Here's a List of My Favorite Books - What Are Yours? - Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs

Here’s a List of My Favorite Books – What Are Yours?


75F86412-985D-4FBC-92FE-BCAFCC9CF7C1-w330My favorite way to both start and end my day is by kickin’ back and enjoying a good book.

Here’s a list of my favorites—including personal development, business, fitness, and fiction. I’d love to hear what your favorites are in the comment section down below.

Personal Development/Psychology/Philosophy/Spirituality

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

Turning Pro by Stephen Pressfield

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

The Charge by Brendon Burchard

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Loving What Is by Byron Katie


Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss

Just about anything by Dan Kennedy


(I like gritty and realistic crime fiction, so most of these—with the exception of the Bukowski books—entail guns, conflicted protagonists who drink way too much, and big bags of money and/or dope. Actually one of the reasons I haven’t been writing many blog posts lately is that I’ve been working my ass off on my OWN novel. Having a blast with it too.)

Galveston by Nic Pizzalotto (Creator of HBO’s True Detective)

Angels by Denis Johnson

A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride (His book Frank Sinatra in a Blender is damn good too)

Pretty much anything by…

  • Daniel Woordrell – My favorite is The Death of Sweet Mister…love, love, LOVE this book
  • Michael Connelly  – I seriously dig both the Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series
  • Charles Bukowski – My favorite is Ham on Rye, but “Post Office,” “Women,” “Factotum,” and “Hollywood” all kick a ton of ass as well. They’re semi-autobiographical and always a good time. Some people find ’em depressing and overly misogynistic…not me though, I love these damn things. Some of the best writing out there IMO. RIP
  • Elmore Leonard – Read a ton of his stuff while doing time. His crime stories are a flat-out blast. My favorite is The Moonshine War. RIP

Health and Fitness

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss


Stealing Fire From the Gods by James Bonnet

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger

Also, see the two Stephen Pressfield books at the top of this page


Get in the Van by Henry Rollins

Education of a Felon by Eddie Bunker (If case you don’t know who he is, he’s Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs, a long-time convict, and a seriously bad ass crime writer—RIP)

There are so many more books I’d love to add to this list. But these would by my faves.


I’d love to here what your favorite books are in the comment section down below. So LMK…

Talk soon,

Big Chris

P.S. Here’s why I read, BTW:

RIP Bill Hicks

Leave a Comment:

Ed-Lightle says September 9, 2014

My favorite books are. Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away.Rockie Stoneshaker And The Haunted Castile.Two Wishes For The Show Biz Kid. All written by Lugenia Lynn Lightle. Terific ebooks sold on and barnes&noble,Kobo,Good reads.

Adil Amarsi says September 9, 2014

Top 10 books (including collections).

Success forces – Joe Sugarman

All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is your best – AJ Williams

Robert Greene Collection (33 Strategies of War, 48 Laws of Power, Art of Seduction, The 50th Law, Mastery)

Trust me I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday

Choose Yourself – James Altucher

Dan Kennedy Collection – Favourites: No BS Wealth Attraction, NO B.S. Time Management, And No Bs Direct Marketing.

5 Languages Of Love – Gary D. Chapman

Harry Potter Book Collection – JK Rowling.

Life’s Golden Ticket – Brendon Burchard

My Life – By Adil Amarsi.. Currently not complete… (kidding my actual book is on it’s way though)

Real number 10… The greatest Salesman in the world – Og Mandino.

    Adil Amarsi says September 9, 2014

    P.S. A few of your top 10 are in mine but didn’t want to repeat 🙂

Bojan says September 9, 2014

Think and grow Rich – N.Hill
Outwitting the Devil – N.HIll (my favorite book of all time)
Waking up – Sam Harris (it’s out today lol, read first chapter beforehand, already looking like future favorite)
Flow : The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Marvin Rodas says September 9, 2014

The Art of War – Sun Tzu
The Art of the start – Guy Kawasaki
The Art of Enchantment – Guy Kawasaki
The Monk who sold his Ferrari – Robin Sharma
Just a few of my favs

Madonna Murphy says September 9, 2014

I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism and decluttering lately:
The 100 Things Challenge – David Michael Bruno
You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s cheap): How one woman radically simplified her life and how you can too – Tammy Strobel (from Rowdy Kittens blog)
Everything That Remains – Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus (the Minimalists guys)
Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui – Karen Kingston (excellent decluttering guide!)
The Four Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Don Miguel Ruiz
May Cause Miracles – Gabrielle Bernstein

Keenan Patram says September 9, 2014

Hey Bojan,

Thanks for mentioning ‘Outwitting the Devil’! I’ve been a long-time fan of Napoleon Hill, but wasn’t aware an old manuscript of his was only just recently published.

Looking forward now to reading it!

Faye lapp says September 9, 2014

My favorite books are all theological in nature
“My Utmost for His Highest”
The Crystal Canopy”
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Heaven But Were Afraid to Ask’
“What God Wants”

Michelle says September 9, 2014

The Sculptor by Gregory Funaro

Felicia Starks says September 10, 2014

War of Art
Do the work…Steven Pressfield
Outwitting the devil, Napoleon hill
10x by Grant Cardone…just a few!

Jackson says September 10, 2014

Probably the “Hatchet” Series by Gary Paulsen. That taught me an awful lot about perseverance.

Michelle says September 10, 2014

Think and grow rich – Napoleon Hill
First things First – Stephen Covey
Even Eagles need a push – David McNally
Hey I’m the Customer
The Journey of self discovery – A.C Bhaktivedanta

Karlee Wilson says September 10, 2014

my 3 favorite books are…

1. anything by Mary Roach – Bonk is hilarious

2. Thanks For The Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (learned a ton)

3. Notes From A Failure by Daniel CJ Grant (very relatable with his stories)

Wayne Oda says September 10, 2014

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, Spartan Up by Joe DeSena, The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant, The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith, The Little Black Book of Violence by Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder, anything by James Lee Burke (Chris you would love him), Better by Atul Gawande.

Chris Banks says September 10, 2014

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen is the best book I’ve read on the process of success. It is easy to understand and extremely powerful. In fact, I think I will go read it again!

robert I says September 10, 2014

Hi there folks! Many of the books you guys mention above are among the ones I´ve read and liked the most. I want to recomend to you all ” The Tecrets of The Millionaire Mind” by T Harv Eker and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo. Enjoy.

James Keyes says September 10, 2014

Some of my favorites from a variety of genres and in no particular order:

“The Master Key of Wisdom” by Charles Wan Suk Kim (story of a compassionate child who develops “nei gong” internal stregth and the life lessons of his master)

“The Tyranny of Good Intentions” by Paul Craig (Freedom-what is it? how & where did it come from and why? Who first articulated our liberties? who fought and died for them? how we have been systematically losing them from both the left AND the right for the last 60 years)

“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M Pirsig (philosophy-psychology-life-mental illness one of the most influential books in the last 50 years)

“The Happiness Advantage” – by Shawn Achor (this Harvard research on happiness and cutting edge science of positive human potential cant be overstated)

“The Wandering Taoist” (whole series) by Deng Ming Dao (biographical / apocryphical kung fu history of Guan Saihung…the “Butterfly Taoist” and the last disciple of the “Taoist Pope” the last Abbot of Mt. Hua aka Huashan Taoist Monastery…who happened to not be there on that fateful day when the communists took over all the monastarys and shot and killed off all the monks and imprisoned the abbot.)

“Focaults Pendulum” by Umberto Eco (fiction tale of publishing, greed, what is the occult really? and murder)

“Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the Worlds Greatest Mathematical Problem” by Simon Singh & John Lynch (yes it really is about math, but it is nonetheless a good read)

“A Game of Thrones” by George RR Martin (yes that Game of Throne from HBO…the show is great but trust me the books are far better!)

Honorable mention: Any emails written by John Alanis, Art of Steel Inc. (internet marketer: sells men’s courses on dating…but his emails are priceless commentary on life and being a real man! The media, pop culture, movies, TV, magazines, music, academia ….and women -> they ALL lie and tell us that women want these dainty, metro-sexual, wussified “girly men” …but they don’t! Big Chris- you’d love reading his emails. 🙂

Dave R says September 10, 2014

First of all, thanks to you & all those who have left comments. Much now to read! Here’s my short list, only one subject but it may be of interest to someone…sure you know these but def. worth repeating……
Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade
Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik
Finally, one of the most inspiring for me
Rough Strength Files 42 Ideas on low tech strength training by Alex Zinchenko
Thanks again for starting this rolling.
Dave R

Jogger Steven says September 10, 2014

I love many books in your article. But I really like Galveston by Nic Pizzalotto (Creator of HBO’s True Detective) and Angels by Denis Johnson.

Chris McCombs says September 10, 2014

Hey guys, some great books in the comments here. Many I’ve read and many I wanna check out

Bojan. Felicia, Kaneen – I really need to check out “Outwitting the Devil” – have been hearing a ton of great stuff about it

Robert, I almost put “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo on the list, love that book

And Wayne, HUGE James Lee Burke fan, I love the audiobooks narrated by Will Patton

James, I’ll have to check out Alanis’s stuff

and thanks so much for the hot tips guys

One I forget to add to my list that I really dig is “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday

you guys rock like Dio. Thanks again (=

Mike Jarrett says September 10, 2014

Two more that are good:

Way of the Peaceful Warrior — Dan Millman
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story –Dan Harris

Keenan Patram says September 10, 2014

Hey Chris,

BTW, it’s great to hear you’re writing a novel! I wanted to be a novelist when I was in high school, and finally committed myself to writing two novels over the past 2 years. The first one was mediocre, but I was pleased with how the second one turned out.

If you want a beta reader, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to commit to reading the first 3 chapters. And if they hooked me, I’d read the rest, and offer my feedback.

Finn says September 11, 2014


TAWANDA ROBINSON says September 12, 2014

Good Morning Chris! Here are a few books I like.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The Priority List by David Menasche

The Autobiography of Malcom X

The Art of War by Stephen Kaufman

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Isis Papers by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Leslie H says September 30, 2014

Personal development/spirituality are two book genres that I absolutely adore. Thanks for sharing your favorites! I just finished a book that I would love to recommend called “The Bible of Mithra: A Book of Clarity” by author Andre Atabaki ( This is like a self help book for the spiritual, thinking person. A well written and accessible book that focuses on exploring your consciousness and overcoming the obstacles in order to realize a higher level of spirituality and peace. I love books that bend my perception of consciousness and life in general and this one does. The best part is that it is written in an unpretentious manner that to me shows the author is truly passionate about his work. Hope you enjoy!

Fletcher says October 14, 2014

Firestarter by Stephen King
Misery by Stephen King
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Art of Learning by Joshua Waitzkin

Andy says October 16, 2014

Ferdinand the Bull

My favorite book of all time.

Bert Dow Deep Water Man is a close second.

Kate says January 7, 2015

I think it’s important to add a little “depth psychology” to the list. One of the most influential books I’ve read is “What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life”, or basically anything by James Hollis Ph.D. He really gets into the nitty gritty of what’s driving most human beings – in sum, our ingrained reactions to two primal existential fears: the fear of abandonment and the fear of overwhelm. Pretty much every single human neurosis, from overeating to being a controlling asshole to locking yourself in your house all day can be derived from these two basic fears. Reading his books changed my life, and this is after years of studying with a spiritual teacher, readings a lot of the books you’ve already mentioned, and intense suffering of my own patterning, shall we say. EVERYONE really should understand themselves better. Thanks to the pioneering work of Carl Jung and people like James Hollis (a fellow Texan, btw) now we can! Peace out.

    Chris McCombs says January 7, 2015

    Kate, I will definitely have to check that out. Actually never heard of Hollis, so thanks for the hot tip (=

Dan Long says January 21, 2016

“Joe” by Larry Brown
“The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
“Crossing the Line” by Derek Sanderson
“Moonwalking With Einstein” Joshua Foer
“Death in the Afternoon” Ernest Hemingway

Larry says February 23, 2016

If you like Angels by Denis Johnson, you will probably like his Jesus’ Son and also his never one, Train Dreams. Angels is also one of my favorite books of all time.

Paul says May 21, 2016

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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