Top 10 Most Important Books

These are the books that have made me think the most and changed the way I see the world.

ISBN: 0940322889
An African In Greenland

The author reads a book about Greenland and decides to leave his home country at a young age to visit. It takes him almost ten years until he finally steps foot on Greenland. Encouraging book if you are thinking about making a big change.

ISBN: 0688128165

Required reading. Breaks influence and persuasion down to a science.

ISBN: 0142000078
Mean Genes

Fun read that ties together evolution and the way modern humans behave. Men will find the parts on taking “social risk” to be most helpful.

ISBN: 1555520529
Patterns Of The Hypnotic Techniques Of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Vol 1

This book taught me how subtle differences in word choice can drastically change the meaning of what you communicate. It has influenced my game and writing.

ISBN: 0393316041
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

My role model—a character who is smart, interesting, charismatic, and funny. This book chronicles Feynman through a variety of journeys, from his scientific achievements to his experience picking up women in bars.

ISBN: 0140280197
The 48 Laws Of Power

Required reading and future classic. If you haven’t read this book yet, why are you still alive?

ISBN: 0670891924
The Art Of Seduction

This book makes the list not so much because of its real-world applications but because it forces you to carefully think about the way you interact with the opposite sex, and how they interact with you.

ISBN: 0060989157
The Dirt

The most entertaining book I’ve ever read. It made me realize how much of an utter square I’ve become, due to complacency and laziness.

ISBN: 0879804440
Think And Grow Rich

Every self-help book is just derivative of this great work, which teaches you how important thinking is when it comes to getting what you want. You can replace money with whatever goal you are working on.

ISBN: 0486284956

People have been sold into living a complicated life at a cost of their own happiness and well-being. Even if you read this in high school, you need to revisit it once more as an adult.

The sequel to this post can be found here.

Below are some other books I’ve liked since college. Hold your mouse over a cover for a text box with my thoughts.

ISBN: 0192840509ISBN: 0764568779ISBN: 0451203933ISBN: 0316010669ISBN: 0805075593ISBN: 0964164078ISBN: 0452287081ISBN: 076455476XISBN: 0844270512ISBN: 0395977894ISBN: 0061234001ISBN: 0911226192ISBN: 0345410033ISBN: 0760737479ISBN: 0142000280ISBN: 0143034669ISBN: 0671723650ISBN: 080507967XISBN: 2831578442ISBN: 1400015553ISBN: 0929712315ISBN: 0679032436ISBN: 0684871483ISBN: 0440212499ISBN: 1593571313ISBN: 0945983131ISBN: 0743455967ISBN: 1889540536ISBN: 159184021XISBN: 0911226257ISBN: 0446677450ISBN: 0684849941ISBN: 0802132103ISBN: 1400015596ISBN: 0064632717ISBN: 2831578434ISBN: 0670034576ISBN: 0517707918ISBN: 0195014766ISBN: 0658014870ISBN: 0887308589ISBN: 0316346624ISBN: 020530902XISBN: 1878424319ISBN: 0060554738ISBN: 1878424424ISBN: 0970058705ISBN: 1593570899ISBN: 0805077979ISBN: 0831400447ISBN: 0767901975ISBN: 1585422789ISBN: 1565847032ISBN: 0684831074ISBN: 0393320928ISBN: 1886070237


  1. average jane April 25, 2007 at 10:22 am

    “Who moved my cheese” is a book that completely affected me. It was a written kick-in-the-ass to take control of my life. For a book you can read in an hour, it was amazing.

  2. terps April 25, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Thanks Roosh, for all these references to these books. Bookmark-worthy of a post. And I have “who moved my cheese” too, it’s time I read it again.

  3. Jo April 25, 2007 at 10:59 am

    I’m slightly disturbed at the almost complete lack of fiction books.

  4. Nabs April 25, 2007 at 11:33 am

    You forgot Comedy Writing Secrets by Melvin Helitzer…you recommended it back on rooshlog ages ago. Good book.

  5. Nabs April 25, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Oh and read Mind-lines: Lines For Changing Minds by L. Michael Hall its good along the lines of the NLP stuff and Greene’s works.

  6. Roissy April 25, 2007 at 11:52 am

    great choices. i plan to fill up my amazon cart. 48 laws of power is truly a must-read for any man who wants to understand the playing field. women who’ve seen me read that book were put off though. they’d rather not know the dirty grimy underbelly of the dominant confident men they love. just like men rather not know that women shit.

    “lack of fiction books.”

    jo, women can afford to waste valuable reading time in the fantasy world of fiction. because they are the objects of pursuit, they do not need to know how the world works so much as men do. they are free to layabout in grassy meadows and twirl their parasols knowing they can get laid that way.

    having said that, men would be well-advised to read certain works of fiction for amazing insights into the female mind. here i’ll put in a plug for ‘story of O’. ‘pride & prejudice’ is also good for this.

  7. average jane April 25, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Roissy – I’ll have you know that laying out in a field hasn’t worked for me. Being the object of the chase isn’t true for all women. Some of us “mold breakers” have to make an effort, which I’m assuming you’ll say is the reason I’m not dating anyone.

    I kind of think that I secretly wish there was a site for girls that does what you and Roosh are trying to do for men. I have to say that your articles and rants provide me with valuable insight into the minds of men. Kind of a service. Kind of disturbing. Kind of makes me wish dating wasn’t so darn necessary to the proliferation of the gene pool.

  8. Jay Gatsby April 25, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman” was an excellent book. Professor Feynman was a genuinely independent thinker and certainly proved that you don’t have to stay “on the path” to be a success.

  9. kayla April 25, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Spain 2006 (Fodors) is a classic. Personally, I prefer Rick Steeves travel guides.. he knows his shit.

  10. Sweat P. April 25, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I love coming across book recommendations by anyone whose opinion I value or am interested in. I’m about to spend a grip at

  11. Kristin April 25, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    What? No “The Rules”? It’s located under mythology at my favorite used bookstore, if you decide to add it to your collection, a fact that I find highly amusing.

    I’m a dork.

  12. Jo April 25, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Roissy: Honestly, I’d be thrilled to lay around in a field and read all day. But unfortunately all my travelling and learning about the world prevents me from doing that.

    Most non-fiction bores me. I detest self-help books with a passion. I find them to be someone else’s opinion on how I should live my life and I’m quite happy with how I’m living my life. Some is excellent, however. I recommend Guns, Germs and Steel if you haven’t read it yet. I’ve yet to read the Art of War, but it’s on my list.

  13. Mr Boofu April 25, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Dam Dr Seuss didn’t make the list???? How did you ever find your green eggs and chinese additive poisoned ham?????

    I also reommend Po Bronson’s “What should I do with my life” very good book that changed my perspective on life and what I’m doing. Great read!!

  14. shmooth April 25, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    interesting collection – b/c i hate the word ‘eclectic’.

    i dig finding out about books that i normally wouldn’t come across – which is most books, i guess. and someone has done the hard work, already. like having ‘cool music’ friends who weed out a lot of the crapola when u don’t have time.

    the inherent ‘conflict’ between the chomsky books and the ‘manipulate people/power’ (48 Laws, 7 Habits) books is interesting, too.

    regarding a ‘change your life to change the world’ stance, for my $$, ‘Understanding Power’ is the best of the lot – at least of those i’ve read or am familiar with.

  15. Mandy April 25, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    I guess “Drawing for Dummies” influenced your masterful Paint drawings…lol

    Good book list. “Freakonomics” is great. I want to read “Mean Genes” because evolutionary psychology is fascinating…have you ever read “Survival of the Prettiest?” VERY interesting.

  16. Antelope4 April 25, 2007 at 4:36 pm


  17. Antelope4 April 25, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    by Hermann Hesse

    for fiction that is not so fictional.

  18. [email protected] April 25, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Like Jo, my first observation was also that you, surprisingly, tend toward the “self-help” section. I’ve read a few of these myself, but some I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for adding to my list. One recommendation: Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist

    And I’d have to disagree with Roissy. Snark or not, that’s a pretty uneducated statement. Literature (particularly fiction) is a direct representation of culture and tradition. The reading (as well as the study) of it expands our worldview and allows us to witness different aspects of the world, fragments in time, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the human condition. The English canon covers everything from Woolf to Dostoevsky. You present a very limited view. And to suggest that true insight to the “female” mind can be garnered from Desclos or Austen, leads me to imagine you know very little about the female mind.

    Interestingly enough, in a time where we are so uniquely able to access the written word – the fine line between fiction and reality is even more blurred than it ever has been. Hello blogging! Take for example the issue of James Frey’s “memoir,” A Million Little Pieces. Or perhaps even Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Regarded by some as the first true English novel. It’s found in the fiction section of your local library. Upon further inspection however, one might discover in addition to being a fictionalized account of a castaway it’s also autobiographical and gives a pretty accurate historical account of the beginnings of globalization, colonization, and slavery both in South America and Africa.

    It surprises me that anyone would deem having knowledge of such things, or the reading of them, as strictly “fantastical.”

    Sorry to take up the comment box Roosh. But seriously, check out Coelho. Especially if you’ll be taking this one way ticket journey.

  19. KassyK April 25, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Great post. Although (yet there is an although)…

    I agree with Mandy-Speakeasy. Being a reader/writer entails reading literature and not just self-help…it is a way to expand your imagination and empathy gene for all people.

    Roissy–While this is a wonderful list of mostly non-fiction, the true joy in reading lies in reading fiction(for me). It is an escape to another world, allowing you to immerse yourself in someone else’s story/experience/life.

    I have loved reading since I was a child–so no…it has nothing to do with having “time”…its a passion…something that gives me joy.

    If you are a reader, you are a READER…reading non-fiction can be fascinating but its basically work when for me–the joy in reading is not having to work, just reading.

    And by the way–I hate chick lit so don’t even go there.

    In terms of nonfiction though, The Tipping Point is a great, fast read.

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  21. Myth465 April 25, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Roosh if you get a chance check out Honeymoon with My Brother. Its about a guy and his brother who did a similar thing that you are about to.

    Great list, I plan to work thru each one by one.

  22. Roissy April 25, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    “Snark or not, that’s a pretty uneducated statement. Literature (particularly fiction) is a direct representation of culture and tradition.”

    strawman, meet blustery indignation. i never said fiction reading was a complete waste of time; i said for a time efficient way to understand the world around you you are better served reading certain works of non-fiction. and men, pressed into action as they are by their climbing the walls horniness to get laid as often and as broadly as possible, would learn more valuable info more quickly about the operations of the female mind by reading ‘mean genes’ than reading romeo & juliet.

    that is not to say one wouldn’t gain profound insight into the human condition through shakespeare. after all, the man did practically invent the written personality. but that kind of learning takes time and isn’t immediately applicable in the way that, say, reading ‘the moral animal’ is when you learn why women are drawn to men with bigger jawlines during their ovulation or why they dig jerks.

    and while i’ve no doubt the majority of women bloggers have leafed through a few dog-eared copies of “real lit-rah-chure” let’s be honest about what i mean when i say women have the luxury of pissing time away in fiction — 99% of them are doing it with pulp romance novels, the female equivalent of pR0n, and it isn’t hurting their lay ratio at all. women can afford to be ignorant about the workings of the male mind because men will pursue no matter what.

    the female gender, prior childbirth, is the leisurely gender. her job, in the evolutionary sense, is to look good. that requires some effort, but not nearly the scale of effort men have to put in to succeed at enlisting women to help pass on their own genes. that is why it is no accident that men’s reading lists lean heavily into non-fiction with realworld practical advice.

    “to suggest that true insight to the “female” mind can be garnered from Desclos or Austen, leads me to imagine you know very little about the female mind.”

    nom de plumes are so much sexier than your dry summoning of her real name.
    who better to reveal the true nature of women than a woman herself? reage was a successful, intelligent woman who, it was rumored, was paid hush money by powerful french politicians of the time to keep accounts of their debauchery at the famed “fictional” chateau out of any interviews she might grant the press.
    she never gave an interview. her life, her loves, her brandings, remain something of a mystery to this day.
    even if ‘story of O’ were nothing more than the sexual fantasy it advertises itself as, it’s nonetheless a fantasy that shows how even a beautiful, seemingly self-possessed and powerful woman yearns to be dominated by a strong man. these sexual fantasies of women, like rape fantasies, lets the reader get inside their heads and see what turns them on. sir stephen is the archetypical jerk who got O to submit to anything….
    and she loved him, and herself, for it.
    men can learn from this.
    oh yeah, and 9 1/2 weeks by mcniell is pretty good too. also rumored to be true.

  23. Jewcano April 25, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    The best way to learn about the world is to get out of the Borders, put one foot in front of the other, open your eyes and ears, and keep going. Which is pretty much what it sounds like you’re doing.

    Thoreau was a pompous twat. And not one but two Chomsky books is sure to cause some long term logic damage. At least you didn’t throw Pirsig’s drivel in there.

    Average Jane – “I kind of think that I secretly wish there was a site for girls that does what you and Roosh are trying to do for men.” Since I’m pretty sure Roissy and Roosh are writing this to convince men to stop being sissies and grow some stones, I have a feeling a site for women with the same goal would be an awfully burly, sweaty place. I mean, if that’s your bag, c’est la vie.

  24. [email protected] April 25, 2007 at 11:01 pm


    I don’t pretend to have an interest in engaging myself in a battle of wits with you. Nor did I comment in hopes of changing your mind. I’m aware that you’re an intelligent person… but your vast generalizations about the female gender in both your first and second comments are, just that.. generalizations.

    And if you go back and reread my comment – you’ll see that I never accused you of stating that reading fiction was a waste of time.

    “women can afford to waste valuable reading time in the fantasy world of fiction”

    Your words, not mine.

  25. [email protected] April 25, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Also, mr. blustery indignation,

    Please don’t mistake. It’s not in my nature to go back and forth via anonymous postings.

    It’s all better served up with cocktails and karaoke.

  26. average jane April 25, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Here, here Mandy! Banter is better with SoCo and lime.

    There are a few Roosh-a-philes that showed for the last HH, and I am very interested to know if they’ll show again.

    Shots are on INPY. =)

  27. Genevieve April 26, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I’ve never been able to force myself to read “self- help” books. I don’t know how you do it.

  28. itscool April 26, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Hey Roosh,

    Can you suggest any book for losing the fear, approaching fear. I have been around for sometime, but it’s still there. Also, any books on storytelling?

  29. Roosh April 26, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    itscool: Try Mean Genes. The part on social risk is really on approaching. It’s short but it gets you looking at it from a different angle. There really is nothing you can do to reduce approach fear other than approaching a lot, so your first few dozen approaches will be rough.

    As for storytelling, best way to be a good storyteller is to read good stories!

  30. Roosh May 1, 2007 at 1:54 am

    “At least you didn’t throw Pirsig’s drivel in there.”

    Oh I own it and tried to read it, but was not a fan.

  31. ilk May 11, 2007 at 9:09 am

    instruction manuals? the whole lot of them?
    write signposts, read maps, keep the tourgroup together.

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  33. Andrew March 23, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Any recommendations on body language books?

  34. Giovanni December 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    A few books if not already listed that I would suggest taking a look at, both for personal growth and for an understanding of underlying themes integral to fucking living your life:
    -Fight Club (certainly the latter, possibly the former?)
    -Catch 22
    -Everything Matters
    -A Farewell to Arms

    I’m only 18, getting into the game. Cant offer too many self-help books because I typically don’t read them. Everything to this point has been shoot, get treasure, repeat.

  35. billy April 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Reading non fiction is pointlesss 99% of the time, the world is full of real, inspiring interesting stories, why waste time with made up stuff. If you have goals you would like to meet don not t sit around blaming the world, make it happen and reading books about real people who have tried to live a dream is a good source of inspiration and knowledge.

  36. Joe C September 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

    My burning question, How come there’s no Portugeuse book, considering you’re an avid ‘adventurer’ in Brazil? I must be missing something…..


  37. uh September 30, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Best Brazilian novel (that I know of) — ‘Os Sertões’, or ‘Rebellion in The Backlands’, by da Cunha.

    Pre-PC historical fiction. Extremely dense, not for the easily fatigued. Essentially, mulattoes of a small rural city are bewitched by a backwoods preacher and come up against a national army after rejecting its government — and perish to the last man.

  38. Jamie Michelle August 17, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Read the Bible.. it is the most important book you will ever read.. no matter what mess or darkness you have been into, Jesus loves you and is waiting.. kind regards J*

  39. madmax August 26, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I’d add ‘Venus, the dark side’ , every guy should read it.

    and ‘Against all odds’ by Paul Connolly, really great

  40. ste January 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Robert anton Wilson: prometheus rising.