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Books To Base Your Life On ... According To Ryan Holiday

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Posted by: Bridget Deutz on Thu, Feb 22, 2018

I’m telling you to read a book. In fact, I’m telling you to read multiple books, because living a life without knowledge is lazy and downright boring. Ryan Holiday would agree.

Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan HolidayIf you don’t already know, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Ryan Holiday is coming to Minneapolis and will be speaking at One Squared, a marketing event focused on personal and professional growth. Ryan is a marketing powerhouse who has broached the subjects of stoicism, spotlight, and product longevity in today’s disposable age. He’s written for The New York Observer, appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Columbia Journalism Review, and many more. 

Today, we’ve raided the Ryan Holiday blog for a list of books to base your life on. The real reason Holiday has spent his life devouring books is because “[he's] been searching for something: a way of life… liber medicina animi (a book is the soul’s medicine).” That’s what he’s been after; what we all may be seeking. So don’t be lazy; be proactive, and start learning things! 

Below is the list of various books that will help you grow yourself and grow your business. It’s also an excuse to grab a favorite beverage, find a relaxing place to put your feet up, and fill your noodle with some knowledge. 

Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle is the Way

Ryan Holiday

This is awkward! Holiday is boasting about his writing capabilities, or is he? Not really, he’s simply giving credit where credit is due. Good thing he’s confident, too, because it reassures that we’ve picked a stellar, educated, accomplished presenter. He writes about turning your problems into the biggest advantages; to push through difficult or impossible situations and apply stoicism. He showcases some of the most successful people in history who have endured pain with perseverance and resilience. His book was inspired by Marcus Aurelius and his writing The Meditations.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl

This is a hidden gem. Psychiatrist Frankl describes in this memoir life in Nazi death camps and the lessons learned of spiritual survival. Sounds dark, but even gems must endure pressure and erosion before turning into their shiniest forms. Frankl believes individuals cannot avoid suffering but must choose to cope with it, find meaning in it, and continue onward with a newfound purpose. His other writings, Will To Meaning and Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, are also worth a read.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

48 Laws of Power and Mastery

Robert Greene

Holiday says, “There is no living writer (or person) who has been more influential to me than Robert Greene.” I’m just telling you, you MUST read his work. His writings on power and strategy are imperative for any individual trying to change the world (or those who like the world as it is). Power is meaningless if not accompanied by mastery and purpose, hence his book Mastery. Read it to figure out why you’re here on earth and how to dedicate yourself to your purpose.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday



These partially inspired Holiday’s book, Trust Me, I’m Lying (which you should also read!). This book is a sarcastic, savage portrayal of decadent aristocrats in Rome – streetwalkers, fortune-tellers, sick lawyers, boozy politicians, aging flirts, and more. It immerses you into the fascinating world of everyday Roman life. If the provocative cover doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

Asylum: An Alcoholic Takes the Cure

William Seabrook 

This book, once out of print but back again, tells the haunting struggle of an eight-month stay in a Westchester mental hospital in the early 1930s. William Seabrook voluntarily committed himself to a facility for treatment of acute alcoholism. This book is his account of his experiences.

Fun Fact: After 50 years, Holiday helped get Asylum back into print – you can read that story here.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

The New New Thing 

Michael Lewis

Simply put, this book tells the history of the Internet revolution. Lewis searches through Silicon Valley to find the world’s most important technology entrepreneur, Jim Clark - a man who has founded three different billion-dollar companies. Good thing the book only costs $12. Read to see if Clark tells how he made so much and how you might be able to, too.


Books To Base Your Life On... According To Ryan Holiday

Founders at Work

Jessica Livingston

The world wide web is a great place, but its acceptance into mainstream use wasn’t as quick as our high-speed internet, today. Many modern-day technology giants had an arduous journey to independence and acceptance. This book tells of the founders' experiences, especially when they were young, starting out as novices and flourishing through trial and error.


These book suggestions are rock solid - if not a little (or a lot?) off the beaten path. The one who provided the suggestions is even more delightful and he's speaking at our marketing seminar, One Squared. You don't want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to hear from Ryan Holiday, as well as Alina Wheeler, Mark Schaefer, Kristen Brown, and a lunch panel with Google, HubSpot, Pandora, and the like. We'll see you there!

Learn more about One Squared 2019 About the Event
Bridget Deutz

About The Author

Bridget Deutz

As Director of Inbound Marketing I get to explore all areas of marketing including writing, brainstorming, strategizing, analyzing, and thinking big. My enthusiasm for people and creativity fuels my commitment to creating inbound content that produces positive results for our clients. I love writing, talking, learning, laughing, doodling, and finding a great quote. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, all things musical, and being crafty.


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