Books I’ve Loved — Tim’s Four Must-Read Books (#400)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types—from startup founders and investors to chess champions to Olympic athletes. This episode, however, is an experiment and part of a shorter series I’m doing called “Books I’ve Loved.” I’ve invited some amazing past guests, close friends, and new faces to share their favorite books—the books that have influenced them, changed them, and transformed them for the better. I hope you pick up one or two new mentors—in the form of books—from this new series and apply the lessons in your own life.

To kick things off, here are four of my recommendations, which I had originally included in the back of The 4-Hour WorkweekI called them “The Fundamental Four.”

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, StitcherCastbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#400: Books I’ve Loved — Tim’s Four Must-Read Books

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Inspired to read more? Listen to two chapters from the book Essentialism — Listen here to learn more about saying “no” gracefully and cutting losses in the aftermath of a premature “yes.” (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#328: How to Say “No” Gracefully and Uncommit

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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10 Replies to “Books I’ve Loved — Tim’s Four Must-Read Books (#400)”

  1. Nice one Tim. I’ve picked up so many useful recommendations from your podcasts, but I must admit I don’t often find the time to listed to all of them so I really appreciate the odd short-form one that gets straight to the point!

  2. Love the new website Tim!

    Making of Thinking Big… I bought it after you recommended it in Sydney about 5 years ago. Never read. Just listened to it. Not at all what I expected and thought it was superb. I love the idea of listening to the first 2 chapters whenever you feel doubtful.

    How to Make Millions With Your Ideas – found the audiobook on Youtube. Can’t say I get your fascination. Although there’s some case studies from a conference he ran and I’ll listen to that for more value.

    E-Myth. Can’t wait to listen to this again. Blew my mind at the time. I actually reached out to Michael Gerber after finishing my MBA 15 years ago and asked him if I could intern. He said yes. But I never took that option.

    Thanks for these suggestions Tim. Just what the Dr ordered.

  3. Hi Tim,

    Firstly, thank you so much for all of the work you do. Your podcasts and books have had a massive positive impact on my life, which is now being passed on to my family and the society I live in.

    Secondly, Awareness by Anthony De Mello seems to have a number of different editons. Are they all the relatively the same?

    In the UK, the single titled ‘Awareness’ seems to be more readily available.



  4. Thanks for the early Holiday present.

    Yesterday we introduced our son to the precepts of the 4HWW while listening to an earlier podcast from your live Q & A discussing Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Afterwards, I was left wondering which order to read “Stop Worrying,” “80/20” and “Magic.”

    It was great to listen to #400 and your suggestions for four/five foundation books. We have recommend that he begin with my dog eared and highlighted copy of “Magic.”

    As an aside, I came across your audio book of the 4HWW in our local library in 2009. By using a number of the techniques showcased in 4HWW and Magic, as well as coupleing it with Brad Feld’s “Start Up Communites,” we created and have been running a NFP helping economically challenged communities since 2012.

    Last week, I reordered multiple copies of the “E-Myth Revisited” because I have gifted away all of my copies in our bookcase and need to find our way again.

    Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for all that you do.


    PS: You never mention “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. His take on the power of attraction is similar to yours.

  5. Tim – given your interest in the treatment of anxiety/depression/ptsd as well as the prevention of Alzheimer’s, I have 2 books that I’m compelled to recommend.

    1) the angel and the assassin by Donna Jackson nakazawa. It is a fascinating look at micro glial cells, Trauma, the immune system, and their relationship in regards to mental illness and Alzheimer’s. Fascinating research, although it would break your 2020 rule. At least consider finding her on Facebook or reading some of her older books.

    2) wired for healing by Annie hopper. This discusses how an over responsive limbic system can lead to illness, anxiety, depression, and on and on, and the interesting approach that ms hopper teaches to retrain the brain.

  6. I found the E-Myth Revisited to be a prototypical American business guru book: main point(s) buried in the yawn-inducing, clumsily written business parable. In the end it seemed to advocate standardization, calling customization the enemy to sustainability. I get the point, totally disagree with it. Standardization is a great goal if you like to be bored with what you sell and don’t really care about innovation and high quality. You might make a lot of money that way, as you slowly give up your soul. Why can’t a small business succeed on customization and then bring in younger partners or apprentices to learn the processes that lead to the success? Of course they’d do some things their way, and the product or service would keep evolving and getting better.

  7. Hey Tim, thanks for all the amazing stuff,

    The Magic of Thinking Big mentions a common pattern in successful people, “they command respect”

    what are the top 3 patterns in your observation common in people who command respect

    just as you mentioned your top 3 skills to master are writing, speaking and negotiating