The last lines in my Manifesto are these:
There is nothing you can’t learn, no place you can’t go, if you read.
My own most recent book, available on Amazon:
Below are some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed.
For details click on the links. This will take you to Amazon and should you decide to buy there, this blog will get a few pennies of your purchase price. I’m told this will not increase your price, so we both win.
Personally, I get my books from the public library. It’s free and between readings they take up space there rather than at my place. Were you to ask, I’d recommend you consider doing the same.
Books that influenced my world view…
A few favorites
“The Fall of Edward Barnard” is very possibly my all-time favorite short story.
Perfect for the readers of this blog.
“Bartleby the Scrivener” is very possibly my all-time favorite novella. Don’t be put off if you struggled with Melville’s “Moby Dick.” This is a much better and easier read. Plus it will teach you the most useful phrase in the English language:
“I would prefer not to.”
Other non-fiction I’ve enjoyed:
Dr. Randall’s book was first mentioned in my post on handling Mummy heads. She is not only a renouned Theoritical Physicist and Harvard Professor more importantly, at least to me, she is an engaging writer able to take complex concepts and present them in an interesting, understandable fashion. Who knew a book on Particle Physics could be a page turner?
Dark Matter? Dinosaurs? Two of my favorite things wrapped up in a book by Dr. Randall? Of course it goes to the top of my reading list! No, I haven’t read it yet. It’s great. I recommend it. Reading it will only serve to confirm I’m right about this.
I have a layman’s interest in physics. The problem is, I am not quite smart enough. Close, but not quite. So in my reading on the subject I always seem to come up just short of really understanding. If this sounds like you, here’s our book! Chapter 13 was my favorite.
We all know the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. But I, for one, had no idea how compelling a story theirs is. At least as told in this book by Mr. McCullough. Reads like a page-turner of a novel.
The story of a Mexican fisherman blown out into the Pacific Ocean and his survival as he drifts across for, well, 438 days. Actually, a non-fiction book but as it reads like the great adventure it is, it fits better here. Amazing to note: All of his supplies are lost in the storm but he comes across enough garbage floating in the ocean to replenish them.
If you are interested in income inequality, this poorly titled (should have been Unfettered Capitalism – more accurate and more descriptive) is a great discussion of the pros and cons of our current system. Luttwak clearly has his own biases, but is remarkable evenhanded in presenting both sides.
Written in the late 1990s, it is a bit of a time capsule and fun to see how the past 20 years have actually unfolded.
Economics can be dry as dust. It can also provide deep insights into how our world really works. Mr Wheelin replaces the dry as dust aspect with a an engaging, even fun, read while delivering all those engaging insights. Especially worth reading at the moment with all the political campaign nonsense being spewed about.
Where people who live to be 100+ live, how they live and what they eat.
Why the future might be incredibly good. Unless the grey goo gets us.
This might be the most enlightening and entertaining take on American history I’ve yet to read.
Predicting the future is risky business, but Mr. Ross makes an interesting case for how markets are changing and what industries are driving the change. Given the current political debate here in the US, I especially enjoyed his section: The Geography of Future Markets.
How the world is WAY better than you probably think it is and how it got that way.
Think you have free will? Think again.
Even if you know these, Peterson tells you why.
Other Fiction I’ve enjoyed…
You’ll never look at crows the same way again. Creepy.
This is a beautifully written novel that tells the story of, and the stories around, the creation of a sacred Native American drum and its journey from tribal origins in Minnesota to a collector in New Hampshire and back again. If that sounds boring, let me mention there are starving and freezing children and hungry wolves and not even in the same story.
Whitehead is a gifted story teller and writer and his tale of escape from slavery is a page turner. Characters are extremely well drawn. Be warned: This is the tale of slavery up close and it is frequently brutal.
Mr. Franklin makes a killing in silver mining in the old West. Mr. Franklin takes his fortune to England where his ancestors came from. Mr. Franklin enters high society. Oh, and Mr. Franklin was also a member of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang.
Kinda like a more interesting version of Downton Abbey.
Bad monkeys are Sapiens that need killing, and Jane is on the job. If you are already paranoid, you might want to skip chapter: white room (iv)
Psmith is one of my favorite characters from a favorite author. Jeeves, too. Think Downton Abbey but funny.
Jack Reacher roams around the country carrying only a folding toothbrush. When his clothes get dirty he buys new ones. Oh, and he kills lots of bad guys. “Persuader” is the first I read, from the middle of the series and one of the best.
First line: “People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day.”
Last Line: “This ends my true account of how I avenged Frank Ross’s blood over in the Choctaw Nation when snow was on the ground.”
Carl Hiaasen is one of the funniest more enjoyable writers I’ve come across and his novels are populated by an eccentric cast of characters in Florida. What more can I say? I’ve read them all.
One in a series of novels and short stories recounting the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his “gentleman’s gentleman” Jeeves. If you’ve not read Wodehouse, do yourself a favor.
Aging boomers are urged to kill themselves to save the government money. A humorous cross between Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and “House of Cards”
Interestingly, it references Bertie Wooster.
Southern missionary packs up his family and heads to the Congo. Narrated in rotating chapters by his wife and four daughters. Compelling tale very well told. Amazing as the style and tone shifts between her narrators.
A friend of mine originally from Minnesota recently introduced me to two book series, each set in that state. These are entertaining reads in the crime/detective/adventure genre. Both have a central character, along with supporting characters that reoccur in each book.
As he suggested, I am reading them in order, and here are the first book from each series:
Sandford is probably the better writer, although I find both engaging. But Krueger’s characters are more interestingly drawn. Both are a fine way to pass a quiet evening after a long day.
This is one weird book. Tales of characters in small town Ohio around the turn of the last century.
Would have sent this privately if there was a way to do it, so feel free to delete it after you read it.
I am only seeing little squares with x’s in them on your books page. Not sure if it’s my browser or other issues. It might be helpful to have the name of the book and the author above your blurb about the book. Not too interesting without that or the pic of the book.
Just a friendly FYI …..
Thanks for letting me know.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) I can’t duplicate the problem. Every thing works fine for me.
Can you tell us what browser you are using or what the other issue you think it might be?
The issues described are likely a result of ad blocking extensions/add-ons. Disabling them (or whitelisting this site) remedies the issue on my end.
Pradeep M says
Viewing this page on Safari v14.0. I don’t see any images under the section ‘And here are some of my all time favorites:’.
But, chrome shows everything (even a lot of images above this section that didn’t display in safari.)
Found that clicking on the squares opens another tab with the listed book. This is another work around so you don’t have to change your privacy settings. I’m using Firefox as my browser.
All your linked images are absent when viewing in Mac OS 10.11.3 Safari 9.0.3. If it hadn’t been for the preceding comment, I wouldn’t have tried viewing the page in Chrome and known there were supposed to be images.
…for letting me know.
I’ve checked it on my wife’s Mac and Safari and it works fine.
Is it possible the issue is with your software?
Margaret @ Live LIke No One Else says
Just finished listening to the audio book of Blue Zones Solution based on your recommendation that I read on one of your older posts. I’ve listened to many of these types of books, but have to say that this is probably my favorite. It was super interesting and it reignited my interest in getting back on track. Thanks so much for the recommendation.
Glad you liked it, Margaret…
Interestedly, I almost never read these kind of books but obviously it resonated with me as well.
That you and I came to it from such different directions speaks highly of what the author accomplished!
Thanks for sharing your reading list! “Sapiens” is now one of my favourite books too, esp. the first 2 chapters, plus the last chapter where the author talks about what “happiness” means, figuring out what we want, or rather, what we WANT to want … Fascinating (and somewhat depressing) stuff! 🙂
Hope it’s alright to share a recent great read of mine here:
“Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” By Rovelli, Carlo.
The title said it all and it’s geared toward the general public, meaning it’s written in a way mere humans can understand. I’m generally a liberal arts type and science is a bit over my head; but this little book is a gem, easy to read even for physics-challenged me. I can’t say I understood everything in the book, but it certainly made me less ignorant about physics!
Sapiens is one of the very best books I’ve read in a long time. Glad you enjoyed it.
I’ve made a note of “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” By Rovelli, Carlo. But it will be a while before I get to it.
I just picked up Lisa Randall’s new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs. I really liked Heaven’s Door and so can’t wait.
I’m in the middle of two other physics books, so this old English major will be burned out on those for some time after I’m done.
The other two are:
The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch
The Big Picture, Sean Carroll
They are an interesting pairing. Somewhat similar subject matter, written at about the same level. Both have interesting and new (to me anyway) takes on things.
But I found it very hard to engage with the writing in the first, which is why I picked up the second and am now in the middle of both. The second, immediately captivated me.
As I say, it is not that one is “harder” than the other, but I can’t put my finger on the reason for the different reaction to them.
Should you chose to read either, or both, I’d be very interested in your take!
When will you do a workshop on investing?
This year I’ll be headed back to Ecuador for our fourth annual Chautauquas: https://jlcollinsnh.com/category/chautauqua/
Every now and again, I’m invited to go speak to a group somewhere, but those are usually private.
Did you have something in mind?
I was wondering if you could answer a question about your book?
This Christmas I was planning on purchasing 15 or more copies to give to friends and relatives. Most of them have little to know formal education on personal finance, investing or financial independence. My question to you is, do you believe your book may be to advanced or technical for them?
I know this may be counterproductive for your own sake but, it would be terrible to give this book to my loved ones and have them not benefit from it.
You put me on the spot! 😉
My goal with the book, and this blog, is to demystify investing for those with little interest in or knowledge of the subject. So, if I’ve done my job well it should work for your group. But who am I to judge that?
The book is really the same information as here in the blog; just better organized, more condensed and with more polished writing. Or at least I spent more time polishing it. 🙂
—Read the blog and then decide if your group would find it too advanced or technical
—Read thru the reviews on Amazon and see what others have to say about it: https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Path-Wealth-financial-independence/product-reviews/1533667926/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewopt_srt?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=avp_only_reviews&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1
As I recall, some complained that it was to simple but none that it was too difficult.
Good luck and should you decide to gift it to them I hope they both enjoy and benefit from the read.
Thank you so much for your detailed insight!
I will do as you suggested and make the final decision shortly after (it is pretty much already made though!). I can keep you posted about their thoughts, reactions and comments if you would like?
Thanks again and have a wonderful holiday season!
So it ended up being 11 books instead of 15.
However, your book proved to be very popular talking point and lead to some very interesting conversations. I think there may be a possibility that other members of the family and my friends will purchase it down the road.
Will they read it, still remains be seen. Maybe I should make them all right a two page paper after having the book for three months!
Thank you again!!!
Wanted to update you again.
My best friend is now FIRE’d up and fully committed to pursuing this path! He is an accounting major and I had a feeling he would really take this idea and run with it.
So thanks for giving me a new partner in crime!
Great news, Steve!
I wish him, and you, well on your journeys!
Hi Jim –
I hope you will consider recording your book as an audiobook for Audible. Many people (especially Millenials) have switched most or all of their book consumption to audiobooks, and the trend continues upward. I have been a big fan of your writing for a while, and I also wanted to let you know that a friend, who’s been struggling with getting his finances under control and setting up for his future for a long time, was finally convinced to start this process when I recommended your book. He was utterly floored. He read it in a day, and within two weeks he had debt repayment plans, finance tracking, and Vanguard accounts set up. Your book was the catalyst for him to really change his life when nothing else got through to him for years. For that I thank you, it’s been great to see.
I think about the impact it had on him at a (relatively) early point in his life, and I hope that you’ll consider adding this format to reach more people who are audiobook-only these days. Also – I’ve heard an interview with you and you’ve definitely got that Radio Voice! Think about it!
Thanks for your kind words and I am delighted to hear my book had such a positive impact on your friend. It is great that he is figuring all this out so early in life. Makes all the effort in writing it worthwhile.
As it happens, my agent is shopping the audio version rights around right now. No guarantee that we’ll get a deal that makes sense, but doing this is on my radar. While I’d like to do it in my own voice, this one would be done by a voice actor. And maybe better for it.
If I wait until I have the time and inclination to do it myself, it might never happen. 😉
Thanks for the encouragement!
Wright brothers invented the airplane… Typical american lie
We all know it was Santos Dumont who invented the airplane !
Rich by name only says
Mr. Collins – Love the blog. I just finished the book. Your writing style resonates with me. The book remains on my nightstand as a reminder of what I want to accomplish. When I reach FI – I hope to shake your hand and offer a heart-felt thank you.
I’ll look forward to it, Rich!
Rich by name only says
It’s time for my 4 year check-in. Investment portfolio is up 289.64%! We’ve improved year over year. We’re going in the right direction – onward and upward. We can’t thank you enough for your financial wisdom. The book is still on my nightstand and is my financial playbook. When money comes up as a topic of conversation, in my excitement, I want to throw up all that I’ve learned on my friends and family. Instead of throwing up on them and to save on clean up – I simply Amazon them a copy of your book – the rest is up to them. I can’t wait to check-in over the coming years and hopefully be able to upgrade that future hand shake and heart-felt thank you. You are truly making an impact!
Well played, Rich!
Thanks for sharing the book.
Rich By Name Only says
5 year accountability check-in. Even with the down market and headwinds of 2022 the investment portfolio is up 387.75%. Strong household incomes fought all the negativity; as well as big chunks invested; hopeful for some “VTSAX and chill” tailwinds to push us closer and closer to FI. We stay the course! Pumped to have FU money as we chase the addictive FI number. Thank you for all you mean to the FI Community! When the storms surround – I come back to center by reading the blog and book. Truly a heart-felt thank you! Until my next check-in…
You’re going to have to changed the “by name only” part of your handle. 😉
Does anyone know of a book that chronicles the depression and all the recessions? A friend of mine is very interested in these events and wants to learn more about them.
I’m afraid nothing comes to mind, but when you find one please let us know.
Georgia Boy says
Bureaux and Mr. Collins,
The Forgotten Man by Amity
Schlaes is excellent on the Depression.
The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski is IMO the best book on economics ever written and has both a broad economic history of the last 2000 years and addresses the Great Depression. Neither is, to me at least, a dry read. I have never practiced economics but I majored in it and have had a lifelong interest.
I love the blog and your book and have a number of these on my to-read list.
Georgia Boy says
I forgot to ask-have you ever read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
Great book, I think you’d enjoy it.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have put a request into my library for The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski. Sounds like something I’ll enjoy.
I have actually read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance twice, and didn’t care for it either time.
The first time I thought it was going to be about motorcycle maintenance, so you can imagine my disappointment. 🙂
I returned to it years later after having heard so many rave reviews from so many readers.
This second time I knew to expect a book on philosophy, but it still didn’t work for me. I even took the extraordinary step, for me, of writing chapter summaries so I might better see it as a whole.
While it certainly has a few interesting insights, I found it tedious to wade thru to find them.
That said, and while I haven’t really looked, I have yet to find anyone else who has read it who agrees with me on this. 😉
Georgia Boy says
I don’t know if you’re in the habit of reading the prefaces and introduction to books, but they’re worth reading in this one. Wanniski was a very interesting man.
Just got your book from Amazon, The Simple Path to Wealth, great stuff! Just an FYI, there are a few pages out of order. My book goes from page 136 to 143 and a few other gaps. Not sure if my copy is a fluke, but hopefully not too make are like this. Thanks again for the clear financial information.
Sounds like Amazon screwed up when they printed your copy. I’d send it back for another.
Pages 137-142 are really the only important ones… 😉
Larry S in Maryland says
Jim — I’m enjoying your book, which I learned about from MMM’s blog. For many years I’ve put 100% of my retirement funds into S&P 500 Index funds. Fearing what the current President might do that could affect the markets, I moved some of it, not to a broad bond fund as you recommend, but to TIAA’s Fixed Annuity, which currently guarantees a 3% or so annual appreciation. Curious to know why you don’t recommend a fixed annuity vs. bond funds. Thank you.
Please don’t get trapped in annuities. They are a killer. A lot of traps in the fine print. You are loosing control of your money. If you can understand Jim’s book then you are good to go without that sucker
Glad you like the book.
Annuities = high fees and you have to give up your principle upon death. For starters. Unfortunately, they are also most often very expensive to get out of.
On the plus side, for those who sell them, they pay very handsome commissions. 😉
I don’t like or recommend them.
Finally, you should be investing for decades and so unconcerned about any given president. Good or bad.
G Man says
I loved your book (I even bought your audiobook for the long car and bike rides) and the stock series. My oldest brother actually put me onto you, through you I found MMM, Bogleheads and many more. Including some of my favorite podcasts like ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets and many others.
I am currently 23 and with my current projections I’ll be FI by 35. I just wanted to say thank you, not only for the great advice, but introducing me to such an amazing community. Everyone wants people to be the happiest and healthiest they can be, which sadly you don’t find a whole lot of. For example the MMM forums, is a great place to bounce ideas off people and open your world up to new ideas (especially a healthier lifestyle which I really needed). I don’t know how else to say it but, thank you and everyone else in the FI community for helping me out. I hope to be able to spread be posivity and knowledge to others, while giving credit to everyone ;).
Thanks for the kind words, G-man.
I’m honored to be along for your ride(s) 🙂
Thanks for checking in, G Man…
..and the kind words. 🙂
Elizabeth Blalack says
Thank you for posting a page like this! My 15 year old son just devoured your book two weeks ago, read Incognito just before that, and then read The Big Short, which I also recommended to him, and then tonight asked, “Got anymore books for me, mom?” That’s a great problem to have, but as a mom of 5, I’m probably not the best at keeping ahead of the curve and helping him to choose well from among the gazillions of books out there. He’s not a computer/smart device lover, and hasn’t discovered blogs like Mr. Money Mustache *yet.* I found some books on your list that I think he might like, but if you know of any in that vein he particularly might gravitate towards, I’d love to hear it. Oh, and True Grit makes a great family read aloud with teen boys. It’s almost impossible not to love that story.
That is a wonderful “problem” to have. As I say in my Manifesto:
There is nothing you can’t learn, no place you can’t go, if you read.
He is old enough to start finding his own books, and that is a matter of browsing and keeping his ear open to recommendations he happens to come across, like my Book page.
Here’s one I highly recommend and have just finished:
It will help him understand that in spite of all the negative messaging out there, there has never been a better time in history to be alive. 🙂
Mai Anh Truong says
To whom may concern,
I apologize for the distraction you by the email.
I write a letter to you to introduce some about our company and looking for a chance to cooperate with your publisher.
I am Mai Anh the Deputy rights manager of Squirrel Rights Agency, Squirrel Communication Company, based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.
On publishing, for the last 7 years, our company has been a very supportive and significant agency in Vietnam and taken a role of professional consultant in publishing licenses, printing, publishing, and distribution in Vietnam.
We are looking for best foreign publishing houses with book lines: education, textbooks, light novel, manga, comic, business, self-help, languages, literature… to discuss on copyright transfer and translating rights in Vietnamese.
When you might agree, there has a chance to cooperate, such as:
– We could be your right agent in Viet Nam, to introduce and market your books to all publishers, book companies, distributors, …
– We could be an effective link you to Vietnam market
If we had a chance to become your right agent in Vietnam we will advertise your books and making a good plan to pose your books to good buyers.
With our experiences and network in Vietnam publishing market, you would be supported effectually.
If you need any information, please let me know without hesitance.
I would like to send you the offer for the book as below
Could you let me know whether it is availalbe for Vietnamese market, please?
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life
Mr. Collins is currently traveling and unable to respond just now.
However, we have forwarded your inquiry to his agent and you should hear from her shortly.
Thank you for your interest!
Dear Sir , Madam
I represent a publishing house based in Casablanca since 1956. We opened a branch office in Lebanon in 1978 due to logistical purposes.
Our catalogue includes the most prominent arab authors as well as a very promising translation catalogue. In fact , our list includes authors such as Milan Kundera , Stieg Larson , Cecilia Ahern , Stephenie Meyer , Alex Michaelides . The list goes on and this is just a sample.
I would like to ask whether the Arabic rights for ” The Simple path to Wealth ” are available. And if they are can you please send me a PDF version so I can read it and why not make an offer .
All the very best ,
Michael Duggan says
I love your book; it’s going to change our lives (my wife and I). To add some content to your blog and book recommendations I can’t say enough about Red Notice, by Bill Browder (4.8 / 5 on Amazon with 6,000+ reviews). It’s a fascinating true story, relevant to today’s political climate, and incredibly well written and entertaining. I also really enjoyed American Kingpin, by Nick Bilton (4.7 / 5 on Amazon with 1,100+ reviews), also a fascinating true story. Both are available as Audio Books.
Joseph Smith says
I just disagree with “we all know the Wright brothers invented the airplane”. Maybe for americans.
You should read the history of the pioneer aviator an inventor of the airplane according to French and Brazilians:. Dr. Alberto Santos Dumont.
Yeah, it may chock you to know that not everything was invented in the USA as the western culture may lead you to believe.
Rachel V says
Interesting books here, one area which would be *great* if you could recommend is good financial books for teens. So many are written to speak to an adult who is already working and financial education and awareness needs to start way, way before that. Basic info not only on “living below your means” but about mutual funds and what they are, diversify or not, what does buy low, sell high mean etc- Please if you know of any good books for the teen set still in middle or high school list them here! Thanks-
Ron Lyrek says
Hello I would like to purchase 50 books and I would rather buy them fro you than off of Amazon. I want to give them to my staff. Thanks for writing it ! It is changing lives. Ron
Thanks, but they are only available from Amazon.
Hope your staff enjoys and benefits from it.
we are publishing company from Croatia, please contact, we are interested to publish your book.
Tushar Goel says
We are publishers of Marathi language books in India.
We are interested in the Marathi language translation rights of your book.
Please let me know if the translation rights would be available.
JL — I’ve finally decided it’s time to give you your long overdue thanks for recommending Cold Mountain via this page. It has become an all-time favorite in the past few years, to the point that I might value your recommendation of it more than all the great financial advice.
Glad you enjoyed it, Will!
Hey JL, it would be great if you could add the title and author below each image. All the images are blocked for me. It just looks like a blank page with a bunch of broken links.
James Beckett says
I love this list! Included your book and others here on my personal list of best books for passive investing and the investor mindset. https://www.tinyhigh.com/wealth/the-best-passive-investing-books/
Just wanted to say thanks for TSPTW and changing my life 🙂