If there’s one thing free time is good for, it’s reading. Why not take the time to get some added perspective on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while the world shuts its doors against an invisible enemy? To help you achieve this goal, I want to go through 10 of my favorite books that I have ever read. It was a bit tough to make a list this short, but here goes nothing. Here are 10 great books to read while in quarantine:
10 Books to Read While In Quarantine
- Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
- The Real-Life MBA – Jack & Suzy Welch
- The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
- The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss
- Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
- Set for Life – Scott Trench
- Range – David Epstein
- Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi
- Am I Being Too Subtle? – Sam Zell
1. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
This wonderful biography from 2015 is one of the most comprehensive biographies available on Elon Musk. It follows his journey from weird school kid, to weird PayPal guy, to weird Tesla & SpaceX guy. But in all seriousness, it is a detailed look into the most interesting entrepreneur in the world, and perhaps of all time. Vance gives a rare look into much of Elon’s personal life and upbringing, something which Musk hardly discusses. If you are looking for a unique story about a brilliant man with serious ambitions, and a lot of wacky quirks, this is the book for you. It’s easily my favorite biography ever.
2. The Real-Life MBA – Jack & Suzy Welch
In a pragmatic, team management book, the late Jack Welch and his wife Suzy Welch take a look at various case studies throughout the business world and see what successful managers and CEOs have done to turn around companies and navigate them through crises. It helps that the author was the prolific CEO of GE for 20 years who increased the company’s market value by a factor of 40 to $410 Billion by the time he retired. But the book looks beyond GE and analyzes different company’s that have faced different crises, giving thoughtful advice to those who want to grow as leaders, whether on a small or big scale.
3. The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
The ultimate book on mindset, gun-slinging salesman Grant Cardone writes about what it takes to push ahead in society and to make the maximum impact possible. His incredibly punchy delivery and extremely blunt writing makes the message clear as day. I’ll give you a hint, it has something do with doing more than you are currently doing. I definitely would recommend the audio book on this one, since Cardone is very passionate about his message and just adds a little bit more to the book when he’s reading it. The book should definitely leave you wanting to get more productive, even while in quarantine.
4. The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss
After you read The 10X Rule and start working on all sorts of things, Tim Ferriss’s landmark book will give you an enormous amount of practical advice for using your time effectively. The book offers creative ideas for streamlining your life, business, and every single day. Ferriss has updated it over the years so it remains very relevant in today’s digital age. And there are probably many copies floating around just waiting for you to grab one.
5. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
A master of making statistics interesting, Gladwell gives his best shot at explaining why some people are more successful than others, from wealth, to education, to life expectancy. He compares his findings across eras, and his colloquial approach to statistics makes his arguments very easy to follow and understand. And they are very interesting at the same time!
6. Set for Life – Scott Trench
Are you an average American making a median salary or close to it? If so, Trench gives you an actionable plan for setting yourself up for far greater success than conventional wisdom would have you believe is possible. He explains how someone can make sensible cuts to his or her budget and the impact that something like house-hacking can have on building long term wealth. Not sure what house-hacking is? Well, I have a detailed article on house-hacking already, but Scott also explains it in detail in his great book on making sensible financial choices with an eye for the long-term.
7. Range – David Epstein
Perhaps a rebuttal to Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, Range is the sequel to Epstein’s other book, The Sports Gene. Epstein explains how and why generalists have an advantage over those people who specialize very early in life. He starts his book with the famous Tiger Woods story, and how he was raised to play golf and only golf, and explains why a Woods specialized approach works in some limited contexts, but not the vast majority of others. Epstein offers a very well researched perspective on why it does not typically pay to be a one trick pony.
8. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
The granddaddy of real estate investing books, Kiyosaki’s incredibly simple and easy to follow writing style has changed millions of peoples’ perspectives on building wealth. It’s an easy but powerful read that can be completed within a day without issue. If you haven’t read it and are new to the business and investing world, it’s definitely worth checking out. You can probably get your hands on a very cheap copy given how long it has been continuously published.
9. Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi
The title is telling here; Ferrazzi more than suggests the power of networking in his popular book. But it’s more than just a “you should network” book. Ferrazzi gives a lot of useful tips for being personable, helpful, and, most of all, memorable as you grow your network. Reading this book might be a tad frustrating when you are trapped inside during quarantine season and cannot act as effectively on his advice, but you will be well equipped to get to networking when the world opens back up. You’ll be happy to have added this to your stack of books to read while in quarantine.
10. Am I Being Too Subtle? – Sam Zell
Sam Zell is one of the most prolific real estate investors of all time. His autobiography is another one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. His often crude style and sense of humor are weaved in throughout the book, and it is what feels like a very good glimpse into the billionaire’s perspectives on life and business and what has made his real estate ventures so successful.
There are countless books to read while in quarantine. If you haven’t read any of these, I would definitely recommend giving them a shot. Getting new perspectives on life, whether current or from history, can only serve you well in time. Hopefully these biographies and personal development books will help you to get ahead (and stay ahead!) in life, even when we face the greatest of challenges. Don’t let the quarantine stop you from getting better!