I don’t think you can become a better person without becoming a better coach. Here is a running list of books I frequently recommend or gift to people.

Anatomy

Even though it’s a textbook, Neumann’s book may by my most recommended. Learn anatomy and joint mechanics.

Personal development

McKeown makes his point thoroughly. Focus on what is important. Figure out what is unnecessary and eliminate it.

Chip Heath and Dan Heath are brothers and, in my opinion, master non-fiction authors. I have to imagine their outlining and organization process is half of their time writing. A third of it is then summarizing succinctly. And the remainder is spent telling stories that illustrate their points.

Constraints are everywhere. Instead of resisting them, start asking, “How can I make this constraint beautiful?” If a client has a fake hip, consider his or her limitations a gift and flex your creative muscle.

As a serial student, this book hit me close to home. Encourages you to act rather than waiting for the answer to the question “What are you passionate about?” Get better every day.

My favorite of Tim Ferriss’s books. An amalgamation of a ton of smart people. Don’t expect everything to resonate with you, but something will surely shatter your worldview.

Derek Sivers is just a likeable dude. Take his experiences running a business and try avoiding some of his mistakes.

Austin Kleon has eliminated the unessential in his books. Quick reads, they provide great inspiration for creating great art (and all your work is art).

Behavior

Motivational Interviewing serves as my foundation for behavior change. A dense read.

Dan Ariely takes behavioral economics and elucidates some of our biases. Easy to read. Understanding human quirks will help you deal with them (and we all deal with people).

Stress

Probably my favorite book. Sapolsky’s writing and work serves as an at-least-weekly source of inspiration for me. You’ll laugh, cry, and learn something new.

Neuro

Medical Neurobiology is well-designed and, though thick, much less daunting than traditional textbooks.

Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology is much more dense than Mason’s book. It’s also beautifully written.

Everyone is striving for flow. Learn what it is. This author also has the best name of any author.

Biochemistry

If you need facts, here they are.

Pain

Adriaan Louw writes this book for physical therapists to give to patients, but it also works as a good, short introduction to pain science for personal trainers and strength coaches.