The Best Recommended Books by Podcast Guests
I’ve shared my favorite health and wellness books over the years, and now I want to share with you the best books recommended by podcast guests. Many of the books they shared became some of my personal favorites. It’s almost like I had my own exclusive book club.
In fact, I ended up asking many of the authors of recommended books to come onto my podcast to learn more from them.
Here’s a list of books recommended by multiple podcast guests, with the top bullets being the books with the most recommendations in each category. I even share some of my favorite quotes.
Most of them are nonfiction books, but there is some fiction at the end. Whatever you’re into, I am sure you will find some great reads.
All of the links take you straight to Amazon, so it’s easy to add it to your cart or Audible account.
Finance and Economics
Brené Brown Recommended Books
She gets her own category because so many guests recognized her work. I am so grateful for her bold yet gracious perspective rooted in social science.
- The Gifts of Imperfection – This self-help classic will help you live wholeheartedly by helping you recognize your self-limiting beliefs.
- Daring Greatly – looks at how to find the courage to be vulnerable despite a culture that labels it as weakness. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
- The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting – This audiobook will change the way you view yourself as a parent and how you can form healthy adults.
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau – A couple of guests recommended this book that dives into the author’s time in the woods and how living in his natural settings influenced him.
- The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry – He looks at how our disconnect from farming has hurt not only our culture but also our health, and he proposes how to reconnect with the land.
- Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way- With Annotation by Lao Tzu – This book shares the Tao Chinese philosophy of finding harmony with yourself, your relationships, and your environment. It’s one of the best books I’ve read, and at only 81 passages long, it’s a very easy read. One of my favorite quotes from it is,
“Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?”
Ryan Holiday Recommended Books
I dove into his work a few years ago and can’t recommend his books more. Many podcast guests cited him as their favorite author. I find him both insightful and applicable.
- The Obstacle Is the Way – Ryan applies ancient Greek stoic philosophy to the trials we face today and how to channel them into personal success.
- Ego Is the Enemy – This book looks at examples of some of the world’s greatest leaders and how they put their personal desires aside for the better good of humanity.
- The Daily Stoic – I really like this one as it has 366 meditations and exercises translated from ancient stoic philosophers to help you grow self-awareness and resilience.
- Stillness Is the Key – His new book will help you learn how to slow down based on stoic and Buddhist principles.
- Mindset by Carol Dweck – was one of the most cited favorite books. It looks at the psychology of success.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – was recommended by several podcast guests. The author, a Holocaust survivor, argues that our motivations come from where we find and assign meaning in life. It’s one of my top five books. I reread it every year. My favorite quote from this book is,
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
- Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. – A handful of guests recommended this, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read. A psychiatrist explores how to reduce human suffering. My favorite quote that Hawkins says is,
“Letting it go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it. The first step is to allow yourself to have a feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condemning it, or moralizing about it. It means to drop judgment and see that this is just a feeling. The technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in any way. Let go of wanting to resist the feeling; it is resistance that keeps the feeling going.”
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – A couple of guests recommended this fascinating book about when to trust your intuition and when to stop and ponder.
- Power vs. Force by David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. – This highly recommended book is about what determines our behavior. After reading it, I am adding it to my high school son’s reading list.
- The Altruistic Personality by Samuel Oliner, Ph.D. – A psychologist interviewed rescuers in World War II who risked their lives to keep strangers from going into death camps and why.
“As you do the work on subjects such as the body, disease, career, or God, when you come to the turnarounds, substitute the words ‘my thinking’ for the subject.”
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. – Multiple guests recommended this book that has become one of my personal favorite books of all time. It was helpful to me and my own trauma healing, and I’ve heard from many of you who had the same experience. The best quote from it is,
“Once you start approaching your body with curiosity rather than fear, everything shifts.”
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – was recommended by several women to help you take control of your health.
- It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn – was recommended by a handful of guests, so I decided to read it recently. It explores the effects of generational trauma and how to end the vicious cycle in your family.
- Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton – Multiple guests recommended this textbook that looks at how our bodies can change when we retrain our thinking.
- Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness by Itzhak Bentov – He is the creator of the pacemaker, the steerable cardiac catheter, and EKG leads. This book is now in my top five books and it gives us a view of human consciousness in 1977 that includes vibrations, frequency, and human potential.
- What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney – A couple of guests suggested this book about Wim Hof and how we can push our body’s limits.
- Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins – Many guests recommended this guide to teach you to tap into your brainpower to help you push your body and reach your full potential.
- The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss – looks at how to hack your body into shape based on tiny changes for significant results. I found his ideas on strength training helpful.
- The Primal Connection by Mark Sisson – examines the destructive patterns of modern life on our physical health and what you can do to be healthy despite them. I find his work to be actionable.
- Boundless by Ben Greenfield – will help you optimize not only your physical appearance but also your brain and gut.
- The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles by Terry Wahls, Ph.D. – was recommended by multiple guests and led to me having her on my podcast.
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – was cited by multiple guests as a resource that changed the course of their health. It helped me early on in my journey and remains one of my favorites.
- The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf – is a wonderful guide to this ancestral diet, recommended by multiple podcast guests.
- The Metabolism Reset Diet: Repair Your Liver, Stop Storing Fat, and Lose Weight Naturally by Dr. Alan Christianson – helps you see what balancing your blood sugar can do to boost your health.
- The Pegan Diet by Mark Hyman, M.D. – Yes, you read that right! This functional medicine expert recommends a paleo approach to the vegan diet in his new book. See other Mark Hyman books too.
- Carnivore Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Optimal Health by Returning to Our Ancestral Diet by Paul Saladino, M.D. – is his new book on using animal meats to our benefit.
- The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo, Ph.D. – Many guests recommended this book that looks at the factors that extend lifespan, like fasting and more.
Food and Nutrition
- Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes – was recommended in multiple episodes. It explores the science of fat and carbs, and remains one of my personal favorites.
- The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz – Many cited this as one of their favorite books. It looks at our dietary fat requirement, challenging the typical low-fat advice.
- The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss & The Diabetes Code – by Jason Fung, M.D. – A handful of guests recommended this author who explores what causes some of the most common chronic health conditions and what you can do about it.
- The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease & Weight Gain by Steven Gundry, M.D. – unveils the anti-nutrients in food and what you can do about them.
- Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf – looks at how to rewire your brain for optimal performance, including when you eat.
- Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes – helps you see what could be contributing to your obesity and how you can change.
- Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, M.D. – uncovers what too many carbs do to our brains and how changing the way you eat can promote a better brain. His new book Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness looks at maintaining better lifestyle habits. I highly recommend the second one.
- Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome by Will Bulsiewicz, M.D. – He is a traditionally trained gastroenterologist who encourages increasing your plant consumption with plant points. You’ll motivate the whole family when you compete to eat the most.
- The Body Electric by Robert Becker, M.D. & Gary Selden – Many named this as their favorite book. It explores how the electrical systems in our bodies may be further reaching than previously imagined.
- Why Stomach Acid is Good for You by Jonathan Wright – Multiple guests recommended this book that explains how to improve your digestion.
- The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs by Nicolas Pineault – A couple of guests recommended this view on scientific research and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from electromagnetic radiation.
- The Disease Delusion by Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D. – was recommended by a few guests to help identify the causes of chronic illness and how to overcome them.
- The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen, M.D. – A few cited this as one of their favorite books. It presents his decades of research on handling brain disease from a holistic perspective.
- The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael T. Murray, N.D. & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. – This textbook will help you learn how to promote health with the best natural remedies.
- Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness by Neil Nathan, M.D. – reveals the factors that could be causing your symptoms and what you can do for some of the most common causes.
- Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch – explores how to optimize your health based on your genetics (without taking an expensive test.)
- You Can Fix Your Brain by Dr. Tom O’Bryan – helps you identify what could be causing your brain health symptoms and how to reverse them.
- 8 Weeks to Optimum Health & Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil, M.D. – These #1 New York Times bestsellers present programs you can tailor to fit your needs based on his research and practice.
- The Dental Diet by Dr. Steven Lin – uses holistic health to help you heal your mouth and also demonstrates how oral health is the foundation for the rest of your body.
- Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Noel Groves – is a wonderful resource on using herbs to optimize your health.
- The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition by Nasha Winters, N.D. FABNO, L.Ac, Dipl.OM – Multiple podcast guests recommended this integrative approach.
Childbirth and Early Motherhood
- The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida – A couple of male guests suggested this spiritual guide just for men that helps them navigate careers, love, and the rest of life.
Food and Health
- Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, M.D. – multiple guests recommended this, and it remains one of my favorite books of all time. She asserts that we thrive when we eat traditional foods.
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price – Several podcast guests recommended this one that looks at how processed foods have impacted dental health. It can be dense at times, though.
- The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien – A couple of guests recommended this eye-opening investigation of the chemicals in our food supply.
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan – a handful recommended this book that looks at the relationship between food and agriculture and what ends up on our plates.
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – Many guests recommended this cookbook that looks at how we can best prepare food for our health. I still reference it after over a decade.
- The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther – was recommended by my dear friend Heather and is now included in my favorite meal planning service.
- Chef Junior by my son and his friends – is a cookbook to help teens learn how to cook, birthed out of my son sharing recipes with friends in the neighborhood.
Recommended Children’s Books
- How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims – My dear friend, Heather, told me about this one, leading to me having Dr. Julie on my podcast.
- The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. – is a New York Times bestseller that will help you be more mindful of your own dysfunction, so you stop yourself from passing it down to your kids.
- The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. – will help you cultivate a deep relationship with your kids to nurture their emotional maturity.
- Barefoot and Balanced: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom – will help you get your family outside and move more.
- Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy – will help you overcome the fears that lead to helicopter parenting with facts and empower you to raise independent children.
- Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin – will inspire you to get your kids reading and learning through a vast array of literature.
- Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv – explores the social, psychological, and spiritual deficits that occur when our kids don’t get outside and how to get outside more.
- The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell & Thomas S. Cowan – relays what ancient cultures have done for centuries and how you can use their practices to optimize your family’s health.
- Hold Onto Your Children: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld & Gabor Maté, M.D. – argues that even though teens value their peers, their parents should still be their closest relationship. They’ll empower you to stay closely connected with your kids.
- Trauma-Proofing Your Kids by Peter Levine, Ph.D. – helps you foster resilience in your children no matter what hardships they face.
- The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind & No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel – will both help you understand how your kid’s brain works in order to help them grow and mature.
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish – will help you understand where your kids are developmentally so you can communicate with them effectively.
- The Read Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie – will inspire you to open the world to your kids through literature and help you connect with them along the way.
- The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey – shows you how to raise resilient kids by letting them struggle and experience disappointment.
- The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine – explores the emotional handicapping in children of affluence and how to promote proper self-development.
- The Science of Parenting: How Today’s Brain Research Can Help You Raise Happy, Emotionally Balanced Children by Margot Sunderland – offers evidence-based parenting advice to help you have a strong bond with your kids.
Education & Homeschooling
- Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie – Multiple moms recommended this homeschooler’s guide to cultivate a warm learning environment without worry or anxiety.
- Any book by John Taylor Gatto – A New York City school teacher shares his perspective on the shortcomings of our education system.
- The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Wise – guides you on homeschooling using a classical education model.
Biography & Memoir
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda – was recommended by multiple guests for its perspectives on life.
- Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom – A couple recommended this piece in which the author shares his college professor and mentor’s life lessons when he rekindles their relationship.
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Travel around the world with the author as she seeks to find herself in this #1 New York Times bestselling work.
- In Search of Memory by Eric Kandel – This book is his autobiography as a Holocaust survivor during World War II combined with the psychology of memory.
- Good Woman by Lucille Clifton – is a memoir collection of the author, an African American who expounds on femaleness, motherhood, birthing, and blackness.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This was the most recommended piece of fiction by podcast guests, and I’m so glad I put it on my reading list. This Brazilian book will inspire you to follow your dreams.
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse – A number of guests recommended this novel that combines Eastern and Western philosophy when a young Indian man meets Buddha.
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn – Multiple guests cited this as one of their favorite books. Read it and find out what a talking gorilla knows about life.
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – Many recommended this book about a hero and those who try to stop him. Her other books are fascinating as well!
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – A handful of guests recommended this series that is even better than the movies! You won’t regret reading this science fiction (or listening to it on audiobook on a long trip!)
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac – This book follows two friends on a cross-country road trip who learn about life along the way.
- The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham – A handful of guests recommended this piece about the choices between love and work.
- Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott – I was actually Jo in our high school’s play Little Women so this recommendation made me smile.
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – shares the story of a World War II pilot who is caught between forces.
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – This historical fiction invents the women who influenced Camelot and King Arthur’s rise and fall.
- Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabrielle García Márquez – a Nobel Prize-winning author writes a powerful love story that will captivate you.
- The Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway – a Nobel Prize winner for literature, parodies the writing of his time in this entertaining work.
- Exhalation by Ted Chiang – This great read contains nine sci-fi short stories that grapple with the important questions in life.
- Old Yeller by Fred Gipson – This popular book is a coming-of-age story about a boy and his dog.
- 1984 by George Orwell – His book is a thought-provoking novel about government control.
I am always looking for more books to read! What books do you recommend?