20 Books that will help you more than a School or College

Aman Bhatia
11 min readJun 25, 2023

Prepare to embark on a mind-bending, soul-stirring adventure like no other. In a world where conventional education leaves us yearning for more, we unveil a secret arsenal of 20 books that possess the power to shatter the limits of learning. These literary gems will whisk you away to realms of entrepreneurship, philosophy, and personal growth, where the wisdom contained within their pages has the potential to eclipse anything you’ve ever experienced in a classroom. Buckle up, my fellow knowledge-seekers, as we delve into a curated collection that promises to challenge your beliefs, ignite your imagination, and unleash a thirst for knowledge that will never be quenched.

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1) Rework

By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework” challenges conventional wisdom about work and productivity. It offers practical advice on how to succeed in business and encourages a fresh approach to entrepreneurship.

The book emphasizes the importance of simplicity, embracing constraints, and focusing on what truly matters. It teaches readers to question established norms and find innovative solutions to problems.

“You don’t learn until you launch.”

2) Better Under Pressure

By Justin Menkes

This book explores the traits of effective leaders under pressure. It presents insightful strategies to enhance decision-making, manage stress, and perform at your best when it matters most.

Through real-life examples and psychological research, the book highlights the key attributes that enable individuals to thrive in high-pressure situations. It provides actionable techniques to improve performance under stress.

“Real success is about how you respond when you inevitably get knocked down.”

3) Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth delves into the concept of grit, highlighting the role of passion and perseverance in achieving long-term success.

The book presents compelling evidence that talent alone is not enough to achieve greatness. It explores the factors that contribute to grit and offers strategies to cultivate this trait in ourselves and others.

“Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”

4) The Hard Thing About Hard Things

By Ben Horowitz

Drawing from his experiences as a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ben Horowitz offers candid advice on navigating the challenges of building and leading companies.

The book provides valuable insights into the realities of entrepreneurship, including managing tough decisions, handling adversity, and building a resilient organization. It offers practical strategies for overcoming obstacles and achieving business success.

“There are no shortcuts to success, only hard work and perseverance.”

5) Sapiens

By Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens” takes readers on a captivating journey through the history of humankind. It explores the pivotal moments that shaped our species and challenges our understanding of the world.

The book provides a thought-provoking perspective on the development of human societies, beliefs, and cultures. It encourages us to question our assumptions and reflect on the future of humanity.

“The real difference between us and chimpanzees is the mythical glue that binds together large numbers of individuals.”

6) Tools of Titans

By Tim Ferriss

Tools of Titans” is a compilation of insights and strategies from world-class performers across various domains. It’s a treasure trove of wisdom, covering health, wealth, and personal growth, providing actionable advice for achieving peak performance.

The book offers a glimpse into the habits, routines, and mindset of successful individuals. It shares practical tools and techniques that readers can implement in their own lives to enhance productivity, well-being, and success.

“The world’s greatest minds are not out of reach; they’re within your grasp, waiting to guide you.”

7) The Trillion Dollar Coach

By Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle

The Trillion Dollar Coach” pays tribute to Bill Campbell, a legendary coach and mentor to Silicon Valley’s biggest names. It offers valuable leadership lessons and practical tips for building effective teams and fostering a culture of excellence.

The book emphasizes the power of coaching and mentorship in driving individual and organizational success. It highlights the importance of trust, communication, and empathy in leadership, providing valuable insights for aspiring leaders.

“Great leadership isn’t about getting people to follow you. It’s about helping others become their best selves.”

8) A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

By William B. Irvine

A Guide to the Good Life” draws from ancient Stoic philosophy to explore practical techniques for achieving tranquility and fulfillment in a modern world. It provides invaluable wisdom for navigating life’s challenges and finding enduring happiness.

The book introduces Stoic principles such as negative visualization, self-denial, and mindfulness, offering guidance on how to cultivate resilience and maintain inner peace. It encourages readers to focus on what they can control and let go of unnecessary worries.

“The stoic teaches us to be indifferent to what makes no difference.”

9) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

By Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” challenges conventional self-help wisdom

By encouraging readers to focus on what truly matters. Through candid anecdotes and practical advice, Mark Manson guides us to redefine our values and live a more meaningful life.

The book explores the importance of choosing meaningful values, setting boundaries, and accepting life’s inherent struggles. It encourages readers to prioritize their energy and attention on the things that align with their core values.

“The desire for more positive experiences is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

10) Radical Candor

By Kim Scott

Radical Candor” offers a powerful framework for effective communication and feedback in the workplace. It emphasizes the importance of balancing care for individuals with direct and honest feedback to drive professional growth and build strong teams.

The book provides practical strategies for fostering a culture of trust and open communication. It teaches readers how to navigate challenging conversations, provide constructive criticism, and empower their team members to reach their full potential.

“Radical Candor is humble, it’s helpful, it’s immediate, it’s in person — in private if it’s criticism and in public if it’s praise — and it doesn’t personalize.”

11) How Will You Measure Your Life

By Clayton M. Christensen

In this thought-provoking book, Clayton M. Christensen applies business principles to personal life, exploring how we can lead a fulfilling and meaningful existence. It encourages readers to align their actions with their values and make deliberate choices for long-term happiness.

The book challenges readers to reflect on their definition of success and make intentional decisions in various areas of life, including career, relationships, and personal well-being. It offers valuable insights on finding purpose and living a life of integrity.

“Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”

12) Atomic Habits

By James Clear

Atomic Habits” presents a systematic approach to building and breaking habits that can transform our lives. It explores the power of small, incremental changes and provides actionable strategies to create positive habits and eliminate destructive ones.

The book emphasizes the importance of habit formation as a key driver of personal and professional success. It offers practical techniques to design habits, overcome obstacles, and make lasting changes, leading to continuous improvement.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

13) Man’s Search for Meaning

By Viktor E. Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning” is a profound exploration of the human capacity for resilience and finding purpose in life. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, shares his experiences and insights, offering a unique perspective on the pursuit of meaning.

The book highlights the importance of finding meaning in life, even in the face of immense suffering. It underscores the power of mindset and personal responsibility in shaping one’s experience, providing inspiration to overcome adversity and find purpose.

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how’.”


14) Skin in the Game

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In “Skin in the Game,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb explores the concept of personal accountability and the role it plays in decision-making, ethics, and systems. He argues that true expertise requires individuals to have a personal stake and face the consequences of their actions.

The book challenges readers to question the motives and credibility of those who don’t have skin in the game. It emphasizes the importance of aligning incentives, taking risks, and having a personal investment in the outcomes of our choices.

“For the robust, an error is information; for the fragile, an error is an error.”

15) The Direct Truth

By Kapil Gupta

The Direct Truth” presents a no-nonsense approach to personal growth and self-realization. It cuts through societal conditioning and offers a direct path to authenticity, self-awareness, and the pursuit of excellence.

The book challenges readers to confront their illusions, fears, and self-limiting beliefs. It advocates for radical honesty and encourages individuals to take ownership of their lives, embracing discomfort and seeking truth in all aspects of their existence.

“No one can guide you to what you are. You must see it for yourself.”

16) The High Growth Handbook

By Elad Gil

The High Growth Handbook” is a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs and leaders navigating the challenges of scaling a business. It features insights from some of the most successful tech executives and offers practical advice on building and managing high-growth organizations.

The book covers various aspects of scaling a business, including fundraising, hiring, culture, and strategy. It provides valuable lessons on navigating rapid growth, overcoming obstacles, and building a sustainable company.

“Don’t mistake growth for success. You can grow revenue, users, or headcount rapidly, but if you don’t have a strong foundation, it won’t last.”

17) Shoe Dog

By Phil Knight

In “Shoe Dog,” Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, shares the captivating story of building one of the world’s most iconic brands. It chronicles the challenges, sacrifices, and triumphs he faced on his entrepreneurial journey.

The book offers a firsthand account of the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship. It emphasizes the importance of perseverance, passion, and relentless pursuit of your dreams, even in the face of adversity.

“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way. That leaves us.”

18) Love Sonnets of Ghalib

By Mirza Ghalib

Love Sonnets of Ghalib” is a collection of poetic masterpieces by Mirza Ghalib, a renowned Urdu poet. His verses explore the depths of love, longing, and the complexities of the human experience.

Ghalib’s poetry touches the core of human emotions and relationships. It offers insights into the nuances of love, heartbreak, and the timeless yearning for connection. His words evoke profound introspection and appreciation for the beauty of language.

“In the garden of my heart, you are the rose;

In the prison of my mind, you are the chain.”

19) Chariots of the Gods

By Erich von Däniken

Chariots of the Gods” is a provocative exploration of ancient mysteries and the possibility of extraterrestrial influence on human civilization. It challenges conventional archaeological theories and invites readers to question the origins of humanity.

The book presents alternative theories and thought-provoking evidence about the existence of advanced ancient civilizations and their potential connection to extraterrestrial beings. It encourages readers to approach history with an open mind and explore unconventional perspectives.

“We are not alone in the universe. We have never been alone.”

20) The Fountainhead

By Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead” is a philosophical novel that explores themes of individualism, integrity, and the pursuit of personal vision. It follows the story of Howard Roark, an uncompromising architect, and examines the clash between individual creativity and societal conformity.

The book challenges readers to question the prevailing norms and societal expectations that hinder personal growth and self-expression. It celebrates the importance of staying true to one’s principles and pursuing one’s unique path, regardless of external pressures.

“To say ‘I love you,’ one must know first how to say the ‘I’.”

As we bid farewell to this electrifying expedition, we hope you feel the fire of curiosity burning within you, eager to devour more books and push the boundaries of your intellectual horizons. These 20 extraordinary literary companions are just the beginning of a never-ending journey towards enlightenment and personal transformation. So, let the words on these pages be your guiding stars, leading you through uncharted territories of thought and sparking a hunger for knowledge that can never be satiated. Embrace the power of these books, my fellow adventurers, and let them propel you towards a future where education knows no bounds.

Remember, the world of learning is vast and ever-evolving, and with the right books in hand, you hold the key to unlocking your fullest potential. Now, go forth, ignite your passion, and let the wonders of literature be your gateway to a life enriched by wisdom and understanding. Happy reading, my fearless companions, and may your thirst for knowledge be unquenchable.

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Aman Bhatia

2X Top Writer on Medium. Books, Life Lessons, Money, Self Improvement. Follow for inspiration and growth. Mail: amanbhatiakkr@gmail.com