The Hustle’s Top 20 Audiobooks on Life and Business, Recommended by 700k Readers

Pro tip for max learning: Listen at 1.5x speed

May 31, 2018

We asked our readers to send us their favorite audiobooks and got enough suggestions to listen for a lifetime — so, we’re splitting them up into business and pleasure.

First, down to business: Here are the top 20 most-suggested titles for building better businesses, being more productive, understanding how the world ticks, and just plain living better.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness — Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

“This gem of a book presents the best idea that has come out of behavioral economics. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.” That’s from Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. If his endorsement doesn’t convince you, nothing can.

(Recommended by Josh H.)

Thinking Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman

While we’re on the subject… Kahneman’s NYT Bestseller digs deep into why we think the things we think, draw conclusions, and make judgements — so we can make better ones. Did we mention he won a Nobel Prize? All the more reason to get both.

(Recommended by Tracy C.)

*TOP RECOMMENDED* Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari

Readers raved about this book, saying “it changes how you think about our place as humans on this planet” and “I rewound 30 seconds to listen to a gem over and over.” Harari uses our history as a species to ask questions about our future, as we now “bend the laws of natural selection.”

(Recommendation by Kate H. and many others)

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

Named one of the best books of the year by The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, business reporter Charles Duhigg argues that the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is simple: You just have to understand how habits work.

(Recommended by Carly S.)

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Narrated by the man, the myth, the legend himself, Tyson “brings the universe down to Earth” in witty, bite-sized chapters that answer questions about the nature of space and time, how we fit within the universe — and how the universe fits within us.

(Recommended by Doug S.)

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter — Liz Wiseman

A former Oracle exec, Wiseman explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others amplify it to produce better results.

(Recommended by Jimmy M.)

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd — Allan Dib

Dib wants small businesses to stop doing “random acts of marketing” and start working on a reliable plan for growth. This book walks you through a step-by-step plan for creating a solid marketing strategy. It’s literally a single page, divided into 9 squares. It’s so simple, it just… might… work.

(Recommended by Matt S.)

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance — Angela Duckworth

Why do some of the most naturally talented people we know fail to reach their potential, while less gifted individuals go on to achieve amazing things? Duckworth says the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but grit.

(Recommended by David F.)

Shoe Dog — Phil Knight

This memoir by the creator of Nike made Bill Gates’ short list of favorite books in 2016. As he put it, Shoe Dog is “a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes.” Maybe this is the book that taught Bill Gates to jump over chairs.

(Recommended by John N.)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life — Mark Manson

Manson says, “F**k positivity. Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” Preach. As Amazon puts it, this book is all about how we should “stop trying to be ‘positive’ all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.” Or whatever…

(Recommended by Travis B.)

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die — Chip Heath

Heath explains how messages, from rumors of an infamous “kidney theft ring” to a vision for a new product at Sony, stick in our minds. And the 6 traits all “sticky” ideas share.

(Recommended by Jed O.)

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right — Atul Gawande

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it… but if it is, make a checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists allow pilots to fly complex aircraft error-free. This book discusses how some of the most sophisticated systems in the world rely on checklists to get sh*t done well.

(Recommended by John H.)

Principles: Life and Work — Ray Dalio

Countless entrepreneurs swear by this book, containing the founder of Bridgewater’s principles for success in life and business. Dalio argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be understood like machines, built on the cornerstone of ‘radical transparency.’

(Recommended by Jayson B.)

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity — Kim Scott

That ‘radical transparency’ thing we just mentioned? Here’s a whole book on it, recommended by Sheryl Sandberg herself If you don’t consider yourself a natural manager, or just find it exhausting, give this a listen. It’s full of tips on how to lead a team while being a relatable human being.

(Recommended by Sam P.)

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why — Laurence Gonzales

If you’ve ever asked yourself which one of your friends would survive the Hunger Games, this book is for you. Gonzales tells real-life survival stories from in life-or-death situations — and breaks down the psychology of the people who made it out alive, compared with those who didn’t.

(Recommended by Sarah K.)

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley — Antonio Garcia Martinez

“Silicon Valley capitalism is very simple: Investors are people with more money than time. Employees are people with more time than money. Entrepreneurs are the seductive go-between.” This is “gleeful contrarian” Martinez’s polarizing exposé of the tech industry and its founder’ hijinks.

(Recommended by Melody P.)

On Writing — Stephen King

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs,” King says, in his classic book on writing, On Writing. It’s a practical guide for anyone who aspires to write better, read by the King himself — so you don’t miss a drop of knowledge. A favorite here at The Hustle.

(Recommended by James B.)

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win — Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

These guys are intense. And they bring that same fire to their narration in the audiobook. Listen to these insanely competent SEAL officers tell you exactly how to make a team successful through their firsthand experiences in business and combat.

(Recommended by James W.)

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles — Steven Pressfield

Described as “Sun-Tzu for the soul,” this book is for all the frustrated, stopped-up, or self-doubting creatives out there. The War of Art is no-nonsense, inspirational drano for any creative brain clogs , be it writing a novel or launching a business.

(Recommended by Jake O.)

*TOP RECOMMENDED* Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It — Chris Voss

This book takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations from the first-hand experience of Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator. with 9 principles you can use to become more persuasive in your professional and personal life.

(Recommended by Behdad J. and many others)

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