Friday, January 6, 2017

Reminiscences of Books Past: My 2016 Reading Log

Yall know I like to read every now and again.* I thought I'd go over my 2016 book highlights.

So, I started the year with the intention of reading my entire backlog, which was probably 8-9 years old (the astute reader will remember my daughter turned nine in August). I achieved half of that goal, that is, I read about half my back log pile. Even if that had been all I'd read, that still would've been 18 books, so respectable for the year in this day and age of "nobody reads past college".

Actually, not including books I read for classes, I recorded a total of 45 books read!! And two audio books (I discovered Tim Ferriss's podcast in mid-summer so started listening to that in the car instead). A lot of those are library books, although I think I did buy enough to replenish my TBR pile for 2017.

Outstanding titles:

The Society of the Spectacle, by Guy Debord. Classic French not quite existentialism but amazing views on what our society truly has become: oblivious.

The War of Art & Do The Work, by Steven Pressfield. As recommended by Seth Godin. Basically, anything Seth recommends, I read. And Steven's work is worth every penny.

The full list. I promise, he read more than that.
So Good They Can't Ignore You & Deep Work, by Cal Newport. These both changed my mind about both what I am doing with my career and how I need to be doing it. Still processing both of these and trying to work with the precepts while being a lead parent. (NB: Cal is not a lead parent. I can't help but believe this makes a difference.)

How the Mighty Fall & Built to Last, by Jim Collins. Yes, I finally read the seminal Built to Last, and it was every bit as good as you'd expect. How the Mighty Fall, though, will be more relevant to my book writing.

A few modern classics that are, duh, classics: The Long Tail, The Checklist Manifesto, The Black Swan, Switch.

I don't read a ton of fiction, but for some reason, almost all of it I did read this year wound up of the "magic" "victorian" style. Particular fun was Charlie Holmberg's The Paper Magician series and VE Schwab's Shades of Magic series.

Finally, I finished the year with Kevin Kelly's The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. If you wonder or care or just want to have some cocktail banter about what the next 25 years may be like, read this book. Every day I see an article or someone's post and go, "just like KK said."

My reading goal for 2017 is to, once again, clean out the backlog pile AND to read 52 books this year.

What are your reading goals?

*That is sarcastic. I know you just snorted when you read it.