7 Books That Could Change Your Life

Whether you’re a student or making your way in the professional world, never underestimate the power of a great read or two.  Whether it’s about organization hacks and work habits or motivation and goal setting, we always encourage you to keep up with some solid reading.

We’re both big believers in the improvements that great books can make in your life so we thought we’d share some of our favorite, life-changing reads with our picks for 7 books that could change your life!

 

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. He died in 2008 but before he died he gave an incredibly moving lecture called “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. “The Last Lecture” is an addendum to the commencement speech he gave after he learned that he was dying, and it’s the perfect ready for those feeling overwhelmed by it all.  It’s an especially great must-read for any students who want to take some time to pull back and think about the big picture in life.

 

Bullet Journal Method

We’ve raved about this one before, this  NY Times bestseller and one of Dorian’s favorite organizational books, we’re both now converts of this goal setting and organizational process.  No matter if you’re working in a business job or in school, the tools and tips in this book are incredibly useful for maximizing your time, organizational habits, and overall work/school performance.

 

Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell translation)

A super quick, impactful read, this philosophy book is sort of like a very practical operating system for living your life.  Written by an ancient philosopher, it just goes to show how universal good advice and practical wisdom can be.  Just make sure you get the translation by Stephen Mitchell linked above, it’s universally regarded as the best one among many, many options.

 

4 Hour Work Week

Another one of our favorites that we have talked about before, this book is all about thinking about smart work versus hard work. This book is packed with solid tips and an excellent framework for creating success in work, school, and life in general.

 

Catch-22

An absolutely classic work of fiction, Catch-22 focuses on the absurdity of war, but just like in war, college life is absolutely absurd if you step back and look at it.  It was recently made into a tv series as well.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

We all know how good habits and positively affect our lives, both with school and work and this excellent book is a great deep dive that not only explains how habits are formed but also how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good.  Essential reading if you’re embarking on a new school year or a new job.

 

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Al all-time classic, this book about personal and professional relationships is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published way back in 1936 (seriously!).

 

A Few More Of Our Favorites

Thinking, Fast and Slow
An international bestseller, this book by a renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, is a fascinating dive into our minds and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.  An essential for someone who’s working on developing better habits and efficiencies, both in school or work decision making.

Do You Do It, Or Does It Do You?
An incredibly insightful lecture by Alan Watts, this piece is a must-listen.

Wisdom of Insecurity
The perfect antidote for those struggling with anxiety, stress, and an uncertain future.

Rework
A great look at what it really takes to grow a business on your own as an entrepreneur from the founders of Basecamp.

Sherlock Holmes Collection
The classic detective series isn’t just entertaining, it can teach out a lot about how critical thinking, reasoning, and introspection can play a part in day-to-day life.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Another absolute classic-for-a-reason, 7 Habits is one of the best and most successful business and self-help books because of it’s no-nonsense approach to building great habits.

12 Men’s Summer Style Essentials

Great summer style doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, but given the temperatures, sun, and range of occasions, you’re going to need some summer style essentials to have you looking your best. Don’t worry though, we did the heavy lifting for you and put together a list of go-to items that are going to make this summer your most stylish one yet! If you’re looking for some more summer style tips make sure to check out our in-depth Summer Essentials E-Book (free download) and our Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts.

We’ve got a ton of picks below plus some features on key items we’ve covered before so make sure to check out all of our picks!

 

Polo Shirts

Polos shirts are an absolute summer essential because they’re so versatile and great for the hot weather. Wear them with everything from shorts to chinos to swim trunksH&M polos are a longtime favorite of ours, they’re budget-friendly and come in a ton of colors. We also love Uniqlo’s polos as well. Look for the basic colors like white, grey, black, and navy and wear them with everything from shorts to chinos. We’ve got a few tips to consider in terms of choosing the right fabric and style for your body type too.

Picks:

H&M

Uniqlo

Additional Picks

Chino Pants

A tried and true workhorse for your summer style, chino pants are lightweight and super comfortable. These pants look great with everything and can be dressed up or down for daytime or evening. Our favorites from Uniqlo are stylish, versatile, and budget-friendly. The fit is excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free. They come in slim and straight fits. For a few other options, check out our Budget-Friendly Chinos rundown.

Picks:

Uniqlo

The Tie Bar

Additional Picks

 

NATO / Perlon Watch Straps

Switching up your watch band is a small, subtle style move that can add a little bit of extra personality. NATO and perlon straps are super affordable, come in a range of colors, and can be worn in and out of the water.

Picks:

Nato Straps

Perlon Straps

 

Stylish Swim Trunks

We recently picked our favorite swim trunks for the summer and the right pair is and an indispensable item for the weekend or any trip. Stick to options that resemble shorts and don’t be afraid to try a fun pattern or bold color.

Our picks for the best swim trunks of 2019

 

Sunglasses

Another must-have item, they’re going to add an extra dose of style while protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays. We’ve talked about finding the right sunglass frame shape for your face in the past, so consider that before making a purchase.

Picks:

Warby Parker

Ray-Ban

Salt

Oliver Peoples

Barton Perreira

Additional Picks

 

Hats

Speaking of sun protection, having a stylish hat is key when you’re spending extra time outdoors or at the beach and pool. We recommend a simple, casual ballcap or something more seasonal like a wide-brimmed Panama-style hat for style and sun protection.

Picks:

Brooks Brothers

Stetson

Scala

J.Crew

Herschel

Espadrilles Or Tennis Shoes

We discussed these shoe styles in our top 3 must-have shoes for the summer in a previous post and for good reason, the right casual shoe option that’s both stylish and affordable is important. Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun pattern or some bolder color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Espadrilles 1

Espadrilles 2

 

Long-Sleeve Linen Shirts

One of our favorite summer style essentials, a linen shirt looks as good casually with shorts as it does with something a bit more dressy like chinos or cotton slacks. They’re always a great move during the warm weather and our favorites are very budget-friendly. Stick with the classics like solid white or light blue or try some bolder colors like olive, royal blue, or a fresh striped pattern.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Brooks Brothers

J.Crew

 

No-Show Socks

A key accessory in the summer, no-show socks can be worn with all types of shoes whether it be casual shoes like sneakers, boat shoes or driving loafers or dressier options like oxfords, monks, or penny loafers.

Picks:

Uniqlo – our favorite!

Bombas

Mack Weldon

H&M

 

Sunscreen

We can’t stress enough the importance of sunscreen, whether you’re at the pool or beach or just out and about. Don’t forget proper lip balm with sunscreen too!

Picks:

Anthelios

Neutrogena

Jack Black

Burt’s Bees

Jack Black

 

Weekender Bag

The importance of the right weekender bag for summer travel (and beyond) can’t be overstated. You want something sharp and durable with the right amount of space for a few days worth of clothing. We recently picked all of our favorite weekender bags for 2019, so check them out!

The Best Weekender Bags of 2019

 

A Good Book

Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or beach or on a flight out of town, a great summer read is definitely essential. We’ve picked our top 5 books every man should read previously, and our friends at GQ put together a pretty great list as well.

Dorian’s Current Pick 1

Dorian’s Current Pick 2

Top 5 Books Every Man Should Read

GQ Recommendations

 

Your Questions, Answered

You asked, we answered! In this Q&A video, we discuss things like what to splurge/save on, our upcoming wedding, some of our favorite motivational books and podcasts, and much more!

5 Books Every Man Should Read

I asked Dorian, who is an avid and varied reader, to share some of the books he recommends to his mentoring groups. His 5 books every man should read as well as descriptions and reasons for recommending them are below.

The Magic of Thinking Big

I fought reading this book for a long time because my bullshit sensor is very sensitive and it just seemed like a bunch of weird self-helpy trash. I avoided it for many years until someone I really respected said it was worth reading. I gave it a shot and was surprised at how practical and informative it was. I can credit this book with helping me to see outside and go beyond my current circumstances and expand my horizons in business and life.

How To Win Friends & Influence People

Let’s be honest: nothing happens in a vacuum. Walls, empires and lives are built and destroyed based on interactions between people. So why not be as good as possible in this respect? The book’s title sounds like it’ll teach you how to manipulate people to do your bidding, but that’s not the angle it takes, so don’t let it dissuade you. I credit this book with helping me get over my social anxiety and shyness and, dare I say, has made me a better person overall.

Tao Te Ching

The pitch for this book is tough. It takes at least a few times of goading people to read it before they finally acquiesce and understand how good it is. It was basically written as a manual for emperors about how to be good rulers. But that description, while accurate, is doing this really short and succinct book a huge disservice by implying it’s only for people who oversee countries or large corporations. I read this book at least once a year to keep my life in perspective and use it as a sort-of pep talk during rough times. The book will use some terms that Westerners would interpret as religious in nature, but take those with a huge grain of salt and define them how you want. There is no such thing as an Eastern religion, they are only philosophies, similar to the Golden Rule, that are meant to only be supplements to your personal beliefs – not replace them.

Getting Things Done

When I started my first company, I didn’t know how to manage all the responsibilities and tasks being thrown my way. I would literally go through my to-do list and calendar in my head each night while laying in bed and as the company grew and my responsibilities increased, my sleep went away with it. I was recommended this book to use as a system for managing my life and it delivered on that promise ten-fold. I can credit this book with keeping me, as well as Ashley when she started her first company, sane and in a position to grow and expand our business’ and lives. This book will work for you, no matter where you are in life and make you more productive and happier than you thought possible.

World Religions

Religions are important to understand because they’ve influenced our lives in ways you may not realize. So in order to understand the basis for most laws, societies and people in general, it’s important to understand the foundational elements of everything – which are religions. The only problem with this book is that it’s written by a religious scholar who sees everything through a Christian viewpoint, so his interpretation of Eastern philosophies are not accurate because he looks at them as religions – when they’re not at all. I will include another book in the bonus section below that contains a more accurate description of Eastern thought.

 

Bonus Books

1984

This book was written almost 75 years ago and it’s scary how accurately it portrays our modern times. This is a fictional-must read and a re-read if you haven’t read it in a while.

The Religion Of No Religion

This is a free youtube video of a lecture by Alan Watts, about the origins and details of Eastern philosophies that are a more accurate depiction than the other book about religions above.

The Naked Ape

If you want to have your head screwed on differently, read this book by a Zoolgist who breaks down the human species like any other animal in nature. It’s an entertaining and perspective-changing read.

Pale Blue Dot

This is a perspective-shifting book that will help you understand the place you inhabit in the literal universe.