The Best Books I’ve Read in 2017

A list of the best books I’ve read in 2017 that are relevant to the topics in my blog – personal and professional growth, optimization and productivity.

2017 was a busy year for me. I started this blog, changed my job, changed the country I live in … and the continent. But most importantly, I kept reading new and exciting books throughout the year. It was not easy, I had to read in buses and trains, at 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM. And I managed to cover all sorts of genres that could help me improve – philosophy, business, self-help, history, biographies. Here, I would like to share with you the best books for this year.

Before that, in 2016, spent a lot of time to setup my Goodreads account (link) and enter all the books I’ve read in the past. And for 2017, I set a personal goal in the platform to read 20 books. Challenges has remained my main motivator throughout my life and now I am finishing book 25 of the year! I know that the number is pathetic compared to other people that read 50+, 100+ and even 200+ books/year, but it is a great achievement for me.

In this article, I list the best 5 books that I would recommend to anyone out of this year’s 25. Here, I will stick to the books relevant to the topics in my blog and I will have a separate post for the most entertaining books that do not fall into this category.

Best Books in 2017: Selection Criteria

I have based my selection on the following criteria:

  1. Relevance: How relevant the book is to the topics that I discuss in this blog (self-improvement, personal and professional growth, optimization and productivity).
  2. Usefulness: How much of what I’ve learnt was transferred back to my daily life.
  3. Easy going: How easy it is to read the book? Does it hook you up right from the start?

Barking up the Wrong Tree – Eric Barker

Best Books #1
Best Books #1: Barking Up the Wrong Tree (copyright Eric Barker).

Eric is very data- and research-driven and his book offers a ton of evidence to support his claims. This book teaches you about success in different fields by giving examples backed by research. Every chapter looks, at first, unrelated to the others but once you reach the end of the first half you start seeing the big picture. It also contains awesome pop culture, sports, politics and other references.

I was able to transfer more best practices to my daily life from this book than from any other. The book is very relevant to the topics that are interesting to me. It took my 10 days to read it cover to cover and I enjoyed every page.

The Speed of Trust – Stephen M. R. Covey

Best Books #2
Best Books #2: The Speed of Trust (copyright Stephen M.R. Covey)

Trust is what most companies lack in the last 20 years and those that have the customer’s trust achieve success. Stephen approaches trust in five layers and uncovers how to gain and extend trust at every level. He sees trust as a currency – you get dividends when you have it and you pay tax when you don’t have it. My article – Build Trust – How to Build Trust in a Relationship – was inspired by his book.

The book was very relevant to my blog and was very useful for my high-demanding job. It is very easy going and easy to read – I read it in 15 days.

Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

Best Books #3
Best Books #3: The Obstacle is the Way (copyright Ryan Holiday).

Miracles happen when you are out of your comfort zone. This book teaches you to seek the obstacles because by overcoming them you improve yourself and achieve success. It teaches you also to see the world and what is happening to you through “philosopher’s eyes” and look for the learning opportunity in every challenge.

The book was easy to read – 5 days. It was very useful to my work-life balance. And was somewhat relevant to my blog.

Unshakeable – Tony Robbins

Best Books #4
Best Books #4: Unshakable (copyright Tony Robbins).

This the first book by Tony that I read, although I am his fan for a long time. Here, he teaches you how to invest your money to achieve financial freedom. He gives you a ton of advice on how to avoid overpaying for financial consulting services, how to look for the small-sized text, and how to calculate the hidden fees. And he gives a lot of examples of starting early vs. contributing more. Long live the compound interest!

The book was easy to read – 21 days. It was useful to me and it was somewhat relevant to my blog.

If you would like to learn more about Tony Robbins – visit his personal website –

Dotcom Secrets – Russell Brunson

Best Books #5
Best Books #5: DotComSecrets (copyright Russell Brunson).

Russell is a very successful marketing specialist. In his book, he shares with you how to build your online business, how to create you value ladder and sales funnels and how to qualify and convert the traffic. He also shares specific examples and ready-to-use scripts.

The book was very relevant to my blog as it bridges the gaps I still have in the “professional growth” section. It is useful for my life but in the long term because I am still not ready to implement all of his tips. It was also easy to read.

APE – Guy Kawasaki

Best Books #6
Best Books #6: APE (copyright Guy Kawasaki).

I know I said 5 but this will be an honorable mention. This is THE BOOK if you want to publish or self-publish your book. Guy walks you through every process and aspect of publishing. A must-read for every author.

Easy to read, relevant to my life and work and somewhat relevant to my blog.


Reading to me is entertainment, source of knowledge and wisdom, and the ability to learn from the experience of others. For authors and writers, it is like the racquet to the tennis player, the car to the driver, the computer to the developer.

As every aspiring author, I read a lot and soak the information like a sponge. This article is my humble contribution to the world of literature.

Read more, enjoy more, be more!

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