Reading has been on the decline for years. All you have to do is think back to the last time you have stepped into a library to see my point.
One of the biggest reasons for the decline in book sales and going to libraries is the leaps and bounds in technology. Why buy a book when you can conveniently buy audiobooks instead?
I can see your point in thinking this way, however, I’d argue that it’s still worth picking up books.
First, I personally read every day. I read about productivity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and anything related to personal growth. Reading has inspired/helped me a lot in my work and personal life.
Second, many successful people credit reading as a factor in their success, and there are many examples of this.
Only when I’m driving, commuting, or doing exercises do I listen to audiobooks. In light of that, I recommend you to listen to audiobooks too as a start. If you love it, buy a physical copy of the books, too.
Here are 25 of the best audiobooks you can find.
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
One of the best audiobooks around for self-improvement is Stephen R. Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’. It is one of the best modern self-improvement books you can pick up.
I say modern, even though it was published in 2004. The reason I make that claim is due to Covey’s overall approach. He doesn’t indulge in pop psychology or common trends. He doesn’t say what so many people in this industry talk about.
The latest version has a foreword and afterword where Covey explains the relevance of these habits in the modern world and answers questions he’s been asked over the years since.
2. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Another one of the books to listen to is ‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’. Written by Shunryu Suzuki, this 2011 book is one of the most beloved American Zen books.
To give you a taste here is the first line of the book: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” It is an immensely powerful line and it is filled to the brim with these particular nuggets of wisdom.
3. The Power of Now
Published in 2000, ‘The Power of Now’ explains a journey—a journey that encourages you to dismiss your analytical mind and set aside your ego as well. Already, you can tell that journey is difficult, but the author, Eckhart Tolle, guides you through these transitions with easy to understand words and phrases.
The purpose of this book is to help you through living in the current moment—the “now.”
4. Daring Greatly
Over one million copies sold, Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown is among the list of best and most famous audiobooks. The premise of the book is the idea that we all experience vulnerability in our lives and Brown argues that it’s alright that these happen.
The book also stresses that it’s not always about winning or losing these battles of vulnerability. Instead, it’s about courage, willingness to accept vulnerability, and throwing ourselves into further risk.
5. Good Morning, I Love You
One of the Amazon audiobooks you’ll want to pick up is ‘Good Morning, I Love You’ by Shauna Shapiro. Another zen-related book, Shapiro’s approach is a bit different from other zen books.
Most people encourage meditation, but Shapiro pushes for something different. Instead, she brings up the science and explains why we feel what we feel instead rather than trying to “empty your mind with mindful meditation.”
6. The Four Agreements
Written by don Miguel Ruiz, ‘The Four Agreements’ covers the sources of limiting beliefs. Using Toltec wisdom, this is one of the audiobooks that uses ‘the four agreements’ as a powerful code of conduct to transform your life and thrive.
7. Practicing Mindfulness
For those looking for mindful meditations, ‘Practicing Mindfulness’ by Matthew Sokolov is one of the best audio novels to pick up. The book provides 75 exercises that are backed by science to help you bring calmness and compassion into your daily life.
8. The Alchemist
From the title alone, you’d think that you won’t find this in the audio self-help books section. The reality is that it’s one of the most powerful audiobooks around.
Written by Paulo Coelho, this book has inspired a following all across the world. It presents a simple—and yet dazzling—story. It is one of the best audio stories you’ll hear.
In short, it talks about the journey of a boy named Santiago who travels from Spain to Egypt in search of riches. Along the way, he meets three characters, a gypsy woman, a man who thinks he’s a king, and the alchemist. These characters help guide Santiago to his goal, but over time that goal changes. It moves away from worldly riches to something deeper and more profound. I’ll let you figure out what that is.
9. The Power of Habit
Written by Charles Duhigg, ‘The Power of Habit’ talks all about the power behind habits using various cases and scenarios to present Duhigg’s points. In the book, Duhigg distills complex systems and methods into easily digestible stories that people and businesses can relate to.
These stories bring us to what goes on behind the doors at Proctor & Gambles and bring us to the sidelines of NFL team tactics. All in all, it presents valid arguments when it comes to habit building and explains it in a way you have never seen before.
10. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
As the title suggests, ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ talks about seven natural laws of success. Written by Deepak Chopra, Chopra uses all his years of teaching and distills them into seven simple principles or laws that you can apply to see success.
Beyond that, the book aims to shatter the myths surrounding success and gives the reader a peek at what it’s really all about.
Written by Malcolm Gladwell, this book is, well, an outlier amongst self-improvement books. It is the book that popularized the idea that practicing 10,000 hours total will make you an expert in that area.
There is that factoid, but it also covers other aspects that many of today’s billionaires and successful people use—things that stretch beyond traditional methods.
12. The Seven Most Effective Methods of Self-Hypnosis
One of the easiest ways to make drastic changes in your life is the idea of self-hypnosis. Over the years, many great books have pushed the importance of this, from Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ to Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’. The idea behind this book is to expand on those ideas and give you seven of the best methods that you can use and how to use them.
Written by the former First Lady of the 34th US President, Michelle Obama’s book is one of the many powerful audio autobiographical books you can get this year. In short, it’s a powerful and inspiring memoir from her that explains in vivid detail the events that helped shape who she is today.
14. Close Your Eyes, Get Free
Another self-hypnotism book to consider, this one drives home three main points:
- What hypnosis is and isn’t
- How powerful your subconscious mind really is
- Simple practices you can use to improve various emotional aspects—things like boosting confidence, self-esteem, and calming anxiety, amongst others.
The book is simple in its direction, but you know precisely what you are getting into with this book, and I love it.
15. I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years
One of the biggest problems in life is that it’s relatively short. While we have made leaps and bounds to prolong life, the average life expectancy of someone is about 79 years old. It’s still good considering how far we’ve come, but clearly, people have lived longer.
In this book, the author Ilchi Lee challenges us to radically think differently about life, longevity, and other ideologies. It’s also been praised by several famous authors, some of whom I’ve mentioned in this list already.
16. Real Love
‘Real Love’ provides you with a creative tool kit for mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques to help you engage in the current moment in your life. The goal is to help you have a deeper appreciation of yourself, those around you, and the events that occur in your life.
The book argues that to obtain those aspects, you need to shed the layers of negative habits and obstacles and help ourselves to experience authentic love.
17. Mindfulness in Action
There are so many kinds of mindfulness books out there and you can see why. Time and again, the benefits of this practice have proven themselves—a better sense of well being, lower stress, and high concentration, to list a few.
The purpose of this book is to help guide you through meditation on the surface level. It’s amazing for those who want to start. However, it also dives into deeper questions that many veterans of this practice have been asking themselves as well.
18. 12 Rules of Life
Humorous, surprising, and informative are three words that aptly describe this book. To summarize, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson explains in great detail the rules of life from easily relatable scenarios—from why we should pet the cat that’s been walking down the street to why we the skateboarding boys and girls ought to be left alone.
This book brings in unusual examples to explain fundamental principles that we could all use in our lives. It is both comical and truly insightful.
19. The ONE Thing
For the extremely busy folks, this book is for you. If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, this is the book to pick up.
‘The ONE Thing’ is a book that’s written to bring your life and work into focus. It teaches you how to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, master what matters most to you, and ease yourself from stress all at the same time.
20. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
Similar to other list-based books that establish laws, this particular book focuses on the overall guiding principles of growth. According to John C. Maxwell, there is such a thing as laws of growth. For over 50 years, he’s built up his knowledge of growth and has written a book to share what those particular laws he has established are.
Written by a university psychology professor, this is another profound book that has shaken the industry. Carol Dweck PhD. explains in detail how success in everything that we do can be dramatically enhanced by how we view our own abilities and talents. In short, the book explains the major differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset—a topic that I’ve talked about many times before.
22. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
While it is a little unusual this book made it to the list, I swear it’s for a very good reason. While we think of organizing and cleaning to be a chore, there is a certain way to go about it to make your life easier. In this book, you’ll learn how the Japanese declutter and clean up their surroundings and establish a system that saves you time and energy for years to come.
Another great book written by Malcolm Gladwell, Blink is a book that gets you to be thinking about all kinds of things. From our rapid-fire choices to even something as meta as thinking itself, this book brings people from all manners of life and how they can use unique abilities in an instant.
From a psychologist who can predict if a couple is doomed or not to a tennis coach who can tell whether a player will double-fault before the racket hits the ball, this book will challenge a lot of aspects of people and our thought process.
24. Thinking Fast and Slow
Written by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, this book is based on his seminars revolving around behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies. This book provides a convenient summary of all of these aspects in his first-ever public book.
This is a big deal as the discoveries that Kahneman uncovered revolutionized the cognitive psychology world and sprung several industries from these concepts.
The last of our long list of audiobooks is Switch. This book talks about the struggles to make long-lasting changes in various environments. From companies and communities to our very own lives, ‘Switch’ provides some insight into what are the leading causes and help us to “make the switch”.
The solutions presented are based on something that psychologists have uncovered. It presents two types of mindsets: the rational mind and the emotional mind. The premise of the book establishes these things and how we can use them to our advantage.
With new authors emerging every single day and multiple books coming out and shaping industries, it’s easy to find many influential books that challenge the way many of us see the world. Authors provide a glimpse into their own thought process and through that, we all grow together.
This is the beauty of books and audiobooks alike. It’s a chance for us to grow and develop ourselves. So don’t dismiss books so readily as they are the treasure trove to your own growth.
More Audiobooks You Should Check Out
Featured photo credit: Henry Be via unsplash.com