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25 Best Nonfiction Books Of All Time According To Andrew Wilkinson-Psychology/Journalism/Leadership

When it comes to expanding your horizons and gaining valuable insights, there's no better way than diving into a good book.

Andrew Wilkinson, a prominent entrepreneur and business enthusiast, has shared his list of recommended non-fiction books.

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, a lifelong learner, or just someone looking for inspiration, this list has something for everyone.

Let's take a closer look at these remarkable titles

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.

American Kingpin is a riveting tale that chronicles the rise and fall of the Silk Road, an infamous online black market, and its enigmatic founder, Ross Ulbricht. Nick Bilton's meticulous investigative journalism delves into the dark corners of the internet, revealing the complexities of cybercrime and the pursuit of justice in the digital age.

“Over time he learned that the way to have a leg up on everyone else was to anticipate something before it happened and then have the answer to it.”― Nick Bilton, American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

In Influence, Robert Cialdini explores the psychology of persuasion, unveiling the science behind why people say "yes." Through engaging narratives and research-based insights, Cialdini delves into the art of influence, providing readers with invaluable knowledge about the triggers that guide human behavior in decision-making processes.

“A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

The Invention of Air takes readers on a captivating journey into the life of Joseph Priestley, an 18th-century polymath whose contributions to science, innovation, and society shaped the course of history. Steven Johnson masterfully weaves together Priestley's scientific discoveries, political activism, and philosophical insights, offering a rich portrait of an intellectual pioneer.

“Some great minds become great by turning the rubble of an exploded paradigm into something consistent and meaningful. Others become great by laying the gunpowder, grain by grain. Every important revolution needs both kinds of minds to complete itself.”― Steven Johnson, The Invention of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America

In Rework, Jason Fried challenges traditional business norms and offers unconventional yet highly effective strategies for success. This manifesto advocates for a fundamental shift in the way entrepreneurs and business leaders approach work, encouraging simplicity, efficiency, and a focus on essential tasks. Fried's insights provide a fresh perspective on productivity and entrepreneurship.

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.”― Jason Fried, Rework

Made to Stick explores the art and science of creating ideas that resonate and endure in people's minds. Chip Heath delves into the essential elements that make ideas memorable, providing readers with practical principles for crafting compelling messages, stories, and concepts. Through real-world examples, Heath illustrates the power of sticky ideas in communication and marketing.

“The most basic way to get someone's attention is this: Break a pattern.”― Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

In this gripping exposé, John Carreyrou unveils the shocking true story of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. Bad Blood meticulously details the company's meteoric rise and subsequent downfall, shedding light on corporate deception, ethics in technology, and the courage of whistleblowers. This compelling narrative offers a cautionary tale about ambition, integrity, and accountability in the business world.

“When the officer asked what he’d taken, Sunny blurted out in his accented English, “He stole property in his mind.”― John Carreyrou, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

The Fish That Ate The Whale is a captivating historical account that follows the extraordinary life of Sam Zemurray, a self-made entrepreneur and banana magnate. Rich Cohen's narrative delves into Zemurray's audacious business ventures, highlighting his resilience, ambition, and impact on the global fruit industry. This tale of ambition and innovation showcases Zemurray's legacy as an influential figure in the business world.

“Show me a happy man and I will show you a man who is getting nothing accomplished in this world.”― Rich Cohen, The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King

Losing The Signal provides a deep dive into the rise and fall of BlackBerry, a once-dominant force in the mobile technology industry. Jacquie McNish explores the company's innovative contributions, challenges, and strategic decisions, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of BlackBerry's journey. This insightful narrative sheds light on the complexities of the tech business landscape and the importance of adaptation in the face of rapid technological advancements.

“In the technology sector failure is often a precondition to future successes, while prosperity can be the beginning of the end. If the rise and fall of BlackBerry teaches us anything it is that the race for innovation has no finish line, and that winners and losers can change places in an instant.”― Jacquie McNish, Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry

Based on the landmark Harvard Grant Study, Triumphs of Experience offers a profound exploration of human development, relationships, and happiness. George Vaillant delves into the lives of the study's participants, revealing valuable insights about the factors that contribute to fulfillment and well-being over the course of a lifetime. This insightful work provides readers with a nuanced perspective on the complexities of human nature and the pursuit of a meaningful life.

“Children who fail to learn basic love and trust at home are handicapped later in mastering the assertiveness, initiative, and autonomy that are the foundation of successful adulthood.”― George E. Vaillant, Triumphs of Experience

The Tao of Charlie Munger distills the wisdom and philosophies of Charlie Munger, the esteemed business partner of Warren Buffett. Author David Clark explores Munger's principles of rational thinking, decision-making, and ethical conduct. Through Munger's timeless lessons, readers gain valuable insights into investing, leadership, and life,

making this book an invaluable resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors.

“Spend each day trying to be a little wise than you were when you wake up.”― Charlie Munger

In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz offers candid and practical advice to entrepreneurs facing the myriad challenges of building and scaling successful businesses. Horowitz's insights are drawn from his own experiences as a venture capitalist and co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. This authoritative guide provides entrepreneurs with actionable strategies for navigating the complexities of the startup landscape, making tough decisions, and fostering resilient leadership.

“Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness.”― Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone provides a compelling glimpse into the world of therapy, as both therapist and patient embark on journeys of self-discovery and healing. Lori Gottlieb's poignant and empathetic storytelling captures the human experience, exploring themes of vulnerability, resilience, and the power of therapeutic relationships. This insightful narrative offers readers profound insights into the complexities of mental health, compassion, and personal growth.

“We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.”― Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Lights Out offers an in-depth analysis of the decline of General Electric (GE), once a powerhouse in the industrial sector. Thomas Gryta meticulously examines the factors contributing to GE's downfall, exploring leadership decisions, corporate strategies, and market dynamics. This comprehensive narrative provides readers with valuable lessons on corporate management, adaptability, and the challenges of sustaining business empires.

“My second day as chairman, a plane I lease, flying with engines I built, crashed into a building that I insure, and it was covered with a network I own,” he said just weeks afterward.”― Thomas Gryta, Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

In Money: Master The Game, Tony Robbins imparts financial wisdom and strategies for achieving financial freedom and security. Robbins draws upon extensive interviews with leading financial experts to provide readers with actionable advice on personal finance, investing, and wealth-building. This comprehensive guide empowers individuals to take control of their financial futures and make informed decisions about money.

“If you’re prepared, and you know what it takes, it’s not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there. —MARK CUBAN”― Anthony Robbins, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got by Jay Abraham is a treasure trove of strategies for maximizing resources and unlocking one's full potential. Abraham's actionable insights are designed to help individuals and businesses achieve greater success and growth by harnessing existing assets and exploring untapped opportunities. This practical guide offers readers a roadmap to achieving their goals and realizing their true potential.

“there are only three ways to increase your business: 1. Increase the number of clients. 2. Increase the average size of the sale per client. 3. Increase the number of times clients return and buy again. Only”― Jay Abraham, Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition

How To Get Rich is a candid and unconventional guide to achieving wealth, authored by the late Felix Dennis, a self-made multimillionaire. Dennis shares his personal journey to riches, challenging conventional notions of success and offering readers bold, unfiltered advice on entrepreneurship, wealth acquisition, and the pursuit of financial independence. This book encourages readers to question societal norms and embrace a more audacious approach to wealth-building.

“To become rich you must be an owner. And you must try to own it all. You must strive with every fibre of your being, while recognising the idiocy of your behaviour, to own and retain control of as near to 100 per cent of any company as you can. If that is not possible, in a public company, for example, then you must be prepared to make yourself hated by those around you who are also trying to be rich. That is the dirty, rotten little secret of it all, my friend.”― Felix Dennis, How to Get Rich

The Man Who Solved The Market unravels the remarkable story of Jim Simons, a mathematician and hedge fund manager who revolutionized the world of investing through quantitative strategies. Gregory Zuckerman provides a behind-the-scenes look at Simons' secretive and highly successful career, shedding light on his innovative approach to financial markets. This narrative offers readers insights into the world of algorithmic trading and the potential for extraordinary financial success.

“Simons shared a few life lessons with the school’s audience: “Work with the smartest people you can, hopefully smarter than you . . . be persistent, don’t give up easily. Be guided by beauty . . . it can be the way a company runs, or the way an experiment comes out, or the way a theorem comes out, but there’s a sense of beauty when something is working well, almost an aesthetic to it.”― Gregory Zuckerman, The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution

In I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi offers a comprehensive guide to personal finance and money management. Sethi provides actionable advice on budgeting, investing, and wealth-building, tailored to the needs of young adults and professionals. This practical and engaging book equips readers with the tools and knowledge to take control of their finances and work toward financial independence.

“There are real ramifications of reading these articles for decades and decades. You start to believe it. You start to think the only way to manage money is to hoard it and create an increasingly long list of noes. Soon, the guilt isn’t just coming from money experts and the outside world. It’s coming from you.”― Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No guilt, no excuses - just a 6-week programme that works

Status Anxiety delves into the pervasive modern phenomenon of status anxiety, exploring how societal pressures and comparisons affect individuals' well-being. Alain De Botton's thought-provoking analysis examines the pursuit of social status and its impact on happiness, self-worth, and societal values. This insightful book encourages readers to reflect on their own aspirations and priorities in a world driven by the quest for recognition and success.

“People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled "somebodies," and their inverse "nobodies"-both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored.”― Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer delves into the ethical, environmental, and cultural dimensions of consuming meat. Through a deeply personal exploration, Foer challenges readers to confront the consequences of their dietary choices and consider the ethical implications of industrial farming practices. This thought-provoking book invites readers to engage in a critical examination of their relationship with food and its impact on the world.

“While it is always possible to wake a person who's sleeping, no amount of noise will wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.”― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert delves into the fascinating science of human happiness and decision-making. Gilbert explores the intricacies of the human brain and the factors that influence our perceptions of happiness. Through engaging anecdotes and research findings, this book offers readers a deeper understanding of how our minds navigate the pursuit of happiness and the complexities of human psychology.

“My friends tell me that I have a tendency to point out problems without offering solutions, but they never tell me what I should do about it.”― Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness

Rock On provides a unique perspective on the music industry from a business and marketing standpoint. Dan Kennedy explores the dynamic world of rock music, dissecting its marketing strategies, branding, and commercial success. Through intriguing anecdotes and case studies, this book offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the business side of rock and roll, providing valuable insights into the intersection of music and commerce.

“Here is what I say to the children who are our future: never underestimate how denial and a good old-fashioned mild learning disability can team up to come off as unwavering self-confidence.”― Dan Kennedy, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad

In this sweeping biography series, Robert Caro meticulously chronicles the life and political journey of Lyndon B. Johnson, one of America's most influential presidents. The Path To Power is the first installment in this comprehensive exploration, offering readers a detailed account of Johnson's early life, rise to power, and the intricate dynamics of American politics during his era. Caro's masterful storytelling brings history to life, providing a profound understanding of Johnson's formidable path to the presidency.

“I will not deny that there are men in the district better qualified than I to go to Congress, but, gentlemen, these men are not in the race.”― Robert A. Caro, The Path to Power

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath delves into the psychology of decision-making and change management. The Heath brothers offer readers a roadmap for effecting positive change, whether in organizations or personal lives. Through engaging stories and research-backed insights, this book provides valuable strategies for navigating change, overcoming resistance, and achieving meaningful transformation.

“Failing is often the best way to learn, and because of that, early failure is a kind of necessary investment.”― Chip Heath, Switch

Buddha's Brain explores the intersection of neuroscience and mindfulness, offering readers practical strategies for rewiring the brain to promote happiness, resilience, and well-being. Rick Hanson delves into the science of neuroplasticity, illustrating how individuals can cultivate positive mental states and emotional balance. This book provides readers with tools for enhancing their psychological well-being and achieving lasting happiness through mindfulness practices.

“Nurturing your own development isn’t selfish. It’s actually a great gift to other people.”― Rick Hanson, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom


If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out more similar list on my on my blog —

These 25 nonfiction books span a diverse array of topics, providing readers with profound insights, practical advice, and captivating narratives.

Whether you're interested in business, science, history, psychology, or personal development, this curated list offers a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration.


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