I love to read. My “to-read” list is ridiculously long, and I’ve read hundreds of books in my nearly 36 years of life. Before I obtained a Kindle, I had more than a thousand books. I’ve pared back my collection to the point where I don’t own nearly so many books now (my son, with nearly 200 books of his own, has just about caught up with me), but I still love to read, and I’m always looking to add something to my Kindle library.

As I’ve thought about the last 10 years of my career and my business, I understand that what I read has a lot to do with the way I think about business, money, and life. I’ve put together my own philosophy and charted my path based on what I’ve read. Here are the 6 books that have influenced me the most when it comes to business, money, and life:

1. Oblivious Investing by Mike Piper

I was first introduced to the concept of index funds by Oblivious Investing, and it changed the way I thought about investing forever. In some ways, the way the story is told is a little hokey, but the concepts are sound, and I’m a converted indexer because of this book. It led to the cornerstone of my investing philosophy and I’ve never looked back. Mike Piper has written other books since, and they are all short, readable, and actionable guides that can help you grasp the basics of money concepts.

2. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

This book changed the way I thought about working a “real” job, and following the advice of financial gurus. After reading this book, I realized that lifestyle design is possible and that I don’t have to conform to the “traditional” path. This book got me thinking on a more practical level than the 4-Hour Workweek did (although it isn’t one of my top picks, I do like many of the ideas in the book).

3. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

If you want to learn how to look at your life and your business differently, this is a great book to read. Greg McKeown offers insight in how to figure out what really matters to you, and how to focus on those things, letting the less important things fall away. You don’t need more to be happy and successful. You just need what’s essential.

4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This book is written by a psychologist who won a Nobel Prize in Economics. It’s an amazing look at how we make decisions, and what goes into our makeup. I love this book for its ability to encourage introspection. If you want to change the way you think about money and business, as well as life, this book can bring new perspective to the way you think and react.

5. When She Makes More by Farnoosh Torabi

Even though When She Makes More is a more recent addition to my list, the fact of the matter is that it offers a look at realities that I didn’t take into account until after my divorce. It made me think about how lucky I was when I was still married — and I read it again after my now-ex-husband asked for a divorce. It adds an interesting layer to the issues of making money, gender, and the importance of breadwinning in our society.

6. Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Making Money is satirical fantasy. But it’s also an insightful look at the way money works in our society. It’s hilarious and thought-provoking, and it helped me change the way I think about a lot of things.

Reading can be one of the best investments you make in yourself. Consider what might help you change your approach to money, business, and life, and look for books that can help you.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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