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Book Summaries: 60+ FREE Top Nonfiction Book Summaries

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.

Looking for FREE nonfiction book summaries?

You’re in the right place!

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

Start Here: TAoL’s Top 5 Book Summaries (A-Z)

If you’re new to The Art of Living, or just here for a browse, you might want to start your reading with one of the 5 book summaries below:

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Getting Things Done Summary – David Allen
25 MINUTE READ | Getting Things Done is THE classic life-changing manual on getting organised and building a robust productivity system that can handle whatever life throws at you - by productivity guru, David Allen. Topics:
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How to Read a Book Summary – Adler & van Doren
17 MINUTE READ | How to Read a Book is THE classic guide to reading faster, deeper and more effectively than you ever realised was possible - by deep-thinkers, philosophers and life-long learners, M. Adler and C. van Doren. Topics: ,
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How to Win Friends and Influence People Summary – Dale Carnegie
14 MINUTE READ | The classic guide to greatly improving effectiveness and efficiency by mastering the ability to work with and through the people around you – by self-improvement guru, Dale Carnegie. Topics: ,
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The 48 Laws of Power Summary – Robert Greene
33 MINUTE READ | The 48 Laws of Power is the ultimate guide to sociopathy gaining and defending against ultimate control – by author and your nearest dictator’s favourite leadership coach, Robert Greene. Topics: ,
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary – Stephen Covey
33 MINUTE READ | The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a perennial masterpiece on leading a happy, productive and purposeful existence and an unmissable stop for any pilgrim of personal improvement - by educator, author and speaker, Stephen Covey. Topics:
And if you’re still curious when you’re done? Start digging into…

All TAoL’s 60+ FREE Book Summaries (A-Z)

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10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades Summary – Thomas Frank
10 MINUTE READ | A short, practical guide for students on being more productive and studying more effectively - by veteran student-success writer, Thomas Frank of College Info Geek. Topics:
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10,000 Years of Art Summary – Phaidon Press
3 MINUTE READ | The perfect handbook for anyone interested in a perspective on the history and progression of art, across the world and over 10,000 years – by the wonderful team at Phaidon Press. Topics:
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12 Rules for Life Summary – Jordan Peterson
20 MINUTE READ | A #1 international bestseller that distills some of life's toughest questions into accessible, practical advice - by the New York Times's "most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now," Jordan B. Peterson. Topics:
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A Mind For Numbers Summary – Barbara Oakley
7 MINUTE READ | A practical, research-based guide to unlocking the power of your brain to learn math, or anything else you put your mind to, even if you think you're hopeless - by professor Barbara Oakley. Topics: ,
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Acres of Diamonds Summary – Russell H. Conwell
1 MINUTE READ | Acres of Diamonds is a short, inspirational reminder that all you need for success, wealth and happiness can be found right in front of you and that the grass is always green where you water it - by minister, orator and founder of Temple University, Russell H. Conwell. Topics:
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Apology Summary – Plato
9 MINUTE READ | Apology contains three powerful speeches made by Socrates, a founder of Western Philosophy, in his final defence of wisdom, excellence and his life – by Socrates’s student, Aristotle’s teacher and eminent Greek philosopher, Plato. Topics:
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As a Man Thinketh Summary – James Allen
4 MINUTE READ | As a Man Thinketh is THE #1 ranking, uplifting, pocket-sized pep-talk on the power and importance of changing your thoughts as the cornerstone to changing your life – by philosopher and prolific self-help author, James Allen. Topics:
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Atomic Habits Summary – James Clear
Atomic Habits is a powerful and practical guide to transforming your habits, making change stick and achieving remarkable results – by author and habit-guru, James Clear. Topics: ,
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Being Mortal Summary – Atul Gawande
2 MINUTE READ | Being Mortal is an uncomfortable yet enlightening exploration of how treating terminal disease (especially linked to ageing) as a purely extend-life-at-all-costs medical problem is destroying the final moments of our lives - by surgeon and best selling author, Atul Gawande. Topics:
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Black Box Thinking Summary – Matthew Syed
4 MINUTE READ | Black Box Thinking is a fascinating account of how cognitive biases and fixed mindsets cause individuals and institutions to fail to learn from their mistakes (and what to do about it) - by athlete and author, Matthew Syed. Topics:
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Born to Run Summary – Christopher McDougall
1 MINUTE READ | Born to Run takes takes running back to its roots in this critically acclaimed analysis of evolution, injury and recovery that is filled with compelling insights, great story telling and practical tips - by best-selling author and journalist, Christopher McDougall. Topics:
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Bounce Summary – Matthew Syed
10 MINUTE READ | A thoughtful investigation into the primacy of practice and mindset over talent when learning and mastering new skills - by top-ranked table tennis champion and journalist, Matthew Syed. Topics:
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Codependent No More Summary – Melody Beattie
12 MINUTE READ | Codependent No More is the definitive book on codependency, clarifying what it is, why so many struggle with it, and most importantly, how to overcome it — by former codependent and beloved self-help author Melody Beattie. Topics:
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Deep Work Summary – Cal Newport
8 MINUTE READ | Deep Work is a timely reminder of the value of deep, focussed work and the dangers of losing yourself in the shallows of entertainment and distraction - by author and computer science professor, Cal Newport. Topics:
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Eat That Frog Summary – Brian Tracy
7 MINUTE READ | Eat That Frog! is a punchy, concise guide to identifying what matters, setting powerful goals and then getting to work on them right away - by productivity and self-development legend, Brian Tracy. Topics:
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Eating Animals Summary – Jonathan Safran Foer
1 MINUTE READ | Eating Animals is a part-memoir, part-investigative-journalism philosophical dive into the darkest corners of our dining habits in this fascinating exploration of what we eat and why - by novelist and nonfiction author, Jonathan Safran Foer. Topics:
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Effortless Mastery Summary – Kenny Werner
3 MINUTE READ | An inspirational and practical guide for advanced and expert practitioners in any field on finding mastery by getting out of your head and surrendering to your art - by jazz pianist and composer, Kenny Werner. Topics:
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First Things First Summary – Stephen Covey
1 MINUTE READ | First Things First is an action-oriented time-management manual, filled with frameworks and exercises to help you do more of what matters and less of what doesn't - by the author of the #1 book on this list, Stephen Covey. Topics:
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Flow Summary – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
4 MINUTE READ | A bottom-up guide to finding success, growth and happiness through flow - an optimal experience of being, marked by total absorption and joy in the present - by psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Topics: ,
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Getting Things Done Summary – David Allen
25 MINUTE READ | Getting Things Done is THE classic life-changing manual on getting organised and building a robust productivity system that can handle whatever life throws at you - by productivity guru, David Allen. Topics:
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Goals Summary – Brian Tracy
1 MINUTE READ | Goals! was the first book I ever read on productivity and probably the most readable and complete guide to goal-setting ever written - by sales legend and time-management master, Brian Tracy. Topics:
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Guest Blogging Summary – Jon Morrow
17 MINUTE READ | The ultimate guide to writing great articles and getting them published on some of the biggest blogs, platforms and news sites on the internet - by blogging legend, Jon Morrow. Topics: ,
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How Not to Die Summary – Dr. Michael Greger
7 MINUTE READ | How Not to Die is a deeply researched and compelling primer on the promise and importance of whole food plant-based nutrition in preventing and reversing disease - by medical doctor and nutrition expert, Michael Greger. Topics:
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How to Develop a Perfect Memory Summary – Dominic O’Brien
25 MINUTE READ | The perfect manual for anyone wanting to effortlessly retain names, faces, facts, figures, speeches and languages. All the tools you need to develop a perfect memory – by 8-time World Memory Champion, Dominic O’Brien. Topics: ,
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How to Read a Book Summary – Adler & van Doren
17 MINUTE READ | How to Read a Book is THE classic guide to reading faster, deeper and more effectively than you ever realised was possible - by deep-thinkers, philosophers and life-long learners, M. Adler and C. van Doren. Topics: ,
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How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Summary – Dale Carnegie
15 MINUTE READ | How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is a practical, common-sense bible filled with stories, case studies and simple step-by-step guides to conquering worry, anxiety and depression – by self development guru, Dale Carnegie. Topics:
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How to Win Friends and Influence People Summary – Dale Carnegie
14 MINUTE READ | The classic guide to greatly improving effectiveness and efficiency by mastering the ability to work with and through the people around you – by self-improvement guru, Dale Carnegie. Topics: ,
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Make It Stick Summary – Brown, Roediger and McDaniel
5 MINUTE READ | Tools, strategies and stories to help students, teachers and trainers learn more effectively based on 10 years of collaboration between 11 cognitive psychologists - collected and synthesised by author Peter Brown and psychology researchers Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel. Topics: ,
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Make Your Bed Summary – William H. McRaven
12 MINUTE READ | Make Your Bed became a best seller by breaking down how you can change your life and change the world into ten simple steps that start with simply making your bed - by former US Navy SEAL, Admiral William McRaven. Topics:
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Man’s Search for Meaning Summary – Viktor Frankl
3 MINUTE READ | A gruelling and yet deeply liberating insight into the why behind each of our whats and hows - by holocaust survivor, psychologist and founder of logotherapy, Viktor Frankl. Topics: ,
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Mastery Summary – Robert Greene
6 MINUTE READ | An exploration of Mastery - its benefits, principles and strategies - enriched with instructive and inspirational biographies of historical and contemporary masters - by modern-day Machiavelli and author Robert Greene. Topics:
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Meditations Summary – Marcus Aurelius
8 MINUTE READ | Meditations is a humbling and thought-provoking insight into the stoic mindset of one of history's greatest leaders and thinkers - by Roman emperor, philosopher and example to us all, Marcus Aurelius. Topics:
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Mindset Summary – Carol Dweck
5 MINUTE READ | A research-grounded dive into the self-fulfilling nature and impact of Fixed- and Growth-Mindset beliefs in personal development - by social and developmental psychology professor, Carol Dweck. Topics: ,
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Moonwalking with Einstein Summary – Josh Foer
4 MINUTE READ | An overview of the history, science and philosophy of memory set against a year-long sprint from memory virgin to 2006 U.S.A Memory Champion - by journalist, Josh Foer. Topics: ,
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On Writing Well Summary – William Zinsser
10 MINUTE READ | A book so brimming with literary wisdom that it feels like you're clutching a living brain. Writing, about writing, for writers - by writer, editor, critic, teacher and captain of the craft, William Zinsser. Topics: ,
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Optimal Living 101 Summary – Brian Johnson
23 MINUTE READ | A fantastic synthesis of ancient and modern wisdom into a single manifesto on how to live well - by author, coach and modern-day philosopher, Brian Johnson. Topics:
Outliers Summary – Malcolm Gladwell
3 MINUTE READ | Outliers systematically debunks the myth that success is only determined by talent and hard-work - with quantitative and qualitative evidence from medicine, sport, business, history, music, science and more - by journalist and author, Malcolm Gladwell. Topics:
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Peak Summary – Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
4 MINUTE READ | Peak is a practical, fact-based primer on the primacy of purposeful and deliberate practice in expert performance - by psychologist and scientist, Anders Ericsson, and science writer, Robert Pool. Topics:
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Perennial Seller Summary – Ryan Holiday
8 MINUTE READ | A fascinating and practical guide to making your heart and nerve and sinew serve your turn long after they are gone - by modern stoic and devourer of the written word, Ryan Holiday. Topics: ,
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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning Summary – Andy Hunt
9 MINUTE READ | A practical and extensive collection of ideas, frameworks, tools and tips to supercharge your learning at school, at home and at work - by programmer and life-long learner, Andy Hunt of Pragmatic Programmers. Topics:
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Psycho-Cybernetics Summary – Maxwell Maltz
2 MINUTE READ | Psycho-Cybernetics defined the concept of self-image and inspired a generation of books on the power of identifying and breaking limited beliefs - by cosmetic surgeon and best selling author, Maxwell Maltz. Topics:
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Rich Dad Poor Dad Summary – Robert Kiyosaki
19 MINUTE READ | One of the few must-read handbooks for anyone who's serious about earning their financial freedom - by businessman, investor and best-selling author, Robert Kiyosaki. Topics:
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Starting Strength Summary – Mark Rippetoe
2 MINUTE READ | Starting Strength is a well-illustrated, detailed and time-tested guide to mastering the most important barbell exercises you need to get strong, fast without injuring yourself - by strength training coach and author, Mark Rippetoe. Topics:
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Stop Working Harder Summary – Arthur Worsley
7 MINUTE READ | TAoL's ultimate guide to defeating distractions, beating procrastination, setting each day up for success, getting organised and generally getting more done - by thinker, writer and coach, Arthur Worsley. Topics: ,
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Taking Charge of Your Fertility Summary – Toni Weschler
3 MINUTE READ | Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand female fertility, maximise conception or learn about chemical and device free methods of contraception - by women's health educator and author, Toni Weschler. Topics:
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Teach Yourself How to Learn Summary – Saundra McGuire
3 MINUTE READ | Simple strategies and inspirational stories to help you ace courses and enjoy a lifetime of deep, effective learning - by retired Chemistry professor and writer on academic success, Saundra McGuire. Topics:
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The 4-Hour Work Week Summary – Tim Ferriss
21 MINUTE READ | One of the most influential books on the reading list of nearly every successful digital nomad and online business owner I've ever met - by serial entrepreneur, life-hacker and pod-casting legend, Tim Ferriss. Topics: , ,
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The 48 Laws of Power Summary – Robert Greene
33 MINUTE READ | The 48 Laws of Power is the ultimate guide to sociopathy gaining and defending against ultimate control – by author and your nearest dictator’s favourite leadership coach, Robert Greene. Topics: ,
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The 5 Love Languages of Children Summary – Gary Chapman
14 MINUTE READ | A concise, actionable and time-tested guide to helping you understand your children more deeply and communicate more effectively so they always feel valued and loved - by best-selling author, pastor and marriage counsellor, Gary Chapman. Topics:
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The 5 Love Languages Summary – Gary Chapman
7 MINUTE READ | A concise, actionable and time-tested guide to letting others know they are loved and feeling loved and appreciated in return - by best-selling author, pastor and marriage counsellor, Gary Chapman. Topics: ,
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary – Stephen Covey
33 MINUTE READ | The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a perennial masterpiece on leading a happy, productive and purposeful existence and an unmissable stop for any pilgrim of personal improvement - by educator, author and speaker, Stephen Covey. Topics:
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The 80/20 Principle Summary – Richard Koch
1 MINUTE READ | The 80/20 Principle is a perennial guide to mastering the Pareto principal and doing more with less - by management consultant, venture capitalist and best-selling author, Richard Koch. Topics: ,
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The Body Keeps The Score Summary – Bessel van der Kolk
4 MINUTE READ | A fascinating dive into the hidden epidemic of trauma, what we've learned about it in the last 30 years and how to better diagnose, face and heal it - by psychiatrist, author and post-traumatic stress researcher, Bessel van der Kolk. Topics:
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The Body Summary – Bill Bryson
2 MINUTE READ | The Body is a fantastically-written and awe-inspiring 23-chapter tour through the 30 trillion cells that (literally) make you who you are - by best-selling author, Bill Bryson. Topics:
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The Brain That Changes Itself Summary – Norman Doidge
3 MINUTE READ | An informative and readable journey into the history, science and consequences of recent research in neuroplasticity - the brain's incredible ability to change and reorganise itself - by psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and researcher, Norman Doidge. Topics:
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The Checklist Manifesto Summary – Atul Gawande
1 MINUTE READ | The Checklist Manifesto is a fascinating investigation into the ability of checklists in business, medicine and every day life to promote greater efficiency, consistency and safety - by surgeon and public health researcher, Atul Gawande. Topics: ,
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The Compound Effect Summary – Darren Hardy
13 MINUTE READ | The Compound Effect offers a concise, practical guide to mastering small choices that determine big outcomes which dictate the course of your life - by best selling author, publisher and motivational speaker, Darren Hardy. Topics:
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The Effective Executive Summary – Peter F. Drucker
7 MINUTE READ | The Effective Executive is THE timeless classic on leadership and management; on getting the right things done - by the dean of business and management philosophy, Peter F. Drucker. Topics:
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The Elements of Style Summary – William Strunk Jr.
Perfect for you if: Writing good concise English is important to your success. You can't spot the simple, common and 'obvious' mistake in this sentence. The idea of someone crunching such a sacred work fills you with rage. Topics: ,
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The Emperor of All Maladies Summary – Siddhartha Mukherjee
1 MINUTE READ | The Emperor of All Maladies is a rich and deep biography of cancer, from its first documented appearance to our modern battles to understand and cure humanity's (current) second biggest killer - by physician, biologist and author, Siddhartha Mukherjee. Topics:
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The Four Agreements Summary – Don Miguel Ruiz
7 MINUTE READ | The Four Agreements is a provocative and mind-altering Toltec guide to waking up and finding peace in our illusory world – by retired surgeon, author and Eagle-Knight shaman Don Miguel Ruiz. Topics:
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The Inner Game of Tennis Summary – W. Timothy Gallwey
6 MINUTE READ | An insightful and practical guide to optimizing natural learning and performance with applied mindfulness - by author, speaker and ex-Harvard tennis captain, W. Timothy Gallwey. Topics:
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The Little Book of Talent Summary – Daniel Coyle
8 MINUTE READ | 52 short, immediate and practical tips to kick-off your learning, improve your skills and sustain your progress at school, at work, at home and at play - by journalist and author, Daniel Coyle. Topics:
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The Magic of Thinking Big Summary – David J. Schwartz
11 MINUTE READ | The Magic of Thinking Big is a powerful, practical and uplifting book to help get you out of a rut, invigorate your goals and empower you towards success - by life-long motivational writer and coach, David J. Schwartz. Topics:
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The Master-Key to Riches Summary – Napoleon Hill
1 MINUTE READ | The Master-Key to Riches is an accessible self help manual that covers everything from positive thinking and goal visualization to habit formation and self-discipline - by titan of the genre and author of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill. Topics:
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The Mastery of Love Summary – Don Miguel Ruiz
14 MINUTE READ | A beautiful, poetic and easy-to-read self-help book that illuminates the false and unnecessarily dramatic lives we lead, filled with fear and self-rejection, and how to wake up to our own inner power so that we can learn to love others and ourselves — by Toltec Nagual and best selling author, Don Miguel Ruiz. Topics:
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The Memory Book Summary – Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas
17 MINUTE READ | A practical guide to remembering anything, faster, with simple, millennia-old mnemonics and proven memory boosting techniques - by memory masters, Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Topics: ,
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The Neuroscience of Intelligence Summary – Richard J. Haier
5 MINUTE READ | A neuroscience-heavy, research-rich review of the evidence, myths and future of our understanding of intelligence - including what it is, why some people have it and what can be done to enhance it - by psychologist and professor, Richard J. Haier. Topics:
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The Obesity Code Summary – Dr. Jason Fung
9 MINUTE READ | The Obesity Code gives an amazing look at how the body uses food to create the perfect conditions for obesity and how to disrupt the cycle to create a healthier future - by kidney disease specialist, best-selling author and MD, Jason Fung. Topics:
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The Power of Habit Summary – Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit is a page-turning dive into the power and ubiquity of unconscious habits in shaping our decisions and destinies (plus a practical guide to changing them) - by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Charles Duhigg. Topics:
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The Power of Positive Thinking Summary – Norman Vincent Peale
1 MINUTE READ | The Power of Positive Thinking reminds us that we don’t need a PhD in Human Relations to live our best lives if we can learn a few tricks to change how we think - by minister and best-selling author Norman Vincent Peale. Topics:
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The Psychology of Selling Summary – Brian Tracy
The Psychology of Selling is a powerful, motivational and practical guide to becoming one of the most successful (and highest-paid) salespeople in your company, industry and the world – by self-help legend and sales guru, Brian Tracy. Topics:
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The Richest Man In Babylon Summary – George S. Clason
5 MINUTE READ | The Richest Man in Babylon is THE classic parable on how to acquire money, how to not lose money and how to make money multiply - by serial entrepreneur and author, George S. Clason. Topics:
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The Science of Getting Rich Summary – Wallace D. Wattles
3 MINUTE READ | The Science of Getting Rich offers a short, pragmatic guide to attracting wealth and success by reprogramming your thinking, ovecoming mental barriers and learning to create, rather than compete - by New Thought and self-help author, Wallace D. Wattles. Topics:
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The Slight Edge Summary – Jeff Olson
10 MINUTE READ | The Slight Edge is a short, punchy, practical guide to the why, what and how of using simple daily disciplines to achieve breakthrough success - by serial entrepreneur, speaker and author, Jeff Olson. Topics:
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Think and Grow Rich Summary – Napoleon Hill
12 MINUTE READ | Think and Grow Rich is a best-selling book of all time and a cornerstone guide to the Law of Attraction and the role of the subconscious in transforming your life – by a titan of the self-help genre, Napoleon Hill. Topics:
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Tiny Beautiful Things Summary – Cheryl Strayed
6 MINUTE READ | A heart thumpingly raw, vulnerable and powerful collection of letters and advice on the power of love, of forgiveness and of finding growth in the darkest of places - by award-winning writer, Cheryl Strayed. Topics: ,
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Tools of Titans Summary (452 Book Recommendations) – Tim Ferriss
40 MINUTE READ | A curated collection of interview notes on health, wealth and wisdom from over 100 conversations with top performers and curious characters – by author, podcaster and life-hacker Tim Ferriss. Topics:
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Unlimited Memory Summary – Kevin Horsley
1 MINUTE READ | A short and accessible introduction to mnemonic memory techniques for anyone looking to quickly improve their memory and increase their productivity – by Grand Master of Memory, Kevin Horsley. Topics: ,
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Who Moved My Cheese Summary – Dr. Spencer Johnson
5 MINUTE READ | Who Moved My Cheese is a short, light-hearted parable about the different ways we respond to life's changes and how doing so skillfully can help us find more success and happines in our lives - by best-selling author, Dr. Spencer Johnson. Topics:
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Why We Sleep Summary – Matthew Walker
16 MINUTE READ | Why We Sleep is a fascinating and accessible guide to what sleep is, why sleep matters and how to optimise your sleep habits to live longer, feel happier and set your life up for success - by sleep scientist and best-selling author, Matthew Walker. Topics:
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Wooden Summary – John Wooden and Steve Jamison
2 MINUTE READ | An effort-and-integrity focussed personal philosophy - spanning family, achievement, success and excellence - by UCLA's famous philosopher-coach, John Wooden, and author, Steve Jamison. Topics:
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Writing Tools Summary – Roy Peter Clark
6 MINUTE READ | Decades of writing experience condensed into 55 highly practical tools that will help you improve every part of your writing process – by writer, editor and writing teacher, Roy Peter Clark. Topics:

How to Use These Book Summaries

There are two good ways to use book summaries:

  1. To help you decide if a book is worth reading; and
  2. To recap the points in a book that you’ve already read.

There are no substitutes for reading a good book yourself. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, I’m afraid you’ve been sadly misled. You won’t find that here, or anywhere else on the internet. (No matter what their marketing says.)

What you will find here is a growing collection of detailed free book summaries of some of the best books ever written (or, occasionally, just those I wanted to read), that’ll help you speed up your research and/or refresh your memory.

Which Book Summary Should You Read First?

The book summaries above are sorted alphabetically.

If you’re just browsing, start with my list of TAoL‘s Top 5 Summaries.

If you know what you’re looking for, jump right to the list of All 60+ Summaries.

If you’re surveying a particular topic, click a topic link below to browse my summaries by each of The Art of Living‘s 8 areas of life

  1. Health & Vitality - Master physical wellness;
  2. Thoughts & Emotions - Master mental wellness;
  3. Family & Friends - Build better relationships;
  4. Love & Partnership - Love and be loved;
  5. Growth & Learning - Get smart, faster;
  6. Productivity & Performance - Do more, better;
  7. Business & Career - Become an effective executive; and
  8. Wealth & Lifestyle - Free yourself.

And if you’re really stuck? Drop me an email (I love hearing from you), tell me what problem you’re trying to solve and I’ll point you to a book that can help… 🙌

I hope you enjoy the free summaries below. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

And whatever you do, don’t forget to read wisely, read widely and read well.

Book Summary FAQs

What is the best website for book summaries?

I spend days (often weeks) making sure each book summary on The Art of Living is the very best version you'll find. But if you can't find the book summary you're looking for on my list of 50+ FREE high-quality book summaries then the best book summary websites I'd visit next would be: Sparknotes (free, high quality, mostly fiction), Optimize.me (paid, high quality, nonfiction) or Blinkist (paid, medium quality, widest range).

How do I find book summaries?

The best way to find book summaries is to look for them. Type the title and the word "summary" (e.g., "getting things done summary") into Google, YouTube, Amazon or your favourite search engine and browse the results that come up. Not sure which summary to read? Avoid short summaries, bulleted lists, quotes dumps or, worst of all, summaries of other summaries. Instead, read the highest quality book summary you can. You'll more than get back the effort you invest if/when you read the original book.

Do book summaries work?

Low-quality book summaries waste everyone's time. And you can't beat reading the original book. But if you want to survey a topic, decide if a book is worth reading or recap the main points in a book that you've already read then reading high-quality book summaries will help. And if you want to really understand and remember what you're reading, then writing high-quality book summaries is even better. Want examples? Check out The Art of Living’s 50+ nonfiction book summaries to learn more.

What are book summaries?

Book summaries are brief recaps of the main points in a book. When read, they're great for surveying a topic, deciding if a book is worth reading or recapping a book that you've read. When written, they're fantastic for helping you understand and remember what an author thinks and means. Want to learn more? Check out The Art of Living's 50+ nonfiction book summaries for some FREE high-quality examples.

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Book Summaries

Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.