Ask the Readers: What Are the Best Books for Personal Growth?

I’m now setting up my reading plan for the next three months, and I’d like to ask for your help. Since I’m currently still a graduate student, I have good access to the library and can read practically any book I want. However, this (hopefully) would be my last semester, and after that my access to the library would be limited. It would then be harder for me to get good books to read.

So I want to use these three months as good as possible. I want to list all the best books for personal growth and try to finish them within these three months. Currently, some books I seriously consider are The Simple Dollar’s recommendations, but I’m sure that there are still many other great books out there.

So I’d like to ask you: what do you think are the best books for personal growth and why? The books do not have to be in personal growth, personal productivity, or related genres. They can also come from other genres (such as business or biography) from which we can extract a lot of lessons. So feel free to recommend any book that you think can help us grow personally. I’m sure your recommendations will be useful not just to me, but to other readers as well.


  1. I have found two of Mark Forster’s books (Get everything done and still have time to play and Do it tomorrow) to be very inspiring.

    I have used several of his ideas in developing my organiser

  2. Kenneth Higbee’s “Your Memory” and Harry Lorayne’s “The Memory Book” are two good books on memory tools.

    I prefer the Memory Book, though “Your Memory” delves more into theory.

    I enjoy the Peg, and thanks to the Memory Book I can memorize 25-digit numbers.

  3. There’s so many good ones out there that listing a few, leaving out the others just doesn’t do justice.

    Nonetheless, I like to list one book that started my journey on self development; it’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ from Dr. Stephen R. Covey.

    Thanks to this book, I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for the field of personal development.

  4. I would suggest two vastly different books –

    The Power of Intention – Esther and Jerry Hicks

    Spiritual Divorce – Debbie Ford

    Let us know how you are doing!

  5. A slightly different take on personal development would be “Tricks of the Mind” by Derren Brown. Some very interesting concepts and new takes on old techniques.

  6. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and the related books by Robin Sharma – solid stuff.

  7. A great book is How To Think Leonardo da Vinci. I plan to explore it in my own blog soon, since it’s full of practical, immediately useful tips.

    Check out the book if you have the chance – I think you will really like it.

  8. Thanks for your recommendations, everyone! I don’t think I can read all the books you recommend (there are so many of them!), but I will definitely check them out.

    So there are now 10 books in my list from your recommendations:

    • From Kate: Get everything done, Still have time to play and Do it tomorrow.
    • From Rexpop: Your Memory, The Memory Book
    • From Lawrence: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    • From Corinne: The Power of Intention, Spiritual Divorce
    • From Martin: Tricks of the Mind
    • From Dave: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
    • From Luciano: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
  9. Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy

  10. I’m glad you are going to read Mark Forster’s book because I have found them both very useful. You may find his website an interesting place to look as well.

    He has the first chapter of Do it tomorrow there, plus he provides further information on his current thinking and practices as he continues to progress

  11. Now Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham. A great book, which also offers a short on-line test which shows you your natural strengths. You can then use the book to hone, polish and excel at them!

    The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.
    In “The Dream Manager,” author Matthew Kelly has written a book which is ‘a must read for anyone who desires to help others achieve their dreams’.

    Individuals have dreams. The book teaches you to understand the dreams of individuals and then help to fulfil them. The book is a fictional story and I found it very easy to relate my life and experience to the story.

    I have actually interviewed Matthew for my website.

  12. Miguel and Andrew,
    Thanks for your recommendations! So there are now 13 books in the list with your additions:

    • From Miguel: Maximum Achievement
    • From Andrew: Now, Discover Your Strengths, The Dream Manager.

    I do want to check out Do It Tomorrow, but unfortunately the library here doesn’t have the book. I hope I will be more fortunate with the other books.

  13. I think my 2 all time favorites are The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and The Heart of the Soul by Gary Zukav.

  14. Thanks, Kirsten! I add them to my list too, so there are now 15 books there.

  15. […] Last week I asked your help to give your recommendations on best books for personal growth. Thanks to your contributions, there are now 15 books on my list. Many of them are absolutely new to me. It’s always exciting to learn about new resources I wasn’t aware of before. […]

  16. […] Ask the Readers: What Are the Best Books for Personal Growth? […]

  17. I love reading books about personal growth because life seems to be a series of opportunities to evolve into a more happy and expansive person. My favorite books are the Jerry and Ester Hickes because its about creating raising your vibration and making permanent changes in your life through love and appreciation. This then allows wonderful things into your life..

  18. Eat That Frog Brian Tracy
    Do it Tomorrow Mark Forster
    Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert Kiosaki
    Anything by Tony Robbins
    Anything by Og Mandino
    The Now Habit Neil Fiore
    The Compound Effect Just Came Out
    Passion Power and Profit Marshall Sylver
    This list is jam packed with serious content

  19. Thanks for your recommendations! I have recently read The Tricks Of The Mind and The Power Of Intention but I could add many more.

  20. I would recommend “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman. In it he posits that people take in and express love in one of 5 ways: acts of service; quality time; gifts; words of affirmation; physical touch. It we don’t get love in the language we need then our “love tank” becomes empty. It has helped me know my own love language, and the language of my wife.

    Your original post was from a while ago so I hope you will read my comment. Good luck in your reading assignments .

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