20 Books Every Teenager Should Read

girl reading book
Lacie Slezak

I hate being nervous. But I am.

I’m speaking in front of 1000 teenagers today for “Internapalooza”.

This is how I like to spend my Sundays.

I was a lazy, disrespectful teenager. I’m impressed with any kid who shows up to hear me talk on a Sunday afternoon.

My life was a mess in my 20s and 30s.

I know that “it all worked out for the best”. But…still…I wish I had these books to read. Heck, I even wrote one of them so I guess I couldn’t have read them.

I picked specifically these books for this crowd.

These books are all simple for a teenager to read and take at least one lesson from.

Remember to focus on one rule:

HELP PEOPLE WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATION OF GETTING HELP BACK

That’s super power #1.

Then…reading.

Use these books as starting points to read 20 more books and listen to 20 podcasts.

Go for it:

TOOLS OF THE TITANS by Tim Ferriss

Only the best lessons from 100+ peak performers.

TURNING PRO by Stephen Pressfield

Amateurs talk about money. Professionals talk about ideas.

And 1000 other tips.

TED Talks: The Official Ted Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson

Most important professional skill in life: how to communicate.

ANGEL by Jason Calacanis

A guide for investing in the best startups. Also a guide for founders to stand out.

PURPLE COW by Seth Godin

How to stand out in the crowd and provide value.

THE ESSAYS OF WARREN BUFFETT by Lawrence Cunningham

The best businessman in history explains in simple terms from his own examples.

THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY by Ryan Holiday

Build a mindset for turning adversity into success.

ZERO TO ONE by Peter Thiel

A guidebook to modern capitalism.

CRUSH IT by Gary Vaynerchuk

Get value in every possible outlet of life.

I CAN’T MAKE THIS UP by Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart is a one-man media empire. Who failed and failed and worked and persisted and failed again and persisted and finally hit some tipping point that helped him break through.

SICK IN THE HEAD by Judd Apatow

A fanboy interviews his heroes….and then becomes one.

EXTREME OWNERSHIP by Jocko Willink

Take blame for every problem. And then solve it.

THE LONG WALK by Stephen King

Horror fiction. About persistence. Starring teenagers who die.

WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. by Sean Platt

Structure a story. How to work fast. How to make money from it. Repeat.

DISPLAY OF POWER by Daymond John

Classic rags to riches.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz

Be a person of your word. No higher quality.

GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The scientific conclusion on what makes success.

ALWAYS EAT LEFT-HANDED by Rohit Bhargava

“15 Surprisingly Simple Secrets of Success”. And they really are simple so I’ll keep the description at that.

REAL ARTISTS DON’T STARVE by Jeff Goins

Your ideas and creativity are worth money.

CHOOSE YOURSELF by me. (and “REINVENT YOURSELF“).

Normally I wouldn’t recommend my own books.

A) It feels arrogant or like I’m trying to push them. Trust me I don’t make money on 70 cents.

B) I publish writing every day for free.

But the book “Choose Yourself” is specifically my story combined with things I wish I knew when I was much younger.

An approach to living where I wouldn’t be dependent on all the forces around us that try to push their own agendas on us: corporations, governments, schools, peers, parents, etc.

Not that their agendas are bad. I’m not making a judgment.

But ultimately, each person is happiest choosing their own specific path in life and nobody else’s.

If you only follow someone else’s path, you will get lost.

Instead of getting lost in the maze, create the maze. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog