25 Awesome Books for Self-Development

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“Many times the reading of a book has made the fortune of a man.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can have anything, be anything, and do anything you desire when you LEARN how to do it. You’ve obtained everything you have now, your salary, your relationships, and your career success, because that’s what you know how to earn.

It’s also all you’ve gotten because that’s ALL you learned to earn.

If you want to become even MORE successful in life, grow as a leader, and have a healthier body, then check out these books here! You might just find what you need.

Always remember: Ideas change lives.

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25 Awesome Books for Self-Development:


Click the Amazon links for more detailed reviews and descriptions by other people.

5 Success Books

The first key to self-development is a positive world view. When your thoughts and habits are conducive to reaching your goals, then success will surely follow.



  1. The Success Principles – How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer – A comprehensive list of lessons ranging from self-help, leadership, money, and far more (there’s at least 60 lessons), this is my number one most recommended book of all.
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey – As habits form your destiny, this book teaches you the paradigms (way of thinking of and interacting with the world) that lead to personal achievement.
  3. The Success System That Never Fails by W. Clement Stone – A series of lessons from Mr. Stone, one of the greatest success stories of all time.
  4. Read and Get Rich: How the Hidden Power of Reading Can Make You Richer in All Areas of Your Life by Burke Hedges – If you want to know the real significance and impact of reading great books, then have a look at this one. Burke Hedges discusses one of the key lessons that I tNeveach here on Learning brings success.
  5. Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do! by Robert H. Schuller – If at any time in your life things seem unbearable, this is the first books I’d recommend (Even the title alone is inspiring!). This one will encourage you to face your problems, find solutions, and persevere despite the odds.


5 Personal Finance Books

Wallace D. Wattles said that in order to unleash your highest potential in life, you will need many things to use (and money to buy them). Before you read business and investing books, you must first learn good financial habits and thought patterns.


  1. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker – Your thoughts directly affect your finances. If you’re not as successful as you’d like, then there’s something in your brain’s “software” or “programming” that’s holding you back. In this short book, T. Harv Eker will teach you how to have the mindset needed for financial success.
  2. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford – This one teaches you a different way to look at money and spending, as well as a great way to control your expenses and avoid waste. I still use the book’s techniques today.
  3. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – One of the greatest finance classics of all time, the stories written here teach the basics of personal finance.
  4. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki – If you’ve been raised with the “graduate school and get a good job” mindset, this one will teach you a brand new outlook about money and wealth: one that’s actually more effective than “work hard until you die!”
  5. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf – While the first four books here are mostly about personal finance, this one is also an excellent basic guide to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other similar assets.


5 Leadership and Management Books

During your life’s journey, you may need to lead and mentor others to help you achieve great goals. Learn from some of the best leaders by reading the books they wrote!


  1. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization by John Wooden and Steve Jamison – Written by one of the greatest basketball coaches in history, this book is about the personal characteristics and mindset necessary for growing successful in any endeavor. One key lesson from Coach Wooden: Never make the mistake that success can only be measured by medals and trophies.
  2. Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading by John C. Maxwell – John Maxwell is one of the most popular leadership authors of all and this book is a great collection of lessons that he learned in all his years as a leader. There are several hard truths here, and you WILL need to face them someday.
  3. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis – One of the most well-known leadership classics, this teaches the basic qualities necessary for leadership (integrity, character, etc.) as well as what to do when you’ve earned a place to lead (understanding yourself and the world, leading people, etc.)
  4. Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters by Jerry Porras and Stewart Emery – Passion leads to success, and this book will inspire and teach you how to find it and work for it.
  5. The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence by Ken Blanchard – A tiny book with several lessons on leadership, I certainly enjoyed this one because of its format. If you want a quick lesson (like when riding the train or the bus), just open the book, turn to any page, and read the quote and passage.


5 Health and Nutrition Books

How well you live is directly correlated to how well you take care of your body. These books are not about “fad diets” and weight loss but proper nutrition for optimum health. Remember this: Every single cell in your body (that includes your BRAIN) runs on and is built from the food you eat. Read these books to have a healthy body and mind.


  1. Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. – Certain foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), mushrooms, etc. can give immense boosts to your health and immune system. If you want to know what they are, how they work, and how to increase their efficacy, then read this book!
  2. The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner – While most of the modern world is plagued by “diseases of affluence” (heart disease, cancer, etc.), there are also several places where those illnesses are nearly nonexistent. This book shows the kinds of food and daily habits that are conducive to health as well as how you can apply those lessons in your daily life.
  3. What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You by Ray D. Strand, M.D. – Heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and many other chronic illnesses can be prevented with proper nutrition. This book teaches you how you can use different antioxidants present in food to preserve and maintain good health.
  4. Death By Supermarket: The Fattening, Dumbing Down, and Poisoning of America by Nancy Deville – The quality of our health is directly proportional to the quality of our food supply, and a vast majority of processed and factory food, nutritional supplement, pills, etc. are NOT doing us any good. Read this book to learn about how the food industry manipulates consumers (that’s us) and how to find better, healthier alternatives to what they offer.
  5. The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health by Randall Fitzgerald – Similar to “Death by Supermarket” above, this one is an in-depth look at how additives (neurotoxins, carcinogens, etc.), in processed food, toiletries, etc. depreciate our health.


5 More Awesome Books

Life principles and philosophies for effective action, let these books teach you how!


  1. The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian – A vast collection of aphorisms on life. Just turn to any page to learn something new.
  2. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – This one is an inspiring little story about salesmanship. The most valuable part of the book (in my opinion) lies in the ten scrolls that teach ten different lessons about finding and earning success.
  3. NLP: The New Technology of Achievement by NLP Comprehensive and Steve Andreas – Somewhat like a “manual for the human mind,” this book about Neuro-Lingustic Programming (NLP) contains excellent techniques to on how you can boost your confidence, find motivation, eliminate fears and phobias, and more.
  4. The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane – Charisma greatly improves our interactions with the people around us. Thankfully, charisma or charm isn’t something that a few people are lucky enough to be born with – it can actually be LEARNED and this book by Olivia Fox Cabane can teach you how.
  5. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch – One often overlooked reality of life is that most activities do not bring equal benefits. In nearly everything we do, 20% of activities lead to 80% of results, and the remaining 80% are nearly worthless. Read this book to learn the value and application of the Pareto principle (the 80-20 rule).



For core lessons from 50 different books and authors, check out Tom Butler-Bowdon’s collection here!


  1. 50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom for Work & Life from 50 Landmark Books by Tom Butler-Bowdon
  2. 50 Prosperity Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon
  3. 50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus by Tom Butler-Bowdon


For our Top 10 Picks, check out our article here: 10 Best Books I’ve read on Finance, Leadership, and Success
Anyway, that’s our 25 self-development book picks! If you have awesome non-fiction books to recommend, tell us in the comments below!

All Leaders are Readers

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About Ray

Ray is the head writer behind and is a proponent of improving the world using excellent ideas and self-education. He believes that anyone can achieve their goals once they learn how, and he considers it his mission to enrich lives and end poverty by teaching people the lessons they need to succeed.

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