Ed Latimore's 8 Most Recommended Books

While I review newer books that I read, many people have asked what are my personal favorite books. I quickly threw together a list of the most influential, memorable, and instructive books I have read over my entire life.

I want to give everyone an accurate glimpse into my mind so my rules for creating this list were simple. I did not look at my kindle or physical library. I did not dig extra hard for 8 books. 8 just happened to be the number I had when it was all said and done and I could think of no more books. I sat down with my trusty moleskin notebook (that at this point is almost 10 years old) and I listed the first books that came to mind.

The times I read these books spans as far back as age 18 and as recently as last year. All of the books on here have been read multiple times and each has uniquely contributed to my personality, perspective and approach towards the world. I can safely say that without these books, I would not be the person I am today. Without further ado, let’s give into my 10 most recommended books.

The Art of Learning

The Art of Learning is a book written by chess prodigy and World Champion at the combat version Tai Chi Chuan. What I enjoyed most about this book is how Josh Waitzkin not only learns from his mistakes, but how he breaks down his learning process in general. He draws from Tai Chi Chuan to improve his chess and from chess to improve his Tai Chi Chuan. At it’s heart, this is a book where you learn how to learn.

The biggest idea I took from The Art of Learning is about how to practice. Anything you learn is composed of small pieces. The idea behind practice is to become more efficient with the smaller pieces. You aim to get rid of all extraneous movement. This transforms actions that take a lot of time/space and are weak into those that take no time/space and are powerful. The aim is efficiency in all things.

The Talent Code

I have a hard problem accepting the idea of “talent”. This is because I have no natural talents myself. I was not gifted with extreme athleticism or great ability at mathematics. However, my life is such that I am a professional boxer and physics major. Instead of accepting that I was doomed to the result of ordinary genetics, I did something about it. This book was part of that game plan.

The Talent Code discusses methods for improving your skills in areas where people believe that natural talent decides who will be the best. Drawing on neuroscience and first hand research, The Talent Code gives you the tools for how to practice in a way that you’ll improve. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to improve it, but after reading The Talent Code you’ll know how to practice. This book gave me the confidence to gain skills and abilities that I wanted instead of believing that natural genetic ability was going to dictate my life and the choices I made.

Way of the Superior Man

Now days it seems like there are thousands of blogs on the internet about masculinity and what it means to be a man. I think this is a good thing, for men desperately need instructions and guidance on how to be men. Modern society makes it very difficult for man to feel good about being a man, let alone provides him with good masculine role models to look up to. Before the internet was inundated with masculinity blogs, there was a book called Way of The Superior Man.

The book takes a “spiritual” approach to masculinity and the challenges men face, but it never really feels that way. It helped me build a foundation for how to approach my interactions with the world and with women. Some of the lessons and ideas do approach a bit of the esoteric, but for the most part I keep rereading this book because it’s such a practical foundation for masculinity that goes beyond what you do. Instead, it focuses on how you see the world and how those perspectives motivate your actions.

The 10x Rule

The basic premise behind this book is that you can have anything in your life if you put 10x more effort and energy into getting it that you think you’ll actually need. Cardone says believes this is the missing link between failure and success in any endeavor. This book was a random purchase with a gift card about a year ago, and I’ve since fallen madly in love with it.

I’m not a big fan of motivational material. I believe that a person should already have the motivation for a better life and merely needs to be pointed in the right direction. This book is a not quite motivational, but it’s close. It’s like a road trip: motivation is like fuel and goals are like the destination. The 10x Rule is like the transmission that takes you from one gear to the next. I have applied the general idea to my training, writing and studying: do more to increase your chances of success.The 10X Rule gives you the blueprint.

Winning Through Intimidation

The book is a cross between sales and self-help. Not the type of self-help that makes you feel good about the world, but rather the kind that gets you to open your eyes to the nature of human beings. People are always going to try to get the best deal for themselves in a negotiation. Life is one big series of negotiations. The way they do this is through intimidation tactics. The best defense against them is to learn to use the tactics yourself.

Winning Through Intimidation uses sales lessons to illustrate to main ideas. 1) Your results in life are inversely proportional to how intimidated you are. 2) It’s not what you say, but how you say it. In other words, if you enter any situation with courage and purpose, you stand a much better chance of getting a fair deal. If you enter with head hung low and speaking in meekly, the jackals of the world will rip you apart. Winning Through Intimidation teaches you how to avoid being prey for the jackals of the world,

A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles claims to be the direct word of Jesus, dictated to the author. She says she wrote down what Jesus told her over the course of some number of years. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant because you don’t need to be religious or spiritual to get something out of this text.

A Course in Miracles is the one of the reasons I approach all human beings with love and respect. It’s also why I seek to forgive all transgressions against myself and humanity. Lastly, it’s why I seek to understand rather than confront or argue. No matter what your specific religious beliefs are, the book does not violate or infringe upon them. This is probably the book that is most important to me, for it develops my relationship with people and the world.

Caro’s Book of Poker Tells: The Psychology of Body Language and Poker

I’ve read a number of body language books. Many of them are good and useful. Why this books stands out to me is because it is the first one to quantify the amount you can expect to make if you catch the tell. It also tells you how reliable the tell is depending on the skill of the opponent doing it. This iea is incredible to me because its the only time I’ve seen the following expressed: lie detecting is an incomplete art rather than an iron clad science.

If you really get the ideas from the book and play with them (not just in poker, but in your everyday life), then you intuitively learn that situational context is just as important as content when it comes to lie detection. I also like that the book teaches you to read body language in the context of risk and negative feedback–two things you absolutely need to get better. When money is on the line, you have no choice but to learn and learn fast. That’s why this is my favorite body language book.

Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich the book that started my mind on the right path. I actually haven’t read this one in quite sometime, but every single self help book or website you read today has it’s origins in something from this book. You need nothing else but this book and you can change your life. The change won’t only be financial, but it will also be in your physical, emotional and mental make up as well. You won’t just grow rich in your bank account but also in your life.

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