The Ryan Holiday Reading Recommendation Email

“Can you recommend any books?”

My library September 2013.  Austin, Texas.

My library September 2013. Austin, Texas.

After being asked this question a thousand times, I put together a private email list of book recommendations. If you sign up you’ll get about one email per month with between 5 and 10 solid books to choose from. The goal of the newsletter is to recommend books that stick with you long after you’ve put them down—or better yet, change your life. The email is simple and quick. Each book has a one sentence review along with connections to similar or related books and a thought or two on why I felt the book is important. Also, when you sign up I’ll send you five all-time favorite recommendations from the past four years, along with resources I’ve created to help you read to lead or write your own book.

  • Since 2009, I’ve recommended over 1,000 books I’ve personally read (around 250 a year).

  • The email comes from my personal email address and I respond to each and every email reply from you or fellow readers.

  • At the end of each year I do a recap of the best books I’ve read that year.


  • The email list has over 25,000 loyal subscribers.

  • Readers include Big Six book editors, authors, students, entrepreneurs, celebrities, book store owners, executives, and everyone in between.

  • It’s the secret weapon for anyone looking to read to lead and improve themselves.


Because of what I do for a living (working with bestselling authors, marketing at an innovative fashion company and advising a handful of high profile clients), I’m always stumbling on interesting books I am in a unique position to share. This has meant everything from books 80 years out of print, review galley’s of future bestsellers, the Classics, and more. I have an archive of the emails going back three years and of course there is my Reading List of Books to Base Your Life On. Enter your email address below to these unique recommendations every month via email.



photo credit: Emily Carlin via photopin cc

136 responses to The Ryan Holiday Reading Recommendation Email

  1. Hi Ryan,

    I’ve been reading your site for about 3 years now, and I always learn something from your posts, whether I agree or disagree. Your reading list has been very influential to me and I’d like to see what else you recommend. I would like to be added to the mailing list also.

    Thanks,
    -Li

  2. Just wanted to say thanks for doing this.

  3. This sounds interesting Ryan, sign me up.

  4. I have been reading the meditations of Marcus for 6 months now and I always go back to it, its pretty much the man’s life reflected through his writing. I would love to discuss any one of the meditations if you are intrested. especially book II.

    Thanks, great blog

  5. Hi there,

    Impressed an intrigued by your techniques. Wondering if you could make any specific recommendations for someone wanting to apply for a Philosophy, Politics and Economics Degree at a high level? I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  6. Wonderful idea Ryan – pease send me your list.

  7. Shantaram…. epic journey through the slums of India ( and more)

  8. Ryan,

    Just found your book via Boing Boing, look forward to reading it. Speaking of interesting books, perhaps a little gratuitous self promotion but I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest you check out my quick and fun math book:
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Fun_in_Mathematics.html?id=an2pJdV4H38C

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  9. Hello Ryan,
    Just finished ‘Trust Me… and I think I’m happy I did. Before I read your book I had a natural distrust for the media, and now I have no idea who to believe!
    One of my favorite authors, and humans in general, was Christopher Hitchens. I also just read his last book, ‘Mortality’. It makes me sad that we’ll no longer have him around, because he made me think, and he made me uncomfortable, which most authors don’t do.
    I like hearing what I believe to be the truth, and I believe, strangely enough, that I’m getting the truth from you, too.
    MC

  10. Wow Ryan. Just, wow.
    Monthly newsletter with recommended book readings conveniently linking the books to amazon.
    You provide value to others along with make money off of it, fairly.
    I see what you did there. You are one smart motherfucker.
    Touche.

    Have a great rest of your week. I hope to learn more from you.

  11. I just find out about you and start to read your blog.
    It is my first time I am looking for PR and I do photography for living, now I want to just focus on headshot. I would like to get your idea how can I get right PR for my business.
    Any suggestion would be appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Mahvash

  12. Laura Meyerovich February 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Your book Trust Me, I’m Lying was recommended to me by a young relative, which puts it in a rather short and exclusive list.
    I noticed some time ago that most websites I read in the past are not either informative or thoughtful anymore, and stopped visiting them, but it is the first time I read clear explanation of why and how it happened.

  13. Just finished Trust me I’m lying as part of a reading program on cyberculture in my communications and writing degree. Thanks a ton for the priceless insight and articulated commentary. Can’t say enough about great books like yours.

  14. Looking forward to joining the reading list.

  15. Just hopped on the list, a fellow Montrealer here! Looking forward to checking out what you’ve been reading as im an avid reader myself.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  16. I just chanced upon this site. I’m extremely glad I did. I’ve been a prolific reader (of both fiction & non-fiction) since the age of 10-11, and happily enough, I’m still at it. Not at your phenomenal rate, Ryan, of apparently 20 books per month, but more like 6-7. I notice how you and I share a number of identical attitudes to books and reading; namely, I almost ALWAYS BUY my books, and rarely check them out of a library. But I enjoy libraries, too. I never skimp on my spending on books that interest me and I’m convinced that I want to own and read. Goes without saying, but I’ve always found ‘time’ to read a lot. I’m an Australian, and although there’s a lot of outstanding Australian literature/non-fiction I’ve read, admired and benefited from, I’ll admit that American authors/literature has been my reading mainstay, so far. At any rate, I’m keen to check out your regular reading recommendations. I’d appreciate that greatly.

  17. Just downloaded “Trust Me, I’m Lying” from Audible. Just. Wow. Thank you for such critical reporting.

  18. Hi Ryan,

    Nice books, I read both. Thanks for the the interesting knowledge.
    Could you please send me the bonus of the ebook ? (transcripts of interviews and the growth hacker TV access)

    BTW I run a fashion startup in France called BonneGueule.fr (and its US counterpart KinoWear.com that we recently acquired, but which is hence much less developed).

    We become slightly big in France, with a mix of style advice, ebooks and clothing lines. And we also use our own hacks, growing from 0 € to 1 million € of annual revenue, within two years, and without any bank or VC.

    If, by any chance, you visit Paris some day, please let me know, as I would love to share a nice lunch with you.

    Best,
    Geoffrey

  19. sounds interesting, please sign me up and thanks

  20. PNW_WarriorWoman April 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Now let’s see a list of 24 great book, ancient and modern, by exclusively women authors! Then tell us what you’ve learned that was different from the masculinist view.

  21. Ryan. It was a great pleasure going through your site and I think all the titles you have selected are wonderful.I would like to make a request. I cannot afford to buy these books and so I would like to know whether I can get a soft copy of these 24 books which you have reccomended.It would be very kind on your part to let me know as I am reluctant to read these books and also make my children read them.Thanks

  22. Please sign me up. I think I was on the list once but am not now. Thanks

  23. Hey man,

    Listened to your podcast with Tim the other day and been learning all about stoicism for a while now. Agree with so much of it.

    I just want to ask, what’s your strategy for reading? Like, how do you manage to read that many books? Or when do you read? and how do you balance fiction & non-fiction?

    Super curious man.

    Yours in optimisation,
    Adam

  24. Ryan,
    I stopped watching TV in the 8th grade and read all the time like you do. I also worked six years on a novel called “The Butcher of Leningrad” about the Russian Mafia using homeless kids for organ transplants. I worked on it for six years.

    Most recently, I have been reading the complete works of John D. MacDonald, especially his Travis McGee series. Quite amazing. Reading is just a sensational experience. I fully understand your addiction. I look forward to your recommendations.

  25. Ryan, have you ever read any books by OSHO ?

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    […] Reading is the quiet time in which you reflect and learn, it is not a race. It is where you teach yourself that which you don’t know—it is your time with some of the smartest (or at least different) people who’ve ever lived. This is not something to be rushed through, but enjoyed, savored and done deliberately. […]

  80. Productivity Secret: Never Buy Airplane Wifi | Thought Catalog - March 17, 2014

    […] I read too. I’m like a binge reader and air travel is my enabler. Give me a cross country (or god forbid, an international one) and I’ll burn through everything I’ve been meaning to read. […]

  81. Review: Ryan Holiday’s Blog | Die Gallantly - March 21, 2014

    […] early posts. He reads, a ton – in fact one of the major recent features of his website is a newsletter where he discusses and recommends his recent […]

  82. Loving Los Angeles: 36 Books To Help You Finally “Get” LA | Thought Catalog - March 24, 2014

    […] the city, especially in light of other cities I loved like New York or New Orleans. But only after I randomly read a bunch of books that gave me a glimmer of understanding—a hint into its past as a real place with history and […]

  83. Introducing ‘Dispatches’, a weekly email newsletter - Andrew McMillen - A freelance journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. - March 31, 2014

    […] I’d like to note that Dispatches is inspired by Ryan Holiday’s fantastic monthly reading recommendation newsletter, and by the weekly emails sent by journalism hubs Longform and Longreads. I’m not aiming to […]

  84. Everything You Need to Know to Create a Bestselling Book by Ryan Holiday | Jacob's Courage - April 1, 2014

    […] a 50/50 profit split with Porter, making it a no brainer for him. For GHM, I sent out an email to my own email list of 10,000 people to announce my book, which I built by just recommending books over the […]

  85. Everything You Need to Know to Create a Bestselling Book by Ryan Holiday | Essays about Publishing and Book Marketing - April 1, 2014

    […] a 50/50 profit split with Porter, making it a no brainer for him. For GHM, I sent out an email to my own email list of 10,000 people to announce my book, which I built by just recommending books over the […]

  86. Why You Need To Understand The American Civil War | Thought Catalog - April 17, 2014

    […] I’ve always intended to do a really long post about this but for now, let’s just talk. And if we like where it goes it can become a series. Because it matters. (And for those who want some specific, deeper reading after this, check out the books at the bottom). You can also get more reading recommendations here. […]

  87. What am I consuming? – Radhika Morabia - April 18, 2014

    […] – There’s a lot on books and mindset here. I highly recommend subscribing to the Reading Recommendations Newsletter as […]

  88. A Practical Philosophy Reading List | RyanHoliday.net - April 21, 2014

    […] Newsletter […]

  89. Reading Deeply — CindyAbel.com - April 26, 2014

    […] Sign up for his Reading Recommendations Email […]

  90. Thinker in Residence: A Q&A with Ryan Holiday « 800 CEO Read - May 7, 2014

    […] having one of the more unique, off-the-beaten-path reading recommendation email lists going, he is also constantly referencing people like Marcus Aurelius, the Stoics, and […]

  91. The Web Psychologist | Podcast episode #34: Ryan Holiday - The Web Psychologist - May 13, 2014

    […] Twitter: @RyanHoliday Website: http://www.ryanholiday.net Reading list sign-up: http://www.ryanholiday.net/reading-newsletter […]

  92. 13 Moral Biographies That Make You A Better Person And Teach You About Life | Thought Catalog - May 14, 2014

    […] leads to one of my favorite categories of books I like to recommend: moral biographies. That is, short biographical sketches about great men and women in history, […]

  93. 13 Moral Biographies That Make You A Better Person And Teach You About Life | Kinkementary Sugar Daddy Dating | Sugar Daddy Online Dating Website | Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby Dating | Find Rich Guys | Free Sugar Daddy Dating Site - May 17, 2014

    […] leads to one of my favorite categories of books I like to recommend: moral biographies. That is, short biographical sketches about great men and women in history, […]

  94. An Letter To The Graduating Class Of 2014 | Thought Catalog - June 3, 2014

    […] real education starts now. With experiences. With books. With mentors. It’s entirely on […]

  95. A Letter To The Graduating Class Of 2014 | Thought Catalog - June 3, 2014

    […] real education starts now. With experiences. With books. With mentors. It’s entirely on […]

  96. Things I Learned On The Way To 27 | Thought Catalog - June 16, 2014

    […] Always be reading. Never drift too far from […]

  97. 5 Ways to Build a Powerful Infrastructure For Your Freelance Career | The Freelancer, by Contently - June 16, 2014

    […] audience. Jarvis published a weekly newsletter every Sunday. Bestselling author Ryan Holiday has his monthly reading newsletter. Farnam Street Blog’s Shane Parrish has a weekly digest of his articles. If you don’t have the […]

  98. Confessions Of A Binge Reader (Or, How I Read So Much) | Thought Catalog - July 8, 2014

    […] my case, because of my reading list and some of my articles, I get asked over email. For simplicity’s sake, I have always answered […]

  99. Here’s a Quick Productivity Secret: Don’t Buy Wifi on Flights | RyanHoliday.net - July 14, 2014

    […] Newsletter […]

  100. Virtual Assistants For Your Real Estate Investing Business - July 18, 2014

    […] love the way Ryan Holiday signs off his reading newsletter: “I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me I’d never […]

  101. The Overthinker’s Guide To Launching Your Next Project Without Wanting To Kill Yourself | RyanHoliday.net - July 21, 2014

    […] Newsletter […]

  102. The 10 Of The Greatest (True) Stories Ever Written—Read These Books | Thought Catalog - July 28, 2014

    […] I’d like to recommend what I think are just a few of the classics of the genre. These are books I loved so much that I […]

  103. Summer School for Entrepreneurs Is Now in Session - August 1, 2014

    […] to his book list via his blog to receive great […]

  104. My 2014 Mid-Year Writing Roundup | RyanHoliday.net - August 5, 2014

    […] Newsletter […]

  105. No Matter What You Want To Change, It Won’t Be As Terrifying As The First Step You Take Toward Making It | Thought Catalog - August 21, 2014

    […] is I don’t know…because they didn’t really have one. My total investment in my blog and my email list has been basically nothing as well. What I mean to say is that once you have an idea–once you […]

  106. What I’ve Been Reading (August) | Mike Dariano - September 1, 2014

    […] by Bird was a recommendation from Ryan Holiday, whose email reading list is always one of my favorite ones to get for the month. I’ve seen this book quoted often at Brain […]

  107. Browsy Sunday | Ellen Airhart - September 1, 2014

    […] Here’s an interesting list of newsletters worth subscribing to. I’m a big fan of Ryan Holiday’s Recommended Reading List that comes out every month. The colorful Gala Darling does a Carousel in which she recommends her […]