Tim Ferris

Tools of Titans

As I write this, Tools Of Titans is Tim’s latest book. At 674 pages it’s not the smallest book in the world, but written so that you can dip in and out and skip around it to get to content that is of particular interest to you.

I read this straight through from front to back the first time because I’ve learned from Tim’s other books that some of the ideas that I’ve found most useful have been hidden in areas I wouldn’t normal be reading about.

So, even if you don’t like or care about chess – don’t skip references to it because Tim’s ability to dig out nuggets of gold from experts in areas which are not the main thing they’re known for is amazing and you may find that something a chess master uses to learn a new skill will be exactly what will work for you.

The 4-Hour Chef

This is another large book which comes in hard cover and packed with photos of all manner of things. The name of the book, and in fact its appearance give the first impression that it’s some sort of cookery book, but don’t let that fool you. This book combines Tim’s strategies for effectively learning new skills with a really interest variety of information related to food, taste, psychology, bio-chemistry and much more. I believe there’s something for everyone. You may not want to see how to choose a good hunting rifle or knife, but you may love Tim’s comments on how to stop your luggage ever being lost by an airline, or how to develop a solid set of kitchen tools, spice combinations or palette to taste food more than ever before.

The 4-Hour Body

Although Tim is best known for his first book, this one is based on a really solid foundation of Tim’s experiments on himself in all areas of diet, nutrition and exercise. As usual Tim has focused on how to tap into the best way to approach health and fitness to get the maximum results in minimum time. To this end, Tim discusses the concept of taking a more scientific approach to your health and rather than the traditional advice of look at weight-loss from a calories in vs calories out perspective to look at what the evidence says about the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) of something is. This results in a really interesting concept of applying the old Pareto principle to learn how to get the majority of the benefits of something for the least amount of required effort. Whether it’s learning the effective 2.5% of a language that gives you 95% of the ability to converse in it (returns diminish after this amount), or learning that you can gain muscle and lose weight using strategies that require only the minimum effort which gets you the majority of benefit so that you can turn a 20 hours a month physical slog into a 4 hours a month focus that gets you 10x the results.

Read this book (or listen to the audio version) – no matter whether you care about weight-loss or not.

The 4-Hour Work Week

Tim wrote this quite a while ago and it really lit a fire under a lot of people. It covers things such as being more effective, more efficient, outsourcing to save time and effort, and lessons from successful people who are able to free themselves from their daily routine and be more effective than ever in less time than ever.

I’d already experienced some of these lesson before finding Tim’s book, so reading it validated things which I’d already learned and gave me instant motivation to listen to everything Tim was saying.

If you have any feeling that you need to be more effective, want to start your own business, want to travel more but can’t see how to afford it the time/money due to existing work commitments – read this book.