Last updated on January 31st, 2017
Books are a source of knowledge, ideas and inspiration for any modern warrior. Not only do they inform us about history, but they inspire us to be better people.
So, when it comes down to this year, how many books have you actually read?
Not many? How about listening to someone else read books to you?
How does two FREE audio books sound?
I have compiled a list of 23 books for modern warriors – from martial artists, Parkour traceurs, obstacle course racers, fitness athletes to body language enthusiasts. Pick two for free and listen to them while driving, before bed or when at work.
Two Audio Books for FREE? Whats the catch?
For a limited time, Amazon’s Audible is giving away two audio books for free.
You simply need to sign up for Audible’s 30-day FREE trial.
If that doesn’t work, click on “Claim this Audible book for FREE!” for your selected books below. It works for me.
That is all.
Within 30-days, if you think that audio books are not for you, cancel the free trial.
Also, there is no pressure to pick two books at one go. Get one first and pick the second one for free on a later date.
So, here are 23 different books for you. Quickly navigate to the section you are most interested in…
- About Samurai & Bushido
- Martial Arts Icons & Founders
- Parkour & Obstacle Courses
- Fitness Endurance & Mindfulness
- General Wellness – Sleep & Attitude
- For Survivalists & Preppers
- Reading People for Suspicion & Deception
- Leadership, Charisma & Influence
For Martial Artists – About Samurai & Bushido
Intrigued by books that were written by actual samurai and ancient scholars in Japan? Here are three that will open your eyes – or ears – to the way of the samurai.
The Book of Five Rings was written by Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), who was a legendary swordsman and samurai in Japan. His book has been regarded as on par with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. It talks about various ways to defeat an opponent on the battlefield, and records his thoughts on swordplay and spirituality.
The book has been translated to English.
Narration length: 2 hours and 42 minutes.
Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai was also written by a samurai – Yamamoto Tsunetomo – but in the 18th century. The book’s central theme is about living and dying courageously. And it gives an insight into the mind of a samurai warrior and his bushido code.
The book has been translated to English.
Narration length: 5 hours and 7 minutes.
Training the Samurai Mind: A Bushido Sourcebook gives an inside look into the samurai’s world.
Through translated texts on bushido from warriors and scholars between the 15th and 19th century, the book reveals the standards, martial training and strategy of the samurai. It also discusses the role of Eastern religions in influencing samurai ideals.
Narration length: 8 hours and 15 minutes.
For Martial Artists – Martial Arts Icons & Founders
Looking for some martial arts philosophy and inspiration? These audible books, when read to you, will make an impact.
The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee to Better Understand the World around You and Achieve a Rewarding Life (by John Little)
John Little is uniquely placed to talk about Bruce Lee because he was the only person to be allowed access to all of Lee’s notes and diagrams after his death. This book talks about how Bruce Lee lived his life and shows you how to live by his philosophy.
Narration length: 7 hours and 7 minutes.
The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido was written by the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. In a time that Japan was growing militaristic, O-sensei was a pacifist.
This book talks about the nonviolent means to resolving conflicts. Aside martial training, the philosophy is equally applicable to relationships and society.
Narration length: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
A coming-of-age story (auto-biography) that captures the wonder of martial arts that every practicing martial artist once had. Dave Lowry began his martial arts journey in 1968 by studying Yagyū Shinkage-ryū kenjutsu in Japan. And there is no doubt, that his experiences as an apprentice of the samurai arts prompted the reflections contained within.
Narration length: 6 hours and 32 minutes.
For Ninja Fitness – Parkour & Obstacle Courses
Love to move through obstacles like a ninja?
This book introduces beginners to parkour and its history. It also distinguishes the discipline of free running from parkour. Included within are techniques for safety, landing, jumps, vaults and conditioning. Since this is an audio book, it might be more useful for people who learn better with audio aid.
Narration length: 1 hour and 6 minutes.
Not strictly a parkour book, but an exploration of ultimate human performance through extreme athletes – adventure sports, big mountain snow boarders and more. It discusses the science and art of “flow”, an optimal state of consciousness when people perform their best. And this, is no doubt, something that many traceurs in parkour and free running have experienced first-hand.
I’d argue that even martial artists who spar would be interested in what Steven Kotler has to say about this mysterious effect.
Narration length: 9 hours and 23 minutes.
Spartan Fit! is a book by Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan Race. His book includes the following:
- A 30-day workout and diet plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint
- Full-body calisthenics workouts (no equipment needed)
This training guide will talk about how to build your body on one race to next. Like the previous book, he includes inspiring stories of Spartan Race participants.
Narration length: 8 hours and 53 minutes.
For Fitness Enthusiasts – Endurance & Mindfulness
Primal Endurance: Escape Chronic Cardio and Carbohydrate Dependency, and Become a Fat-Burning Beast! (by Mark Sisson)
Primal Endurance is a groundbreaking book that challenges the conventions of endurance training, for which the approach is too stressful and ineffective. Mark Sisson talks also about how cardio, which is the common means of endurance training, causes the body to be dependent on carbohydrates. What’s proposed is how one can increase fat metabolism through a holistic approach to exercise (high intensity training) and eating.
Narration length: 12 hours and 8 minutes.
This book combines fitness and meditation, and shows how meditative fitness practice benefits you in terms of positivity and enlightenment. It talks about breaking barriers and elevating your performance. The author, Clark Hamilton Depue, also tells his personal story on how this practice transformed his life.
Narration length: 8 hours and 53 minutes.
For General Wellness – Sleep & Attitude
Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success (by Shawn Stevenson)
Sleep is often the most neglected of our basic needs. It is obvious that it helps the body with regeneration, productivity and well-being (not being depressed).
But sleep was what Shawn Stevenson only after a degenerative bone disease robbed him of his dreams of being a pro athlete. He did manage to heal his body through proper sleep and nutrition. His added insights will no doubt change the minds of chronic sleep-deprived zombies. And his 14-Day sleep makeover provides actionable steps to make it happen.
Narration length: 6 hours and 36 minutes.
Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, Jeese Itzler has a history of being bold and crazy. This time round he is crazy enough to live with a Navy SEAL for 31 days. He wanted to be pushed out of his comfort zone, and he was indeed. This book hilariously demonstrates the importance of challenging one’s comfort zone.
Narration length: 5 hours and 18 minutes.
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living (by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman)
Ancient stoics from Greece have inspired many of the greatest minds today. And their philosophy holds the key to living a better existence. This book offers daily Stoic insights and exercises that will help you find peace, knowledge and foster perseverance in life.
Narration length: 10 hours and 9 minutes.
For Survivalists & Preppers
100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster (by Clint Emerson)
This is an essential guide for modern-day survival in both the wild and disaster. Written by a retired Navy SEAL, this book contains 100 skills relevant to civilians. It contains critical life-saving knowledge to help you stay safe in an emergency.
Narration length: 4 hours and 47 minutes.
SHTF Prepping: 100+ Amazing Tips, Tricks, Hacks & DIY Prepper Projects, Along with 77 Items You Need in Your STHF Stockpile Now! (by Kevin Moore)
When shit hits the fan, would you know what to do?
This book reveals the skills you need to master and the tools to keep on you always. It goes into detail on basic food and water survival, creating a bug-out bag, numerous tips and tricks to prepare your family for disaster and even contains an urban guide to prepping.
Narration length: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
For Body Language Enthusiasts – Reading People for Suspicion & Deception
Find Out Anything from Anyone, Anytime: Secrets of Calculated Questioning from a Veteran Interrogator (by James Pyle & Maryann Karinch)
Rather than a book on lie detection, this book helps you develop the skill of asking the right question. And to distill fact from gossip.
The insight here is that interrogation is sometimes more effective as a conversation.
Narration length: 4 hours and 22 minutes.
What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People (by Joe Navarro)
This is among the better body language books on identifying suspicious and dangerous behavior. But it also goes into detail about how to establish trust and authority. If you only take away one thing from this book, it is that the face is the least reliable indicator of honesty.
Narration length: 7 hours and 24 minutes.
Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception (by Philip Houston, Michael Floyd & Susan Carnicero, with Don Tennant)
This book is written by three former CIA officers, whose experience includes interviewing CIA assets and employees. Within, they share the previously secret method of asking questions that will encourage people to tell the truth.
Ordinary applications for this knowledge include hiring a new employee, dating someone new or speaking to your child about drugs.
Narration length: 4 hours and 52 minutes.
For Ninja Leaders – Leadership, Charisma & Influence
The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over (by Jack Schafer, with Marvin Karlins)
This book is not only about reading people, but it discusses how you can influence how others perceive you. Ultimately, the goal is to turn strangers into friends.
Written by a former FBI agent who specialised in behavioral analysis and recruiting spies, learn various techniques to take control of your communication and relationships with others.
Narration length: 7 hours and 40 minutes.
The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead (by Carol Kinsey Goman)
The Silent Language of Leaders is a guide to using body language for leadership. Inside, Carol Kinsey Goman talks about personal space, posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact. And it emphasises how these factors can be used to motivate, inspire and lead others.
Narration length: 6 hours.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (by Robert B. Cialdini)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a book on the art of persuasion, and it goes into the science of it with specific examples. Through evidence-based rigorous research, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini talks about what motivates people to change their behavior. You will be taught his six principles to become a skilled persuader (and how to guard yourself against the very same tactics).
Narration length: 10 hours and 6 minutes.
How to Win Friends & Influence People (by Dale Carnegie)
Yet another classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People has been published for half a century and updated. Many famous names have used it to achieve great success in their personal lives and careers.
Here is what it covers:
- Basic techniques to handle people
- Ways to be likable
- Ways to persuade people to your perspective
- How to change people (without arousing resentment)
Narration length: 7 hours and 19 minutes.
Perhaps I wanted to accomplish more before 2016 ends. Just some last-minute reading.
So, having “someone” read to me two books this holiday season sounds awesome. I’m just going to kickback on my couch lazily and listen.
You should consider doing so too. Claim your Audible books above.