The 10 Best Self Development Books

Self development or self-help books have always been a large part of my reading repertoire. I can’t resist the latest one, and reread the older ones from time to time. The first books laid claim to the self-awareness or development movement began in the late 1960′ and early 1970’s, but they have continued to grow in amount and depth. There are thousands and thousands on the market to choose from. I have chosen ten of my favorites to share.

10. “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness”, by Daniel G. Amen. This book was written by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist to help others overcome difficulties in life that were blocking them from achieving their goals. Each of the five parts of the brain is broken down and Amen shows how it is directly related to the problems we suffer with. He then teaches the reader to identify specific issues, and he also gives advice on personal development. While this is a great book, it is very technical and can be hard for some to get through. This 352 page book can be bought at Barnes and Noble for $15.00.

9. “Core Transformation: Reaching the Wellspring Within”, by Connirae and Tamara Andreas. This book describes a particular technique that will bring together the various parts of us that are not fulfilling your true purpose. This process is described in a step by step way and can be used as a self process or in a group environment. This 232 pages chock full of information, is available for $16.50 from Barnes and Noble.

8. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen R. Covey. It has significantly changed the way I look at life over all. It has also opened me up to the way I look at how others deal with their everyday lives. Covey conveys seven basic principals which can change the way you think and how you respond to various scenarios. Many of these principles are simple and obvious, but are often overlooked in daily life. We tend to get so overwhelmed in our own day to day that we forget to take care of our own needs. We end up putting more energy in doing the same old stuff without think, resulting in the same old results. The paperback version is available at for $9.97. I also recommend the workbook with this book.

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7. “The One Minute Manager”, by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is another must read. These 111 pages of effective management training that no college course will teach you. The problem I had with this book was that it was geared more toward the male reader. As a female I was a bit put off by this when reading. The basic premise of this book is to let your employees what you expect from them. Then, offer timely encouragement, and give them support. This can work in several areas of your life, not just your job. This 111 page bestseller is at Barnes and Noble for $17.66.

6. “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie, is Carnegie at his peak of perfection. Not that his work isn’t still wonderful, but this is really the book that put him on the literary map. The book title pretty well sums up the course this well written book travels. The original was written in 1970 and newer additions still sells like hotcakes in the self help section of bookstores across the globe. I think the last time I read it was about 1988, but it really helped refresh the ideals laid Carnegie has lain out. Barnes and Noble sells this 304 page timeless bestseller for $7.99.

5. “Fearless Living”, by Guy Finley and Ellen Dickstein is a new self development book, published in June of 2008. After reading it however, I was impressed with the style and message that they book conveyed. It reminded me of many truths and principles I’d forgotten about. There is also a “training manual” that goes with the book, but I found it really wasn’t necessary. Order these 208 pages of inspirational reminders at Barnes and Noble for $13.45.

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4. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life”, by Richard Carlson is a great little book. It’s divided into many 2 page short lessons. Most of them are about different areas in your life. It is one of the best and most enlightening self development books I’ve read. The book is 248 pages and is $6.98 through Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

3. “The Secret”, by Rhonda Byrne, is phenomenal. I much preferred the book over the DVD. The back cover blurb really says it best when summing up this book. “As you learn The Secret, you will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you want. You will come to know who you really are. You will come to know the true magnificence that awaits you in life.” This passage is also part of the introduction, but it really sums up this fantastic 198 page wonder book. Barnes and Noble sells “The Secret” for $16.76.

2. The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren, is a very well written spiritually based book about finding our path or purpose in this life and finding the path that God wants us to take. It is supported by various biblical passages. There is an accompanying workbook, but I found that doing the excises on my own proved more useful. My copy has more underlined passages than plain text. It is 334 pages of divine inspiration. Buy this book now at Barnes and Noble for $13.49.

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And in the number one spot on my list goes to “The Bible”. The greatest self development/self help book on the market. It is the number one bestseller year after year and no other book can transform your entire life in every area no matter how great or how small. I read this one over and over and never tire of it. I always learn something new as well. Pages and prices vary depending on size and style, and the Bible can be found at almost every bookstore.