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50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  785 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Thousands of books have been written offering the 'secrets' to personal fulfillment and happiness: how to walk The Road Less Traveled, Win Friends and Influence People, or Awaken the Giant Within. But which are the all-time classics? Which ones really can change your life?

Bringing you the essential ideas, insights and techniques from 50 legendary works from Lao-Tzu to Ben
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Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 30th 2003 by Nicholas Brealey
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Lawrence Danks
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Tom Butler-Bowdoin has developed a great concept. He reads books from various inspirational areas then summarizes them. The summaries are terrific and provide an opportunity to gain a great deal of wisdom in a short period of time.

In addition to this book, Tom has also written, "50 Success Classics" and a number of others in the "50" Series that I've read. I highly recommend them to you. They are the perfect short reads of 3-5 pages for selected circumstances, whether it's on a night table or wa
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Jillian
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of self-help or spiritual books.
Like Oprah, I love self-help books and I'm not ashamed to admit it. This book is awesome. I've read several of these books, and now I know the ones I want to read, and the ones that I'm skipping.

A few things I liked that I picked up was the idea of modeling yourself after successful people in your field you admire and stating your negative fears first, and then your positive motivations second in your affirmations.

I found it interesting that Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand was listed in this title
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Chad Warner
Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a decent introduction to some of the most popular self-help books. It does a good job summarizing the main points of each book, explaining each book’s influence or claim to fame, and giving some biographical information about each book’s author. Since it’s really a reference book, I felt like I was being dipped into and out of the ideas, rather than immersed in them. For that, there’s no substitute for the books themselves.

The author uses a looser definition of self-help than I had
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Marie
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: individuality
"We don't attract what we want, but what we are. Only by changing your thoughts will you change your life."

"A person is what he thinks about all day long."

"Accept things and people how they are, not how we would like them to be."

"Seek peace inside yourself, do the work that is yours, and wonder at the mysteries of the universe."

"No matter what happens to you, you always have freedom of mind."

"Appreciate the rich experience of life, despite circumstances, Low expectations make for pleasant surpri
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Lawrence
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awesome “cliff-notes” of 50 of the best self help books. I personally liked Phil McGraw... yeah Dr. Phil and Marcus Aurielus. Great audiobook for your commute. Tons of tweet worthy content. Check it out.
Gonewiththeromance
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I strongly recommend this author and his books,this is my second book by him and I'm planning to read more and more. ...more
Jason Wicky Ong
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Author offers great insight into different books but unfortunately, a summary only offers the essence but not enough meat to help you internalize. Still a good book to have to get a quick recap.
Kanske Svartfors
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tom Butler-Bowdon succeeds again in doing what he set out to do. This is the fifth of his 50 Classics books that I have listened to, and once again the book is concise, to the point, but still giving enough information.

I could easily recommend this to anyone even remotely interested in self-help. I was a little skeptical at first since self-help most of the time does vex me quite a bit, but I am happy that I got over my initial hesitation. The book delves into various different books that can b
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María
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this is something that I never thought I would do, but here I am.

Clearly this year has a theme and it's growth. Now, since there's a lot of resources about self-improvement out there this book was a great review of the most relevant ones. I'm not that interested in reading old school books, but I still wanted an overview of the literature, so this was perfect for me. Specially the audiobook version, because I know me and I know that I would have preferred to read fiction and procrastinated t
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María Clara
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this is something that I never thought I would do, but here I am.

Clearly this year has a theme and it's growth. Now, since there's a lot of resources about self-improvement out there this book was a great review of the most relevant ones. I'm not that interested in reading old school books, but I still wanted an overview of the literature, so this was perfect for me. Specially the audiobook version, because I know me and I know that I would have preferred to read fiction and procrastinated t
...more
Jenn Stacey
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to
I do not know what I was expecting but the author left me with a feeling like I had somehow gotten super. I was not familiar with the series when I checked out this book, if I was I can tell you now I would not have checked it out as one of my ten downloads.I found myself thinking he speed researched the moat popular or most purchased, and gave me the run down ( the outside cover summary) for each one. I also believe that some of the reviewers here could have done a better job with the dubious. ...more
Yvette Schierlman
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
One book that shows many historically popular different points of view in religion, psychology and philosophy influencers without leaning you in any one direction.

Great summary comparison of historical and modern classics. 1 per chapter, book by book, so it’s long but worth it to get to the end, huge time saver, easy to digest, gives author backgrounds/ life contributions and their cited influences. Lots of very different points of view in a short amount of time.
Cecily Kyle
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book and when I first started reading it I was quite interested but it is basically a book about other books you should check out. If I had paid more attention to the full title I would have realized this. As I continued to read I would get frustrated because they would mention something interesting and it was basically an overview instead of really getting into it... so what is the point... google can do the same thing...
Meh Read!
Saffron
As a non organised religious person I found some of the choices odd. There are some books in here that should have been in his 50 Philosophical book rather than the self help book. Saying that there are a variety of very different approaches to the self help genre scoping over many years, there is something in there to suit everyone.
Lisa Weber
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing anthology of 50 of the best known self-help books. Each summary covers the main ideas in the book and highlights a few typical concepts, then ends with a brief bio of the author. Well done.
David John Foxcroft
As with all Toms books - absolutely master summaries of some great books!

Highly recommended!! Fantastic!! What a great book - I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to understand and discover self help books!
Paul Petsa
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great source of data

Worthwhile read to understand the history and universe of the self-help genre over the annals of history. Some of the books are very old and so the language used is difficult to understand but the author does a good job of interpretation.
Oliver Ho
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Useful overview of this field. I like that he tries to be even-handed in his appraisals, calling out dated and sexist approaches and identifying what he sees as the core, relevant messages of each book.
Kat Robey
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really appreciated the list chosen, the highlights of each, the historical context of the work, and the biographical information of each author. My reading list and awareness continues to grow.
Samuel Clifford
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book, listened to the audio format over and over again. It really gave a simple and easy to understand overview of the books listed.
HK Davis
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book for discovering new works. It offers a briefly discussion of 50 classics. I found several excellent reads from this one book.
Fatema
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Great idea, boring writing style.
Monica
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely a good book. There's a lot to it. I like books that encourage me to look at myself in new ways. The concept of modeling one's self after other people in your field is a good tip. ...more
Maureen
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great summaries of books. Less than 50 could have been chosen and focused on instead. It reminded me of books I had read before and want to revisit.
Abey Thomas
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book, inspired to know and read more classic books
Dominic
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This taught me so much and helped me pick up a load of other books i would never had read.
Nilkanth
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book I found quite inspirational and would recommend to anyone who loves self-help books.
Jodi
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Terrific summary of all the great classics of self help books.
Dipanshi
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: paperbacks
2.5 stars
Wan Farisan
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good book on self help
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