The Lessons of History by Will Durant, Ariel Durant
This is a great book. In just around 100 pages it covers a lot of ground. It summarises some key themes (race, religion, government, economics and more) and their progression through history.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
I mostly skimmed through this. Read all the chapter summaries. And just read inside the chapters for anything I did not understand fully. The basic idea is that there are automatic behaviours in humans that can be triggered to create influence.
reciprocation, liking, and unity for when relationship cultivation is primary; followed by social proof and authority for when reducing uncertainty is foremost; followed in turn by consistency and scarcity for when motivating action is the principle objective.
The chapters are full of examples and research on each of the levers. For someone new to the concepts it’s easy to follow.
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
This is recommended reading to further understand evolution. Evolution works at the genetic level. Not with individuals or species. Genes are “selfish” trying to outlast competing genes in the gene pool. Since only one gene’s trait can show in a body, a surviving gene does so by outlasting its rivals (for the same trait).
Evolution is the process by which some genes become more numerous and others less numerous in the gene pool.
Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
There are some interesting ideas on his principles (“virtues” as he calls them), communication and religion. But more a general read about America in the 18th century.
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
Jack Reacher by Lee Child
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza
Here’s why I recommend avoiding this book.