“Readers are leaders.”
Many Finxters seek mentorship—and write in asking me for book recommendations. I read about one business or programming book per week and this simple habit has completely transformed my life. In this article, I’ve compiled my top list of business and programming books—ordered by how great I think the book is.
All book links open in a new tab. All links on this page are Amazon affiliate links. However, I recommend only books that I’ve read myself and that had a major impact on my professional life whether they taught me business or programming skills.
I focus on non-fiction books.
So, let’s get started with my #1 preferred book among the ~300 non-fiction books I’ve read:
The Power of Habit
“After reading this book, I started both my writing habit (at least one word per day) and my coding habit (at least one line per day) which both transformed my life”
The One Thing
“Taught me the transformational power of focus and attacking one big task every day—I call it my COMMAND INTENT”
The 80/20 Principle
“The book helped me find more happiness, focus, and inner peace. The focused life beats the modern-day, high-pressure corporate life by a mile. And, as a nice side effect, my productivity skyrocketed after reading it…”
The Richest Man in Babylon
“Without this book, I’d never started to save a part of all I earn and I’d never started to become self-employed.”
“Perform from your strengths! There can hardly be a more effective success principle than this one.”
“Habits are more powerful than setting goals. They’re easy to do—but also easy not to do. This book showed me how to ensure that I actually complete them on a daily basis which led to many transformations in my life such as publishing my first book and finishing my PhD.”
The Nature of Software Development
“I think the best a book can accomplish is to provide you a north star that guides you through your day. This book provided my guiding north for software development—and, thus, has given me a major boost in productivity throughout in my coding life.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People
“Smile. Be interested in the other person. Make the other person feel important. This book helped me navigate through the difficult world of social interactions—basically allowing me to be myself rather than try to be somebody else.”
How Not to Die
“A simple, plant-based, scientific approach to eat healthily and add years to your life expectancy. I bought it for all my relatives and loved-ones.”
“Professor Harari is, in my view, the greatest thinker of our times. He draws a very unbiased, clear-eyed picture of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It changed my perception of many things—maybe the most important one being my attitude towards humanism not being the end-all-be-all of human cultural development.”
Introduction to Algorithms
“If I could own only one programming-related book—this is it. It taught me the most effective algorithms, how to design my own, and how to analyze them. These are critical skills for every effective coder.”
The Go Giver
“I always wanted to give more value than I take. This book helped me a lot in my business because it allowed me to be a giver first—before reading the book, I wasn’t really aware that business is about giving value first. In a way, it set up my whole value system towards providing more value and creating positive change when starting my own company.”
The Essays of Warren Buffett
“This is a unique source of business insights. I cannot put in words how much I’ve learned from the annual shareholder meetings from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger—this book condenses their wisdom!”
The Elements of Style
“Omit needless words. Wow, what a powerful book that changed my north in writing.”
The Intelligent Investor
“Warren Buffetts favorite investment book. Stocks are businesses. The market is here to serve you, not to instruct you. Buy stocks with a margin of safety to intrinsic value. These are principles that make investment failure nearly impossible.”
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
“One of the most in-depth books on machine learning.”
Thinking Fast and Slow
“Kahneman had a major impact on my thinking. It’s hard to figure out the specific impact this book had in my life—but I know it changed the way I think about business, life, and psychology.”
Think and Grow Rich
“This classic book is not really about money—it’s about mindset. From the book, I drew my habit of clearly formulating my life’s purpose and reading it every day so that it always stands in big letters in my consciousness. Probably one of the most impactful books in my life.”
“Deep learning is a well-crafted gem in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
Python Crash Course
“It’s my gold standard of effective Python education.”
“It helped me understand that in order to thrive in today’s world, you need to do what nobody is willing to do: reject instant gratification.”
While working as a researcher in distributed systems, Dr. Christian Mayer found his love for teaching computer science students.
To help students reach higher levels of Python success, he founded the programming education website Finxter.com that has taught exponential skills to millions of coders worldwide. He’s the author of the best-selling programming books Python One-Liners (NoStarch 2020), The Art of Clean Code (NoStarch 2022), and The Book of Dash (NoStarch 2022). Chris also coauthored the Coffee Break Python series of self-published books. He’s a computer science enthusiast, freelancer, and owner of one of the top 10 largest Python blogs worldwide.
His passions are writing, reading, and coding. But his greatest passion is to serve aspiring coders through Finxter and help them to boost their skills. You can join his free email academy here.