As I have written before, I love to read. In fact, (because I’m such an uber-tracker I guess), I have written down the books I have read for the past four years. I started to do this the same time I took on a weekday morning ritual of reading (along with writing my “morning pages”) before I do anything else.
Here’s the list of books I’ve read this year (so far):
1. Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!, by Nicholas Carlson, 357pp. (Informative and compelling book going in great detail about the reign of former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer)
2. Wealth Happens One Day At A Time: 365 Days To a Brighter a Financial Future, by Brooke M. Stephens, 372pp. (A one-tip-a-day kind of book, with ideas for your financial success. I actually read this last year–yes, one day and one page at a time– but then finished it up early this year)
3. The Spirit of Success: 34 Heartfelt Inspirational Breakthrough Stories, by Adam Markel & Bill Walsh (and 32 other authors), 230p (A book I got because I’ve been in the Peak Potentials Crowd… This is one of those collections that marketers put together, where there is no one theme, but a bunch of different people telling their unique success stories. As I recall, some were really good)
4. The Empowered Artist, by Bob Baker, 189pp. (Fellow artist and friend to all artistic beings Bob Baker gives his encouraging advice. I don’t remember having any big revelations while reading, but I always appreciate Baker’s positive spirit)
5. All About Asset Allocation, by Rick Ferri, 336 pp (A book on the “top ten” list of Bogleheads, and fans of Vanguard-style investing. Very informative)
6. Your Money and Your Brain, by Jason Zweig, 340 pp. (I re-read this excellent book for a presentation I gave. The book is all about how our brains are wired to make us crazy when it comes to money).
7. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias, 297 pp. (A book I found at the library. I’m not sure it truly lives up to the hype of the title, but the author probably has more personality than any other financial writer I’ve read)
8. One Up On Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market, by Peter Lynch, 302 pp. (A truly great read by an investment legend. I was pleasantly surprised by how down-to-earth and forthcoming Lynch was.)
9. Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber, 542 pp. (A revisionist look at the origins of money. At times harrowing, at other times just plain fascinating, this was a worthwhile, though with its stark view of humankind’s economic past, I’m not sure it is the book to read if you want to be uplifted.)
10. Go-Givers Sell More, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, 193pp. (A pleasant read by salesmen who focus on being client-focused and generous.)
11. The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara, 355pp. (I re-read this novel I read back in high school. It still shines for how it brings fighting in the Civil War up close and personal.)
12. The Bear and the Serpent, Adrian Tchaikovsky, 446 pp. (I got this from the library, and I’m sure it would make a fine book if I read in sequence, as it is a sequel to a book I did not read. I was so impressed by another Adrian Tchaikovsky book I read called “Children of Time” that I didn’t stop to think before reading this. Somehow I got through the whole thing, though utterly perplexed half the time.)
13. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, 311 pp.(I thought it was about time to read this classic. Quite chilling and interesting. Upon finishing this, I felt I had satisfied my curiosity about religiously-extreme sexual dystopias, and so did not watch the Hulu series with my wife.)
14. “Seed to Harvest” Series… “Wild Seed,” by Octavia E. Butler, 320 pp. (This was one of the biggest surprise reads of the year. My first time ever reading her. Incredible imagining of a made-up world where people and Gods interact)
15. “Seed to Harvest” Series… “Mind of My Mind,” by Octavia E. Butler, 217 pp. (The 2nd book in Butler’s series, also quite engaging, a real page-turner.)
16. “Seed to Harvest” Series…“Clay’s Ark,” by Octavia E. Butler, 201 pp. (By the 3rd book in this series, my enthusiasm started to dwindle, as I rather liked the characters in the first two and didn’t like having to start all over again with brand new characters on this this one, even though the concept for this story, as the other two, is quite incredible. Here blame the reader, not the writer).
17. “Seed to Harvest” Series…“Patternmaster” by Octavia E. Butler, 208 pp. (Again, the 4th book wasn’t quite as exciting as the first time, but is high on concept in her usual way of a well-constructed fantasy world)
18. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, by Christopher Scotton, 496 pp. (This was a satisfying yarn about a Tennessee town, told from the point of view of a kid who goes to visit his grandfather after his brother gets killed. I would say that this book’s strengths is the characters, who are written with warmth and heart, and an interesting plot that would make for a good film.)
19. “Les Miserables,” by Victor Hugo, 640 pp. (This was another on my long-time reading list. Read the “abridged” version. It was an accessible read, reminded me of “Jane Eyre” or Dickens. Also had 19th Century romanticism, with characters embodying ideals such as virtue, revenge, or redemption from suffering.
20. “The Secret History,” by Donna Tartt, 559 pp. (Possibly the most brilliant book I read all year. This dark, smart Gothic novel is hard to classify other than by calling it brilliant: brilliantly written, incredibly well-drawn characters. I felt great awe when I put down this book.)
21. “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Aaron Doerr, 530 pp. (I found a copy of this Pulitzer Prize winner in one of the bookshare Kiosks on the sidewalk. To me, as with “Secret Wisdom of the Earth,” this book excels in its plot and unique point of view: it is told from the point of a view of a blind French girl and a German radio technician from opposite sides during World War II.
22. A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Reality, by Ramtha, 318pp. (An often mezmerizing channelled book filled with unique insights and wisdom. My introduction to this writer).
23. When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II, by Molly Guptill Manning. 267pp. (This well-researched, well-written book tells the story of World War II from the point of view of the Armed Services Editions, the millions of books that the U.S. Government provided soldiers for entertainment, education, and to provide an escape from the difficulties of war)
24. The Asshole Survival Guide, by Robert I. Sutton, 214 pp. (A follow up to a previous book by an author who calls himself an asshole specialist: how to deal with assholes in the workplace and in life. I found the idea of such a book revelatory)
25. “The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls 288pp. (Extraordinary story of children raised by ne’er-do-well bohemian parents, who subjected their children to unending struggle and poverty to live out their extreme ideals. Very well-written, the book treads the line between pathos and love quite well, making you alternately hate the parents and marvel at how resourceful their children turned out.)
26. The Master Key System, by Charles F. Haanel, 198pp. (Re-reading a “positive thinking” book of the ilk of “Think and Grow Rich” or other such classics: great principles about the Law of Attraction and the power of your thoughts)
27. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra, 115pp. (Another book I read before, but many years ago… this time I think I actually got something from it. Spiritual truths presented in very simple, digestible form)
28. The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Dr. Jason Fung, 304pp. (Incredible book that gave me a road map for my fasting journey.)
29. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, 818pp. (Wow, 818 pages, huh? I think several hundred of those are notes and things. Anyway, I really had to read the book that inspired “Hamilton,” now didn’t I? It helped that my mom gave me the book with strong recommendation)