top of page
  • Writer's pictureNovel Nest

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Learn writing, business, and math.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better
Photo by matthew Feeney on Unsplash

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is selling a masterclass on the internet.

Not gonna lie, I have thought of doing so myself.

Here is the thing though… The internet is full of scams. Many people are looking to make a quick buck without putting in the effort. You have to be careful of where you put your money.

Today I am going to present you with a list of 10 books. Each of them is packed with theoretical and/or practical knowledge.

Don’t delay! These books deserve your time.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

A walk into the past.

This book is aimed at discussing the history of humans. How did they come into existence and how did they dominate the world?

Along with the main narrative, the author offers reflections and insights into various human phenomena, like culture, money, happiness, etc.

“Biology enables, Culture forbids.”

The author says that culture is known to claim that it doesn’t allow behaviors that are unnatural. The question arises, what is an ‘unnatural’ behavior? The author claims whatever is possible is also natural.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning.”

Harari also critiques religion. His critique is similar to that of Richard Dawkins. Humans are the outcome of an evolutionary process and there is no rhyme and reason to our existence.

The author likens consumerism-capitalism dynamics to a religion. One side’s mantra is ‘Invest!’. The other’s ‘Buy!’.

This book is a good contribution to the history and philosophy genre and will make you ponder a lot.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

All the knowledge of MBA at home.

What does a business do? What is the life cycle of a business? How can a business be created?

Josh Kaufman answers all these questions and more.

The aim of a business is to create value for its customers. The author identifies 5 parts essential to every business:

  1. Value-creation

  2. Marketing

  3. Sales

  4. Value Delivery

  5. Finance

“Learn everything you can from your competition, and then create something even more valuable.”

Kaufman is of the view that business knowledge can be gained through self-study. And that belief of his is solidified in this book.

We learn about systems, processes, decision-making, statistics, and a lot more.

“You can’t make positive discoveries that make your life better if you never try anything new.”

The author tells us about the life cycle of a business. It includes the following:

  1. Idea

  2. Start-up

  3. Growth

  4. Established

  5. Expansion

If you want to go for an MBA, I am not the one to say you shouldn’t. My recommendation is to read this book before you apply.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Answer life’s question!

Viktor E Frankl recounts his experience as a prisoner of Nazis during the Holocaust.

“The majority of prisoners suffered from a kind of inferiority complex. We all had once been or had fancied ourselves to be ‘somebody.’ Now we were treated like complete nonentities.”

Everyone possesses self-value. The author says that this value is anchored in higher things. But in the camp, the prisoners’ view of themselves took a nosedive.

That’s what being treated like nothing does to you.

Frankl argues that it is possible to survive the various ups and downs of life if one assigns meaning to his/her life.

“The meaning of life is unique to each individual; no one can be replaced.”

He also impresses upon the fact that we cannot ask life its meaning. We are the ones that have to answer this question ourselves.

Even in the direst of circumstances, we all have a choice.

“No matter the circumstance, you always have the last of the human freedoms: to choose your attitude.”

This book is like a light shining through the prison windows.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Get a handle on your financial life!

Understand your psychology in order to understand money.

Why is it that some people are more financially successful than others?

The author tells us how our background and experiences shape our financial habits.

Some are born rich, never having to worry about money. Others are born poor. Some are born into families that value education and vice versa.

And then there is luck and risk. No matter how perfect a decision you make, luck and risk might have other plans for you.

“…the world is too complex to allow 100% of your actions to dictate 100% of your outcomes.”

Housel goes on to show us the reality of our spending habits. He makes us realize the important difference between riches and wealth.

Wealth is the money you can spend at a future time. We all should be working on increasing wealth, not riches.

Short-sightedness makes us spend because we want to be respected by others. Well, there is a better way to be respected. By virtues of our personality.

“Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money.”

This book will help you see the importance of money and the good and bad choices related to it.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Insights into the brain.

The brain is the decision-making center. It takes in data from the surroundings and then makes the choice.

Brain employs various mental shortcuts for cognitive ease. It doesn’t always result in the right decisions. Why?

Because of the various biases and errors that occur as a result of deploying the shortcuts.

“People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory — and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.”

The author also explains the difference between the ‘remembering self’ and the ‘experiencing self’. The former experiences the whole event. The latter remembers only what it wants to.

“I call it theory-induced blindness: once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws.”

This book is an in-depth look at the command center in our brain.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

The forgotten skill.

We are losing the ability to focus. And that is not doing us any good.

The Messiah of digital-vs-real world balance, Cal Newport is here to remind us of the importance of working with focus.

“Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.”

Ever heard of the phrase ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy’?

The philosophy of deep work doesn’t promote working all the time. It promotes working deeply when it is time to work. And not thinking about work when one is done.

“When you work, work hard. When you’re done, be done.”

Cal Newport offers various strategies for working deeply. Those include:

  1. The monastic approach

  2. The bimodal approach

  3. The rhythmic approach

  4. The journalistic approach

As a busy parent, who works from home, I can’t say I have started applying deep work philosophy 100%. But I have definitely benefited from it.

For example: I have stopped working from my phone when I am at the park. When you’re done, be done, right?

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

The secret passageway to becoming a great writer.

Anne Lamott is an author. This book compiles what she teaches in her creative writing classes.

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”

The title of the book is connected to a childhood memory. Lamott’s brother had to write a report on birds. He was overwhelmed with all the material.

It was then their father put his arm around him and told him to do it ‘Bird by bird’.

The author advises us on how to approach a writing project and where to find inspiration.

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”

‘I am not a good writer,’ you might say. Well, worry not. Because Lamott consoles us that it’s the rite of passage. We are going to write badly at first.

This book is a must-read for aspiring writers.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Math in nature.

This book has 30 chapters. These chapters are divided into six parts. Those are:

  1. Numbers

  2. Relationships

  3. Shapes

  4. Change

  5. Data

  6. Frontiers

The author is a professor at Cornell. He shows us how mathematical concepts exist all around us.

For example, the sine wave can be seen in the jiggling of a jump rope and in the plucking of guitar strings.

“The ripples on a pond, the ridges of sand dunes, the stripes of a zebra — all are manifestations of nature’s most basic mechanism of pattern formation: the emergence of sinusoidal structure from a background of bland uniformity.”

There are many interesting tidbits in the book too. Here is one. Strogatz says that 0.99 and the number 1 are the same.

At first, it might seem outrageous but when you read the reasoning it starts sounding less preposterous.

“…math always involves both invention and discovery: we invent the concepts but discover their consequences.”

This book will make you appreciate the math that lies behind beauty and patterns.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Knowledge from a seasoned businessman.

Wisdom from the minds of those who have done it all is a valuable resource. And this book is one of them.

In university, I liked to learn from teachers who offered practical knowledge. Ones who taught me what it is really like in the world of business.

“Acquire worldly wisdom and adjust your behavior accordingly. If your new behavior gives you a little temporary unpopularity with your peer group…then to hell with them.”

Charles T. Munder stands among the top ones. He was Warren Buffet’s partner and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Munder died recently in November 2023, at the age of 99.

This book is a collection of his talks. They give us advice about life, business, and more.

“It’s the work on your desk. Do well with what you already have and more will come in.”

Munder discusses the mental models for decision-making. He also discusses the psychological biases that force people to make faulty decisions.

Stop Wasting Money on Masterclasses — These 10 Books Are Way Better

Why is this book banned in prisons?

We all want to be respected. We all want to have power. Maybe not the kind that kings and political leaders have, but in our own little world.

Well, Robert Greene has advice on that.

“Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.”

Ranging from everyday advice to tips and tricks for deceiving others, this book walks a dangerous line. And that is the reason it has been banned from various US prisons.

You’ll understand what I am talking about when you read the book.

There is solid stuff like this:

“Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others — that is too high a price to pay.”

When we take our eyes off our own lives and meddle with what’s going on in the lives of others, we lose precious time. We also pay with our mental energy and peace.

Use this book for good. It will serve you well.


If you found this article useful and want to support NovelNest, join my email list below to get notified whenever I publish something new.

If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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


bottom of page