Self-improvement Books Summary

All the Books I've Read Through 2022 and 2023

So, we meet again. In the same place, but at a different time (I don’t know in which time zone you are, and I don’t really care, but if you really want to say then write it down in the comment zone. The same curiosity (or smth like this) brought you here, so you can read this post and maybe get to know something in your ever shortening lifespan.

Well, here is the table with all the books:

Title Author
7L Michael J. Maher
A Mind For Numbers Barbara Oakley
A Random Walk Down Wall Street Burton G. Malkiel
Atomic Habits James Clear
Can’t Hurt Me David Goggins
Conversationally Speaking Alan Garner
Eat That Frog! Brian Tracy
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals Oliver Burkeman
How To Win Friends And Influence People Dale Carnegie
I Will Teach You to Be Rich Ramit Sethi
Meditations Marcus Aurelius
Show Your Work! Austin Kleon
Slight Edge Jeff Olson
The 1-Page Marketing Plan Allan Dib
The Creative Habit Tharp, Twyla
The Happiness Trap Russ Harris
Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
Zero to One Peter Thiel

A little overwhelming, right? To make it easier for you, I will divide it into sections, as these books are really ranging from self-improvement basics to motivating and inspiring stories. At the end, I will also make a quick summary with my must-haves.

Learning, habits and consistency

  • A Mind For Numbers by Barbara Oakley
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Three books, three keywords, and they match perfectly, just as me and your mo….ped, which you bought from this shady guy back in the alley. You know, the one where everyone is strangely hovering their hands above the ground (though, this is a serious issue, and I am still wondering how the US government still didn’t take any serious action).

A Mind For Numbers contains a pretty good life story about it’s writer and how she overcame her problem with learning with intermissions for tips and explanations of our mind stores information and how we generally learn. For some, it may be pretty redundant information, and for others it may be a good start to learning better and more efficiently.

Atomic Habits and Slight Edge are these two puzzle pieces that may be enough by themselves, but when combined… oh boy. I can’t really recommend a particular reading order, but if you start either of them, you must read the other one or you will be missing so much.

They both talk about habits and consistency, but by the title of the first book, you can clearly see what is the main topic. Yet, the habits can’t exist without consistency, and the Slight Edge wonderfully shows why would you want to be consistent through your entire life.

(Personal) finance

  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

Let’s start with the reading order, as it’s pretty important in this case. Maybe you can read “random walk” before being taught how to be rich (if you become rich after reading these books, tell me in the comments), but you will miss on some basics. Assuming you have never been interested in this topic before, of course.

I Will Teach You to Be Rich is really a nearly step-by-step guide how to take power from the money back to yourself and manage it in ways that make you feel rich and secure. Everything from how to approach banks, to selecting good credit cards (assuming you are in the US, I am not, so I needed to tweak some stuff), and paying your debt as fast as possible. Everyday man’s investing basics are also covered, but for this stuff you might want to read

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, which explains in pretty simple words many concepts of investing world and gives some needed advice for many moves you might want to take. A good read for everyone interested in this topic. It may be somewhat boring at times, but not in the places you would expect.

Business and marketing

  • The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • 7L by Michael J. Maher

The 1-Page Marketing Plan is the most notable entry here, as it provides many ready to use patterns and tips for making a simple, yet pretty good marketing plan. Even though I already knew some stuff from the internet, it still provided me with a good amount of useful info.

Zero to One and 7L were O.K. They gave me some knowledge here and there, but I feel like much of the stuff is obvious, and you probably know it already. Though, Zero to One did provide a good reminder of many things that I’d forgotten.


  • How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Conversationally Speaking by Alan Garner

Honestly, these two books didn’t sit with me at first. I had a really hard time getting through them, but the lessons learned are plenty useful. One might say that the tips given in How To Win Friends And Influence People are very obvious, but because of that it is considered a timeless classic.

There is a thing, everyone experienced it multiple times through their lifetime, but it isn’t always so obvious, only when you think about it. Did you ever learn anything and then immediately said, “bruh m8 i already knew it, like brooo it is so obvious…”? Yet, you did start to use the thing after you heard about it. The exact same thing is here, the stuff like “smiling” and “listening to other people attentively” are so commonly told to us that we ignore them in the day-to-day life. The value comes when you see what you’re missing out in social interactions without following the so-called obvious stuff.

And, Conversationally Speaking is good. Maybe not a required read for everyone, but I recommend it for the interested in the topic.

Creativity and philosophy

  • The Creative Habit by Tharp, Twyla
  • Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Creative Habit is a book which plays really more like a good biography rather than self-help guide, which makes it so fun to read. There aren’t many lessons which I got out of it, but my life would be a little worse without it.

In contrast, Show Your Work! is just tips laid out in an accessible manner with additional props for each tip being short, yet informative. If you have a few minutes free, I really recommend giving it a shot.

Meditations are what they are, collections of thoughts and question (maybe with some answers) from an ancient philosopher and roman emperor. It was really insightful in some things and expanded my view on stoicism. If you feel like this might be your allay, then go for it.


  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

Two great books which are completely different, but they into a similar generic category, so they’re there. In my defense, this is my piece of your bandwidth and the points they hit still are around psychology (Thinking, Fast and Slow is literally a report on a research paper).

But don’t get discouraged by the sentence in the parenthesis! Your short attention span will be able to keep up… just watch some TikTok’s in the meantime, and you will probably be fine.

Daniel’s book is really for people which want to get deep into human common behaviors, and judgements, or find that interesting enough to read through something around 500 pages. But The Happiness Trap is completely different (and more useful in day to day life). It may not get you out of depression to help remove your dreadful feelings, and that’s good because it shouldn’t. Why?

Acceptance. Why you should try to fight with something when you can accept it to the point of ignoring it. Let’s say you bought that new and shiny brick of expensive earth material which can show unlimited amount of porn (Stable Diffusion 🙏). At first, you’re so hyped that you just can’t stop using it and thinking about it, but after a few days pass, it feels like something you had forever. The method in this book works nearly the same way (well, maybe not so nearly, but you get the point). If you are struggling with getting over your feelings and thoughts, I can’t recommend it enough.

Time management and misc

  • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
  • Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Here all are the things that couldn’t be grouped elsewhere well enough + time management. To get it out of the way, don’t read Four Thousand Weeks. It isn’t really worth your time, and it certainly wasn’t worth mine. I won’t get much into detail, but I just didn’t like it and finished it just to get it off the list.

Eat That Frog! on the other hand, is an absolute gold mine of useful, ready to use and helpful tips that you might have heard in different corners of internet, or from people overall. Many people already do some stuff mentioned in this book, like day planning or prioritizing, but for the those who aren’t really that much into the topic it will provide everything you might need. Just read it. It’s really short.

Can’t Hurt Me is just a good, motivational book and autobiography about a Navy SEAL who overcame the most hardcore trials I have seen. (I know that he isn’t alone and there are probably many people who also succeeded in similar conditions, but many more failed and are at the bottom of the society). I was hesitant to read this, but I am so grateful I did. It was a kick in the ass I needed at one of my lowest points in life.


From all these books, you must read:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
  • The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
  • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

These are life-changing books that can change your entire course. The Happiness Trap will help you with emotions that we commonly feel when leaving the comfort zone. Eat That Frog! will make sure that your zone expansion goes smoothly and efficiently, and Atomic Habits with Slight Edge will give you indestructible mindset for self-improvement and future overall. I guarantee that after applying all the lessons, you will feel at least a little more powerful and in control than before.

This post turned out to be pretty long, but I hope it wasn’t too boring. I feel like I have given you enough value for your time as well as some small entertainment. The next post about the same topic will be more or less a year from now. There isn’t much more to say, so just go and read this shit while you are still high on motivation.

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