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Mark Manson

The Mark Manson List

from Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Book Recommendations

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

I realize I probably sound like an overachieving high school kid trying to impress his teacher by listing this here, but this really is my favorite book. Set in 19th century Russia during the Napoleonic invasions, the book follows a few prominent families and has no less than thirty main characters, from Russian peasants and young single maidens, to gallant soldiers, landowning lords and even Napoleon himself. One of those rare books that attempts to capture the breadth of all human experience ... and then somehow actually succeeds. When I read this I have trouble believing it actually came from a human brain.

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I'm your typical highly educated, progressive white dude. I've lived my life resisting racism both within myself and in the society around me. I thought racism was a fairly straightforward issue, and I had more or less figured it out at an early age. Yet this book changed me. It changed how I saw race and how I saw America and how I saw myself. Beautifully written. Painfully vulnerable (the book doubles as an open letter to Coates's son), while remaining philosophically sound and intellectually invigorating. Every American should read this.

Tiny Beautiful Things

by Cheryl Strayed

As someone who writes life advice for a living, this is the only book I've read that made me jealous that I didn't write it. In a genre that's riddled with cliches, cheesy punchlines, and fake optimism, Cheryl Strayed addresses people in their darkest hours simply by sharing some of the darkest of her own. Her advice is real and gritty and painful and raw. And that's why it's powerful and works. She doesn't try to be people's savior. Rather, she shows up as what they really need: an honest friend.

This is Water

by David Foster Wallace

Technically a speech, I included this because despite being a huge David Foster Wallace fan and having read all of his work, I think this is the simplest and most profound distillation of a lot of his ideas. Originally written as a commencement speech at Kenyon College, Wallace delivers what is perhaps the deepest and most profound life advice I've ever come across in a mere few thousand words.


by Yuval Noah Harari

Imagine if an alien observed the human race for 100,000 years and then went home and wrote a book about them. That book would be Sapiens. Written from a bird's eye view so high you need a space shuttle to get there, Harari manages to dodge our human penchant for sentimentality and self-serving bias to write an incredibly frank and honest description of humans strictly in terms of our behavior. His commentaries on everything from money to religion to government always hit you with some unexpected insight, and in the process, probably make you a better Sapien.

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Mark Manson

About Mark Manson

Mark Manson is a star blogger with more than two million readers. He lives in New York City.

Latest Book Recommendations from the author

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

by Mark Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

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