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!
|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|