The Books of Titans

In 2017, after reading Tim Ferriss's Tools of Titans, I decided to up my reading game. Inspired by the book recommendations from high achievers, I set a goal of reading 52 books a year. I made a list of all the titles, threw them in random order, and dove in, tackling fiction and non-fiction alike.

The 52-book goal stuck. Year after year, I kept exploring new worlds and ideas through reading. Then, in 2022, I started noticing a pattern: books often referenced or built upon other books. This sparked a curiosity about the foundational works – the ones that served as source material for so many others. That's when I got hooked on the idea of reading The Great Books.

So, in 2023, I kicked my reading project into high gear – Stage II, as I call it. I compiled a list of 200 Great Books and embarked on a chronological journey through them. I even decided to up the ante by reading a companion guidebook alongside each Great Book – that's why I call it The Great Books+. It's a marathon, not a sprint – I'm estimating it'll take over 10 years to complete!

About Erik


Hi – I’m Erik Rostad. I started Books of Titans in 2017 as an experiment to discover how to read more books and remember what I read.

I’ve always loved books. I remember reading by the light of my fishtank as a child. I lost that spark in high school when forced to read, but got it back in college where I spent about as much time reading for fun as I did on schoolwork.

Towards the end of 2016, a few things happened. I came across a list of books suggested by some of the world’s top performers in Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans. I wanted to read every book on that list! Also, as a business owner, I knew that I needed to keep on learning each year in order to offer value to my clients. I thought reading would be the best way to continually learn.

I decided to challenge myself to read 52 books during 2017 from that list of suggested books in Tools of Titans. I knew it would be a challenge.

Since then 2017, I continue to set a yearly reading list in advance and move through the list one book at a time. I’ve completed books I’ve wanted to read for many years and have been amazed at what I’ve discovered.

This project is my experiment to figure out the best ways to read more and retain what I learn. I try different approaches to find out what works best for me. I’m flexible on the methods but always want to challenge myself to read and learn more. I find such delight in reading and making connections between a variety of types of books.

Another reason for this reading project is to connect with other readers around the world. Feel free to contact me to ask about any of the books I’ve read, my reading process, how I choose books, or to discuss a book we’ve both read. You can contact me at

*Spencer Klavan referred to me as the “Marathon Runner of the Canon” in this guest appearance on his Young Heretics podcast.

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This reading project is an attempt to read the greatest books ever written.


Hi – I’m Erik Rostad. I started Books of Titans as an attempt to read the greatest books ever written.