The number of books published in 2017 is more than you have time to read.
To narrow it down to the most popular money books published last year, we asked Goodreads for those that are most highly rated by their readers. Based on that, here are eight books to add to your reading pile:
“Unshakeable” by Tony Robbins
This best-seller wants to help you reach financial freedom. How well does it do it? Readers praise it as far more accessible than an earlier Robbins tome, “Money: Master the Game.” But while some described it as a good introduction to financial markets and taking charge of your money, others said it didn’t go beyond standard bits of advice.
“The subject matter can be reduced to a few sentences (save 10-15% of your wealth; start saving when you are young, and remain disciplined; invest your monies in a low transaction-cost index tracker fund). But this is not a spoiler. The above is standard for any investment book. What Robbins does is bring a passion to his subject that is inspiring,” writes Baron Deschauer, who gives it four stars.
This book was most popular, based on the number of Goodreads reviews. Overall, it gets a 4.13 rating out of 5.
Read on MarketWatch: “Tony Robbins and 7 questions you must ask to keep a financial adviser honest,” plus a retort from the Financial Planning Association president: “Tony Robbins completely misses the mark on financial advisers”.
“Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000” by Jason Calacanis
The book is an outlier on this list because it doesn’t aim to fix your finances. Rather, Calacanis, a Silicon Valley angel investor who counts himself as one of the first-round investors in Uber, takes readers inside the minds and the process of those deciding whether to put in cash into a startup. His fans loved the message, and his blunt style.
“I doubted this book would be particularly useful to me, as I do this stuff for a living and have done 50+ early stage investments. Not so — while this book is aimed at a mass market and some of the info is quite basic, it’s filled with absolute gold for folks already doing this professionally. And having read everything else out there on VC investing, I can say this book is by far the best,” writes Travis Scher, a New York investor.
Or as Bryce Ferguson, another reviewer, sees it: “Though the tips are quite tactical (and thus at times feel out of reach), there are big takeaways for future angels, current investors, and even corporate climbers.”
Goodreads members give it a 4.38, the highest ranking in the group.
You can follow Calacanis on Twitter @Jason
“The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return” by Mihir Desai
Readers enjoyed how this Harvard Business School professor wove in examples from fiction and beyond to illustrate financial concepts. In this interview, Desai singles out Willa Cather’s “O Pioneers” as working in diversification, options, leverage, mergers — and not confusing luck with skill.
“This is a great book for well-read geeks like me who have a natural interest in finance but only a cursory understanding of it. I wouldn’t have thought an explanation of mergers as marriages would make sense, nor that the proposal hedging central to Jane Austen novels could explain risk & return, or that risk pooling originated on merchant ships,” writes Victor Davis, who gave it four stars.
“Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23” by Beth Kobliner
Kobliner made her name with the book “Get a Financial Life: Personal finance in your 20s and 30s,” written two decades ago when she was that age. Now a parent, she has branched out with a book offering advice for those with kids.
The most important thing a parent can teach their children? Don’t spend money you don’t have.
“My biggest takeaway is that I need to do a better job framing money for my kids at the level they are at — rather than just thinking oh well they are too young,” writes a reviewer named Carol. She gave it three stars.
This one gets a 3.84 from Goodreads reviewers, the lowest average review on our list..
Read a MarketWatch interview with Beth Kobliner: These are the 4 most important things you can teach your kids about money
“Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together” by Erin Lowry
Is this the next generation’s Beth Kobliner book? Some Goodreads readers described it like chatting with a friend, funny and judgment-free; others said it was cutesy, patronizing and written in a style that won’t age well.
“The moment that most got my attention arrived early in the book that discussed how much you should have saved for retirement by age 35. It’s $100k. I don’t have anywhere near that amount and 35 is coming up soon. That fact alone has made me COMPLETELY change my mindset on money and I am definitely better off because of this book. Saving is definitely my new priority in life,” wrote a reviewer named James, who gives it “a strong 90.”
“More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Financially Frustrated” by Erin Odom
Erin Odom is a stay-at-home mom who says she was born into privilege but found her family living paycheck to paycheck, and even on food stamps, for a while. Readers praised her openness about her story, which she frames through her Christian faith, and say this isn’t your typical personal-finance book.
“Please don’t look at the title of the book and think this is just another debt-payoff, ‘financially free’ how-to guide. It is way more than that. This book is a self-help guide, challenge to change your perspective, and beautifully written memoir all in one,” writes a reviewer named Chantel, who says it’s worthy of five stars.
“Erin is brutally honest, open and truly bears her heart and soul with us. This book was one of the most relatable books that I have ever read. She really touches on some hard issues that so many of us have struggled with and continue to experience the struggles of in our daily lives,” says Alyssa Avant, another five-star fan.
Goodreads readers give it a 4.23, placing it third on the list.
“Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms” by Amanda Steinberg
Amanda Steinberg is the founder of DailyWorth.com, some of whose content appears on MarketWatch. Some readers praised her book for focusing on the big picture; others thought it too basic. And others thought it ignored extra problems facing low-income workers.
“She advocates for a hard look at yourself, but somehow this ends up being inspiring rather than dispiriting,” Thomas Jones writes in his four-star review.
“You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want” by Jesse Mecham
Yup, this really is about budgeting. Jesse Mecham has developed a system that focuses on allocating money before you spend it, not tracking where it’s gone. His fans (subscribers to his software system) are full of praise for the book, though he insists he’s not trying to sell you and that you can just follow his method with pen and paper.
“I’m feeling intentional rather than hopeful about my money for the first time... um, ever? And while it’s exciting, there’s no real gimmick here. Just good sense,” sums up Meghan Burke, who says it’s five-star-worthy.
Readers give it an average rating of 4.29, making it the second-highest-rated book on the list.
Follow him on Twitter @jessemecham