I read a lot.
It’s my preferred method of learning and taking in information, and one of my favorite daily habits, so a lot of books are taken in.
If there is one purpose I would say I’m committed to, it would be searching for truth. I’ll look for it by any means necessary and don’t care if it has made me an outcast (I’ve come to enjoy that status).
A danger that comes with understanding the way the world really works is that you can get consumed by hate and pessimism.
I don’t have that problem, and many of my readers point out how they appreciate how I transmit my truth with a positive outlook and sense of humor–the main reason is because I am extremely discerning when it comes to my sources.
Below is a list of 25 of the best books I read last year.
They are completely nonpolitical, encourage independent thought, and each one pushes you to dig deep inside yourself in order to find answers–in other words, they are the exact opposite of everything that was mainstream in 2017.
This coming year is going to bring in massive change, and you will need to prepare for it.
Read these books in order to gain perspective.
They are in no particular order.
Do The Work by Stephen Pressfield
A motivational manifesto and follow-up to the fantastic book The War of Art.
I’m not a proponent of motivational writing, true motivation needs to come from within, but Pressfield has real experience and the way he writes relates perfectly to my life and work—it actually causes a stir inside.
Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path to Direct Revelation by Hank Wessleman and Sandra Ingerman
A guide to tapping in to your inner shaman. Shamanism is something I’ve always been interested in and I’ve used many rituals, meditations, and chemicals to access my own power.
This book is a great introduction for the layman and also has advice for the more experienced.
You CAN travel between planes of existence, communicate with spirits in Nature, and raise your consciousness—shamans have been doing these things since the beginning of time and although the modern world does everything to suppress these gifts, the ability is still here.
The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer
Sometimes I wonder why I have the insatiable desire to figure things out on my own when all the wisdom of the world has already been written out clearly in books by those who have discovered universal truths.
Then Schopenhauer describes the need for men to exercise their will and remain independent and it begins to make sense.
His main theme throughout this work is that happiness and meaning must come from within yourself, it is up to you to take that journey and discover your genius.
I’ve never read an essay as clear and applicable for living an authentic life than this.
Resilience by Eric Greitens
Excellent read from a Navy SEAL, and very helpful if you are going through tough times.
The advice and wisdom in this book is applicable to everyone and becoming even more poignant amidst a culture that caters to whiners, self-proclaimed victims, and self-pitying losers.
Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski
I only read a little of Charles Bukowski while I was in college, but this year a lot of people were comparing my writing to his.
So I picked up this book of short stories and let myself get taken away with his incredible prose.
I can see why the comparisons come up—an outcast who lives life on his own terms and gets into situations that create stories you can only experience by living life like a poet.
Intense shit, I hope to be able to affect people in the same way with my writing. This book is a great introduction to Bukowski.
Art and Fear by David Bales and Ted Orland
There are too many enemies that attempt to hold us back from full expression. Art and Fear cover all the disgusting factors that keep our true selves at bay.
Fuck what you’ve heard, the meaning of life is imposing your will on the environment, no matter what medium or path you chose to take.
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campell
You can blame Campell for destroying the creativity in Hollywood, but if you apply his philosophy to your own actions, you will begin to understand your own journey.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
“When a person becomes a model for other people’s lives, he has moved into the sphere of being mythologized.”
If you are on the path of a hero, this book will make perfect sense and serve as a guide.
The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
I learned more about myself and the craft of storytelling from this book than any self-help, psychology, or textbook I’ve ever read.
It is really an amazing read, especially if you are a writer or any kind of creative artist who is searching for ways to reach your higher self.
Some of us enter very dark places and return with knowledge and gifts to share with others—not many are cut out for the struggle, but some have no choice but to enter the cycle.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
This book is one of the strongest influences on my worldview. I’ve read it through countless times and will continue to do so as I try to navigate my own complicated self as well as the world around me.
It breaks down the four major aspects of a man’s personality and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of both.
I’m clearly strong in the Magician/Lover side of the spectrum and need to constantly develop the King/Warrior side while attempting to balance them all.
The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
Another book that has been a major influence. If you are looking to mature as a man, this book is a must read.
It has some of the most mature thoughts on sexuality that you will ever come across, and great advice for building a healthy relationship with a woman.
The first time I read it, I was in a relationship and this book definitely made it stronger. It was interesting to go back and read through it again while single.
It will help you appreciate the gifts that femininity bestows and allow you to understand the balance between man and woman.
The Warrior Ethos by Stephan Pressfield
Pressfield does it again. He lights a fire under your ass without coming across as a hack.
This book is especially fitting if you are trying to build up the Warrior side of your personality.
Travels by Michael Crichton
A personal recommendation from a man I respect, Quintus Curtius. Crichton has a gift, and it is on full display in this collection of short stories about his travels around the world.
Wonderful nonfiction that makes you curious and inspires you to explore—just the way I like it.
Being an artist is the most difficult role on the planet. You encounter so many obstacles because there are no rules. You make them for yourself.
This book highlights the difficulties and obstacles you will face on your quest to express your truth.
And after reading it, you will realize that art school is the death of creativity.
Awakening Spirits by Tom Brown
I’m half Native American and am very much aware of the strange fire that burns in my blood. The one that continually pulls me back to Nature, has a natural suspicion for everything modern, and wouldn’t mind spending future years of my life wandering the forest.
The first half of the book is the story of Grandfather and his lifelong journey to find answers for himself and his people. The second half is an overview of Native American life philosophy.
The author of this book may or may not be a relative of mine.
The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck
Stories are my favorite way to learn. The amount of human spirit in this work seeps through the pages and sinks into your bones.
This book contains an amazing group of characters and is so well written that you can visualize it like a film.
Highly recommended as a book to read if you are traveling somewhere new.
Intuition by Osho
The shaman before the scientist, the artist before the engineer, the spirit before the intellect.
It is the ones who can express themselves without being explanatory who are the most effective.
Osho breaks the phenomenon of intuition down as only he can.
Read this and you will begin to understand why your intuition is one of the most powerful weapons you have.
Fear by Osho
Life can be terrifying if you sit back and think too much about it. We all have our fears and the key to understanding how to handle them is to understand ourselves.
I highly recommend this read, especially if you struggle with anxiety.
Maturity by Osho
Everyone grows old, but not everyone grows to maturity.
This book is especially useful for natural rebels. You can turn the fighting spirit into wisdom when you realize your rebellion comes from a true place and its roots are based in anger at why things aren’t the way they are supposed to be.
Awareness by Osho
Awareness is the key to self-mastery, self-sufficiency, and higher consciousness.
Have you ever had moments when you were fully present and felt like you were in complete control?
That is awareness and it can be developed.
The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
I want everyone to embrace their own humanity. This book was a gift from a reader of mine who was visiting New York from Europe, and it embraces all that I stand for.
In order to be a sage, you must be willing to act like a fool.
In order to control your own intelligence, you must be able to hide it from most.
The monk must indulge like a playboy.
The scholar must roll in the mud.
The king must understand what the jester is saying.
Life is duality, and folly is a balance to the serious side.
The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campell
Campell had a huge impact on me this year and this is his quintessential work.
Read the full review of this book here.
The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
Everyone praises Robert Greene for 48 Laws to Power, but not many have the gall to acknowledge that the second book he wrote was on what power is all about.
Everything is sex, sex is everything. It drives all the decisions we make no matter if you want to believe it or not.
I read the abridged version with a beautiful stripper for hours one night and pondered the fucked up contradictions of human behavior.
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
One of the best books by the most influential writer of my developing years. Read it for a healthy escape from reality, for its philosophical implications, for the terrifying predictions of the future, and for insights about the nature of women.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I read this book through again while a mob was attempting to ban (burn) one of my books on Amazon.
Reading it from my perspective at that time gave it a lot more meaning, and helped me to understand where my enemies were coming from.
The internet has given a voice to self-important losers that shouldn’t have one, these people would happily burn all the books they disagree with in order to keep their twisted, fragile worldview in tact.
Bradbury wrote this as television was on the rise and he was worried that it would create a culture of ever shortening attention spans and censored art.
He had no idea how bad things would get after the internet.
Fahrenheit 451 is more relevant today than ever.
Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
This is one of the most important books I’ve ever read.
You ask how one can be able to see so clearly, yet stay positive? It stems from much suffering earlier in life. When you’ve gone through seriously low times, have had nothing, and felt only pain, you have to come out of it with a new perspective.
Frankl went through suffering that is almost impossible to imagine–he was a prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camps in World War II and lived to tell about it.
His writing is incredibly lucid and his ideas are clear and applicable to anyone who is searching for real meaning in life.
The only reason he survived his ordeal was because of his attitude, and his dedication to fulfilling his life purpose.
Of all the work he has done since, I believe this book was his ultimate purpose, and it should be next on your reading list.
Read it as soon as possible.
Build yourself up this year, keep a proper attitude in order to prepare for the coming changes, and remember to be discerning in all that you expose your mind to.
Feel free to leave any recommendations of your own in the comments.
To read more book reviews, click here.