Knowledge is power and even in this digital age, books remain a source of much valuable information.
However, with the current volume of information and the vast access to our world’s knowledge, it’s difficult to find quality content.
At The Considered Man, we share our own experiences and tips in order to help and inspire young men to navigate this changing world.
With this in mind, today I give you 12 books that had a significant influence on me as a young man.
I would say that these truly are must-read books for every young man who wants to better himself and succeed.
Each book offers the opportunity to learn different skills and concepts.
They span many fields such as business, habits, investing, mindset and travel but all are relevant for this generation of young men.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
01 How to Win Friends and Influence People | Dale Carnegie
If you haven’t read it already, you’ve almost certainly heard of this book. It’s certainly a must-read for every young man.
I first read this book when I was about sixteen and have re-read it multiple times since. In a nutshell, it’s a guidebook on how to be a person of influence in the world and in business.
One of the best things about this work is that it teaches you how to win people around through behavior. You will learn how to be friendly, approachable, and charismatic.
The world really is about people. Knowing what makes others tick and coming across well is crucial to your success.
This book will help you do this.
02 The Four Hour Work Week | Tim Ferris
This book aims to teach how to escape the 9-5 grind and create your own lifestyle.
I read it in my early twenties and it had a significant influence on my decision to move abroad and create a new life for myself.
It shows you how to build and earn money from an automated business, by following the steps laid out in the book.
The book is sometimes criticized for making this sound easier than it is; trust me it is not easy. However, it is certainly possible.
At worst, reading this book can really develop your view on life, work, and your goals.
03 The 48 Laws Of Power | Robert Greene
This book is great for learning how to manage people by understanding their weaknesses and desires. As you might have guessed, it is divided into 48 ‘laws’.
In many ways, the advice is similar to How to Win Friends And Influence People.
However, be warned that the author comes from a considerably more negative place. Sometimes tough love is necessary.
04 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Stephen Covey
Again, you are sure to have heard of this book, and for good reason.
This book teaches you how to train your mind to always be in a state of high performance.
The author explains how to be more effective at work and in life through the 7 habits. What young man doesn’t want to be a little more effective?
It’s a great book that focuses on your mental state and how to become a great leader, both of yourself and others.
05 The Obstacle Is The Way | Ryan Holiday
This is a book that deals with stoicism.
It will help you to overcome any obstacles you’re facing by leveraging the method that has been used by so many successful people throughout the world.
If this sounds like it might be for you, here is a short video summary by the author.
06 The Intelligent Investor | Benjamin Graham
If you have an interest in finance, you will probably know of this book.
Recommended by Warren Buffet, it is one of the most famous books on investing.
Despite first being published in 1949, it remains relevant today.
It can help you to develop into a savvy investor that makes sensible investment decisions.
Despite studying business at University, I didn’t read it until I was in my mid-twenties. Don’t make the same mistake as me; I wish I had read it earlier!
If this sounds interesting to you but you are not quite ready to dive into this 600-page book, this summary video might help you to make your decision.
07 Churchill | Roy Jenkins
Reading about the lives of influential figures is a great way to expand your knowledge. Churchill by Roy Jenkins is no exception and is one of my favorite biographies.
This is a book that will teach you leadership; an essential skill for every ambitious young man.
Through it, you will learn how to lead by example and inspire others.
It will also teach you to manage relationships, and make the right decisions in difficult situations.
08 The Lean Startup | Eric Ries
If you are interested in building your own company, particularly something tech-based, or work in a position where you design new products, this book is a great read.
This book focuses on building a business that’s testable and testing it in order to find out what works for your product.
This change in mindset has been really helpful for me as I have started many ventures over the years. While I have made many mistakes in companies that I have started, I would have made many more if hadn’t been exposed to this book.
09 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind | Yuval Noah Harari
The book focuses on the understanding of history, and the development of human civilization from its earliest days until today.
It covers the development of societies, their structures and the various ways in which they have developed throughout history.
To me, it is a fascinating book to explore the ways in which humans interact with each other through time.
It won’t provide you with a ‘how to’ but rather deepen your understanding of interaction, which is truly invaluable knowledge for every young man.
10 Principles | Ray Dalio
Written by Ray Dalio, the founder of one of the largest hedge funds in the world, this book focuses on principles he developed and credits his massive success.
As this is a modern book, these principles are practical and can be applied to any young man’s life in order to help him find long-term success.
This book illustrates that despite there being countless resources on Youtube and other free platforms, sometimes a traditional book can provide much more value in a shorter amount of time.
If you’re not sure this is for you or don’t want to read the full book, here’s a free video summary.
11 On The Road | Jack Kerouac
This book is about the adventures of the late Jack Kerouac and his friend Neal Cassady.
You will learn about the writers’ lives and their experiences.
It was an incredibly important book for its time.
I read this when traveling around Vietnam when I first came here and it really inspired to me to explore and discover.
While it has its critics, I’d certainly recommend it for those of you wanting to travel or currently traveling.
12 The Motorcycle Diaries | Che Guevara
This is a story from the past that’s centered on Che Guevara’s travels through South America. It’s a very inspirational story.
I read this when I had the urge to travel. I was working in the corporate world at the time and it really inspired me to be more adventurous and make the most of this short life (I realize how cheesy that sounds but it’s true).
If you are thinking or dreaming of traveling, this is a great choice.
If you happen to be a little lazy, there is also a movie version which is a good watch.
I hope you enjoyed this list. I tried my best to provide a shorter but also more interesting list than many of the others out there. The books on this list are all great and will aid you in becoming more successful in life.
Of course, there are countless more books that provide value. If there are any books that you think could benefit other young men, we’d love for you to share them in the comments below!