Navy SEAL Reading List: Books I’ve Read and Recommend (2016)

As a firearms training guru and ferocious reader, I had been asked by so many people what books I recommended, that two years ago I released my first recommended reading list.

Since that time, I have consumed hundreds of books (not all good), which have helped shape my life, family, health and business. I’ve pulled the top 21 books from various areas of study for my 2016 list and hope there will be one or two that might help improve some area of your life.

I’ve provided links for you to learn more or purchase each book. These links are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on them, I receive a minuscule commission. You don’t pay any more (in some cases you may pay less), and this is one of the ways I’m able to continue to provide you with this amazing free content.

Please use the links if you’re interested in any of the books and share this article with friends or family if you see a book that they might like. Thank you for your support — and here we go…​


The Art of War

Through The Art of War, Sun Tzu’s theories and strategies have influenced military leaders and campaigns throughout time, including the samurai of ancient and early-modern Japan, and more recently Ho Chi Minh of the Viet Cong and American generals Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. and Colin Powell during the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s.


The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default.  The Compound Effect is a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. 


The Charge

In The Charge, Brendon argues that the only way to measurably improve the quality of your life is to learn how to activate the very ten drives that make you most human. These drives are your desires for more control, competence, congruence, caring, connection, change, challenge, creative expression, contribution, and consciousness.


The Happiness Advantage

Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology, neuroscience, and management studies around the globe and you can harness this using the Happiness Formula.


How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met. So how did he go from hapless office worker to the creator of Dilbert? In this funny yet serious book full of personal stories, Adams shares the strategies he has used to invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket.


Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. In his autobiography, the Long walk to Freedom Mandela teaches us to gain strength from others weaknesses.


Man’s Search for Meaning

Between 1942 and 1945 Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Man’s Search for Meaning is based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. 


The Meaning of Marriage

Modern culture would have you believe that love and romance, not dedication and hard work are the most important part of a successful marriage. But these modern-day assumptions are wrong.  The Meaning of Marriage offers instruction on how to have a successful marriage, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to love more deeply in this life.


Mind Over Medicine

Using cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out the scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.


The Motivation Manifesto

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. 


MONEY: Master the Game

Based on extensive research and one-on-one interviews with more than 50 of the most legendary financial experts in the world—from Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, to Ray Dalio and Steve Forbes—Tony Robbins has created a simple 7-step blueprint that anyone can use for financial freedom. A must read for anyone who needs to get their financial life in order. 


Performing Under Pressure

Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision-making, attention, dexterity, and performance in every professional and personal arena. Performing Under Pressure introduces us to the concept of pressure management solutions to help us overcome the debilitating effects of pressure.



Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed — be it parents, students, educators, or athletes — that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Grit proposes that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.


The Oxygen Advantage

The secret to weight loss, fitness, and wellness lies in the most basic and most overlooked function of your body — how you breathe. One of the biggest obstacles to better health and fitness is chronic over-breathing. We often take many more breaths than we need contributing to poor health and fitness, anxiety, asthma, insomnia and heart problems.


The Richest Man in Babylon

Hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. These fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. This is the book that holds the secrets to keeping your money—and making more.


The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

The creation of wealth has always been regarded as a process that requires hard work and luck, often at the expense of others. In this book, the author reveals how to align with the subtle yet powerful, unseen forces that affect the flow of money in our lives.


The Talent Code

This groundbreaking work provides parents, teachers, and coaches with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others. Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.


Think And Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich was inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American business magnate Andrew Carnegie. While its title implies that the book deals with how to attain monetary wealth, the author explains that the philosophy taught can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work.


The 50th Law

In The 50th Law, hip hop and pop culture icon 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) joins forces with Robert Greene, bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to write a “bible” for success in life and work based on a single principle: fear nothing. With stories from 50 Cent’s life on the streets and in the boardroom as he rose to fame.


Raising Men

Using a unique blend of discipline, leadership, adventure, and grace, Eric and his SEAL brothers will teach you how to connect, and reconnect, with your sons and learn how to raise real men―the Navy SEAL way. As a contributor to Raising Men, I’m proud to have been able to share how some lessons I learned as a SEAL helped me raise two amazing young men. 


The Little Book of Talent

The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds.

OK, that’s it for 2016! I’ve already set a reminder for next year’s list, and once it’s finalized, I will let you know. Until then, check out some of these books and see if they can help you Pave Your Path to Perfection.

If you’ve read any of these books, let me know in the comments below what you thought or tell me the #1 book that changed your life in 2016.​




Download My Training App

Enhance your training with my specially designed training app and interact with the community to keep yourself motivated.