How to weed out distractions and achieve better results in less time. 
  • How to reduce stress and protect your energy. 
  • Most importantly, how to achieve extraordinary results by mastering your one thing. 

Professionals who always seem to have too much on their plate would greatly appreciate the wisdom in this book. 

4. Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein book cover

The workplace can easily get messy and cluttered, with scattered papers, endless emails and meetings, and extraneous tasks. 

In Joy at Work, the authors teach readers how to clear out the clutter and create space for meaningful work. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The famous KonMari method. 
  • Latest, cutting-edge research to help you organize your work life. 
  • How to enjoy the productivity and success of a tidy desk and mind.
  • And so much more!

If your desk is always in a mess, then you need this book in your life. 

5. Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done by David Allen book cover

This book promises to help you successfully manage your professional and personal life. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The ultimate guidebook on personal organization.
  • How to overcome the new challenges facing professionals in our current rapidly changing world. 
  • The ultimate system for tackling professional and personal tasks.

Getting Things Done is geared towards professionals who are struggling with their work-life balance. 

6. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey book cover

Bailey has tried almost all the productive tips, tricks, and hacks out there, and in this book, he reports what actually works. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Distilled truths and insights about the productivity habits that work. 
  • Counterintuitive advice on work and productivity. 
  • The best tried and tested practices that will help you achieve more. 

The Productivity Project is for anyone who loves productivity hacks and tricks. 

Writing Skills

  1. Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran 
  2. 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox
  3. 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron 
  4. On Writing by Stephen King 
  5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 
  6. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. 
  7. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  8. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams
  9. Story Genius by Lisa Cron 
  10. Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday 
  11. How to Make a Living with Your Writing by Joanna Penn

1. Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

Every year, more and more people are self-publishing their books. That is great news. But the bad side to that? There is even more competition to make your book stand out. 

In Let’s Get Digital, Gaughran promises to teach you how to self-publish like a pro and get your book in front of more readers.

This Book Will Teach You How to:

  • Publish your work and build an audience. 
  • Boost your visibility by optimizing your keywords and categories. 
  • Choose the best marketing strategies for your book depending on its genre. 
  • And so much more!

If you have ever thought of self-publishing your book, then Let’s Get Digital is a must-read. 

2. 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox

5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox book cover

5,000 Words Per Hour? Can you believe it? I certainly can, although I am still working my way up to that level. 

Nevertheless, the advice in this book will help you drastically improve your output rate, even if you don’t end up hitting the 5,000-word mark. 

This Book Will Teach You How to:

  • Optimize your writing and editing process so you can produce faster. 
  • Start a habit of tracking and improving your word count per hour. 
  • Build an effective writing habit. 
  • And so much more!

If you want to become a prolific writer, 5,000 Words Per Hour can certainly help you with that. 

3. 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron

2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron book cover

Another wonderful guide to help you improve your word count, 2k to 10k promises to teach you how to double your word count. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to increase the quantity of your writing without sacrificing quality.
  • Easy to follow, practical advice that works!
  •  And so much more!

Novice writers — and even pros — will profit immensely from the information in 2k to 10k

4. On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King book cover

Arguably one of the most popular and helpful books on writing, this book is the best how-to for any aspiring writer. 

What’s in it for you:

  • World-class advice from one of the bestselling authors of all time. 
  • A highly entertaining and empowering book.
  • The basic tool every writer needs. 

If you ever dream of becoming a great writer one day, then On Writing is a must-read. 

5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott book cover

Another classic how-to book on writing, Bird by Bird will teach you how to tackle the enormous task of producing high-quality writing — consistently.

We all know how demoralizing it can be when you have to produce a huge amount of work in a relatively short time. 

This book will teach you how to take things bird by bird.

 What’s in it for you:

  • A candid and humorous guide to writing.
  • How to tackle various writing tasks. 

Novice writers will find this book particularly helpful. 

6. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. book cover

This is one of the books that will change the course of your writing life. 

Relatively a short read, The Elements of Style is packed with invaluable advice on the craft of writing. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Easy to follow, simple advice on grammar and usage.
  • Ten fundamental principles of composition, eight rules of usage, a list of commonly misspelled and misused words and expressions. 
  • And so much more!

This should be the first book you read on the craft of writing. 

7. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

On Writing Well by William Zinsser book cover

Anyone can write, but can they write well? — really, really well?  

The premise of this book is that anyone can learn how to write well, and it provides the tools and skillset to help you achieve that goal. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Insightful and practical advice from an experienced teacher and writer. 
  • How to master the art of writing, depending on your category and genre. 
  • And so much more!

On Writing Well is one of the best practical guides for both professional and aspiring writers. 

8. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams

Style- Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams book cover

Used as a textbook in writing classes, this book is the ultimate guide to writing clear and engaging prose. 

It covers a wide range of topics, such as cohesion and coherence, elegance, ethics of style, etc. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to revise at sentence, paragraph, and whole document level. 
  • How to write with style and grace. 
  • And so much more!

Style is mostly geared towards nonfiction writers, and thus fiction writers may find very little value in it. 

Nevertheless, it is a great book for anyone who wants to improve their writing, especially students. 

9. Story Genius by Lisa Cron

In Story Genius, Cron promises to teach you how not to waste years and efforts writing a novel that turns out to be pretty bad and that no one wants to read.

Using brain science, she will teach you how to write a compelling and riveting novel from the get-go. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Step-by-step guidance through the creation process.
  • How to write a story that readers will crave to read.
  • Writing techniques that work!

Story Genius is a must-read for every novice writer.

10. Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday book cover

In Perennial Seller, bestselling author Ryan Holiday takes a deep dive into why a few creative works achieve lasting success, while several others achieve fleeting success or no success at all. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • The key to lasting success. 
  • How to create lasting work from scratch, fusing the creating and marketing processes.
  • How to improve your work’s chances of standing the test of time. 
  • And so much more!

If you want to create a masterpiece that stands the test of time, Perennial Seller is your best how-to guide. 

Most often, making a living from one’s writing can seem like an impossible task. 

In this book, Penn will show you the ‘how-to’ of making money from your writing. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • Practical tips and hacks on writing and productivity. 
  • The ultimate guide to making money from your books. 
  • How to make money online with your writing.
  • And so much more!

There is a business side to writing that most writers ignore, which eventually ends up biting them in the back. 

If you do not want to be like most writers, then this book is a must-read. 

Other

  1. The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer
  2. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution by Zak George 
  3. Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy
  4. The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho 
  5. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson 
  6. The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick 
  7. Bobby Approved: The Ultimate Shopping Guide At the Grocery Store by Bobby Parish
  8. The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

This is the best handbook for newbie actors who want to survive — and thrive — in the competitive sphere of acting. 

Part memoir part instruction guide, this book would both entertain and educate you on the actor’s journey. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • The basic rules for getting established as an actor. 
  • Invaluable advice distilled from more than a decade worth of failures and struggles. 
  • The things that nobody tells you when you start your journey. 

The Actor’s Life is solely aimed at the budding actor who wants to learn the rules of the game way ahead of time. 

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution by Zak George book cover

In this book, George promises to teach you how to raise the perfect pup with love. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to choose the right dog for you.
  • Essentials such as finding a vet and selecting the right foods for your dog. 
  • Detailed guidance and advice with bonus youtube videos. 
  • And so much more!

If you want to raise the perfect pup, then this book is a perfect read. Alternatively, you can check out Zak’s youtube channel for more info.

3. The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho

The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho book cover

In this book, Cho will teach you Korean beauty tips for healthy and glowing skin.

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to adopt a skin-first mindset. 
  • The famous Korean ten-step skin-care routine.
  • The ultimate guide to skincare with step-by-step tutorials.

Curious about the secrets behind the most beautiful skin in the world? You have to read this book to find out. 

4. Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy

Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy book cover

This is the best guide on cat care — hands down. 

 What’s in it for you:

  • How to build your cat’s confidence. 
  • The ultimate, comprehensive guide on cat care and behavior. 
  • How to take care of your cat emotionally and physically. 

If you love your cat, then you need to read this book. 

TED Talks- The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson book cover

Ever wondered what it takes to give a TED talk? 

In the book, Anderson will walk you through everything you need to know to become a great public speaker. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The best public speaking tools to empower you. 
  • Insights and distilled knowledge from years of experience. 
  • Everything you need to know about the art of public speaking.

If you want to make an impact with your ideas, this book is a must-read. 

6. The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick

The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick book cover

Written by the world’s most famous hacker, The Art of Invisibility will teach you how to protect your privacy while surfing the web.

In this digital age, most tech companies have more information about us than we could ever imagine. 

Most of this information is being collected and used without our consent; however, Mitnick, in writing this book, will show you how to protect yourself against being tracked online. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorials. 
  • Everything about staying anonymous online.
  • How to protect yourself both online and off. 

If you are concerned about how your activities are tracked online, this book will be a real eye-opener. 

Bobby Approved- The Ultimate Shopping Guide At the Grocery Store by Bobby Parish book cover

Wouldn’t you just love it if you had insider info on the best products to pick in the grocery store?

What’s in it for you:

  • The ultimate shopping guide. 
  • How to become a better shopper and learn to masterfully get in and out of the store.
  • An easy-to-access guide while shopping. 

The audience for this book would be home cooks and grocery store regulars. 

8. The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees book cover

Style blogger Anuschka Rees will help you radically change your attitude and approach to your wardrobe with her minimal style method. 

In this book, Rees will teach you how to create an individual style that truly speaks to you. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to develop a strong sense of personal style.
  • How to fill your closet with only clothes that you love. 
  • Interactive prompts, infographic questionnaires, check-lists, and so much more. 

The Curated Closet is for anyone who wants to create the wardrobe of their dreams. 

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