50+ FREE Detailed Book Summaries of Top Nonfiction Books
How to Use These Book Summaries
There are two good ways to use book summaries:
- To help you decide if a book is worth reading; and
- 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 below 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 50+ Summaries.
If you’re surveying a particular topic, click a topic link below or visit the blog to browse my summaries by life-area. (You can also check out the book recommendations page for some data-driven nonfiction reading lists with links to summaries.)
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.
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:
All TAoL’s 50+ FREE Book Summaries (A-Z)
Book Summary FAQs
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.
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.
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.
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).
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