I’d thought about doing a long post where I listed every book I read this year and my thoughts on each of them. Then I realized how long that would actually take and the ROI on that activity was poor. A better way to accomplish my goal of sharing what I read with you was to add them all to a bookshelf on Goodreads and then pick the ones I actually wanted to talk about for here.
Here’s the link with the 40 books I read last year.
Top 5 Fiction Books
In no particular order, these are my top fiction books from last year.
The Martian by Andy Weird – I read this thing twice and saw the movie twice. Here’s a relevant XKCD for why you should read this.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Lindsay picked this for our book club. Inspired me to propose in St. Malo.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Another pick by Lindsay. This was very enjoyable and played like a movie in my head.
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman – Written around the time of the Vietnam War, this is a classic Sci-Fi book that follows one guy through a 1000 year war. He lives that long because of time dilation. It’s awesome.
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray – First Star Wars book I’ve read in the new Expanded Universe. I’d read a ton of the old EU (now called Star Wars Legacy) and really enjoyed it so I figured I’d dive into the new stuff and see how it holds up. This is marketed as Young Adult book, but it was really quite enjoyable, if a little adolescent at parts. It also helps explain how that Star Destroyer ended up on Jakku in the beginning of The Force Awakens
Top 5 Non-Fiction Books
This is really tough because I liked the vast majority of the non-fiction books I read. In no particular order,
Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance – What can I say? Elon is the man.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – This is a must read for everyone who has anybody that’s old in their life.
Resilience by Eric Greitens – When I finished reading this book I told Lindsay, “You know how people say they wish they’d gotten a handbook when they became an adult? Well, this is that book.” Even with all the Jesus stuff, I still really enjoyed it.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams – Found this after listening to a podcast with him and Tim Ferriss. Excellent and succinct book about how to build a better life. I gave this to two of my coworkers because it was so good.
Code by Charles Petzold – Shows you how a computer works from the simplest possible example all the way up to Assembly language and beyond. It really demystifies how these machines work.
Also known as, the books I wanted to say something about and I think you should also read.
Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor – Excellent book on how to use positive reinforcement to improve the behavior of nearly every conscious creature.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Really frames habits in a wonderful light and shows how they work at person, professional, and societal levels. Inspiring and motivational to help you improve your life.
Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock – If you ever get a chance to influence how your company works, use the findings in this book to help make it better. Same thing goes for Reinventing Organizations.
Outsider in the White House by Bernie Sanders – This book will get you fired up and excited about making a difference in our political system and society. And it came out originally in 1997. Bernie sure is consistent. #FeeltheBern.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – If you’re not currently with someone, this book will show you how not to suck at finding someone (either for just sex or for something more). If you are currently with someone, it’ll make you appreciate that you’re out of the game even more, and it might even help you ensure the one you love keeps falling in love with you. Either way, you’ll literally laugh out loud.
Shoot me a message if you have any questions about any of these books. My goal for next year is a book a week. I’ll try to be better about keeping track of them on good reads.