I love to learn but I simply don’t have enough time to sit and read all the classic ebooks that I’m always adding to my reading list. That’s why I turn to audiobooks, which I can easily listen to when I’m on the go using my iPhone.
For most of my life I have tried to complete a book a week and failed. Then I discovered how easy it is to find and listen to audiobooks on my iPhone. This led me to set a more realistic goal of listening to an audiobook per week, which I was able to consistently achieve.
If you want to read a book a week, I recommend setting aside an hour each day for audiobook learning. This may sound like a lot, but just think of all the time you probably waste each day (for example, the average American wastes 4 hours a day watching TV).
Listening to audiobooks is fun and easy. You don’t even need to be sitting down for long periods of time (which is very bad for your health) to enjoy learning with audiobooks, which most people can easily do while they’re out walking, driving and getting exercise outdoors.
Why Listen To Classic Books?
While I listen at least one new audiobook each month with my Audible subscription, most classic ebooks are a little older so they are available for free in the public domain.
I’m a huge believer in classical education and the reason I recommend listening to classic books is because they are portals into the minds of history’s most influential and inspiring geniuses, philosophers and truth seekers. Who wouldn’t want to know how people like Einstein, Tesla and Da Vinci thought?
If you’re also seeking your own search for truth, getting a classical education by regularly reading classic books is the fastest way I have discovered for accelerate your progress along your learning path.
While reading on the web and listening to podcasts are great ways to learn something new, if you want to learn something deeply then you need to read or listen to a complete book. The problem with only learning on the web and consuming information in quick bite-sized chunks on social networks is you often end up with a fragmented understanding of things.
The structure of books are designed to give you a much more complete understanding and many classic books are the result of a lifetime of learning, research and experimentation by their authors.
So, if you’re ready to take my classic audiobook challenge, set aside an hour a day and you’ll be surprised at how much you want learn in a month without even having to sit down!
I have put together this massive collection of some of my recommendations for classic audiobooks. They are all available in the public domain so you can listen to them in different audio formats and by using the YouTube app on your iPhone or Android.
The classics of Western philosophy from ancient Greece, the Middles Ages, the Enlightenment and beyond.
1. The Republic (Plato)
2. Meditations (Marcus Aurelius)
3. On Liberty (John Stuart Mill)
4. Common Sense (Thomas Paine)
5. The Age of Reason (Thomas Paine)
6. Anthem (Ayn Rand)
7. The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx)
8. The Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle)
9. Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche)
10. Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche)
11. The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli)
12. The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)
13. The Odyssey (Homer)
14. The Illiad (Homer)
15. The Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)
16. The Way To Wealth (Benjamin Franklin)
17. Character Building (Booker T. Washington)
18. On the Nature of the Gods (Cicero)
19. Of Peace of Mind (Seneca)
A good counterbalance to Western philosophy with greater focus on the practical knowledge of the mind and self-liberation.
2. Freedom From The Known (Krishnamurti)
3. Sadhana: The Realization of Life (Sadhana)
4. Reincarnation (Swami Abhedananda)
5. The Kama Sutra (Vatsyayana)
6. The Way of the Warrior (Bushido)
7. The Buddic Consciousness (C. W. Leadbeater)
9. The Mahabharata (Vyasa)
10. The Tao of Pooh
11. The Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu)
12. The Dhammapada (The Buddha)
13. The Art of War (Sun Tze)
15. The Path of Light (Shantideva)
16. The Upanishads
17. The Yoga Sutras (Patanjali)
18. The Analects of Confucius (Confucius)
19. On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (Alan Watts)
Develop your understanding of the nature of physics, the Universe and the construction of reality itself.
1. A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking)
2. The Theory of Relativity (Albert Einstein)
3. The Pioneers of Science (Sir Oliver Lodge)
4. Physics (Aristotle)
Learning history liberates you. Those who dismiss and forget history are condemned to repeat it.
1. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World In Our Time (Caroll Quigley)
2. History Of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Vol. 1 (Gaston Maspero)
3. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (John Perkins)
4. The Story of Atlantis and Lemuria (William Scott-Elliot)
5. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)
6. A History of Western Philosophy (Bertrand Russel)
8. A History of the United States (Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard)
The Torah, Bible and Koran:
The books of the three Abrahamic religions and their different translations of God, morality and truth.
7. The Bible
8. The Torah
9. The Koran
The counter-cultural icons and literary greats who defined American ideals of freedom and liberty.
1. On The Road (Jack Kerouac)
2. Dharma Bums (Jack Kerouac)
3. Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
4. Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
5. Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)
6. The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper)
7. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
8. The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
9. Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)
10. This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
11. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
The literary classics that have defined European cultural ideals and modern ideas of freedom and democracy.
1. 1984 (George Orwell)
2. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
3. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
4. Faust (Goethe)
5. The Time Machine (H. G. Wells)
6. The Lost World (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare)
8. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
9. Aesop’s Fables (Aesop)
10. Notes From The Underground (Feydor Dochevsky)
11. The Soul of Man (Oscar Wilde)
12. What I Believe (Leo Tolstoy)
13. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
14. Candide (Voltaire)
15. Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe)
16. The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling)
17. Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
18. Around The World In 80 Days (Jules Verne)
19. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
20. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
21. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
22. The Magi (William Butler Yeats)
23. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
24. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
25. Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm)
26. The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells)
27. The Doors of Perception (Aldous Huxley)
28. Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse)
29. Alice In Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
Get inspired by exploring the lives, routines and thoughts of influential historical figures.
2. The Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda)
3. The Story of My Life (Helen Keller)
4. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Malcolm X)
5. Autobiography of Mark Twain (Mark Twain)
6. Long Walk To Freedom (Nelson Mandela)
7. Henry Ford’s Own Story (Rose Wilder Lane)
9. My Inventions (Nikola Tesla)
What does it mean to be educated? Different methods for learning how to learn.
3. Democracy and Education (John Dewey)
4. How To Listen To Music (Henry Edward Krehbiel)
5. Memory: How to Develop, Train and Use It (William Walker Atkinson)
Ground-breaking books on politics that force you to think differently.
1. The Theory of Social Revolutions (Brooks Adams)
2. Public Opinion (Walter Lippmann)
3. The Social Contract (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
4. God and the State (Mikhail Bakunin)
5. The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice (Stephen Leacock)
6. Second Treatise of Government (John Locke)
Roadmaps for understanding your psychology, behaviour and ultimate human potential.
1. Dream Psychology (Sigmund Freud)
2. Psychopathology of Everyday Life (Sigmund Freud)
3. Approaching The Unconscious (Carl Jung)
4. Studies in the Psychology of Sex (Havelock Ellis)
5. Essay on the Creative Imagination (Theodule Ribot)
6. The Creative Mind (Ernest Shurtieff Holmes)
Classic personal development books that are read by millions.
1. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
2. How To Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
3. The New Psycho-Cybernetics (Maxwell Maltz)
4. As A Man Thinketh (James Allen)
5. The Power of Concentration (Theron Q. Dumont)
6. A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis (Melvin Powers)
7. The Science of Getting Rich (Wallace D. Wattles)
8. How To Analyze People On Sight (Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict)
9. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Joseph Murphy)
10. The Science of Being Great (Wallace D. Wattles)
11. The Automatic Millionaire (David Bach)
12. In Tune With the Infinite (Ralph Waldo Trine)
13. Self Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
14. Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I hope you find these audiobooks as enlighten as I did! If you enjoyed any of these audiobooks, please share them widely so more people can listen and learn.