There are some books that totally change your life and below are my favorites. I’ve found books like these by asking my friends what books changed their lives and reading them.
Your Money or Your Life gave me the most concrete understanding I’ve ever had on money and what it actually means. Money is not power, it’s the ability to determine what you do with your life.
The Life Nomadic Tynan lays out an excellent potential lifestyle of being a vagrant, renting everything, and owning very few things. We live in a time of total excess. The truth is that happiness is almost entirely unrelated to income or possessions.
The Bogleheads Guide to Investing. This is a full understanding of how the investment world works. Unless you work at a bank and are trading someone else’s money there is little reason to buy anything other than the investments listed here.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Lessons of religion and psycology compressed into a modern package.
Mindfulness in Plain English Written by a monk to be the first practical English language guide for lay westerners who want to learn to meditate.
Ansel Adams wrote three amazing books about photography. I started with The Camera, and no other source explained to me how cameras work as effectively as this one book. The other two books are The Negative and The Print.
I also enjoyed The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
John McCarty’s original paper on LISP (free) changed how I thought of computer programs. I was surprised how simple a computer programming language can be. Paul Graham’s ANSI Common LISP is also very good and goes deeper.