9×12 – A Weekly Book Project Gone Rogue

It has not been an easy year. I think November 2016 hit a lot of us like a ton of bricks. I personally had been listening to every political podcast I could get my hands on leading up to the election — like it might make some difference. This year I had to step away. Sure, I still listen to my daily news podcasts (shout out to the good Rachel Maddow, Marketplace, and NPR Hourly for my morning fix) but the rest of my time has been a full immersion into books.

In 2015 I set out to read a book a week. Having discovered that I could listen to audiobooks while doing many of the day’s tedious tasks, I saw that I was reading books roughly at that pace. So I made a conscious effort to finish books at opportune times to make that pace official: finish a book a week. This entails sometimes waiting a day to finish the last chapter. Or it might mean reading three books at once because you really want to read that 40 hour book but will not finish it in a week.

This year I started out at double that pace, I made a point of not finishing two a week in January, just so I wouldn’t feel obliged. But I caught up and kept the pace anyways. This year I finished 108 books.

I had wanted to take my pace down, write out thoughts about each book. But things didn’t work out that way. I made it a couple of months writing up the books I finished, then I got washed away by the currents of the year.

Two books a week. Nine books (on average) each month.

I wanted to write up some highlights, but there are so many friends here below, it’s hard. I will have to write a little something about each, eventually.

Many of the books on this list are books I finally got around to reading. I had always wanted to read Lloyd Alexander, but I couldn’t get my hands on them as a kid. I though it might be too late. It wasn’t. If you haven’t read The Chronicles of Prydain yet, do yourself a favor.

I also had never finished the full Narnia series. I stumbled across the BBC version of the book I was starting, when I was in the 4th grade. It ruined it for me. I finally read them through.

I have this problem. I love Tolkien so much, I so much as think about rereading the Hobbit and Lord fo the Rings, I then have to. This time it only took a week.

There was a lot more Science Fiction and Fantasy this year. A lot of excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy this year.

I read some great business books. The first book I finished this year, Who, changed the way I hire people.

The Lean Startup and The Power of Broke were actually quite similar in their message. But the books felt as if they were written from a very different vantage point, and for very different audiences. One would benefit reading them back to back as I have.

A bunch of classics I had always wanted to read.

Some sociology, trying to understand What Happened. And a whole lot more.

If you’ve read, or are planning to read one of the books below, please feel free to discuss, or ask me about it. I’d really love that.

This coming year I plan on trying to slow things down a bit, and trying to internalize more of what I consume. With me luck!

Title Author Genre Date Finished
Who Geoff Smart, Randy Street Human Resources & Personnel Management January 6, 2017
Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout Literature and Fiction January 8, 2017
Last Light of the Sun Guy Gavriel Kay Fantasy January 13, 2017
The Drunken Botanist Amy Stewart Botany January 17, 2017
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett Classics January 18, 2017
Consider the Fork Bee Wilson Civilization & Culture January 24, 2017
Watership Down Richard Adams Classics January 29, 2017
March (Trilogy) John Lewis Biographies & Memoirs January 30, 2017
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien Fantasy February 3, 2017
Gulp Mary Roach Anatomy & Physiology February 7, 2017
The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien Fantasy February 8, 2017
The Two Towers J.R.R. Tolkien Fantasy February 12, 2017
The Return of the King J.R.R. Tolkien Fantasy February 14, 2017
The Dark is Rising Susan Cooper Fantasy February 16, 2017
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë Literature & Fiction February 21, 2017
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith Literature & Fiction February 27, 2017
Bel Canto Ann Patchett Literary March 2, 2017
Radical Maajid Nawaz International & World Politics March 8, 2017
1984 George Orwell Current Events March 13, 2017
The Last Unicorn Peter S. Beagle Fantasy March 15, 2017
Brave New World Aldous Huxley Current Events March 19, 2017
Unshakeable Tony Robbins Personal Finance March 21, 2017
Thus Spoke Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy March 28, 2017
The Essential Drucker Peter F. Drucker Management & Leadership April 5, 2017
The Lies of Locke Lamora Scott Lynch Fantasy April 8, 2017
Tiny Beautiful Things Cheryl Strayed Life & Advice April 12, 2017
All the Birds in the Sky Charlie Jane Anders Cyberpunk April 17, 2017
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 17, 2017
Prince Caspian C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 18, 2017
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 20, 2017
The Horse and his Boy C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 21, 2017
The Magician’s Nephew C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 22, 2017
The Last Battle C. S. Lewis Fantasy April 23, 2017
The Coaching Habit Michael Bungay Stanier Management April 26, 2017
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) Ann Leckie Science Fiction April 30, 2017
Algorithms to Live By Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths Behavioral Sciences May 2, 2017
Deathless Catherynne M. Valente Fantasy May 6, 2017
The Lean Startup Eric Ries Leadership & Management May 9, 2017
How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Mark Cuban Leadership & Management May 11, 2017
The Power of Broke Daymond John Leadership & Management May 17, 2017
The Vikings – The Great Courses Kenneth W. Harl History May 18, 2017
Range of Ghosts Elizabeth Bear Fantasy May 21, 2017
WebMage Kelly McCullough Science Fiction & Fantasy May 23, 2017
Enemies: A History of the FBI Tim Weiner Politics & Government May 31, 2017
Managing Oneself Peter F. Drucker Leadership & Management June 2, 2017
The Art of Invisibility Peter F. Drucker Technology & Privacy June 8, 2017
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky Literature & Fiction June 12, 2017
Good Omens Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett Science Fiction & Fantasy June 17, 2017
The Handmaid’s Tail Margaret Atwood Dystopian June 21, 2017
Good Leaders Ask Great Questions John C. Maxwell Management & Leadership June 23, 2017
Turn the Ship Around! L. David Marquet Management & Leadership June 28, 2017
Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift Literature & Fiction June 29, 2017
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson Literature & Fiction July 4, 2017
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Pearl Translated by: J. R. R. Tolkien Literature & Fiction July 5, 2017
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov Literature & Fiction July 11, 2017
The Fourth Transformation Robert Scoble, Shel Israel Computers & Technology July 12, 2017
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury Science Fiction July 17, 2017
Angel Jason Calacanis Entrepreneurship & Investing July 20, 2017
Murder on the Orient Express Agatha Christie Mystery July 24, 2017
You’re It!: On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found Alan Watts Eastern Philosophy July 28, 2017
Stories of Your Life and Others Ted Chiang Science Fiction July 30, 2017
Sapiens Yuval Harari Civilization & Culture August 3, 2017
The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read Daniel R. Solin Money & Finance August 10, 2017
The Complete First Edition, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brother Grimm Jacob Grimm,‎ Wilhelm Grimm Anthropology August 12, 2017
Your Deceptive Mind: The Great Courses Steven Novella Psychology August 14, 2017
Your Deceptive Mind – The Great Courses Steven Novella Psychology August 14, 2017
Archeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites – Great Courses Eric Cline Archeology August 16, 2017
On Bullshit Harry G. Frankfurt Religous Studies August 23, 2017
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Theodora Goss Historical Fantasy August 24, 2017
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey Business & Management September 1, 2017
The Traitor Baru Cormorant Seth Dickinson Business & Management September 2, 2017
The Oedipus Cycle Sophocles Ancient & Classical September 6, 2017
Start With Why Simon Sinek Business & Management September 8, 2017
Dubliners James Joyce Literature September 13, 2017
I and Thou Martin Buber Philosophy September 14, 2017
What Happened Hillary Rodham Clinton Civics & Citizenship September 20, 2017
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Howard Pyle History September 22, 2017
The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman Fantasy September 27, 2017
London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World – The Great Courses Robert Bucholz History September 30, 2017
Light Falls: Space, Time, and an Obsession of Einstein Brian Greene History & Physics October 3, 2017
A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare Classics October 5, 2017
Never Split the Difference Chris Voss Management & Leadership October 12, 2017
The Tempest William Shakespeare Drama October 13, 2017
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens Literature & Fiction October 18, 2017
Aesop’s Fables Aesop Folk Tales & Myth October 21, 2017
King Lear William Shakespeare Drama October 23, 2017
Shakespeare: The World as Stage Bill Bryson Memoir October 28, 2017
One Bird At a Time Bernd Heinrich Ornithology October 31, 2017
The Lost World Arthur Conan Doyle Travel Journal November 3, 2017
The Talented Mr. Ripley Patricia Highsmith Thrillers & Suspense November 6, 2017
The Book of Three Lloyd Alexander Fantasy November 8, 2017
The Black Cauldron Lloyd Alexander Fantasy November 12, 2017
The Castle of Llyr Lloyd Alexander Fantasy November 15, 2017
Evicted Matthew Desmond Public Policy November 17, 2017
Taran Wanderer Lloyd Alexander Fantasy November 19, 2017
H is for Hawk Helen Macdonald Ornithology November 22, 2017
The High King Lloyd Alexander Fantasy November 26, 2017
The Third Plate Dan Barber Cooking & Agriculture December 2, 2017
Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman Cognitive Psychology December 7, 2017
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame Literature & Fiction December 8, 2017
White Trash Nancy Isenberg Sociology December 14, 2017
The Gunslinger Stephen King Fantasy & Suspense December 14, 2017
All Your Worth Elizabeth Warren Money & Finance December 20, 2017
The Lions of Al-Rassan Guy Gavriel Kay Historical Fantasy December 22, 2017
The Oresteia Aeschylus Greek Classic December 25, 2017
The Spice Box of Earth Leonard Cohen Contemporary Poetry December 26, 2017
Othello William Shakespeare Drama December 29, 2017
Runaway Alice Munro Short Stories December 31, 2017