The focus of this website’s reviews are psychology, (advanced) social skills, influence & persuasion, and, of course, power and power dynamics.

This is the biggest editorial reviews page on the web, but the focus is on quality more than quantity.
I pride myself on approaching resources with a dual strategy:

  1. Seeking gold
  2. Weeding out the BS

This lists helps you separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Pareto Law applies to books and learning resources as well: 20% of the best resources give you 80% of all the knowledge and strategies you need.
This page helps you get to the 20% faster and more efficiently.

Also see:

book reviews quotes

1. Power Dynamics / Strategies

The Prince (10/10) Il Principe is not an easy read. But it’s a classic. It will teach you a lot about the darker side of human nature.
The Prince contains the keys to high-quality individuals who can move the world forward: developing value-adding individuals who know how to be bad.
by N Machiavelli

The Logic of Political Survival (10/10) Long and complex, but a mandatory read to understand both power dynamics and human nature. 
The author makes the case that it’s not about the personality of the political leaders, but about the incentives and constraints they face. All political leaders care about is increasing their power and staying in power.
| by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Workplace Poker (10/10) The best book I have read on office politics. A real diamond in the rough.
| by D Rust

The Art of Seduction (10/10) Not just about seduction, but social seduction as well. With his usual beautiful prose and deep understanding of human nature, Greene reviews charm, charisma and the use of flattery to ingratiate people.
by R Greene

In Sheep’s Clothing (10/10) If you want to understand the psychology of power-hungry individuals, this is one of the best books.
|by G Simon

Talking from 9 to 5 (10/10) This is more for academics, but there are gold nuggets on both frames and social power all over it.
|by D Tannen

Underboss (10/10) The mafia as an organization is one of the best teachers of power dynamics and Machiavellianism. Underboss also delivers big when it comes to learning leadership fundamentals. However, for many of those lessons, you must be able to read between the lines, so it’s more for advanced folks.
| by Peter Maas

Power Over People (9/10) The audiobook is a series of lectures reviewing political theory and the acquisition of power via political means. The chapters on Machiavelli, Gandhi, and, most of all, Hitler, were the most enlightening.
| by Dennis Dalton

Game Theory Bargaining and Auction Strategies (9/10) A book on game theory taught me more on power moves than most books on social skills. And these are the real power moves that matter: the negotiation power moves that move millions (or even billions). So very worth learning.
| by G Berz

Mafia Prince (9/10) Similar to “Underboss” when it comes to learning. It’s not a text that teaches power dynamics directly, so you must tease them out yourself.
| by Phil Leonetti

The Art of Worldly Wisdom (9/10) The original “48 Laws of Power” is a treasure trove of advanced social strategies.
| by Baltasar Gracian

Billion Dollar Whale (9/10) A captivating read that helps you understand a couple of important things about power dynamics.
First, that money is power, no matter how you acquire it. And second, that it’s (still) possible to steal millions (or billions) and get away with it.
Hide them in a complex web of shell companies, launder them with legit businesses, art and jewelry, and buy the loyalty -or quiet acquiescence-, of those who were supposed to ask questions. When you get caught, buy the protection of corrupt politicians and keep living the easy life in their easy-to-corrupt countries.
|by Wright & Hope

Hardball for Women (9/10) Great book to understand the power dynamics of the workplace.
| by P Heim

The 33 Strategies of War (9/10) The Art of War of our times.
by R Greene

The Art of The Deal (9/10) Trump is not fully forthcoming here because, just like everyone else, he tries to look better. A funny example: he says that he wanted to get homeless people into one of his buildings to help them. That left me wondering. And then I found out it was a move to push low-paying tenants out (LOL so typical Trump). However, this is still a great book and it’s a great resource to understand the mindset of ruthless overachievers.
| by D Trump

The Laws of Human Nature (9/10) Albeit not fully dedicated to “power moves” as much as The 48 Laws of power is, I actually rate it even higher. The depth of psychological analysis of Greene is astounding and as good as in The Art of Seduction.
by R Greene

What Would Machiavelli Do? (9/10) This is more of a satire type of book. Yet, some people do function and think like the author humorously portrays, and it can be a great text to open people’s eyes to the reality of business (and life). Whether it’s humor or self-help, is up to you.
| by S Bing

The 48 Laws of Power (8/10) On the dark side of human socialization, The 48 Laws of Power is an engaging read on social strategies and games people play.
by R Greene

The 7 Military Classics of Ancient China (8/10) Alongside the “Tao” and “enlightened ruling”, the authors also openly discuss military and political manipulation towards their own men and subjects, making it a very informative read.
One worthy quote: “one must have techniques for attacking their minds. Defense doesn’t end with just the completion of the walls or the realization of solid formation. One must also preserve spirit” (the dao of rulership).
Some of the timeless wisdom is also reflected today in this website. For example this quote: “without an effective fighting force the Confucian values will become hollow mockeries and evil will dominate the world”.

The Art of War (8/10) Huge classic. But time, language and culture make it a difficult read.
by S Tzu

Power Cues (8/10) Some great wisdom on power dynamics.
| by N Morgan

The 50th Law (8/10) Not too heavy on power moves, but great stuff anyway.
by R Greene

The Psychopath Whisperer (8/10) A couple of interesting games psychopath prisoners play to manipulate and dominate others (one is a sort of good cop, bad cop in the can, and the other is an inmate walking naked to catch everyone off guard).
|by K Kiehl

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office (8/10) Great wisdom on workplace power dynamics, especially good for women.
|by L Frankel

Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game (8/10) Pimpin’ Ken teaches what he has learned about power and personal success in the prostitution business. A bit of bragging here and there, but also some great wisdom (and some good humor, too).
| by Pimpin’ Ken

Wiseguy (7/10) It’s the story of Henri Hill and his experience in the mafia, the movie “The Goodfellas’ is based on this book. It’s a captivating read, and with lots of good lessons learned on psychology, manipulation, treachery, and power dynamics.
|by Henry Hill

The Social Climber’s Bible (7/10) It’s 40% serious, 60% satire. But there is plenty to learn from, both in techniques and in mindsets.
|by Wittenborn & Johnson

The Art of Mingling (7/10) Funny and irreverent, The Art of Mingling is its own version of socializing power moves. It makes no qualms about lying though, and some might not find it ideal. But it has plenty more great tips.
by J Martinet

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense (7/10) Good from a social skills point of view, but to become a proper social master you need a bit more.
by S Elgin

Trust Me I’m Lying (7/10) Best book to understand the current digital media landscape. And to leverage it.
|R Holiday

Power moves (6/10) Some good ideas, but it’s not meant to be a deep analysis on power
| by A Grant

Games People Play (5/10) I had sky-high expectations for this. And albeit there were some awesome insights on human relation dynamics, it was way too complex and convoluted and way too Freudian.
by E Birne

Powerful Phrases For Dealing With Difficult People (4/10) Some good ideas but didn’t stick with me.
by R Evenson

How to Argue and Win Every Time (3/10) The title and the author’s credentials promised an epic power moves books, but it wasn’t.
|by G Spence

Best books on power:

Best books on power

2. Social Skills Reviews

The Social Skills Guidebook (10/10) Possibly the best book I have read on social skills for beginners.
|by C MacLeod

Thanks For The Feedback (10/10) Albeit the name would suggest it’s “just” about feedback, Stone and Heen go so in-depth to make it an overall treasure throve of social psychology.
by Stone, Heen

There Is No Good Card For This (10/10) What do you say when tragedy strikes and you’re at a loss of words? This book gives you the words and, most of all, the mindset. Great stuff.
by Crowe, McDowell

I’m OK – You’re OK (10/10) How is this clinical psychology-heavy text a 10/10 social skills book? It simply taught me more about emotional and social intelligence than any other book.
by T Harris

Emotional Vampires (9/10) This book marries the information and knowledge of a professional with the writing format to make that knowledge easy and accessible to anyone. If you want to learn how to deal with personality disorders, this is your book.
|by A Bernstein 

The Power of a Positive No (9/10) In between an assertiveness training text to a proper communication skills book, Ury delivers at full marks on both fronts.
|by W Ury

Improve Your Social Skills (9/10) Daniel Wendler learned social skills as a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. He knows what it means to learn the ropes from scratch. If you’re experienced, this might be too basic for you. If not, go for it.
by D Wendler

How to Win Friends & Influence People (9/10) Does this one need any intro? The reason I give it 9 instead of 10 is that I wished for a chapter that said: “but sometimes you just need to be direct and tell it how it is, without saving anyone’s face”.
Other than that: a must-read.
by D Carnegie

The Like Switch (9/10) Two things I will never forget from this book: to send a sign of friendliness slightly tilt your head and raise your eyebrows when meeting someone as a sign of friendliness.
But there is much more here. Good stuff.
by J Schafer

8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness (9/10) Great examples, deep psychological analysis and explanations, great tips to dealing with passive-aggressiveness.
by A Brandt

The Art of Worldly Wisdom (8.5/10) More advanced social strategies, contains important reminders on both higher effectiveness, and avoiding pitfalls such as “talking too much about oneself”, or “boring people”.
| by Baltasar Gracian

Soulmate Sequence (8/10) Albeit it sounds tailored towards dating, it presents a few very good examples of how to properly talk to people, including ways to meet new people and network.
| by R La Ruina

The Charisma Myth (8/10) Tons of great wisdom and insights with both good psychology and lots of practical tips
by O Cabane

How to Talk to Anyone (8/10) Lots of good stuff here. Just watch out how you deploy some of these tips. Asking someone what they’d like written on their tombstone early in a conversation can easily scream of “weeeirdo”).
by L Lowndes

Instant Network (8/10): could’ve made its way up to ten stars if it explored more of what Lucio teaches in the social exchange lesson of Power University — something that’s crucial for successful networking. And, Ramit recommends a few power moves in this course that would annoy any high-quality individual. But, the social mistakes in this course were few and it did provide a really great framework for networking even without the advanced material.
Review by Ali Scarlett
by Ramit Sethi

The Laws of Human Nature (7/10) A wonderful book by Robert Greene. Some very good ideas on improving social skills as well, but it doesn’t rate higher than 7 because social skills are only a tiny fraction of the book.
by R Greene

Dangerous Personalities (7/10) Imprecise when it comes to correct psychological diagnosis, but good to spot a few toxic personalities. And with a few good suggestions on dealing with them.
| by J Navarro

Charisma University (7/10) It’s a great course… If you are an extrovert, want to become more extroverted or want to become like the author. But if you are interested in social power or different styles of being good with people, it loses some appeal. At 600 USD is also pricey.
| by C Houpert

25 Ways To Win With People (7/10) Very good suggestions. My only gripe with it is that it’s fully based on making people feel good. And sometimes not all people deserve your best treatment.
| by J Maxwell

Conversation Confidence (7/10) It’s a collection of tips rather than a unified system on how to level up your social skills. Many of the “tips” are good though.
by L Lowndes

Small Talk Hacks (6/10) A couple of parts I disagree with, but overall it’s solid material for beginners. And it’s short and to the point.
by A Karia

The Art of People (6/10) It’s actually very good on the basics and fundamentals. Yet a few details, in my opinion, were not how high quality individuals would behave.
| by D Kerpen

Enchantment (6/10) It’s very good information, just nothing new or groundbreaking. And maybe too big a scope with social skills and charm and then adding marketing and influencing as well.
| by G Kawasaki

Captivate (5/10) There is some very good wisdom mixed with some information that I found to be quite counterproductive (captivating too often means “try hard” here).
by V van Edwards

How to Talk to Anybody (5/10) 7 out of 10 for beginners and 4 or less for more advanced folks.
Review by Ali Scarlett
by Ramit Sethi

Emotional Intelligence (5/10) It can be useful to think of emotional intelligence as a separate cognitive skill, but the book adds little value on top of its highly marketable (and dubious) assertion that “EI accounts for 80% of success”.
| by D Goleman

The 5 Essential People Skills (4/10) Some good ideas on assertiveness, but overall meh.
| by D Carnegie Training

Social Intelligence (3/10) I read it a couple of years back and I don’t remember much, except that it must have been a way to cash in on the previous book’s success.
by D Goleman

The best social skills books here:

social skills book reviews

2.2. Assertiveness Reviews

Power University: The only resource I’ve seen with real-life video examples, and the only resource that doesn’t just “push” assertiveness, but that also tells you when to use, and the advantages, of passive and aggressive styles.
| by Lucio Buffalmano

The Assertiveness Guide for Women (10/10) Don’t let the name fool you, it’s also great for men. It’s the only book on communication skills and/or assertiveness I have read that connects the dots among attachment styles, differentiation, and assertiveness.
A unique point of view that has helped me a lot to better understand social dynamics and self-development.
| by J Hanks

The Power of a Positive No (9/10) In between assertiveness on how to defend our boundaries and a general communication skills book, Ury delivers at full marks on both fronts.
|by W Ury

8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness (9/10) There is an overlap between passive-aggression and lack of assertiveness, and this is one of the best books on the topic.
by A Brandt

Alpha Assertiveness Guide for Men and Women (8/10) Very hands-on, with many “how-to guides”, lots of examples of assertive communication, and everything of generally high-quality. Thumbs up.
| by Gerard Shaw

People Skills (8/10) I disagree with some of the examples that use a “feeling” language at work, where I feel it’s disempowering, but otherwise, it’s a very good book.
|by R. Bolton

No More Mr. Nice Guy (8/10) Sometimes it feels like the author pegs all kinds of negative traits to the nice guy. But for those nice guys who are too nice in the sense of passive and submissive, this is a must-read.
| by R Glover 

The Art of Everyday Assertiveness (7.5/10) King writes mostly for too passive and too nice people, so he stresses the importance of “healthy selfishness”. I loved some of the techniques of making “no” and rejections easier.
|by Patrick King

Assertiveness Training (7/10) A great overview on passive-aggressiveness. Williams was the only one to link passive-aggressive behavior to negative thinking as well as to the potential danger of passive-aggressive in any team.
|by James Williams

Assertiveness: How to Stand Up For Yourself (6/10) Brief and to the point, it’s good with some great points but not memorable. I also didn’t agree with some of the examples.
|by J Murphy

Assertiveness Training ( 3 books in one) (6/10) I got it in audiobook as 3 books in one. The first part seemed like a general overview of general self-help and I was going to give it a low review.
Then, in the last part, the author switches gear and proposes something like 15-20 situational case studies. It’s like a quiz with different options that he later comments on, and his commentary is really good, like a proper high-quality men think. That part pulls the book back up.
|by Luke Caldwell

Boundaries (6/10) It’s your book on assertiveness and drawing boundaries… If you are Christian. If not, it will be off-putting.
|by H Cloud

The Power of the Pussy / Why Men Love Bitches (3/10) In a way, both books position themselves as the cure for overly-submissive women. Problem is, they don’t teach assertion, win-win, or collaboration. instead, they teach under-handed games and generally low-quality, value-taking approaches

Also check out the best resources on assertiveness:

2.3. Communication Skills

Power University (10/10): The only resource that extensively covers high-power, high-status communication.
| by Lucio Buffalmano

Thanks For The Feedback (10/10) The best book on how to give and receive feedback, including some great psychology
by Stone, Heen

Difficult Conversations (10/10) The best book I have read on broaching difficult topics and negotiating interpersonal conflicts. With great psychology and awesome examples.
by D Stone

There Is No Good Card For This (10/10) If “normal” conversation can be difficult at times, what about when tragedy strikes and there are no words? This book will help.
by Crowe, McDowell

Crucial Conversations (9/10) One of the most popular books on verbal communication. And for good reasons.
by Patterson, Grenny, McMillian, Switzler

8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness (9/10) Focused on passive-aggressive conversations, but since passive aggression is so widespread, anyone can learn from Brandt’s work.
by A Brandt

Soulmate Sequence (8/10) The conversation examples are just two or three, but they are really good.
| by R La Ruina

Speaking Pro (8/10) Communication isn’t just 1:1, and “Speaking Pro” will teach you how to communicate from a stage, or while standing at the head spot of a boardroom
| by R Love

Verbal Judo (8/10) If you learn how not to take things personally, you’re at 80% of controlling verbal interactions. The other 20%? Thompson shares it as a cop who has had plenty of street experience with verbal judo.
by G. J. Thompson

How to Talk to Anyone (8/10) Lots of good stuff here. Just watch out how you deploy some of these tips. Asking someone what they’d like written on their tombstone early in a conversation can easily scream of “weeeirdo”).
by L Lowndes

How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere (8/10) Short and to the point, all the fundamentals of listening, caring and being genuine are here.
|by L King

The Art of Mingling (7/10) Mostly conversation for parties. Including crashing parties :).
by J Martinet

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Verbal Self-Defense (7/10) Some very good ideas on how to deal with verbal abuse.
| by L Glass

Nonviolent Communication (7/10) a good resource for conflict resolution and effective communication based on empathy and non-judgment
by M Rosenberg

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen (7/10) Parents should definitely read this. Especially parents who haven’t been reading on communication and psychology.
by Faber, Mazlish

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense (7/10) Good from a social skills point of view, but to become a proper social master you need a bit more.
by S Elgin

Conversation Confidence (7/10) It’s a collection of tips rather than a unified system on how to level up your social skills. Many of the “tips” are good though.
by L Lowndes

Small Talk Hacks (6/10) A couple of parts I disagree with, but overall it’s solid material for beginners. And it’s short and to the point.
by A Karia

How to Argue and Win Every Time (6/10) Good for the basics, but don’t expect power moves and deep techniques here. It’s more about mindsets.
|by G Spence

Powerful Phrases For Dealing With Difficult People (4/10) Some good ideas but didn’t stick with me.
by R Evenson

communication skills book reviews

2.4. Body Language Reviews

All body language books start at “9” unless they contain lots of pictures.

Power University (10/10): It has the obvious advantages over many other resources as it mixes still images and video examples.
| by Lucio Buffalmano

The Definitive Book of Body Language (9/10) The golden standard of body language books.
| by A Pease

Power Cues (9/10) Every good body language book repeats you shouldn’t generalize beliefs and attitudes from single signs and poses. But Only Power Cues walks that talk to deliver a truly holistic approach to both body language and self-development.
|by N Morgan

What Every BODY Is Saying (9/10) The second best body language book I have ever read.
by J Navarro

Winning Body Language (8/10) Mostly geared for speakers and presentations, there is lots of wisdom here.
by M Bowden

Body Language of Love & Dating (8/10) It’s a video course, which gives it some huge advantage over body language books.
by V van Edwards

The Body Language Project (7/10) Lots of pictures, which is awesome.

Undercover Sex Signals (6/10) Mostly focused on women’s attraction signals
by L Lowndes

Body Language (4/10) Overall meh.
|by D Cohen

body language book reviews

3. Dating & Seduction

3.2. Dating Reviews (For Women)

The Tao of Dating (9/10) One of the best dating books for women I have read -if not the best-.
| by A Binazir

Attached (9/10) eye-opening, it will change how you look at partners, dating and relationships -and it will give you a couple of reasons why dropping the “unavailable games” might be a good idea-
| by A Levine

A Billion Wicked Thoughts (9/10) It’s not a book for actual dating strategies, but it’s a 10/10 for understanding dating, which in turn provides the wisdom for effective strategies.
by Ogi Ogas

Date-onomics (9/10) How the laws of economics and supply and demand affect dating. Another eye-opening book not just for dating but to understand humans in general.
by J Birger

Attraction Explained (9/10) One of the few books to actually look into science and research. The only limitation is the author’s limited experience with women and, I felt, a leftist bias in wanting to see men and women as the exact same (they’re not)
| by V Swami

Dataclysm (9/10) Some hard-hitting truth to help women realistically assess their sexual market value, which in turn can help them shape better strategies and timeframes.
| by Christian Rudder

Seductresses (8/10) This is the book on seduction that feminists would love to be true. The good news: it probably is true, in part. The bad news: it works on certain types of men only, and it doesn’t work or apply to 99% of the women.
The advice watered version of this book bandied by all feel-good dating coaches of “don’t need a man, prioritize yourself and professional success” is not the most effective advice for many women.
That being said, in spite of the limitations I list in the review, I loved it.
| by Betsy Prioleau

Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man (8/10) The idea that men need to achieve a minimum level of achievement before settling was a groundbreaking one in the literature. It’s mostly true for driven men, but something to keep in mind when dating.
| by S Harvey

Never Chase Men Again (8/10) The author has a very good grasp on how high quality men think and react to certain types of women’s behavior. It’s information that I haven’t seen in most other resources.
by B Bryans

Men Don’t Love Women Like You (8/10) This one is all about dating aggressively, making the first step and grilling him to really go to the core of who he is.
I think it might be a bit too dominant at times and it might not be easy to deploy, but there is some good stuff here.
by G.L. Lambert

Ho Tactics by Lambert (8/10) This is how to date for women seeking a sugar daddy. Some very good psychology here. It won’t work with the most shrewd men, but you might get yourself some dumber deep-pocked one to bankroll your life.
by G.L. Lambert

Get the Guy (7/10) The most peculiar approach in the women’s dating arena. I especially like the invite to women to take a more active role and men make it happen.
by Matthew Hussey

A Goal Diggers Guide (7/10) This isn’t just dating, this is dating for women who want to get stuff from men. And if that’s your goal, this is a great book -including the final suggestion that is to eventually work on making yourself independent-
by B Fletcher

The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks (7/10) If you’re looking for girl-on-girl action, you might find something here (but mostly for a laugh).
|by J Sincero

To Date a Man You Must Understand a Man (7/10) Brief and to the point, a good overview (review removed).
| by G Michaelsen

Straight Talk, No Chaser (6/10) Harvey says that nope, it’s not your success that “intimidates men”. Stops using that as an excuse.
by S Harvey

He’s Just Not That Into You (6/10) It’s a funny read, but if you’re reading it to get some actionable advice there is little beyond “move to the next one”.
| by G Behrendt, L Tuccillo

The Power of the Pussy (6/10) I personally found it a bit too combative and bitter towards men. Make sure you don’t pick that mindset, and otherwise it has some good recommendations (including the basics).
| by K King

Why Men Love Bitches (6/10) It’s a great read for women who are too nice. Don’t go too overboard though or it becomes counterproductive.
by S Argov

Why Men Marry Bitches (6/10) Some suggestions I don’t agree with, but also some good advice I haven’t seen anywhere else (ie.: don’t make him feel marriage is a financial risk)
by S Argov

FUCK Him! Nice Girls Always Finish Single (6/10) Repeats some information from a couple different books. But it purges the combativeness and the worst mind games. And it’s brief and to the point.
| by B Nox

Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy (5/10) The title says it all and there is little more. It’s mostly for women who want to get back with an ex.
| by L Braswell 

Modern Romance (4/10) A mix of satire and dating advice. Good idea on the paradox of choice applied to dating, but not much more.
| by A Ansari

How to Make Someone Love You Forever in 90 Minutes or Less (2/10) What I remember from this book is that you should repeat “me too” as often as possible in the beginning. I think there are more grown-up ways to convey like-mindedness
| by N Boothman

dating book reviews

3.3. Dating Reviews For Men

What Women Want / Mate (9/10) This is slightly more geared towards long-term relationships and to those who want to date as providers (ie.: the majority of guys).
And it’s possibly the best one at that.
But it’s also top-notch for more lover types, since they will learn what’s attractive based on science, instead of what the authors think.
| by G Miller & Tucker M

The Tactical Guide to Women (9/10): this is about picking the right partner, but also about dating as a high-value man. It’s possibly the best book for those who are approaching dating to get a great relationship out of it.
| by S Smith

The System (9/10) Books are great, but to learn the art, seeing is much better. That’s why I feature video products very high in this list, and Todd Valentine is one of the good guys to learn from
| by T Valentine

Swoon (9/10) Absolutely not your typical dating advice book, and that’s why most people who learn from dating coaching should read it.
Why? Because while almost all dating coaches tell you to not chase, invest, compliment, or verbalize your feelings, Prioleau shows that some of the world’s best seducers did exactly that.
It’s a great reminder that it’s more about how and who does certain things, rather than general rules on “do this / never do that”.
|by Betsy Prioleau

Date-onomics (9/10) If you want to understand dating, and how gender’s ratio influences the dating culture, then you must read this (but there are no seduction techniques). Alternatively, get Dating Power Dynamics, with the same wisdom plus also dating techniques
by J Birger

The Man’s Guide to Women (9/10) In an industry with little science, Gottman is one of the few researchers that writes with some more research-backing.
This is not for pick-up and seduction, but if you’re interested in long-term relationships, then do get some science.
by J Gottman

Attraction Explained (9/10) One of the few books to actually look into science and research. The only limitation is the author’s limited experience with women and, I felt, a little leftist bias in wanting to see men and women as the exact same (they’re not)
| by V Swami

The Art of Seduction (9/10) It’s by far the best one to understand some psychology of attraction. I don’t give it a 10/10 because it’s not the best on actual techniques and it’s more geared towards old school slower game (Greene is maybe not a seducer himself).
by R Greene

Fundamentals of Female Dynamics (9/10) In between a dating text and a self-help book, it makes the valid point that success in dating equates to success in life. The author has a good grasp of dating and psychology and what I enjoyed most is how he debunks many myths of poorer -but more widespread- pick-up literature.
|by M Knight

How to Make Girls Chase (9/10) No made-up evolutionary psychology, no self-help rehash, no “you can do it” pep talk: just lots of high-quality techniques and processes.
by C Amante

A Billion Wicked Thoughts (9/10) It’s not a book for actual dating strategies, but it’s a 10/10 for understanding dating, which in turn provides the wisdom for effective strategies.
by Ogi Ogas

One Date (8/10) This course by Chase is lower compared to “The System” and lower to Chase’s own ebook. It’s because of the delivery, which is in the format of two guys talking to each other, Chase answering questions, and sometimes randomly talking to a female model sitting there and sharing her not-so-expert personal point of views. I didn’t think that was very effective. On the other hand, Chase knows his stuff and his approach is solid.
| by C Amante

Dataclysm (8/10) Rudder, strong on his huge database of online dating interactions on OkCupid, can speak with authority when it comes to intersexual dynamics. And he shares some eye-opening insights.
| by Christian Rudder

Minimal Game (8/10) This is somewhat similar to “Mate” in the sense that it’s more about lifestyle, maximizing one’s value, and target selection rather than spam-approaching or trying to make girls like you. I like Aaron Sleazy’s approach a lot.
| by A Sleazy

Attract the Right Girl (8/10) Don’t get it for the techniques and the wisdom on seduction, but to turn the tables and becoming the decision-maker. So far, this is the only book on this list that focuses on recognizing a high-quality girlfriend.
| by B Bryan

Invincible (8/10) It draws heavily from Robbins and The Art of Seduction, which I felt were unnecessary (or at least some credit was due to the latter).
A bit too long but it’s solid material and a valuable focus on the fundamentals.
by D Tian

Models (8/10) A wholesome approach to dating that merges dating advice with self-improvement aimed at making you a high-value man. I find it a bit PC with its safe messages of “drop games”, “be vulnerable” and “relationships trump sleeping around”, but it’s nonetheless quality information.
by M Manson

Day Game (8/10) It’s a video product. Not super long so it doesn’t go deep in mindsets and psychology, but it’s solid information.
by T Valentine

Soulmate Sequence (8/10) It’s slightly more tailored towards providers and it looks at dating from a holistic perspective of becoming more social. Richard La Ruina does a good job of explaining how to properly talk to people and how to get to know more people.
| by R La Ruina

Oooooh . . . Say It Again (8/10) Another great book by Alan Roger Currie. In this one, Currie has more examples of his verbal seduction, which were also good to learn how to maintain frame and how some women buckle when the man holds fame. That’s what puts it ahead of his overview work “Mode One”.
I believe that direct and early expression of sexual intent isn’t necessary for seduction or for fast seduction and that at times, it can reduce the man’s power as he’s basically laying all his cards and sexual interest over the table. But there are times when that approach works great, and in my opinion it’s a good approach when the woman is dressed very provocatively and/or when it’s obvious why you’re approaching and hiding it would make you look incongruent.
I wished for some examples of when holding his very forward sexual frame played against him, as that must have happened as well sometimes. But overall enjoyed it and thumbs up.
| by Alan Roger Currie

Mode One (7.5/10) Alan Roger Currie is the total opposite of Roosh V. While Roosh V preaches total indirect, Alan Roger Currie preaches total directness (Mode One), which he pitches in stark contrast to Mode Two (never makes his intentions clear and is friend-zoned), Mode Three (who invests a lot into women without being upfront), and Mode Four (he either has given up, or is a misogynist).
On the con side, I think there are plenty of times when being indirect can be effective, and that’s true both on first approach, or in keeping your intentions under wrap until you strike. Being upfront sometimes can also make you lose power. On the plus side, Currie has a whole cool philosophy around Mode One that I very much approve of. The philosophy is about self-acceptance, saving time, going for what you want, and honesty -both with her and with yourself. That honest also protects you against manipulative and game-playing women-.
| by Alan Roger Currie

Real World Seduction 2.0 (7.5) A very valuable and oftentimes very entertaining program. It would be 8.5 stars if it weren’t for the definition mix-ups, psychology mistakes, and fragile ego mindsets. But, since I’ve organized them for you here, they’ll be easier to move past if you join :). If the author decides to clean up the errors listed in the Cons list, this is easily an almost 9-star program. 
Reviewed by Ali
| by Swinggcat

Undercover Sex Signals (7/10) Some good body language of attraction here. However, the book format when it comes to learning and understanding body language is a big disadvantage.
| by L Lowndes

Alpha Male Strategies (7/10) If it weren’t for some typical red pill stuff  I disagree with (ie.: manipulate women because they manipulate you & women can’t love men), this would be much higer.
|by AMS

Practical Female Psychology (7/10) Some great ideas here. I couldn’t get over some made-up psychology and evolutionary psychology though and, for me, all those mistakes polluted the otherwise great ideas.
|by Various Authors

The Dating Playbook for Men (7/10) A mix of self-development and dating guide. The dating part is of mixed quality but the good parts outweigh the not-so-good ones.
| by A Ferebee

The Rational Male (7/10) Some solid, time-tested advice and an age-based overview of the sexual market value for both men and women. But also some unhelpful sweeping generalizations and some incorrect assumptions and theories.
| by R Tomassi

How to Be a 3% Man (7/10) Very good on general mindsets, loses some points on the technicalities and nuances of dating’s psychology.
|C Wayne

The Noble Art of Seducing Women (7/10) Contrary to lots of male coaches Kezia explains that the dichotomy is not nice guys finishing last and bad boys getting the girls. Good guys are equally, and often more successful than all (but bad boys have appeal on the younger girls).
| by K Noble

Conversation Casanova (7/10) Good general overview of conversations and general techniques to bond and get to know people.
| by D Perrotta

The Book of Pook (6/10) This is the collection of all of Pook’s posts. Mindset gold nuggets though are disseminated in a sea of long rants and sometimes generic and imprecise advice. The biggest takeaways for me are these: build the life you want to have, without making women the center of it.
| by Pook

Masculine Behavioral Therapy (6/10) Ali has positive things to say about the author. The course itself raises some question marks, including the community and what customers can learn (or not learn) from it.
Note: the rating is Lucio’s own guestimate based on an initial impression from Ali Scarlett. Ali preferred not to give a review. Lucio assigned a placeholder rating because Ali’s first impression, however partial, is better than nothing for someone looking for pre-purchase information.
| by Casey Zander

The Manual: What Women Want (6/10) Some good stuff mixed with some bad manosphere content, mixed with some bad dating advice. But if you know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, it can add value.
| by W Anton

Daygame Nitro (6/10) This could rank much higher because the system is good and the mindsets are great. It’s the examples of “how to be fun” that seemed off the wall.
| by N Krauser

Conversation King (6/10) Fully focused on conversations.
by Tom Torero

Body Language of Love & Dating (6/10) Some good scientific research in here. Two takeaways: approach from the side and use lots of interjections.
by V van Edwards

The Way of The Superior Man (5/10) Some good advice like animalistic ravishing, not making women your only life priority and women testing men. But also some bad advice with operant conditioning done wrong by rewarding bad behavior. All delivered in New-Agey format which you will either love or hate.
by D Deida

Atomic Attraction (5/10) Beginners can learn something, but it lacks some refinement to make it worthwhile for the more advanced folks.
I learned a lot thanks to the many studies that were quoted, but unluckily quite a few of those studies were sometimes misrepresented and/or misunderstood by the author.
| by Christopher Canwell

The Mystery Method (4/10) Some good ideas but also some not-so-good ones. Overall, the system is too complex and many steps are often unneeded to provide real value.
by Mystery

The Text and Phone Game (4/10) I found the recommended texts to be mostly on the playful side. Maybe not bad if you’re part of a younger crowd. But if you’re aiming to be a high-quality dude I wouldn’t use these texts.
| by K Noble

Transformation Mastery (4/10) The content is not necessarily bad, but it’s simply not about seduction. It’s mot about self-help based on “Letting Go” and targeted to the RSD followers. I actually liked the main idea, but it could have been condensed in a 10 minutes video.
| by J Blanc

Blueprint Decoded (3/10) A couple of good ideas for general self-development, but too few and far in between. Underwhelming when it comes to dating and seduction.
| by RSD Tyler

Advanced Dating Techniques (3/10) Long-winded, thin content and some of that content I didn’t vibe with.
| by D DeAngelo

The Game (3/10) Entertaining story, but not nearly as good when it comes to dating techniques.
by N Strauss

Day Bang (3/10) Roosh presents indirect game as the most efficient and only way to get women during the day, while discouraging all other methods. That’s simply not true. Plus, some of his advice can make you come across as weird and socially uncalibrated.
| by Valizadeh Roosh

Too much to read? Check out the best dating resources for men:

4. Influence / Persuasion / Sales

Influence (10/10) It’s a huge classic and trendsetter. Most books on influence will draw heavily from this one.
by R Cialdini

Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive (10/10) I usually don’t like “lists” posts or books. They are often click-baits with shallow content and ankle-deep analysis. But, obviously, this is an exception.
|by Cialdini et All

Creating Lasting Change (10/10) Robbins’ recipe to influence people for the better. Plenty of NLP of course and a huge amount of examples. Good stuff, just too bad that it lacks in structure as Robbins jumps left and right. He opens new topics, but then doesn’t finish explaining them, which can leave the listener frustrated.
|by T Robbins

Don’t Think of An Elephant (10/10) How the political class swayed poor and middle-class voters to vote against their own interest. Plus much wisdom on frames and how to use frames to influence others
|by G Lakoff

Influence (9/10) It’s a huge classic and trendsetter. Most more modern and recent books on persuasion draw heavily from Influence’s 6 principles.
by R Cialdini

The Art of Deception (9/10) Best book on social engineering.
|by K Mitnick

Pre-Suasion (9/10) The sequel to Influence. Explains that what comes before your pitch is often what makes the difference. Must read as well if you’re into people’s skills and influence.
by R Cialdini

The Social Animal (9/10) Albeit this is a social psychology book for universities and not a book on influencing, it talks at length on influence and changing people’s minds and opinions. Being based all on science and research makes it one of the best resources available.
| by E Aronson

To Sell Is Human (9/10) Not your “how to sell manual”, but by far my favorite book on selling. It’s one of the few sales books with some good research and psychology behind and it debunks quite a few sales myths (ie.: “overcome objections”, “tell yourself you can do it”, “extroverts sell better”)

50 Perfect Email Scripts (9/10): would’ve been great if the scripts had fewer “would love to pick your brain” sentences and more expressions of gratitude (also see Dream Job). All WIIFT mistakes aside though, these scripts are robust and I still use them with a few tweaks today.
Review by Ali Scarlett
by Ramit Sethi

The Power to Influence (8/10) This is more sales-oriented compared to creating lasting change which is more holistic. It’s a great product for sales manager and sales professionals.
by T Robbin

Straight Line Persuasion (8/10) This is a video series by Jordan Belfor, who is the guy in The Wolf of Wall Street. The mindsets and sales is good (but not great). But the part on voice tonality is the best I’ve ever heard.
by J Belfort

Pitch Anything (8/10) This is The Power Moves applied to pitching. However, it’s too aggressive and can be very off-putting.
However, do read it, you will learn a lot about power dynamics
by O Klaff

The Art of Closing The Sale  (8/10) If you had to pick one sales product from Tracey, go for this one.
by Brian Tracy

Pre-Suasion (8/10) High-quality Cialdini work, a perfect prequel to Influence
|by R Cialdini

Maximum Influence (8/10) Great overview of well-researched influencing principles in what’s a very highly underrated text.
|by K Mortensen

Persuasion: The Art of Getting What You Want (8/10) No new ground was broken here, but Dave Lakhani gets a huge boost for focusing on the persona who actually delivers the message, which is indeed your 80% when it comes to persuasion.
|by D Lakhani

The Like Switch (7/10) A couple of good ideas, including to flash your eyebrow up to send a signal of friendliness and giving a warm drink to make them feel warmer towards you. But doesn’t explain the underlying principles to help you generalize on those good tips, like some other deeper books here do
|by J Schaefer

The Charisma Myth (8/10) A very good resource to learn how to become more persuasive from a personality point of view.
by O Cabane

Charisma on Command (7/10) One of the best books on social skills. I can’t rate it higher though because the author pitches high energy, loudness and charisma as the only way to be charismatic and socially skilled -which is obviously not true-.
|C Houpert

Be a Sales Superstar  (7/10) Good overview by a giant in the sales industry
by B Tracy

The Greatest Salesman in the World (7/10) I love the idea of becoming better salespeople by becoming better persons and loving our customers. However, it’s a bit light on actual techniques.
by O.G. Mandino

Get Anyone to Do Anything (7/10) Two takeaways: 1. When someone’s being rude, never use “I” or you take ownership of the issue. 2. To make people forgive you, give them power over you. High level social finessing.
| by D Lieberman

Persuasive Selling & Power Negotiation (6/10) This is a mix audiobook of various authors and coaches. It has some great tracks mixed with some other “soso” tracks.
|by Various Authors

Social Engineering (5/10) A very good overview of the social engineering discipline. I was expecting more from the psychological point of view though. Too much on the technical side for our scope.
|by C Hadnagy 

The Go-Giver (5/10) The mindset of asking without giving is bankrupt and won’t budge you in life of an inch. But the Go-Giver with its emphasis on giving, giving, giving, is too prone to abuse in my opinion.
by Burg & Mann

Sell or Be Sold (4/10) Some good points in the midst of lots of fluff.
by Grant Cardone

Instant Influence (4/10) Not the worst, but pales in comparison to his other work.
by R Cialdini

Win Bigly (4/10) The author brags a lot and has some good ideas for his Trump campaign analysis. But it’s too deterministic and, overall, does not deliver a high-quality analysis.
|by S Adams

The Science of Likability (4/10) There are actually some good parts. But there are also some issues that weigh the book down.
|by P King

influence and sales book reviews

4.2. Negotiation Reviews

Negotiation Genius (10/10) If you had to pick one single book on negotiation, go for this one. It provides the best overview, and the best techniques to reach win-win
| by D Malhotra

Secrets of Power Negotiation (10/10) This is The Power Moves of negotiating. Learn what tricks the most shrewd (and sometimes sneaky) negotiators play and learn to play the game. Eye opening.
| by R Dawson

Game Theory Bargaining and Auction Strategies (10/10) After tens of books on negotiation, this is the first and so far only one that actually taught how it’s best to sell your house (ie.: with a Dutch auction).
Plus of course, I will add my own power moves to it (which I share in the Social Power course).
Oh yeah, and it also taught me about psychology, abuse and manipulation.
| by G Berz

Getting Past No (9/10) All the basics of dealing with difficult negotiators are here.
| by William Ury

Getting to Yes (8/10) A huge classic of negotiation. And for good reasons: all the basics of positive and constructive negotiation are here. One or two points less because it was a bit weaker when it comes to power moves.
|by Ury & Fisher

The Shadow Negotiation (8/10) Theoretically written for women, everyone can instead learn from it. There are a ton of examples, which makes it very good for beginners.
| by D. Kolb

Never Split The Difference (8/10) Many (poor) resources focus on “getting to yes” (no matter what). The biggest pearl of this book is that to get powerful yeses you have to empathize, listen and empower them to say no.
| by C. Voss

The Art of The Deal (8/10) I absolutely loved this book. Not so much in terms of actual techniques (and Trump pisses off people too much anyway), but a few power moves and mindsets will help you understand how sharks think.
|D Trump

Persuasive Selling & Power Negotiation (7/10) This is a mix audiobook of various authors and coaches. It takes “a lot of leaves” from Power Negotiating book but also adds some great insights from other negotiators. Including a woman “power negotiating” her marriage proposal :)has some great tracks mixed with some other “soso” tracks.
| by Various Authors

Wiseguy’s Guide to Getting What You Want (6/10) This wasn’t a bad course by any means. It’s more that the overemphasis is on sharing life stories rather than providing more practical strategies. Couple that with the short course length, and it’s a poor investment of one’s time and effort compared to some of the other resources on the TPM “Best Of” list.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Various Authors

Pitch Anything (6/10) Good to understand power dynamics, but I’m not sure you want to use these techniques. They are at high risk of rubbing decision-makers the wrong way.
| by O Klaff

negotiation book reviews

5. Manipulation Reviews

Who’s Pulling Your Strings (10/10) There are 4 or 5 really good books on interpersonal manipulation and how to defend against it and they’re all great. But if I had to pick one above them all, it might be this one.
| by H Braiker

How to Lie with Statistics (10/10) A great primer on how statistics can be willfully abused to sway us
by D Huff 

Methods of Persuasion (10/10) Kolenda makes it very clear he writes about persuasion and he opposes manipulation. However, how people use the information is up to them, and when it comes to information this one is a treasure trove: both to persuade and to defend yourself against manipulation.
|by N Kolenda

In Sheep’s Clothing (10/10) Simon explains how manipulators are aggressors in disguise, often hiding their egotistical thirst for power behind ideals and shared values.
A seminal book for the philosophy behind this website and one of the best books to understand both manipulation and psychology in general.
|by G Simon

The Art of Seduction (10/10) Deep and highly advanced wisdom on charm, social seduction, psychology and the use of sex and the allure of sex as a weapon for influence and manipulation.
|by R Greene

Emotional Blackmail (9/10) One of the best overviews of manipulation, emotional abuse, and power dynamics within close relationships, including ways to combat it and defend oneself.
|by Susan Forward

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics (8.5/10) The best mix of quality and brevity to understand, as soon as possible, if you are are in a manipulative and abusive relationship
|by A Birch

Propaganda (8.5/10) Holy cow, what a sacred cow of persuasion and manipulation. Propaganda is a huge classic and basically gave birth to the literature on persuasion and manipulation. Bernays didn’t have access to advanced research and studies, yet he drops knowledge left and right.
The lack of a proper scientific approach, as well as access to modern-day research, weighs, but I loved it.
|by E Bernays

The Confidence Game (8.5/10) A good analysis of how cons work, both from the con artist’s perspective, and the victim’s perspective.
| by Maria Konnikova

Bad Blood (8/10) The story of a real-life sociopath who manipulated the media, professional investors, Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, Forbes and much public opinion for a decade.
|by J Carreyrou 

Ho Tactics (8/10) Some of the dialogues and techniques were really good. Lambert has also written some more books on dating with lots of golden nuggets within.
|by J Lambert

A Gold Diggers Guide (8/10) The manual of the most astute gold diggers out there. If you plan on getting rich guys… Read up 🙂
| by B Fletcher

Controlling People (8/10) One of the highest quality books on this list when it comes to actual psychology. It explains the psychology of controlling people (mostly men), but it has fewer practical application
|by P Evans

The Psychopath Whisperer (8/10) One of the best books I have read on psychopaths. The author dealt with the most dangerous of them in high-security prisons and shares several anecdotes of games prisoners play.
|by K Kiehl

Psychopath Free (8/10) This is focused on psychopaths, controlling individuals and abusive individuals in relationships. Could have been shorter and less repetitive and the author, at the time of writing, was a somewhat easier victim. He also has little knowledge of correct terminology and no proper psychology training, but it’s very high-quality information.
|by J MacKenzie 

Snakes in Suits (5/10) I had high expectations for this one, but it was only OK-ish in terms of both theory and data. And poor in terms of practical applications.
|by Babiak, Hare

The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks (4/10) I was hoping for some good psychology and techniques that lesbians use with straight (or curious) women.
But this is not the book for that.
|by J Sincero

Dark Psychology 202 (2/10) some interesting ideas and reflection but too much filler content in between to make it worth it.
| by M Pace 

Dark Psychology 101 (0/10) Skip. Maybe check out this website’s overview of dark psychology.
| by M Pace

Click here or the image for the best books on manipulation:

manipulation book reviews

5.2. Dark Triad Reviews

Power University (10/10) Dark triad techniques and strategies applied for success. If you want to become a good Machiavellian, this is your course.
|by L Buffalmano

Casanova’s Memoirs (10/10) An adventurer high in Machiavellianism, power, and both romanticism and unrestrictedness (ie.: with a short-term sexual strategy). That’s a powerful, rare mix.
But it’s not a book for everyone. It’s long, and you must be able to read between the lines and across cultures to tease out mindset and techniques.
|by G Casanova

The Dictator’s Handbook (10/10) The best analysis of the techniques and power dynamics of dictatorship, with dictators usually men high in dark triad traits and power
|by B Bueno de Mesquita

Bad Blood (10/10) This is how white-collar sociopaths operate when they got power (teaser: not in the best interest of investors, employee, society and, often, not even in their own best long-term interest)
|by J Carreyrou 

Confessions of A Sociopath (10/10) If you want to learn how a female, high-functioning sociopath thinks, feels, and act, this is a good one.
| by M Thomas

The Wisdom of Psychopaths (9/10) The author unluckily misrepresents psychopathy. Otherwise, it’s a good book and the concept and idea behind it is something I agree with. To be good, you need to know how to be bad, and that’s also one of the main philosophies of this website.
| by K Dutton

The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success (9/10) Same as above. Same authors, but he writes it with an actual psychopath. So expect less science, more bragging, and a smattering of foul language. The idealization of psychopaths gets worse, but there is some good advice. And the main idea still stands: to be good, you need to know how to be bad.
| by K Dutton

The Art of Seduction (9/10) A book fully dedicated to seduction Machiavellianism, with the typical Robert Greene’s high quality
by R Greene

Psychopath Free (9/10) How it feels to be the victim of a dark-triad man (spoiler: it sucks). On the negative side, it could have been briefer and better structured.
| by J MacKenzie

The Psychopath Whisperer (9/10) Highly entertaining and highly informative Kiehl’s work focuses mostly on low-functioning psychopaths think and behave
|by K Kiehl

Women Who Love Psychopaths (8/10) There seems to be a myth that psychopaths are “particularly good with women”. In truth, they are good with a certain subset of women. This book is partially successful in shedding some light on who those women are. But you need to read between the lines because the author fails to connect some dots (also see: why psychopaths are sexually successful).
| by S Brown

What Would Machiavelli Do? (8/10) A humorous take on Machiavellianism. But, perversely, also partially realistic: this is how some high in power, Machiavellian men think (also see “office power moves“).
|by S Bing

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics (8/10) Dark triad in relationships is not all brawn and strength, and Birch does a good job at providing an overview of the sneakier aspects of manipulation.
|A Birch

Without Conscience (8/10) Robert Hare is one of the most famous names when it comes to psychopathy, and this is his best book
|R Hare

Ho Tactics by Lambert (8/10) A guide for the most Machiavellian women looking to exchange sex and companionship for power and money
by G.L. Lambert

In Sheep’s Clothing (8/10) One of the best books to understand the psychology of individuals who score high in power -and who end up being highly Machiavellian to get it-.
|by G Simon

Sorted! (7.5/10) The third installment of “The Good Psychopath” series by Dutton. It repeats a few concepts from the first 2 books but adds enough new wisdom
| by K Dutton

A Gold Diggers Guide (7/10) A self-professed former gold-digger writes what she learned milking men for money.
|by B Fletcher

Snakes in Suits (6/10) Good book on the phenomenon of psychopaths on the workplace. The rating could actually be higher, but I wanted to see more examples, and instead it remains a bit fluffy
by Hare & Babiak 

Click the image for the best dark triad books:

top 3 best dark triad books

6. Business / Career / Networking / Money

This includes anything related to growing a business, an income, or managing money.

Decision-Maker Meetings (9.5/10) This course is geared toward filmmakers and actors. So, if you’re not in the entertainment industry, you might not get as much value from it — though, it should be noted that McCann more than makes up for that with her personal support and it’s still a great course for learning networking as a practice. With that said, if you are in the entertainment industry, this course is absolutely one of the best there is if you’re looking to connect with influential decision-makers. And, what’s really special about McCann’s work is that while she tackles the basics she also manages to enrich the more advanced students of networking skills.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Mara McCann & Justin Giddings

6.2. Entrepreneurship Reviews

The Lean Startup (10/10) by now it’s considered mandatory reading in startup circles, and for a good reason: launching early can save tons of money and time. Plus make your product ultimately better with early feedback.
| by E Ries

The 4 Hour Work Week (10/10) The solopreneurship bible that got hundreds of thousands of idiots with a money-losing blog to call themselves “entrepreneurs” and “digital nomads. But it’s a wonderful book 🙂
by T Ferris

Start With Why (10/10) To attract talent and motivate yourself, the people around the customers, a strong WHY is a must. Applicable to both business and life.
by S Sinek  

Step-by-Step Marketing (9/10) I got this one on Ben and Charlie’s advice, and it was indeed really good. It doesn’t go in-depth on anything, but that might be an advantage: it’s a quick course with proven wisdom from naming your product to marketing it effectively.
Note: Eben Pagan is actually “David deAngelo” also marketing dating products. We are not fans of his dating stuff, but his marketing stuff is good.
by Eben Pagan

The $100 Dollar Startup (9/10) Like The 4h Workweek, it’s targeted to solopreneurs. Great stories coming from this beautiful world of possibilities and opportunities.
Just don’t forget that the focus is on the work, not on the digital nomad-dness.
| C Guillebenau

Delivering Happiness (9/10) Can you marry happiness, fulfillment and business success? Not only you can, but you probably should. That’s how Hsieh built a billion-dollar business.
| by T Hsieh

Crossing the Chasm (9/10) A huge classic on the adoption curve of new technologies. Even more relevant to startups than to established businesses.
| by G Moore

The E-Myth Revisited (9/10) If you want to build a business to become free and be independent of your own business, then you should take a look at this. Because many employees chasing freedom only end up more enslaved.
| by M Gerber 

Zero to One  (9/10) Pick founders and employees who share your same vision, dream big and think value-adding instead of disruption. Just three big ideas from this staple of entrepreneurship.
| by P Thiel

Anything You Want (9/10) A mix of philosophy, entrepreneurship and digital nomad bible. I found it very captivating, useful and on point.
| by D Sivers 

Web Copy That Sells (8.5/10) Great stuff and the best copywriting book I’ve read so far. Please note that I downrated it to 8.5 because I couldn’t test it. This is not a field where you should go with what sounds good, but only with data-tested wisdom.
by M Veloso

Hooked (8/10) A great way to launch a successful app or product is to make people hooked to it. This book will help by explaining what exactly is that makes people hooked. Now go ahead and make your millions you pirate 😛
| by N Eyal

Disrupt You! (8/10) The story of an entrepreneur at heart going from small business to in-house entrepreneur in a big corporation. Some awesome stories on what it means to never give up and the right mindsets for startup founders (just one: don’t fall in love with your ïdea: it’s a dime in a dozen)
| by J Samit

Secrets of Six-Figure Women (8/10) From a woman, interviewing women, for women. It mostly deals with mindsets and typically female stumbling blocks, and it’s quite good.
|by B Stanny

Bold (8/10) A good mix of inspiration, cycle and theory of disruptive technologies and the mindset of success (think big). Good stuff.
| by P Diamandis 

The Entrepreneur Mind (8/10) I didn’t expect much by a book with a list of 100 “mindsets bullet points”. But I was wrong, there is lots of good stuff.
| by K Johnson 

The Third Wave (8/10) If you’re a tech entrepreneur or plan to be one, this is a great read. The main point is that new disruption won’t happen in a college dorm or coding away in a room. But will require government and buy-in from human gatekeepers.
| by S Case 

Sara Blakely Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship -Masterclass- (7/10) Pretty good, I especially enjoyed the information on building a team culture. Maybe sometimes a bit too heavy on the “law of attraction”. And sometimes Sara attributes to “feminine energy” what are actually strategies and attitudes that have little to do with gender. But it also encourages an antifragile ego, and provides a great overview of entrepreneurship.
Review by Ali Scarlett
by Sara Blakely

Launch (7/10) A roadmap to launch a product. I haven’t personally tried it yet and will read more and update this part once I’ll launch The Power Moves product a few months down the road.
Edit: I still haven’t used the formula (yet). I guess that my mindset is that the success of a great product is not based on the money it makes on the first days of its launch, but over its lifespan, selling day after day long after its launch.
by J Walker 

Pitch Anything (7/10) Great to understand power dynamics. But unless you’re a fine connoisseur of human nature, you can easily piss your possible investors off. Klaff’s techniques are at high risk of rubbing decisions makers the wrong way.
| by O Klaff

#Girlboss (7/10) It’s good to understand how a rebel streak can sometimes be an asset for entrepreneurs and how unconventional behavior can lead to success
by S Amoruso

Advanced Connector Package (7/10) It’s made up of three courses combined into this “Advanced Connector Package” (AKA: “ACP”). And, I got value from all three courses. The presentation was outdated but, luckily, most of the information still holds up today.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Ramit Sethi

Go Pro (6/10) The network marketers’ Bible. But network marketing might be a waste of time -unless you start it or jump in super early-. I actively discourage the readers to go into network marketing.
by E Worre

Earnable (6/10) Doesn’t actually “walk you through” the creation of your dream business. I really didn’t appreciate being left dead in the water, especially after paying such a high price tag. If the course provided some form of active mentorship (or actual Student Success Support) to help students with their unique businesses, then it could start approaching ten stars. Until then, given that there are 17 playbooks and I had to stop at 4, I’d move Earnable down to 6 stars.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Ramit Sethi

The Power of Broke (6/10) Being broke can be an advantage if you leverage it to get hungrier
by D John

Gild Code (6/10) For female entrepreneurs who like the champagne lifestyle. But a bit light on actual business details.
| by C A Leyba

Elon Musk (6/10) Good to better understand Musk’s personality and history, but I’m not sure it can help you with your business.
| by A Vance

Stealing Fire (6/10) Interesting, for sure. But a bit too light on details & analysis and too on hyperboles for my taste.
|by Kotler & Wheal

Originals (5/10) The idea is to show readers how to produce more original and creative work. There are a few good ideas, especially if you were doing a few things wrong (ie.: focusing on one great idea). But it’s Gladwell-style pop-psychology with little practical application.
Furthermore, it seems like there is no real research to back GRatn’s claim that procrastination helps creativity.
Skip it.
| by A Grant

entrepreneurship book reviews

6.3.2. Marketing Reviews

Start With WHY (9/10) not tricks or fancy techniques: just a big WHY and value to underpin all your marketing efforts.
by S Sinek  

Methods of Persuasion (8/10) Not strictly about business marketing but plenty of insight you can apply to your marketing, both in writing and in words
|by N Kolenda

Brandwashed (8/10) One of the best books to understand the manipulations of marketing. Must read for any marketer.
|M Lindstrom

Made to Stick (8/10) Let me be clear: I don’t think you can make anything viral just by reading a book. However, you can maybe increase your chances. And you can learn about psychology. It’s good enough for me.
by Chip & Heath

Hooked (8/10) Internet 3.0 marketing style of making people addicted to apps and digital services
| by N Eyal

Triggers (8/10) Legendary copywriter Sugarman shares 30 triggers to influence people’s buying decisions (print and written marketing, not one on one marketing).
by J Sugarman

Contagious: Why Things Catch On (7/10) Same for Made to Stick, you won’t go viral because you read a book on going viral. But you can better understand the phenomenon and maybe increases your chances a bit.
by J Berger

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (7/10) A good strategy for social media marketing: give, give, give and only then ask. Doesn’t need a whole book though, it’s basic social exchange dynamics.
| by G Vaynerchuck 

How to Write Seductive Web Copy  (7/10) Copywriting for freelancers and small business owners. Good.
by H Duistermaat 

Buyology (7/10) Similar to Brandwashed and from the same author. Good but not equally good as the sequel.
|by M Lindstrom

Crushing It! (6/10) Mostly for those looking to build a personal brand. This type of content ages rapidly as it’s very medium-dependent and much of this information you can find it online.
| by G Vaynerchuk

Word of Mouth Marketing  (6/10) In my opinion this is interesting but not highly applicable information. #1 lesson: deliver outstanding service and products and make your customers your best marketing tool.
| by A Sernovitz

Words That Sells  (6/10) It’s a dictionary-style of copywriting words and expressions. Maybe good for actual copywriters, but not for freelancers and small business owners who want to learn or troubleshoot their copies.
by R Bayan

Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets (6/10) Not enough data-driven in my opinion and too much time was taken by the “how to launch a product in a weekend”.
| by J Carlton 

Crush It (5/10) Theoretically about building your (influencer) business it has lots of inspirational talk and little details. A quick Google search will give you the same info for less time and less money.
| by G Vaynerchuk

Purple Cow (4/10) Be remarkable to stand out from the market noise. Except that’s what everyone else is trying to do? An OK concept for a speech maybe, but doesn’t cut it as a whole book. I have to add: I may be biased and I’m not a fan of the author.
| by S Godin

6.3. Business Reviews

Principles: Life and Work (10/10) The best book on company’s culture and a roadmap to institutionalize efficiency and effectiveness.
Applicable both to business and personal life.
| by R Dalio

Radical Candor (10/10) Together with Principles, the best book on company’s culture and leadership.
| by K Scott

Winning (10/10)  Warren Buffet said you won’t need any further book after Winning. Welch, the author, is a controversial figure. As a vociferous Republican and espouser of a rather Darwinian view on HR, it couldn’t be otherwise. But whatever you think of Welch, this book is really good.
| by J Welch

The Art of The Deal (10/10) Two things: first, there is controversy on whether Trump wrote it and whether it offers an embellished view of him; second, my review is not a political statement. The book is awesome. It has great mindsets and it will teach you how some sharks think and act.
| by D Trump

Sam Walton: Made in America (9/10) I used to think biographies and autobiographies weren’t too helpful in building a business. I was wrong. So many lessons learned in the making of Walmart. And yes, even for tech entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs
| by S Walton

Deep Work (9/10) A great overview of the art -and science- of personal productivity. But also on business productivity, and here’s the main tip there: ditch the open office concept.
by C Newport

Good to Great (9/10) Collins takes a few years off to examine exactly what differentiates great companies from sub-par ones. Albeit the methodology is far from perfect from a scientific standpoint, the results are helpful and very instructing for anyone who wants to build a great business.
| by H Collins

Quiet: The Power of Introverts (9/10) will teach you how to get the most of introverts & extroverts. Since nobody does, this is a huge competitive opportunity to attract, retain and get the most out of a large chunk of the population.
| by S Cain

Drive (9/10) If you have employees or plan to have employees, you must read Drive.
| by D Pink

Secrets of Six Figures Women (9/10) One of the best business, self-help and entrepreneurship books for women
| by B Stanny

Start With Why (9/10) To have a strong culture, you should have a strong WHY. To market well, you should always go back to your WHY. Applicable to both business and life.
by S Sinek   

Crossing the Chasm (9/10) A huge classic on the adoption curve of new technologies. It’s less applicable to incremental improvements and B2C, but I would take a look at it in any case.
| by G Moore

The Hard Things About Hard Things (9/10) Mix of autobiography and management book. My #1 lesson: stop trying to be too positive and hiding flaws, everyone will know the truth through the grapevine and it will erode your trust. Mostly useful to CEOs.
| B Horowitz 

Secrets to Winning at Office Politics (9/10) If you’re in big business you can definitely stand to gain by reading this good overview on office power and power politics.
by M McIntyre

Secrets of Six-Figure Women (8/10) If you’re a woman aiming high, this book is for you. Through a series of interviews with female millionaires, it will help you deal with some of the most stereotypically female mental stumbling blocks.
|by B Stanny

Lean In (8/10) An OK read for women who plan on having a successful career. Just make sure you skip the feminist bias and the calls on joining forces
|S Sandberg

The One Minute Manager (8/10) I didn’t expect it to be good to be honest. But it is :). Three simple ideas that will improve most managers’ managerial skills
| by Blanchard, Johnson

The Millionaire Fastlane (8/10) Not much information on actually starting a business, but if you want to switch from employee mentality to entrepreneur mindset this provides a great kick in the ass.
| by MJ DeMarco

Onward (8/10) If you want to learn how culture can go awry and ruin an excellent business, read Onward. If you want to learn how to go back to the roots, read Onward. If you want to learn what it means to love one’s business, read Onward.
by H Schultz

No Logo (8/10) How’s this anti-capitalist book in a business list? Well, if you want to learn how powerful brands and marketing can be on people’s psyche, this is one of the best books available.
| by N Klein

Steve Jobs  (8/10) A glimpse of Steve Jobs’ personality and some of his life’s social power moves.
| by W Isaacson

I’ll Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse (8/10) Similar advice, but very different style: it’s written by a former mafia boss, and goes into values and ethics of business.
| by Michael Franzese

Never Eat Alone (7/10) People are your key to business success. And Never Eat Alone shares some lessons on how to improve your networking skills. I’m not a huge fan of “hunting for connections”, if you are, this book is for you.
| by K Ferrazzi  

Shoe Dog (7/10) Autobiographical story of Phil Knight founder of Nike. #1 lesson learned for me: pick a cofounder who can open some doors for you and not just a friend.
| by P Knight

The Everything Store (7/10) I have some doubts about the reliability and quality of information since the author didn’t have access to Bezos. But I still learned a lot here. Two major takeaways: 1. invest for growth early instead of hoarding cash; 2. do consider taking a loss if it can help you establish early market domination
| by B Stone

Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership -Masterclass- (7/10) Was hoping for more, but the inside look at how Bob Iger negotiated some of the biggest Disney deals was very insightful. There are better resources for learning business leadership. I’d probably recommend some of Ray Dalio’s work first (see Principles). But, it’s worth playing in the background throughout the day (like an audiobook) if one wants an overview of business leadership from a businessman who knows what he’s talking about.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Bob Iger

Built to Last (7/10) Good theory on what differentiates companies that deliver long-lasting superior performance -albeit with some reserves on research methodology-. I find it less straightforward when it comes to the application of that theory.
by P Collins, Porras

The Effective Executive (7/10) The Effective Executive is a big classic. It’s a great book and it all says is true, it just didn’t resonate much with me. Most of its teaching are well known in this day and age to everyone who’s into self-development.

The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team (7/10) A bit simplistic on how personal drive “stands in the way of great team work” and how trust is the key to open communication (there’s more than that). But all the rest is golden.
| by P Lencioni

The No As**ole Rule (6/10) Should you retain highly capable individuals who otherwise disrupt and poison the workplace with as**ole behavior? Sutton says you shouldn’t. I generally agree, but find that a blanket “no” is more of a moralistic stance than a highly realistic one.
| by R Sutton

6.4. Career Strategies / Office Politics

Power University (10/10) Simply the best resources available on career strategies, office politics, and advancing in your job
| by L Buffalmano

The Clever Connector (…) I wrote the foreword and Ali is a member of the community, co-author of TPM’s first book, and by now a person who’s quite close.
So I cannot rate it, but I can say that Ali based it on solid principles of power dynamics.
| by Ali Scarlett

Workplace Poker (9.5/10) One of the best books I have read on office politics. Very good for differentiating between the superficial lies, and how things really work.
| by D Rust

The Secret Handshake (9/10) There are non-written rules that the people at the top of each organization all follow and obey, and if you want to join that circle, you need to learn those rules. So true.
| by K Reardon

Talking from 9 to 5 (9/10) The only reason why it’s not a 10 is because Tannen writes more for academics than for the general public. I loved it, but if you’re looking for practical advice, it might not be for you.
|by D Tannen

Secrets to Winning at Office Politics (9/10) A very good book on power dynamics and how to navigate and leverage office politics
by M McIntyre

Secrets of Six Figures Women (9/10) Usually I don’t rate very highly books that market themselves as based on data when they are actually based on stories. But this one was actually very good and there is much to learn for women who want to achieve big in their business.
| by B Stanny

Speaking Pro (9/10) Speaking well is one of those “executive skills” that will help you gain status and power at work. Roger Love also goes into power dynamics and how to act and speak depending on whether you are the boss, or a report.
| by R Love

Find Your Dream Job (9/10) This course didn’t market itself as groundbreaking for the world of job seeking, but it did market itself as revolutionary for the lives of the people who join. And, I believe that this course is capable of creating career reinvention, growth, and everything in between.
review by Ali Scarlett
| by Ramit Sethi

Designing Your Career (8/10) This is an absolutely incredible Masterclass. I only took off one star for having no scripts like what Ramit provides (see Dream Job). And, one other star for staying on the surface level on some topics (e.g. career negotiations). Other than that, this Masterclass has more than earned every single star. And, with only a couple of minor additions, I could easily see this being a 10-star investment.
review by Ali Scarlett
| by Elaine Welteroth

What Color is Your Parachute (8/10) The best book for job seekers. It’s not a 9 or 10 because the readership of this website might find some passages a bit too basic.
| by R N Bolles

Bad Blood (8/10) albeit not intended as a book on learning career strategies, it will teach you how things actually work at the top, with power-hungry founders and executives
|by J Carreyrou

Stealing the Corner Office (8/10) Some great ideas, and I learned a lot from it. It’s especially good in hammering into readers’ heads that the company’s interests often conflict with the employees’ interests. Could be briefer and better structured, though.
|by B Reid

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (7/10) Aimed at executives, with some good psychology behind it. The central idea: if you are successful, you must make an effort to improve because your own success can stand in the way.
|by M Goldsmith

HBR Guide to Office Politics (6/10) It covers the basic principles, but it’s not very advanced and, shall we say it, sometimes it’s quite banal
|by Harvard Business Review

The New Rules of Work (5/10) An OK book, but it will not bring many new insights to the typical reader of this website.
|by Cavoulacos & Minshew

Brag (4/10) One good idea, to make your bragging curiosity-inspiring, and a few good examples. But I was expecting more.
| by P Klaus

Working With Emotional Intelligence (3/10) More sensationalist than scientific, and of little pragmatic utility. Unluckily so, because EI is fundamental for career -or life- success. Just not the way Goleman teaches it, though. Also read “the myth of emotional intelligence
| by Daniel Goleman

Prioritize them with these two lists:

Best career books:

top three career books

6.5. Career & Business (For Women)

The Myth of The Nice Girl (10/10): Hauser built her successful career being a helpful and value-adding woman, so she (righteously) took offense to the many books that lambast the “nice” girl. And she took it upon herself to correct the false myth that women ought to be ruthless to succeed.
| by F Hauser

Hardball for Women (10/10) Albeit targeted at women, I have learned a lot about gender differences at work, workplace power dynamics, and career strategies. Just make sure you don’t swing too much on the “male & aggressive” side.
| by P Heim

How Women Rise (9/10) More balanced than “Hardball for Women”, and equally insightful. One point less because it’s less incisive when it comes to power dynamics.
| by Goldsmith & Helgesen

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office (8/10) It’s a list of 101 mistakes women do, but albeit it might seem a simplistic format, the content is top-notch, and the author has a good grasp of interpersonal power dynamics. Note: I downrated it after having read “Hardball for Women”, since there is much overlap.
|by L Frankel

Secrets of Six-Figure Women (7/10) It’s self-help applied to business and entrepreneurship, and focused on women. It’s both helpful and well-written.
|by B Stanny

Lean In (5/10) There are some good tips and advice, but it’s more of a feminist manifesto and autobiography than a book to teach you how the game works (and how to play it)
|by S Sandberg

Best business & career books for women:

Top 3 business books for women

6.6. Money & Wealth Reviews

MONEY Master the Game (10/10) The best resource on investing for the layman
by T Robbins

The Intelligent Investor (9/10) Buffet’s favorite book. It’s old but the principles are the same that most other books just repeat
by B Graham

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (8/10) Simple and effective
by John C. Bogle

Unshakable (8/10) Good but go for Money Master the Game
| by T Robbins

The Millionaire Mind (8/10) A survey on millionaires teaches us how millionaires think and behave (hint: they’re frugal). Not a “how-to” book though, because many -not all!- millionaires act a certain way, it doesn’t mean that copying their habits will make you a millionaire -or, for that matter, happy-.
by T Stanley

The Millionaire Next Door (8/10) A study on millionaires to extrapolate a few common trends, mindsets and behavior. Very interesting.
by Stanley & Danko

Think and Grow Rich (7/10) This is about the mindset of wealth. Skip the law of attraction though and replace it with hard work and knowledge accumulation
by N Hill

The Automatic Millionaire (7/10) Make investing automated and then let compound interest make you rich when you retire. You don’t need a whole book though.
by David Bach

The Total Money Makeover (7/10) Good for basic personal finance
by Dave Ramsey

The Richest Man in Babylon (7/10) Cap your downside and buy instead of renting. The rest is basic personal finance
G Clason 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street (7/10) Don’t try to time the market: it moves randomly in the short term. I’m not convinced about it, since there are some successful short-term traders who earn a living month after month.
by B Malkiel

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind  (7/10) Being rich is about mindsets. A good overview and some good ideas (ie.: switch mindset from saving for rainy days to saving for your freedom)
by H Eker

I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi (6/10) Save and automate investment. OK but nothing groundbreaking.
by Ramit Sethi

The Science of Getting Rich (2/10) The title is a misnomer because the law of attraction is not science
by W Wattles

Get Rich Lucky Bitch: (1/10) Getting rich with the law of attraction
| by D Duffield-Thomas

personal finance book reviews

7. Leadership Reviews

The New Psychology of Leadership (10/10) The only leadership book I’ve read to actually leverage science and research. And it shows. It stands on a category of its own and makes all other books look like simplistic space-fillers (and I based on this book much of my article “how to be a leader“)
| by A Haslam

Radical Candor (10/10) It focuses on leadership in the workplace, but the principles apply to anyone who wants to lead high-performing groups.
| by Kim Scott

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (8/10) My favorite book by John Maxwell. Biggest takeaway: refuse to work for people you don’t respect. They can’t be your leaders. And if you want to lead: gain people’s trust and respect.
by John Maxwell

Leaders Eat Last (8/10) Leadership is not about being responsible for the numbers. It’s about being responsible for the people, who are responsible for the numbers.
Nice in theory. Except sometimes you are also directly responsible for the numbers. I don’t think Sinek has aver been a business leader in his life, so his advice can smack “ivory tower-ish”
But it’s a good read for leaders.
| by Simon Sinek

The Charisma Myth (8/10) One of the best books on charisma. Especially important is the concept that there are different styles of charisma, including the quiet, slow-moving and little-talking one (I’m looking at you, high-energy charisma coaches 🙂
| by O Cabane

The Leadership Challenge (8/10) I love this book because it’s based on years of research and observations. It only shows one type of leadership, though, mostly good for peaceful and stable times and bigger companies.
by Kouzes & Posner

Primal Leadership (8/10) It becomes verbose and fluffy in the second part. But the first part is key to understanding two important leadership concepts: the different styles of leadership and when to use which, and the importance of mastering more than one style of leadership
| by Daniel Goleman

The Truth About Leadership (8/10) Based on data from a large survey, Kouzes and Posner go to the core of the key characteristics of a great leader.
| by Kouzes, Posner

A Higher Loyalty (8/10) The story of a leader who got sacked by a bigger leader when he refused to pledge allegiance. This is a story of power moves and intrigues, and a man who decided to stay true to his values.
This is a leader we can learn from (minus all the PC BS though :).
| by James Comey

Onward (8/10) Giving up leadership of your company. Then coming back in to bring your company back from the brink by going it back to your love and mission. That’s the story of Onward.
by H Schultz

The Dichotomy of Leadership (7/10) I have a lot of reserves on the close-minded, guns-loving military mindsets here.
But I also have a lot of respect for a few fundamental truths of great leadership, including loving the team but making the difficult decisions that put team and mission above any single individual.
|by Babin, Willink

The Culture Code (7/10) Wonderful book for one main concept all leaders should double down: top-performing teams feel a sense of belonging.
|by C Doyle

First Break All The Rules (7/10) I didn’t like this “contrarian marketing ploy”. But the findings of the Gallup survey is something that anyone in leadership (or HR) positions should know about
|M Buckingam

Eleven Rings (7/10) If you are planning to hire and lead a team of superstars, you might want to look into a guy who’s trained plenty of superstars in the same team.
by P Jackson 

Creativity Inc. (7/10) A must-read if you are a leader in a creative field -or aspire to be one-. And a good wake up call on power moves and human nature: after all the sweet talk about the importance of the employees, the author was indicted for wage-fixing (also see: “corporate lies“).
|by E Catmull

Extreme Ownership (6/10) It’s very popular for navy seals to write books and people love a good war story. The concept of extreme ownership (ie.: take responsibility for everything) is powerful albeit, in my opinion, is inherently false to believe you can control everything, and it comes with important limitations. The book per se, I wasn’t a fan of the, militarism, jingoism, and fluff.
Plus, I’m not a fan of the mindset of following orders from above no matter what.
Those who took “extreme ownership” and “followed (any) order” are not the best role models in my opinion.
by Willink & Babin

Developing the Leader Within You (5/10) OK, but not great or groundbreaking in any way.
by J Maxwell

Leadership and Self-Deception (4/10) A bit one-dimensional and simplistic. And the “in the box”/”outside the box” thing didn’t speak to me.
by Arbinger Institute

leadership book reviews

8. Psychology / Social Psychology / Sociology

The Social Animal (10/10) The most complete, extensive and high-quality overview of (social) psychology I have read so far.
| by E Aronson

I’m OK – You’re OK (10/10) If you have or if you know anyone who has issues with authorities, this book can help (hint: it can be a parent-child dynamic). It certainly did help me to better understand social dynamics, to troubleshoot some of my relationships and to further improve my social skills.
by T Harris

Studies in Machiavellianism (10/10) It’s an academic text presenting various hypotheses, testing those hypotheses empirically, and then drawing conclusions about the Machiavellian personality based on the evidence.
So it’s not a “how to” or a self-development book, but it’s invaluable for a website like this.
The authors of this book are also the researchers who came up and validated “Machiavellianism” as a personality trait.
by Richard Christie & Florence L. Geis

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?  (10/10) Even if you didn’t have a narcissistic mother you will learn hugely on how parents impact children’s psyche. Including how demand and expectations of parents can weigh negatively on the children’s whole life.
It should be mandatory reading for parents.
by K McBride

In Sheep’s Clothing (10/10) All psychologists should read this.
|by G Simon

Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty (10/10) If you want to understand the dark side of human nature, look no further.
|by R Baumeister

Attached (10/10) Possibly the best book on relationships and attachment’s psychology.
by Amir Levine

The Body Keeps the Score (10/10) If you’re interested in trauma, PTSD and trauma recovery, this is your resource.
by B van der Kolk

The Laws of Human Nature (10/10) It’s debatable if one single book is enough to detail human nature, but if there is one author who is going to make it both entertaining, deep and chock-full of wisdom, that’s Mr. Greene.
by R Greene

Mindset (10/10) Must read, both for personal self-development and for understanding people and psychology.
by C Dweck

Man’s Search for Meaning (10/10) Albeit not strictly a psychology book, Frankl tells you all you need to know about humans: the same species that built gas chambers, walked upright into gas chambers and gave their last morsel of bread to a dying comrade.
| by V Frankl 

Machiavellianism: The Psychology of Manipulation (9.5/10) As of 2021, the best overview of all academic research and literature on Machiavellianism.
| by Tamás Bereczkei

I Hate You Don’t Leave Me (9/10) Best book to understand and deal with BPD
| J Kreisman

Give and Take (9/10) I hope it can be a wake-up call for psychologists to come up with a construct and universal measure for “givers” and “takers”. That universal measure non-withstanding, this is the best overview on the
psychology, personality, and mindsets of givers and takers
| by Adam Grant

The Lucifer Effect (9/10) Long and too detailed. But the key message can change us -and the world- for the better: to resist the perpetuation of evil, we must empower ourselves.
| by P Zimbardo

Nudge (9/10) The Bible of Libertarian Paternalism and how psychology can help policymakers and governments develop better societies.
Any psychologist and social scientist should read it.
|by Sunstein & Thaler

Talking from 9 to 5 (9/10) Tannen is a professor of linguistics, but this book is deeply insightful on both psychology, power dynamics, and social dynamics.
|by D Tannen

The Highly Sensitive Person (9/10) For anyone interested in psychology, learning about highly sensitive people is a must.
|E Aron

Drive (9/10) Daniel Pink is the more scientific version of Malcolm Gladwell. He has a knack for turning research into simple and applicable concepts that business owners and influencers alike can use in their daily lives. And he does a great job here focusing exclusively on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
by D Pink

Predictably Irrational (9/10) Yes, our mind is irrational, we know that, but Ariely gives us practical examples and applicable corollaries.
by D Ariely 

The Paradox of Choice (9/10) I have a personal soft spot for The Paradox of Choice because it helped improve my level of happiness and fulfillment. If you tend to spend lots of time choosing what to buy and if you regret your decisions, you must read this book.
by B Schwartz

Quiet: The Power of Introverts (9/10) Don’t skip it thinking you already know what’s introversion/extraversion is. If you are into psychology this is a muster read.
by S Cain

The Sociopath Next Door  (9/10) Not everything is relative: there really are mean and evil people. And there are enough of them that you will eventually meet a few. Be ready.
by M Stout

Why Does He Do That?  (9/10) A seminal book on the psychology of abusive men.
by L Bancroft

The Brain That Changes Itself  (9/10) This book both explains neuroplasticity and underpins much of the self-development industry by confirming that yes, we can change. And we can change a lot.
by N Doidge

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics (9/10) Brief and to the point. The quickest and one of the best books to troubleshoot if you are in a manipulative relationship.
|A Birch

Misbehaving (9/10) If you want to understand the history of behavioral economics, look no further. If you want to understand behavioral economics in general, look no further. And it’s also great to understand how new theories emerge (and the human drives to power they need to overcome).
|by R Thaler

To Sell Is Human (8/10) A scientific and psychological look at selling and persuading. A bit of a mixed bag as it doesn’t focus on anything specific, but it has plenty of good insights (and I personally learned a couple of important new things).
|D Pink

Brandwashed (8/10) One of the best books to understand the manipulations of marketing. Must read for any marketer.
| M Lindstrom

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Leadership, Change, & Organizational Development (8/10) The title is an omen for what’s inside: a dense, heavy review of the research literature on leadership, change, and OD. Not recommended for non-academics, but for a website like this one, it’s a treasure trove.
by Various Authors

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump (8/10) Bit repetitive and political, but a highly instructive read. You get 27 accredited mental health professionals analyzing one single individual. No matter your political views, that’s a great opportunity to learn.
by Various Authors

Emotional Vampires (8/10) If you want to learn how to learn about personality disorders in an easily accessible format, this is your text. But it’s not for professionals looking for case studies and research.
by A Bernstein 

Incognito  (8/10) Not only we are governed in large part by our subconscious, but our brain has also different “camps”, all pulling us in different directions. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it…
by D Eagleman

The Red Queen (8/10) A few imperfections -like sperm wars presented as scientific truth-, but otherwise a very, very good text to understand both sexual evolution and human nature -humans are sexual maximizing machines after all-.
| by M Ridley

The Undoing Project (8/10) The history of Tversky and Kahneman’s friendship, the two men who the most contributed to the birth of behavioral economics.
Don’t worry, it’s not just biography: lots of great psychology as well.
|by M Lewis

Stop Walking on Eggshells (8/10) If you want to learn about borderline personality disorder, this is your book. If you’re living with, or have a relationship with people who threaten suicide or go on an emotional roller coaster, read this book.
by Mason & Kreger

No Logo (8/10) It might seem a stretch to put No Logo into a psychology books list. But the stories of how brands and marketing get into some people’s heads is psychology at its finest. Fascinating stuff.
by N Klein 

Thinking Fast and Slow  (8/10) We have two ways of thinking: slow and logical and quick and illogical. We use the latter most of the times, and it’s full of psychological biases. And Kahneman lists them all.
Good stuff.
by D Kahneman

The Power of Habit (7/10) A good overview to understand the theory behind habits.
by C Duhigg

The Wisdom of Crowds (7/10) I don’t believe much in the author’s main takeaway and it’s not very scientific. And yet, it softened my typical group-skeptic stance. And that’s quite something.
|by J Surowiecki

Whoever Fights Monsters (7/10) More based on experience rather than on science. That’s not bad per se, but I prefer both experience and science. Still, a good read for everyone working with the worst criminals and with serial killers.
|by R Ressler

Blink (7/10) Once we become good at something we learn to make snap decisions that are right a surprising number of times. If you’re looking for applicable insights, skip.
by M Gladwell 

The Psychopath Inside (7/10) If you want to understand psychopathy from a neurological point of view, this is one of the best books available.
| by J Fallon

The Female Mind (7/10) Maybe it stressed the differences a bit too much, but overall it’s a very good text to understanding the overall differences between genders.
| by L Brizendine

Freakonomics (7/10) Good for a relaxed and entertaining book at the beach, but to me it’s just little more than a collection of curiosities and a mixed bag of interesting theories.
by Levitt & Dubner

Hooked (6/10) I gave an 8/10 to Hooked in the business category. It’s because it’s very helpful for business. But not deep enough for a psychologist in my opinion.
| by N Eyal

Outliers (6/10) Pop psychology at its best-selling finest. Don’t believe that all you need to do to achieve greatness is logging 10.000 rules (it depends on the discipline, your initial talent, how you train, who you train with, luck, etc.).
by M Gladwell

The Hope Circuit (6/10) One of the best books for psychology students and researchers to understand what really goes on in academia. An average book to learn psychology since it’s too heavily diluted with Seligman’s life details (and his slight narcissism and drive to power shows)
| by Martin Seligman

When (6/10) An important different look at psychology: how the time of the day influences our cognitive processes. When something happens might not always be the most important variable, but it’s important to know and understand.
|by D Pink

Sway (6/10) On the same wave of Predictably Irrational, but it’s not a copycat: adds original thought and
|by Brafman

The Social Animal (6/10) I learned quite a few things from Brooks, but I find the structure of following the entire life of two people a bit too tedious and scatterbrained. If you are looking for an overview and tidbits it can be good, if you are looking for specific information about a specific topic, then it’s less good.
| by D Brooks

Phantoms in the Brain (7/10) A good book to better understand the inner workings of the brain.
by V. S. Ramachandran 

Eichmann in Jerusalem (6/10) This book has become a symbol for the “banality of Evil”, but albeit it’s historically good, it’s not nearly as good when it comes to psychology. Go for “Evil” instead or the “Lucifer Effect”.

The Tipping Point (6/10) The concept of a few powerful connectors that drive most of the spreading is a good one. Except for that, it’s a typical Gladwell book: easy to read, lots of curiosities and storytelling but little science, little practical applications, and little added value.
by M Gladwell

The 2008 Financial Crisis: A Social & Psychological View (6/10) Some excerpts of my master thesis. I picked the topic to understand the financial crisis and deepen my psychological knowledge. I didn’t care about the final grade, so the writing is mediocre to poor.
by Lucio

The Marshmallow Test (6/10) History of the test with all the implications on self-control and delayed gratification. The test has been criticized -and for good reasons- but the book has a few great ideas to increase our self-control
by W Mischel

The Invisible Gorilla (5/10) A book on the limitations of our cognitive abilities. It’s not bad, but there are a lot of similar books around these days.
| by Chabris, Simons

Understanding Human Nature (5/10) Alfred Adler is very Freudian, and in many ways so. He has great intuitions and is a great mind in the service of psychology, but e also proceeds with little science and evidence. I had big expectations for my first Alfred Adler’s book, and I found several golden nuggets. But, overall, the lack of science weighs it down.
| by Alfred Adler

David and Goliath (4/10) Easy to read, but doesn’t add much value.
by M Gladwell

Talking to Strangers (4/10) Another pop-psychology book with the typical Gladwell’s stamp: grab attention with stories, and seek what’s shocking, not what’s true. Skip it.
by M Gladwell

The Psychopath Test (4/10) Calls into question the reliability of psychiatry. But it’s otherwise fuzzy and confusing and doesn’t go anywhere.
by J Ronson

Stumbling on Happiness (4/10) A patchwork mix of a few psychological biases. Little connection to happiness and incoherent for someone looking to deepen his understanding of psychology (or interested in increasing his happiness)
| by D Gilbert

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (3/10) Emotional intelligence is key in life. But the author misinterprets the data and fails to recognize that sometimes low agreeableness and maybe even aggression can get you further. Read the book, but keep in mind the data interpretation issue.
by T Bradberry

Dangerous Personalities (1/10) The book is not bad, but it’s bad for people who want to deepen their understanding of psychology. Trying to appeal to a mass market, the author bundles different and distinct pathologies together. Then slaps them with catchy and marketable labels -ie. “the predator”-. Avoid if you want to learn the correct diagnosis and nomenclatures, do read it if you’re interested in more practical ways of spotting and recognizing “not perfectly identified dangerous personalities”.
| by J Navarro

Dark Psychology 101 (0/10) Contentless, I wouldn’t even call it a book.
| by M Pace

8.2. Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology (10/10) Simply THE manual of evolutionary psychology, good for both students and laymen alike. It leaves out a few important aspects of sexual selection, but the next book takes care of that.
| by D Buss

The Mating Mind (10/10) It fleshes out Miller’s theory of intelligence through sexual selection. You might agree or disagree with that -I agree-, but even beyond that central theory, if you truly want to understand evolutionary psychology, this is your book.
| by G Miller

The Evolution of Desire (10/10) One of the most scientifically sound analyses of the sexual marketplace.
| by D Buss

Behave (9/10) A long but great overview of people and psychology. The only thing missing for a 10/10 is that Sapolsky has strong political views which tinge his work with some of the typical leftist-leaning biases
| by R Sapolsky

The Moral Animal (9/10) The first time I read this book I was in awe at how everything was finally becoming clear. It’s a bit old and there is been a lot of new research, and that’s why not 10/10. But all the major tenets of the books have not changed since then.
by R Wright

The Selfish Gene (8.5/10) A seminal book that spread the ideas of Williams and Hamilton, replacing group selection with the gene-centered view of selection. Make sure to get the latest version of the books where Dawkins said that humans are also altruistic, or you might get the wrong idea of human nature.
by R Dawkins

The Origins of Virtue (8.5/10) The best analysis of how we developed altruism and caring. Too bad it lacks two crucial tools for the development of altruism: a review of kin altruism, and the impact of sexual selection
| by M Ridley

Virtue Signaling (8/10) A series of insightful papers and articles on the phenomenon of “virtue signaling”, seen from the point of view of sexual strategy and mate choice.
| by Geoffrey Miller

The Red Queen (7/10) A few imperfections -like sperm wars presented as scientific truth- and a bit too on the nature side (VS nurture) in my opinion. But otherwise, a very, very good text to understand both sexual evolution and human nature.
| by M Ridley

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (7/10) A good entry book for those who are just starting out with evolutionary psychology, presented in fun Q&A format. Some imperfections though, and a bit too much on the nature and deterministic side. But I still learned a lot from it.
| by S Kanazawa

The Blank Slate (7/10) A book fully dedicated to some of the biggest enemies of evolutionary psychology: feminists, left-wing ideologues, and cultural determinists.
I think we need to stand against ideologies, but sometimes I feel that Pinker becomes a bit of an ideologist himself and, at times, he denies the influences of culture a bit too strongly.
| by Steven Pinker

How the Mind Works (6/10) Pinker considers this his “Magnus opera”, and for good reasons: it’s a great overview of the mind, including also evolutionary psychology.
But I’m not too fond of his love for the computational theory of mind (ie.: the mind presented as a machine). Plus it’s long and convoluted, dealing with a bit too many topics.
| by Steven Pinker 

Sperm Wars (3/10) Some good points, but imprecise and unscientific.
by R Baker

The Third Chimpanzee (3/10) Rather unscientific. And heavily based on personal ideology.
| by J Diamond

Sex At Dawn (2/10)  The authors describe what they wish were true (ie.: hippy sex), instead of what is true (somewhat nastier reality). I actually enjoyed it, but I can’t give any higher ratings to what’s driven by ideology instead of truth.
| by C Ryan, C Jetha

Click here or the picture below for the best evolutionary psychology books:

best evolutionary psycology books

8.3. Positive Psychology

How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything: Yes, Anything (10/10): Albert Ellis teaches how to use REBT, a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, to improve how to think and, as a reflection, how to live and enjoy life. 
Ellis is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite books. It had a major positive impact on my life, personal development, and contentedness -as well as my ability to help others-.
| by Albert Ellis

Learned Optimism (10/10) One of the first positive psychology books, and it’s a classic. And still one of the best positive psychology books you can find. It teaches how positive psychology developed, and provides the best overview on how positive psychology can help you combat depression (and become more of an optimist)
|by M Seligman

Authentic Happiness (10/10) What’s a truly fulfilling life? It’s a life that includes al the types of pleasures, from the more physical ones, to the higher ones. And it’s this optimal mix that Seligman teaches readers how to achieve
|by M Seligman

The Happiness Advantage (10/10) The central thesis: first comes happiness, then success. Plus, lots of tips and advice on how to become happier.
| by S Achor

How to Keep People from Pushing Your Buttons (9.5/10) Albert Ellis again, this time teaching people how to use REBT to become more socially grounded. It would be another 10, but his other book was just SO good that he set his own bar too high. 
| by Albert Ellis

Flow (8/10) I find “flow” to have been over-hyped and to present some limitations for those who seek performance or happiness. But it remains a fundamental concept of positive psychology.
|by M Csikszentmihalyi

The Happiness Hypothesis (7/10) By the title you would think it’s a “met too” positive psychology book. But it’s much more, and much better. I particularly enjoyed the “nature matters more than people think” and “we’re all programmed to by hypocrites” bits.
|by J Haidt

Flourish (7/10) It presents some mistakes and some debunked psychology myths, but it provides a great overview of positive psychology (and the studies behind it).
|by M Seligman

Delivering Happiness (5/10) In between a business book and a positive psychology book. It’s the story of an entrepreneur who prioritized happiness in the workplace… And found a billion-dollar success
| by T Hsieh

Check out here the best positive books.

9. Red Pill / Manosphere / Feminism, Etc.:

Dating Power Dynamics (10/10) combines both first-hand experience and the best of the best scientific research to provide you with a neutral overview of the sexual marketplace, sexual market value, tools to boost your value, and sexual power dynamics.
| by L Buffalmano

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover (10/10) This is not “red pill” in the sense of intersexual dynamics, this is more the type of male self-development to help men understand masculinity and how to grow into the best versions of their male selves. 
Normally, this wouldn’t be my favorite type of book since it’s lighter in evidence and heavier in “myth” and theological examples, BUT… I was surprised at actually how good and deep it is. Great both to understand human nature, as well as an actual self-development book. The only con is that it might be a bit complex, but it’s worth spending some more time on.
| by Moore and Gillette

The Evolution of Desire (10/10) One of the few texts to shed some scientific light on the sexual marketplace.
| by D Buss

Anatomy of the State (8/10) The government is coercive and predatory. That’s the main idea, and I don’t necessarily fully agree. But Rothbard presents in a way as such that it makes at least some sense, and it can definitely be a red pill awakening to how things really are / work.
| by Murray Rothbard

The Mask of Masculinity (8/10) The different types of masks that men wear in society to look stronger, cooler, smarter and… Generally trying hard to look better than they are (also see “alpha male posturing“).
by  L Howes

Stealing the Corner Office (8/10) A red-pill, potentially eye-opening view of workplace dynamics.
|by B Reid

The Rational Male – Preventive Medicine (7/10) This might be the book that made me think and learn the most from Tomassi’s trilogy.
| by R Tomassi

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism (7/10) Such a pity for the feminist and leftist bias, because her analysis on the male-female conflict for political and cultural control is spot-on. The analysis on sexual economics has some deep insights, but lacks a deeper understanding of the macro-forces that govern sexual economics.
| by K Ghodsee

12 Rules For Life (6/10) Awesome first chapter, but loses the plot and becomes a caricature of Jordan Peterson. Aesthetics are a nice touch to a good book, but at times it felt Peterson’s prose built so much upon itself that aesthetics became the message instead of supporting the message.
| by J Peterson

The Rational Male (6/10) Some great foundational concepts, but when it goes deeper, it’s a bit too one-sided to provide a scientific, or even simply just neutral analysis. The sexual market value analysis is mostly based around age, which is somewhat limiting.
| by R Tomassi

The Manipulated Man (6/10) “Women are leechers”, could be this book’s supreme summary.
I think Vilar misses out on the fact that reproduction puts most of the strain on women, so it’s only normal that they work somewhat less than men do (yeah, that too, she generalizes a lot). She also misses on more basic biology and evolutionary psychology, but it’s an interesting -and very controversial- take.
| by E Vilar

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (7/10) Very good to understand the sociology and the groups’ influence on human’s mind and behavior. But very poor in its idealization of tribes. I basically found myself to be on the opposite side of Sebastian’s arguments all book long.
by S Junger

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage (6/10) Much more balanced than The Feminist Lie. It really hit when the author asked if it’s normal that men today feel they shouldn’t be around children. I do feel that way indeed. And probably it’s not normal indeed.
| by H Smith

The Feminist Lie (6/10) It makes very good points. My only issue with it is that it seems to have a slight, hidden frame of “men against women”.
by B Lewis

The Way of Men (5/10) It’s an interesting read and Donovan is not wrong. But I fundamentally disagree with its main message.
Donovan says a man needs a gang of other men to fully develop his masculinity. To me, that sounds like promoting groupthink and irrational herd behavior (hooliganism anyone?).
Instead, I believe a man needs to find himself first before joining any group -or he’s going to be at the group’s mercy-.
| by J Donovan 

The Feminine Mystique (5/10) An historical landmark and a wake-up call for men who thought all women were the happiest staying at home and being housewives. A bit light on actual data, but a good eye for catching human sentiment. It features lower here because times changed and you’re not going to learn nearly as much today.
|by B Friedan

Men Explain Things to Me (5/10) Some good ideas and reflections, but lacks in real depth.
|by R Solnit

The Way of The Superior Man (4/10) It’s popular and well-acclaimed, but it didn’t speak to me. Cloaking sexual dominance with spiritualism helped the book’s popularity, but it didn’t make the message clear or precise.
The sweeping generalizations and poor psychology and relationship advice also didn’t help.
by D Deida

The Rational Male – Positive Masculinity (3/10) Of Tomassi’s three books, this was the most rant-like and sectarian, more about “joining the gang” than on actual content. On the positive side, great advice on vetting her based on her past (and I agree on the ridiculousness of the media framing the “first time a woman did X..” as if it were a win for all women)
| by R Tomassi

We Should All Be Feminists (2/10) No, we should all research our topics better before writing a book.
|by C Adichie

Lean In (1/10) “Lean In” would be deemed as “toxic masculinity” if it were written by a man.
Sandberg calls on women to “unite” and “help each other”, going as far as complaining aout other women who didn’t help her out.
This book manages to be at the same time elitist, divisive, and shallow. And, finally, it’s also wrong and misleading in its analysis of sexual dynamics.
|S Sandberg

Click here or the image below for the best red pill books:

best red pill books updated

10. Relationship Reviews

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (10/10) If you had to read one single book of Gottman’s deep well of research, go with this one.
by J Gottman

The Tactical Guide to Women (10/10): A great relationship starts with picking the right partner. And this is the best book for that.
| by S Smith

Not Just Friends (10/10) If you are looking for information on emotional infidelity, preventing infidelity and mending a relationship after infidelity, look no further (or look at my post based on this book).
| by S Glass

Attached (10/10) Necessary read to understand relationships and a must-read if you are an anxious attachment
| by A Levine

Why Does He Do That? (10/10) Deep, eye-opening account of abusive men and the relationships they form. BUT, it’s not equally deep in the psychology of WHY women often stick with abusive men anyway.
by L Bancroft

Women Who Love Too Much (10/10) Potential life changer. I am still waiting for someone to write a book on “men who need to be loved too much”
| by R Norwood

Men Who Hate Women, and Women Who Love Them (9/10) Best resources I have read so far on misogyny, both in terms of psychology of misogynists, how it develops, and the relationship dynamics of misogynist relationships.
by Susan Forward

Hold Me Tight (9/10) Simple, yet profound message: great relationships are not built on great communication. Great couples don’t communicate any better than poor ones.
The difference is all in emotional intimacy (boom).
by S Johnson

The Man’s Guide to Women (9/10) Great stuff for men. Many men badly need it.
by J Gottman

The Women’s Guide to How Men Think (9/10) Great text to help women better understand men, together with much wisdom on how to develop a positive relationship.
| by S Smith

The 5 Love Languages (9/10) You can both love each other, but you can fail to communicate it properly if you don’t use the same language. This book will rescue you. It’s a very simple concept, you can read the summary and skip the book to be honest.
| by G Chapman

Too Good to Leave Too Bad to Stay (9/10) If you are ambivalent and not sure whether you should breakup or work on your relationship, this book is for you.
by M Kirshenbaum

8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness (9/10) Passive aggression must be cured or it breeds resentment
by A Brandt

The Relationship Cure (8/10) Highly specific on how small daily acts of “turning towards” build emotional intimacy. Must read for anyone who’s serious about improving his relationship. | by J Gottman

Men Are From Mars Women are From Venus (8/10) One of the most hated and criticized relationship books in the world. Feminists hate it, researchers hate for having no data and many hate it for implying women and men are completely different.
And still, it does get a lot of stuff right.
by J Gray

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail (8/10) It’s not true that great relationships have little arguing. Argumentative couples can get along as much as peaceful ones. But they must avoid the four horsemen of the apocalypse and keep a ratio of 5 positives to 1 negative.
by J Gottman

Psychopath Free (8/10) There are a few very nasty individuals out there. People who can fake love just for the sake of taking from you. Or for the feeling of power of destroying you. Psychopath Free will help you identify them.
| by J MacKenzie

Mating in Captivity (7/10) Light on evidence and not the most logical approach, but with some very good insights on couple’s sexual dynamics.
| by Esther Perel

Codependent No More (7/10) It was the first book that popularized the dependent/codependent dysfunctional dynamic. Must read if you tend to end up in such relationships, otherwise you can skip it -unless you want to get deep into psychology-.
| by M Beattie

The Science of Trust (7/10) Wanna hear a shocker? Gottman couldn’t believe when abused women told him the best sex they had was right after a beating.
There are some pearls, but it’s too long and technical.
| by J Gottman

Getting the Love You Want (7/10) Highly informational and some deep psychology. But a bit too Freudian in my opinion. It’s good for troubleshooting, but if you’re you’re looking to actually improve your relationship, you might want to start with something else.
by H Hendrix

Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage (7/10) A good primer into Gottman’s research.
by J Gottman

The Mastery of Love (6/10) You need to love yourself before you can love someone else. And the best relationships are about accepting our partners as they really are. Those are the most relevant bits of information.
by M Ruiz

Straight Talk, No Chaser (5/10) To improve relationships women could pick their battles, avoid constant nagging and don’t go wild crazy. What research doesn’t say, any sensible man could tell you. And it’s not any less true :).
by S Harvey

The Way of The Superior Man (4/10) Some good advice for men -like women testing men and not wanting to be their only priority mixed with generic content and some poor advice -operant conditioning done wrong by rewarding bad behavior, for example-.
by D Deida

Real Love (3/10) Way too much woo-woo. When a book tells me to “love everybody” I shut off. It’s not about being cynic, it’s about knowing that not everyone is worthy of your love.
by S Salzberg 

relationship book reviews

11. Self-Development Reviews

How to Keep People from Pushing Your Buttons (10/10) Ellis, an actual psychologist, teaches well-proven cognitive-behavioral therapy to become more mentally resilient and grounded.
| by Albert Ellis

Simple Habits (10/10)  It combines all of the best information from habit development resources and packages it alongside a workbook that walks you through the entire process step by step. Couple that with the high-quality community he shares access to, and you have a perfect package.
Review by Ali
| by Matt D’Avella

I’m OK – You’re OK (10/10) It helped me troubleshoot some of my relationships and further improve my social skills. Can also help you fix issues with authority figures and, if you are still dependent on your parents’ approval, help fix those issues with your parents.
|by T Harris

The Laws of Human Nature (10/10) Greene mixes psychology, social skills and self-help. And albeit the focus is not self-help, the depth of wisdom and psychological vision that Greene masters in his work put it at the top of the pile.
by R Greene

Essentialism (10/10) Another book with a single, simple concept. Focus on less to do more and better. So simple, yet so life-changing and revolutionary.
by G McKeown

The Happiness Advantage (10/10) Self-help book the way I like them: empowering, full of applicable wisdom and backed by ample research. In a nutshell: you don’t chase success to be happy. You should rather work on being happier and that will help you achieve success. Great great stuff!
| by S Achor

Peak (10/10) The best book on what the author says is a new branch in psychology which he calls “the science of expertise”
|by A Ericsson

Man’s Search for Meaning (10/10) A huge classic. Don’t get lost just in the story though, the takeaways are life-changing.
The biggest ones: 1. pick a big WHY in your life to bear any how; 2. you can’t pursue success and happiness: they must ensue from your WHY. Deep deep stuff.
by V Frankl 

Principles: Life and Work (10/10) “build your own reality” and law of attraction thinking are popular in the self help. Here is it is a billionaire instead who built his fortune on uncertainty and hyper-realism. Let’s take a leaf out of his book.
by R Dalio 

Personal Power II (10/10) Except for the lack of structure and the law of attraction, this is one of the best self-development audio programs. In my opinion, people only need two programs on self-help. This is one of them.
by T Robbins

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (9.5/10) The best overview I’ve read on self-esteem. But there are also some important notes and possible cons. For example, the author says that “values” and “living by one’s own values” are a pillar of self-esteem. TPM instead believes in more fluid values, as well as in self-esteem that is independent of cast-in-stone values.
| by Nathaniel Branden

Give and Take (9/10) Givers win at life, but only if they learn how to be more strategic and how not to be taken advantage of by takers. Wonderful book and very well researched.
The only thing preventing it from a 10/10 under this “self-development” section is that it’s not a how-to book (for that, there is Power University)
| by Adam Grant

The War of Art (9/10) Let dreams guide you, but focus on the process. Day in, day out.
That’s it. The “secret” to making your dreams come true. Doesn’t even need the whole book, to be honest. But it’s still wonderfully written.
Skip the third part with divine and woo-woo theories and the rest is golden (but if you’re a woo-woo artist you’ll probably love the third part too)
| by S Pressfield

The Confidence Code (9/10) Albeit it’s aimed at women, anyone will learn a lot about confidence, what it’s useful for, and a few tips on developing your confidence
| by Shipman & Kay

The Perfect Voice (9/10) I wished for more clarity on the difference between chest and head voice in the exercises. Otherwise, great stuff.
by Roger Love 

Awaken the Giant Within (9/10) A summary of most of Robbins’ teachings in a single book. Great stuff.
by T Robbins

Ego Is the Enemy (9/10) Ego has long been a pet peeve of mine. I don’t think ego is the enemy and I believe our ego can be a powerful tool to move us forward. But Ryan focuses on how ego can impair us here, and he does it very well.
by R Holiday

Deep Work (9/10) Similar to The Talent Code in some ways, but with a broader appeal: it’s not mostly for athletes but also for writers, researchers and any type of office worker.
by C Newport

The Talent Code  (9/10) A roadmap to training for mastery. A must-read if you’re an athlete, coach, musician, or taking part any endeavor that requires lots of repetition.
A bit less relevant if you’re in a more brainy or artistic field.
by D Coyle

Daring Greatly (9/10) All the talk on self-acceptance, “feelings” and accepting imperfections might sound weak. But force yourself to approach it with an open mind, vulnerability is a game-changer.
by B Brown

Meditations (9/10) It’s funny how the top people are pretty much the same wherever or whenever you are. A book of 2.000 years ago condenses 60% of modern self-help literature.
by M Aurelius

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (9/10) Huge classic. A bit of a mixed bag going from communication to mindset, but they are all fundamentals of self-development.
by S Covey

So Good They Can’t Ignore You (9/10) That title is so good that it has become a catchphrase of mine. I strongly disagree with Newport’s idea that realizing and following our passions should not be a high priority early on in life, but you should still read this book.
by C Newport 

The Compound Effect (9/10) It’s the small daily action that will compound over the long run into runaway success. So simple, yet so true.
by D Hardy

The 50th Law (9/10) Acknowledge death as inevitable, act fearlessly to make the most out of life and adjust purely on reality’s crudest feedback. Great stuff.
by R Greene

The Untethered Soul (9/10) A simple, yet important switch of perspective: stop changing the world around you and make the shift within you for happiness and peacefulness. Feel the pain and let it go. Good stuff.
by M Singer

The Obstacle Is the Way (9/10) Inspired by stoic philosophy and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Holiday still adds plenty of value to make this book a must-read.
The best book on (holistic) problem solving available.
by R Holiday 

Relentless (9/10) Have you ever thought of leveraging your anger, and dark side instead of moving past it like most other books advise you to? No? Then you must read this masterpiece.
A truly one-of-a-kind book.
by T Grover

The Slight Edge (9/10) It’s not new information in any way, yet it simply embodies the real “secret” to becoming wealthy and successful: work hard every single day. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful ones is just there: simple daily habits.
|by J Olson

The One Thing (8.5/10) Not too dissimilar from Essentialism, but adds enough more wisdom to make it worth your time (ie.: visualize the process instead of the final goal). Can be summarized as a blog article.
by Keller & Papasan 

Own the Day, Own Your Life (8/10) Great overview of healthy living.
by Aubrey Marcus

When (8/10) If you’re into bio-hacking and peak performance, you gotta get this book (it will explain how to plan your days around your peak hours and troughs and how to maximize naps and breaks).
|by D Pink

The Little Book of Stoicism (8/10) If you’re looking for an overview on stoicism, look no further. Brief and packed with actionable and life-changing advice.
|by J Salzbeger

Linchpin (8/10) I used to love this book until I realized it basically took most of its best bits from The War of Art. Still great, but read The War of Art first.
by S Godin 

Pussy: A Reclamation (8/10) I love the self-development through pleasure that Regena espouses. Too bad it had a lot of self-help myths and a poor understanding of social psychology and sociology (plus it’s incredibly narcissistic).
|by R Tomashauer

As a Man Thinketh (8/10) The idea behind, such as that our thoughts determine our life -and that we control our thoughts!- is a fundamental tenet of self-development.
But you can save time with the summary and then apply the concept.
by J Allen

Can’t Hurt Me (8/10) There is too much darkness in my opinion but it’s a wonderful text on transforming pain into motivation and pushing our limits.
by D Goggins

The Power of Now (8/10) Get the audiobook if you can, Tolle’s soothing voice will help you get in the now.
| by E Tolle

A New Eart (8/10) In some ways similar to The Power of Now. It contains potentially enlightening and life-changing concepts. I took away a couple of points because of Tolle’s bad interpretation of evolution, some historical facts and some made-up opinion pitched as gospel.
|by E Tolle

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… And It’s All Small Stuff (8/10) the title itself is a pearl of wisdom.
by R Carlson

StrengthsFinder 2.0 (8/10) Talent and potential matter. In an era of feel-good self-development mantras of “you can do anything”, it’s good to be realist too.
And if you work equally hard while playing your strengths you’ll go farther while having more fun.
Note: I took one point off because of the pricey, sneaky test upsell.
by T Rath

How to Read a Book (8/10) If you are read for efficiency, then it makes sense to make your reading more efficient. Also check how to absorb knowledge effectively.
by Adler & van Doren

The Magic of Thinking Big (8/10) Make your dreams, goals and targets big. Believe you can and you’re more likely to make it happen. The size of your success is proportional to the size of your beliefs. A classic.
by D Schwartz

Big Magic (8/10) A book on living a creative life. What was huge for me was this concept: everything’s already been done, don’t try to be unique. strive to be authentic instead.
by E Gilbert

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (8/10) Some “laws” are obvious, but for me it was a powerful reminder that it all starts with who you are. Everything you build, rests on your character. Your first priority should always be to work on your character.
by J Maxwell

The Power of Habit (8/10) I might be a white swan here, but I think this book is overrated. It has awesome information, but it’s very diluted and quite thin when it comes to applicable information
I would still recommend you read it, but if you’re short on time consider the summary.
by C Duhigg

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (8/10) A few good strategies to stop worrying and better enjoy life.
by D Carnegie

Mastery (8/10) Not one of my favorites from Greene. It has his magic touch when it comes to social psychology and power dynamics. But if you want to learn how to master a discipline, it’s a bit light in actual science.
by R Greene

Ultralearning (8/10) To me, it’s not just about the steps that Scott lays out, since those can change depending on the field and the situation, but it’s the mindset and belief that learning faster than most anyone think is possible is… Possible.
| by Scott Young

Brian Tracy Books: a Summary of Lessons Learned (8/10) This is not a real book or resource, but a summary of what I learned from several different Tracy’s resources.

Think and Grow Rich (8/10) My favorite part is the sex transmutation chapter: information that I have never found anywhere else. I’m not a big fan of some other unscientific claims sold as scientific.
by N Hill

Mindsight (8/10) How meditation and mindfulness can help with painful memories, traumas and OCD.
by D Sieel

Grit (7/10) Duckworth’s re-marketing conscientiousness was a blunder -or a Machiavellian move-. But part of the content is still powerful and valid. In a nutshell: hard work and consistency trumps talent.
by A Duckworth 

Make it Stick (8/10) If you have never thought of how to learn, then you have some catching up to do. Make It Stick is one of the best books to start from.
|by Various Authors

First Things First (7/10) A powerful reminder of giving priorities to what really matters to us in life instead of following what everyone else does or what society or parents deem as important for us. If you haven’t done this type of introspection already, this is an absolute must.
| by S Covey

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (7/10) Some good self-development concepts repackaged in a coarse, “bro” language. Nice marketing move. But the content is not bad.
by M Manson

Tao Te Ching (7/10) If you like factual and precise information, you might not love the Tao Te Ching. Otherwise, there is much food for thought here.

How to be a Bawse (7/10) In a way, similar to The Subtle Art: a good self-help book told in an informal, Generation Y tone.
| by L Singh

Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn (7/10) Great treaty on the mindsets (and importance) of learning no matter whether you win or lose.
| by J Maxwell

Braving the Wilderness (7/10) I find Brene Brown’s books to be rather self-referential. The content and the message is good, but not to the point where it can be therapeutic in my opinion
| by B Brown

10% Happier (7/10) The only non-woo-woo book on meditation I have read so far. Indeed, it’s a driven man who explains how meditation and mindfulness helped him in his life and career
| by D Harris

What I Know for Sure (7/10) Oprah’s autobiographical story. Oprah jumps to conclusions, but overall it seems like she gets it right for her life. It can be helpful to develop some self-awareness. The most powerful message to me was: whenever a system is against you, your best weapon is the pursuit of excellence.
| by O Winfrey

Act Like a Success Think Like a Success  (7/10) Steve Harvey autobiographical rise to success and fame. A typical rug to riches in a way, but rug to riches are inspiring and powerful stories.
by S Harvey

Make Your Bed (7/10) Start the day with a win, however small. And build a team, you won’t go nearly as far on your own.
by W McRaven

Who Moved My Cheese (7/10) I’m not big into fables and parables. Give me the facts, straight, no coating, no fluff. BUT this one is not bad.
| by S Johnson 

The Happiness Project (7/10) “Happiness cannot be pursued, it must ensue”, said Frankl. But Gretchen proves that you do can do a lot to increase your happiness level.
by G Rubin

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (7/10) You might think it’s inconsequential, but a tidier place, a leaner wardrobe and no clutter around the house will make you feel better.
by M Kondo

The Gifts of Imperfection (7/10) It takes courage to be yourself but it pays off: don’t conform to the mass. It’s a bit too typical Brene Brown “accept yourself” style though.
by B Brown

Manage Your Day to Day (7/10) Productivity book with a few good concepts. For example: do the most important task first thing when you’re fresh and energized.
by 99u

#AskGaryVee (7/10) Gary’s best book. Not groundbreaking, but good. It stresses how big goals and visions help you stay motivated and the importance of “loving it all”, including the daily grind.
by G Vaynerchuck 

Be Obsessed or Be Average (7/10) I agree that to reach greatness obsession is, if not required, at least extremely beneficial. However, you probably don’t need the whole book to get that concept.
by G Cardone 

Gorilla Mindset (7/10) It spreads itself thin trying to cover lots of self-development ground. But it can serve as a good overview and entry-level book for a beginner of self-development.
|M Cernovic

Letting Go (7/10) The crazy thing about this book is that I actually love its main idea. And It’s also been super useful for me.
At the same time, except for the super useful main concept, the author is also full of sh*t.
Yes, apparently great life-changing content and being full of sh*t are not mutually exclusive.
| by D Hawkins

The Four Agreements (6/10) Two rules are great (don’t take anything personally and always do your best). But the wrapping of “ancient Toltec wisdom” puts me off.
Overall, not bad, but go with the top priority books first.
by M Ruiz 

The 10X Rule (6/10) Make your thoughts, action, and consistency 10x bigger. That’s the book in a nutshell. If you’re not Cardone’s fan, consider using your time to do 10x more, rather than reading the book.
by G Cardone 

A Return to Love (6/10) Very new-agey and with strong religious undertones. If that’s not you, you can skip. If it’s you, you will love it. And if it’s not you but you can master a radical open-mindedness it can be a value-added reading.
| by M Williamson

The Artist’s Way (6/10) “help yourself and God will help you”. I love that quote. It’s a good book, but the fact that it encourages people to store positive reviews to stay positive is a big negative for me (antifragile ego, anyone?)
by J Cameron 

The Book of Joy (6/10) Not bad, I find there are more powerful resources around even if your only goal is joy.
| by Dalai Lama, D Tutu

The Power of Positive Thinking (6/10) This is Tony Robbin’s favorite book. It resembles a bit too much the law of attraction for me, but the principle of thinking positively for a more positive life holds.
by N Peale 

How Successful People Think (6/10) Easy read, but not life-changing.
by J Maxwell

When Things Fall Apart (6/10) Good on meditation practices and acceptance.
But I didn’t like how it ostracizes aggression as a poison. You can harness aggression for great inspiration and positive action, me thinks.
by Chodron

The Miracle Morning (6/10) From this book I learned and implemented, to great effect, the full glass of water in the morning. That’s worth 5 points all by itself. Telling yourself you slept enough is worth another point. Then… Little else.
by H Elrod

Tools of Titans (6/10) A big bag of “hacks”. I prefer a more holistic, character-based approach to self-development.
| by T Ferris 

Everything is Fucked (6/10) A mix of philosophy and self-help. I like Manson’s approach to self-help and the book is OK. It’s not more suited to people who are lost for meaning, or are into philosophy.
|by M Manson

Mental Mastery (5/10) A few gems here and there, yet some were more effective in theory than in practice. Given the price of the course, one might expect more truly transformative material. It felt too much like it only scratched the surface.
Review by Ali Scarlett (but please note Ali left no rating, so the rating is Lucio’s interpretation from Ali’s review)
by Ramit Sethi

The Way of The Superior Man (5/10) Some good life advice finding your life priority and prioritizing around it… All delivered in New-Agey format which you will either love or hate. I didn’t like it.
|by D Deida

Girl Wash Your Face (5/10) A bit too much “feel-good” type of self-help in my opinion.
by R Hollis

The Motivation Manifesto (5/10) Nothing new.
by B Burchard

High Performance Habit (5/10) The new idea I got was that high performers take micro-breaks to recharge their batteries and do more throughout the day. The rest was meh.
by B Burchard

The Purpose Driven Life (5/10) It does have some good ideas for everyone, but I only recommend it to Christians
| by R Warren

You Are a Badass (5/10) Good idea on the subconscious mind driving us. But all the rest is rehash, and average to poor quality self-development.
| by S Sincero

The 4 Hour Body (4/10) If you’re a geek, you’ll love it. If you’re not into supplements and measuring stuff down to the last milligram and millimeter, you may find a better overview.
by T Ferris 

Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself (4/10) I actually loved listening to Breaking The Habit, but the science it claims is so spotty -and plainly wrong- that I can’t rate it any higher.
| by Joe Dispenza

How to Rewire Your Brain (4/10) Noy bad by any means, it’s just that you can find higher ROI products for self-development. And the switch from neurology to psychology makes psychology feel like a more practical use of one’s time.
Review by Ali Scarlett
by Gregory Caremans

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (4/10) Your subconscious mind makes a reality of what you believe, and this book explains how to influence your subconscious mind.
I don’t believe this is the key to success -or happiness and fulfillment, for that matter-
by J Murphy

You Can Heal Your Life (4/10) There is some good stuff like removing “should” from your self-talk. But overall too fluffy, woo-woo, and unscientific.
by L Hay 

The 5 Second Rule (4/10) The 5-second rule might be helpful, but you don’t need a book for it.
| by M Robbins

The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success (3/10) Unpalatable mix of spirituality and materialism. With the law of attraction as icing on the cake.
by Deepak Chopra

Becoming Supernatural (2/10) Too much unscientific claims presented as scientific and too much upsell ruin the otherwise good ideas that are present in Dispenza’s work
| by J Dispenza

The Secret (0/10) Law of attraction, and to add insult to injury recommends you don’t work hard at what you want or the universe will take it to mean that you don’t really believe in it.
If life wasn’t short, you could read it for laugh’s sake. But just skip it.
by R Byrne

self help book reviews

11.2. Critical Thinking Book Reviews

The reason that ‘guru’ is such a popular word is that ‘charlatan’ is so hard to spell.
– William Bernstein

The Black Swan (10/10) One of Taleb’s best works.
|by N Taleb

The Believing Brain (10/10) Have you ever wondered why people seem to believe in irrational things for which they have little or no proof? Michael Shermer delivers a beautiful and credible answer (and a wonderful treaty on scientific skepticism)
|by M Shermer

How to Lie with Statistics (10/10) A great primer on how statistics can be willfully abused to sway us (and will also increase your critical thinking to understand how data can lead us astray)
by D Huff 

Fooled by Randomness (10/10) Great book on the human tendency to see trends and seek order where there is only randomness and chaos. I can’t count how many times I have referenced this book while reviewing other resources.
| by N Taleb

Behave (10/10) Behave’s taglines, “it depends” and “it’s complicated” should form part of the “critical thinking manifesto”. Do yourself a favor and get this one in audio format, because it’s long, but it’s great.
| by R Sapolsky

Enlightenment Now (9.5/10) The manifesto of humanism, reason, and science. Helpful to think critically behind the news and behind “what people say”. You know, like looking at the data behind the noise.
The only reason why it’s not a 10/10 is that Pinker, reminiscent of his “Better Angels of Our Nature”, seems naively overly optimistic.
| by Steven Pinker

The Millionaire Fastlane (9/10) It will help readers to think more critically, and be less trustworthy, of any “get rich” author
| by MJ DeMarco

The Blank Slate (9/10) Are we mostly nature or nurture?
And why is it so difficult in our current cultural climate to admit that yes, genes do matter? Those are the question that a critical thinker will power. And that’s what Steven Pinker addresses here, demolishing the politically biased leftist ideology.
| by Steven Pinker

No Logo (9/10) Capitalism has done a lot of good for the world. But the next time you’re about to overpay for some sweatshop-made garment, you’ll be at least more aware of what goes behind the scene (and possibly decide not to buy it)
by N Klein 

The Signal and The Noise (9/10) Possibly the best books on statistics, forecasting and common human errors that is easily accessible to the large public.
by N Silver

Skin In The Game (8/10) Typical Nassim Taleb: iconoclastic, angry, and intelligent. Some pearl of wisdom on limousine liberals, jealous intellectuals and “naive empiricism” of “intellectuals yet idiots” (ie.: Steven Pinker”)
|by N Taleb

Thinking Fast and Slow  (8/10) Kahneman lists all major psychological biases, so that you can be more aware of our own brain’s limitations, starting to think critically about your own thoughts.
by D Kahneman

The Antidote (8/10) Great book to call out much of the BS in the self-help literature
by O Burkeman

A Random Walk Down Wall Street (7/10) Helps people to understand that we all see more trends than there actually are, and that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions
by B Malkiel

Antifragile (7/10) A bit disorganized, but antifragility is an extremely powerful concept with a few practical applications as well.
by N Taleb

The God Delusion (7/10) A bit too vitriolic towards believers and opinion and sometimes resorts to strawmanning. Ultimately, it didn’t convince that we can exclude a God with reason, but it’s still a good book.
|by R Dawkins

The Better Angels of Our Nature (7/10) News would want us to believe the world is getting worse, but if you take a larger view, you will realize the world is actually getting better.
by S Pinker

Guns, Germs, and Steel (5/10) Jared Diamond is driven by ideology more than truth. But this book helps people to look at all possible causes instead of the most immediate one.
| by J Diamond

11.3. Women Empowerment

Power University (10/10) The most practical course to combine success, empowerment, and femininity
| by L Buffalmano

How Women Rise (9/10) A great overview of the issues standing in the way of women “rising”, and how to address them
| by Goldsmith & Helgesen

The Confidence Code (9/10) Women have one more stumbling block compared to men: confidence. This book helps women address the confidence issue.
| by Shipman & Kay

Hardball for Women (9/10) Great book to understand the power dynamics of the workplace.
| by P Heim

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office (8/10) Great wisdom on workplace power dynamics, especially good for women.
|by L Frankel

The Shadow Negotiation (8/10) If you want to learn negotiations, there are many examples here, including some good ones on frame control
| by D Kolb

Lean In (7/10) An important book for women who plan on having a successful career. Just make sure you skip the feminist bias and the calls on joining forces
| by S Sandberg

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism (7/10) Great book to understand some of the male-female conflict and how women can help their case. To bad for some typical feminist biases and misunderstanding of basic biology and evolutionary psychology
| by K Ghodsee

#Girlboss (7/10) It’s good for more rebel-types of women.
by S Amoruso

The Feminine Mystique (5/10) A landmark book of the so called “second wave of feminism”. But it will not add much value to today’s women in terms of advice and strategies.
|by B Friedan

The Girl Code (5/10) Some good things, but most a rehash of hard-before self-help.
| by C Leyba

Girl Wash Your Face (3/10) The type of feel-good book that keeps women’s wheels spinning and going nowhere.
by R Hollis

We Should All Be Feminists (2/10) It doesn’t empower women at all. It just provides some feel-good support that ultimately weakens women.
|by C Adichie

Get Rich Lucky Bitch: (0/10) Content-less and potentially harmful. You need to spend your efforts on action and actual strategies, not on the law of attraction.
|by D Duffield-Thomas

General Knowledge / Uncategorized

Eating Animals (9/10) A deep, well-researched analysis of the meat industry.

For a New Liberty (8/10) Expanded version of “Anatomy of the State”. I personally didn’t like or buy into the idea that unfettered free-market capitalism will magically make everything better and more efficient, but the part in which it explains the libertarian ideology is awesome.
| by Murray Rothbard

Steal Like an Artist (8/10) I loved the idea that everything’s already been done, so you might stop your fool’s quest of being original. Take (steal) from all different sources instead and inject your own personality into the new mix.
| A Kleon 

Endurance (8/10) Crazy adventure and a good tale to learn leadership. Especially, the keystone of leadership: taking responsibility.

Free Will (7/10) it’s a great analysis of Free Will and the author is a smart guy. Most of the objections I was raising while listening to the book, he eventually addressed them. And that left me to think “OK, he’s good great points, I agree”.
What I ultimately disagree with is in the (covert) moral calls that “because free will doesn’t exist, judging or being angry at other people’s actions is irrational and has no solid ground to stand on”. He never says that of course, but that’s where the book seems to truly be going.
Finally, the book is built on equating the extreme cases of brain damages to “any other brain” because “that’s what you’re born with, and there’s no free will in that”. In theory, that extension makes sense. But when you go from the extremes to the norm, the nuances often get lost.
finally, the last issue is that, in practical terms, this is a theoretical discussion as well as up to personal choices -Sam would say that I had no free will to choose, to which I’d reply “it doesn’t matter, I’m not discussing semantics, I’m choosing what serves me best and that’s what really matters”.
So I prefer to hold onto my belief system that people can change and are (largely and often, bar some blatant cases) free to choose their behavior.
| by Sam Harris 

Mob Daughters (6/10): I got this book to better understand Sammy Gravano’s history, psychology, family dynamics and, as well, mafia dynamics.
It was very useful in that sense, and there is much to learn about psychology and understand parent-children dynamics.
It’s also instructive to understand what high-quality and low-quality is.
I personally didn’t come out of it with a very high opinion of the author, and her version of their involvement in the ecstasy ring sounded unrealistically self-serving.
| by Karen Gravano

Guns, Germs, and Steel (5/10) Jared Diamond is driven by ideology more than truth. But the book has merits. And it helps readers widen their horizons and even critical thinking skills, looking at all possible causes instead of the most immediate ones.
| by Jared Diamond

Sapiens (3/10) Everyone loves this book. Except for those who want history without ideologies. The author mixes opinions with facts and makes several flawed interpretations. Pop history with not much critical thinking and not great scientific research.
| by Y Harari