Back when I was a young reader, I was solely into fiction. Nonfiction, to me, included school textbooks or biographies, which I did not think were a source of enjoyable reading. The more I matured, I did take an interest in the greater variety of nonfiction available – particularly the self-help nonfiction books that make you think long after you’ve finished reading. It gives you something you can take away and apply in your life. Here is a list of my top 5 non-fiction books that will make you think:
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5. How to Win Friends and Influence People By Dale Carnegie
This book has been around since 1936 and is known to be one of the most influential business management books according to Time magazine.
The fist time I read How to Win Friends and Influence People, I actually took notes. There were four main sections to this nonfiction book, including ‘Fundamental techniques in handling people’, ‘Six ways to make people like you’, ‘How to win people to your way of thinking’, and ‘Be a leader – How to change people without giving offence or arousing resentment’. Each section contains a number of principles with anecdotes and examples.
4. Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert T. Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki narrates the importance of financial literacy and how he learned it stating at a young age. His comparison between “Rich dad”, his friend’s father, and “Poor dad”, his own father, shows two different ways of thinking about money. Published in 1997, the advice in this nonfiction book has been somewhat debated. This was an easy-to-read book that really gets you thinking. Robert Kiyosaki also offers online education, training, and board games to help people gain financial literacy.
3. Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill
Published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich is another one of the most influential bestsellers of all time. I am still reading this book and I find myself really savoring each chapter as I go along. This nonfiction manual isn’t simply about getting rich financially. The philosophy behind the power of thought can be applied to every facet of life to make it richer in every way. I will definitely re-read this thought-provoking book as often as I can.
2. The Secret By Rhonda Byrne
This 2006 book by Rhonda Byrne is based on a similar principle as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book has been so popular that there is a documentary as well as a movie based on it. The Secret talks about the Law of Attraction. That is, thoughts become things.
The more you think about something, whether positive or negative, that is what will manifest in your life. The book further advises on how to make this work in your favor. Even if you’re cynical, I’m willing to bet that this book will make you want to apply the Law of Attraction in your own life too.
1. The Laws of Human Nature By Robert Greene
Robert Greene has numerous books on topics such as strategy, power, seduction, mastery, and of course, human nature. These books are excellent for those interested in human psychology. However, they are quite hefty and perhaps for this reason, Robert Greene has them available in concise versions as well.
As my copy of The Laws of Human Nature is not the concise version, I am still working my way through it. (On a personal note, I find this book particularly interesting as I am a big fan of Agatha Christie’s fictional Miss Marple character who is an expert on human nature from her observations of the people living in her village). This book gives us a deeper understanding about how and why people behave the way they do.
If you’ve read any of these, I’m sure you’ll agree how nonfiction books not only inform us, but also broaden our perspective’s and enable us to think from different points of view.
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