Reading Lists

Reading Lists

Self-help that actually helps

Hi, my name’s Nick and I’m a self-help junkie. I’m also a psychologist, writer, and English major. Mash all that up you get… Well, I’m not sure.

But I read a lot, especially books about psychology and self-improvement. And this is where I collect and share the best books I’ve found for personal growth and self-improvement across a variety of topics.

3 Books that Changed My Life

  • How to Read a Book
    Most people are mediocre readers. A handful are good. This book will teach you to be a great reader.
  • On the Shortness of Life
    I read this book every year at New Years. And every year it hits me like a thunderbolt: Life is long if you know how to use it
  • Deep Work
    The secret to producing great work is the cultivation of focus—deep, profound focus.

Best Books by Topic

My favorite books across a range of topics and areas. They’re all books that I’ve personally benefited from and regularly recommend to friends, family, and clients.

Emotional Fitness

  • How Emotions Are Made
    This is probably the best book written for a lay audience about what emotions are, how they work, and how to work with them.
  • Don’t Shoot the Dog
    Don’t let the admittedly eccentric title fool you: This is the best book I’ve ever read about changing behavior—either your own or someone else’s.
  • F*ck Feelings
    Why values, not emotion, are the best guide to behavior and action.


  • The War of Art
    A genuinely inspiring, if slightly quirky, book about finding the courage to do the work you were meant to do.
  • The Inner Game of Tennis
    A guide to mastering the mental side of high performance.
  • Essentialism
    How the disciplined pursuit of “less but better” is the key to achieving our full potential.

Mental Health


  • The Assertiveness Workbook
    Assertiveness is the foundation for healthy relationships of any kind but especially primary romantic relationships.
  • Will Our Love Last?
    No one should be allowed to get married before reading this book.
  • Becoming Attached
    How our attachment and early relationships affect what we look for and how we operate in relationships.


  • Sit Like a Buddha
    The best introduction + guide to meditation and mindfulness for most people. Friendly and practical.
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    A collection of brief essays on the true meaning of mindfulness and how to live it in your life.
  • Why Buddhism Is True
    The best explanation of the science behind why mindfulness and meditation are so beneficial.

Habit Building

  • Atomic Habits
    The best book for anyone looking to build new habits or break bad ones.
  • The Power of Habit
    A guide to the mechanics of how habits work in everything from sports to marketing.
  • The Compound Effect
    How to achieve massive transformation and success using the power of small habits compounded over time.

Business and Career


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