M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
Looking for top fiction and nonfiction book recommendations?
Want book lists and reading lists of the best books of all time?
You’re in the right place!
Here’s what you’ll find on this page…
Explore All TAoL’s Book Lists
Here’s a breakdown of all the book lists and book recommendations on the site…
The Best Books of All Time
These are the overall best books to read (by type)…
The Best Nonfiction Books (A-Z)
These are the best nonfiction books to read (by topic)…
The Best Fiction Books (A-Z)
These are the best fiction books to read (by genre)…
Book Recommendations by Topic
Click below for book recommendations on each of TAoL‘s 8 areas of life…
- Health & Vitality – Master physical wellness;
- Thoughts & Emotions – Master mental wellness;
- Family & Friends – Build better relationships;
- Love & Partnership – Love and be loved;
- Growth & Learning – Get smart, faster;
- Productivity & Performance – Do more, better;
- Business & Career – Become an effective executive; and
- Wealth & Lifestyle – Free yourself.
Jump Right In: Five Books to Read Next
Need a quick book recommendation? Here are five books to read next…
Top Five Books: Nonfiction Books
Here are my top 5 recommended nonfiction books to read next…
Want more? Explore all TAoL’s nonfiction reading lists…
Top Five Books: Fiction Books
Here are my top 5 recommended fiction books to read next…
Want more? Explore all TAoL’s fiction reading lists…
Top Five Books: Bestselling Books
Here are the 5 best selling books of all time…
Want more? Explore all best-selling books of all time…
3 Things To Know About Book Recommendations
Here are three things you should know about these reading lists…
Book Recommendations Matter.
Did you know that the typical (median) American adult reads 4 books a year?
And even if you read more than that, there’s a good chance you’ll read fewer than 1,000 books in your life time?
That’s not a huge number. Especially compared to the hundreds of thousands of new books that are published each year.
Result? Book recommendations matter.
Because if you’re going to invest hundreds of hours reading just a fraction of all the books ever written, you shouldn’t read anything but the best.
But Most Book Recommendations Suck.
The problem? Good book recommendations aren’t easy to come by. (Unless your best friend is a savant librarian). And it’s hard to sort average book recommendations from the good and the great.
I know how that feels. Which is why I spend hours every week collecting and curating book lists from thousands upon thousands of titles – from bestsellers to classics to prize-winners; from other readers, from other authors and from you.
My goal? To make sure I read only the best fiction and nonfiction ever written. And to save you hundreds of hours in the process by sharing my very best reading lists, filled with good books to read, in one place.
These Book Recommendations Are Different.
So what makes these book recommendations different?
My suggestions are objective and data-driven.
I DON’T pick my book recommendations randomly.
I DON’T regurgitate lists of my (or other people’s) favorite books.
I DO use big data to crowd-source only the most widely read, most loved survivors from my database of thousands of must read books.
I DO use a huge, custom model to run up to date Goodreads data through a proprietary algorithm that curates all my book lists automatically.
Short story? I do the heavy lifting for you WITHOUT letting my biases get the better of me.
So, if you’re sick of New York Times or Amazon best seller lists…
If you’re after reliable books lists of the best books of all time, engaging audiobooks, great books for your book club or even some young adult science fiction…
I’ve got good news for you…
You’re in the right place.
And now is the perfect time to pick a book from the book lists above.
Other Best Book Recommendation Websites…
You’ll find a ton of great book lists and book recommendations above.
Still not done scratching that itch?
Here are my three favorite sites (and strategies) for finding good books:
Let me show you how I use them to find books.
NOTE: These sources are GREAT for generating good book ideas.
The problem? They won’t help you decide WHICH book recommendation to read first.
Luckily, that’s exactly what I help you to solve with my book lists above.
Book Recommendations From Goodreads
Goodreads is an endless source of book recommendations.
To get them I use 4 sections that you’ll find on any book page…
- Genre Pages – In the desktop sidebar you’ll find a section called “Genres” which will show you how many times users have shelved a book in a particular genre. Click any of those links to deep dive into more great books on e.g., productivity or business or sci fi.
- Reading Lists – Just above the reviews section you’ll find a section called “Lists With This Book”. In this section you’ll find tons of user-generated book lists that’ll help you dig out more books you might enjoy based on what you’ve already read.
- Author Pages – If you love one book an author has written, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy more of their work. To get to those pages, just click the name of the author at the top of any book page to get an overview of their work.
- Readers Also Enjoyed – In the desktop sidebar you’ll find a section near the top right called “Readers Also Enjoyed”. Hit the ”See similar books…” there to see which books other Goodreads readers who ranked a book highly have also rated well.
Alright, let’s move on to…
Book Recommendations From Amazon
The three obvious places to get book recommendations from Amazon are
- Amazon’s Best Seller Lists – Which you can granularly filter by genre and topic;
- Book Level Recommendations – Which you can find on each book‘s individual page under the buy box (e.g., “Customers also view…” or “Related items”); and
- Author Pages – Which you can get to by clicking on any author’s name on their book page (see the Goodreads Author Page section above).
WARNING: I trust Amazon’s book recommendations less than I trust Goodreads’s book recommendations.
Why? Because it’s deeply commercial. It’s far more likely to be gamed by publishers and far more interested in promoting books you might impulse buy (e.g., because they’re currently in vogue) than great books that will probably change your life.
Alright, last but not least…
Book Recommendations From Google
It is ALWAYS worth Googling “best books on…” or ”best … books” to see what native recommendations (and webpages) Google comes up with.
WARNING: I trust the carousel of book recommendations at the top of most Google searches least of all these three sources.
Why? Because there’s zero transparency on why those books are chosen or ranked as they are.
That said, the carousel and the top Google results are a great place to pick up “must read” books I can add to my unsorted database when I’m starting to research a new book list.
Book Recommendation FAQs
What Are Some Good Book Recommendations?
If you’re looking for good book recommendations, the best place to start is to work out why you’re reading in the first place.
What Are Your Top 5 Books?
My top 5 books (nonfiction) are:
1. How to Read a Book (FREE Summary);
2. Getting Things Done (FREE Summary);
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (FREE Summary);
4. Think And Grow Rich (FREE Summary); and
5. How to Win Friends And Influence People (Free Summary).
If I could go back in time, these are the first 5 books I’d recommend to my younger self.
What Is the Best Book of All Time?
The best book of all time is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. No other book has been so loved, by so many people, for so long. (According to Goodreads data and my algorithm.)
NOTE: This will be HUGELY divisive. Why? Because the best book of all time FOR YOU will depend entirely on who you are, what you believe in and why you love to read.
Don’t let this ruin your day. (No matter how strongly you believe that the Bible, or the Qur’an, or the Tao Te Ching or something else deservers this spot.)
Just know that if you’re looking for a book that has been universally and persistently loved more than any other for hundreds of years, Pride and Prejudice is a great place to start.
What Books Should I Read?
What book you should read depends on what problem you’re trying to solve.
Want High-Quality Book Summaries?
My favourite way to learn from nonfiction books is to write book summaries. I’m not talking kindle-highlights or 3 sentence synopses. I spend days (often weeks) digesting and re-teaching the best lessons from my favorite books. Then I publish those summaries for free. To learn more, head over to the book summaries page.
How to Read More Books…
The second best thing you can do after picking the right books to read is to learn how to read those books right.
And one thing I didn’t understand about reading for a very long time was the difference between reading widely and reading well.
For more on reading widely, read these 27 tips to start reading more books.
For more on reading well, fill out the form below and I’ll send you the exact same 10-step process I use to write TAoL‘s many book summaries based on Adler and Van Doren’s excellent How to Read a Book…