I get around three or four emails/tweets each week asking me for book recommendations. I love reading books; they’re piled up all over my house.
Most of my books are in containers in the basement. I should probably just give the books away after I read them to let someone else enjoy them, but that wouldn’t fit with my hoarder personality. I gave my brother one of my old books for Christmas (lol a used book as a present) and felt so bad I got rid of a book that I bought a new copy of it. I didn’t read it again and I never will. BUT I NEED IT COLLECTING DUST IN MY APARTMENT FOR ME TO GO ON WITH MY LIFE.
Most of the book questions I get are related to daily fantasy sports, but I still give the same recommendations of non-DFS-specific books because 1) there aren’t really that many great daily fantasy sports books out there (I’m probably considered the authority in DFS books and I wrote the last one in 13 days – #humblebrag, nbd), and 2) I love the idea of taking concepts from one domain and applying them to another. If reading Taoism in my free time so I can formulate a better DFS tournament strategy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
So here’s a list of books and authors I enjoy. These aren’t in any particular order, nor is it a cumulative list. I pretty much just walked around my apartment and wrote down some of the titles. I linked to the authors’ Amazon pages or the books themselves when applicable. I also jotted down a few quick thoughts on some of the books.
A Reading List for DFS Players If You Like Reading Things Not At All Related to Daily Fantasy Sports
Anything from Friedrich Nietzsche
I majored in philosophy, and Nietzsche was my favorite philosopher. My favorites are Beyond Good and Evil and The Gay Science, although I’ve read every word of his I can find, and it’s all good. I seriously can’t recommend Nietzsche enough.
You’ll notice a lot of philosophy books on this list – especially Eastern concepts – as well as a lot of theoretical physics. I’m particularly interested in the intersection of the two. For a long time, I was reading like two or three theoretical physics books a week, so I’m pretty fucking qualified to talk about string cheese theory.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Everything from Paul Davies
I think Davies takes complex concepts from theoretical physics and, along with Michio Kaku (who you might have seen on TV), is the best at explaining them in a really easy-to-understand way. Einstein said something like “If you can’t explain your theory to a five-year old, then you don’t know it well enough.” That’s probably not even close to the actual quote, but you get the idea. My favorite Davies books are The Mind of God, Goldilocks Enigma, God & the New Physics, and About Time.
The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow
I think this is a really good beginner book on randomness.
Stuff from Malcom Gladwell (David and Goliath, Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink)
Great By Choice by Jim Collins
This is actually the book I’m currently reading. Actually, I’ve read like three pages. But it’s sitting on my coffee table and I hear it’s good.
Adventures of Ideas by Alfred North Whitehead
Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger
This might seem like it doesn’t belong, but I’m pretty fascinated with Arnold and his ridiculously wide range of successes.
Before the Beginning by Martin Rees
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Greene has a number of other really interesting books, including Mastery and The Art of Seduction.
The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
How to Think About Weird Things by Theodore Schick
This was actually written by my freshman seminar professor, and he’s pretty much the reason I majored in philosophy.
The Success Equation by Michael Mauboussin
Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
I’ve used a lot of the concepts from these books in how we market FantasyLabs, especially when it comes to pricing (specifically the idea that people have no idea what something is worth in a vacuum – only what it should be worth in relation to something else).
Linchpin by Seth Godin
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Anything from Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I’ve talked about Taleb and antifragility ad nauseam in my books, so no need to explain more here. Except for that sentence and this one explaining it.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Quiet by Susan Cain
Rock Breaks Scissors by Williams Poundstone
The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
Nudge by Richard Thaler
Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
This is one of a few books that helped shape my views on marketing, which I think are probably a lot more unconventional than most people realize.
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban
A wonderful book written by my friend Mark
There are so many other books I could list here. No matter what your goals, I think the most efficient (and fun) path to achieve them is to just start reading things written by people smarter than yourself, take what you’ve learned (no matter the subject), and apply the core principles in a creative way.