As Aluxers we spend a good chunk of our time reading and we know how hard it is to come up with great book recommendations, that’s why we wanted to make the decision process easier for you.
We went through our own library of books and picked up 15 – who are we kidding.. You know there’s gonna be more than 15 – which we believe you will enjoy.
We’ve carefully selected these for your upcoming Summer holiday as we believe these books are best enjoyed on the beach or while you take some time off.
Our selection covers a variety of topics and for the first time on our channel, this is not a business book list, but instead it includes titles which will make you look at the world differently, will get your inner gears turning and maybe you’ll uncover something new about yourself and the world around you.
You can purchase any of the books by clicking the blue ”Buy Item” button that shows up on the pictures or if you don’t feel like reading, we have a gift for you Aluxers:
Audible is a company owned by Amazon and they have audio versions of most of the popular books we’ve mentioned on our channel. Although we prefer buying a physical book, there are times when you need your eyes for something else, like when you’re driving or at the gym. We fill these spaces with audiobooks or podcasts. We found it useful and we thought you might as well. Go to ALUX.COM/freebook to get your first audiobook for free when you sign up.
As always, we’ve made a video version of this Sunday article:
With that said, here’s our collection of recommended books for the Summer – or whenever you feel like reading them..
Number 1: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The first book on our list is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and we put it at the top for good reason.
Sapiens covers a brief history of humankind in a way we haven’t encountered before. It’s incredibly enjoyable and you feel like you’re getting smarter with every page you turn.
We can’t recommend this book enough, since we believe it’s one of those books which everyone should read. If it were up to us, this would be mandatory study material in school.
The reason why you should get this book is because it’s the best option we found of making sense of mankind as we know it. From food, to religion, to politics, to money, this book accurately explains how all of them came to be and carefully navigates their evolution in a very enjoyable and educational manner.
It’s a well written book and a great purchase.
BONUS BOOK: Homo Deus, by the same author.
Sapiens covers the evolution of humans from origin up until today; in Homo Deus, the author is looking from today into the future and presents plausible directions humanity can take as we close in on AI, artificial bodies and space travel.
Get them both!
Number 2: Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Outliers is a fascinating book. You might have heard of the fact that you need to spend 10,000 hours at something in order to be successful, well it comes from this book.
Malcom Gladwell is one of those minds we are lucky to have around because his work is timeless.
Talent is overrated, being successful in life usually boils down to simple cryteria which most of us are not aware of. Your shot at being a professional athlete is directly influenced by the month in which you were born and your short term memory is directly affected by the language you think in.
You’re gonna have fun reading this book and be able to now make connections you couldn’t have before.
BONUS BOOK: The Tipping Point – by the same author.
There’s a certain moment in time when an idea, trend or social behavior becomes mainstream and starts to spread like wildfire. That moment is called the tipping point and in this book Gladwell breaks down how these things happen. It’s a great book for anyone who’s playing around on social media or trying to develop a product or a brand.
Ok.. no more BONUS Books from now on.. We got a little excited ok?!
Number 3: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
If you’re curious to know how someone like Elon Musk got to where he is today and what are his plans for the future of humanity, this is definitely the book for you.
We might be a little biased since Elon is one of our biggest inspirations and getting to hear his story and his way of thinking about things and life in general gives you a better understanding of what kind of man he is.
We loved the fact that the book doesn’t shy away from his failures or hardships he had to endure to get to this point in time.
If you’re into technology or like what Elon is doing, we recommend you pick up the book.
If you want to learn a few things that most people don’t know about Elon Musk, check out the video below to watch the profile we did on him.
Number 4: Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl
This is probably in our top 10 strongest books anyone can read. It will make you really think about your life, the good and the bad as well as the direction your life is taking.
We recommend this book for those of you who are struggling with finding purpose in your lives, those of you who feel bored, depressed or anxious.
You will understand that you have a choice of how you react to and embrace the life you have. A man is able to change himself and the world around him for the better if he chooses to do so and that’s why this book made the list.
Number 5: Business Adventures by John Brooks
This is Bill Gates’ favorite business book, so you know we had to include it.
It’s a combination of stories from wall street meant to represent valuable and universal principles which are key for any entrepreneur.
This book was gifted to Bill by his mentor, Warren Buffet in 1991, if you needed another reason to get it.
What we found fascinating about this book is that the world of money is very cyclical in nature, which means that some things tend to happen again and again. We’ve seen this with real-estate crashes, with big manufacturers, with stocks and we are starting to see similar behaviours in the Crypto space as well.
If you’re looking for another business book to add to your collection this Summer, you should consider Business Adventures by John Brooks.
Number 6: The subtle art of not giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
I know, we love the title as well. The book centers around the idea that all time positivity is bullshit.
It will help you identify a series of values which will better help you determine who you are and who you don’t want to be. It will make you question your beliefs and give a new perspective on what freedom is and which type of freedom you should pursue in order to be the happiest.
It touches base multiple times with ideas and ideologies we’ve learned as entrepreneurs and will challenge some of the things you believed as fact.
One piece of from the book which stuck with us is:
“A man who is happy does not need to look himself in the mirror and tell himself that he’s happy”
Do what you will with that.
It’s a great book to pick up especially if you’re traveling, because it could very well improve that experience.
Number 7: American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind Silk Road by Nick Bilton
This is the story online store for illegal activities. Silk road was the amazon of grey and dark area transactions, from drugs, to fake passports or currency to assassins for hire.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Dark Web, there is more to the internet that what you can find on google or through other search engines and there are a multitude of websites carefully secured and hidden from prying eyes which criminals use in order to run their businesses.
We plan on doing a dedicated video on this sometime in the future, but for now lets get back to this book.
It covers the story of Ross Ulbricht, your typical college startup founder but with a billion dollar plus twist of selling drugs as anonymously as possible over the internet, all made possible through the rise of bitcoin.
There’s been a lot of controversy around this book with many people calling for Ross to go free, because at the end of the day he didn’t do anything wrong, just facilitated some transactions over the internet.
The way he got caught was really anti-climatic for us, but we’re not going to spoil the ending. If you’ve read the book, you know what we’re talking about.
Number 8: 12 Rules for Life by Dr. Jordan Peterson
Ever since the channel 4 interview we’ve been more and more interested in Dr.Jordan Peterson’s work. After going through his biblical series and watching numerous podcasts, we picked up his latest book.
We’re all dealing with chaos differently in our lives and the book has a very interesting perspective on the issue.
It goes deep into how the mind works in relationship to our everyday lives and how small actions can have great consequences if not dealt with properly.
His long experience as a clinical psychologist comes through in his book and makes you confront yourself and face reality. Only after you decide to be truthful with yourself you will be able to start putting your life in order.
If you’re familiar with Dr. Jordan Peterson’s work this book is an instant-buy. If this is the first time you hear about him, go ahead and do a quick youtube search. You’re welcome.
Number 9: Letters from a stoic – Seneca
Seneca was by far one of the greatest thinkers the world has ever had.
Seneca was a stoic and one of the most profound voices of stoicism.
We recommend his work On the Shortness of Life as well as we found it fascinating when we first encountered it.
If you’re an ALuxer, you’re pretty familiar with self-help books, what we personally find shocking is that in seneca’s teachings which happened over 2000 years ago he managed to figure out that people are normally not in control of their lives, they waste it pursuing money and meaningless possessions which they do not need.
It hits you like a brick in your face when you realize we’ve had the knowledge of how to live a happy and fulfilling life for so long and yet most people are miserable today.
The only thing we want to warn you about, is that this being a very old book, the wording might come off as weird but the essence is solid gold.
Number 10: Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Factfullness is one of those books which will restore your faith in humanity. Not because it’s uplifting or tell you that everything is going to be ok, but because it hits you right in the face with facts about the progress humanity is making right now.
It also shines a light on how distorted our view of the world is because of our interaction with the media.
We recommend this book for those of who prefer facts over fairy tales It will prove numerous times to you that your current perception is wrong and make you re-evaluate what you believe is true.
The book is the author’s last stand against global ignorance.
If you don’t know, every year Bill Gates reads over 50 books and once a year recommends the 5 he enjoyed the most or found most useful. Factfullness is his recommendation of 2018.
We’re really inspired by Bill Gates so we never miss an opportunity to pick up one of his recommended books. If you want to learn a few things about multi-billionaire Bill Gates, check out our profile on him. He’s such an inspiration!
Number 11: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
There are few people we’ve met who have yet to read the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
It’s a incredible piece of literature which most likely will stand the test of time. Not to go into much detail and spoil the book for you, it’s a story about your place in the world, about one’s ability to turn his life into gold, finding riches and being part of something bigger than yourself.
It follows the journey of a sheppard and it’s filled with symbols and mystical elements.
We actually recommend reading this book twice. Once before you start your business or your journey and then again after you have found some success.
You find that when you re-read the book you will uncover a lot more ideas which you missed the first time.
It’s also a fairly short & easy to read book, so if you’re not big on reading, this is where you should start.
Number 12: 1984 – George Orwell
Despite being published first in 1949, Orwell’s book 1984 has resurfaced as more relevant to our everyday lives than ever before.
At the time of writing the novel Orwell envisioned a future where governments have control and monitor the activity of their citizens, very similar to what the NSA and secret services of governments are doing today.
Although he could’ve never envisioned something like the internet, turns out this book is shockingly prophetic to some extent.
The parallels which you can draw from what big tech companies like Google or Facebook are doing right now and potential for mass manipulation is striking.
As a fairly young person you will understand this book in a very different way than someone like your grandparents would this is really exciting to us. We can draw different parallels with the book just because of our current point in time of reading it. That’s fascinating.
Just to give you a heads-up on things, the book starts to pick up in the second half, so you might need to push through the first half.
BONUS BOOK: Animal Farm by Orwell, if you haven’t read it, please do so, especially if you’re from a developing country. Orwell’s genius lies in his ability to take big ideas as present them in a way even a child could understand.
Number 13: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered how everything came to be, how it all works?
We love Neil and follow his work and podcast closely, so when he announced his latest book Astrophysics for people in a hurry we were more than excited.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid or casual reader, we’re all fascinated by space, but most of us don’t have the time to go through all the research. That’s why this book exists.
Sometimes you just feel like chilling and talking about the universe with someone close. This book is a perfect read before that.
Neil deGrasse Tyson does a phenomenal job of bring you up to speed with everything new and exciting in his field. Complex notions like dark matter, multiverse, exo-planet are explained graciously and if you are familiar with him, as you read through the book, you will read it in his voice, which we found fascinating.
Even better, if you go to ALUX.COM/Freebook you can listen to the audiobook version for free, narrated by the man himself.
Number 14: Origin – Dan Brown
We’ve had a fascination for Dan Brown’s work ever since he released the digital fortress. We’ve joined Robert Langdon – the main character in his books – all around the world. Dan Brown is partially responsible for the great love of art we have and our desire to see all the incredible places mentioned in his work.
Origin, is his latest book. Dan Brown has always managed to deliver books which spark a conversation on already growing trends.
In this book, symbology professor Robert Langdon is invited to Spain where a former student of his, now a successful billionaire – which is by no means inspired by Elon Musk – wants to share his exciting new findings on where we come from and where are we going as humans.
Two states of mind clash in the book, one one hand we have Organized Religion and on the other we have Artificial Intelligence, with our hero navigating the conflict trying to stay alive.
We don’t want to go deep with details in order not to spoil anything for you. We always enjoyed reading Dan Brown and we feel like his books are a breath of fresh air among the sea of business and motivational books which we usually read.
We discussed this among our team and we all agree that despite this not being as good as DaVinci’s Code, it’s definitely a great read.
Number 15: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Ok.. so this book isn’t for everyone. It’s more about the journey than the destination in it and Murakami has a specific style of writing which you either love or hate.
The book comes at you from two different perspectives, one of a child that is lost and another of an old man who because of a paranormal trauma loses his intellect but can talk to cats. Yeah, this is a very random and surreal book, where Murakami adds layers on top of layers in order to bring these 2 together.
We included this book, because there are no stakes in it, it’s just letting your mind surf within itself as Murakami is feeding it parts of his own mind.
You might be charmed by it and enjoy it for what it is or you are going to hate it because it’s not linear, it doesn’t make sense and you see no point in turning the page.
People experience it in different ways and it’s always good to push what you read. That’s actually the main reason why we picked it up and we found value in doing so, despite being on the edge about it.
You know how much we love reading and we consider it a crucial part of our growth. We either read to learn a specific new skill, to go on an adventure, to relive the past or simply escape reality for a couple of hours.
We want to know Aluxers, if we were to make a part 2 to this article: Which are your all time favorite books? We promise to go through the comments & purchase some of your recommendations. If we like the books, we’ll add them in part 2.