Recommended Reading: 50 Books I Loved in 2013

Recommended Reading: 50 Books I Loved in 2013 post image

Part of my motivation for becoming an entrepreneur is that I wanted to free up some time to do the things I like to do– and there’s few things I like to do more than reading (and increasingly, listening to) books.

Since TMBA readers have proven to be book lovers as well, I figured a reading list would make for a good 2013 round-up post.

To create this list I pulled my Amazon and Audible records (very convenient!). Because of this, I did not list books that: were paper, were pirated, were eBooks outside of the Amazon platform, or were given to me. Hopefully my favorite authors from that batch will find their way to the 2014 list.

I also omitted titles that I did not like, or were way off “TMBA” topics.

If you have a book suggestion for me, I’ve love if you’d share the title in the comments (in particular if it’s on Audible as I have a few open credits and will be doing a lot of travel this month!).

Top 10 (in no particular order):

40 Honorable mentions (I enjoyed all these books, they are listed in no particular order):

Hope you find something in there you love! Your suggestions are encouraged!

Cheers and happy 2014,



Published on 01.07.14
  • Thank you Dan,

    I have become an avid reader and I am always looking for great book suggestions. I recently read Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb and then I read Good to Great by Jim Collins. What a horrible combination. Nassim discredit all of Collins’ findings as just random. In addition Steven Levitt (the guy from the Freakonomics book) says that Collin’s book is backward looking and the same companies considered “Great” actually underperformed the market.

    I will purchase from your list the books that I have not read already.

    Looking forward to your next podcast.

  • The bad combination is hilarious :P

  • Great list Dan. Do you have any favorite book recommenders? (Some of mine are you, Sebastian, Derek Sivers, Ryan Holiday, and Personal MBA list)

  • Kyle Gray


    Are you keeping up with the foundations exercises? I’m glad someone else has been trying this. I got this book too and I really enjoyed it at first. Maybe I was doing something wrong but I started to feel some pain that I did not think was helpful. I still so the basic set exercises every once in a while, but I have not been as committed after it started to hurt. Do you do anything else to counteract the pain of sitting in front to the computer? Standing desks have been getting increasingly popular I have noticed.

  • Russell Smith

    365 / 50 = 7.3.

    That’s a book a week for a year straight.

    That’s hardcore.

  • Liz Froment

    Nice, glad to see you’ve discovered Michael Lewis, he’s one of my favorites. A lot of books here to add to my wishlist.

  • 유 Soeren Gelder

    Thanks for sharing!

  • docbiz

    Please consider my book: Personal Brand Planning for life, available on Amazon for the future. Thanks.

  • Dan

    Sure thing!

  • Dan

    Total boss !

  • Dan

    haha… OR quiet boring life :)

  • Dan
  • Dan

    thank you! Great list there I read all of their books. Most of my books come from suggestions from readers and DCers

  • Dan

    haha yeah good thing a book doesn’t need to be accurate to be useful!

  • mikedariano

    Chiara, I run, cool guests (like Dan) share good things to read, 9 each week.

  • Chris Badgett

    Antifragile is awesome. Taleb’s writing on randomness and black swan events really changed my perspective.

  • Dan

    Cheers! totally agree probably my favorite concept of the year

  • Very cool Mike. Thank you for sharing!

  • Bob B.

    Just disappeared down the rabbit hole that is The Gervais Principle. Excellent read. Thanks for the list.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    How do you keep notes? Any particular system there? I have trouble with retention..

  • Alex Drysdale

    Thanks Dan!
    Some great books I’ve read from your recommendations this year, and I have to say that “A Short History of Nearly Everything” has been the most fun I’ve had reading… Probably ever.

  • Alex Drysdale

    I would also love to hear about your method Dan.

    For myself I used to make notes of new concepts/things that stuck out to me, but sometiems I would have 30 or more pages of notes so I now read 10-20pages or a chapter than make a brief summary.

    At the end I use the Feynman Technique where you write the concept/title at the top of a blank page, than as if you were teaching a child the topic write as simply as possible the main ideas and concepts from your summaries on one blank sheet using analogies and pictures if you have to. I then snap a pic of that one page and throw in in my Evernote which makes it all searchable.

    Also just bought a book called “How To Read A Book” that is somewhat explained below.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Interesting. I mostly remember broad concepts/philosophies from the book but details like facts/figures are gone. I feel bad for that tho. It’s like I read a new book 2nd time if I do.

    I’ve started reading mostly on Kindle and just marking stuff, then coming back to them later on. I like the idea of one-sheet-summary, but I don’t like to start/keep notes, I start many and then lose interest in just writing it down. Maybe keeping it in the Evernote would work better. I’ll test this maybe – Read book> mark stuff > reread the markings > transfer best to Evernote.

  • Alex Drysdale

    I do mostly Kindle reading now as well and find that physically writing down on a piece of paper in my own words helps retention much better. Even if the notes get thrown out.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Haha didn’t think about that one. Sounds like it could work.

  • Dan

    Hey guys I love reading about your techniques here! In general I just don’t take notes. I used to but I found that I just didn’t use them that much. If I want to write about a concept I learned– for example recently I was writing about Ron Davidson’s 4th economy, I just went back to the book and dove into the parts that interested me. I think it was Steve Pavlina who said something a while back which was basically “if it’s an important and compelling idea it’ll stick in my head” and even if he’s not right about that I found it compelling and stopped taking notes.

    Of course if I’m doing research I’ll take notes otherwise nada. Feels good! :)

  • Dan

    Man yeah I remember being positively somber when the thing was finished. I tell stories from the book all the time in conversation.

  • Dan

    Rock on Bob love that one so much !

  • Dan

    ah yeah related to this i do heavily use the ‘highlight’ feature in kindle and then occasionally drop the .txt file in Scrivener where I do all my writing… occasionally i’ll look to the highlights for inspiration.

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Cheers Dan, I’ve heard that too somewhere haha I’ve been using it but taking Strengths Finder test made me look into this. Advice there is to create a good retention system for it, so I figured I need to do this more seriously.

    Started 4th Economy myself just recently, the first section alone was awesome! Thanks for recommendation! ;)

  • Dan

    you got it ! :D

  • Nice mention of Steve! He inspired my best friend to start a blog online -which led to his business online -which led to inspiring me to build mine.

    I’d weigh in that it’s important to just read and trust the process that your brain is being transformed. If your brain makes a spontaneous connection between information in the moment of reading, write it down and keep reading.

    I compile these notes onto a single list where I set a day once a week to review. I then take the ones that might give 80% results and move them to my Trello account where I manage what to do from there day to day.

    Most of the time I don’t take detailed notes. I just read the most compelling books twice.

    Thanks for letting me share this!

  • Dan


  • Dan

    cheers!!!! :D

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Interesting share, Kyle. Thank you! ;)

  • No problem!

  • Mike

    Did you read The Year Without Pants? ( I would be interested to hear what you thought about the book and if the principals he shares are accurate from your experiences.

    Thanks for posting this list, I’ve got a good handful on my list for this year like Finding Ultra and I want to check out the 3rd Reich, I’ve wanted to study that for a while! Great list!

  • Dan

    hey Mike thanks for the suggestion, I have not yet read it yet….

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