Reading 2017


I’ve always read books slowly. I digest them, research as I read, and take notes along the way. They are my mentors. I enjoy slow and deliberate thinking. A few thoughts on reading:

  • I will re-read favorite books the way I rewatch favorite movies and replay favorite albums.
  • I will take a deep breath and understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE to read everything. ( At last count 844 books in my Amazon wish list. Based on current pace it would take me over 36 years just to finish. )
  • What to Read?
  • I will be selective about my reading. If I don’t like it, then I won’t finish it.
  • I will take better notes and retain the information gleaned.
  • For my favorite authors, I’ll read other books they’ve written as well as what they read.
  • I will read bibliographies. I will let one book lead me to another.

You may notice the Blinkist links below. This allows me to get a good summary of a book, picks out action items from the read, and allow me to more flexibly choose which books to do a deep dive into. A review of this service is forthcoming. Update 8/1: I’ve decided to quit using Blinkest. I found that I missed the author’s tone, stories, and detailed intent of their work.

Previous Years

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Completed (31)

Jolt: Marketing Tactics for Programmers, Designers, Freelancers, Makers, and Entrepreneurs ★

by Justin Jackson

This book is a great resource for marketing your new product, software, idea, book, or any project that you want to promote. It teaches you to, “Be different, break out of the mold, and surprise folks”. Definitely gave me a Jolt of Inspiration.
Book Review

The Miracle Morning

by Hal Elrod

Gives guidelines for setting up a morning routine. By setting aside time first thing in the morning, we set the tone for the rest of the day.

The Wealthy Freelancer

by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia

Didn’t get much out of this one. If you have never done freelance work before, then it might be worth the read. But nothing groundbreaking.

SEO 2016

by Adam Clarke

The value of reputation, quality of content, and a good user experience as factors to good SEO. Keyword tools that go beyond Google Adwords. The value of video, and YouTube in particular in boosting your search results online. The impact on social media in terms of an extra boost to rankings.

The Little Book That Still Beats the Market

by Joel Greenblatt

Good quick overview for investing. Gives formula for “beating the market”. Basic tax tips for stocks in the United States as well.

MONEY Master the Game

by Tony Robbins

Covers financial goals to push yourself towards Financial Freedom and guides along setting up a “freedom fund”.

“If you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or get lost in the details. When you know what you’re aiming for, it’s much easier to get there.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

by Mark Manson

Instead of running away from conflict, learn how to embrace life’s challenges. Choose what to give a fuck about. Ignore the rest. Realize that yep, not everything in life is perfect nor should we expect it to be. Don’t lie to yourself, be bluntly honest. Embrace truth. Escape the delusions we put in place to insulate ourselves. Great and honest read. Loved it.

Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan... ★

by Dave Asprey

Great new book from Dave. Talks about how our environment and the food we eat affect our mitochondria. It goes on to explain how mitochondria affects almost every aspect of our body and brain. Introduces the Bullet Proof Diet plus his supplements to help fight mitochondrial damage.

You Are a Badass at Making Money

by Jen Sincero

Last year, I read Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass. This year she has a new take on money and your mental perception and relationship with it. It was a good read but I still prefer the former.

Creative Confidence ★

by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

This book is amazing. Loved it. I’ve added it to my list of favorite books. It details the definition and process of design thinking. I’m a big fan of IDEO. This is a glimpse into both IDEO and Standford’s D School. Highly recommended.

The 5 Second Rule

by Mel Robbins

I stumbled across this book a few times. Finally after seeing it on the Most Read section of Amazon Charts for Non-fiction, I decided to go for it and read it. Honestly, without knowing the premise of the book. I’m very glad that I did. Ties into other research I’ve done. It gives a strategy for dealing with the lizard brain. The stories and examples in the book are encouraging, hit home, and touch the heart.

The Alchemist ★

by Paulo Coelho

Definitely a modern classic. Fantastic story and a journey in which the main character learns to listen to his heart, recognize opportunity, and follow his path. It illustrates the value of living out our Personal Legend. Loved it.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

At first this was hard to read. It brought back a lot of emotions relating to my Dad’s death. The memory of which still feels recent yet this October will be 2 years. I almost quit reading it.

I’m glad that I pushed through and finished the book. It’s somehow comforting to know others have been through what you have. This was an honest, open guide for dealing with death and facing adversity. It was an insightful view of Post Traumatic Growth and how to be resilient and bounce forward instead of bouncing back. Highly recommended.

Pricing Design

by Dan Mall

Great straight forward approach to pricing design. Covers three models: time-based rates, fixed prices, and value based pricing. It hones on the benefits of value based pricing from there.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

by Sheryl Sandberg

I would recommend reading this before Option B. She references Lean In as you’re reading Option B. Having that context helps to get a sense of how the author really feels.

Gave me a lot to think about. She gives great examples of her past experiences on everything from mentors to pushing for more equality in the workforce. Encouraging read to lean in 100% and push aside self-doubt. Loved it.

★ Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking ★

by Malcolm Gladwell

Enjoyed this read which shows us how we have a sub-process that we use to think without thinking about it. Insightful and very useful. The way Gladwell ties each story together to support each point or theme was so fluid.

Excited to dig further into the works of Paul Ekman, who analyzed micro-facial expressions and has done consulting work for Pixar.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

by Malcolm Gladwell

Great perspective on the underestimated and the misunderstood. Weaving in multiple stories to illustrate his point, this was an insightful look into various ways we think something will happen logically, however, the results prove to be different. It depicts the reasoning behind those that are often-looked over at first, can be remarkable at what they do.

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

by Valerie Young

This book is a deep dive into imposter syndrome, how to identify it, and how to combat it when it shows up. Reading Sheryl Sandberg’s work led me to this author. While the content was a bit slanted to the perspective of a woman in the workforce, there were great nuggets of insight throughout.

Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age ★

by Jeff Goins

Couldn’t put this book down. Enjoyed it so much. Jeff Goins lays out 12 principles that define a thriving artist. Putting to bed many of the preconceived notions that we have about the “starving artist”, the work gives a clear strategy for overcoming that mindset.

Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits ★

by Gretchen Rubin

I’m not sure how this hit my radar, I think it was mentioned in a previous book. ( And this book mentions others I’ve read! Shout out to Gary Taubes. ) Learned a ton about setting habits. One aspect that really hit a chord with me, she pointed out that different personality types can affect habit change. She sheds light on methods for habit change based off of that concept. This book came at just the right time. Loved it.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

by Brené Brown

Indeed a timely book. A book that was influenced by the current political & social climate in America, thoughtfulness on community, and a deeper dive into true belonging.

★ The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) ★

by Gretchen Rubin

Hands down the best book I’ve read in 2017. Gretchen Rubin introduces us to “The Four Tendencies”: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. The book provides great insight into human nature, social interactions, and those blindspots that we can’t see in ourselves. If you’re wondering, I’m a Questioner. You can take the quiz here too.

Side Hustle

by Chris Guillebeau

Having read his books: The $100 Startup, The Art of Non-Conformity, and Born for This, I was excited to hear about his new book Side Hustle.
This book gives a 27 day framework for going from idea to a side hustle that makes money. Motivating and a great resource for inspiration.

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

by Todd Henry

As Gretchen Rubin would define, Todd Henry is an Upholder. I found this an interesting read. It lays out a blueprint for scheduling breaks, creative time, and balance to keep the creative’s mind from burning out. Practical advice.

The Science of Getting Rich

by Wallace D. Wattles

First heard of this book in You Are a Badass or You Are a Badass at Making Money and it was also the inspiration for The Secret. It was published in 1910 and from that perspective was a neat glimpse into the era’s tone of writing. However, I was not a fan of the work overall. Just wasn’t for me.

Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream ★

by Scott Trench

Recently I stumbled upon the Bigger Pockets podcast and Youtube channel. I’m working my way through a few of their books. This was the first that I completed.

Set for Life is a practical and realistic game plan for building wealth over time. It goes beyond monitoring one’s spending habits and dives into the pitfalls that many middle class folks fall into when managing finances. Then it sets the stage for a game plan on investing once your finances are set. The complete opposite of the previous book I read. Really enjoyed this one.

How to Be Perfectly Unhappy ★

by The Oatmeal


If I forget what that means, re-read this book.

You should read it too.

The Book on Investing In Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down: Real Life Strategies for Investing in Real Estate Using Other People's Money

by Brandon Turner

Researching real estate development. This was the second book I’ve finished in the Bigger Pockets network. Great insights, examples, and advice on buying real estate using creative financing techniques.

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living ★

by Meik Wiking

Reading this book made me feel cozy.

Reminded me of such warm memories spending time with a friend that I miss dearly. We would share cake and discuss for hours what we had been reading.

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life ★

by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

Cloud Atlas: A Novel ★

by David Mitchell

Read this book over Christmas holiday. I’ve always been a fan of the movie. The book is filled with much more backstory and depth as one would imagine. Such a delightful read for the end of the year.