Cameron Prouse Book Starter Kit

Cameron Prouse Book Starter Kit

To understand someone, look at the books they read.

β€œIn my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time -- none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren reads--and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” β€” Charlie Munger

β€œIf I read a book that cost me $20 and I get one good idea, I’ve gotten one of the greatest bargains of all time.” β€” Tom Peters

I have a lot of books. As of this writing, I have about 630 physical books (in approximately 13 rubbermaids and strewn throughout my house; sorry mom and dad).

When I send people my list of books, I suspect that they might get overwhelmed so I wanted to make it slightly easier on others. Below is the list of books that I have found most impactful. In addition, here are my top 2-3 books. And here's a guide on how to read and here's a guide on how to learn (in general).

The measure I tried to use to include / not include books is as follows (which I stole from the Foreward section of Getting Things Done):

  1. Do I remember the book and it's main points in 1-2 months?
  2. Does it affect my world view? I.e. is it something that I think back upon frequently

Top books in no particular order:


NameAmazon LinkGenreWhy Read It?
The Servant as Leader
Living a good lifeMindsetLeadership
The servant brings the team together and helps everyone achieve their goals.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Written by guy who founded Paypal and was first investor in Facebook. Might be a bit over your head (it was for me the first few times I read it).
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
BusinessCareersLiving a good life
One of my all time favourite reads. Not sure if it's still good or if it was just timely when I read it (in uni). Talks about how there are 3 types of people: givers, takes, and matchers. Most people are matchers β€”> quid pro quo. But most successful people are actually givers.
Stumbling on Happiness
Living a good lifeCareers
Describes why we are bad predictors of what will make us happy. It was one of my top reads of 18 and 19.
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson
Living a good life
Great book that reflects on what is really important in life.
Benjamin Franklin
Less about the book. More about the fact that he was such a cool guy.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Living a good life
First time I read this, I thought this book was garbage. But then, like 6 months later, I tried it again and I really liked it. And I started following this guys blog and I really like it!
It's Not About You: A Brief Guide to a Meaningful Life
Living a good life
Very short book β€” you could read it in an hour, probably best book I read of 2020 (which is saying something). Point of book: it's not about you, constantly ask yourself, "How am I contributing to others?"
This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
Living a good life
I read this / listen to this once a year to ground myself.
Principles for Success
Living a good lifeBusinessCareers
This is the kids' version of popular book called "Principles". I found Principles boring so this is like the summarized version of Principles. Very good concepts. I love Dalio's Insta/FB page bc every day they share a Principle.
Designing Your Life
Living a good lifeCareers
My most recommended book, along with Springboard.
Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success
Living a good lifeCareers
My most recommended book, along with Designing Your Life.
So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
Contrary opinion on how to think about your career. We are told "follow your passion" but the author thinks that's BS and instead you should focus on what you're good at doing, make money doing that, and then use that money to spend time enjoying whatever it is you want to do.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
PsychologySales and Marketing
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
PsychologySales and Marketing
The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership
Autobiography of Bill Walsh, coach of 49ers when they won all their Super Bowls with Montana and that other QB. All about focusing on "the process" and then "the score will take care of itself".
Chop Wood Carry Water
Short story. Easy read. About falling in love with the process, which inevitably get you to the results you want.
The Art of Thinking Clearly
Talks about all the psychological biases we fall for in a very easy to understand manner. It's important to know these so that you don't fool yourself + so that you can use them to influence other people.
Good to Great
Easy business book. I like a lot of the concepts from it and find them useful to thinking about business but also life.
How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big
PsychologyLiving a good lifeCareers
Author/cartoonist who does Dilbert cartoon. He's a really cool guy. This book focuses a lot on why process is better than goals. And he talks about psychological biases we have. Just a good read.
Smarter, Faster, Better
PsychologyCareersLiving a good life
Talks about some cool little things you can do in your life and how you can change them to have a better life. Decently easily read and informative.
PsychologyLiving a good life
Very cool book that talks about the psychology behind why you are obsessed with checking your inbox or phone. Teaser here:
Man's Search for Meaning
Living a good life
You must find meaning in suffering.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
Living a good lifePsychologyPhilosophy
Decent advice for living. I'd recommend checking it out even if you don't like JP.
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
PhilosophyLiving a good life
Stoic philosophy. There were lots of things you mentioned in our chat that aligned with this philosophy β€” things like "loving fate", "dichotomy of control", etc.
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Living a good lifeCareers
Classic. Has some great wisdom in it that is applicable to any age
The Great Mental Models v1: General Thinking Concepts
Living a good life
You need to understand the mental models that are behind all of the things in the world. Things like Pareto Distribution, Normal Distribution, Circle of Competence, etc. (I have copies of this book if you can't get it)
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Such a cool read if you're into understanding where we (as humans) have been. Especially interesting if you're into psychology and sociology.

Honourable mentions:


NameAmazon LinkGenre
30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
Living a good lifeCareers
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
PsychologySales and Marketing
The Challenger Sale
Sales and Marketing
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself
Living a good life
What Should I Do with My Life?
Living a good life
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger
Living a good lifePsychologyBusinessCareers
PsychologySales and Marketing
PsychologySales and Marketing
The Last Lecture
Living a good life
Eleven Rings
Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son
Living a good life
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lord of The Flies
Animal Farm
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
Atlas of the World
Thinking in Systems
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter-And How to Make the Most of Them Now
CareersLiving a good life
I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program that Works
Personal Finance
The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
PsychologySales and Marketing
The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness
PsychologyLiving a good life
Letters of Note
BiographyLiving a good life
The Wright Brothers
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Steve Jobs
Elon Musk
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders
The Richest Man in Babylon
Personal Finance
The Laws of Human Nature
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
The Alchemist
FictionLiving a good life
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Finding Flow: The Psychology Of Engagement With Everyday Life
PsychologyCareersLiving a good life
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box
A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions
Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
The Rum Diary
Atomic Habits
It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work
Everything is Fucked
PsychologyLiving a good life

Books that I haven't read but somewhat know the ideas from that I think are useful:


NameAmazon Link
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships
How Full Is Your Bucket?
Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging
Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career
Measure what matters
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
The Origin Of Species
The Untethered Soul
The Happiness Trap