In 2018, I read 100 books. Actually, I read more than 100 books, but I lost track somewhere around the holidays. This year I’ve decided to do the same, but I’ve added the stipulation that I have to publish a short review for each one in order for it to count.
Here are my rules:
- I have to experience the book in its entirely. Why do I say “experience” instead of “read?” Because I think listening to audiobooks should count too. Studies have shown that your brain engages the same way in an audiobook as it does with a regular old print edition.
- I get to decide what counts. eBooks? Of course! Kids books? Why not? (Because I say so). Audiobooks? Yep! (Refer to the previous rule). Comic books? …no, unless it’s a complete volume. Pamphlets? Maybe… how revolutionary are they? It’s really a judgment thing.
- I have to publish a review. That review cannot simply be a tweet. It might be as long as a tweet, but I’ve decided that Twitter doesn’t count. The formats could include a podcast, a blog post, a YouTube/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter video, but it doesn’t count unless I publish a review.
Anyhow, check out the list below and feel free to hit me up with your thoughts. I did my best to link the version that I actually read.
- Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan, read by Ray Porter. An oral history of Nintendo from and admitted outsiders point of view. Ryan is one of those people who refers to video game levels as “boards,” but that non-initiated perspective gives him unique insights that aren’t offered by the die-hard video game fans. Completed January 2nd.
- Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown. I’ve heard about this one for a long time. The concept behind multipliers is that every action you take in an organization either diminishes or multiplies productivity, and the best leaders are Multipliers (TM). The concepts are sound, but if someone were asking me about this one, I’d say you should pick up the abridged edition or possibly a third party summary. Completed January 3rd.
- The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King. This is just about as close to an autobiography of Mister Rogers as we’re going to get. The Good Neighbor tells the story of a lonely little boy who grew up to have one of the most influential careers in television based around the simple idea that children deserve the same respect as adults. Completed January 8th.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I understand why this is a classic now. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl named Scout, who struggles to understand why the world can’t be different and better than it is. Completed January 9th.
- The Intelligent Investor (Revised Edition) by Benjamin Graham. Warren Buffet’s favorite investment book. Simply stated: invest in index funds. Completed January 14th.
- The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Yikes. This one had a great message, I think? The issue comes that the points are made through a fictional story in which the main character is not successful until he meets a legendary business consultant who works Saturdays and introduces him to people who have already read the Go-Giver. All of these people have amazing success, receive standing ovations on a regular basis, spend their time wondering how the legendary business consultant somehow looks younger than he actually is, and always remember to tell other people about the Go-Giver. Short read, probably should have been shorter. Completed January 15th.
- Letters to the Church by Francis Chan. Francis Chan disappeared from the megachurch that he pastored several years ago only to re-emerge with a lot of thoughts on where a lot of American churches might have missed the mark. It’s always hard to hear what Chan has to say, but it’s amazing food for thought. Completed January 15th.
- Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference by Andy Puddicombe. The soft-spoken Bristol-born British Buddhist’s biography and meditation bible brings back bushels of basic advice to the budding beginner’s benefit on using mindfulness to dealing with spiritual bother and bereavement. Completed January 19th.
- Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow. The author of the Alexander Hamilton biography that inspired the musical wrote another massive biography about another misunderstood American icon. John D. Rockefeller had so much supernatural self-control that he became the world’s first billionaire through sheer force of will. Completed January 30th.
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash in Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. Whenever I realize I’m getting into a work lull, I just open up Audible and listen to some Gary V. I don’t know why, but the guy just speaks to the part of me that produces motivation. His career is pretty amazing for a guy who Russia traded to the United States for wheat. Completed February 5th.
- Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.
- Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. This one’s turning into a semi-annual read for me.
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body by Michael Matthews
- 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.