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118 Books You Must Read

As many of my longtime followers know, at the end of 2008 I set a personal goal to read 50 books in 2009. Given the fact I hadn’t read 50 books in my entire life up until that point; it was a lofty goal to say the least.
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I chose to focus on the process (not the outcome) and made the commitment to read at least 30 minutes every day. That ‘brick by brick’ approach paid off and I accomplished my goal with ease.

And it was the most life-changing year of my life.  It has been proven we are actually happiest when we are learning, growing and developing… when we know we are making progress and getting better.  And prior to my children being born, 2009 was the happiest year of my life.

Since that time, reading has become a habit. I don’t keep the same pace as I did in 2009, but I am still a veracious reader and devour several books per month.

People often ask me where I find the time to read that much.  The truth? I don’t find the time. I make the time.  You will always make the time for the things that are truly important. You just need to decide that reading is that important to you. Turn off the TV and open a book.

Seriously, aside from your health, your faith and your family, what is more important that learning, growing and developing?

For me personally, I am constantly trying to improve as a father, a husband, a coach and a business owner.  So I choose to read books that will help me in one (or more) of those areas.

Success is never an accident. Success is a choice. Do you want to improve your social media acumen and effectiveness? Then read, watch, and listen to anything and everything you can about social media from the folks that know. Same holds true on any topic. I have full confidence that I am a better father, husband, coach and business owner today than I was a year ago because of the conscious choice I have made to read.

In no particular order, here are 118 books you must read:

  1. Toughness by Jay Bilas
  2. Youtility by Jay Baer
  3. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
  4. Contagious by Jonah Berger
  5. Tell My Sons by Mark Weber
  6. Relentless by Tim Grover
  7. Mind Gym by Gary Mack
  8. Little Black Book of Relationships by Jeffrey Gitomer
  9. No Limits by Michael Phelps
  10. 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself by Steven Chandler
  11. The Bald Truth by David Falk
  12. Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
  13. How To Eat, Move, and Be Healthy by Paul Chek
  14. The Story of You by Steven Chandler
  15. Little Green Book of Getting Your Way by Jeffrey Gitomer
  16. Rebound Rules by Rick Pitino
  17. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
  18. People Are Idiots And I Can Prove It by Larry Winget
  19. Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy
  20. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  21. Why We Suck by Denis Leary
  22. Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries
  23. Money Players by Marc Isenberg
  24. Me 2.0 by Dan Schawbel
  25. Gold Standard by Coach K
  26. Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox
  27. Can We Do That by Peter Shankman
  28. Collapse of Distinction by Scott McKain
  29. Think Like a Champion by Donald Trump
  30. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
  31. Twitter Power by Joel Comm
  32. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  33. Game On by Tom Farrey
  34. Cross Over by Brian McCormick
  35. Leadership Game Plan for Success by John Wooden
  36. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  37. Pistol by Mark Kriegal
  38. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  39. Playing for Knight by Steve Alford
  40. The Miracle of St. Anthony by Adrian Wojnarowski
  41. Bounce Back by John Calipari
  42. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo
  43. Trade Off by Kevin Maney
  44. Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court by Roy Williams
  45. No by Jim Camp
  46. The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent
  47. The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarella
  48. Young, Black, Rich and Famous by Todd Boyd
  49. Personal Foul by Tim Donaghy
  50. Viral Loop by Adam Penenberg
  51. Strengths Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath
  52. You Can Have What You Want by Michael Neill
  53. Season on the Brink by John Feinstein
  54. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  55. The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spector
  56. Drive by Daniel Pink
  57. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  58. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  59. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  60. Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg
  61. 50 Powerful Ideas to Help You Keep Your Customers by Paul Timm
  62. Getting Your Way by Jeffrey Gitomer
  63. Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin
  64. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
  65. UnMarketing by Scott Stratten
  66. Guerrilla Social Media Marketing by Shane Gibson
  67. Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann
  68. My Story by Bob Knight
  69. How Lucky You Can Be by Buster Olney
  70. How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath
  71. The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
  72. Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child by John Medina
  73. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  74. Overcoming the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  75. The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine
  76. A Coach and a Miracle by Jim Johnson
  77. The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric
  78. Display of Power by Daymond John
  79. Basketball Junkie by Chris Herron
  80. The Way of the Shepherd by Dr. Kevin Leman
  81. Advances in Functional Training by Michael Boyle
  82. Zero Regrets by Apolo Ohno
  83. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  84. Can I Keep My Jersey by Paul Shirley
  85. How They Did It by Robert Jordan
  86. ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
  87. Barefoot in Boston by Arthur Horne
  88. No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers
  89. Stop Saying You’re Fine by Mel Robbins
  90. Training Camp by Jon Gordon
  91. Get Bold by Sandy Carter
  92. Unlimited by Jillian Michaels
  93. Charge by Brendon Burchard
  94. It’s Not About You by Bob Burg
  95. Onward by Howard Schultz
  96. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  97. The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons
  98. How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold
  99. Bounce by Matthew Syed
  100. Shaq: Uncut by Shaquille O’Neal
  101. Live and Learn and Pass It On by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  102. Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
  103. Convict Conditioning by Paul ‘Coach’ Wade
  104. The New Toughness Training for Sports by James E. Loehr
  105. The Brand Within by Daymond John
  106. How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban
  107. The Game of My Life by Jason ‘J-Mac’ McElwain
  108. Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel
  109. The Seed by Jon Gordon
  110. Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
  111. For Better or for Work by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg
  112. Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs
  113. The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard
  114. How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb by Glenn Doman
  115. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
  116. The Book of Business Awesome by Scott Stratten
  117. Success is a Choice by Rick Pitino
  118. Leading with the Heart by Coach K

I hope you find this list helpful. I hope it inspires you.  If so, please share it with anyone and everyone you can (social media share buttons are on the left).  And don’t hesitate to drop me a note on Twitter (@AlanStein) to let me know which books you liked best or if you have any you recommend I read.

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Train hard. Fuel smart. Get better.

Alan Stein
Hardwood Hustle Blog

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28 Responses to 118 Books You Must Read

  1. Travis says:

    Where is ‘The Andrew Gaze Story: A Kid, A Ball, A Dream’?

    C’mon mate!

    Ha ha.

  2. Matt says:

    Great list! Some classics that influenced me include “Think and Grow Rich” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

  3. Chris says:

    Toughness by Jay Bilas is a must read. It refocused my perspective on life and coaching.

  4. Dave Bishop says:

    Have you read Double Goal Coach and InSideOut Coaching? For athletes I really like Elevating Your Game:Becoming a Triple Impact Competitor.

  5. A lot of people miss out on reading or learning because they are not able to make time for it, but they don’t see the investment for the future. By learning and growing as a person you are investing in yourself to be a better person in the future. Thanks for the list of article, I am going to have to try and read as many as I can.

  6. Eric lockman says:

    The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
    Great book- focuses on putting your goals into action.

  7. Coach Lichtenheld says:

    I suggest The Miracle at St. Anthonys about Bob Hurley Sr & one of his teams/seasons. A great insight on how he’s become the winningest coach in HS basketball.

  8. James Minogue says:

    I notice The way of the peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman in your collection, ive just about finished the sequel “Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior” – very easy read!!! Enjoy

  9. Ann-Marie Pope says:

    “Focus on the process, not the outcome” – you are obviously reading Wooden!! GREAT reading :-)

  10. Antonio Herrera says:

    someplace i can find them pdf or e-book?

  11. John Lantz says:

    Alan thank you for sharing your book list. Definitely want to read Toughness by Jay Bilas. A must read is Lone Survivor. I believe it is coming out in the movies soon. Bob Knight gave this book to read to Kobe Bryant before 2008 Olympics. Once I started it was hard to stop reading.

  12. Jon-Ross says:

    Shaqs book was ok. I really liked Sacred Hoops, Dwayne wades “a father first” (currently reading eleven rings) and after eleven rings I’m going to read PISTOL

  13. Coach Stein, you may enjoy “Divided Loyalties” by Coach Hurley which is about raising & coaching Danny & Bobby. Coach Hurley also put out a new book, “Chasing Perfect” which is great. Thanks for what you do. I’m new to your blog, but I must say, it’s one of the best I’ve seen!

  14. Paul Nepodal says:

    You may not get this since the blog is a little past, but I love to read and anytime I get my hands on a list like this, I have to see which ones I have missed and I can’t help but recommend a few as well. :) I have quite a few – we actually did a book study on the Energy Bus with my teaching staff this semester and will be sharing the the Soup by Jon Gordon next semester (great book on leadership and providing the right ingredients as the stirrers of the soup). A couple that weren’t on the list but might be worth your time…
    1. The Smart Take from the Strong – Pete Carril
    2. Values of the Game – Bill Bradley (used to give this to all my seniors when they graduated)
    3. The Man Watching – Anson Dorrance (TREMENDOUS READ – He taught Toughness before Jay Bilas came along – haha)
    4. The Politics of Coaching – Carl Pierson (I gave this to all my coaches last year)

    Thanks for the list – I have something to buy for Christmas now instead of gift cards! :)


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