Must-Read Books: Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose Share Their Favorites

Image of Tim Ferriss & Kevin Rose on Christmas in Random Show

Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) and The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman) and Kevin Rose (founder of Digg) recently got together for a Random episode where they talked about their five must-read books. When they did the video I had a huge interest in finding out their choices since I’m constantly reading and always on the search for new paradigm-expanding books to read… plus, I respect both of these guys and their opinions tremendously. I decided to share with you guys a nicely formatted list of the books they recommend plus a snippet of how they described the book. Make sure to watch the full video to get a more in-depth look at their book choices, plus the discussion on Tim’s blog and at Kevin’s twitter account. Tim even says of his choices that “each of these should have the potential to change your life or your business entirely.”

Tim Ferriss’ Must-Read Books

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout
“I’ve re-read this before every product launch that I’ve done or even in the product development phases. Talks about things like creating a category versus trying to be the best in an existing category.”

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application by 37signals
“It does have a software focus but all of it can be applied to entrepreneurs in general. It’s really about creating a lean startup and testing assumptions that you may have. Is offering options, more options, always the best decision? The answer is no.”

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
“This is one of two books that I took with me in 2004 around the world. The other is Walden by [Henry D.] Thoreau. This is arguably, the most practical manual of life philosophy that I’ve found. It’s an outstanding book for those people who  feel trapped in any situation in their business or career or who simply want to experience more of life.”

Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
“Someone who’s able to help control an empire indirectly, but also amass wealth without being controlled by it. Seneca is an outstanding thinker and this is I think one of his most accessible books.”

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children by John Wood
“[John Wood] is on track to be Dale Carnegie 2.0. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to really change the world, outside of perhaps your business or using your business, maybe a change in direction to give a test by dipping your toes into the world of philanthropy or causes this is a book you need to read.”

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
“A lot of philosophy in that as well, but it’s about a detective with Tourette’s Syndrome.”

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard P. Feynman
“A collection of stories and adventures of the physicist Richard Feynman.”

NOTE: Tim also recommends in the comment section of his blog Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening by Stephen Batchelor . He also says that of his book choices, if he was forced to only choose one book to buy and the rest to read in a library, he would buy Letters from a Stoic by Seneca or  and Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel read the rest in a library.

Kevin Rose’s Must-Read Books

Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte
“The master when it comes to taking complicated data and turning it into beautiful charts and graphs that are easy to understand. If you’re into graphic design, print design, web design, you name it, you’re going to get some really good information and how tos out of these books. He has a whole series of these books.”

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
“Bunch of really good information in here on how to make ideas go viral. This could be good to apply to any kind of products or ideas you may have.”

8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body’s Natural Healing Power by Andrew Weil
“He is a Harvard educated doctor and then also has Eastern medicine experience as well. Really great well rounded book. Love Dr. Weil and I read this probably every couple of years.”

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
“Isn’t a religious book, but more on self-realization, study on yourself, breathing exercises, relaxation and understanding human nature.”

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham
“The foundation for investing. A lot of people have used this as their guide to getting into investment. Warren Buffett cites this as the book that got him into investing. How to evaluate different companies out there before you make an investment.


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