Intellectual Life
33 Books That Inspire Jon & Missy
06Mar 2018

Looking for that next great book to inspire your life?

We’ve got your back…

In honor of intellectual month here at Lifebook, Jon and Missy have compiled a list of their top 33 most influential books EVER.

These are the life-changing books that have literally shaped who they are as people, and how they live each and every day.

Take a look, and be sure to leave your favorite books for us in the comments!

1. Cosmos
Carl Sagan

Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

2. Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand

Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life. A mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder – and rebirth – of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events.

3. The Art of Living Consciously: The Power of Awareness to Transform Everyday Life
Nathaniel Branden

The Art of Living Consciously is an operating manual for our basic tool of survival. No other book illuminates so clearly what true mindfulness means in the workplace, in the arena of romantic love, in childrearing, and in the pursuit of personal development

4. Personal Power
Tony Robbins

This program contains a step-by-step process that will help you identify what it is you really want, what’s preventing you from getting it, and how to break through barriers to take action and transform your life forever. Because this program is delivered with incredible passion, power, and playfulness, the process becomes not only moving but thoroughly enjoyable.


5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Steven Covey

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.


6. Man’s Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

7. You Are The Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter
Dr. Joe Dispenza

Is it possible to heal by thought alone—without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect. In You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. Similarly, Dr. Joe tells of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse—or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use double- and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs.

8. A Short History of the World
H.G. Wells

Spanning the origins of the Earth to the outcome of World War I, A Short History of the World is an engrossing account of the evolution of life and the development of the human race. Wells brings his monumental learning and penetrating historical insight to bear on the Neolithic era, the rise of Judaism, the Golden Age of Athens, the life of Christ, the rise of Islam, the discovery of America, the Industrial Revolution, and a host of other subjects. Breathtaking in scope, this thought-provoking masterwork remains one of the most readable and rewarding of its kind.

9. The Ultimate Goals Program: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Thought Possible
Brian Tracy

Your ability to set and achieve goals will determine your success and happiness more than any other skill. The starting point of great success is when you sit down and decide exactly what you really want, in every area of your life. Success guru Brian Tracy shares the results of 30 years of research and experience in setting and achieving goals and by taking you through a simple, proven step-by-step system that you can use immediately to achieve anything you really want in life.

10. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
Jim Collins

Jim C. Collins investigates how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and why most companies fail to make the transition.

11. Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson

A riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

12. E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It
Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

13. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo

Organizational consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home–and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

14. The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand

This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite… of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy…and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress…

15. Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life
Nathaniel Branden

The bestselling author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem presents an illuminating guide to self-realization through self-reliance and a vision of a society transformed by a new ethical individualism.

16. Shogun
James Clavell

Set in the year 1600, it tells the story of a bold English pilot whose ship was blown ashore in Japan, where he encountered two people who were to change his life: a warlord with his own quest for power, and a beautiful interpreter torn between two ways of life and two ways of love.

17. The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley

Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, The Mists of Avalon will stay with you for a long time to come….

18. Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon
Dr. Joe Dispenza

This book explores how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives. Becoming Supernatural marries some of the most profound scientific information with ancient wisdom to show how people like you and me can experience a more mystical life.

19. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Jonathan Haight

As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on his twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.

20. The Higher Self: The Magic of Inner and Outer Fulfillment
Deepak Chopra

Welcome on a behind-the-scenes tour of creation, an experience that will change forever the way you understand reality. Discover a world where the mind can physically change your body… where your entire body thinks, not just your brain… where matter exists only as a swirling pattern of information… where you actively create your own reality. The spiritual needs we all have for love, compassion, meaningfulness, total acceptance, devotion and inner peace are not grand goals to be achieved in a distant time and place. They exist here and now and exert powerful influences on our lives. Only be transcending to The Higher Self can you achieve total, spontaneous fulfillment of these needs.

21. The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection
Michael Singer

Michael A. Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, tells the extraordinary story of what happened when, after a deep spiritual awakening, he decided to let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots. As Singer takes you on this great experiment and journey into life’s perfection, the events that transpire will both challenge your deepest assumptions about life and inspire you to look at your own life in a radically different way.

22. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Seth Godin

If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead. Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

23. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Tim Ferris

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

24. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Larry Bossidy

The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job.

25. Lovemarks
Kevin Roberts

Collectively produced by Saatchi & Saatchi designers and art directors from across the globe, this book celebrates the central role design plays in creating emotional connections with consumers and injects a powerful dose of emotion into the world of advertising and marketing.

26. Anthem
Ayn Rand

This Novella by Ayn Rand was first published in England in 1938. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age characterized by irrationality, collectivism, and socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated (for example, the use of the word “I” is punishable by death). This is a novel upholding Rand’s central principles of her philosophy and of her heroes: reason, values, volition, individualism.

27. Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work
Steven Kotler

It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They’re harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

28. Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
Bill Plotkin

Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the cycles and qualities of the natural world, a blueprint for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.

29. The Alchemist
Paulo Cohello

This masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

30. Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different–and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men
Steve Biddulph

A bestselling and practical guide to the issues parents face in raising sons–including sex, violence, homework, sports, the Internet, and more–and how to best aid boys’ development from birth to manhood.

31. My Years with Ayn Rand
Nathaniel Branden

My Years with Ayn Rand charts the course of the clandestine, tempestuous relationship between the enigmatic author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and Nathaniel Branden-her young disciple and future pioneer of the self-esteem movement. In this book, discover the real Ayn Rand through the eyes of the man who became her soul mate and shared her passions and philosophical ideals.

32. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Greg McKowen

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.


33. Magical Mind / Magical Body: Mastering the Mind/Body Connection for Perfect Health and Total Well-Being
Deepak Chopra

Discover the three basic forces that control your life, and how you can control those forces…The seven secrets possessed by the most creative persons in all walks of life… Eleven factors that cause premature aging and why they are totally unnecessary… Invaluable techniques for assessing the body’s unlimited natural pharmacy, the key to perfect health and total well-being.

5 comments “33 Books That Inspire Jon & Missy”

  • Fern
    March 6, 2018
    12:10 pm

    Great list. Read many of the titles

  • Ingra
    March 7, 2018
    12:10 pm

    Nice list, I have read some of the titles and will add some to my collection. Looking forward to reading and inspirational growth.

  • Mohamed Wajeeth
    March 7, 2018
    12:10 pm

    Really? – ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is not on this list…

  • Adrienne Darling
    March 7, 2018
    12:10 pm

    Thank you Jon and Missy for sharing once again – I look forward to hours of audio on my commute to and from work.

  • Patrishe Maxwell
    March 7, 2018
    12:10 pm

    Dear Jon and Missy,

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life, your research on Harnessing the energy of Sexual union for creation. Tastefully, honestly and beautifully done. I am loving the 30-day challenge on MInd valley with Jon. You are an exceptionally Inspiring couple. Many blessings. Patrishe

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