27 best books for self-development in recent times

Among the many existing works, literature on self-development occupies a special place. This category includes works that talk about psychology, brain function, motivation, business, relationships, and mindfulness techniques.

Such books are useful for both women and men. They teach readers, instead of existing mindlessly and finding themselves in the surrounding reality that causes negative emotions, to think about what they want from life and where their actions lead. Such works provide insight and advice on what needs to be done to change your life and, as a result, bring it closer to the picture that appears in your dreams.

Studying the work of the brain and the laws of psychology allows a woman to better understand herself and those around her, improve relationships in the family, and stop repeating those patterns of behavior that lead to failures in her personal life.

Brian Tracy “Get out of your comfort zone. 21 methods to increase personal effectiveness"

According to many psychologists, this is the No. 1 book on self-development (see “21 ways to increase motivation from Brian Tracy”). Written by a famous expert in the field of achievement psychology, published in a total circulation of more than 1.2 million copies, translated into 40 languages, it helps to find the answer to the question of what to do in order to achieve success, high position and even happiness. Although there are actually several answers, here are some of them: constantly learn; value time, and therefore make daily to-do lists; fully concentrate on solving the task at hand and bring what you start to the end; learn to clearly state your goals on paper.

About life approaches

Why does a person live? The following phrase was once popular: “Man is born for happiness, like a bird is born for flight.” But now these words are hardly remembered; they do not fit well into the current coordinate system. Happiness is a fragile concept and difficult to teach. It's a matter of success! Successful people are visible to everyone, people admire them, envy them, and try to imitate them. It has become a fashionable trend to teach people to be successful: the goal of all trainings and seminars on personal development is precisely this attitude. But how correct is this?

The richest man of our time, Bill Gates, wrote a will according to which his children receive practically nothing. What is this - a whim, tyranny? Or, on the contrary, fatherly wisdom, the desire for happiness for one’s own children? It seems to be the latter.

Money by itself has never made anyone happy. It is unlikely that Gates, on the approaches to the heights, racked his brains over where to start self-development and how to achieve success with its help. His life was simply interesting and fulfilling, consisting of favorite things and the discoveries and disappointments that accompany any work, achievements and failures. In this life there was a thirst for victory and excitement, probably happiness. Leaving your children only money, depriving them of the need to move forward and truly live, means making them deeply unhappy. Gates realized this in time.

Vadim Zeland “Reality Transurfing”

Transurfing is an esoteric teaching about how to control reality. According to the author of the book, the world is multivariate, and a person who has realized his desires and controls his attitude towards the world is able to independently choose the desired development of events. But for this you need to become purposeful and positive thinking. Here are a few rules by following which you can learn to manage reality: live as your own soul dictates, listen to your heart, do not succumb to the influence of others and do not accept the imposed goals of others, do not fight with anyone or anything, including yourself, but take what life offers, not be afraid, but act, find your goal and calmly and persistently move towards it. The author shows in detail how to apply all this in practice with examples.

List of detectives for the development of logic and deduction

Fans of detective stories are also lucky; this genre of literature is useful for developing the mind, logic, deduction and ingenuity. Writing descriptions for detective stories is like investigating half the battle and giving the rest to the reader, so we will simply list outstanding works that have an interesting plot and train the brain.

  1. "Guess the Number" John Verdon.
  2. "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn.
  3. "The Voice of the Night Bird" by Robert McCamon.
  4. Crimes of the Past by Kate Atkinson.
  5. "Golden Scales" Parker Bilal.
  6. "Over the Settled Graves" by Jess Walter.
  7. "The Crossing" by Ellie Griffiths.
  8. "Thirteen Hours" by Deon Meyer.
  9. "The Collini Case" Ferdinand von Schirach.
  10. Crimes of the Past by Kate Atkinson.
  11. "Judgement Day" Kurt Aust.

If you really love the detective genre, we recommend reading the article The Best Detectives: Books Loved by Readers.

Vladimir Levi "Cure for Laziness"

The book by the famous psychotherapist and psychologist captures you from the first lines. Written with humor and imbued with energy, it really helps you heal yourself and help your loved ones overcome this monster. The author fascinatingly talks about all types of laziness inherent in adults and children, gives clear medical and psychological recommendations, including for cases when a child does not listen and does not want to study. It’s worth reading this book to find out how to get rid of boredom and depressive moods, learn to get joy from every day you live and... stop being a workaholic.

Fight like a Champion. Explosive Punching and Active Self-Defense, Jack Dempsey

Did you think that self-development meant time management, yoga and watching motivational TV series?

You were wrong, my friend.

It's time to learn how to fight.

This book by one of the greatest boxers, Jack Dempsey, teaches you how to punch and defend yourself.

After this book, you will love boxing - one of the noblest sports.

Open this book and learn how to do punches correctly: jabs, hooks, uppercuts.

A man must know how to fight. This book will motivate you to go to a boxing class and develop your fighting spirit.

You will also discover a couple of new techniques, and maybe even change your understanding of the correct striking technique.

Remember: Mike Tyson looked up to this man - and that says something.

Read this cool book and soak up the spirit of boxing!

Valery Sinelnikov “Love your illness”

Psychologist and psychotherapist Valery Sinelnikov has long been known as the author of original psychological techniques, thanks to which many people were able to get rid of illnesses, achieve prosperity and simply learn to enjoy life. The title of the book itself suggests that the proposed approach to healing is non-trivial. The author shows what negative emotions lead to, teaches how to interact with your subconscious in order to find good health, peace of mind and joy of existence. Unique exercises are also given here.

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

A man should study war.

Chinese strategist Sun Tzu wrote one of the most famous treatises on war.

You can use his work to become more courageous and develop.

You can use the Art of War to control people. Chinese leaders use his principles.

You can use his principles in any conflicts and fights.

“The Art of War” is the best book about how to fight.

There is war in the life of every man, which means you will need this book.

Robin Sharma "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari"

The best-selling book tells the amazing story of successful lawyer Julian Mantle, who managed to overcome a spiritual crisis with the help of Tibetan culture. Having immersed himself in a world that was not familiar to him, he learned simple and wise rules and learned to live in accordance with them: think positively, follow his calling, believe in the power of his mind, value time - our greatest wealth, value relationships with loved ones, but the most important thing is to live here and now.

Robin Sharma, like the hero of his book, also began his professional career as a lawyer, but soon realized that his calling was not this, but to, by creating his own concept of self-improvement, help us become better, more successful and happier.

Brief Introduction

The ability to read is one of the greatest abilities a person has. By reading, we make ourselves and our lives better, because the process of reading contributes to the development of our intellect and broadening our horizons. Reading helps us learn faster, think in different categories, adapt to changes in the world, gain knowledge and apply it in practice.

Reading allows us to see new possibilities, reveal our potential, and learn to look at life and life situations from different angles. A well-read person is like a diamond. But, of course, what makes it so is not any reading material in general, but “smart” books that can teach and develop.

Such books do not contain countless quotes and catchphrases, they do not contain moral teachings and they do not pretend to be indisputably right. But they contain useful advice on how to act in certain difficult situations. Often they can even contain a plot, immersed in which a person begins to conduct introspection and, as a result, change his life.

Not every book is a tool for developing intelligence. And to find one, sometimes you need to master more than a dozen other books. This is akin to searching for pearls: to find one pearl, a diver must open ten or even twenty shells. Same with books.

But there is good news: today we have the Internet, where, if desired, you can find reviews, reviews and impressions of people who have read this or that work. Plus, there are also official lists of bestsellers and simply intelligent works, compiled by well-known publications.

So, based on such reviews and lists, we have compiled a list of books for the development of intelligence that we offer to your attention. Let's start with the hot twenty works that are loved by readers in different countries of the world and have brought them enormous practical benefits.

Tal Ben-Shahar "The Perfectionist Paradox"

An American psychologist who has been studying the topic of happiness for many years has come to the conclusion that what prevents people from being happy is a tendency toward perfectionism. Of course, the desire to do everything perfectly cannot but arouse respect, but the main thing is not to go to extremes. Because then the problems begin. A perfectionist, with all his desire for perfection, is distinguished by conservative and inflexible thinking, afraid of making a mistake and becoming an object of criticism. Happiness, in his opinion, is a pure, uncomplicated flow of positive emotions, which is fundamentally wrong. Allow yourself to admit failures and accept negative emotions, because this is part of our life. Become an optimalist, that is, a positive perfectionist who enjoys not the result, but the very process of achieving it, does not look for shortcomings, but focuses on the merits, is not afraid of mistakes and listens to criticism, knows that happiness cannot be felt and realized without trials .

Bottom line

Now you have an understanding of which books on personal growth and self-development you need to read first. But remember the main thing: not a single book you read will “work” if you don’t start working on yourself.

Yes it is hard. And no one said it would be easy. Most likely, the usual way of thinking will have to radically change. It's difficult, but possible.

And so, when you follow all the recommendations given in the books, you won’t even notice when your life changes for the better. And she will definitely change!

Sincerely, Larisa Patsula especially for the proudalenku.ru project

Sharon Melnik "Stress Resilience"

In our time of total stress, the importance of this book cannot be overestimated. Most of us experience constant mental and emotional pressure. Meanwhile, a stress-resilience expert from Harvard offers 100 techniques to help achieve calm and equanimity. With their help, you can not only maintain composure and a sober mind in difficult situations, acquiring psychological stability, but also learn to see not only negative aspects in stressful situations, but also new opportunities. According to the author, there are only three ways to get out of stress: you need to change your attitude towards the problem, your physical reaction to the problem or the problem.

Books for healthy eating

If you have tried a large number of diets, but your stomach has not gone away, then the following book will help solve this problem.

No. 1. “I eat, I run, I live” - Yulia Vysotskaya

About the book:

In this book, Yulia Vysotskaya shares her thoughts about a healthy lifestyle. It contains not only recipes, but also a menu for 4 weeks. Throughout the book you will notice a large number of tips for staying in good shape, which are based on personal experience. The author does not give any instructions, but only tells how to be slim and at the same time remain happy and not hungry.

I am sure that this book will help you in the fight against excess weight.


“We want to look perfect, we are too picky about our appearance. In fact, no one needs an ideal and even the world around us is not ideal. Non-ideal people can get along with this non-ideal world much more easily.”


Electronic version on “Litres” – 349 rub.

final grade – 7/10.

Daniel J. Amen "Brain fitness, or how to become smarter"

To feel good and look great, we run in the morning, walk a lot or work out in the gym. To enjoy our reflection in the mirror, we make masks, peeling and choose creams meticulously. But doesn't the brain require the same constant and diligent care? How demanding it is! Meanwhile, it is often as if we are deliberately doing everything in order to cause irreparable harm to him. We don’t get enough sleep, we overexert ourselves at work, we live in a state of stress, we don’t eat right, we consume gallons of mentally stimulating drinks. As a result, we predictably get exhaustion of the nervous system and depression, failures in career and personal life.

Fortunately, you can still get out of this “bottom” with the help of a unique brain healing system developed by Dr. Amen. It includes a responsible attitude towards your own nutrition, and taking vitamins, and physical activity, and mental gymnastics. This book can change your life for the better.

Listen to your body

Liz Burbo "Listen to your body"

Self-development for beginners is a fairly simple thing. The main thing here is to want to change. This book is more suitable for those who believe in psychosomatics. Psychosomatics is a thing that looks for cause-and-effect relationships of human diseases in his wrong thoughts and destructive actions.

Let's say that excess weight is often an insult or a defense. Diabetes – when a person complains about missed opportunities and a “unsweetened life.” Throat problems are usually caused by people who are afraid to express their opinion.

Oncology is given because of strong grievances and the impossibility of forgiveness. All these reasons and many more are discussed in Liz Burbo's book Listen to Your Body. There's a whole list of diseases and their explanations.

Liz Burbo has a whole series of books where she answers various everyday questions, raising cause-and-effect relationships. Sexual and financial issues are revealed, why people get sick, get into accidents, why they become homosexuals, etc.

Harry Lorraine "Supermemory. Development of phenomenal memory"

The book includes two psychological bestsellers by Harry Lorraine, the famous brain researcher. The unique system for developing mental abilities that he developed allows you to use not 10 percent of the brain’s resources, as is usually the case, but all 90! Having mastered this system, you will notice not only increased observation, sharpened attention, increased ability to concentrate, but also a phenomenal improvement in memory, imagination, and creative potential. Moreover, the proposed method is relatively simple and accessible, and it is not for nothing that the author called it “a method for the lazy.”

The first part of the book is devoted to the basic techniques and methods of memorizing large amounts of information. The second is to apply the acquired skills in everyday life.

Some tips on how to read such literature correctly

In order for books on personal growth and self-development to have the desired effectiveness, you must adhere to certain rules while reading them.

It's not quantity that matters, but quality

Usually, a beginner in the matter of self-improvement makes a list of the necessary, TOP literature on this topic, and let’s read one book after another, sometimes even without thinking too much about its content. And he does it completely in vain. The main thing here is not the quantity of reading, but the quality of the material learned.

Your head will become filled with a huge amount of unsystematized information, which will simply turn into mush. As a result, this so-called information dump will not give you any useful information, and the result will be zero.

Advice: do not try to master 8-10 books at once in a month. Focus on one or two, reading them slowly and thoughtfully, going back to review them.

What else to read on self-development

Personal growth

  • Vadim Zeland “Transurfing of reality. Stage IV".
  • Richard Branson "To hell with everything! take it and do it."
  • Robin Sharma "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari"
  • Randy Gage "Why we are sick, stupid and poor...and how to become smart, healthy and rich."
  • Steve Pavlina "Personal Development".
  • Dan Waldschmidted "Be the best version of yourself."
  • Jack Canfield Think and Grow Rich! Rules for success."
  • Brian Tracy "Get out of your comfort zone."
  • Stephen R. Covey “Focus on the main things. Live, love, learn and leave a legacy.”
  • Anthony Robbins "Unleash the Giant Within"
  • John Acuff Get Started. Punch fear in the face, stop being “normal” and do something worthwhile.
  • Joe Vitale "The Life Guide They Forgot to Give You at Birth."
  • David J. Schwartz "The Art of Thinking Big."
  • Alexander Sviyash “Smile before it’s too late.”


  • Robert Kiyosaki "Rich Dad Poor Dad"
  • Robert Kiyosaki "Cash Flow Quadrant"
  • Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad's Guide to Investing.
  • Bodo Schaefer, The Path to Financial Independence.
  • Bodo Schaefer, Breakthrough to Financial Success.
  • Robert G. Allen "One Minute Millionaire."
  • Robert G. Allen "Multiple Streams of Income."
  • Donald Trump "Think Like a Billionaire"
  • Donald Trump "Think big and don't slow down"
  • George Clason, The Richest Man in Babylon.
  • Og Magdino "The Greatest Trader in the World"
  • Joe Vitale's Biggest Secret to Making Money.
  • Thomas Stanley's "The Millionaire's Neighbor"
  • Michael Ellsberg "Millionaire Without a Degree"
  • Mark Fisher "The Millionaire's Secret"


  • Douglas Graham "The 80-10-10 Diet"
  • Vadim Zeland "Live Kitchen".
  • Paul Bragg "The Miracle of Fasting"


  • Eric Berne "Games People Play" People who play games"
  • John Gray "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus."
  • Phillip Bogachev “Russian model of effective seduction”
  • Tina Seeling “Do it yourself. Advice for those who want to leave their mark"


  • Tinkov “I’m like everyone else.”
  • Chris Guilbeault "The $100 Startup"
  • Tom Peters "Turn yourself into a brand! 50 proven ways to avoid being mediocre."
  • Seth Godin "Purple Cow"
  • Timothy Ferriss, How to Work 4 Hours a Week.
  • Jim Collins "Good to Great" Why some companies make breakthroughs and others don't."
  • Richard Branson "Naked Business".
  • Nikolai Mrachkovsky, Andrey Parabellum “Get everything out of business!” 200 ways to increase sales and profits."
  • Mike Mikolowitz "The Pumpkin Way" How to become a leader in your niche without a budget."
  • Martin Biaugo, Jordan Milne “Less but better. You don’t have to work 12 hours, but with your head.”
  • Igor Mann “Marketing 100%. Remix. How to become a good marketing manager."
  • Ricardo Semler "Weekend All Week".
  • Carl Sewell and Paul Brown "Customers for Life."
  • Bodo Schaefer "Practical Marketing".
  • Donald Trump "Think big and don't slow down."
  • Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson “Rework. Business without prejudices.”

Spiritual growth

  • Rhonda Byrne "Mystery"
  • Rhonda Byrne "Strength"
  • Rhonda Byrne "Magic"
  • Osho "Mindfulness".
  • Osho "Love. Freedom. Loneliness".
  • Michael Newton, Journey of the Soul.
  • Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
  • Lyubsang Rampa "You are eternal."
  • Dmitry Lapshinov “Sound of Illumination”.
  • Neale Donald Walsh, Conversations with God.
  • Rami Bleckt “Three energies. Forgotten canons of health and harmony.”
  • Michael Murphy, The Future of the Body. Study of further human evolution."
  • Barbara Marciniak "Bringers of the Dawn. Messages from the Pleiades."
  • Leblanc Diane "Welcome to the fifth dimension."
  • Kryon "Don't think like a man."

Books for teenagers

Since I am still a teenager myself, it was not difficult for me to come up with a list of books that would appeal to the teenage generation.

Read also:

15 self-development e-books for teenagers

No. 1. "What Do You Really Want" - Beverly Batchell

About the book:

If there is a difficult teenager in your family or you (the reader) are one yourself, then this book will help a lot. After reading, you will understand that you yourself create and complicate many things in your head. If you haven't heard anything about goals before, then read this book from cover to cover.

In general, I recommend reading to both parents and teenagers themselves.


“Many people go through life listening too hard to everyone’s advice, and often forget that their deepest dreams and hopes come from within.”


Electronic version on “Litres” – 399 rub.

Paper edition with delivery to “book 24” – 674 rub.

final grade – 8/10.

No. 2. “The ABC of Money” – Bodo Schäfer

About the book:

I must say right away that the book is read in one sitting. Actually, I read it in 1 day. I regret that I didn’t find out about it earlier, otherwise I would have known how to handle money since childhood.

The book instills initiative in teenagers, a correct attitude towards money and gives practical advice for making money. The book shows the main and most accessible ways to increase capital and get rid of debt.

I recommend it to anyone who cares about their future financial situation.


“You have to do what you set out to do, even when you have problems. Because when everything is in order, anyone can do it.”


Electronic version on “Litres” – 294 rub.

final grade – 8,5/10.

No. 3. “Be the best version of yourself” – Dan Waldschmidt

About the book:

The book contains many developing and motivating thoughts for the younger generation. It is written in the language of teenagers. There is no unnecessary fluff in the text, everything is to the point, precise and clear.

The main describing problem in the book is how to overcome difficulties, cope with failures, improve yourself and achieve your goals.


“Simply get up one hour earlier every day for fifty years and you’ll get approximately 2,281 extra work days (or 6.25 years) to reach your goals.”


Electronic version on “Litres” – 449 rub.

Paper edition with delivery to “book 24” – 922 rub.

final grade – 9/10.

No. 4. “You can do more than you think” - Thomas Armstrong

About the book:

I was pleased with the content of the book. Very interesting and exciting. Even if you read for half an hour a day, within a week you will feel changes in your thinking. With the purchase of an e-book, you will receive a good translation and accessible text.

I think that the book will be extremely useful for teenagers during the formation of their personality.


“Goals will help you get closer to the most significant victories. Go towards your dreams and don’t listen to anyone.”


Paper edition with delivery to “book 24” – 809 rub.

final grade – 7/10.


Albert Podell

Passport of a man of the world. Travel through 196 countries of the world

Daria Pastukhova

Everything is allowed

Dmitry Iuanov

Around the world in 100 days and 100 rubles

Travel Story

Romantics. 34 Famous Travel Writers That Changed Them Forever

Mathis Aspen

The craziest of routes

Fedor Konyukhov

On the verge of possibilities

Sarah Marquis

Free: where there is no danger, there is no adventure

Christophe Rehage

The biggest fool under the sun

Christine Thurmer

Quit Word, see World. Office slavery or the beauty of the world

Lonely Planet

You live only once

Time management!

Title: Brian Moran, Michael Lennington "12 weeks a year."

The best book on time management that will help you not put off your diet “until Monday” and your cleaning “until next month.” Simple rules from the best business coaches will help you plan your time correctly and spend it profitably.

Third Eye

Title: Tuesday Lobsang Rampa Book-1: The Third Eye.

The book is suitable for those people who have been traveling within themselves for a very long time and want to learn about their abilities. It will also appeal to those who have not yet found their purpose in life and would like to cultivate the seed of their superpowers.

The value of time

Title: Meg Jay's Important Years of Life.

A wonderful motivational book about self-development! If at the moment you are at a dead end and don’t know where to go next, then take a closer look at it. The book should especially appeal to people whose age is in the range of 20-30 years. It is specifically for those who cannot find themselves and realize that they are wasting a huge amount of time going nowhere.


Self-realization is the realization of your creative potential. This is done through understanding your purpose. To do this, there must be a mission, goal and project that will be a continuation of your potential. Realizing what you have planned gives you meaning in this life. You just learn to be a creator with a capital C.

This is the so-called point B.

Alexander Nosov

Self-realization. How to find your calling

Ken Robinson


Alexander Rey


Brian McAllister

Road map

El Luna

Between need and want

Danielle Laporte

Light a fire

Maxim Matveev

An echo of yourself. Vocation as inevitability

Michael Ray

Highest goal

Barbara Sher

What to dream about?

Tina Seeling

Make yourself

See also:

50 best films for self-development from your personal collection

25 useful sites for self-development and self-education


John Gray

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus

Mikhail Litvak

Man and woman

Gary Chapman

5 love languages

Isaac Adizes

Union of Dissimilars

John Gottman

7 principles for a happy marriage

Dean Delis, Cassandra Phillips

The paradox of passion

Robins Baker

Bed wars

Alexander Nosov

love addiction

Douglas Abrams, John Gottman

Woman. Guide for men

Steve Harvey

Act like a woman, think like a man


Self-knowledge is the process of discovering your potential. This is where you need to start self-development. If you don't understand what your best talents are, then you're unlikely to find your path in life. And this will only lead to a constant feeling of unhappiness. Everyone should only do what they are meant to do. And this is the mistake of 90% of people - skipping the process of self-knowledge. Perhaps this is not your fault, but rather the education system, which taught this in the early years of personality development, is more to blame. But once you have embarked on the path of self-development, you must begin it by knowing yourself.

This is what is called point A.

Otto Kroeger, Janet Tuson

Types of People: 16 Personality Types That Shape How We Live, Work and Love

Helena Mekani

The Enneagram - Your Path to Personal Development

Mikhail Borodinsky

The psychology of your holes

Alexander Afanasyef

Syntax of love

Robert Camp

Love Cards

Andrey Kostenko

Destiny numbers

Linda Bunnell, Ra Uru Hu

Human design. The Science of Differentiation

Parkin Chetan

Human Design. Discover the person you were born to be

Alexander Kolesnikov

Astrology. Self-instruction manual

Alexander Shestopalov, Olga Molchanova

Astrology profession

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