Welcome to my personally curated list of book and podcast recommendations! This collection isn’t sorted by topic because many of these resources cross over into multiple areas, and I wanted to avoid repetition to keep things simple and engaging. While this list includes some well-known classics you might already be familiar with, it also features several hidden gems that have brought a lot of value to my life. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, education, or insights into new perspectives, I hope you find something here that resonates just as strongly with you. Enough talking, let’s dive in!

Quick side-note, if you want to get one of the books, you can support me by using the affiliate links I provide here. Thank you!
Most of these books are available in English and German (and other languages), some sadly are not available in English. If that is the case, I clearly marked that!


Books

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covey
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This is currently my all-time favorite book in the personal development domain. Covey’s principle-centered approach offers solutions for personal and professional challenges and has profoundly influenced my own life. For good reason, I have the diagram representing the 7 habits hanging on my door! If you’re looking to delve into just one book about personal change, this should be at the top of your list.

The Cafe on the Edge of the World: A Story About the Meaning of Life

John Strelecky
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A quick read with a simple yet powerful message: finding what fulfills you and discovering your purpose can lead to a happier life. Although this concept might seem evident, many never pursue it. This book provides practical insights and inspiration to help you embark on that journey of self-discovery.

Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You

Ali Abdaal
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I’ve been a fan of Ali’s videos long before picking up this book, and his approach resonates deeply with me. The philosophy is simple yet profound: make work, studying, and life as enjoyable as possible to maximize productivity in areas that truly matter to you. This book is packed with experiments, actionable tips, and personalized strategies to explore. It’s evident that Ali takes his own advice, which I really appreciate. I think no book ever contained more things that I directly and easily could (and did) start to apply to my own life. It’s one of my top recommendations for anyone looking to enhance their productivity with a positive twist.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

David Goggins
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This book serves as a profound inspiration to push beyond your perceived limits and achieve what seems impossible. David Goggins’ story is extreme, and while it isn’t a blueprint for everyone to follow exactly, the book makes that clear. What I love most is the blend of actionable tips and challenges mixed into Goggins’ own life story. This book motivated me to challenge myself more than ever, and I’m excited about where this is taking me.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Jordan B. Peterson
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This book has been a daily guide for me, not just a read. It presents a series of life principles that offer structure and understanding in a complex world. While there have been controversies around Peterson’s personal conduct, the insights in the book can still offer valuable perspectives. I find the 12 rules so practical that I keep a summary of them on my door as a daily reminder.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

James Clear
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Really digs into how small changes can make a big impact on our daily lives. The book is filled with practical strategies that helped me improve my positive routines and actually do break my bad habits. I’ve found the tips so helpful that I’ve subscribed to Clear’s email newsletter, which sends reminders and further advice every few days, which helps me to stick to the lessons I learned from the book.

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Adam Grant
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This book contains many valuable insights and really made me “think again.” It offered new perspectives that I hadn’t experienced or thought about before. In today’s fast-changing world, questioning your tools, values and many other things is often overlooked but, as this book clearly proves, crucial. Grant provides a good combination of theory and practice with a humble and fun writing style that remains very precise and scientific. It’s an enlightening read that challenges you to rethink and embrace the power of doubt.

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

William Zinsser
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I consider this book an absolute masterpiece! It’s a guide on writing well, so naturally, one would expect it to be well-written, but it truly exceeded my expectations. Zinsser offers a wealth of actionable advice that can be applied immediately, no matter what kind of nonfiction you’re tackling. Additionally, the first few pages not only captured my attention but also made me laugh more than I expected. This book is both enjoyable and immensely practical for anyone looking to improve their nonfiction writing skills.

(Not available in English, sadly) Drei Fragen: Wer bin ich? Wohin gehe ich? Und mit wem?

Jorge Bucay
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The title translates as “Three questions: Who am I? Where am I going? And with whom?”.
I love how Bucay gets straight to the point and gives helpful advice to answer these vital life questions.
Even though I do not fully agree with all statements in the book, especially the first half of it was quite transformative for me and had such a significant impact that I definitely wanted to include it in this list.

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

Josh Kaufman
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This book provides a comprehensive overview of essential business concepts across multiple domains including entrepreneurship, product development, marketing, sales, and more. Reading it not only expanded my understanding and sparked new ideas but also turned it into a go-to reference that sits right next to my desk now. I experienced this as a valuable resource for inspiration and quick look-ups, packed with insights on everything from negotiation and finance to leadership and operations management.

With Winning in Mind

Lanny Bassham
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This book offers extremely practical and golden advice on how to prime your mind for winning, whether in sports or other domains. While I didn’t find the style of writing particularly engaging, the quality of the advice more than makes up for it. The book is packed with great tips that can help anyone develop a winning mindset. I took away a lot from this invaluable read and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to succeed.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Mark Manson
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This thought-provoking read features a very straightforward style of writing, which I enjoyed a lot. Mark’s approach is different than other books and therefore very refreshing. I don’t fully agree with all his statements (e.g., the blanket “you are not special,” because in my point of view that is also a choice you can make), but even those parts were very interesting to read. Many ideas, though, are damn good and valuable! Especially things like “we all have a limited amount of f*cks to give, so we must choose our f*cks wisely” or “not everything in your life is your fault, but everything is your own full responsibility” are so good! Recommended and very valuable read for sure.

Level Up: Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating and Upgrade Your Life

Rob Dial
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Rob Dial’s podcast “The Mindset Mentor”(see below) was my introduction to self development, creating a special connection for me. Motivated by numerous podcast episodes, I decided to dive into his book, and I’m glad I made that choice. Unlike his podcast, which often focuses on specific topics, Level Up provides a comprehensive overview of various strategies essential for achieving your goals, whatever they may be. While many chapters revisited concepts familiar from the podcast or other books, integrating them into a broader context was highly beneficial. Additionally, some sections offered new insights I hadn’t encountered elsewhere. Overall, this book is an excellent resource, offering actionable advice and a straightforward approach to success (whatever success personally means for you). It serves as both a valuable refresher for those familiar with the subject of personal development and a solid foundation for newcomers looking to delve deeper.

Sell Like Crazy: How To Get As Many Clients, Customers and Sales As You Can Possibly Handle

Sabri Suby
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Despite its overtly salesy title and style of writing, which might be off-putting for some, this book provided me with unique insights that I haven’t found elsewhere in such a comprehensive manner. If you’re exploring marketing, this is definitely worth checking out. Look past the aggressive sales tone, and you’ll discover a wealth of practical advice that goes beyond the basic marketing tips commonly found in videos and blog posts.

(Not available in English, sadly) Neurowebdesign – Wie Hirnforschung und Psychologie das Webdesign beeinflussen

Jonas Reggelin
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Over 90% of our decisions are made unconsciously, making it incredibly beneficial to tailor web design based on brain research. This book offers an in-depth look at the intersection of neuroscience and web design, providing both theoretical insights and practical advice. My clients and I have gained significant benefits from the approaches detailed in this book. If you’re interested in enhancing your website’s effectiveness through psychology, this is a must-read.

Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

Hannah Fry
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In the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms, pressing questions arise that we need to address. The book presents dilemmas such as “You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate - a human or a machine?” and “Which driverless car do you buy - one that prioritizes your life in the event of a crash or one that reacts to save as many lives as possible?” These are not just theoretical questions; we are nearing a point where such decisions will become reality. This makes delving into the implications of AI and technology crucial, and Fry’s book provides an extremely valuable exploration of these topics.

(Not available in English, sadly) Ethik in KI und Robotik

Christoph Bartneck, Christoph Lütge, Alan R. Wagner, Sean Welsh
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As our lives become increasingly impacted by AI and robotics, the ethical considerations of these technologies become more pressing. From autonomous vehicles on our roads to robots in healthcare and algorithms making critical decisions, the scope of AI and robotics in our daily lives is ever-growing. This book offers an essential introduction to the ethics involved, presenting complex issues in an accessible manner without requiring prior expertise. It’s a great read for anyone interested in understanding the ethical landscape of modern technology.


Podcasts

The Mindset Mentor

Rob Dial
Listen on Spotify
“The Mindset Mentor podcast is designed for anyone desiring motivation, direction, and focus in life.”
That’s how it’s described in the show notes, and it captures the essence perfectly. This podcast was my initial foray into personal development, laying the groundwork for a deeper exploration of the subject that has profoundly influenced my life. While I’ve since diversified my listening and reading habits, I regularly return to both new and old episodes of The Mindset Mentor. Some episodes serve as a valuable reminder of the principles I strive to live by, while others introduce fresh ideas and perspectives.

20 Minute Books

Listen on Spotify
This Podcast offers quick, insightful summaries of books, functioning similarly to services like Blinkist, but since it’s available on Spotify, it integrates seamlessly with my existing subscriptions. While I prefer the depth that reading full books provides, these concise summaries are incredibly valuable. They allow me to cover more ground—listening is easy during car drives, walks, or even while cleaning. If a summary grabs my attention, I can always decide to read the full book later. I also appreciate revisiting summaries of books I’ve read to refresh their key concepts. Additionally, this podcast is perfect for briefly exploring new topics and ideas without committing to a full-length book.

Guided Sleep Meditation & Sleep Hypnosis from Sleep Cove

Sleep Hypnosis, Meditations and Bedtime Stories
Listen on Spotify
We all know how crucial good sleep is for our bodies and brains to function properly. There are various strategies to improve sleep, and one lesser-known approach is guided sleep meditations. I’ve tried many different ones and have seen a significant improvement in how quickly I fall asleep and the overall quality of my sleep. Out of all the options I’ve explored, the Sleep Cove Podcast has been the most effective for me. I particularly enjoy the “Deep Relaxing Sleep Hypnosis” episode, which has become my go-to nightly routine. It’s definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a new way to enhance your sleep. My experiences have been very positive!

The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast

Jessie Festa
Listen on Spotify
This is a standout resource for anyone interested in the intersection of blogging, traveling, and working remotely. This podcast resonates deeply with me as it aligns with my own interests in these areas. After exploring various blogging-related podcasts and finding many lacking in substance or simply unappealing, discovering this podcast was a relief. The insights offered are genuinely valuable, making it a favorite I regularly return to with enthusiasm.

The Freelancer Podcast

Kyle Prinsloo
Listen on Spotify
This one truly lives up to its tagline, “Freelancing and marketing nuggets for web designers, without the fluff.” It delivers precisely what it promises: straightforward, valuable content with no unnecessary filler. Although it primarily targets freelancers in web development, the insights provided are broadly applicable, benefiting freelancers across various fields as well as web developers who aren’t freelancing. This makes it a standout resource for anyone looking to enhance their freelancing skills.

Soul sisters in sydney

Listen on Spotify
This one is kind of a hidden gem. It’s not very famous and was hard to find, but I really enjoy it a lot. Like my blog, this podcast isn’t just about sharing expertise; it’s more about sharing personal and relatable experiences. It covers everything from traveling and life in Australia to self development, friendship, and finding the right work/life balance. Sadly, it looks like no new episodes have been added since 2022, and there are only a few episodes available, but the ones that are there are definitely worth a listen



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