Reviews

This page offers the largest editorial reviews of self-development resources on the web.

To keep this page manageable we decided to focus on “best and worst”, relevancy, and popularity (so readers can get TPM’s straight-talking opinions).


1. Power & Strategies

Power University (10)
by TPM

TPM’s forum (10/10)
by TPM community

The Logic of Political Survival (9.5/10) 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

The Prince (9/10) 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 Art of Seduction (9/10) 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

Underboss (9/10) 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

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

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 48 Laws of Power (9/10) 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

Also read:

2. Social Skills Reviews

TPM’s forum (10/10)
by TPM community

The Social Strategist (10/10) the best bridge between foundational social skills and advanced ones
| by Lucio buffalmano & Ali Scarlett

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

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 (8/10) Great, but you can find better in this day and age.
by D Carnegie

Skip These:

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

Daniel Goleman, both Emotional Intelligence (4/10) and Social Intelligence (3/10), both theoretical and also lacking in the theory.


2.2. Assertiveness Reviews

Power University (10/10): 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. Ads a unique point of view between attachment styles, differentiation, and assertiveness.
| 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, it’s a great book.
| by R Glover 

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 (9.5/10) The best book on how to give and receive feedback, including some great psychology
by Stone, Heen

Difficult Conversations (9.5/10) 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 (9/10) 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

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


2.4. Body Language Reviews

All body language books top 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) An 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 read.
by J Navarro


3. Dating, Seduction, & Intersexual Dynamics

On general dating dynamics, without strategies and techniques to find a mate (read below for those, divided by gender):

David Buss (10/10) with both The Evolution of Desire and When Men Behave Badly, he is the best source to shed a scientific light on the sexual marketplace.
| by D Buss

A Billion Wicked Thoughts (9/10) Great big-data analyses with lots of unique insights.
by Ogi Ogas

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

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

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism (7.5/10) 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

3.2. Women Dating

Seduction University (10/10) the most scientific and experience-backed in this list, plus with texts, videos, and breakdowns

Anna Bey (9.5/10) A YouTube channel recommended by Ali.
LoF said it was more of a channel for wealthy male hunters and the “classy style” she preaches is only skin-deep.
If you look her up online, Anna Bey seems to have a bad “internet reputation” and lots of haters.
However, Lucio finds her content top-notch. Her dating strategies videos, here an example, share many similarities with this website. Her video on attractive body language is also great. And she understands the “optimum balance” for important traits such as confidence, independence, or “attention-grabbing” clothing and behavior.
You can learn femininity and class from her.
| by Anne Bey

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

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 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


3.3. Men Dating

Seduction University (10/10) possibly the best mix of science and research. This course doesn’t push any personal preference, but gives you the foundations that work (or don’t work) no matter what, presents every approach and strategy that work, and helps you find what works best for you
| by Lucio Buffalmano 

Playing With Fire (9/10) Growfast and lilism in the TM community both recommended this YouTube channel. Lucio agreed it’s solid (albeit wasn’t happy it “took inspiration from TPM” without referencing). It’s a good mix of “alpha male game“, but without the exaggerations of the red pill -of which he’s also critical- and focusing on processes and strategies.
| by Alex

Todd Valentine (9/10): Original PUA a bit more on the game-y side, but great to learn some “gaming techniques” and power dynamics, especially in verbal communication. Also great general approach focusing on doing the work and openly staying away from extremes and negativity such as the red pill. Big plus, you can learn from watching and breakdowns, which is a huge advantage over books. The same is true for his products.
| by Todd Valentine

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

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

Girlschase.com (8.5/10) John in the community recommended it.
Lucio agrees: a top dating websites for men, with great contributors in its community -Alek Rolstad first and foremost for night game-.
-1 point because it goes for quantity rather than the “timeless top quality” approach we prefer. And 0.5 less because the products it sells are good, but not matching the website’s quality and expertise. Lucio also didn’t like the marketing and products/people it cross-promotes on the mailing list (including one we spoke with but chose not to promote here).
As for Chase, he tends over-generalize -including with a Western and libertine approach to dating-, jump to conclusions, and some bias and lack of expertise to assess studies. But he has the experience and intuition to still make him a great teacher.
P.S.:
Seems like they read and learned from TPM. Would have been appreciated if they referenced us.
| by Chase Amante + Team

Invincible (8.5/10) It draws heavily from Robbins and The Art of Seduction but it’s solid material and a valuable focus on the fundamentals.
by D Tian

Day Game (8.5/10) It’s a video product. A bit brief and not too many video examples and case studies, but it’s solid information.
by T Valentine

What Women Want / Mate (8.5/10) 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 book at that.
| by G Miller & Tucker M

Fundamentals of Female Dynamics (8/10) 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

The Tactical Guide to Women (8/10): 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

Skip These

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

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

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

3.4. Relationships

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

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 | by John 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

4. Influence / Persuasion / Sales

Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive (9/10) 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 (9/10) 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 (9/10) 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 (8.5/10) Best book on social engineering.
|by K Mitnick

Pre-Suasion (8.5/10) 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

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

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

Skip These:

Straight Line Persuasion (6/10) 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

Grant Cardone: mostly good for “high-pressure” type of selling, but not enough well-rounded to teach sales outside of his brand of influencers type of selling. His book “Sell or Be Sold” was OK, but skippable.

4.2. Negotiation

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.
Invaluable.
| 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 (7/10) 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

5. Manipulation

Power University (10+/10): There is simply nothing on the market that teaches you manipulation, how to spot manipulators, and what to do about it as well as Power University does.
| by Lucio Buffalmano & TPM community

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

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

Skip These:

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


5.2. Dark Triad

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 and lover high in Machiavellianism, power and also romanticism. 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 mindsets 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

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

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

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

Skip These

Without Conscience (7/10) Robert Hare is one of the most famous names when it comes to psychopathy, and this is his best book, meaning that it’s one of the most commonly recommended or talked about. However, it’s aged, and there is better on the market.
|R Hare


6. Business / Career / Money

Top Business & Money Authors

  • Alex Hormozi (10/10) simply the best there is at this point in time, and great mix of business advice and life wisdom
  • Warren Buffet / Charlie Munger (10/10): the best guys to listen when it comes to investing
  • Tom Bylieu (9/10): only limitation may be that he is very extreme in the mindsets and extreme can turn into empty or toxic motivation. Otherwise, fantastic guy both for business mindsets, principles, and strategies.

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

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

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

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 

Avoid These

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 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, then it could start approaching ten stars.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Ramit Sethi

6.3.2. Marketing Reviews

Start With WHY (9/10) a great book on corporate identity and values as the main drivers of marketing and sales (people by the products as a way to state and communicate their own identity)
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

No Logo (8/10) This old no-global manifesto feels like an ethnographic study on the effects of great marketing. A fantastic read to learn more about marketing, protest movements, as well as people in general
by N Klein 

Avoid These

Purple Cow (4/10) Be remarkable to stand out from the market noise. Except that’s what everyone else is trying to do? Not only such a simple concept didn’t need a book, but the concept itself is also illogical
| 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

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

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   

The Millionaire Fastlane & Unscripted (8/10) Not much information on actually starting a business, but if you want to switch from employee mentality to an 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

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

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

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

6.6. Money & Wealth

MONEY Master the Game (10/10) The best resource on investing for the layman, skip all the rest from Tony Robbins.
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

Skip These

Generally speaking, we only recommend basic personal finance to those who haven’t yet realized that spending more than you earn on a constant basis will put you in dire financial straits.

So albeit these titles are good for basic finance, they’re not really for financial thriving and abundance:

The Total Money Makeover (6.5/10) Good for basic personal finance, skip if you don’t need someone to tell you that spending more than you earn is a bad idea.
by Dave Ramsey

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

6.7. Networking

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. 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.
Review by Ali Scarlett
| by Mara McCann & Justin Giddings

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 in a category of its own and makes all other books look like simplistic space-fillers (and I based on this book much of our article “how to be a leader“)
| by A Haslam

Leadership BS (10/10) A scathing and much-needed criticism of the leadership industry and its lies and naivete.
| by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Jocko Willink podcast (9/10) From what I could gather, it seems like a great mix of high-quality leadership with the much-needed political and power awareness that is fundamental to do well and make things happen within any organization.
The only downside is that it’s imbued with the small-pond values, ideals, and narrow-mindedness typical of military indoctrination.
| by Jocko Willink

Radical Candor (9/10) It focuses on leadership in the workplace, but the principles apply to anyone who wants to lead high-performing groups. Just be aware that this is not how most organizations and leaders function, but mor elike an ideal to move towards
| 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 ever been a business leader in his life, so his advice can smack “ivory tower-ish”
| by Simon Sinek

Skip These

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


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

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

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 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

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 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

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
| by Martin Seligman

Skip These

Malcolm Gladwell (4/10): great for edutainment, but not for education and learning.

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

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 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

Skip These

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

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

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

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

The Happiness Advantage (9/10) The central thesis: first comes happiness, then success. Plus, lots of tips and advice on how to become happier.
| by S Achor


9. Self-Development

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

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 Happiness Advantage (9/10) 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 (9/10) The best book on what the author says is a new branch in psychology which he calls “the science of expertise”
|by A Ericsson

Principles: Life and Work (9/10) “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 

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (9/10) 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

Tom Bilyeu (9/10): Great guy, phenomenal motivational speaker, and good to learn some important mindsets.
Naive and sometimes power-unaware with his guests (see for example his interview with Sadguru). Often fails the “law of balance”, for example with drive, “growth mindset” and “open-mindedness”. Tom sometimes spread BS fed to him by various charlatans.
However, given his moral standings and his pedigree, he’s still one of the best self-development gurus around -just stick to him talking, skip most of his interviews-.

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 

The War of Art (8.5/10) 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 (8.5/10) 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

Awaken the Giant Within (8.5/10) A summary of most of Robbins’ teachings in a single book. Great stuff.
by T Robbins

Deep Work (8/10) 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

Meditations (8/10) 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 (8/10) Huge classic. A bit of a mixed bag going from communication to mindset, but they are all fundamentals of self-development.
by S Covey

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

Already Free (8.5/10) one of the best books on “acceptance” from Eastern philosophical traditions as it combines with the more pragmatic and hands on Western tradition of psychoanalys
by Bruce Tift

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

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

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 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

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

Skip These

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

Brendon Burchard & High Performance Habits (5/10) Didn’t hear anything new either from the author, nor from the book.
by B Burchard

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

Andrew Tate (4/10) someone in the community said good thing about him and “pre-fame TAte” seemed to have more sensible and higher quality content. Overall, TPM doesn’t seem to endorse or lend much credibility to the quality of his content though.

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 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

Joe Dispenza , any work, including 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

9.2. Manosphere / Men’s Self-development

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover (10/10) 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 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

Rollo Tomassi (7/10) On the con side, Lucio frankly finds him mysoginistyc and biased and, if not mysoginistic, at least overly confrontational. That’s not a good attitude to interanlize to either date or seduce, and even less so to enter nito relationships. On the plus side, some of his analyses are good, some were even unique and great and brought new concepts into the male self-development space.
His first book was a bit basic for more advanced audiences, and The Rational Male – Preventive Medicine might be the best from Tomassi’s trilogy.

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

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

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 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

Skip These

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

9.2.3. Red Pill

The red pill is largely a male-only self-development movement, but we will use “red pill” in its larger sense here, including anything that can be “awakening” to a widely-held, but potentially wrong worldview.

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

9.3. 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 (which would be deemed “toxic masculinity” if written by a man for men)
| by S Sandberg

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

Skip These

Girl Wash Your Face (3/10) A bit too much “feel-good” type of self-help in my opinion. You can get better wisdom with your time
by R Hollis

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

9.3.2. Feminism

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 as housewives. Light on data, but a good eye for catching human sentiment. Times changed though and you’re not going to learn nearly as much today.
|by B Friedan

Men Explain Things to Me (5/10) lacks any real depth and there is no practical wisdom
|by R Solnit

We Should All Be Feminists (2/10) No, we should all research our topics better so we don’t spread shallow and false information. It also doesn’t empower women at all. It just provides some feel-good support that ultimately weakens women.
|by C Adichie

9.4. Critical Thinking

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

YouTube Channels

  • Medlife Crisis (science and health), also good to understand the scientific method, human biases, and how to draw logical conclusions
  • Coffeezilla, good for those who tend to over-trust a bit too easily
  • Biolayne (nutrition), especially his “myth-busting” series
  • Charlie and Ben Podcast (9/10): at times naively open-minded in a way that only college-educated white urban millennia can be, but otherwise great
    |by Charlie Houpert and ben Altman

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

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 about 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 Believing Brain (9/10) 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

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

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

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